Businesses are increasingly relying on enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to run multiple aspects of their organisation, from back-end processes like HR and manufacturing to front-end functions like marketing automation and e-commerce.
As a result, these solutions continue to evolve to incorporate new technologies and support a wider range of functions. So, it’s vital you keep up-to-date with the latest tech advancements to stay ahead of the competition and remain agile in a rapidly evolving technology landscape.
In this blog, we cover four ERP industry trends to look out for in 2021 and beyond.
1. Increased personalisation
Traditionally, ERP systems were built as “one-size-fits-all” solutions, with complex scripting languages that were difficult to customise to the specific needs of your business.
Today’s ERP systems however, come with tools to help personalise experiences for your employees like highly customisable dashboards. These features make it easy for anyone in your company to use the solution, regardless of technical experience, and not just your IT specialists or programmers.
Another emerging trend is AI-based assistants like chatbots that are capable of understanding human emotions, metaphors and more.
By investing in well-trained, high-end chatbots, you’ll be able to:
- Know exactly what to say to your potential customers depending on specific scenarios
- Learn from previous conversations and purchase data to improve the quality of your responses
- Make your potential customers feel like the communication is just for them
2. Acceleration to the cloud
ERP applications were traditionally offered as on-premise solutions, but the start-up fees and hardware costs associated were putting many businesses off. However, the rise of cloud computing has made it more accessible for all companies, thanks to:
- Significant cost savings – the vendor handles all the costs associated with setting up your system, meaning you don’t need to worry about making any software/hardware investments
- Easy access to data (even when on-the-go) – because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it wherever you are. The past 18 months has underlined the value of this if your office has had to close temporarily and your staff have needed to work from home
- Allows for cross-team collaboration regardless of location – not only can your teams access data while on-the-go, the cloud also makes it possible for cross-team collaboration. Again, this is extremely valuable when recent events have restricted workforces from travelling or meeting up internally/with customers
- Ability to always be on the latest software versions – your cloud vendor can handle all the costs and effort associated with maintenance. This includes monitoring your system, keeping track of updates and automatically releasing patches when needed. This means you’ll gain a competitive edge because of improved security, process efficiency and system performance as you’ll always be on the latest system version
3. Complete mobile support
One of the basic functionalities you should look for in a modern ERP tool is complete mobile support. Not only does mobile ERP provide you with on-the-go access to critical data, it also brings benefits such as:
- Capability to perform business operations anytime, anywhere
- Allows your employees to perform both back-end and front-end tasks regardless of where they are (e.g. your teams can easily close deals when working from home)
- Encourages collaboration for dispersed workforces in different time zones
Increased mobility means you can implement a more accurate and convenient data capture process which can be entered in real-time. For example, your employees can gather and input information straight from the field.
Mobile ERP also improves communication between your teams and reduces delays in production. This is important in scenarios such as if there was an issue delivering materials to your warehouse, traditional methods would put your manufacturing processes on hold. However, with mobile ERP, you can communicate in real-time to quickly pinpoint/resolve the issue and minimise your losses.
4. Powerful data analytics
While legacy systems can collect and organise data, they haven’t got the powerful reporting and data analytics features of today’s ERP systems.
With today’s solutions, you can use tools like integrated analytics to make critical business situations around finance, future investments and more. This allows you to make data-driven decisions quickly and at any level – from manufacturing division up to the executives.
For example, software with machine learning capabilities can go through your maintenance data and predict when breakdowns are likely to happen. This helps you optimise maintenance schedules so you can service or replace parts before they cause problems.
Why now is the time to digitally transform
Today’s ERP systems are rapidly progressing and changing the way we do business, with more advanced technologies being added to ERP systems every year to drive efficiencies. That’s why you need focus on your ERP implementation efforts now to stay ahead of your competitors.
In our guide, we cover the key elements guaranteed to help you tackle digital transformation. These include the differences between change and transformation, why people are a root cause of transformation projects failing and how to avoid it, plus the formula for creating new value.
Download it below.