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How ERP Drives Growth in Business Development

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, A Comprehensive Guide to Change Management & ERP Implementations (144-slide PowerPoint presentation). This slide deck contains everything (well almost) you would ever want to know about Change Management and ERP Implementations. It includes ERP Success and Failure, Why Change Management for ERP, my Practical Framework Approach to Change specifically tailored for ERP Implementations [read more]

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Figuring out how to grow your company beyond where it is comes with challenges. You must juggle many different balls and improve everything from customer relations to processes to employee engagement.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools drive business development for any size company. ERP software optimizes processes, streamlines decisions, improves collaboration, fixes operations and scales up to build your brand beyond where you could take it without these programs.

The ERP market is around $49.38 billion globally. Experts predict it will grow around 4.78% annually and reach $62.36 billion by 2028. As more companies see the value in utilizing ERP, small businesses must turn to such tools to remain competitive.

Optimize Processes

ERP drives growth in companies by optimizing processes across different departments. Some programs integrate various departments so everything runs smoothly from start to finish. For example, you can automate repetitive tasks. Information becomes more centralized and if someone from sales has a question about a promotion in marketing, they can access the data quickly for reference.

The overall impact saves money and time, and helps people become more efficient and productive in their daily tasks. When you remove the need for repetitive tasks, you save money. Those funds can then grow the business in other areas, helping you develop and thrive.

Streamline Decisions

One of the reasons some startups are indecisive is fear of making a mistake that harms the company and stakeholders. However, with an ERP, you can access real-time data and run comprehensive reports to see what might work best to shore up the business rather than harming it.

Decision-makers have a full view of the brand rather than making choices in a box. You can clearly see how a decision in one area impacts employees and customers. What might the responses be to any changes? Most ERP systems come with forecasting abilities — you can see the end result before choosing a course of action.

Ask vital questions to fix what is currently wrong in your company. What key performance indicators do you need to measure and how can your ERP system help you better understand them?

Improve Collaboration

Collaboration is often the lifeblood of a company. When you can communicate better internally and externally with clients, sharing data improves the result.

Tapping into a shared platform via your ERP helps remote employees stay up to date about policy changes and new procedures. When everyone is on the same page, the business will run like a well-oiled machine.

One example might be marketing sharing information about an upcoming campaign and special price they will offer on a product. Sales can prepare their agents to answer any questions about the offer. Inventory management may get in more of the product for increased demand. All the systems in the company work together to get the results necessary.

Overall operational efficiency improves when everyone works together. Communication includes having the data required to make excellent decisions, and understand how they impact customers and everyone in the organization.

Fix Operations

If you have bottlenecks in your operations, it impacts the entire business and your clients. ERP systems help you find the issues in your current system and fix them. For example, if you are struggling with supply chain problems, you can use the software to look at the entire process and resolve any ordering issues.

You could also pinpoint the suppliers who are consistently late or create inventory problems for your brand. Once you know the issues within your current process, you can find other solutions, or brainstorm with suppliers to find answers that work for you and your customers.

You can use ERP reports and forecasts to optimize workflows and enhance current operations. For example, you might improve routine tasks such as emailing customers reminders or ordering a popular item when stock runs low.

Turn to Scalability

One struggle many businesses have is when their brand starts to grow and they find themselves in a cash flow crisis. Figuring out how to keep offering the same level of customer service becomes more complex, too.

An ERP system gives your company the infrastructure to scale up without losing track of everything. You can even run reports to see how best to add new features or products without alienating your current customer base. While reports are only estimates, having the data to make informed decisions makes you less likely to lose loyal fans.

You can also scale up your ERP software by adding modules as necessary. Perhaps you were small enough to have one person handle inventory management when your brand was first born. However, as you grow, multiple employees may work on stock. Creating a system where one person knows what the other is doing becomes vital to a successful inventory management system. You will avoid disruptions and be able to fix issues more efficiently, even if transaction volumes increase or decrease suddenly.

Is an ERP System Right for Your Business?

ERP software helps you grow beyond where you are and forecast future changes for your startup. Modern solutions help through optimizing processes, streamlining decisions, improving collaboration, scaling up and fixing operations.

Utilizing ERP technology gives you a competitive advantage over other brands in your industry. You will have the data you need to improve operations and increase revenue, no matter how quickly your company changes or how your customers’ needs shift.

Excel workbook
The ERP Strategy Toolkit includes a set of best-practice templates, step-by-step workplans, and maturity diagnostics for any ERP Strategy related project. Please note the above partial preview is ONLY of the Self Assessment Excel Dashboard, referenced in steps 1 and 2 (see below for more [read more]

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About Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and UI. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pups, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.

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