When technology companies talk of digital transformation, it can be frightening and confusing for small businesses that simply do not know where or how to start. Small businesses want the end goal - higher profits, happy customers, a secure, productive and efficient business that can expand and scale into a million dollar enterprise, or stay modest - whatever the vision may be. But they do not know how to get there.
This is where ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning comes into play. In the most basic sense, an ERP software is like an umbrella that brings all the day-to-day back-end and front-end functions in your business together in one system. Imagine each spoke of the umbrella representing a particular business process - manufacturing, procurement, accounting, customer relations, administration and so on. ERP is like that button which controls the umbrella, opening and stabilizing it with a click.
With ERP taking care of every aspect of how you operate daily, it is easier, faster, time saving and cost efficient for you to run your business. You are free to focus on higher business requirements, like goal setting and crisis management, rather than drown in routine work and deal with the consequences of manual errors. Just the way the success of any relationship depends on effective communication, ERP makes different departments within your organization talk to each other and therefore helps you iron out any problems before they blow into a crisis.
Over the past 20 years, ERP software has advanced to the extent that it is now not just a way of managing everyday business but a magic bullet to meet present business challenges, anticipate, plan and execute measures to deal with future uncertainties, create new business models and pathways of growth - all possible because of next-gen technologies like AI, IoT and Robotics. With the growing use of cloud technology, ERP has moved to the cloud, making it more affordable to accommodate the vast needs of a hungry enterprise.
What the next-gen ERP Software looks like
A next-gen ERP Software is a work in progress - the effort is always on by technology companies to evolve the most sophisticated business technology suite capable of handling all core functions, but with the simplest of user experiences.
Powered by Artificial Intelligence and Analytics, the technology can be tailor-made to meet your business needs and budget.
Here are the main features of a cloud-based ERP software:
These complex features should ideally be built on a user friendly interface. It must also be secured in line with global cyber security standards and compliant with regulatory requirements to ensure safety and security of your data.
In the next blog, we will look at the six pillars of ERP software. Read more about ERP here.