ERP systems comprise various modules, each addressing a specific business requirement. For example, products-based companies typically have modules for accounting, inventory and order management, customer relationship management (CRM), and if they produce or assemble products, manufacturing. Services businesses may turn to modules for accounting, project management, professional services automation, and CRM.
ERP systems have become table stakes for businesses looking to use resources wisely. They can help leaders reallocate human and financial capital or build more efficient processes that save money without sacrificing on quality or performance.
An ERP is also an asset when it comes to planning and coordination. Employees can see current available inventory and customer orders in detail, then compare supplier purchase orders and forecasted future demand. If necessary, they can make adjustments to head off problems. ERP software improves communication and collaboration as well because workers can check on the status of other departments to guide their own decisions.
As a comprehensive source of data, an ERP system also provides a host of reports and analytics that can be difference-makers for the business. Turning a vast trove of information into charts and graphs that clearly illustrate trends and help model possible results is an ERP capability executives find invaluable.
How Can ERP Improve or Help a Business?
ERP enables companies to identify areas of the business with room for improvement or opportunities for expansion. User uptake is key: The more employees with access, the more likely teams will spot problems, whether a spike in demand for a certain product, late shipments from a supplier or an impending cash flow crunch. Employees can then proactively mitigate the issue to the extent possible. Executives are generally focused on outcomes — using information to achieve objectives, like increasing efficiency, reducing costs and responding to changing consumer needs or market conditions.
For business units, ERP software can automate many error-prone tasks, like account reconciliations, customer billing and order processing, and provide the information teams need to operate more efficiently. But the real beauty of ERP is that it can give both a 10,000-foot view of the company’s health and detailed insights into a specific process or KPI by not only storing and organising data, but identifying patterns and flagging anomalies that require investigation. Try that with a spreadsheet.
The accounting team is often the first adopter. This group will track and report on all transactions and other financial information in the system, including accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR) and payroll. With ERP, financial planning and analysis (FP&A) experts — whether a separate role or part of the accounting department — can turn comprehensive financial data into forecasts and reports on revenue, expenses and cash flow.
Employees focused on operations, a group that includes purchasing agents, inventory planners, warehouse managers and senior supply chain leaders, rely on the ERP system to ensure a smooth and continuous flow of goods from supplier to customer. They count on accurate, detailed information provided by the system to optimise inventory levels, prioritise orders, maximise on-time shipments, avoid supply chain disruptions and identify inefficient processes.
Sales and Marketing
An ERP solution can increase the productivity of and drive better results for your sales team by automating lead management and monitoring the interactions prospects have with your company. Reps can document discussions and change the status of prospects as they move through the sales funnel. Using those same records, marketing can automate and manage outreach across all channels, from email to display ads to social media, and measure the effectiveness of those messages and channels to better allocate its budget.
The HR department tracks all employee information and broader workforce trends in the ERP. It can quickly find contact information, compensation and benefits details and other documents for each employee. HR can also monitor metrics like retention by department, average pay by title, promotion rate and other metrics to better allocate its own staff and assist line-of-business managers.
As a rule, ERP business solutions offer the following basic modules
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
ERP CRM solutions manage client databases, analyze customer demand for certain products, singles out market trends, and help in building a productive marketing strategy.
Financial module takes hold over financial operations, helps to track transactions, control budget estimate, reduce expenses, and maintain accurate accountability.
Sales & Marketing Management
This app component operates basic sales processes including sales inquiries, orders, quotations, invoices. Sales and marketing module commonly cooperates with CRM module to make marketing strategies more efficient and bring more profit.
Human Resources Management (HRM)
HR component regulates all processes connected to stuff management from hiring new employees to dismissal procedures. HR module also includes payroll software and relates to the financial module.
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
SCM app module tracks demand, resources, production status, logistics, distribution as fast as possible, making correspondent corrections in product supply planning. SCM component optimizes supplies and resources to make your company more competitive on the market.
Manufacturing module handles all production processes carried out in your company: from product planning to quality monitoring and forecasting.
Inventory component providers accurate inventory reports and, together with other modules, regulates delivery processes, logistics, document flow.
A project management system built on a CRM platform allows teams to easily understand tasks and projects that relate to cultivating the customer relationship. Workflows can be established and the client can be nurtured and given the service they deserve.
The Prospect Management System is a proven, systematic approach to developing new business and managing the sales process. The system is easy to use and serves as a guide to the individual salesperson and as a diagnostic tool for sales management.
The actual interactions with customers such as contact, direct sales, direct mail, call centers, data aggregation systems, web sites and blogs etc. are examples of operational CRM.
Warehouse management refers to the oversight of operations in a warehouse. This includes receiving, tracking, and storing inventory, as well as training staff, managing shipping, workload planning, and monitoring the movement of goods.