ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and it’s a type of software designed to help companies of all sizes, across all sorts of industries. It helps you to manage your various business functions more efficiently by streamlining them through the use of a single, centralized database.

The time and cost it takes to invest in an ERP system can be quite substantial however, so you may be wondering exactly how you can use such a system and what benefits it might bring to your company. Here’s a quick overview of some of the different ways Enterprise Resource Planning can help you.

How ERP can be used to benefit your company

Most Enterprise Resource Planning systems have a variety of different modules and features, which cover a wide range of business functions. A specialist site can give you more detail, but these are some examples of areas in which ERP could help you:

  • Accounting and Finance – Track your business’s finances from expense planning to tax management, all in real time so you can react quickly and appropriately
  • Customer Relationship Management – Manage all of your client-facing operations, including sales, marketing, advertising, customer service, and lead generation
  • Human Resources – Streamline tasks across payroll and hiring and even track employee performance, from attendance to learning management
  • Manufacturing – Access real-time data to manage shop floors, quality control, product lifecycles and work orders, among others
  • Supply Chain Management – Track products all the way from manufacturing through the warehouse and distributors, right to your customers, even handling returns. You can also forecast future sales to help reduce waste and increase profit
  • Business Intelligence – By using an ERP system to collect and analyze data in real-time from many different sources, you can make better more efficient business decisions
  • Inventory Management – ERP can help you to monitor your supplies and materials, automate ordering, and manage your inventory

In any area of your business, an Enterprise Resource Planning system can save you time by automating tasks and avoiding the need for manual input. It can improve collaboration and communication between departments and give you more accurate data to work with. Having a single set of data means fewer errors and also helps you to comply with any relevant security regulations. All of which means it’s no surprise that the market is growing significantly year on year.

Are there any downsides?

As with everything, ERP does have its downsides. The cost and time required for the implementation of an ERP system can be significant and choosing the right system for your company’s needs can be a complex and lengthy task. Then of course you will have to train your staff to use the new system, which some may resist or find challenging.

Generally speaking, however, the advantages tend to outweigh the disadvantages. Consequently, most businesses will find Enterprise Resource Planning to be a great investment, improving competitiveness, efficiency and productivity. Just be sure to thoroughly research your options before committing to one particular system and you’ll soon find that the time, money and effort you invest will pay off.