When smaller companies begin streamlining operations, they often start within their departments and choose niche software that meets that department’s unique workflow needs. As examples, HR may be better managed through Kronos, accounting is kept in shape with QuickBooks, Marketing has Salesforce, and so forth.
As the business continues to grow, the interactions between departments, and their individual software modules, grows more necessary and more complex. Enter ERP, which solves common issues caused by siloed software solutions. Issues like running into transaction limits, connecting interdepartmental workflow with manual tasks, and data-re-entry and duplication between departments.
But implementing ERP is not just about plugging holes and fixing problems. ERP also opens up a new world of proactive possibilities for more efficient operations. Here are just a few:
Enter Data Once, See it Everywhere - From sales to inventory to accounting, nothing streamlines operations like linked data. It also decreases the human error found in re-entry and duplication and makes for better communication between departments and accurate reporting for decision makers.
Enjoy Top Down Quality Assurance - If the data is everywhere then key people can plan, check and share information and process parameters. Online and offline time, troubleshooting and unexpected change at any juncture in the process, can be managed with less errors when everyone has access to the same information, all in one place.
Know and Track Inventory, Order Status and Shipping -
Accurately processing transactions, and flagging hiccups like shortages and unpredictable throughput or negative balances, helps reduce backorders, shortages and delays in inventory and shipping. If a client wants to know where an order stands, all employees have consistent information to follow up on order status and communicate intelligently with the client.
Bring Sales and Marketing Back Into The Fold -
Prior sales information can be easily retrieved and utilized as needed. Convert a quote to a sale to a project without having to enter data into multiple systems. See notes, orders and inventory on customers and suppliers throughout all departments. Efficient sales processing equates to satisfied customers who want to place additional orders in the future.
Want to know more about how ERP can streamline your operations? Give Parallel Solutions a call at (440) 498-9920. We are a full service provider and our experienced staff can help assess all your needs from software to training and support.
Choosing the ideal ERP solution is tricky business. Much is written about the importance of scalability, but there’s one lesser known requirement to add to the buying consideration list. When selecting a system, be sure a choose one that has the future functionality you need, but also one that allows that functionality to be turned off if it is too complex for the company’s immediate needs.
Buying a robust system, if not carefully managed, can overcomplicate the process of using the system. This is primarily because powerful ERP systems with hefty functionality require a large amount of data input. If you bought a solution that serves future needs, it may add a layer of complexity into daily process if you don’t switch off functions not currently needed or manage their settings effectively.
For example, a robust inventory module requires lot control. However if a company doesn’t lot items, then having this feature functioning means having to enter a non-existent lot number to run the system optimally. Another example is a project centric CRM module. If a company is not a project oriented business, using this feature to it’s fullest capability unnecessarily complicates data entry, reporting, etc.
While these things may seem like small inconveniences, they add up quickly in a system that is over-meeting immediate business needs and can slow processing and increase cost over the long haul.
Firms needs to work carefully with IT and ERP vendors to understand each module’s functionality and the ability to opt in and out of ERP features as time goes on. This will help reduce cost and optimize process by streamlining the data that must be fed to a hungry ERP beast.
Let Parallel Solutions help you choose a scalable, ERP system with the functionality you need both now and in the future. We’re with you every step of the way in the ERP selection process. Call at (440) 498-9920. We are a full service provider and our experienced staff can help assess all your needs from software to training and support.
Mary Jo O'Neill