While the economy trudges on, we see a sharper focus on areas of business that get a high return on investment. Businesses are asking for tools to help them make better decisions,increase their sales and cash flow in a fiercely competitive market. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can be the answer for many of these companies. Here are the ways that ERP addresses your top 5 business concerns.

1. Strong Decision Making. Making decisions is a difficult part of running a business. You need the latest data at your fingertips to decide what product lines stay and which ones go, how you can reduce your expenses or where you should expand. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software holds a massive amount of data about your business but it is not valuable unless you can interpret it. Reports can give you visibility into your business in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer to see a list of numbers or a dynamic dashboard, those options are available to you. The great news is that you can do most of the reporting without hiring a report writer. The latest ERP software gives even the newest users the capability to create a dashboard that displays the information they are seeking.

2. Increased Sales. Leads come into your funnel through your sales and marketing efforts but you don’t always know what happens to them once they have been entered. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, in conjunction withERP, allows you to create a lead and then track it throughout the sales process.Most CRM software has customizable sales cycles so that your sales and marketing team can check as each step of it is completed. Once a sale has been made, the ERP system can link to CRM and display outstanding sales orders and quotes without leaving CRM.

3. Inventory Control. Losing inventory through theft or simple data entry errors can cost a distribution or manufacturing company thousands of dollars each year.Today’s ERP has advanced inventory control options that record information about the item and its ideal placement in the warehouse. When a new item is set-up, enter the item number, UPC number, units of measure and various costs and prices, then decide on a few bin locations. Once the data has been entered, handheld units can be deployed with warehouse automation software. This software is linked to your ERP system and has the ability to track what is received and where it is put-away.Each item and bin location is scanned as it is shipped to verify that your employee is shipping the right item from the right location. Inventory accuracy can jump to 99% once a warehouse automation system is deployed.

4. Staying Competitive. Knowledge is power where competition is concerned. ERP can give you mission critical insights into your business as a whole. When each department is on a disparate system, it can take weeks to assemble a consolidated data set. With ERP, you can view the effect of a new competitor with a few clicks of a mouse. Analyze product sales and trends on a daily basis and you will see what changes can be made to beat out your competition.

5. Increasing Cash Flow. Once an order is invoiced, the time to payment is critical. ERP can help you increase the speed of collection by integrating credit card processing, giving you the ability to accept checks over the phone and auto-emailing your customers as a due date approaches. By giving your customers a variety of ways to pay, you avoid the “check is in the mail” response and speed up cash flow.

Is your ERP meeting these requirements for you? If not, take advantage of our free consultation to see what your best options are.