Providing real-time information and automated processes for employees are some of the reasons why companies seek out the robust and versatile capabilities of an ERP system. With a centralized shared database, employees can retrieve the accurate and reliable data they need. Manual, repetitive tasks can be automated, freeing an employee's time so they can work on other tasks.
Another aspect to tackle in the working environment is interdepartmental collaboration. While it's simple to look over a cubicle partition, or step into an office to ask another employee a question in the same department, these options are neither productive nor dependable when communicating with people in other areas of the company. Gaining information only from word of mouth can be easily forgotten on the way back to the desk. And, due to each department using differing applications, communication must be sent out using alternative avenues such as phone calls, email, chat, or messaging services. The different applications have no way to effectively communicate the same information between each system.
Leveraging ERP for Better Interdepartmental Communication
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provides a single location to store and access real-time data and functions throughout the company, so it takes little effort to leverage this system to create reliable collaboration that cuts down on miscommunication, even when outside of the office.
A top issue with interdepartmental collaboration is that certain departments become left out of the chain of communication. A message concerning a product defect may be relayed between the manufacturing department and finance employees, yet not reach the sales reps in time to prevent them from up-selling the product to customers. With an ERP system, everyone has access to vital communication, as ERP:
- Provides full information access for employees even when out on the road
- Updates information in real-time so employees can keep up-to-date throughout the day
- Reduces the dreaded “phone tag” with missed communications, as employees are able to receive message as soon as they are available
Eliminates Communication Redundancy
While some employees are struggling to stay within the communication loop, other workers may be inundated with too many messages. It can get to the point where they are spending more time deleting similar emails and chat messages than reading them, and they end up accidentally dumping new information that may be vital to their work.
An ERP system hosts all information in a single database, so data is no longer redundant or repetitive. Employees can focus on the reports which are necessary without actively avoiding messages. This process can also make employees who were previously disengaged with their work more motivated to reach out and communicate with employees in the other departments.
Higher Quality of Communication
With a successful ERP implementation, data that is difficult to relay through one-on-one communication, or that is department specific and hard to transfer into other systems, can be analyzed, translated, and configured for the other company departments. This process is done automatically through the ERP system. Other employees can quickly analyze the system-interpreted data and reports to make more concise decisions to complete tasks. The data they need is presented instantly as they can pull the information that is desirable.
Enhanced Transparency and Accountability
Data and reports that are moving down the communication line may be modified and changed. ERP software such as NetSuite allows all the departments to understand where and when the changes were made, and which department head made them. This feature provides enhanced transparency on why the modifications were implemented and holds that department accountable. In addition, certain tasks can be locked as they require prior approval from authorized personnel to make the changes.
Not every employee communicates effectively in large meetings or within their own departments. When that employee is required to speak with other department heads in person, communication can become stilted and confusing when trying to provide the information that is useful for that specific department's tasks. This issue can hamper communication while further discouraging the employee from relaying the right data at the right time.
Using ERP Effectively
ERP systems are highly customizable and integrated. Interactive databases are simple to use, as employees can send more comprehensive and thought-out communication right through the system. Other departments can collaborate and pull out the data that is suited for their tasks.
Successful collaboration requires successful ERP implementation. When every department in the company has the same access to messages and data through one database system, it lowers the chances of miscommunication and spurs more productivity on projects.
Always keep in mind the best ERP system to implement should be customized to the company's specific goals and processes. Here at ManoByte, we offer ERP solutions and resources so that a company can fully leverage the communication benefits offered by ERP software. Reach out to us today to learn more.