In a perfect world organisations, particularly in the manufacturing sector, would choose to keep their ERP system up-to-date. These organisations are facing many constraints, however modern, configurable cloud ERP can unleash their business potential and long term growth.
For SMEs who are competing for market share, there are many demands on budget. Some of these will have made investments in legacy systems while some will have no ERP system at all and rely on spreadsheets.
Our experience shows that SMEs recognise the benefits of investing in technology that supports and streamlines business processes. The most significant challenge for ERP platforms is the ability to collaborate across departments, processes and teams while integrating with existing software to support the business. Effective communication across departments reduces waste, and therefore provides significant cost-savings through enhanced operational efficiency.
In the age of big data, data management, reporting and analytics are another significant challenge for SME’s. It’s essential that data is shared across the organisation and various platforms so relevant reports and analytics can be extracted to inform better business decisions. ERP can address these issues, but many firms struggle if their data is spread across various systems and spreadsheets.
Companies that have updated to joined-up, cloud ERP have been able to reduce costs, and ensure accurate information sharing across the business. This enables sales, operations and after-sales to function efficiently and respond better to customer needs, providing a competitive edge. The benefits for SME’s are clear but what do these firms needs from an ERP partner?
Our customer research suggests it needs to offer:
- A single and centralised view of the customer through a single contact database.
- Configured workflows to manage the flow of information efficiently.
- Real-time reporting and analytics to react to new opportunities or recurring issues.
- Integration with existing applications such as Sage, RFID and CAD systems.
- Experienced assistance to define processes and manage implementation in the business
ERP suppliers recognise that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach is no longer adequate. By choosing a partner that listens and understands the business and processes you can achieve significant return on investment. While projects such as ERP have a reputation for being protracted and costly, this is now becoming a thing of the past. With the right methodology and support in place, these risk are minimised while maximising the return on investment.
Flowlens provides a common sense and tailored CRM, MRP and ERP platform, that supports your entire customer lifecycle. We create long-term partnerships by listening and understanding your business problems and configure the platform to ensure effective change and return on investment. Current customers such as Survitec Group have seen real-world return on investment such as a 40% reduction in manufacturing admin time.