When it comes to your business’s supply chain, it can be tempting to stick with what works. If your business has been around for a while, there’s a good chance that you’re still completing inventory counts, picking, packing, and other tasks manually.
However, some manual supply chain processes are not only outdated, but also inefficient and even detrimental to your business.
Thanks to new technologies like ERP manufacturers and distributors can now harness the power of automation in their supply chains. When correctly employed, supply chain automation can save precious money and time, improve your business’s productivity, and prepare it for the future.
Below are some of the key benefits of an efficient and effective ERP system.
1. Increased productivity
Processing documents is one of the most time-hungry tasks in supply chains. Even worse, it can create bottlenecks. ERP lets you automate manual tasks like document processing saving you a huge amount of time and money while streamlining your supply chain. Plus, it frees employees to focus on more productive tasks like prospecting and building relationships with customers.
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.
2. Lower operational costs
Since time is money, a natural by-product of improved productivity and efficiency is lowered costs. By automatically centralizing business functions and managing daily business activities, ERP reduces demand for costly resources and additional labour.
The enhanced efficiency ERP offers also ensures you maintain optimal product and material levels at all times, resulting in reduced waste and fewer capital costs.
3. Improved customer experience
One of the key benefits of an ERP system is improved accuracy in all business areas. This 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. Automation helps you do so by ensuring faster lead times at competitive rates. It also means order information is always up-to-date, giving clients all the information, they need.
ERP also improves client communication via tracking portals. These give clients the power to monitor where their order is, reducing frustration, with the added benefit of fewer routine tracking inquiries made to customer service agents, further improving productivity, and reducing overhead costs.
4. Accurate forecasting for supply chain
A further way in which ERP helps reduce costs and improves customer experience is through accurate, AI-driven forecasting. Many manufacturers have found themselves in a situation where there is an unexpected demand for a particular item.
An ERP system will help reduce the likelihood of this happening by generating sales and inventory reports which reliably predict seasonality. This takes the guesswork out of forecasting and ensures you are always prepared with the correct materials and products.
5. Data-driven decision making
By centralizing all the data present within your business, an ERP system gives executives the ability to make decisions based on reliable data. This data is real-time and reflects all the essential pieces of information found within the business in one place. These insights, improved visibility, and control give you the ability to confidently make decisions.
6. Increased data security in the supply chain
As the world becomes increasingly digital, protecting your business and client data has become a top priority. Cyberattacks are becoming more prominent and costly, not only in terms of resolving the threat but also because of potential reputational or brand damage. ERP systems are constantly being updated and improved to ensure optimal protection of your data. They also allow for improved role-based access control both within the organization and externally, and better integration with mobile devices. Finally, because an ERP system creates one integrated entity, bringing together separate systems makes limiting access to data and implementing controls significantly easier.
7. Improved market visibility and reaction times
The real-time data generated by a good ERP system gives decision-makers a better chance of keeping up with the ever-changing market conditions. The regular availability of system-generated reports helps decision-makers estimate, plan, adjust, and respond to changes, ensuring you are always ahead of demand and able to capitalize on emerging buying trends.
8. Reduce your environmental impact
An ERP system helps to identify and minimize sources of waste and improve resource consumption. For example, barcode scanning, and electronic document storage are made simpler with ERP and eliminate the need for paper.
9. Improved output for supply chain
All of the above-mentioned benefits of ERP systems culminate in one key asset, improved output. By streamlining all daily business operations for better productivity, reducing costs, and offering efficient alternatives to current business practices, an ERP system ensures the optimal running of any business. The insights and holistic overview of the entire business equips decision-makers with the information they need to make informed decisions and accurately track performance and market changes.
Today, having an automated ERP system is not considered a competitive advantage, whereas not having one, or having one which is not best suited to your desired business objectives, is considered a business disadvantage.
Unfortunately, too many executives do not play an active role in the selection of their ERP system, leading to a misalignment between objective and output. It is crucial that executives find an ERP partner that matches their goals in order to achieve the full range of benefits this technology has to offer.