Of the many disruptions that are a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most devastating has been the disruption to business activities. Small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) as well as large businesses have struggled to stay open and to recoup severe losses. In the aftermath, it’s evident that both need a new approach to becoming successful in the “new normal.”
Now that customers are more careful about where they go, as well as how they spend their money, what kind of paradigm shift should businesses adopt? What investments should businesses rightfully prioritize in order to return to a growth mindset?
One investment that should prove worthwhile is the acquisition of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. But this shouldn’t be the same as the slow, expensive, and cumbersome technologies of the past. Businesses should pursue digital ERP systems, which are streamlined and capable of handling business tasks from anywhere by virtue of their cloud features.
These modern ERP solutions also sport greater interoperability and speed, and they are better at handling large swathes of business data. Software like this will ultimately allow business managers and their staff to be more agile and operate the business in a more lightweight manner. In the new normal, this added flexibility and willingness to adapt to the changing business environment will count for a lot.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s still unsure of the idea, here’s a treatise on how a reliable ERP system can help your business survive in a post-pandemic setting. Below are the details on what the implementation will entail and how that said implementation will benefit your business.
Adapting Key Processes for the Era of Social Distancing and Remote Work
One of the most practical reasons to onboard new ERP software pertains to added ease in adapting key business processes for the post-COVID-19 era. Long after the initial outbreak, many stakeholders will want to remain on the safe side by practicing social distancing. In addition, they may have seen the advantages of remote work and therefore elect to keep some business processes either fully remote or doable in a hybrid environment.
If implemented correctly, cloud-based ERPs will support this kind of ethos and allow employers, their staff, their third-party contractors, and other stakeholders to do their job. For example, a cloud-based ERP system can assist a manufacturer in overseeing digital supply chain management for their company. Even if decision-makers aren’t physically present at key locations like ports and factories, they will still be able to course-correct and account for raw materials or finished products in real time. If you work in manufacturing and want to retain both thoroughness and safety in your processes, a cloud-based ERP system will serve you well.
Harnessing the Power of Automation
Another benefit that you will receive upon upgrading your ERP for the new normal is enhanced automation capabilities. Your ERP may allow you to automate accounting, bookkeeping, procurement, and HR functions so that staff in remote work environments can become even more efficient at these.
It’s important that you realize that a modern ERP solution will empower your business staff and highlight their human capabilities, rather than render them obsolete. In fact, increased reliance on automation technologies may actually free up their mental bandwidth and improve the quality of their performance in their day-to-day functions. When you implement a new ERP solution, make sure your staff are in the picture. Orient them about how they can harness these automation technologies for work in face-to-face, remote, or hybrid settings, and then train them to use the ERP software properly.
Reducing Costs Using New Technologies
In the post-pandemic era, there’s no denying how much money businesses have lost. Each succeeding cost will bear heavily on the company’s budget. It should, therefore, be the goal of your business to cut down on your expenses, especially in aspects like overtime pay, hardware, electricity, and IT support.
Luckily, a good ERP solution can address these issues by driving up your overall business efficiency. With it, you and your staff will be able to make necessary adjustments to cycle times, shear down unnecessary overhead costs, and earn more for your business simply by working smart. This kind of approach will do more than keep money in the company coffers. It will gain long-term value for your business in the years to come.
Enhancing Your Project Management and Reporting Skills
Lastly, a well-implemented ERP system will also allow you and your employees to master tasks related to project management and financial reporting. You can choose to add on ERP modules that will track project milestones and deadlines, as well as modules that can consolidate numbers on the business’s budget, losses, and revenues.
Thanks to the ERP, you and your staff will be able to see how well you’re doing in terms of meeting both your long-term and your short-term targets. You will eventually develop better decision-making skills using real-time data and more powerful data management and analytics facilities. Moreover, you will gain a clear-headed vision about how to manage your business immediately after a time of crisis. This is definitely something that you and your stakeholders all need.
Conclusion: ERPs for the Business Environment of the Future
Whether your business will utilize a new ERP solution for ecommerce or for a hybridized setup including onsite and online operations, it will prove to be a good investment. All of these scenarios will involve doing business in an even more challenging post-pandemic environment. But thanks to your implementation of a modern ERP, your company will become more adaptable and will soon be on track to pursuing growth again.