The benefits of formally implementing an ERP system


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems integrate all business management functions within a single platform, providing the real-time capability of seeing what is happening within the organization. With a wide-ranging scope, careful and thoughtful implementation is key to success. 

As time progresses, the importance of ERP systems will only continue to grow. An ERP system may be considered the ultimate “source of truth,” allowing complete access and visibility to key data and processes across the entire organization. 

Functions covered by an ERP system include:

  • Planning
  • Inventory and Materials Management
  • Engineering
  • Order Processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Human Resources

Considerations around upgrading a business’ ERP system

Many factors may be considered when evaluating whether to move to a formal ERP system. However, organizations often can get a clear indication that it’s time to implement or upgrade their ERP system when they notice trends in either business philosophy or day-to-day implementation. For example:

  • Growth: When the business has grown, is growing, or plans to grow.
  • Operations: When the organization recognizes a need to better manage its manual processes using formal tools or automation.
  • Merger or acquisition: When one company takes over another and needs to streamline operations across both organizations.
  • Legacy systems: When the current system is outdated, upgrades are unavailable, or its features don’t serve the business adequately.
  • Strategic planning: When a new business technology roadmap is being considered and requires a new enterprise solution.

General Benefits

Any time a system is formally quantified and documented, there are opportunities for company-wide benefits across the board, including:

  • Better integration and sharing of information across functions or departments.
  • Simplification and clarification of policies, procedures, and processes.
  • Reduction of redundant data entry.
  • Better communication across functions or departments.
  • Improved workflow and security.
  • Increased efficiency.
  • Enhanced company performance.

Specific Benefits

Specific business benefits of implementing an ERP system cover many aspects of the organization, such as:

  • Business reporting: Tools providing real-time information captured in an integrated database across all aspects of the business.
  • Customer service: Faster response times, more access to customer information, better on-time delivery records, and improved order accuracy.
  • Inventory costs: Avoidance of situations of too much or too little inventory, as well as associated issues (too much inventory = higher overhead costs, too little inventory = longer time to fulfill orders).
  • Cash flow: Cash brought in faster with improved invoicing and collection and more immediate cash availability.
  • Costs: Better inventory planning, procurement management, customer service, and vendor relationship management.
  • Data & Cloud security: Dedicated security resources and data distribution across multiple servers for better backup.
  • Business process improvements: Automation of manual tasks (e.g., invoices, routine communications, financial reports), improved workflows, and better efficiency.
  • Supply chain: More effective forecasting of demand and reduced production bottlenecks.

ERP implementation success factors

As with any project where an organization invests significant time and money in a new system, success factors include:

  • Executive sponsorship and support.
  • Assignment of internal team leaders dedicated to making the implementation successful.
  • Alignment between business objectives and IT department resources.
  • Acknowledgment of the need for external partners to provide expertise and guidance.
  • Commitment to formal project management to ensure commitments are met, including budget, schedule, staffing, and performance.

Projects to implement or upgrade your organization’s ERP system can benefit from skilled project management

Thurman Co. is uniquely positioned to assist organizations in various aspects of project management, including analysis and proposals around ERP system incorporation or improvement

We help businesses manage projects to significantly impact their success and growth. When you’re ready to put your project in the hands of a trusted professional organization, contact us to learn more about working together.

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