The ERP is a central view of essential financial, operational, and business data that can be shared to the degree you want across your organization in near-real-time. It provides a way to grow business intelligence by turning acquired data into reports and business building actions.
The ERP allows automation of repeatable business tasks, such as payroll, order processing, invoicing, reporting, etc. Automation minimizes the time spent on manual data entry, reduces errors, and empowers team members and others to focus on more value-added tasks. Data entered by one user is available across the organization. A work tracking module could automatically trigger a group of contracted resources when the proper person or group becomes available. That grows more revenue and better customer experiences. Executives can automatically receive up-to-date reports on cash flow and other metrics to inform making better and quicker decisions.
Using data more effectively is priority for CFOs and business leaders. The power of data enables employees have information and turn it into actionable insights—on new business as well as ways to optimize current operations, reduce costs, spot fraud, and better serve customers.
Great reporting is important to leaders working toward more effective data usage for business leadership. Reporting modules compile information about operations into reports to empower stakeholders to make more informed decisions, enhance business processes and identify problem areas before the business suffers. Reports may include visual representations, such as charts, graphs, and dashboards, hopefully revealing trends and patterns to improve business results.
Tracking and visibility
Platforms allow companies to track, surface and understand business metrics. This happens by facilitating access to near-real-time data, breaking down information barriers and offering reporting and analysis for every aspect of operations.
Accounting enables the ability to track, store and analyze financial data, such as accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), general ledger (GL), budgets and forecasting. Systems may perform more advanced tasks such as tax management, fixed assets management, revenue recognition and multi-currency reconciliation if needed.
Time is money, and month-end closes always take too long. This lowers the time it takes to reconcile and close out monthly financial statements. It’s critical for companies looking to move to continuous month-end closes.
Financial management is complex and includes planning, organizing, and determining the best use of funds. Financial leaders track and use financial data from all departments to make decisions about such things as capital projects, funding sources, cash management and financial controls. Systems assist finance teams with the management process by tracking, analyzing, and reporting critical business data.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
ERPs with CRM features bring customer relationship data into the mix, expanding the view of the business. All customer information—including contacts, order history, purchase orders and prospect status—is in a shared, easily accessible database. CRM enables companies to automate processes like filling out contracts, POs, generating accounts receivable reminders and sending notifications for an account exec to follow-up when a prospect reaches a pre-defined point in a sales pipeline.
Sales and marketing
ERPs with integrated CRM help benefit marketing and sales by making it easier for them to sell, upsell, generate quotes, and purchase orders, forecast, manage commissions. and track key details like profit margins and ratios. Marketing teams may be able to drive more leads, quickly build and execute campaigns and track customer activity through the sales cycle. Sales and marketing can use functions with finance and operations team members to provide a superior customer experience through the entire sales pipeline.
The HR inside an ERP can serve as an end-to-end employee management platform, handling payroll, hiring, onboarding, compensation management and timekeeping. Complex HR functions, like tax and benefits deductions, are automated with ERP-connected HR software, which saves time and money while reducing errors.
ERP started in manufacturing. Today it creates efficiency by assisting with product planning, sourcing raw materials, production monitoring and forecasting. Other components include modules for assembly management, bill of materials, work order management, shop-floor control, distribution planning and product tracking. ERP tools grow an organization’s ability to manage and automate major activities across lots of industries.
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