“Resilience” is now becoming somewhat of a buzzword in the wake of the economic downturn of the 2020s. But it’s clear that old ways of business simply aren’t going to cut it. It’s clear that organizing your business to be resilient will be necessary to weather the next crisis.
Using the right enterprise resource planning software (ERPs) is a good first step in ensuring the success and survival of your business in the coming decade. Here are a few ways using an ERP will help your business to become more resilient:
1.) Reduced reliance on manpower
Using an ERP can vastly reduce the need for workers to perform menial tasks that have nothing to do with the actual output or productivity, with manual data entry being one such example of this kind of activity. When used correctly, ERPs can allow workers to focus on actions that produce real value for the business. This ultimately allows the business to employ smaller workforces.
Smaller workforces also generally mean a business is more resilient. Reliance on human inputs can make an organization vulnerable to instabilities in labor availability, such as in the case of the 2020 Pandemic. Most importantly, smaller teams are easier to manage, which allows business owners to immediately pivot their organization in a new direction.
2.) Real-time tracking and reporting
New ERPs enable the timelier use of information thanks to real-time reporting features and their ability to be accessed anywhere through the cloud. Rather than waiting a day or a week for data to be manually collated and presented as a report, an ERP can be set up to automatically generate custom reports on demand. This allows information to be used in a more timely manner, letting a business capitalize on trends immediately.
3.) Better data transparency
ERP software doesn’t just allow an organization to gather data in real-time. It also makes it simpler for individuals across the entire organization to instantly find and use relevant data. Data that’s useful for one team can be automatically made available without the need to file a request or manually look up the information.
This can speed up processes within an organization and improve collaboration immensely. For instance, data from sales agents can be made available to marketers and analysts as soon as it is entered into the system. There’s no need to call up a stock manager if you want to know the availability of different items either, as anyone can access the needed data. Payroll and HR can instantly look up expense account purchases whenever needed without having to go through receipts. The possibilities for process streamlining — and keeping people accountable — are virtually limitless.
4.) Less time spent on trivial details
Because managers and employees spend less time filing requests, creating reports, and other less-productive minutiae, they can dedicate their time to the kind of work that is more suited for people, such as data analysis and interpretation, creative work, and delivering customer satisfaction. In other words, everyone can spend more time growing the business rather than simply maintaining it. This also means that the organization is better equipped to take on new challenges as they come.
5.) Reduced operating costs
The reduced manpower, opportunity costs, and faster process cycles all contribute to reduced operating costs. When an ERP is used correctly, it may pay for itself quickly. Even if businesses are only partially able to take advantage of the benefits of their chosen ERP software, the overall reduction in running expenses will often still be greater than whatever they paid to set up the ERP in the first place.
6.) Less vulnerable supply chains
Given the global nature of modern supply chains, they are particularly vulnerable to unexpected shocks such as we all experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other natural and man-made disasters can likewise threaten your organization’s ability to procure needed supplies or get them out into the market.
The unmitigated flow of information offered by properly set-up ERP systems has the potential to warn managers of impending shocks to supply chains before they have the opportunity to do serious damage. In a time when a single day’s delay can have serious consequences for a business, the ability to immediately detect disruptions and immediately take action can mean survival.
7.) More flexible working arrangements
Cloud-based ERPs reduce the need for everyone in the organization to be in the same geographical area. The ability to disperse the organization and have people working anywhere in the world can allow the business to continue operations even in the event of a localized disaster. The mobility offered by cloud-based ERPs also allows businesses to offer some jobs as telecommuting positions, a very attractive proposition in a time where more and more people are concerned with their work-life balance.
Organizations that will survive the decade are going to be the ones that can quickly pivot to new directions in a matter of days. Those that are slow to act to external changes are bound to get left by the wayside, just as has happened to countless enterprises globally thanks to the pandemic. Using ERP software is, perhaps, one of the more straightforward things a business will need to do to survive and thrive in the current economic downturn.