The digital shift in manufacturing and distribution as well as the wave of Baby Boomer retirement (also known as the “Silver Tsunami”) is influencing decision-makers to examine a new way of conducting business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 76 million Baby Boomers are expected to retire in the coming years, and their current labor participation rate will fall from 80% to below 40% by 2022. This means we must prepare to support a new wave of talent, with new needs and expectations.
Engaging the incoming workforce through digital transformation initiatives — while continuing to support members of your team that helped build your business — can be daunting; however, with the right ERP software partner, this industry-wide shift can be surprisingly seamless. Once your team is working in harmony while leveraging emerging technologies, your business will see an increase in customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and profit.
1 – Self-Service and Social Collaboration Boost Customer Success
Social collaboration in ERP is on the rise. Aberdeen reports that organizations with social ERP are 145% more likely to have real-time collaboration across departments and divisions, and saw a 22% improvement in profit margins over the past two years. This makes perfect sense considering that millennial workers and their customer counterparts respond best to a familiar and personalized social media-type interface when conducting business. Social ERP tools, like SYSPRO Harmony, are built with the entire team in mind. Harmony delivers trend detection, notifications, and real-time collaboration at everyone’s fingertips. Ultimately, this increases responsiveness and enables a real-time view into customer sentiments, relevant emerging data trends, and significant business movements.
Gartner predicts that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. As we near the year 2020, it’s clear that the firm’s prediction on self-service adoption rings true. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is utilized by consumers everywhere today — in home entertainment, automobiles, shopping, and in customer service.
A true customer-first approach to service requires your ERP system to understand each customer’s needs and have the ability to empower them with self-service, anytime, anywhere. An example of this would be the SYSPRO chatbot, “Ken,” which handles self-service requests and provides a consistent, collaborative user experience via any social media application.
2 – Choice and Flexibility in the Workplace Grows and Maintains Top Talent
Between global expansion, disruptive technologies, and a cross-generational workforce shift, choice and flexibility are paramount to your team’s ability to deliver to customers. To engage, motivate, and maintain top talent, your ERP system must allow your team to run its ERP their way — driving your organization to deliver to your customers with more efficiency. Specifically, SYSPRO’s web-based ERP interface, Avanti, and SYSPRO’s mobile ERP solution, Espresso, enable your team to serve customers anytime and anywhere, on any device. Individuals in your organization will have the flexibility to engage in the ERP software in a way that works best for each of them and digitalize business at a pace that makes sense.
Other key advantages to operating on a flexible ERP system is choice of deployment (cloud, on-premise, or both), and the option to pay in a way that fits your budget and needs. Basically, your ERP must be up to the challenge of meeting your evolving needs so you can focus on what you do best.
3 – Identifying Actionable Business Insights Stimulates Profits
The key to understanding how your manufacturing or distribution business operates on a day-to-day basis is access to actionable business insights delivered by a smart ERP system. This data can be utilized as a very powerful tool when applied to decision-making and planning, driving customer experience, and business success.
A next-generation ERP solution goes beyond offering the traditional ERP reporting and analytics tools. A future-proof ERP solution is essentially a vehicle that drives strategy throughout the organization and provides robust data so you can act on that strategy in real-time. Specifically, insights surfaced by a next-generation ERP system can help you make more informed decisions, improve profitability, minimize risk, increase responsiveness, lead times, and overall productivity.
Bottom line: Access to this data empowers your team to meet their goals, targets, and deadlines, with improved collaboration between themselves and others–driving your business forward and stimulating profits.
4 – Riding the Industry 4.0 Wave Together
Manufacturers, distributors, ERP vendors, and customers are riding the Industry 4.0 wave together; as technology and the workplace environment evolve, so must ERP software. Change can be difficult. But with change comes great advancement and opportunity to grow your business in ways you didn’t know were possible. Adopting emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots, and social collaboration will not only help you stay competitive but will also attract the next-generation workforce – vital to future-proofing your business. Start small – digital transformation does not happen overnight, and it does not have to be complicated or incredibly costly.
Watch this on-demand webinar featuring myself, SYSPRO USA Marketing Strategy Leader, Sanjay Ejantkar, and Ultra Consultants, to dive deeper into how the latest release of SYSPRO will empower your cross-generational team and surface the caliber of data that supports the needs of your next-generation customer-base.