Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is any of a number of software platforms that bring together customer relationship management, accounting, core HR, and supply chain management features together in a single software. Because of the complexity and number of features available through ERP software, it has been traditionally adopted by large enterprise corporations, but recent years have proved that ERP software is useful even for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
ERP software allows teams to consolidate their tools into one unified system. Instead of paying for separate subscriptions for a supply chain management, core HR, CRM, shipping, and inventory software, teams pay for a single platform that handles each of these tasks in a centralized system. Depending on the company’s size and complexity, reducing the number of software system subscriptions can significantly cut the monthly overhead.
When all sectors of the company gather in a single software to plan and track business events, all of the business data can then be made available for team review. Many modern ERP systems invest heavily in analysis tools and visualizations that let team members create reports that show progress, indicate inventory levels, and notify colleagues of wins. ERP software then acts as the single source of truth for stakeholders to compare successes and prepare for bumps in the road.
While still useful for storing grain, business silos–where teams work independent of one another to everyone’s detriment–are a luxury no one can afford. An ERP helps to bring business goals and planning out into the light of day where teams can share effortlessly with one another. This allows teams to compare notes across departments, helping everyone move toward those big business goals.
For large manufacturing corporations with several facilities, sharing manufacturing plans and best practices can be vital for product and process standardization. ERP systems allow manufacturing teams to store manuals, blueprints, regulatory information, and vital statistics for each process in a single, searchable location. This allows processes to be replicated across county and country lines without sacrificing quality or speed.
ERP solutions provide inventory tracking and analysis that allows companies to run leaner. Using technology like RFID tags, geofencing, and biometric data, ERP systems can track assets through their entire lifecycle from supply to sale, and many ERP systems will suggest inventory improvements over time. With reduced inventories, companies can repurpose storage space and cut down on their payroll costs.
ERP solutions provide Core HR products like payroll, scheduling, time clock, and benefits management. These were a logical extension of the types of software that connected the front of house, warehouse, and c-suite. With Core HR features, an ERP system can use the time clock software to calculate payroll and benefits, and managers can access employee information when building schedules.
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