Thursday, June 10, 2010

Integration Strategies for Using ERP

Drive efficiency and revenue growth in 2010

An ERP system that is properly integrated with the rest of your business operations will improve productivity, increase efficiencies, control costs and unlock visibility across your organization. Recognizing how your company can deploy and use ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software effectively to improve performance and consistently put the right information into the hands of decision makers is a must.

Rebuilding business after the recession

Times have changed in the business world. To drive business in 2010-2011 organizations need to be effective and efficient in their market. There is a different set of economic rules and our ERP strategies need to meet those changes.

Some companies are inefficient, duplicating efforts and wasting time, money and resources however, they are not aware this is happening. Surely to make it through the recession you had to cut costs, but as we look at cost cutting, how much is too much? With an upswing the in the economy, your perspective should be on growing revenue rather than cutting costs. This is a big leap but ERP will help you do this.

Flexibility is going to play a large part in building business in 2010. Agile companies that can meet customer needs and demands will have the maximum ability to grow. Most companies are running lean, but sometimes you can cut efficiency which will bring business to an inefficient nightmare as business picks up. Consider inventory, distribution, production lines, logistics and balancing forecasts with sales. If looking at these processes is difficult because of a lack of data, you need to consider how to get that information and use it most effectively.

Are your business processes integrated today?

By the end of 2010 business efficiency and the value of integration is going to make a difference for your business. The biggest issue with an un-integrated environment is the lack of transparency. When logistics are poorly handled or shipping errors are made due to rushing, etc, this is a result of disparate systems. Transparency within your organization allows visibility across your organization so decision makers can see all aspects of your business tied together for one complete picture.

If you want data automatically updated, alerted to staff or uploaded to multiple reports you need to integrate your system. Some companies look for the one person on their team that has an idea of how software applications work and give them the responsibility of integration. This do-it-yourself approach is bound to result in increased expenses and rarely works. Or maybe you are using multiple excel spreadsheets that are manually updated to make business decisions. When your data is being entered in multiple places human error is bound to happen causing you to see data that is not in the same format. When spreadsheets reflect information that contradicts itself you know you are in trouble. For example, when a customer on one report shows up as a vendor or not at all on another report, you are making decisions without mission-critical information.

2010 is the year of integration

When you’re looking at business applications you need to say no to manual processes or band-aid fixes. Every time you have redundant data entry you will have errors! Business requirements today include having real time information. You need to know what you want to know, when you want to know it, and you need that data to be current. You need to be able to see everything in your organization and provide decision makers transparency between all parts of the business in addition to seamless workflow and real time data. Implementing these requirements will result in increased agility, tighter management, decreased error rates, lower waste and improved margins.

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