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Why businesses across all industries need an ERP system



The 21st century began with an all-out race of a massive scale. Technology galloped ahead, economies were liberalized and businesses expanded rapidly. The combination of business and technology brought a new era in which businesses expanded and grew on a dazzling speed. The rapid growth of businesses worldwide created a need of strong and automated solutions that can match the speed of expansion and make its management easier and more efficient.

In an age where customers have a far more bigger pool of choice than ever before, it has become necessary for every business –regardless of which industry it is from- to gear up for competition and streamline its internal processes. The increasing expectations of investors who want quick returns on their investments also put businesses in a tight spot. They have to deal with cutthroat competition, ensure bigger and quicker ROIs, improve internal operations and most importantly, increase their customer base. Eventually, a solution was found: ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning.

An ERP system automates every internal process, speeds up operations and provides a holistic view of the business to the management. Most importantly, it removes dependency of the business on individuals and makes every aspect easier to manage and track. Following are the major areas in which an ERP system helps business.

  1. Automation

An ERP system removes the need of manual work and automates all processes. This saves man hours and brings in accuracy. Manual data feeding not only requires more time but also has the disadvantage of not being 100% accurate,  regardless of how much it’s scrutinized. An ERP system has built-in modules that can read and exchange data, removing the disadvantage of inaccuracy.

  1. Integration

Lack of integration is a nightmare for any business that has multiple departments.  Each department has its own way of maintaining records and exchanging data. Even if standard procedures are followed, the fact still remains that an employee will have to collate all data, sift through it and bring out whatever is needed. This again will result in loss of valuable man hours and an incomplete picture of the whole business. On the other hand, an ERP system integrates all departments of an organisation in such a way that all data can be checked and compared with the help of in-built modules, saving time and ensuring accuracy.

  1. Data Security

The more people involved, the less secure data becomes. For businesses, it’s important that data remains not only accessible at all times, but is also secure from unauthorized access. This is nearly impossible if data is stored and accessed manually. For example, some types of data have layers. The first layer can be accessed by any employee. The final layer is supposed to be accessed only by the top management. In manually saved data, if such access practises are to be enabled, the layers will have to be kept in separate files. More files, more complexity. With such security, it will be difficult to access that data due to this complexity. If the complexity is removed, security will be compromised.

In an ERP system, users can be assigned roles. The same file with several layers can be accessed by anyone depending on what kind of access they have been granted. This will mean ease in accessibility without compromising security

  1. Data duplication

Data duplication is one of the most annoying problems faced by business establishments. If attempted to solve manually, it can end up in either loss of data or further more duplication. Data duplication slows down decision making processes and results in wastage of man hours as well as other resources.

An ERP system –as mentioned above- is integrated with all the departments of an establishment. Whatever information is stored from whichever department, it gets recorded in one central database. In other words, even while recording information, there is no duplication as it’s stored at one place.

  1. Speed in operations

It’s very important that the internal processes and their operational speed matches with business growth. If it doesn’t match, the business will suffer a fatal slowdown. In a completely non-automated and manual set up, the only way to do this is by increasing the number of employees, which will naturally result in more cost and may not even give the desired results.

In an automated setup, an ERP system can be delegated with many major tasks, ending the need to recruit more personnel and also guaranteeing accuracy. This way, the internal processes will match business growth in speed and ensure more smoothness.

  1. Customer relationship management

Whether you own a flower shop or a supermarket, customer relationship management is a very crucial branch of every business. Converting leads into customers and ensuring that existing customers stay loyal is the key for the growth of business.

An ERP system comes equipped with a strong CRM solution. Through the CRM solution, you can organise the whole database of customer contacts in a way that eases operations. CRMs automate a lot of repetitive tasks and maintain profiles of each customer, depending on which stage of lifecycle they are. They also ensure that follow-ups are done on time and to the right person, avoiding duplication and delay.

  1. Control, monitoring and analysis

As a business owner or manager, it’s essential that you have total control over your business. Total control can be achieved only when there are strong monitoring processes and constant analysis of operations. An ERP system delivers on all these fronts and overcomes all lapses that may result in a non-automated process. With its eyes and ears in every aspect of business and its presence and integration in all departments, an ERP system gives regular and accurate reports that are vital when taking decisions.

Businesses have long since realised the importance of ERP and automation of internal processes. It has helped them boost their profits and bring in clarity in roles. The importance of automation through ERP is now accepted universally. With a huge number of ERP solutions’ providers out there, it becomes imperative that you choose the right solution for your organisation.

 

 

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