Businesses using enterprise resource planning software shouldn't be fooled by the name of the system because it ultimately does far more than organize how resources are used. As CIO.com pointed out, ERP is really a misnomer – the only key term in the name is enterprise. That is to say, ERP helps organizations combine informational flows from departments and locations into a single system. This approach boosts visibility into operations and lets leaders find out which areas of operations are performing well and which ones need to be improved. Of course, there are plenty of single functions of ERP designed to improve efficiency for specific operations, including timekeeping software for employees and barcode-based inventory tracking. These components provide two levels of value – making the specific process for which they're designed more effective, and funneling data about it to the ERP system for further review and analysis.
The major, overall business benefit of ERP, along with the individualized process boosters, create a formidable system for businesses. This is especially true for companies in the manufacturing and warehousing fields. The needs of such organizations range from improving work floor operations to getting a better handle on financial visibility and coordinating production and inventory at multiple physical locations While these improvements are completely possible with ERP, businesses need to make sure they're not using too many different versions of a system.
An approach to get the most out of ERP
Research from benchmarking firm APQC published on TechTarget shows that shows that organizations that have a single ERP system running a consistent version of the software are in the minority. The majority of respondents reported either using multiple versions of the same software or having more than one distinct ERP platform in place. While this is a sometimes unavoidable component of operations, it negatively impacts the usefulness of ERP.
Businesses that want to maximize the effectiveness of their ERP platform should consider a modular system such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV. By adding components on an as-needed basis, companies can address individual needs while retaining the overall visibility that makes ERP so effective. Instead of having to run multiple versions of the same software or use more than one system, organizations can instead customize a single platform.
Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.