For most companies, implementing an ERP system across the business represents a significant investment into their business, and the costs can make a management team blink. However, as organizations strive to remain competitive and efficient in the ever-evolving market landscape, the integration of ERP software emerges as a transformative investment.
The return on investment (ROI) for an ERP system can be complex to assess, because it depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the business, the complexity of the operations and the specific goals of the implementation. However, while the initial implementation cost may seem high, any ERP system is likely to have a positive impact on cost savings, productivity gains, revenue increases and other benefits to the business.
Broadly speaking, the benefits are twofold – savings accrued from reduced labor, inventory and overhead costs, and increased revenue driven by increased sales and improved customer loyalty.
Bringing efficiency at scale
The real benefit of implementing an ERP system lies in integrating core business functions such as finance, inventory management, sales and project management into a single, unifying platform that provides a business-wide view of centralized data.
By implementing ERP technologies, manufacturers can harness the power of automation to reduce wastage and costs, improving productivity and increasing communication across the business. With improved information sharing also comes greater communication between departments, reducing instances of duplicated work across the business. This means employees have more time to focus on revenue-generating tasks rather than managing daily business activities.
An ERP system has touchpoints across the entire business – from inventory management and supply chain optimization to production planning and customer relations management. Improved accuracy in all business areas allows for more reliable and shorter lead times on deliveries thanks to improved efficiency and transparency. In a world where customers are more demanding than ever before, meeting and exceeding client expectations is integral to thriving in the market.
An ERP system also helps identify and minimize sources of waste and improve resource consumption, which not only reduces a manufacturer’s environmental footprint, but also lowers costs.
The detail is in the data
One of the business challenges that an ERP system aims to address is that of data sitting in disconnected siloes across the business. And yet, simultaneously, the flow of data is increasing exponentially with the introduction of AI and IoT devices throughout the manufacturing process.
The ability to extract valuable and actionable data insights from this flood of data points is becoming more and more crucial for manufacturers. By enabling seamless data sharing with a platform that can deliver real-time insights and valuable predictive analytics, businesses facilitate collaboration, enhancing the quality of services and other deliverables. And with modern cloud-based ERP systems making data available in real time to any location, even the most critical information can be accessed as a need arises to guide data-led decision-making.
Accurate forecasting and market visibility
Sitting on too much, or too little inventory is costly for manufacturers – either you’re sitting on stock that isn’t generating income, or you’re missing out on business opportunities when there’s unexpected demand for a particular item. Collecting and analyzing data from across the business is crucial in order to understand what internal and external factors might impact the business.
Accurate, AI-driven forecasting is driven by the data from a business’s ERP system, which generates sales and inventory reports to reliably predict seasonality. This takes the guesswork out of forecasting and ensures that manufacturers are always prepared with the correct materials and products. An ERP system that delivers actionable business insights solutions improves business performance and drives business behavior by providing real-time, business-critical insights for quicker analysis, decision making and execution.
The regular availability of system-generated reports helps the business’s decision-makers estimate, plan, adjust, and respond to changes, ensuring that manufacturers are always ahead of demand and able to capitalize on emerging buying trends. The insights and holistic overview of the entire business equips those decision-makers with the information they need to accurately track performance and market fluctuations.
Customer satisfaction also benefits from an ERP system that can track key metrics across customer data, which can help manufacturers identify customer service pinch points and increase customer satisfaction. The holistic overview of the business equips decision-makers with the insights they need to make informed decisions and accurately track performance and market changes.
The net impact of implementing an ERP system across the business has one key result: improved output. By streamlining all daily business operations for better productivity, manufacturers can expect to reduce costs, and by offering efficient alternatives to current business practices, an ERP system ensures the optimal running of a business.