When you run a small or enterprise-level business, you face many daily challenges to ensure that it operates smoothly and efficiently. With larger organisations, you can delegate some of your responsibilities. However, the buck will often stop with you, so you still want some insight and oversight into those responsibilities.
Of course, in the modern digital era, many tools and processes can help make things a lot easier. These tools don’t mean you can nip off to the pub early. Still, they can vastly reduce stress and workload and make operations more efficient than before, especially when it comes to using machine learning to identify search intent.
One tool you may already use is enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. One of the significant advantages of ERP software is that there is a long list of ERP modules you can choose to implement according to your needs which can help when creating an efficient data pipeline. How can these different modules help your business? We look at the main list of ERP modules to see what benefits they can bring.
What is ERP?
ERP software is a management tool that allows any size and type of business to manage a range of everyday operations. These can vary from inventory control to accounting. The idea behind ERP software is that it brings together all your main business processes in one place and allows a flow of data between those processes. It can be a crucial cornerstone of any digital transformation strategy.
If you opt for a complete ERP suite, that will include enterprise performance management. This tool lets you oversee financial aspects of your business, from planning and budgeting to predicting financial results to producing financial reports. However, let’s assume you are just embarking on your ERP journey; what is a good list of ERP modules to consider?
What are ERP modules?
ERP modules are components of your ERP package that are designed to carry out specific tasks as part of your overall ERP program. They can automate different tasks while working together so that your ERP is a central repository of all relevant data. By implementing a list of ERP modules that are right for your business, you can see dramatic increases in operational efficiency.
A list of ERP modules to consider in your ERP suite
While ERP systems may differ in basic functions, think of them as a foundation for managing various aspects of your business. Your priorities may vary greatly and could include looking at modules that track and analyse ESG performance data to modules that monitor your supply chain.
An accounting module can be one of your key choices regarding ERP. It can analyze and manage every financial aspect of your business, from your current financial health in real time to predictions of future economic performance over different periods. It can also keep close track of what invoices have been settled, which are still outstanding, and when they are due to be paid.
Finance modules allow you to store all relevant documents, such as any commercial proposal, where they are easily accessible. They can also create those crucial documents, such as tax statements and balance sheets. Your module can automate those repetitive tasks such as monthly billing and settling outgoing payments. With in-depth, real-time analysis, it is simple for your teams to prepare financial reports of any type.
It doesn’t matter whether your business works in manufacturing, wholesale, or retail; you need a regular and reliable supply of goods or raw materials. Any breakdown in that supply chain can cause a bottleneck in your operations, ultimately leading to financial losses.
A procurement module can manage any part of the procurement process. You can use it to create a list of preferred vendors and link them to the products or materials they supply. It can track and analyse quote requests and, when those quotes are agreed, it can pass all info to relevant departments such as your warehouse and can update inventory details when orders are completed.
3. Inventory management
Knowing precisely what your inventory levels are can be a key factor for most businesses. It’s not just a case of knowing how many SKUs (stock-keeping units) you have but where they are located. If you operate in multiple locations, knowing and managing your inventory can be essential when it comes to order fulfillment.
An inventory management module will integrate closely with your procurement module so that you have an accurate, real-time oversight of what’s going out and what’s coming in. It means that you know that you have enough inventory to fulfill orders and that you avoid both over- and understock scenarios. In many cases, you can also use this module to track other factors such as purchase and sales orders as well as dispatched orders.
4. CRM (customer relationship management)
People like personal service, and a CRM module is a perfect way to help give them what they want. This module can store all information about your clients/customers, from previous transaction histories to geographical location. This means that any time there is interaction with customers, your staff can see that historical data and move straight to the reason for the call.
It doesn’t matter how much data you have; you can utilise services such as Azure data lake services so that it’s securely stored, easily accessible, and available for in-depth analytics. This module can greatly benefit leads and sales opportunities as it can help your team see who may be open to marketing or cross-selling.
5. Human resources
A little more advanced than a workforce management module, this is ideal for storing and accessing info on all your staff. It can hold all relevant personal info, such as date of employment commencing, emergency contacts, etc., but also employment history, contracted hours, holidays due, and any disciplinary notes.
HR has always been an area of operations open to human error when using manual data input on spreadsheets. An HR ERP module is an ideal solution on any list of ERP modules as it reduces the chances of inaccuracies and can send all relevant data directly to your finance or payroll department.
If you do any significant level of marketing, then it is worth considering a marketing module. It can help automate a number of your marketing tasks, including running and analysing campaigns across any channels you use, including social media. You can set it up to schedule email marketing and SMS messages to all the customers on your mailing list.
You can also utilise the module’s advanced segmentation options, so that marketing messages are only sent to those customers identified as relevant to that message. Of course, the module will also analyse and report on campaign effectiveness and generate reports so you can see how well your marketing efforts are working. This module can help you generate more leads, boost sales, and increase customer retention and loyalty.
If your organisation is involved in ecommerce, whether B2C or B2B, then a specialised ERP module will offer an ideal solution. It can help you manage any platforms you use to sell products and makes it simple to add new products, update product info and pricing, and can even make it easy to change platform layout if necessary.
As with other modules, the beauty lies in the integration with other modules and your ERP as a whole. You can do this with various different tools or a single solution such as the SageMaker API. This means that all the info and data you would ever need is collected together in a single, easily-accessible database.
When you are a business leader, it can sometimes appear daunting when you look at the wide array of tools, systems, and other resources available to you. From the best product management books to automated systems, how can you choose which ones are most suitable for you and your organisation?
No matter how big your business or the sector you operate in, enterprise resource planning software is something you should consider. Which modules you decide upon depends on your business needs and type, but the ones in our list of ERP modules are perhaps the most commonly used and valuable to most organisations.
It’s not just about making life easier for you and your staff; it’s about increasing accuracy and efficiency while freeing up team members to focus on more critical tasks. When chosen carefully – and implemented properly – you should see dramatic increases in all aspects of your operations as well as better financial performance.