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Tech Insights 8 min read

What is an ERP software?

I won’t tell you anything new. The world is spinning fast. Between the business world that goes at about 1000 miles an hour, and your personal life that’s always running, it’s a bit difficult to be our best.

While the competition is always stronger on the market and your competitors work relentlessly to hound you, It goes without saying that you have to be on top of things all the time, and nothing less.

Since your employees are the best staff that you could dream of, your team is solid and motivated, and your strategy is in place, you are probably asking yourself what’s left for you to do in order to dominate the market and reach your goals.

There is obviously no miracle solution, but there an ERP is really close to it. What is ERP software? It’s a tool for resource planning for your enterprise. That way, you can free your team from redundant tasks, automate processes, and do more with less.

By better planning your resources and increasing your productivity, you’ll see, you can breathe a bit easier. Do we have your attention? Learn everything there is to know right here, from function to implementation.

So, what is ERP software?

An ERP is an enterprise resource planning software. What is ERP software again? It allows you to optimise the entire production chain from supplier to clients.An ERP will give you better planning of your resources, lower production cost, and increased productivity. It’s a versatile, complete, and sometimes complex tool.

Combining a bundle of functionalities, it helps you give better customer service with CRM, better control the warehouse process, and even supports your production by optimising manufacturing capacities.

Plus, with the recent changes in accounting software, many ERP systems offer tools to support financial tasks. The most interesting thing is that in your ERP, your accounting can communicate with your project planning and other relevant units. So it’s software that makes everything work together!

  • More transparency and visibility in your distribution processes to process orders more precisely.
  • Ease of inventory and cost control: multiple costing methods, tiered pricing, series tracking.
  • Perfect control of finances: integrated management of cash flow, accounting, accounts payable and receivable, reports.
  • Tight assembly and distribution: advance purchases, pickup and packaging, custom prices, stocks, orders.
  • Data mining and real-time access to business performance: budgeting, forecasts, analyzes, reports.
  • Optimization of the customer experience and satisfaction: sales data, follow-up of discussions, customer history.

So there are a lot of ERPs with different advantages, different functions, different licenses. Some are in the cloud, others can be hosted on your network. You will find some that are specialized for your industry and others more general that will adapt just as well.

Thus Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and many others are ERP solutions that all have their particularities and that deserve to be analyzed in detail before choosing yours. With some, you will even have the chance to integrate a powerful CRM or "Business Intelligence" tools to gain in analysis.

The question that is on everyone's lips: why have an ERP?

Explaining what ERP software is inevitably brings us to the question, “Why?” An ERP system, even though it’s complete, combines a good amount of services that you already have at your disposal.

From management of production to inventory, an ERP covers all the needs of an enterprise, but more efficiently, quicker, and more simply. How? Because everything is related. Each application communicates with the others. You only have to enter data once to input it everywhere it needs to be, from order to inventory.

The image shows a flowchart of the processes for financial management, inventory management, sales, purchasing, project management, and additional features.

Without having to enter data twice or thrice, and without having to make sure everything communicates together, that you haven’t forgotten anything, or haven’t screwed something up, you’ll gain productivity. Having everything under the same roof makes things simpler, quicker, and more efficient.

Plus, you’ll reduce your operating cost by automating clerical tasks that, once upon a time, were redundant, and put the brakes on everyone’s speedy performance. Don’t forget that an ERP system, as the highest-performing assistant, will enable you to optimize all your resources, to plan most profitable projects, and be lighter financially and logistically for the company.

This is the way that you’ll be able to spend more time on the things that matter most, and leave the other tasks draining your daily energy.

The benefits of an ERP cloud

As you already know, it’s now possible to host your ERP on the Cloud or on your network. What is ERP software on the cloud? It’s an ERP hosted on the cloud rather than on your network, as simple as that. Since the cloud is everywhere now, you probably already have a CRM on the cloud, and you know how interesting it’s to store your data on the cloud. It can be the perfect solution for you.

First, you have to know that the cloud offers a lower starting cost for its users. Its starting cost allows a SMB to have enough resources at an intriguing price.

However, this price can increase quickly if users, space, or functions are added. You will have to be careful with lucrative starting costs, and instead examine the cost—each and every cent—of the solution that we want to put on the cloud before embarking on this great adventure.

Finally, the Cloud is very interesting since the users can have access to cutting-edge technology, essential security levels for some industries, and an ERP that’s everywhere. Above all, it’s not necessary to review your infrastructure and your network since everything will be stored on the cloud. That’s incredibly economical, right?

How to succeed with your ERP?

As soon as we start looking for an ERP, we quickly face warnings about the difficulties of implementing an ERP.

With such a complete and complex tool for your SMB, it goes without saying that an ERP could take a little time, and a lot of expertise to achieve a successful implementation. There are no surprises here.

However, like every other challenge that comes in your way in your company, implementing an ERP is not impossible. On the contrary, with a good process, a competent team, and a solid implementation strategy, you will have everything you need for success.

To guarantee a successful implementation, it’s pretty simple. You have to choose the right ERP for your company, with function that suit your needs, a process that fits yours, and services that allow you to perform. Sounds complicated? Give us a minute or two.

To find that real gem that will perfectly integrate to your enterprise, you will need an ERP reseller that is available, expert, and prepared to help you. What is an ERP software reseller? Some ERP software can only be bought via certified resellers, and they act as an advisor to their clientele. So why is it so essential?

A quality ERP reseller will use their expertise, knowledge, and their team to make all the difference in the daily integration process. They will have all the tools at hand to help you in your difficult decisions and support you in the face of problems.

Finally, this good business relationship that you will cultivate through the implementation process will have to keep going once the ERP has landed in your company. Your success is directly linked to the comfort level of your team with the ERP. They have to understand the system, appreciate it, and feel at ease using it in order to make your ERP an integral part to your company.

If you are curious about the details of what you need to succeed in your implementation, find all our precious advice here.

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How much does it cost to implement an ERP?

To understand the cost of an ERP, you have to see it through the eyes of an investor. You implement your ERP not only to reduce operation costs, but also to increase your productivity, and enable you to realise the dreams you cultivate within your enterprise.

An ERP is obviously a good investment. It will require months, even a year of work in collaboration with your adviser and ERP reseller. With the consultations, the tests, the deployment, the integration, the training, and the technical support, it goes without saying that the project is going to mobilise a good amount of people, and it will require a lot of resources.

Plus, the functions of an ERP will vary from one enterprise to another, and from one project to another. You will also have the choice to either host it on the network or on the cloud, which will have different costs. There are also the aspects of the licences, the users, and the customization that will affect the total cost.

This way, you see that prices vary greatly from one enterprise to another, and it’s pretty difficult to establish a scale. However, know that a good ERP advisor will know how to create a system where all the functions, customizations, options will enable you to monetize your investment either in terms of productivity or in terms of decreased production cost.

How can you find a good ERP?

In fact, to answer your question, you need to first understand what you need as an organization. Ask yourself about your goals, and also the unknowns.

Through development, the choice of functions, and integration, you will optimise you ERP to suit your business personality. This will enable you to reach the unexpected summit of your journey. So ask yourself, “ For us, what is a good ERP software?”

After many meetings, after learning all the possibilities with your ERP, you will end up defining your processes, your limits, and your needs. This is also a great moment to meet your colleagues, and question them on what they want to see in your new ERP, what they need, and what could improve their productivity.

Changing an ERP or implementing a new one is an incredible process where everybody analyseses their experience, their daily life, their tasks and their work rhythm with a new perspective. It’s an important moment that can bring great changes that will be beneficial for many years to come. Don’t neglect them.

What is the process of implementing an ERP?

Even though many are afraid of implementing an ERP, there is nothing to worry about. A good process, a series of precise steps, and enlightening support from your ERP experts are in place that will guide you through a successful journey.

First, you will need to take the time to consult your reseller and ERP expert to choose the best solution for you. You will also need to take the time to test the solution, to make sure that is the right tool for your organization.

There will also be a big chunk of time allotted to deploy the solution and create the functions that are custom-made for you and your team. Finally, the implementation will take place over many months in collaboration with your ERP reseller.

Once your ERP is implemented, you will have access to group and customized trainings to put everybody at ease with the new system. After that, throughout your life with your ERP, you will have to make sure to have customer service available at all times, dedicated to your success in the long-term, and easily accessible for every pitfall. Additionally your ERP reseller should also be available for updates and reviews every year or so.

Finally, as you can see, there’s nothing to really worry about in implementing an ERP if you have good support, a complete training, and made the right choice. Having an ERP in your company will change a lot of things and enable you to remove some weight from your team’s shoulders and free them so they can build a better future for your company with you. It’s like a tool to reach new summits.

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November 05, 2021 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization