7  Trends your ERP should follow

ERPs has become an essential part of any business, and ERP suppliers are always creating less complex and less expensive software to make the process even smoother, but do you know what to look for to make sure your ERP is up to date?

Here we will discuss seven things to consider when reviewing your ERP, to make sure it’s keeping up with the latest trends and features, and to get the max benefits out of it.

 

  1. UI/UX:
    Have you ever wondered why your employees resist an ERP implementation? One of the main reasons is bad user experience / user interface. In general, complex user experience can dramatically slow down your business process, and because of this resistance, training your employees to use a complex ERP takes longer. Also, another factor affecting UI/UX is the slow response, however, the response time depends on the speed of your hardware and not the ERP itself.

Some of the user-friendly aspects to look for in your ERP software are customizability, assistive and conversational interface; how information is displayed (a simple, clear and intuitive screen); and an innate command sequence.

 

  1. Going up the cloud:

The benefits of a cloud based ERP are; better access to data, less costs, improved business agility, collaboration and business relationships. Generally, web based ERPs offer more advantages than on-site versions of legacy ERP.
Recently, the steady advancement and reliability of cloud ERPs dominating the field have encouraged more vendors to start shifting their modes, and benefit from the advantages of the cloud to deliver more flexible Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

 

  1. Flexibility:
    Nowadays, changes in business environments as well as business requirements became faster than ever before. In order to maintain your business competitive edge, your ERP system should be flexible enough to quickly adapt and accommodate these changes. Some of the aspects to consider are scalability, interoperability and the effects of upgrading and updating.

 

  1. Security:

With the increased use of cloud-based ERPs, security breaches are a major concern. The more the volume and value of data stored, the more the breaches potential. Your ERP system should have a multi-level security set up with one of the layers based on predictive analysis of user behavior. It should also have sound encryption and role-based and user-level security capabilities.

 

  1. Mobility:
    Mobility is quickly becoming a mainstream technology. Employees, especially those in sales, want to access and take advantage of their organization’s ERP solutions from anywhere. Your ERP should have add-ons and extensions that would bring mobility to the forefront as opposed to mobility being a secondary option. To be fully functional, mobile ERP solutions should support the use of multiple devices. Also, web-based solutions are more advantageous to native, device-specific solutions.

 

  1. Business Intelligence:
    ERP solutions are mainly data centers that could provide tons of usable but useless data. A good ERP facilitates more efficient operations through providing only the prime data to management to use it in practical use. In fact, more and more businesses are beginning to combine ERP solutions with business intelligence (BI) tools in order to make all that data work for them. Your ERP better be BI-enabled with dynamic reporting tools which provide the right insights at the right time.

 

  1. Social ERP:

Collaboration has a positive impact on staff engagement and productivity. ERP software with add-ons that emulate the functionality of social networking tools is becoming increasingly popular. Features like chat and message boards can facilitate better collaboration. Check communication tools for asynchronous features and e-mail integration.

 

In conclusion, to stay ahead of the competition, your ERP needs to adapt to these evolving trends. You should have a clear idea of what you hope to get out of ERP solutions. Return on investment (ROI) will no longer be the only aspect businesses will have to consider in terms of ERP solutions.

5 Factors to Consider before Implementing an ERP System

Having an ERP System offers companies a wide range of benefits that are too much to list. Many travel agents implement these systems because they have become somewhat trendy within the industry. Other organizations are genuinely looking to optimize their business process to become more profitable through increased efficiency.

However, there are few steps that need to be taken in order to determine whether the ERP implementation will be a profitable investment for the company, or it’s better to continue following the traditional operation management style:

 

  1. Validate the Supplier:
    Before making the decision to install an ERP platform in your company, you should search your vendor. Reach out to the current customer platform being considered. This can help you understand the effectiveness of the vendors’ customer service, how quickly they respond to and solve issues and the overall satisfaction that an organization has after doing business with the provider.

 

  1. Be Prepared for Change:
    Implementing an ERP is an enormous change in the entire organization, so you should be prepared accordingly. A proper preparation begins with a change in the management team. This team should include department leaders and upper management employees. They will have to focus on helping strong technical background employees to adapt to using the system quickly, and then go on a slower pace for lower level employees.

 

  1. Stay focused on the Long-term Goal:
    No process implementations ever happen smoothly. Inevitably, at some point during the process, big challenges appear and will need to be overcome. From resistance of the employees, down to technical and business process enhancements, these issues can quickly become very frustrating. However, it’s important to never lose focus on the end goal. Understanding that the benefits of using ERP software will only be seen on the long run will help to properly manage any negative feelings about the process.

 

  1. Stay Goal-Oriented:
    Implementing an ERP isn’t a decision that should be taken overnight. In fact, unless a company has included an ERP in its plan, and set the goals it would like to see through using an ERP, it can be a total waste of both time and resources, and money. Whatever the desires of the organization, being honest about any drawbacks and where an ERP system can benefit can help a company stay focused on analysing a clear ROI for the ERP.

 

  1. Update your Company to Fit the Software:
    Let’s be honest here; the entire purpose of using an ERP Software is to enhance the mix of processes needed for companies to operate. Therefore, trying to operate with the old processes as before the implementation just doesn’t work. Companies should stay as closely as possible to the recommendations made by the ERP software company project manager in order to reach the full benefits of the system. The purpose of the implementation is improvement, not to stick to the status quo.

 

All things considered, using ERP software can dramatically boom your company’s profits and productivity than ever before. As long as best practices are followed and companies make the necessary changes to their workflows, then indeed the entire process will deliver the required benefits.

How AI-enabled ERPs take business to a new level

ERP Systems are being completely transformed as more providers integrate AI into their operations. From taking over routine tasks all the way up to predicting when machines are going to fail, AI is using ERP’s vast data in incredible ways.

 

    The first benefit is that AI frees employees from the boring, repetitive daily interactions, allowing them to focus on analytical and creative tasks instead. Actually, using AI-enabled ERP Software allow managers to discover entirely new patterns and therefore redirect their efforts to higher-value activities.

 

    Imagine an ERP that can actually learn. This will have a very deep and direct impact on the performance of the organization as a whole. Putting AI hand in hand with the experience of the persons working it will dramatically enhance personal performance, thus, opening a much wider scope for the managers to direct their efforts more efficiently. Also, it will enhance KPI tracking on all organizational levels, and even suggest better and more accurate KPIs.

 

    A perfect example of the power of the human & the machine combined is the KLM Airlines approach to their social media customer service. They implemented deep learning AI based customer response software that analyses. The software processes more than 60,000 customer questions and answers, and the number keeps growing, because the machine continues to learn and improve overtime. How it works also gives a perfect balance between analysis, human experience, and human interaction. When a customer service agent receives a question, the software suggests an answer, and It’s up to the service agent to use it or not.

 

     Travel agents will benefit from this new technology on so many levels too. Starting from analyzing their organization wide KPIs, AI enabled ERPs can directly impact marketing and sales of the agency. Through an accumulative deep learning AI module, it can analyze all of the company previous data, and see completely different patterns on a deeper level, and then it would be able to suggest better operations, and majorly enhance the strategic planning and future forecasting of the organization.

 

    The potential of AI-enabled ERP solutions is immense, though it requires a complete make-over in the company processes, and a lot of adapting to change in the beginning of the implementation process. Generally, there are a number of steps to take before you can embark on an ERP implémentations. We’ll discuss them later ahead.

Cloud or On-Premise ERP?

As you consider your options for a new ERP software, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to select a cloud-based or an on-premise ERP solution.

Basically, On-premise ERP solutions are installed locally on your company’s hardware and servers and then managed by your IT staff, while a cloud based ERP is provided as a service. With this type of deployment, a company’s ERP software and its associated data are managed centrally by the ERP vendor and are accessed by customers using a web browser.

What may not be so clear is that the type of ERP deployment model you choose can have a significant impact across your business.
Here are 4 key factors that you need to consider when weighing whether to use on-premise or cloud-based ERP software:

 

  • Deployment speed & expanding
    ERP systems take time to fully deploy in a company. An on-site ERP will require a set of hardware and software to be available in hand before starting the deployment process. It also, requires upgrading hardware, and software, to add more users to the system. On the other hand, cloud-based ERPs are much more agile in that case. Since they’re being managed centrally, they require no hardware or special software whatsoever, whether to deploy or add users.

 

  • Ownership Cost
        On-premise ERP systems usually require large investments upfront to be deployed, and ongoing to maintain the software and the related hardware, servers, and facilities necessary to run it. Also, you will need to have a very well experienced IT staff, which will spend most of their paid time maintaining the software, and hardware, and making sure that everything is running smoothly, and when it’s time to upgrade, they will have to redeploy the system across the whole network.
        As for the cloud-based ERP solutions, they require much less initial costs, and running costs. The cloud ERP provider hosts and maintains all of the IT infrastructure for you, ensures the system is always running, that the data is secure, and that product enhancements are rolled out painlessly to your solution without breaking your previously implemented customizations.

 

  • Information Security
        When using an on-premise ERP software, your data security is your own responsibility. This means hundreds of hours spent on applying the latest data security protocols and ensuring there are no breaches. Many companies might not be as adept at practicing proper data security protocols.
        For cloud-based ERPs, the vendor takes care of all of this hassle for you. They’re responsible for keeping your data accessible and secured. Most vendors pledge strict data security standards, which will give you a peace of mind, knowing that all of your data in encrypted and secured.

 

  • Customisation and data control
        On-site ERPs offer very flexible customization, and you can make it as customs-built as you need it to be for your exact needs. However, it turned into a massive disadvantage when updating or installing a new version.
        Cloud-based ERPs offer less flexibility in customisation, but on the other hand, updating is pretty constant from the vendors side, due to the much less customisation required, vendors are able to provide newer, more powerful versions, several times a year. This doesn’t mean that customisation is not an option at all. You can always discuss with your provider on what can be done.

 

There are more options than ever for businesses of all sizes when it comes to choosing a new ERP system. Thankfully, cloud-based deployment models have made this software more accessible—though these systems come with a few drawbacks, such as more limited customization and potential security concerns.

Conversely, on-premise ERP systems offer advantages in customization and control, but are more expense up front, and many don’t support mobile.