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Organizations implement ERP systems for a variety of reasons. While one organization may want to streamline its order-to-cash process, another might be more interested in refining its hiring practices.

To address these unique needs, ERP vendors have developed systems that address a variety of functional areas. Below are examples of five functional areas that can be improved with the implementation of a modern ERP solution:

Finance, Accounting, Payables and Receivables

Virtually every organization that invests in an ERP system does so in order to gain greater control over their financial operation. All financial activity within your organization can benefit from an integrated ERP system. It enables your organization to successfully manage financials with a modern, integrated interface geared to higher levels of productivity and transparency.

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Customer Service

Many ERP systems have e-commerce functionality. Others integrate well with standalone e-commerce systems. In either case, you can gain better data insights by ensuring your e-commerce function isn’t siloed. Better data insights can in turn improve your customer service. One of our process manufacturing clients implemented an integrated ERP system that automated their inbound customer service, giving reps more time for outbound calls.

Supply Chain Management

Successfully refining the supply chain management function is the holy grail for manufacturing companies that deal with materials, inventory, assembly and line personnel. ERP software can help you streamline your manufacturing processes domestically and internationally. When dealing with variations such as manufacturing compliance from country to country, currency fluctuations and import/export laws, an ERP solution well-versed in supply chain management can be a valuable asset.

Order Processing

An order processing module within an ERP system is designed to help an organization better manage order entry, credit checking, shipping, sales analysis and reporting. Oracle SCM Cloud and others like it provide the capability to manage inventory, shipping and other fulfilment tasks. Many of these systems also feature customer interface modules that can integrate into your company’s website and various modules with IoT capability.

Human Resources

ERP solutions with a human resources module can improve the management of staff system-wide and is a great benefit for any organization no matter the size. Robust capabilities are not necessary for every organization, but for those that do require them, there are a few providers that offer it.

Project Management

When activities such as billing, expense management and human capital management must be accounted for and incorporated into your overall balance sheet, ERP solutions can play an important role in helping your organization run smoothly and accommodate when scalability is necessary.

How to Maximize ERP Business Benefits

While ERP software can automate many functional areas, you’ll realize more business benefits if you optimize your functional areas prior to ERP selection. Requirements gathering workshops can help you understand your business processes and identify pain points. From there, you can determine which processes need improvement.

This method – known as business process reengineering – ensures your ERP system supports your organizational goals. When you improve your processes, your ERP implementation is no longer an IT project, but a strategic initiative that executives are more likely to support.

We recently conducted process mapping workshops with a company specializing in government subcontracting. Employees and executives were so excited about the future state processes they designed that they turned the process maps into giant posters for display in executives’ offices.

This is an example of organizational alignment. You should strive for this alignment no matter what functional areas you’re automating. If you want to turn your IT project into a strategic business initiative, our ERP consultants can help.