In a previous post, we introduced the topic of Enterprise Resource Plans/Planning (ERP). ERP is a variety of software that links all of the different computer systems used by various departments in your company together in a single program. ERPs, implemented correctly and with attention to the needs of your specific entity, can streamline your business, cut fat from the budget and save your core team a number of headaches that can emerge from the problem of running different systems simultaneously.
ERP software works by sorting the different functions into what are called “modules” so they can be implemented conveniently, by stages according to the needs of the entity. You might find sales/customer relations module, a production module, a supply chain module, a credit and financing module, and an overall management module. This post introduces some of the basic modules that can help you to think about what you want broadly from an ERP as you try to find one that fits the requirements of your entity.
Supply Chain Management
ERP software was originally developed for use in the manufacturing sector. Supply and logistics is still a major need that many companies turn to ERP to help them handle. A supply chain management module handles the flow of products from manufacturer to consumer and vice versa. This gives you visibility into the entire supply chain, from factory and warehouse to shipping and delivery.
Regardless of whether your entity is in manufacturing or a business line that’s completely different, it will have employees, and a Human Resources department and managers to handle them. An HR module is a component of many ERPs that helps you manage employee information by tracking their designations, training and skills, performance and attendance. Frequently, an HR module has a sub-module for the payroll to give a bird’s-eye view of salaries, payment reports, and things like travel expenses and reimbursement.
Finance & Accounting
ERPs have a finance and accounting module to enable you to take better control of your budget. This simplifies reporting to shareholders (as well as the IRS!). The expenditures, balance sheet, account ledgers, taxes, receipts, bank statements and overall budgeting may be found within the finance and accounting module.
Through a Customer Relations module in your ERP, you’ll be able to manage your entity’s customer service from one screen and one click. It contains all of the details on your customers that your business collects and stores, such as the details of each individual purchase or the duration of a contract. It can also help you to track and manage the history of your communications with individual customers that can summarize the essentials of each call or in-person meeting through a report builder.
Lastly, none of this would fit together if there weren’t a place in the ERP that brings it all together for your leadership. Think about this like the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s concept of the Panopticon. Although each department uses a certain module of the ERP depending on its needs, all of these can be recorded, accessed and managed effectively by your board or senior management, which has a view into all of them. The whole point of an ERP is to integrate all of your core business functions. The operations management module is the center of the system, or the center of the Panopticon from which your leadership can easily acquire the overall view of your business development.
Implementing an effective ERP will make a world of difference in how your entity operates, saving money, time and (mental health-wise) a large number of headaches in the long term. Whether your needs are for an ERP tailored to a specific industry or business model, or you need a more open and flexible platform, Blueprint OneWorld’s entity management software, which is brought to you by Diligent, allows you to build ERPs and remain on the cutting edge of ERP development for your board, leaders and other teams.
Our solutions offer a means of sharing information across the huge variety of board operations, communications and entity management. We hope to be your first entry point to develop a safe and effective strategy that incorporates the management of your resources across your whole entity. Please call or email us to discuss this and our other solutions.