After about a decade of discovering the benefits of using cloud-based systems, many businesses in Connecticut and the rest of the country have adopted multiple cloud tools to help with their business processes.
Any that may have been lagging behind were certainly pushed over to cloud tools due to the pandemic. The sudden “stay at home” orders had companies scrambling to put a technology infrastructure in place that could run their business remotely.

However, even though a company is using multiple cloud tools it doesn’t mean that their digital cloud transformation is over. Several business owners have found that they are using too many tools that don’t integrate and that they may not have chosen the best apps for their needs. As a company grows, their needs often change and this results in the need for different apps to support the new structure.

Between IT networking, customer service and communications apps, out of control cloud subscription costs is a common complaint.

The average business with 51-100 employees uses 79 cloud applications.

The rush to adopt cloud tools resulted in inefficient use of the cloud for multiple organizations. The average employee uses 8 different cloud apps in their work and even small businesses with less than 50 employees average 40 different cloud apps.

One of the answers for streamlining and integrating cloud use is to use an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

What is an ERP System?

An ERP system is one large cloud platform that incorporates tools that can handle processes for multiple areas of your operations. You can think of it as buying a “package” instead of sourcing individual pieces that may or may not work together.

If an ERP tool was a vacation, it would be the package that included your flight, hotel, meals, attraction tickets, etc. rather than purchasing each item separately and dealing with multiple vendors. 

Enterprise resource planning platforms can vary by vendor, but most will come with tools that cover technology processes for these areas of a business:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM’s)
  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Sales
  • Procurement
  • Production/Manufacturing
  • Distribution/Shipping
  • Inventory Management

The Benefits of Using an ERP Platform

Using a package of cloud tools instead of an à la carte method can have several advantages that impact cost and efficiency:

Improved User Productivity

If users have to learn several different cloud platforms that each have their distinct own user interface, it can slow them down when they are switching from one to another and cause confusion.

However, with an ERP system each tool in the platform is designed with a cohesive user interface. This means employees are learning one main system that translates to the different tools they use. This can speed up their daily processes and make new employee onboarding faster. It also helps decrease the amount of employee turnover because they have what they need to do the job properly and it is user friendly.

Lower Costs for Cloud Tools

Just like any package you purchase, you are going to pay less than if you bought each component separately. That is the case with ERP systems as well.

Rather than paying for multiple cloud subscriptions for a variety of different tools, all your tools are included in a single monthly fee that will typically be less than subscribing to the same cloud apps separately.

Choose What You Want – Scalability

Some users shy away from an ERP platform because they think it is going to have far too many things that they don’t need and they will end up paying for applications that are not pertinent to their business.

ERP systems are designed to allow you to add on modules as you need them. For example, you may not need applications that facilitate warehousing and distribution right now. In that case, you can just leave that module off your plan.

However, if you decide to begin warehousing and shipping next year, it can easily be added onto your subscription. You can scale the applications to your needs.

Shared Database & Integration

Approximately 45% of paid manual processes can be automated with the right technology.

Some of the efficiency roadblocks companies face when they are using applications from different vendors are:

  • Difficulty integrating/connecting the tools for automation
  • Having to rekey data from one app into another
  • Not having all customer data in a single place
  • Duplicate processes happening in different cloud tools 

One of the biggest efficiency benefits of using an ERP is that each tool can access a shared central database of information. This reduces the need to enter the same data in two different tools. It also makes automation between apps seamless because they are already natively integrated.

Improved Customer Experience

If your sales team is using one type of software and your customer support team is using another, disconnects can negatively impact customer experience. 

For example, you can have a salesperson call a customer to follow up on a recent sale who does not realize that customer has called in earlier that day with a complaint that needs to be addressed.

33% of customers say their biggest support frustration is having to repeat themselves to multiple support staff.

When all applications in your ERP system are accessing a shared database of customer accounts, that means any contact logged into a CRM is instantly shared with a Sales platform as well as an accounting or shipping record for that customer.

This streamlines your customer communications and improves your customers’ experience with your company.

Improve Your Processes and Strengthen Your Bottom Line

Sound Computers can help your business solve “cloud overload” and streamline your processes for efficiency and productivity.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.

June 22, 2020
Steven Nuhn