At Software Advice, we preach the good word of software and how it can benefit businesses. But when it comes to the complex world of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and the top ERP benefits users can expect to realize, it can be a tougher sell.
There’s one common refrain we hear from buyers using disparate systems to conduct their processes: “Why is an ERP system better than what we’re using now?”
We’re glad you asked. Here are seven benefits of ERP software you’ve likely never heard of.
1. Improve and Strengthen Security With Your Business Data
Modern ERP systems offer advanced user-permission settings. These can prevent sensitive data from ending up in the wrong hands, allowing users to only access what they need to from the system.
In the rare event vendors discover a security exploit in their software, they can typically patch it quickly, and enact the update for all users automatically.
2. Community Knowledge and Support Is There for You
Hundreds of thousands of businesses use ERP software, and have employees who are actively involved with their platform’s online knowledge community. If you experience an issue or problem, chances are someone else has experienced it, too.
Simply searching your platform’s knowledge base can often provide a solution for less serious problems, saving you a call to tech support. You can also post questions in online forums and get answers from other users.
3. Better Data Leads to Better Business Decisions.
Using disparate, poorly integrated business software systems can lead to messy, non-standardized data. This makes year-over-year comparisons less accurate, more difficult and more time-consuming—and can also be a serious detriment to forecasting.
With a modern ERP system, all necessary applications are integrated, your data is standardized and the tools to see year-over-year comparisons and forecasts are built in. These are often presented in an easy-to-read dashboard format (as pictured below).
4. Stay on Top of Regulations
Governmental red tape making your employees’ jobs harder? Most ERP systems are equipped to ease regulatory compliance when it comes to a variety of business processes, such as financial accounting, data security and product traceability.
- Publicly traded companies need to ensure all their financial records are 100-percent accurate. ERP software helps keep everything in line through Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
- Small regional food manufacturers can benefit from the product traceability tools in a modern ERP system. These ensure companies are able to trace any instances of contamination or improper handling back to the source in their manufacturing plant.
5. Give Employees More Power to Be Revenue Generators
Inefficient processes and decentralized data mean greater labor costs for businesses. These can be especially detrimental for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) that have more limited resources.
ERP systems can automate and streamline daily processes, giving your employees more time to do things that actually generate revenue.
For example, software can automatically tie sales orders to the accounting system, or run reports without the need for complicated spreadsheets.
[SMBs] need power, intelligence and automation. They need to be able to do more with fewer employees. Every employee should be adding value to the top or bottom line of the business—not wasting time due to lack of efficiency and centralized data.
Marc Kalman, CEO of Bizslate, a cloud ERP provider
6. Mobile Accessibility = Take Your Business With You
The mobile trend present in other software markets has caught on with most ERP vendors: They are now offering native applications on Android, iOS and Windows smart devices.
These applications typically offer a pared-down dashboard that updates in real time with crucial business KPIs, including:
- Customer acquisitions
- Web traffic
- Manufacturing output
Michelle Woolfolk is director of product marketing at Sage, an ERP vendor. She says the demand for mobile accessibility with ERP applications has been driven by a younger generation of tech-savvy business entrepreneurs, who often rely on more than five different applications to run their business.
“What they would love is to have fewer applications and/or have those applications integrated, so that they can run their business from one source. If your ERP solution can consolidate or integrate those applications and their capabilities … [on a mobile device], that is the ideal,” she says.
7. There’s Plenty of Fish in the Sea
There are literally thousands of ERP vendors, from giants such as SAP and Oracle down to niche vendors that cater to a handful of clients in a specific industry.
A surplus of players in the market is great for customers—and every vendor has its own unique advantages and target industries.
Whatever your needs and budget are, there is an ERP vendor out there that will fit your organization like a glove.
Still unsure which platform is right for you? Give our Software Advisors a call at (855) 998-8505 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. We’ll help you determine your needs and match you with vendors who can deliver on those requirements.