An ERP system helps companies like manufacturers run business smoothly and connect all their departments through one central database where information can flow in and out in real-time. In the past, the struggle with ERP systems has been that managing the system and all the data on-site means the system can be out-of-date or is difficult to modify as a company grows and technology changes. However, modern ERP systems solve these concerns through cloud computing and other advances in technology, making these software pieces essential business growth tools.
Keep reading to see how ERP systems can help you scale your business.
1. Cloud Capabilities
Cloud computing has revolutionized the way business can operate. By running programs and storing information in the cloud, companies don’t need to manage and upkeep servers on-premises. Most software as a solution (SaaS) companies run on the cloud, and ERP systems are no exception. Cloud capabilities for ERP systems give companies the ability to easily add more functionality as needed.
Additionally, cloud computing helps companies scale with ERP because their system is never out-of-date. SaaS products are managed and regularly updated by the provider, and updates often occur automatically so their customers have the best version of the program at all times. This means companies can focus on using their ERP system to run their business instead of managing data and updates, or working with an out-of-date system.
2. Global Capabilities
One way companies scale is to expand globally, and ERP systems that support global capabilities help companies grow their international presence. Global capability goes beyond supporting multiple languages; although, this is important, too. Doing business in other parts of the world means complying with local laws and tax codes.
For example, some companies are implementing laws that customer information of their citizens must be stored on servers in that country. An ERP system with specific localizations for these countries or other countries with complex business regulations help companies scale their business in these areas more easily.
Globalization is another important aspect affected by cloud computing. When regulations in a country change, the ERP system provider can update their localization for that country and prevent business disruptions for their clients.
3. Mobile, IoT, and AI Capabilities
Technology is more interconnected now than ever, and it continues to grow. ERP systems are connective by nature because they allow consistent, real-time data to flow into applications from a central database. However, ERP systems taking advantage or planning to implement services that leverage mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning (AI) will help companies scale into the future.
The capabilities we have now might not be what we’ll need in the future, so an ERP system working on new capabilities will future-proof companies. Whether that’s expanded mobile functionality, IoT connectivity with devices throughout the company, or machine learning abilities, an ERP system helps companies scale both today and well into tomorrow.
4. Adaptable, Modules
A system that is highly integrated into every part of your business is an investment. ERP systems often come in different levels of service to meet the current needs of your business with upgrades or additional modules that can be added later as you grow. This helps companies scale because they can stick with a familiar system while they grow and add functionality as they need it instead of needing to go all in or piece solutions together.
While ERP systems are fairly all-encompassing, there are situations where additional third-party solutions are needed. The ability to integrate with these other services is essential to helping businesses scale. Transparency and real-time data consistency are what allows companies to identify areas of growth and trouble spots that need attention. Multiple technology solutions that don’t interact with each other leads to data (and department) silos, making growth difficult when the big picture can’t be put together.
ERP systems solve plenty of data siloing challenges on their own, but integrations with third-party applications reduces the risk further. Integrations can be accomplished in two different ways:
Custom or API Integration
Custom integrations can be built between two applications through APIs, or application programming interfaces. These little bits of code allow the applications to communicate with each other, and a skilled developer with access to both party’s APIs can build an integration with an ERP system and third party application.
Certified or Partnered Integrations
Some ERP system vendors will partner with popular add-on applications to create a certified integration between their services. This integration is managed by the ERP system or third-party application, so updates are automatic, and these integrations usually don’t require additional technical support to set up.
Certified integrations are helpful for companies with less technical support who can’t manage manual updates. However, custom integrations allow for more flexibility in the functionality the integration offers. But they require additional support from internal or external IT to manage and update.
Cloud computing has changed the way ERP systems can work for companies, making them more manageable, flexible, and scalable. An ERP is still an investment in both funding and time, but an implementation partner can help ease the transition and make sure everything runs smoothly.
If you’re considering an ERP system for your business, let’s connect on what an ERP system can do for your company and how we can help.