Managing resources across an enterprise-level company can be an incredibly complex process, but it doesn’t have to be. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) methodologies can be put into place to streamline the flow of information across different departments, but only with the right enterprise resource management tools. Read on to find out what these ERP tools are and how they can benefit modern businesses.
What ERP Systems Need to Accomplish
ERP systems can be composed of different software solutions and tools, but in order to be effective, they need to accomplish a few functional goals. These goals include:
- Creating a unified system that works across multiple departments
Implementing access controls
Creating common databases
Reporting key real-time data
Customization and scalability
There are many ways to accomplish these goals, and there’s no one solution that’s right for every business. The best way to find a system that accomplishes all of the company’s functional goals is to check out the options and compare over at TEC.
Types of Tools Integrated Into ERP Systems
Because enterprise-level workflows tend to be complex, ERP systems typically integrate multiple tools and applications. The types of tools required of an ERP system will vary based on the size of the company, its industry, and the complexity of its workflows, but they often include:
Information Management Tools
The backbone of any ERP system is information management. Data storage and analysis needs vary by industry, so it’s usually best to find software solutions designed for a specific type of company. The database can be hosted locally, managed remotely, centralized, or cloud-based. The key is that they ensure the seamless transfer of information across departments.
Workflow Management Tools
ERP systems usually contain multiple data repositories and modules. The company’s workflow is the logically defined sequence of actions that moves data through different modules, repositories, and company departments. All ERP solutions should include clearly defined workflows with integrated access controls.
Report generation offers management personnel, department heads, team leaders, and ordinary employees the ability to access whatever data they need to perform essential tasks. Reporting dashboards typically vary based on employees’ access levels, but they offer easy access to the real-time data required to perform key tasks or make business decisions.
Communication is the key to managing system workflows across multiple departments, so it should come as no surprise that ERP systems always feature tools such as instant messaging, chats, general broadcast features, and action-based automated mail generation. It should also be possible to integrate additional communication tools as needed.
Analytical tools usually get grouped into business intelligence systems. However, they should be easily integrated into ERP solutions, as well. Data analysis is the backbone of informed decision-making, and it often requires multiple department heads to have access to real-time information.
Resource Allocation Tools
Many ERP systems also integrate resource allocation or task scheduling tools. Companies working in labor-intensive industries usually focus more on task scheduling, while manufacturers and vendors might be more focused on resource allocation. Either way, these tools should offer the ability for supervisors to manually intervene in cases where tasks are delayed.
Find the Best Solution
There is no one-size-fits-all ERP solution. Organizational leaders need to consider their companies’ needs before comparing options to ensure that all of them will be met.