How to Build ERP to Improve Sales Performance
What is ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can help to face many challenges of small, medium or large businesses. Initially, ERP was designed for enterprise organizations. But nowadays every modern business recognizes the advantage of managing core processes with just one system.
If your company uses basic accounting software or spreadsheets to track your finances, productivity, inventory etc you will definitely agree that this system slowly becomes a burden. When your business grows, the amount of spreadsheet increases as well. Not the solution you were looking for. As a result you need more time for day-to-day operations not to mention potential delays and problems due to double data entry, missed orders, mishaps or miscommunication. This is the sign that your company is outgrowing its current software and needs something better to streamline routine operational tasks and save time.
ERP system provides a centralized communication tool. In such a way it helps your business function more efficiently. When you have one system to manage information and processes you can be sure that your whole company is on the same page. All your functional aspects of business base their actions on the same set of information. E.g. your sales team takes the order and enters it to your ERP system. The software automatically generates a transaction for the finance department, creates a work order and updates your inventory. All departments run smoothly with no unnecessary delays.
There is no one size fits all ERP system. ERP softwares differs by industry. But there is something in the market for everyone. Typical ERP software has such functional modules:
- Sales & marketing
- Human resources
- Finances & accounting
- Inventory management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
You need to understand your business needs, goals,objectives and choose ERP software to address them.
ERP and Small Business
There are no businesses too small for an ERP. The key is to define your strategy goals and determine the direction in which to move. If you implement ERP software you will free up time to identify new growth opportunities.
As a small business owner you have to plan your day carefully. In rapidly growing small businesses, it’s hard to keep track of everything at once. How can ERP improve business efficiency? It will allow you to get a view of what is going on in every area of your business.
Let’s take a look at the key business benefits of ERP software:
- Increased productivity. As ERP eliminates repeated business processes, work routine and unnecessary manual tasks employees can focus now on other business areas and important tasks. It results in enhanced productivity.
- Improved customer service. Your support team will interact with your customers faster and more efficiently. It is possible due to easy access to customers’ information and history. Faster response time, order accuracy, improved delivery, fast resolution to any customers’ issues are among other benefits to meet your customers’ needs.
- Optimized business processes. ERP eliminates repetitive processes and decreases the opportunity of costly mistakes. It improves daily activities by preventing double data entry, collecting and providing real-time information from different departments in one system. Manual duty is reduced to a minimum. Software notices every little detail and makes it possible to work more efficient.
- Enhanced reports. ERP system significantly reduces paperwork. It helps to generate custom reports on the schedule or in real time. Every department can create required reports: financial, inventorial, technical maintenance, customer behavior etc. Your employees will quickly run their own reports without relying on any other department. No delays and large wait times.
- Real-time information. ERP system helps you to better analyze business data. It enables centralized collection, processing, and storage of real-time information. Everyone can be sure that information is up-to-date and relevant. This single data system saves time and improves communication between departments. No need to synchronize separate databases and remove duplicates.
- Accurate forecasting. Since the information is as accurate as possible, data specialists can analyze information faster and easily identify business trends or potential problems.
- Strengthened security. Protect sensitive data by setting user access only to the selective ERP modules. No more unsecured Google documents or Excel sheets. Only required users will access what they need from the system.
- Better sales management. ERP automates the sales process. It also reduces sales cycle time, from order entering to product delivery. Most processes are handled without human intervention.
As you can see, as a business owner you can see improvements within multiple departments. Moreover, you will significantly reduce the risk of making costly business mistakes.
ERP and Medium Business
It is even more important for medium-sized businesses to have an ERP system. It is a perfect opportunity to define what works for your organization, what is really important and what can be improved or even removed.
In addition to the mentioned above advantages, medium businesses can benefit from:
- Cost savings. ERP platform can help to reduce administrative and operation costs. Thus your business can invest money in much needed areas.
- Resource and production scalability. The workflow automation alone brings much value to the company. It frees your employees time to handle more important issues.
- Process standardization. Different company locations have different business processes. It makes sense as each location is its small entity with its own rules and regulations. Processes are localized to fit the requirements. But general processes should definitely be standardized to provide smooth company operations. ERP implementation will be a great use for this purpose.
- Department collaboration. With a single source of data there is no reason why your departments won’t be able to communicate effectively. Sharing information will be easier than ever. All employees will be able to see the big picture.
While ERP software could be a major investment, it is actually more costly not to use it. Consider the salaries and the operational costs of those employees, which you don’t have to hire as you have an ERP. Such software provides your company with competitive advantages and enhances your overall business performance.
Before writing this guide we decided to check what the ERP users were thinking about this software. Thanks to Linkedin poll system we have a fresh and valuable feedback from the first hands:
Here is our list of questions we asked LinkedIn users.
Do you or your company use ERP?
- Yes - 25%
- No, but we are going to - 75%
- No, but we don't need one - 0%
How do you use an ERP system?
- Human Resources - 17%
- Sales - 33%
- Finance/Accounting/eCommerce - 17%
- Warehouse/Inventory Management - 33%
How annoying is your ERP?
- Very annoying - 50%
- It's ok - 50%
- Love it - 0%
How hard is it to update your ERP on a daily basis?
- Very - 0%
- Moderately - 75%
- Slightly - 0%
- Not at all - 25%
The results showed that all businesses regardless of the industry need ERP software. But most of the companies experience some kind of discomfort using their current ERP.
As you can see even if you use an ERP you still can be somewhat unsatisfied. It’s not a secret that only a custom-tailored solution can be a valuable helper and not an annoying “another-one-thing-on-my-PC”.
We highly recommend applying custom solutions to see the benefits of the use of ERP in your business, as every business is unique, exactly as the people who are working there .
Features which helped our customers to grow and prosper
Customized ERP systems are flexible and robust. You won't need to buy new solutions once your needs change. Your ERP system has to grow as your business grows. We will help you to adapt to the changing needs of a growing business.
Here is just some samples of our input in designing custom features for specific businesses:
- Warehouse management
- Balance management
- A pricing algorithm depending on market conditions. Calculation of purchase prices, discount prices for raw materials and finished products, packing cost, etc
- A full purchase cycle, and all suitable related products
- The client has the opportunity to buy not only the finished product but also to assemble the required components. The system does all the calculations and shows the total amount
- Delivery is calculated based on the delivery method chosen by the client
- Payments gates and transactions
- Management of physical points. There are different environments for every city that depend on the functionality of each point
- Flexible configuration of the access level. The employee only sees the information he needs. The order is transferred depending on the access level
- Notifications to employees e.g. SMS, PUSH notification
- SEO friendly functional
- Localization. GEO search and snippets
- Export/import of information
- The ability to work with third-party companies. API integrations: currency connections, credit cards etc
These features helped our clients manage the business more efficiently. The ERP system allowed many of them to grow from a small business in one city, to medium business in cities across the country.
If you want to get professional assistance with ERP system development, get in touch with our team. We know how to make ERP work to your benefit both for small and medium businesses.