All businesses should be data driven. At the most basic level, if you don’t know what’s selling and what’s not, how will you be able to place orders that will satisfy demand and not leave you with dead stock? And if you have several departments all striving towards a common goal, how can you ensure that everyone has all the information they need without good data? That’s where enterprise resource planning comes in.
What Is Enterprise Resource Planning?
Medium sized businesses and enterprise level companies have various separate components that make them work: purchasing, inventory, sales, accounting, human resources and so on. To be effective all these separate functions need to be working together and using the same information to make their decisions.
Enterprise resource planning tools allow a business to integrate their departments and give them access to the same data. They also allow many elements of the business to be automated, meaning that reports can be generated without the hassle of manually updating and merging data from disparate arms of the organisation.
Every business is unique, and so you need to consider your own needs, but in general you’ll want the following features in your chosen enterprise resource planning platform:
- Manages Back Office Operations. You’ll want a platform that brings all your important back office operations and processes, such as accounting, purchasing, inventory, financial planning and human resources into one place.
- Has Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Functionality. Every business needs customers, and the best way to track and handle potential, current and lapsed customers is through a CRM. This should include tools for sales and marketing, including automation of tasks, and customer service management tools.
- Features Professional Services Automation (PSA). A big part of many businesses is project and resource management. PSA solutions allow you to monitor and manage projects, resources, track expenses and time as well as easily run reports.
- Includes Ecommerce Capability. The days of an online shop being a USP are long gone. If you have products to sell a huge number of people will want to buy them online, whether that’s from the comfort of their home, on the train to work or at their desk on their lunch break. A good enterprise resource planning platform will let you build a functioning ecommerce website fast.
- Cloud Based. Many people worry that implementing an enterprise resource planning platform will be disruptive and time consuming, requiring system changes and upgrades. One way to avoid the hassle, time and expense of this is to opt for one that is cloud based. A cloud system is both cheaper and easier to implement, and they also offer real time reporting and data.
Enterprise resource planning makes it easier for people to work more effectively and efficiently. By breaking down the walls of traditional business silos you can ensure that everyone is collaborating and using the same data to make informed decisions to improve your business.
Baker Tilly offer the NetSuite cloud enterprise resource planning solution and can assess your needs and guide you through the migration and set up process. Get in touch to start your journey to a leaner more profitable business.