With demands to cut costs and increase efficiency growing as businesses continue to face a challenging environment, the need for advanced tools to help streamline the running of a company has never been more obvious.
One of the best things firms can do to make sure they are operating effectively is to invest in enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, which can provide all the solutions businesses need to compete effectively in a tough business landscape.
In the past, this often meant complex on-premises deployments, as enterprises required sprawling systems that ran off their own servers. But advances in cloud technology in the last few years mean businesses of all sizes can now take advantage of tools such as NetSuite ERP to get a leg up and boost their growth without costly capital investment.
But aside from the obvious cost savings available, there are a multitude of reasons for selecting a cloud ERP option, some of which have been highlighted by a new study by Aberdeen Group, which was reported by Apps Tech News. The organisation analysed 261 small enterprises and highlighted four key operational benefits to be gained from deploying such technology.
One of the challenges of running a business can be ensuring that personnel across all departments are on the same page and information is able to be accessed, viewed and edited consistently. By adopting ERP tools that can be used throughout the company, this makes sure all staff are following the same procedures and using the same applications in order to complete tasks.
Ensuring that the best practices of an organisation are followed is essential to the success of a firm. In fact, Aberdeen Group noted 71 per cent of the best-in-class enterprises it examined had implemented standardised financial procedures.
Report author Nick Castellina said the ability for personnel to work together towards a common goal is “essential for the growing business as employees become more and more focused on specific functions”.
This is something that will be a highly valuable addition to many firms, as Aberdeen Group’s study revealed 40 per cent of less-sizeable enterprises cited a lack of collaboration tools as one of the biggest problems with their outdated legacy systems.
Having all business-critical data available at an individual’s fingertips is another key advantage of integrated cloud-based ERP systems. Areas that could particularly stand to benefit from this may include sales, especially if personnel are working outside the office.
Being able to bring up the latest data wherever they are and on the device of their choice via the cloud means staff are always in touch with what is going on in their business, allowing them to respond accordingly.
This is one of the biggest overall benefits of cloud ERP, as the technology allows firms to streamline all aspects of their organisation. Workers who can access fast, reliable applications wherever they are will improve their productivity and be able to offer a much better service to customers.
One example cited in the report was its ability to deliver vital customer information to employees instantly, allowing them to be more agile and adaptable to shifting needs.
ERP solutions can be a great investment for businesses because of their ability to bring a range of processes under the control of a single solution. NetSuite ERP, for instance, provides tools such as financials, inventory management and human capital management in order to boost your back-office processes and provide the information you need to make better decisions fast.
In fact, the innovations can accelerate your order-to-cash process by as much as 50 per cent and significantly cut financial close times, so should be a high priority for any business looking to grow without worrying about its processes becoming overly complex.
Mr Castellina stated: “Organisations with under $50 million (£31.2 million) in annual revenue are looking towards ERP because they need to be more agile when making decisions and interacting with customers and business partners.”
However, he added that at the same time, cost-cutting remains a high priority for firms, while it is also important that they maintain their key ethos as they expand and not lose sight of why their firm has been successful in the first place.
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