What is ERP for Supply Chain Management?
ERP systems, or Enterprise Research Planning software, are comprehensive software platforms that companies use in the running of their businesses. These systems coordinate all of the data and decision-making systems in a company, putting all of the necessary information in one place and giving management everything they need for more intelligent decision-making.
The specific nature of an ERP depends on the industry that it is being used in, with supply chain management offering features such as tracking levels of stock in a business, automating product ordering processes and tracking deliveries to and from the business. By combining the right modules into a bespoke program structured for your business, you manage your supply chain far more effectively than with a generic ERP offering without personalisation.
Uses for ERP in Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is an extremely complex concept, with lots of different tasks all being enveloped into the discipline of managing a supply chain. Some of the main tasks in supply chain management that you can use an ERP for include:
Planning is one of the most important things a business can do. ERP platforms assess a company’s existing inventory, the rate that products leave the inventory and order rates, effectively establishing how many products a company will have available at any one time.
These solutions are also highly flexible and can adapt in response to economic phenomena such as seasonal demand swings and historic data. The only potential issue is with short-term trends and demand spikes, but this is something intelligent procurement managers can deal with.
Rather than completing manual purchasing processes that take a lot of employee time and attention every time the company needs new products, companies can streamline these processes. ERP platforms can automate your purchasing, removing the manual steps and triggering new procurement processes when stock hits a certain level to make sure that a business always has stock available for its customers.
One thing that an Enterprise Resource Planning platform has in spades is data. Every action a company completes is a data point of some form, whether that’s a purchase, selling a product to a new buyer or creating a bespoke product for the client. Using these analytics effectively means that companies assess their processes, find any inefficiencies and act on them. Analysis is a complex process typically completed by experts, but ERP brings analysis back into a company’s reach.
Stock tracking doesn’t just refer to the levels of stock that a company has to hand at a specific time, but also involves tracking stock that the company is due to receive. ERP means that companies can track their deliveries, both to the customer and inward resource and stock deliveries. Using this service means companies have a more comprehensive understanding of what they have available and can plan more complicated parts of the business, such as production timelines based on what they have available.
Some companies have individual stores and vendors, rather than selling products from one main hub. Assessing the performance is essential for improving the standards of a company, with strategies put in place to improve weaker branches and companies actively taking lessons from the stronger ones. A well-designed ERP provides this separation and offers plenty of opportunities to learn from a company’s strengths, increasing the potential that the organisation holds.
The Benefits of ERP for Supply Chain Management
There are plenty of benefits of managing a supply chain with ERP. Some of the main advantages that companies can benefit from include:
Efficiency is one of the biggest concerns that companies across the world have, with inefficient businesses having a range of unnecessary processes and costs that limit productivity and profitability. By using the analytical features that an ERP offers, companies can see where they are spending less effectively and the pressures that these costs are putting on the business. Management staff then eliminate these inefficiencies, increasing profit margins and freeing up more money to invest back into a successful business.
Limiting IT Issues
IT issues can be some of the most threatening to a company’s productivity. If a company’s IT systems fall out of sync with one another a business can find itself working on inaccurate data, making poor decisions that reduce the company’s profit potential. Similarly, systems simply not working means that the company can’t access any of its information, with tasks such as procurement becoming completely impossible.
An effective ERP runs consistently, integrating properly with other IT applications and providing a stable platform for a business to work from.
Bottlenecks refer to any individual part of a company’s processes that slow down the way it works, in the same way that the neck of a bottle slows down the way that water flows out of it. Some examples of bottlenecks in businesses include not having the raw materials necessary to make a product, employees not being available at certain times to work for the business and companies not having the money necessary to operate at a high enough standard.
ERP platforms let you know about the status of all resources a company uses, including labour availability, helping management staff plan and ensure that the company can operate at all times.
Staff hours are extremely valuable, especially if your members of staff are highly trained or you hired them because of an existing level of skill. Spending this time on menial tasks that can be done by absolutely anybody isn’t worth their time and is a drain on company resources.
ERP platforms can automate major parts of workflows, including completing basic accounting processes, following a sales funnel and carrying out purchasing and procurement processes for the business. People have more time available to do the tasks that require a higher level of skill and personalisation, which helps the company to remove another bottleneck, work more efficiently and improve both the standard and volume of its products.
Why Choose Eventura as your ERP Implementation Partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organisations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, including issues surrounding supply chain, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts to discuss your options or request a free demo, you can request a free call back here.