From the shop floor to the board room: Understanding the true scope of current ERP

From the shop floor to the board room: Understanding the true scope of current ERP

Written By: Ken Jacobsen, Jr

from July 13, 2015

Enterprise resource planning software began as a tool for managing manufacturing input and output, creating a more efficient style of operation backed by strong data and forecasting. That aspect of ERP hasn’t gone away by any means, but some organizations may not understand that the platform has moved beyond its original intended – and limited – function to become a tool that helps businesses across the entire scope of operations. Executives, payroll and human resource employees, those in the accounting office and many others not directly tied to the main activity of a business all benefit from the use of this software to manage and improve operational knowledge.

Financial staff

Accounts payable and receivable, budgeting, payroll and other financial matters are universal concerns in the business world. No matter the exact nature of operations or the market a company is involved in, they have to pay their bills, collect their invoices, compensate their employees and plan for the future. An ERP system takes much of the routine, rote bookkeeping work out of the hands of staff members through automation. Specific additional modules related to employee payrolls address another time-consuming and universal issue. Instead of relying on labor-intensive and error-prone manual systems, or the ongoing cost of outsourcing payroll to a third-party firm, there’s another option: This aspect of financial management can also be controlled in-house with strong ERP software.

When staff aren’t weighed down with basic data entry, they can focus on higher-level tasks and concerns. Financial agility improves with ERP when the right accounting and finance modules are incorporated into the base software. Companies can more comfortably look to the future and plan ahead instead of tying themselves up in current and past concerns.

Executives

The leaders of a business, whether a small shop with a dozen employees or a large business with hundreds or thousands of workers, constantly have to make major decisions that impact the future profitability of their organizations. ERP software stretches across the many different departments of a company and provides both efficient data collection and the ability to generate reports about the many aspects of operation. Executives simply don’t have time to physically track down the necessary information to develop future strategies or make efficiency-based changes to their organizations. By using ERP software to remove the legwork from the equation – and to present fuller, more accurate and more current data – leaders can make the important decisions confident that such efforts are based on the best available information.

Tying it all together

ERP can also help companies manage sales, progress and efficiency in the supply chain, returns and many other aspects of distribution. In this sense, ERP is truly an end-to-end system that can, if so desired and appropriately configured, track the progress of products produced from the arrival of raw material to the exit of finished items from the supply chain. Of course, there are two big “ifs” involved in this assumption: a solid implementation and the selection of the right components to build and develop the base software.

Working with a top-flight ERP partner helps companies get the most out of their systems. Experience goes a long way when it comes to choosing both the base platform like Microsoft Dynamics – as well as the modules that lead to the fine tuning that truly makes ERP so successful for a wide variety of businesses. With the right partnership in place, businesses can realize the maximum benefit from ERP systems and become significantly more efficient and effective in their operations.