Features to Look for in ERP Platforms
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms are designed to incorporate and automate certain aspects of running a business. Different ERP platforms, however, support a wide range of different types of business activities, and packages often have completely different sets of features which sets them apart from other business accounting software suites. It is important for business to know what specific activities a particular platform is capable of achieving. Here are some features to look for in ERP platforms.
* Integrated finance and human resources features
The most useful ERP packages contain advanced features for tracking transactions at all levels of business operations. In doing so, these ERP packages allow business managers to get instant snapshots of the companies operations; this integration also allows businesses to run sophisticated analysis tools that can reveals ways to streamline operations. Further, many of these packages also allow businesses to handle human resource tasks through the same platform. Having a company’s payroll and investments can reduce the workload required for these tasks.
* Inventory management
Managing a company’s inventory takes a significant amount of time. Many ERP software platforms are capable of automatically tracking the sale of inventory instantly. Automatic inventory tracking can help a company reduce late nights of manually counting stock and filling out order forms. These platforms can give warnings about low inventory, and many are capable of automatically reordering necessary products.
* Customer relationship features
Many of these platforms allow companies to automate parts of customer relationship management. Each customer is given an individual account that stores his or her information. When the customer calls or enters the store, this information can be quickly recalled; some of these platforms can automatically show a customers’ information when they call. Some can even provide call center functionality in a unified, consistent package.
* Project management
Research has consistently shown that project management packages help a company operate more effectively. Dedicated software packages have been used to help companies manage projects in a structured, interactive manner, and many ERP packages are integrating these features. This tight integration allows companies to automatically make adjustments to their financial analyses.
The nature of how business is interactive with computers is changing. Many companies are using advanced network hardware and paradigms to store programs on a central server instead of on individual workstations, which allows workers to complete tasks while at home or on the road. Those who are running businesses that may wish to take advantage of these advanced features will want to ensure that their ERP platform is capable of supporting this functionality. Platforms that can incorporate new paradigms quickly are a better fit for most businesses.