21st Century ERP
This is the 1st blog in the three-part blog series titled, “21st Century ERP”, which consists of the following posts:
- Six Signs You Don’t Have a Modern ERP Solution
- 21st Century ERP Benefits
- Who in Your Business Would Benefit the Most from 21st Century ERP?
The Difference Between Old & Modern ERP
If you’re like most manufacturing and distribution companies, you’ve started out with a hodge podge of manual and siloed systems to manage your business. But workloads have grown. Your management can no longer see everything going on in the company.
- Vast quantities of information make decisions overwhelming.
- Manual business processes are cumbersome and time consuming.
- Documents get misplaced.
Answering questions such as—what is the cost of labor and materials for a particular product? Or, where an order is in the production line?—demand increasingly time-consuming research via email, voice mail, or walking to the shop floor. Important work falls through the cracks.
But new enterprise resource planning solutions address these issues and more. From financials, to manufacturing and distribution, modern ERP solutions encompass:
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Human resource management (HRM)
- Document management, workflow, automation and more
Helping you to automate manual business processes and transactions, enabling your team to react to business events without human error or delays. ERPs provide:
- Business data available in real time across your organization so you can make data-driven decisions
- Centralized creation, management and secure access to business documents
- Role-specific views ─each member of your team sees only relevant functionality needed for their particular role
Are You in Good Company?
In a recent webinar that Macola conducted, we took a poll that asked, “Would you consider your current ERP solution to be either “old ERP” or “new ERP?” The results were fascinating.
- 60% stated that they had “old ERP”
- 15% said they didn’t even have an ERP (“what ERP?”)
- 20% claimed they had a “new ERP” solution
Six Signs You Don’t Have a Modern ERP Solution
So where do you fall? If you’re not sure, and if your business is facing any of these six signs, then you might not be operating with a 21st century ERP solution…
1. Siloed Information
Because old ERP lacks integration capabilities, information becomes siloed. Lacking the ability to integrate departments in real time, companies become reliant on “sneakernet” to transmit information, physically taking it from department to department. This is not only inefficient—it can be a recipe for disaster if key information is overlooked or not relayed in a timely fashion.
2. Scattered Information
Because old ERP lacks a central repository, information is everywhere. There is a disconnect between the people who work in the offices and those who work in the shops. Some data is on laptops, while other information resides solely in people’s heads. The amount of information that can simply walk out the door at the end of the day is tremendous—and, potentially, very dangerous for your business.
3. Lost Tasks
Because old ERP often lacks an auditable process trail, you run the risk of losing track of tasks. Things get hung up or simply overlooked, and the next thing you know, it’s six months later and you realize that finance never approved the costs or the original drawings were never approved by engineering.
4. Accountability Issues
Finally, without an integrated system for tracking tasks and responsibilities in old ERP, there is a lack of accountability. When everyone assumes someone else is responsible for completing or following up on a task, it’s often the case that no one actually takes responsibility.
5. Lack of Real-Time Visibility into KPIs
When your data is stored in multiple disconnected systems, it’s difficult to keep your fingers on the pulse of your business. You need an army of people spending hours, days, even weeks pulling data out of different spreadsheets to create custom reports that answer questions such as:
- What’s my sales pipeline and forecast?
- What are my open accounts receivables?
- What’s the rate of inventory turns for a specific part?
Lack of visibility is a particular problem for executives with enterprise-wide responsibility. These executives need access to data about the performance of the entire company at a moment’s notice to answer a shareholder
question or make a strategic decision.
Information availability is a key benefit of enterprise business software. New ERP helps you to instantly create ad hoc reports to make informed decisions more rapidly. Personalized workspaces display all your key performance indicators in easily understandable charts and graphs. You can drill down to the underlying detailed data and interact with it in a contextual manner that supports immediate action. These workspaces are available from the web or mobile devices so you can access them anytime, anywhere.
As Jeromie Payne, Operations Manager for Glemco said, “looking at my dashboard, I see a potential conflict before the end of the month. I see it before my controller sees it in the month-end report. I see it as it comes up, which allows me to go after things in real-time fashion.”
6. Critical Information—Neither Automated Nor Integrated
Accounting software manages only financial records. It doesn’t handle projects, production, distribution, or CRM. For these and other tasks, spreadsheets, paper-based, or other siloed or homegrown systems, are often used. Since these activities aren’t integrated with your financial system, you end up entering the same data into multiple systems, which is time consuming and leads to mistakes.
For example, updating your books requires retyping data from purchasing, inventory and other systems into your general ledger. Enterprise business software automates all your business processes and functions including project management, distribution, quality management, accounting and finance, HRM, CRM and manufacturing.
Data entered into any of these modules is stored in a single repository that serves your entire enterprise. By eliminating the need to maintain separate systems and manually re-enter data into each one, you save time and slash your risk of error.
For example, when all of your business systems are integrated, your books become self-reconciling, which dramatically speeds the production of financial statements. Wayne Bailey, CIO for Reno Refractories made the following statement after implementing their Macola enterprise business software solution:
“We used to be 2-3 months behind on our financial statements. After implementing our ERP, we are now four days from closing our financial statements.” He also went on to say that “before implementation, all of our processes were disparate…post-implementation all of those issue just automatically went away because everything is centered and evolves around inventory management.”
To learn more about the new ERP benefits for Reno Refractories, please watch Wayne Bailey, CIO for Reno Refractories explain in his own words via Macola Customer Testimonial - Wayne Bailey, Reno Refractories, Inc.
If any of these signs apply to you, and you would like additional information regarding the benefits of new ERP, please learn more by downloading our free eBook, titled “ERP for the 21st Century”
Watch the On Demand Webinar: “Three Reasons to Stop Settling for Old ERP”
Also, please learn more about the benefits of new ERP by watching this on demand webinar, Three Reasons to Stop Settling for Old ERP.