A business management system and ERP integration opens up many benefits for your organisation, from decision making to customer support. Here's how.
The success or failure of an organisation can often come down to how agile the business is and how well they adapt to using new tools and technologies.
As well as using a PR software platform such as JournoLink, business owners need to think about how they can remain ahead of the curve with the right technology.
Business management software refers to any system or application that is designed to support, manage, and automate day-to-day business functions.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are software systems that help businesses to connect every aspect of the business processes from every department, including supply chain, customer relationship management, human resources, and accounting. They are seeing increased usage across a range of industries around the world.
Graph sourced from ec.europa.eu
Individually, both these kinds of systems have benefits for the business using them. They can streamline processes and eliminate the need for employees to carry out manual tasks, improving efficiency and productivity and helping to reduce overall business costs.
That said, the true potential of these systems is only unlocked by integrating them together and opening up a whole new world of possibilities. It’s these benefits of business software and ERP integration that we’re going to focus on today.
Below are seven ways in which a business management system and ERP integration can benefit your organisation.
To make informed and effective business decisions, decision-makers must have access to up-to-date and precise data. The more data they have access to, the more informed their decisions will be.
ERP software solutions draw together all of your core business data into one system, giving you visibility into how every area of your business is performing. This provides you with the insights you need to make well-informed decisions, helping you to direct resources to where they’re most needed.
Integrating your ERP solution with your business management systems also allows information to be shared across your entire ecosystem and provides you with up-to-the-minute data. This facilitates communication and, ultimately, helps you to run your business more efficiently and effectively.
A business management software and ERP integration offer many opportunities for automation across the business.
Whether it’s in data entry, customer support, invoice generation, or a variety of other scenarios, automation helps to significantly reduce the manual workload of employees, giving them more time to focus on more vital tasks.
This helps to improve the efficiency and productivity of employees, which ultimately saves the entire organisation money.
Image sourced from salesforce.com
For example, an ERP integration can automate a variety of processes in the human resources (HR) department. By utilising time management data, an integrated ERP solution can be used to automatically generate and email out payslips.
The automatic input of data helps to reduce the number of human errors that appear during data entry. For payroll, this can make sure that employees are paid correctly, which is important for ensuring employee satisfaction.
To be able to perform accurate and reliable analysis, you need to have access to a variety of data from across your organisation.
Bringing together this data can be challenging in the modern business world, as an increasing number of businesses are spread across different offices and are introducing remote and hybrid working practices, meaning that key business information can be spread across different cities, countries, or even continents.
But a business management or ERP on cloud solution brings this information together from a variety of systems and sources into a centralised repository, which means you can access data from across different locations and departments. This also gives all key decision-makers access to real-time, up-to-date information, crucial when it comes to accurate analysis.
This holistic view makes the process more efficient, as you’re not waiting for different teams to send their reports, and gives you greater insights into how different elements of your business interact with each other. This can be used to create the best possible forecasts and strategies.
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Integrating business management systems and ERP systems can help organisations to allocate resources to where they’re most needed and utilise them in the most efficient way possible.
By centralising data from disparate systems, including human resources, equipment, materials, and finances, decision-makers can build a more detailed picture of resource availability across the organisation. This aids them in identifying the areas that require additional resources, as well as the areas that could provide them without negatively impacting productivity and efficiency.
Once these decisions have been made, the integration makes it possible to track how these resources are utilised in real-time. That means that any change in circumstances can be reacted to quickly, with resources being redeployed as necessary with minimal delay.
Armed with the information provided by these integrations, decision makers can also carry out accurate demand forecasting by analysing historical trends. This helps to make sure that efficiency and productivity are maintained even in the most rapidly changing business environments.
An integrated ERP system helps to improve how businesses manage the flow of goods both in and out of their warehouses.
Order processing is enhanced, as the integration enables the real-time synchronisation of order details between different systems. Once an order is placed, the information is inputted to the ERP system, which can then update other systems such as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
This automated, real-time sharing of data allows businesses to accurately track order fulfilment across their organisation, from lead generation right through to after-sales support.
Another benefit is that it allows for more accurate inventory management. Through the ERP integration, businesses are granted greater visibility into their stock levels. This enables them to take action to avoid stockouts or the accumulation of excessive overstock.
Image sourced from statista.com
Demand forecasting is made more accurate, which allows businesses to engage in just-in-time stock management. This means that they can potentially reduce the amount of warehouse space they need to rent, in this way reducing overheads.
The more information that customer support teams have access to, the easier it is for them to provide exceptional customer service.
Integrating systems allows for customer data to be shared across departments, helping to build an accurate picture of how a customer interacts with your marketing, sales, and support departments. Customer data is automatically synchronized across the organisation so that changes in one department are reflected in the others.
By centralising information regarding a customer’s preferences, previous communications with the brand, and order history, customer support teams are given access to a wider pool of data, providing them with greater context when it comes to customer enquiries.
Benefits such as being able to quickly view a customer’s order history and pull up the order they're referencing can have a massive impact on customer satisfaction, as it can drastically reduce average handling times, which in turn reduces wait times for other customers.
A better customer experience leads to other benefits, too. Customers who receive fast and effective customer service are more likely to leave a positive review of your brand or verbally recommend your products and services to others. They’re also more likely to return to do business with you again in the future, which improves your customer retention scores.
When integrating business management software and ERP systems, security and compliance should be key concerns. Any instance of data sharing, even within an organisation’s network, can present a security risk.
A robust data security policy should therefore be in place to minimise the chance of data breaches occurring.
Many ERP solutions boast robust security features that can help to complement and reinforce data security policies. Data encryption makes sure that data is protected as it moves between systems, while measures such as multi-factor authentication make it possible for only intended parties to access the data.
Role-based access controls can be implemented, which help to make sure that employees and other stakeholders only have access to the data that is relevant to their specific role.
Regular security audits can help to identify vulnerabilities in the integrations between your systems before they can be exploited by malicious actors. Audit trails make it easier to track potential vulnerabilities and resolve breaches in the event that they do occur.
Compliance is a major factor when considering data security, and you should make sure that the software systems you choose to integrate are compliant with all modern data regulations. Depending on the industry you’re operating in, different regulations may be relevant.
A business management system and ERP integration open up a whole range of benefits for your organisation. By integrating the right tools, you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions, allocate your resources more effectively, and build a stronger business strategy overall.
Your customers will benefit, too, since improved order tracking and smoother customer service add up to a better customer experience.
Embrace the integration of your business management and ERP systems, and see the benefits that it can bring for you.