As explained in our previous blog post, we are here to add a little more detail to the usual “benefits of ERP”. Instead of the same buzz-phrases and slogans claiming to lower costs and increase productivity (which are legitimate benefits, to be fair), we want to delve into some of the more tangible and relatable benefits of an ERP solution. The kind of specific advantages that you actually want to see in your business.
So, on to our second REAL benefit of ERP.
This word is often heard when discussing or being pitched a new or upgraded ERP system. However, it is often misunderstood; some people think it is simply the ability for the system to share information across the organization, while others believe it’s just a nice way for different employees to communicate under one place. The truth is that “collaboration” within an ERP is both of these things – and way more useful than it first appears.
Firstly, one of the primary problems that ERP has become the solution to is “information silos” that were rampant throughout different industries in the past. Your inventory, finances, customer orders and information, and even machine maintenance information were all stored in completely separate, non-communicative areas (the “silos”). Whether they were recorded in paper form back in the day or stored in standalone software point-solutions during more recent history, these information silos made it difficult to gain a holistic understanding of what was going in your business on a day-to-day basis.
ERP systems not only house all of that information in one place, but they connect the data together. This enables one person from one computer to see, for example, how their company’s inventory levels are going to affect upcoming orders in the CRM with just a few clicks . Depending on the software, this information can be displayed automatically on the same page. On top of that, some modern ERPs (like CloudSuite Industrial Ming.le) allow employees from across departments to interact with each other and the available data. Someone on the shop floor can pose a question in the company forum while linking to a specific product in the inventory, and other employees from different areas can respond. Both of these types of collaboration are a huge part of why ERPs are making manufacturers jobs easier, quicker, and more useful.
In our next post, we will talk about an ERP benefit that is not overlooked at all – but it is misunderstood or not explained in enough detail; Customer Service.