Productivity is critical to the success of any organization. To remain competitive and relevant, and thereby not only maintain excellent performance but also lay the foundations for growth and development, continually improving and enhancing productivity is key. There are two directions from which to approach this issue: the first is to increase output while the second is to reduce overheads through improved efficiency.
There is a range of options available to businesses that are seeking to achieve this, and many such tools and techniques are designed specifically to improve effectiveness through a focus on administrative and project management excellence.
One of the most effective and popular tools is ERP.
What is ERP?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is used by many businesses to improve the efficiency of their processes and increase profitability as a result.
In summary, through implementing ERP systems employees at all corporate levels are given access to software that enables them to share standardized data, enabling collaboration and the identification of opportunities for streamlining and reducing overheads.
The benefits fall into three main areas, all of which relate to saving time and money, a priority for any company.
- Consistency. Evolution is a fundamental ingredient of any successful business. As a business grows and develops to meet changing demands and enhance its own scope and reach, the organization that supports this activity must keep up with that change. As a result, different and sometimes incompatible systems can be implemented, leading to unhelpfully complex and inconsistent governance and working environment. ERP will standardize systems and procedures and ensure all colleagues are working on the same platforms.
- Innovation. Through enhanced access to, and visibility of, the business-wide systems in which they operate, employees are given the tools and capability to deliver the best possible service. It will also provide them with far greater scope to identify and implement improvements themselves.
- Collaboration. By using the same systems and processes, employees will naturally adopt increasingly similar approaches, even if working remotely from each other. Not only will customers and clients therefore get an improved experience, colleagues will also share a greater sense of one team and feel empowered to own the drive towards efficiency collaboratively. Basic project management for example, can be vastly improved through the support of a concise and widely recognized approach to all tasks.
Cloud ERP is the term used to describe ERP software hosted on a platform over the Internet, itself an enhanced functionality designed to improved efficiency. In such instances, the principles of ERP remain the same but the actual implementation is notably different.
One of the biggest benefits of such an approach is a general reduction in complexity. As standard systems, as opposed to expensive and complex tailor-made systems, are effectively managed out of the office environment, the need for a large IT resource to manage them is reduced. As a result, this often leads to a reduction in IT costs.
Many experts in the field believe that this is the future of ERP and will provide the next significant step-change in its application.