What is ERP automation?
Having a strong work ethic can go a long way, but let’s not fool ourselves here – the key to success is working smarter, not working harder. By that, we mean getting rid of all those fastidious and unproductive business processes that keep getting in the way of things. We’re talking about stuff like data entry, stock control or order management – tasks that are as necessary as they are time-consuming.
So, what if we told you that there is a way to minimise the time spent in these finicky business processes? Enter ERP automation.
What is ERP automation and how can it help your business?
ERP automation refers to the kind of business processes that can be automated via an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. You can think of an ERP as a one-in-all solution that allows you to manage every part of your business within a single software application – from stock management to accounting. Basically, an ERP centralises each and every one of your business processes. As it turns out, this is also the key to ERP automation.
ERPs compile all your business data in a single centralised database to which multiple departments are connected. This enables businesses to activate a real-time data hub that works as a two-way street. For example, the sales and marketing department sources real-time data from it and it also feeds its own data to the central hub so it can be used by the other departments.
Thanks to this central hub, ERPs significantly enhance business performance. And it’s not just about keeping every employee in every department connected at all times. ERPs also reduce manual data inputting to the bare minimum, as well as simplifying event process management.
Let’s exemplify this with a common business problem. One of your sales reps is on the phone with an important client, but they’re not sure whether you’ve got the right stock levels for a certain product at the moment. Without an ERP, your sales rep would have to get in touch with your stock management team and wait for a response. If it turns out that there’s not enough stock to put the order through, they would have effectively wasted your customer’s time.
And what would happen with an ERP? In this scenario, your sales team wouldn’t have to wait for your stock management team to update your stock levels manually. All they would need to do is click a couple of times on their ERP and they’ll instantly gain access to this information in real-time.
If that sounds good to you, then you’ll be happy to learn that it’s not the only thing that ERP automation can bring to the table.
3 ERP automation benefits for your business
The best thing about ERP automation is that it can enhance every single one of your business processes. To really hammer the point home, we’ve chosen the 3 biggest benefits that ERP automation can bring to your business. Let’s have a look…
1. Real-time business performance updates
We started this article by claiming that the key to success is making smart business decisions. But you can’t make smart business decisions if you’ve got no idea about how your business is performing. This is the crux of business management for many small-to-medium company CEOs – they have to wait for their accountants to finish their end-of-month reports to correct the course of their business. With the current highly competitive markets, this could prove to be a fatal flaw.
Fortunately, all you need to do to gain real-time updates on your business performance is implement an ERP solution. Because ERPs are centralised solutions that source data from all your departments, they’re able to offer up-to-date reports that break down your profits and your expenses. And because this process is completely automated, you don’t need to wait for your accountant to come up with a report.
2. Reduced chance of human errors
In this day and age, relying on manual processes to manage your business is incredibly unproductive – not to mention dangerous. For instance, let’s say that one of your accountants makes a small error while writing up an end-of-month report. Something as insignificant as a misplaced comma or an added zero can have a devastating effect on your system accounts, as you’ll be making new calculations and taking business decisions based on wrong information.
Sure, you can reduce the chances of human errors happening by implementing second-person checks. Or you can just implement an ERP solution and wave goodbye to human errors for good. An ERP will take care of all your data inputting and reporting tasks for you, meaning that you’ll be less likely to make a mistake. On top of that, you’ll also save loads of time.
3. No late payments
Many business partnerships have been broken over late payments and unpaid invoices. More often than not, late payments are just an oversight, not an act of bad faith. However, it’s never a good look to miss a payment – particularly when you’re dealing with one of your biggest suppliers. You’ve got two options to make sure this doesn’t happen to you…
The first one is to set up a recurring reminder so you can remember when to pay your suppliers but this isn’t exactly bulletproof. Fortunately, there’s a second option – automating your monthly payments with your ERP solution. Certain fully-fledged ERPs – such as Profit4 – offer automatic payment options to customers and suppliers via BACS transfer.
And because your ERP is also linked to your eCommerce channel, there’s no need to input the payment amount into your ERP’s finance window. Instead, it’ll be fed directly into your finance system – so you can rest safe in the knowledge that all your payments are accurate and made on time.
Stay ahead of the curve with Profit4
With competition fiercer than ever, automating your time-consuming manual processes is becoming a must. If you want to be ahead of the competition, you need an ERP solution that takes care of each and every one of your business processes – enter Profit4, the full-service ERP solution for wholesalers, distributors and merchants.
Please book a demo today if you’d like to see what Profit4 can do for you.