We recently asked one of our customers to provide a testimonial in regard to their new ERP solution and how it had impacted their business – they refused – not because they weren’t happy, but because they said that their new ERP solution was too much of a ‘competitive advantage’ to speak about it publicly, in case competitors followed suit. Another customer, albeit in their slightly paraphrased words, saw their investment in a new ERP system as ‘spending £1, to save £2’.
Is your ERP system delivering value back to your business? Is it giving you a competitive advantage over your competitors? If it’s not creating tangible value, then maybe it’s time to reassess your current ERP platform.
Let’s take a look at how ERP solutions such as SAP Business One and Sage Enterprise Management (formerly Sage X3) can deliver a competitive edge to small and midsized organisations.
There’s no avoiding the nuts and bolts of operating a business: the invoices need to be raised, the POs need to be chased, orders need to be fulfilled, and your stock levels need to be continually monitored.
If each of these activities takes 5% more time than it needs to, due to outdated systems or applications that don’t talk to each other efficiently, then that becomes a big problem for your business. It’s often the small actions, like repeatedly checking stock levels on items that may only take a few minutes per request, but really add up if the action is repeated hundreds of times a week, or even during a single day. Because it’s a relatively short activity, you don’t notice the time being taken up, but the resource cost to your business is massive.
More modern ERP systems have open APIs and interfaces into other tools and apps to make your operational activities more efficient and free up staff time to focus on the really important stuff. For more information on improving efficiency to drive company revenue and performance read more on business process automation here or download the brochure below.
Being Data Driven
In one of our whitepapers, we talked about how to use data to make better business decisions in the manufacturing sector. Future proofed ERP software comes with feature-rich data analytics capabilities built in to help you get a better handle on your company’s data, and more importantly, to use that data to make more informed decisions.
Being able to respond to customers about stock info in real-time, or even to make that same info available to your customers on your website so they can be sure they are accessing accurate information when making their purchase decision, dramatically impacts on your ability to improve the user experience.
Imagine a situation where a customer is reviewing whether to buy a particular product from your website, or from a competitor. Your competitor’s website shows that there are two in stock, but when the customer orders they then receive an email saying that those two are in a different warehouse and will take an extra few days than originally expected to reach them. Now, imagine they are using your site and the real-time stock information shows what stock is available at their local warehouse, and what is in-store, etc. More importantly, the information is accurate, so if it says there are two items in stock, the delivery information won’t change once the product is ordered.
Future Ready Investment
Industry leading organisations invest in their infrastructure. They need solutions that are fit for purpose today, but will also help them to grow over the long-term as their business scales; they need a solution in place that allows them to act with the same agility as their larger competitors.
Moving from managing multiple spreadsheets to a centralised ERP solution means your business is primed for future growth and ready to tackle taking on many more customers, orders and deliveries.
Real-time information about how your business is performing, such as which deliveries are with which suppliers, and where each customer order is up to, with the ability to report against KPIs to reduce inefficiencies across your business, gives you a significant competitive edge over competitors who are working with data that is often a few days old and being pulled together manually from different sources.
The main focus for many ERP platforms is to improve your service delivery to customers. If your operations are running smoothly and efficiently, it means you can reduce costs and provide a consistent service to your customers. Today, customers expect to be kept updated throughout the entire order process; with many organisations able to provide online access for customers to see their order lifecycle in real-time. They want to know when an order has left the factory, when it has reached the local delivery depot, and when it is due to be delivered – down to the hour.
Harmonised IT systems, with applications that talk to each other and integrate, enable you to deliver a consistent and positive experience to your customers.
About the Author: Frontline Consultancy
Frontline is one of the UK’s leading ERP consultants and provide businesses of all sizes with improved efficiency and operating costs through specialist ERP integration with SAP Business One and Sage Enterprise Management.
About Codeless Platforms
Codeless Platforms is at the forefront of business process automation and rapid application development. With over 450 global partners, more than 7000 customers use Codeless Platforms’ software solutions, ranging from diverse global organisations to the small local enterprise.
For more information on how you can transform your business through rapid application development or by automating your business processes download the brochure below or call us on +44 (0) 330 99 88 700.