BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTION GUIDE

What is ERP?

As smaller businesses grow, they become increasingly complex to manage. And with everything you need to keep track of, especially processes, it can get overwhelming. Real quick.

Not to mention, continued growth depends on your ability to streamline these various processes and keep moving forward.

Complete oversight and control over business processes are essential to growth. This is why an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system forms the foundation of an integrated business management solution.

Learn everything there is to know about ERP systems — and find out if we can help your growing business.

What is an ERP system?

An ERP system is a business management tool that facilitates and integrates vital business processes and operations in growing organisations as a means of maintaining oversight and control as complexity increases.

While there are literally 1000s of ERP systems to choose from, they all typically focus on the following processes:

+ Accounting

+ Inventory management

+ Customer management (CRM)

+ Business intelligence (BI)

+ Field service management.

The term “ERP system” covers a wide range of tools, each with its own set of features and functions. For example:

+ some are designed for product-based businesses, while others are tailored to service-based organisations

+ some offer tiered solutions

+ some tailor their entire software and service to the needs of individual clients

+ some allow clients to select only the ERP features that are most necessary for their current purposes.

While there are clear variations, they all have the same goal. This is to offer visibility and control of the operations that are most crucial to achieving success.

What to know more? Gain a deeper understanding of Enterprise Resource Planning here>

The key features of ERP

While all ERP tools are unique in their own way, most cover the following areas.

Accounting

Modern ERP software focuses heavily on helping teams streamline their accounting processes and keep their financials in good standing.

With an ERP tool, both internal and customer-facing financial transactions will automatically be recorded in your company ledger. From accounts payable and accounts rec reports to income, expense, and cashflow statements, your ERP solution will ensure it all gets recorded and made accessible to your team with minimal friction.

Many ERP solutions provide financial reports showcasing specific data based on your unique business criteria. This, in turn, allows you to make informed improvements to your financial situation and overall strategy moving forward.

Inventory Management

Enterprise resource planning software also enables teams to keep track of inventory and inventory-related processes at all times.

You’ll have clear oversight and real-time visibility about your various inventory levels. You can also set up automated alerts to notify your team when stock levels are low, and when reorders are necessary.

You can also use ERP software to generate inventory forecasts, allowing for more strategic ordering. These reports can help teams place their inventory more strategically within warehouses.

As we’ll discuss, optimising your inventory management processes will go a long way toward improving relationships with your suppliers and customers.

Customer Management

Speaking of your customers, many ERP tools also offer some form of CRM functionality.

This allows teams to create profiles for individual customers and to track any and all engagements these individuals have with the company. In turn, all customer-facing teams — from marketing and sales to service and support — can provide a seamless experience to every client they work with.

Many ERP tools also allow teams to automate certain customer outreach and engagement initiatives.

Marketing and sales performance reports can be accessed easily through your ERP system. With this data in hand, you’ll know how to improve future customer-facing marketing and sales campaigns.

Field Service Management

Another key area of focus for most ERP tools is field service management.

The right ERP will make it easy to:

  • schedule service appointments for clients
  • keep track of projects from start to finish
  • manage client contracts, equipment warranties, and other policies.

A field service management module needs to be mobile-friendly, as it will need to be accessed by on-site workers who may not have access to a computer while performing their jobs.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is another core module of modern ERP systems.

With business intelligence functionality, you’ll have a 360-degree view of your operations — allowing you to “zoom in” to any area of your business with the click of a button. This holistic view will help you analyse workflows and performance trends across departments.

Moreover, this insight will enable you to make informed business decisions in real-time. As most industries are constantly evolving, it’s important to be agile, informed, and responsive.

How does an ERP work?

An ERP system operates as a company’s single source of truth, bringing all of its processes under the same digital roof. It integrates all aspects of a business in the two ways listed below:

Data Management

All incoming data and information is collected and stored in a centralised location, then pushed into each module as needed. This ensures that all departments are able to access the most accurate and up-to-date data your team has on hand.

Automation

ERP systems integrate (and sometimes automate) certain cross-departmental processes. Automated notifications may also be delivered to selected teams to ensure operations run to plan. Any manual input is reflected throughout the ERP to ensure all stakeholders stay on the same page while accomplishing a given task.

Things to consider in an ERP

As integral as your ERP system will be to business operations, you want to be confident the systems you’re investing in will deliver results for your unique operations.

Here are the key considerations when choosing an ERP solution.

 

Cloud vs. on premise

An important point to consider is whether a cloud or on-premise ERP solution is right for your team. The main differences:

Access: On-premise ERP is installed on specific devices, while cloud ERP is accessible via any internet-ready device.

Server + data: With on-premise ERP, you are responsible for server and data security. With cloud ERP, the provider takes care of this.

Costs: On-premise ERP requires an upfront payment, while cloud ERP requires ongoing payments.

*

Scalability

Because ERP systems touch on the most vital aspects of your business, you need to ensure they meet your needs as the company grows.

Things to consider:

+ Is there multiple tiers of service and features?

+ Are customisations available?

Integrations

The ERP solution you choose should integrate with the existing tools in your business, or replace them entirely. If not, your ERP processes will remain siloed — defeating the purpose of this investment altogether.

Support + Training

Before you choose an ERP solution, you need to know that your team will be able to use it to its highest capacity.

To start, think about how tech-savvy and agile your employees are. Less tech-savvy teams will want to stay away from on-premise solutions that require hands-on customisation and maintenance. And, even among cloud ERPs, some are more complex than others.

Aside from UX friendliness, you need to know how much support you’ll get from an ERP provider. You want to make sure the chosen provider understands your needs and circumstances — and knows how to help you get the most out of the software.

For example, at BusinessHub we know it’s important that your team will be able to start using a new ERP solution as quickly as possible. That’s why we offer our clients access to the most comprehensive MYOB Advanced KnowledgeHub. This offers access to exclusive training videos, webinars, 100s of in-depth articles and documents for new and advanced users alike.

Pricing

Pricing is always a major factor in every business decision and investment you make — and your choice of ERP is no exception.

You’ll be looking for an affordable ERP solution that meets your needs and allows your business to thrive. Comparing competitor prices, along with features is an important first step.

Remember, the payment structure will vary depending on the solution you choose. While on-premise solutions require a large upfront payment for licensing fees, cloud services are offered on a subscription basis at a much more affordable monthly price.

Other costs to consider. Those using an on-premise solution may need to purchase additional equipment and hardware, while cloud ERP users may need to pay for additional features or integrations if needed.

On-premise users also have to pay for additional licenses to update software or add new users to their ERP.

Always remember – there are hidden costs to consider when adopting a new ERP system – such as downtime due to software installation, data migration and maintenance, team training, and other processes.

Is MYOB Advanced right for your business?

When you’re evaluating ERP systems you need to consider cost, availability and quality of support. Many companies choose cloud-based solutions primarily because this will lessen their dependency on IT resources and give them certainty around cash flow. In addition, cloud-based ERP solutions provide best-in-class security, server redundancy measures and data and power-supply back-ups through the data centres which host the cloud solutions and provide 24/7 guarded access.

Take first step to the cloud

To see how moving to the cloud with MYOB Advanced will dramatically improve your business, view our free demo now.

See the bigger picture; make better decisions, and know your data will always be 100% accurate and safe. All in the cloud.