While Enterprise Resource Planning or ‘ERP’ solutions may already be on your business radar, how do they add value – and how could they benefit your everyday operations in a tangible way? As experts in the field, we thought it only right to hit ‘refresh’ with a back-to-basics guide to Cloud ERP. We explore the definition of ERP, and how leading solutions like Oracle NetSuite could help support your business.
What exactly is an ERP solution?
So, first and foremost, what is ERP? If you go searching for the answer, you may find yourself bombarded with a bewildering array of definitions. Often these are only tangibly similar by virtue of helping businesses operate (and sharing the same three letter acronym). However, these differences emphasise the flexibility and variation that each instance of ERP can give to a business. No two companies are the same, so when looking for a cloud-based ERP system, you really need something configurable to your own processes. While businesses differ, there’s still some essential pillars common to most, whether that’s inventory, order management, finance and accounting, human resources, or customer relationship management (to name but a few). In a nutshell, ERP combines these functions into a single package; a ‘one-stop shop’ that simplifies your business processes and links information across your entire company, no matter how many regions or countries it operates in.
The backbone of all ERP implementations is a database that supports the different functions of your business. Everyone shares the same information, but each business unit can use it for their specific requirements. When we talk of databases, your mind may cast back to large organisations with dedicated on-site server rooms, backed up by offices full of application engineers creating bespoke software additions to fix each nuance encountered! Yet this is no longer the case. With cloud-based ERP, the hard work is done for you, leaving you to focus on what you do best: running your business. Cloud ERP takes the physical IT infrastructure out of your hands to free up valuable resources elsewhere in your company. This, along with modular software design, means you invest in what you need, when you need it.
Bringing Oracle NetSuite on board
The need for a customisable ERP system isn’t derived from the size of your business or the number of employees you have. Rather, it comes down to the complexity of business processes that you need to manage. If you’re balancing multiple IT systems, lacking certain business insights, or have a slow- moving accounting department for example, it may be time to consider a solution such as Oracle NetSuite. So now we know what cloud-based ERP is, what are some of the ways Oracle NetSuite could help strengthen your core business operations, and thus pave the way for future growth?
Streamline your finances through automation
NetSuite’s financial management solution accelerates your financial close by seamlessly integrating with order management, inventory, customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce. It can improve critical business processes and allow all functions to work from a single source of financial, sales and customer data. This automation of traditional business functions allows the dismantling of silos where employees are no longer waiting for information to become available, and thus productivity is improved.
Gain unified insights for a better bigger picture
You’ve heard the phrase a picture paints a thousand words, so why not harness NetSuite’s business insights to paint the portrait of your key performance indicators (KPIs)? When your data is stored over a myriad of heterogeneous systems that are manually processing it, interpreting it and using it for worthwhile decision making, it can be risky and costly. Yet by integrating Oracle NetSuite with powerful, real-time dashboards, the right decisions can be made at the right time – from the executive suite down to the shop floor. With everyone using the same single version of information, this level of transparency will permeate your functions, providing a clearer view of your business.
Grow your offering and engage with new customers
Whether you’re well established or just starting out, it’s critical to always engage with customers old and new. This is made simpler with NetSuite’s marketing platform that seamlessly integrates with leading eCommerce systems, enabling you to create impactful customised content. Your marketing team will save time and effort with simple drag-and-drop content creation alongside analytics that let you know the effectiveness of your campaigns. The less hours spent on time-consuming tasks means your team is freed up to create compelling content that provides an improved customer experience, and thus enhanced conversion rates as a result.
Futureproof your offering with cost and time-saving efficiencies
As an agile solution that grows with your business, Oracle NetSuite software remains current throughout its life cycle – banishing the need for IT costs through automatic updates. This ultimately allows for scalability and expansion (as and when the time comes), empowering business leaders and their teams to focus on the end goal and what they do well, with the very best tools to hand. By adopting Oracle NetSuite, fast-growing, emerging businesses can make tangible improvements through small changes that – when time and cash-poor – can often make a big difference to the everyday running of a business.
Wherever you are on your journey, cloud-based ERP solutions like Oracle NetSuite can realign your business strategy, helping you to work smarter. For more advice on where to start, our expert team are ready to discuss the right solution for you. Why not take the first step and contact us today?