For every company, there comes a moment when paperwork-based management turns into a liability. That’s when you know it’s time to consider a more high-tech approach to handling your resources: Enterprise Resource Planning software.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what ERP systems are, what they bring to the table, and how to develop them in a way that ensures your business gets the most out of the final product. So, let’s start from the beginning.
What is an ERP?
An ERP is a type of software that helps businesses manage their processes, including logistics, accounting, inventory management, HR management, and so on. It’s primarily meant to boost profits and operational efficiency by means of automation and keeping everything in one place.
As technologies progress, so does ERP software. The ERP solutions of today often employ AI and machine learning to further raise the effectiveness of their management tools. While there are ready-made ERP applications on the market, many organisations choose to hire an ERP development company to develop a custom solution that precisely caters to their business needs.
What are the benefits of getting an ERP?
Now that you know what an ERP system is, let’s talk about what it can do for your organisation.
- Improved efficiency. ERP helps your company save tons of time (and consequently, money) thanks to the automation of routine and repetitive tasks.
- Less paperwork. ERP makes generating reports much faster, and generally streamlines the process of submitting all kinds of paperwork.
- Data-driven decision making. ERPs facilitate more informed decision making by having all the relevant data easily accessible, on top of providing auto generated reports and analytics.
- Centralised information storage. Instead of being scattered across several different databases, all the data is conveniently gathered, processed, and stored in one place, which removes the need for regular checks and synchronisation.
- Compliance made simple. Every business must maintain regulatory compliance, and ERP systems help with that by keeping track of the latest industry regulations with built-in compliance features.
- Great scalability. ERP software is very flexible in adjusting to different kinds of situations, as the systems can be easily expanded and reduced depending on your needs.
- Superior collaboration. Having all data stored in one place ties the many departments together, even if they are kilometres apart. This makes for a more productive work environment, promoting fast and accurate communication.
- Enhanced customer service. ERP can greatly increase the quality of your customer relations with smart customer behaviour analysis, customer history, and all the order and service data available at the click of a button.
Suffice it to say, ERP systems are incredibly useful and are irreplaceable when it comes to managing sizable businesses. But the available market solutions won’t always have the exact array of features your company needs, which is why you may want to create an ERP system of your own. So, how does one do that?
How to develop an ERP?
Building an ERP system is a complex process that can nonetheless be broken down into a number of simple steps. Let’s start from the beginning.
Step 1. Carry out a goals and requirements analysis
To develop a high-quality product, you must have a concrete aim in mind. Try talking to different employees to figure out which tasks of theirs could be improved with an ERP system. Do industry research. This will help you solidify a set of goals and requirements for the project.
Step 2. Select a development partner
Your development partner can make or break the project. Consider your options very carefully, and go for reliable, industry-savvy companies. A good partner will always provide relevant guidance, advice, and, of course, high-quality service.
Step 3. Consider UX/UI design
The UX and UI of an ERP system should be informative and user-friendly. Explore what elements and features are common in ERP design and prepare a blueprint of your own – this will be very helpful when creating mockups and the final UI.
Step 4. Choose a technology stack
Step 5. Decide on the integrations
Third-party integrations are more or less unavoidable when creating an ERP solution. The services ERPs can connect with often include CRM, e-Commerce, customer service modules, office suites, and even other ERPs.
Step 6. Focus on communication
Over the course of the development process, you will have to regularly contact the development team to catch up on the latest updates and happenings in the project. Timely communication will help adapt to changing situations in a way that will minimise extra costs, so make sure to report all the changes in plans, deadlines, design, budget, and other features to the developers as soon as possible.
Step 7. Test the software
Before the product is released, it needs to be reviewed. Firstly, check if the ERP meets all the security, functionality, and integration requirements, as well as follows industry compliances. In addition to testing within the development company or your own organisation, you can employ focus groups to get a broader QA coverage.
Now that your solution is fully tested and compliant with industry standards, it’s ready to be released. While it may take some time to adapt to a new managerial system, the benefits will make themselves apparent very fast: you will enjoy smoother and more effective business processes, and your customers will appreciate a faster, better service.