Questions related to using ERP software are mentioned in many online forums. Truth be told, a few years ago, I also found this topic to be complicated. Nonetheless, by doing a bit of “experimenting,” I was able to familiarize myself with these immensely popular tools.
Are you unfamiliar with the term “enterprise resource planning software”? Want to learn more about the many benefits of these programs that have now become essential? Not to worry: this article provides clear, objective advice; you will surely be surprised by my experience and anecdotes.
Main differences between ERP and CRM software
Before defining the many benefits of ERP software, it’s important to explain the main differences between this type of software and the renowned CRM. I have met many entrepreneurs in recent years who wanted to digitalize and automate their operations. They often mentioned using an ERP or a CRM.
Basically, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) lets you first and foremost implement and manage every tool used for offering your services and optimizing your client relations. The program WordPress is inarguably one of the most popular examples of this type of software.
An ERP (Entreprise Resource Planning) centralizes a business’ data. They consist of several modules. Enterprise resource planning software includes SAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
While these 2 types of software are not comparable, their complementarity supports the operations of many e‑professionals’ every day. Some ERPs initially include a CRM module.
Digitalization calls for new strategies
It won’t surprise any Internet user that all professions are becoming increasingly digitalized every year. This phenomenon gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to implement formidable “2.0 strategies”, however, deploying automated and computerized solutions often calls for many changes in our society. Of course, such adaptations sometimes lead to a certain reluctance, or even carelessness, in the face of these new techniques.
Let me share an anecdote with you to provide some background information. Roger, one of my childhood friends, has run a company in northern France for several decades. Consisting of 16 employees and specializing in parcel shipping for individuals, this business nonetheless experienced serious financial hardship in 2014, and Roger sometimes considered closing its doors for good.
Paradoxically, this complex situation was brought on by my friend’s oversight. Convinced that a traditional management model was relatively efficient, he felt that automating his business across the board was optional….and surely not of interest to him. Only, the digital transformation was quickly attracting the attention of his savvier competition. Roger gradually began to feel overwhelmed by the powerful efficiency of opposing models.
One day, my friend and I got into a discussion that, at times, became heated. Of course, we were debating digitalization, a well-known phenomenon, and more specifically, the use of ERP software. Though he initially showed little interest in my arguments, it didn’t take long to change his mindset regarding the benefits of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
A few months later, his business was equipped with a new data centralization system. Sure, such a critical investment seemed complicated during difficult times. However, the business bounced back thanks to its profitable operations. Today, Roger has increased his staff, with sub‑contractors contributing to his business’ growth.
Centralize your data with ERP software
If I had to summarize how ERP software is used, I would undoubtedly use the term “resource centralization” via various modules. These pertain to a number of key components:
- Information about client purchases
- Strategic human resources administration
- Data on product manufacturing
- Inventory management
Why use ERP instead of a traditional management system? I can answer this question completely objectively based on multiple arguments.
Enterprise resource planning software establishes a single database that will be updated in real time. In other words, this centralization will decrease a business’ costs and increase its profitability. This critical factor will be further enhanced by fast data processing.
Data used to be managed by specialists. Of course, this brings to mind the expression “to err is human.” However, issues with management can lead to complicated situations for businesses. With ERP, data is centralized and automated, which significantly reduces these unavoidable risks. Additionally, backing up this information digitally is a perfect method for securely storing critical data.
Fully analyze your operations
By centralizing information using various modules, you can fully analyze your business operations. Basing their decisions on concrete, up-to-date information often helps entrepreneurs stand out from their increasingly fierce competition.
What are the other features of enterprise resource management software?
Besides efficiently managing a business’ purchases and sales, ERP software provides effective solutions for setting up and organizing your invoicing for products or services. Depending on the software you select, it will include features of varying importance.
Why complicate your human resources management when you can manage your staff more effectively and set up pay stubs using a single software program? Personally, I think this feature is not as widely known as it should be! That said, its efficiency does simplify some of its administrative components. My friend Roger was particularly enticed by this option, which comes with every ERP system.
Enterprise resource planning software can include CRM programs. You can therefore manage advertising campaigns and contacts or write up quotes directly within your ERP system.
ERP software offers many benefits compared to other so-called “traditional” solutions. Whether it’s a matter of profitability, risk limitation or overall analysis, your professional operations will undoubtedly benefit from enterprise resource planning software.
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