Manufacturing, distribution, and service-oriented companies are facing critical challenges in today’s marketplace. To service the new global economy, companies need to be continuously reinventing themselves by rapidly adding new products and acquiring new businesses. They need to build new partnerships and expand their channels of business because they will not be able to depend on the same set of suppliers tomorrow that they do today. Simply put, businesses cannot expect to do business the same way as the world changes around them.
For these reasons, enterprises large and small need a new kind of ERP; one that’s faster to deploy, and contains these characteristics:
- Adapt very quickly
- Go into the hands of all employees, customers, and partners immediately, with little to no training
- Provide continuous visibility into their critical operations and processes
It isn’t a surprise that more and more CIOs, manufacturing managers, and operational executives are looking at new, cloud-based, flexible solutions. Innovative business leaders look for these solutions to get the three strategic capabilities they need to remain viable in the short and long term: greater operational agility, the ability to collaborate, and continuous, real-time visibility.
Reason #1: Agility to Respond Dynamically and Proactively to Changes
Business conditions quickly change in big ways, and often without much warning. We are not talking about simple customer change orders. We are talking about even bigger changes, like demand volatility, entire labor force changes, M&A, and innovative business practices that competitors begin using unexpectedly.
Agility is a company’s ability to quickly react to major changes in business conditions without disruption. Intel’s battery manufacturer is a great example of this, moving their “A123” operations from South Korea to the USA because of labor costs and disputes, without disrupting their manufacturing, distribution, or customer service.
Cloud-based ERP software provides a platform ideal for global agility. The system can adapt easily, and more importantly, empowers users to respond quickly.
Reason #2: Enterprise-wide Collaboration
Business requirements change regularly. For this reason, people across an enterprise must have the ability to collaborate easily with each other in real-time, as needed, in whatever data format or channel that is necessary. They need to resolve uncertainty, missing data, and unique processes through a central repository of data that is accessible across an entire organization.
Further collaboration enables companies to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise, boost internal productivity, and improve communication with customers.
Reason #3: 360-Degree Visibility Across the Enterprise
Visibility means that people in every department can understand what’s going on at all times. Whether it’s the status of an inbound shipment, an alert to customer payment issues, QA issues, or problems with a certain vendor, managers must be able to see and understand what’s going on. As cycle times speed up and supply chains become more complex, visibility is even more crucial.
True visibility means that everyone can view and update information through on-demand reports and dashboards. This information can be useful for finance, production, sales, or anyone else in the enterprise. Users should be able to see up-to-the-minute production schedules, customer accounts, pending orders, and even inventory levels so that they can engage with suppliers and customers in the most efficient way, possible.
Cloud ERP systems enable enhanced visibility because they give all users the ability to see critical information about current statuses through dashboards and crystal-clear reports. In addition, cloud ERP systems give users the ability to collaborate more quickly and efficiently for any outstanding issue. Because everyone can use the system, everyone also provides the data, thus making the flow of business faster and more efficient than ever before.
Is it time to consider cloud ERP?
Moving your ERP system to the cloud gives you a great avenue to rethink the way your company does business. Like the first generation of ERP systems did back in the day, cloud ERP gives a business new and exciting capabilities to compete in the modern marketplace.