The benefits of ERP systems are well documented. They’re powerful tools that can transform disorganised companies into sustainable, streamlined and profitable market leaders – providing value for your customers, employees and shareholders alike.
But value creation isn’t just about having a healthy bottom line. Instead, when we think of value, we’re thinking about a mixture of:
- Strong customer service
- High quality products
- An engaged and motivated workforce
- A sustainable business model that guarantees reliable results
Let’s dig deeper…
Eliminate waste at every stage of the production chain
ERP systems are effective at tackling production chains, giving you the tools needed to analyse where you’re wasting resources and where you can sharpen up your processes.
For example, integrated warehouse management systems can help manufacturers implement just-in-time (JIT) deliveries with finely tuned stock levels. This makes it easier to tailor your production to fit current market demand, rather than blindly producing products regardless of if there’s a need for it or not.
Waste can also be reduced on the shop floor. This is because ERP allows your managers to stay in regular contact with the shop floor and collect data on areas like:
- Raw material inputs
- Staff absences
- Product defects
This helps ensure high quality products are manufactured as cost-effectively as possible and over-supplying doesn’t happen. This is particularly important in the food industry, for example, where food items often have short shelf lives and over-supply can lead to products being thrown away if not used in time.
Food manufacturers can get more from their ERP by adopting a smart factory. This is where your machinery and business systems are all connected to each other.
So if your machinery are IoT (Internet of Things) enabled, information can be automatically generated on its performance and transferred to your ERP system. This eliminates the need for your workers to manually inspect your machines as technology handles it for you.
Improve business performance with cloud ERP
As cloud computing continues to evolve, we’re seeing more companies choosing to run their business applications in the cloud rather than on-premise. In fact, a Garnter report has predicted 90% of organisations around the world will be using cloud services by 2022.
When it comes to cloud ERP, businesses are realising the major cost savings they can make. For example, vendors can manage all the costs attributed to setting up your system and you won’t need to make any hardware or software investments. Your vendor will also handle all maintenance issues including functional and technical updates.
- Keep track of your system
- Monitor for updates
- Release patches automatically when necessary
This means you’ll always be on the latest software version, giving you access to the latest features and functions ahead of your competitors.
As your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it wherever you are (even when you’re on-the-go). Not only that, but the cloud also makes cross-team collaboration possible, regardless of location. This is clearly a huge benefit when many businesses are moving towards a hybrid way of working.
Cloud ERP also proves its worth in the event of an unforeseen disaster. For example, if your offices are hit by a fire or flood, your data will be safe as the cloud always uses multiple data centres in different locations. On the hand, you may never recover data from an on-premise system that’s stored in your office affected by the incident.
You can read more on the benefits of cloud computing by clicking here.
Motivate your workforce
Value creation goes beyond ERP systems. It starts with your workforce, so any systems you implement need to be selected with their needs in mind. The idea of change to most people is scary and normally means working in a different way they’ve been used to.
That’s why you need to explain to all your stakeholders what’s in it for them before implementing any change. From your directors down to your teams working at the coalface day-in-day-out – an effective change management strategy will answer:
- Why the change is happening
- How the change will impact the business and different stakeholders
- What’s needed for it to go ahead
There’s not only value in boosting employee efficiency but it can also make their job more enjoyable. For example, new solutions bring new features which can make it easier for them to extract and analyse data, leading to happier users.
The original messaging and passion for change can get diluted as it makes its way down an organisation. So keep the teams who are implementing/are being impacted by the change involved from the start. That way, it’ll be easier to share the vision across your business and reduce the chances of the news being lost or misunderstood.
You can read more about how you can maximise business value by clicking here.
Provide a better customer experience
How important is it to provide an excellent customer experience? Well, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. And with the digital landscape giving consumers access the world’s businesses anytime, anywhere, you need to be focusing on providing engaging customer experiences that resonate with your audience.
ERP systems help you do this by consolidating all your data into one location to create one version of the truth. This makes it easier for your staff to access information like order histories and complaints safe in the knowledge that it’s up-to-date.
Plus, employees can access all the data they need in one system without having to log into and navigate separate systems, which causes delays and is counterproductive. By integrating your ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, you can connect your front and back offices together.
This allows you to provide an even better customer experience because:
- You’ll gain a 360-degree view of your customers – data in your ERP like sales proposals and quotes can feed into your CRM, while CRM data such as customer buying preferences and cases will feed into your ERP. This helps give you a true end-to-end view of your customers
- You’ll get fast access to the data you need – because key data will flow freely between your ERP and CRM systems, your staff can easily find the most up-to-date versions of customer information they need
- You’ll improve internal productivity – centralised data makes it faster and easier to find the data you need. It also reduces the chances of duplicated data, errors and monotonous manual work which boosts overall productivity
- You’ll enhance task/process efficiency – because the likelihood of data duplication, errors and manual work is considerably reduced, you’ll be able to complete tasks and processes more efficiently
- You’ll boost cross-departmental collaboration – ERP and CRM integration makes it easy for your employees to share, view and edit real-time data across teams, departments and even office locations
You can read more into the value of an ERP-CRM integration by clicking here.
Value creation is a never-ending process
Real value creation and long-term growth is achieved when a business develops a continuous stream of products/services that provide unique and compelling benefits to a specific set of customers. This means if you want to remain a market leader, you need to create a sustainable process of value creation.
At Columbus, we’ve established a value first approach that outlines the key steps you must follow to ensure successful value management.
Learn more about the approach by downloading our brochure below.