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Business Benefits of ERP

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Benefits of Business Process Automation

 

Business Process Automation (BPA) is about driving out the repetitive ‘logical’ tasks from your business. It helps people to perform their roles better, with more insight and attention. By automating what is definable, you take away much of the mundane tasks involved within each role; allowing fewer people to look after more. This helps you to grow your business volume, without a related growth in head count.

 

Business Process Automation (BPA) is also about ensuring that things are not forgotten or left on people’s desks. With mobile devices is it also allows for individuals to be able to be part of the process (Approvals, for example) while they are out of the office.

 

Speeding up the way you do business and avoiding stacks of requests building up while people are away from their desks. Our solutions allow for Business Process Automation (BPA) in different ways and to different levels.

 

Business Process Automation – All under one roof

 

One of the most effective ways of improving the automation of your business is to introduce an Enterprise resource Planning (ERP) solution (sometimes referred to as Business Process Management (BPM) solutions).

 

ERP solutions join all your departments and processes into a single solution. This ensures that your core data users (Such as Order Processing, Finance, Warehouse, production, etc.) all work from the same information and each process leads onto the next in a predictable way.

 

ERP creates business process automation by ensuring that all your information is held centrally. This ensures that all transactions and data flow from one department to the next. Ensuring that users work together effectively, know what is going on and do not miss key tasks.

 

The benefit is that everyone ‘is on the same page’ and the natural flow of information is automated, with people still involved with the decision making and the application of common sense.

 

Our solutions (such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics CRM) allow for flexibility within these processes so you are not forced to work under someone else’s business logic. Together with our expert knowledge, we can ensure you get a system that works from day one and will continue to work as your business changes.

 

However, ERP and CRM have historically only been used by a small subsection of users (some analysis shows as low as 5% – 15% of staff use the data in your ERP Systems). So to automate your business processes fully, this really needs to be extended to all staff involved in using data to make decisions (including your Warehouse Staff and Mobile workforce). There are several reasons for this low adoption, most notably being the cost of an ERP users and training involved is seen as being too high.

 

Business Process Automation – Extending the user base

 

As mentioned above, achieving a companywide improvement under ERP business process automation can leave many people out of the loop. This reduces the return on your investment as not enough people are benefitting from the reliable, up to date and “connected” data that is held in these systems.

Mobile Access to the data in your ERP system extends its reach and increased the benefits and return on investment. There are three general ways to extend this reach:

 

Web Portals

Here occasional or ‘light’ users can view and update information from your ERP system, from a Web Portal such as Microsoft SharePoint. Here the user pricing is typically much lower and the users become part of the process that the company needs.

 

Now, business process automation is extended to a much wider audience and you dictate what the user can see. The user does not need to be an employee of the company as Web Portal solutions readily adapt to include partners in the supply chain and (sub) contractors.

 

Warehouse Bar Code Devices

Bar Code devices help business process automation by providing your warehouse team with clear instructions that are typically route optimised. It ensures that your orders are accurately picked so you have fewer re-picks and returns (reducing workload as a result).

 

Using Bar Code Devices also makes planning actions easier as you can sequentially send instructions to the person you want to carry out the task via their device.

 

With Wi-Fi connectivity, the warehouse team can carry out their operations without having to ‘dock’ their devices after every task. It also provides a real time view of what is happening, so customer services can give your customers accurate feedback about their orders.

 

Mobile Workforce (e.g. your sales force)

By extending your ERP and CRM data out to your mobile work force (typically the sales force and engineers) you ensure people outside of the office are involved in the routine business processes – almost as if they were at their desks.

 

Automating business processes to this extent makes sure your mobile teams are involved with what is happening with your customers, without additional processes (e.g. having to call up your customer services team, etc.).

 

A Mobile Workforce also provides your customers with much better service. Customers get more information, know that they are discussing details with someone that is up to speed and can get orders processed ‘here and now’.

 

Orders that are submitted to the office are treated as any other (or can go through additional steps) and can therefore be e-mail to the customer just like any other order; giving a consistent, professional feel for your business as a whole.

 

 

 

 

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