Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) market is skyrocketing, expecting to reach £33billion by 2020. While those predictions are impressive, if you’ve never used the software, you may find it difficult to understand why ERP is important to your business. Here we explain the drivers behind the growth and what’s to come in 2019…
ERP & cloud – a match made in heaven
Businesses rely on ERP software to automate nearly every aspect of their operations — from supply chain to manufacturing and financials. And historically, this functionality has come at a huge cost, including software, hardware, consulting and training.
Nowadays, ERP systems are more scalable, accessible and affordable to businesses of all sizes. This is thanks to cloud capabilities, allowing SMEs to reap the benefits of previously expensive ERP applications, including shorter deployment times, lower total cost of investment and the removal of time-consuming and expensive on-premises upgrades. Not to mention real-time insight into day-to-day operational performance and financial trends from any device.
Such systems don’t exist you might think. Well, here is an example. Microsoft have engineered their new offering, Dynamics 365, allowing you to mix and match the elements you need from sales to project, finance and service management, and add functionality as you grow. This means you can tailor your ERP solution to your exact needs. Simple and affordable!
It’s a mobile world we live in
When ERP systems were first introduced, users were mainly sat at desks, dealing with tons of information brought by the field-based staff or trying to connect data coming from different sources, be it Excel spreadsheets or separate management systems. But, the workplace isn’t a closed office cubicle anymore.
With mobile ERP, remote and field-based users can easily create, access and share business information through hand-held mobile devices, feeding back to the head office. This ensures real-time access to data and allows decision makers to stay informed at all times.
Goodbye disparate systems, you had a good run
Having realised the costs of data silos, including lost deals, wasted time and productivity loss, many businesses are now investing in integrated platforms to manage all departments within the company, from product planning and sales to inventory maintenance and accounting.
Again, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one such innovative platform providing ERP, CRM, Office 365 and Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities and allowing you to manage all processes in one central location.
ERP – an intelligent tool for digital transformation
To stay competitive and respond quickly to customer needs, ERP platforms are increasingly developed with AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning capabilities, allowing businesses to streamline operations tasks and processes.
An example of this would be capturing equipment data and using machine learning to find patterns in production performance. This is applicable for process industries where machinery breakdowns lead to lost sales. Customer service is another example where AI technology can help you improve service call response times and customer satisfaction.