By Mark Wilson: Chief Executive Officer, SYSPRO EMEA
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the global business market and has subsequently forced companies to close their doors for good. Though initially, this had left a lot of businesses scrambling to adjust, others have turned to business software, which has unlocked new opportunities and far greater efficiencies.
Businesses of all sizes consistently feel pressure to cut costs, outperform the competition and deliver high levels of customer satisfaction. For organisations to remain relevant in the era of Industry 4.0, while finding new efficiencies during the economic recovery process, the time has come to consider, embrace and adopt technologies, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, that will allow them to thrive in the years to come.
How will ERP help my business?
ERP solutions enable organisations to have greater insight and visibility into their operations. ERP is almost synonymous with efficiency and productivity, and when integrated into the business workflow process, it becomes far easier to have real-time insights into almost all aspects of your business.
The ERP system maintains all critical data like vendor lists, bills of material, operational processes and others, which can be accessed by all relevant team members to create consistency and coordination in work processes. By ensuring a fast and consistent flow of information across business functions through a central repository, the ERP system enables faster coordination amongst employees.
With real-time access to key information, business leaders can make informed business decisions, which will allow them to maintain a competitive edge in their industry, no matter how big or small the competition may be.
Better management of inventory
One of the biggest issues modern-day manufacturers and distributors face is not having full visibility into their inventory levels. And with the pandemic having increased shortages of parts and ingredients, global manufacturers have had to identify alternative suppliers and are adapting their supply chains to make up for fluctuating demand for deliveries.
By implementing an ERP system that gives them greater visibility across their supply chain, especially inventory levels at the critical stages, procurement teams can play a significant role in solving supply chain challenges. Their focus should be on calculating demand more accurately, posting new tenders and ensuring that the right levels of inventory, parts and raw materials are ordered and delivered, in the right quantities and at the right price.
As data becomes more accessible and the flow becomes automated, impending issues can be identified easily. The business can then quickly adjust to mitigate potential disruption. Rather than inefficiently changing production priorities to meet a potential customer supply problem, companies can adjust more optimally.
The availability of information also helps the operations team to make smarter decisions. Optimal visibility into inventory can give businesses more effective control of supply and demand, and the ability to forecast and accurately cost a product, among others.
Mobile access to business functions
Businesses aim to be stable, but now they realise they need to be agile. How rapidly can they adapt if something in the market changes overnight as we’ve seen recently? How do businesses keep operating if a crisis like this happens again – for example, the third wave? Business leaders need to look at solutions that allow them to change key elements of their supply chain, production operations, and shipment activities without any major disruptions.
One of the more recent benefits of a superior ERP system is the ability to access it anywhere from a mobile device. SYSPRO’s mobile platform gives users access to all business data remotely. This mobile solution enables users to create applications that will work on any popular device, providing instant and secure access to information about customers, suppliers, inventory items and other key business information.
Harnessing business insights
ERP systems enable business leaders and top management to make well-informed and intelligent business decisions backed by data and business insights. With relevant and real-time data trends and information, users are empowered to meet their goals, targets and deadlines with improved collaboration and the means to act quickly and proactively.
A less obvious, although critical benefit for ERP customers is that ERP vendors can maintain close ties to the industries they serve and respond quickly to the emerging needs of their customers. This provides the customer with the long-term assurance that as their mid-market businesses continue to grow, their ERP systems will grow with them too in response to future needs.
How businesses think about their ERP systems will be forever changed as well. In addition to their well-understood values of maximising profitably, ensuring top-notch customer service, and delivering quality products, ERP solutions will now be known for their unique ability to maintain business continuity in the face of sudden change.