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What is an ERP? Everything You Need to Know About ERP Solutions

Written by FHL

26 | 06 | 20

ERP  |  
3 minute read

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It’s a valuable business software that brings day-to-day processes in one unified system. You can view data within a scalable platform that provides insight into key areas such as finance, customer relationship management (CRM) and eCommerce.

So what is ERP software?

ERP Software Simplified

What are the essential processes within your business? Accounting, sales, purchasing inventory and much more. The simplest explanation would be that ERP software integrates all of these key functions and processes into one streamlined and accessible system.

At its very core, an ERP system is a centralised database that’s shared across departments, allowing it to be used for a variety of business functions within the organisation. Within this post, we’ll go into more detail on why this is advantageous for businesses and the many benefits an ERP brings.

Key benefits of an ERP System

The advantages of an ERP system are numerous, and include:

Improved Process Efficiency

Repetitive processes that need to be manually completed can be a real drain on a business' resources. Resources which could be better spent elsewhere. An ERP system has the capability to significantly improve process efficiency, eliminate manual processes and minimise the risk of inaccurate data.

A Single Source of Truth

The real strength of an ERP system is that one platform is used for all your key business processes. Often businesses have multiple systems for sales, inventory, finance, etc. This is inefficient and leads to issues with visibility of performance and information across systems.

By moving to a modern ERP platform, you will have all of your processes on one system. With one source of data, it’s then possible to gain full visibility of your business performance that would otherwise need to be compiled and collated from several sources. Of course, this means that you can make more informed decisions on the direction of your business as a whole.

Improved and More Accurate Reporting and Forecasting

ERP systems offer users the tools to create their own reports and dashboards far more easily, all using the same single source of data. Many modern platforms also have built-in analytics capabilities and planning/forecasting tools.

Users can therefore better monitor performance and plan for the future, gaining real insights from their data. Plus, businesses can set more realistic goals and objectives. This allows you to see clearly where you want to be and make it easier to plan how to get there.

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many more advantages that can arise from implementing an ERP system within your business, some of which may be dependent on your unique circumstances and the system you choose to implement. We recommend talking to an experienced ERP partner to understand how your business could benefit.

The Business Case for a Cloud-Based ERP System

Whilst there are a number of different ERP systems on the market, one of the main differentiators is whether you should choose a cloud-based or on-premise solution.

A cloud-based ERP solution is often more affordable, more mobile-enabled and much easier to scale. In contrast to on-premise, where ERP software is installed locally, cloud ERP is managed in the cloud with all the associated benefits this brings.

One of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based solution is that information can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world. As long as you have a device and an internet connection you can access important information about your business on-the-go. This feature is especially prevalent as working remotely becomes the new normal.

Another advantage of cloud ERP is that it’s built to facilitate real-time reporting. Not only does this save time and reduce the need for the manual processing of data, but it also offers businesses better information and enables them to make faster, more informed business decisions.

Across the globe, many companies have already implemented cloud ERP software solutions. The software has been utilised everywhere from wholesale & distribution to retail, agriculture and the public sector.

A cloud-based ERP delivers the following benefits:

  • The automation of core processes such as lead-to-cash, order-to-fulfilment and procure-to-pay.

  • A globally-accessible, real-time view of business performance.

  • Improved customer service through having a single source for tracking, billing and customer relationship management.

  • A reduction in risk through improved controls and compliance with relevant standards.

For these reasons and many more there has been a strong trend for businesses to switch to a cloud-based solution. 

ERP in Action: Read Our Case Studies

If you’re looking for more information on ERP solutions and what they look like in practice, explore our case studies. Here at FHL, we’ve implemented over 200 successful ERP solutions through the NetSuite platform, so to get a better understanding of ERP within your industry, click on the link below.

GO TO CASE STUDIES