What are the business areas covered in an ERP?
If you’ve never used an ERP solution, it can be difficult to understand why they’re so important to most modern stockist/distributor businesses. For the uninitiated, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are a kind of software used by businesses to manage their day-to-day operations.
You can think of ERPs as the spark that lights the fire of a business. They enhance inter-connectivity by managing and integrating most business processes through a single interface. Just think about how convenient that can be. Instead of having to use dozens of applications every day, your employees can access a single centralised, integrated system where all the data and applications they need are located.
The benefits that this brings are obvious. To start with, ERPs make businesses more agile and efficient. No more cumbersome data entry tasks – with an ERP, every single member of your organisation can have access to relevant real-time data from any department in your company.
But can an ERP reach every nook and cranny of your business? Let’s have a look…
What areas does an ERP cover?
The main mission of an ERP is to break down the barriers between every department in your organisation – and to build connections between them instead. ERPs coordinate the flow of data between departments, streamlining operations and bringing teams together under a single platform.
Basically, ERPs tie a wide range of different business processes together, helping organisations manage core business processes following a holistic approach. With this in mind, let’s dig deeper into the main business areas covered by an ERP.
Stock control and management
Keeping on top of your inventory is one of the hardest things about having a business – whether online or in-person. Fortunately, inventory management has been drastically simplified by ERPs. Because they integrate all business areas in a single location, ERPs provide organisations with an integrated approach to stock management. This means that your sales, logistics and inventory teams will feed real-time data of your stock into your ERP’s centralised cluster – giving you full visibility of your stock at all times.
But there’s more. A full-service ERP solution such as Profit4 will always include multi-channel stock management features to make sure that you’re never under- or over-stocked. On top of that, it will provide you with a multi-location view of your inventory across your physical warehouses and digital ecommerce platforms. Basically, implementing an ERP system is like hiring an experienced stock management specialist – but without the extra cost.
The secret to improving customer retention? Giving your customer service specialists all the right instruments to deliver a holistic service that prioritises your customers’ best interests. And that’s exactly what a full-service ERP with customer service features can do for you.
An integrated ERP system will allow you to provide a more personalised service to your customers – making it more likely for them to stick with you. By bringing your customer service reps closer to your customers, an ERP will provide you with helpful insight into your products and services.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could track and manage all your orders from a single point of sale? And access in-depth reports about your top-performing sales reps from the same dashboard? What if that same point of sale also allowed you to enable seamless data flow to all your ecommerce channels?
Well, that’s what an integrated ERP can do for you. But most importantly, an ERP will equip your sales team with all the necessary tools to close more deals. How? It’s simple. A fully integrated ERP will allow your sales reps to track a customer’s order history – meaning they’ll be able to offer a more personalised service. That’s paired with real-time sales performance data – so your sales reps can manage sudden fluctuations in demand in real time.
You can’t overstate the importance of having complete visibility of your financial position. And that’s why most ERP solutions include finance modules that collect financial data and generate comprehensive reports. From automated nominal ledgers and invoices to fully managed credit control and BACS payment features, an ERP system with finance features will act as an expert accountant.
On top of that, ERPs with finance solutions include features to help you budget, forecast and plan your finance, as well as handling the new making tax digital initiative. Basically, they equip you with all the necessary tools to make smart financial decisions – all in a few clicks.
Data rules the world – and particularly so for effective marketing campaigns. If you want to develop a campaign that really hits the nail on the head, you need access to in-depth data about the customers you’re trying to target. Fortunately, an integrated ERP system makes that extremely easy. To start with, your ERP will allow you to profile and segment your customers based on past and current activity.
But there’s even more. Fully integrated ERP solutions like Profit4 will also provide you with a plethora of analytics tools to help you track seasonal trends and research buying behaviours. And because all this data is centralised in just one database, your marketing team can access it with only a couple of clicks.
Last but not least, an integrated ERP can also make your life a lot easier for your management team. It’s not hard to see why. ERPs give management a 360-degree view of their business, allowing them to stay in complete control by grouping every single department in a single centralised solution.
Let’s say that your management team is looking for a candidate for an internal promotion in your sales team. If their goal is to identify their top-performing employee, all they need to do is to look at the many sales reports their ERP has created in the past twelve months. In a nutshell, having an integrated ERP allows management to make decisions informed by real-time data – rather than relying on hunches.
Helping you take control of your business
At this point, the advantages of an integrated ERP system should be clear. But be careful – not all ERPs allow you to take care of all your business functions. If you ask us, what you need is a fully integrated ERP with CRM functionality – such as Profit4.
With Profit4, you’ll be able to manage all your business areas from a single centralised system. From finance to customer service, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of your entire company – all from a single application.