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Many brands are starting to incorporate Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP systems) into their operations because of their capacity to streamline business operations and increase success. Integrating these systems into the workflow is necessary because it’s the only way to benefit from their efficiency. Think of it like an automation key that facilitates the flow of information from one department or business process to another. That way, there’s a clear understanding of the structure and objectives of the business.
One primary reason why businesses are opting for an ERP system integration is because of the system’s flexibility. So, what is an ERP system, and how do you integrate it into your business workflow?
This article covers all that and gives you the ultimate guide to ERP integration. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is An ERP System?
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is software incorporated into businesses to automate business operations. The streamlined business functions include sales, human resources, finance, and supply chain, to mention a few. Sometimes you can use an ERP system to automate specific business functions such as inventory and order processing for an e-commerce website.
Another specific business process that businesses across industries are automating using ERP systems is marketing. That is because it gives them access to customer activity to help them tailor their marketing efforts to grow their audience.
Therefore, ERP system integration entails connecting the software to other systems. How can you tell that your ERP system integration is effective? It’s simple. A seamless flow of information within your business signifies an effectively integrated ERP system.
A Guide To A Successful ERP Integration
Your business workflow differs from other businesses depending on your industry and the services you provide. Nonetheless, most companies follow the same path in ERP integration. Below is a guide to help you integrate an ERP system into your business workflow.
- Select An ERP System Integration That’s Compatible With Your Business
ERP systems are flexible, so you can modify them to suit your business needs. While it’s wise to consult the route other businesses are taking, don’t forget to factor in the differences in your business functions. For example, a textile company and a construction company will have very few similarities in terms of business operations. Besides providing different services, their financial expenditure and sales differ significantly.
Thus, make sure to select an ERP system integration that’s compatible with your business. Borrow from as many organizations as you need to and then use that information to make an informed decision. Additionally, consider the modifications required to facilitate effective ERP integration to ensure it’s the best fit for your business.
Further, consider standardizing data to make the implementation process less complex. It will also help you to avoid making misinformed decisions simply because of the poor quality of data. More importantly, be sure your ERP integration strategy includes long-term scalability and maintenance to prevent future surprises.
- Leverage P2P Software Or AP Automation Systems
P2P software is a distributed application design that facilitates file distribution between computer systems or ‘peers.’ On the other hand, AP automation software includes tools that allow accounts payable functions to be operated digitally instead of manually. Leveraging both these systems is critical because it enhances the efficiency of an ERP system. That is because gaps are inevitable despite the level of advancement of your selected ERP system.
- Hire Experts To Conduct The ERP Integration
Outsourcing ERP experts is your company’s best bet at having an effectively implemented ERP system. That is because they specialize in helping businesses like yours choose the best ERP integration methods within their budget. However, remember that having the right idea but the wrong execution can only get you so far. Therefore, remember to evaluate your expert’s level of experience and the outcomes of their previous integration projects when considering your options.
More importantly, make sure their rates are within your business’s budget. Having a successfully integrated ERP system would be pointless if your company had gone bankrupt from the implementation.
- Notify Your Employees About The ERP Integration
Your employees are central to your business workflow. Therefore, if your ERP system is going to enter into this workflow, your employees must be informed. Let them know the kind of change they should expect and show them how to navigate it.
While it’s human nature to resist change, it’s also likely that informing them of imminent change will earn you points. On the one hand, your employees will feel appreciated and valued and are more likely to welcome the change. On the other hand, your employees are well versed in your business processes. It makes them valuable in the ERP integration process as they can collaborate with the ERP experts to facilitate seamless implementation.
- Avoid Rushing The ERP Integration Process
Rushing the ERP integration process will only hurt your business. For example, implementing an ERP system based on another organization’s track record doesn’t guarantee a similar outcome. It is mainly the case if your business has different needs from that of the said organization.
Similarly, you cannot implement an ERP system merely for the sake of it. You need to know why your business needs it and what impact you want it to have on your business functions. Understanding this will also help you discover possible gaps that it may leave unfilled so you can find alternative software to back up your ERP system. For example, can your intended ERP system cover accounting functions, or will you need AP automation software?
Therefore, rushing your ERP system integration is risky, and you should avoid it at all costs. Instead, take time to formulate an implementation plan. Some of the factors to consider when designing your plan are:
- The kind of modifications you’ll need to make the ERP system integrate seamlessly with your business operations
- Other systems you may need to incorporate alongside an ERP system
- Possible gaps in the system and alternative tools you can use to fill them
Doing this will make work easier for your hired ERP experts and streamline the integration.
The ERP system integration increases a brand’s capacity to succeed because of the software’s ability to automate business operations. You can tell your ERP system integration is effective if the flow of information within your business is seamless. If you’ve been wondering how to integrate an ERP system into your business workflow, first select an ERP system integration that is compatible with your business. You also need to leverage P2P or AP automation software and hire experts to conduct the ERP integration, among other steps detailed in the article. So, what are you waiting for? Today is a good day to start.