The democratization of digital technologies has empowered more businesses to access international markets and supply chains like never before. With so much competition, businesses stuck in traditional ways of doing things are bound to be left behind. Organizations that want to succeed in this novel, ultra-competitive climate need to tap into modern finance systems through technologies that facilitate efficient internal processes.
For most organizations, and especially for banks and others in the financial services industry, investing in cloud-enabled enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology is a good first step toward achieving sustainable growth and competitiveness in a global market. Today’s ERP platforms distills best practices and methodologies from older software while also leveraging advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to give businesses a wide range of efficiency and data management benefits. They also make it easier for organizations to manage multiple business units across different regions.
1. Reduced Labor Requirements
ERPs enable smaller businesses to have resource management capabilities on a par with those of larger businesses. Reports, data consolidation, compliance, risk management, profitability analyses, cross-border financing, payrolls, and other business areas can be streamlined with the data automation provided by these systems. This automation empowers smaller teams to handle bigger workloads with more precision. This can become key if businesses want to bring down overheads and manage the costs of expanding the organization.
2. Expanded Reporting and Forecasting Capabilities
Technology-enabled reporting and forecasting have been around for decades. However, they were often limited by the amount of computing power available as well the need for on-site hosting. As a result, report and forecast generation was often slow or had a narrow scope, reducing their utility for reducing risks.
Modern ERPs have solved most of these problems, thanks in large part to advances in AI and ML capabilities, in addition to now having a cloud-based architecture and enabling system-wide integration. Reports and forecasts can be requested and delivered in moments, with the data from these drawn from any source that could be linked to the system. These capabilities enable businesses to significantly reduce their risks and quickly identify opportunities in close to real-time.
3. Increased Data Visibility
New generation ERPs can help businesses eliminate data silos by providing a single source of truth, allowing data to become immediately available to whichever business unit requires it. This removes bottlenecks in regular business processes, making it possible for teams to concentrate on productivity rather than on data consolidation and interdepartmental requests.
4. Easy User Configuration
Traditional onsite systems were often heavily customized to suit a business’s operations. However, these customizations often ended up being problematic in the long term, especially if the team responsible for the customization has attrited and new users would be onboarded.
Cloud-based ERP solutions tend to offer a wide variety of configuration and personalization options out of the box, all without the need for in-depth software customization. Aside from working flawlessly, these personalizations are also generally covered by vendor support, which means the business will be able to maximize the system regardless of who is in the organization.
5. Improved Operations Scalability
Cloud-based ERPs make it possible for businesses to easily scale their operations up or down as needed. With modern ERPs, businesses do not need to add a significant amount of equipment or labor for gains in capability. At the same time, they’re not saddled with redundant capacity and the associated maintenance costs should the business need to scale back.
The AI and automation capabilities of ERPs also offer organizations affordable ways to scale up in other areas. For instance, many ERPs also have customer relationship management (CRM) functions. These can help businesses become smarter when it comes to allocating resources for improving the overall customer experience without having to hire more people or add additional systems. These scale advantages could be seen wherever an ERP provides process and input efficiencies.
6. Easier Standardization for All Business Units
Process standardization is key to efficiency across an entire organization. However, it can be difficult to ensure this for organizations with multiple business units spread out across different geographic areas.
Having a cloud-based ERP eliminates much of the need to do tedious process audits for multiple sites, as all business units will be using one platform for all their operations. This not only helps streamline processes but also helps the organization have a more unified and synergistic culture grounded in collaboration and data sharing.
7. Better Flexibility
Businesses that adopt modern ERPs can benefit from much-improved organizational flexibility and resilience. Because ERPs reduce the need for manual inputs, cut the time needed to complete different processes, and improve data visibility, organizations are freer to move towards the directions they need to capture market shares and mitigate risk. This ultimately improves the ability of a business to survive market volatility.
It’s Time to Switch to a Better ERP Solution
ERP systems are critical for any business that wants to remain relevant and profitable through the 2020s. They are also key for any institution that wants to update to a modern finance system to take advantage of current trends in cross-border trade. Fortunately, these systems have come a long way, especially in terms of cost and capability. This means even small businesses can now enjoy the capabilities and economies of scale that only an ERP could provide.
Given the low cost of entry and the numerous operational and strategic benefits promised by modern ERP systems, organizations should seriously consider adopting one, particularly if their current solutions are still facilitated onsite. When implemented carefully, having an updated enterprise-level solution is one of the more obvious tools a business can employ to thrive in today’s global markets.