Are you hurting your business?
Your site is clean, functional and runs fast. Your customers like you. Your team is cohesive and enjoys the job. But something you may not have thought of is out there, just waiting for you to use it to take all of those things to the next level.
It’s ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning.
ERP software is a catchall term. Generally speaking, ERP software is a suite of modular programs that can be used to integrate, streamline and manage your business processes.
You need to have your building blocks right—ERP works best as a force multiplier. It’s not going to solve all your business problems at once. But it will make everything you do function better and more smoothly.
1) ERP Saves You Money
Now, let’s get this out of the way first.
You may have done some research already and been turned off by the sticker shock of some of the ERP systems out there. It’s true, there can be a fair bit of initial investment (though price varies somewhat).
But what you’re gaining on the back end more than makes up for it.
ERP allows you to be more proactive in managing your business, because it lets you have all the information you need at your fingertips. That means your administrative costs and your operations costs are lessened, because you’re not having to spend time reconciling multiple systems.
Ask your IT department: if you’re using a ton of different programs to manage multiple parts of your business, when you upgrade one, there’s a good chance something breaks. That’s lost man-hours, lost money, lost productivity and uptime. It reduces training costs, because you only have one interface to teach to the end user. It makes life easier for everyone.
You don’t necessarily have to pay for every part of the ERP system, either. The way that ERP works, everything is modular. It’s a suite—like Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative. Get what you need.
It can be a fair bit of cost up front, but the payoffs are worth it.
2) ERP Helps Team Collaboration
How often do you have meetings between departments where someone says “Oh, I had no idea you had already done the work on that?” or “Really? We have that information already?”
You can mitigate those instances of lost productivity and streamline your business by using ERP to combine all your information into one easily-accessed portal.
Teams work at their best when they’re left autonomous.
Too much oversight and too much interaction can bog processes down in the mire of endless meetings and endless second-guessing. But that can also lead to blind spots, where teams are either repeating the same work or not taking advantage of resources they may not even know they have.
ERP systems work around this because all of the information each team uses can be stored centrally. Customized data views and individual reports allow teams to have access to the same data, but see it in the ways that matter to them. There’s no problem having to figure out ways to get the data in the hands of those that need it—it’s already taken care of.
Less emails, more productivity.
3) ERP Streamlines Sourcing
The sourcing process is hard to get right. Having too many suppliers can bring in greater risk for a company, and when you’re trying to procure product, approval of purchases can be a significant bottleneck.
ERP helps you eliminate some of the stresses that can come in when you’re sourcing product.
When you use ERP, it allows you to automate out aspects of the process, as well as keeping the information on your sourcing central. It helps with compliance, making sure there aren’t contracts spread out across the company.
It gives you a data bank that has all the information on your product suppliers—and with that data, you can find the ones that are consistently good or consistently bad and focus on moving your business to the best possible channels.
To get your sourcing streamlined, use ERP.
4) ERP Improves Supply Chain Management
Want to track a product all the way from the factory to the customer?
With ERP, you can.
With management of raw materials, tracking of sources, order and inventory tracking, financial reports and revenue tracking, you can look at the entire process transparently. E-commerce sites can interface directly with ERP systems to make it even more efficient. You don’t have to guess. All you have to do is create a view or a dashboard that ties directly into information you already have.
And as a bonus, instead of waiting for reports, you can track everything in real time. You can react quicker, make decisions on your feet and forestall problems before they really get started.
5) ERP Tightens Your Data Security
Are your systems a mishmash of consumer-grade and enterprise-grade software?
Or are you having to manage many different platforms and figure out ways to get data from one place to another in the correct format?
ERP’s centralization takes care of all of that. Accuracy and consistency are easier when you’re dealing with one system instead of many, and it allows less chance for errors. You can restrict or allow access to different areas and keep access logs easily.
Intrinsic controls are always better than ad hoc solutions. With a single input point, you don’t have to worry about the errors or access problems that come with merging multiple sources. You can trust that your data is safe, secure and accurate.
Your E-Commerce Business Could Be Better
Even if your business is doing well already, you could be doing even better. ERP will allow you to centralize your processes, consolidate your data and build a better-functioning workforce. You can track everything you do, react to problems before they happen and be ahead of the game.
So why wait?
Start using ERP systems and see what the fuss is about—rest assured, Sourcify can help.