How ERP Integration Can Improve Your Business

How ERP Integration Can Improve Your Business

Written By: Ken Jacobsen

from August 5, 2015

Some businesses don’t mind hard work. To be a successful entrepreneur you have to embrace the idea that you are going to put in a lot of long hours and tough days. There is, however, a difference between effort and waste.

While most businesses have heard of integrated ERP software’s ability to reduce work, some companies might not be aware of all the wasted resources that could be saved. By looking at the issues ERP integration can resolve, it can be better seen as a necessary competitive business tool.

Why offices need to be streamlined

MS Dynamics World published a paper on the benefits of ERP integration. The paper explained how ERP software could streamline enterprise, human resource, inventory and schedule processes. A business that is able to get systems to work together will eliminate wasted steps in company practices.

The MS Dynamics World paper highlighted the problems caused by an office using too many data steps:

Costs you time

First of all, if you are copying multiple documents for different departments, that’s going to cost you time. Multiple copies could also lead to human errors. Packing Europe shared a Videojet survey that found about 60 percent of coding mistakes are caused by operator errors. The more times an operator needs to enter information, the more likely they are to make a mistake. Mistakes will take more time to fix and the repercussions from incorrect data could lead to further costs.

Costs you resources

Manufacturers can suffer greatly from data errors. If incorrect information is referenced during the manufacturing or packaging process then the company could be producing unusable goods and wasting material. If delivery and shipment data is incorrect, you are once again losing time and the resources needed to provide more deliveries to get the proper product to the correct customer.

Costs you customers

Too many errors will affect customer service. Delayed deliveries or improper billing will lead to complaints and lost business. Also, if a company isn’t integrated, it means each system is not working with a uniform set of customer information. Customer support might not have the updated sales details or shipping information to fully answer the customer’s questions and concerns.

Costs you money

These poor communication and information collecting trends will require you to hire more employees. The need to repeatedly enter data, fix products, deliver extra shipments and handle customer issues will call for a larger work force. This means more funds set aside for payroll. Employees constantly fixing other workers’ mistakes could also lead to lower morale and higher turnover.

Implementing ERP integration

These issues are not just minor concerns; their effects can be easily measured by what they are costing your company. Proper ERP integration can help resolve these issues by streamlining a company’s information. By working with a singular set of data, an integrated office can reduce data entry and errors. This could improve your business in the following ways:

Orders

Orders will be created by using a single data silo of information that sales, inventory and customer support will all be able to reference. Changes, such as a customer getting a new address, can instantly be updated for all invested parties. Call centers could be phased out. Instead of orders being taken down by operators on phones, who might mishear or enter information incorrectly, orders could be made online.

It can be used to give you insight on future orders. Previous customer buying habits will inform inventory on what products should be ready for order in a given season.

Shipping and manufacturing

ERP integration improves visibility. Business-Software.com, a resource to help companies find tech solutions, stated ERP software can be used for product quality control. The constant stream of data to a single source will make any defects and errors in the production or packaging process obvious.

As they are delivered, products can be tracked. Every step of the process can be supervised to ensure prompt delivery. You can use these applications to provide customers with information about their deliveries as they are in route.

Customer interaction

When communicating with consumers, the customer’s entire history with the company will be available to the representative who is speaking with them. Having access to their purchase history, previous communications and possible future needs will make customer interaction more personal and helpful.

Finances

Not only will a more efficient office require fewer employees on the payroll but ERP solutions can make a business’s finances more consistent. By automating your billing, payments and payroll with ERP software, a company can create a regularly scheduled, reliable cash flow.

Decision making

Finally, by utilizing a centralized data source, business owners and managers can make more informed decisions. Not only that, but the improved visibility allows them to instantly see the effects of their decisions across the entire company.