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What is an ERP System?
An ERP system is software used by organisations to manage a range of different business activities all in one centralised place. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and as the name suggests, a good ERP system will give you all the tools you need to plan your business resources, including:
Finance, budgeting and accounting
Sales order processing
Stock control and supply chain management
Customer relationship management
Business intelligence analytics to monitor performance
Benefits of ERP software
Many small businesses and startups may waste time and money investing in short-term multi software packages and spreadsheets, which are quickly outgrown. ERP systems such as Sharp-aX offer a less expensive startup package; it is the same software but supplied with only essential industry-specific modules, including the HMRC MTD module. With the package comes:
Better access to customer information to provide better customer service
Detailed business intelligence to help streamline and improve system processes
Enhanced inventory control to manage stock levels more efficiently
Save staff time and costs by automating routine tasks – such as auto-emailing invoices
Maintain all business records in one secure place, so nothing gets forgotten or overlooked
Total picture of budgets/targets/turnover and profitability by customer, product and the company
Does my business need an ERP system?
As many as 88% of all businesses use ERP software. This suggests your business could benefit too, in the following ways:
Strict stock control – essential to maximise valuable warehouse space and improve cash flow
Margin control by each product line
Improved efficiency, identifying bottlenecks in your processes
One centralised record of your business activities
Access to all customer and product information, instead of referring to the boss
Things to consider when choosing an ERP system
An ERP system will provide control of everything to do with your business. It is important, therefore, to spend time ensuring that you choose the right software for your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing an ERP system:
Choose your supplier carefully. Look for professional, punctual people
What system do your competitors use? Ask companies in your industry what they think of the customer service provided
Does the ERP system you are considering use Microsoft Windows software? An MS SQL Server is the industry gold standard for data retention
Consider when it makes best sense to go live – your financial year end; a quieter trading time? Start looking now and allow anything from 3-12 months to choose and implement the right system and the people you will be working with for a long number of years
Does the company offering the software have good communication and responses – do they answer the phone, and are they willing to answer all your questions?
Is the software regularly updated, and at what cost?
More importantly, pick up the phone and call us on 01442 505950 and see if anyone answers, and how quickly. Are they warm, helpful and friendly? Are they people you could work with? Try asking for the MD, Jean Freeman.