In the Dynamics Feed community, we spend all day immersed in the world of Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP and NAV. For those new to the world of ERP, even the concept of ERP can be alienating. So, we’ve decided to define ERP in this simple guide.
While acronyms can seem daunting, ERP quite simply refers to Enterprise Resource Planning. But what does that actually mean? To unpack the terms, ERP can be defined as automation and integration of a company’s core business to help them focus on effective management through streamlining.
So the term ERP might come straight out of the IT industry jargon handbook, but enterprise resource planning is actually a business term born out of a requirement for business streamlining.
Producing a detailed enterprise resource planning strategy will put you in good stead. Whether you’re a new start-up looking to develop a workflow that is futureproof and prepared for expansion, or you’re a more well-developed company ready to implement a company streamlining process that will help you reduce your overheads and increase visibility.
Of course, having a plan for your enterprise resource planning is only part of the solution. Equally as import as your plan is your software implementation. In other words, that’s where business meets IT. So how can ERP systems help your business? They can actually drive huge improvements in your company by:
- Helping you to define new business processes and ensuring they’re complied with throughout your supply chain;
- Creating well-defined roles and security access to help you protect your critical business data;
- Providing you with accurate forecasting of your existing and future orders to enable you to plan your workload;
- Provide you with the tools to facilitate a high level of customer service;
- Create better decision-making potential through strong data visualisation.
Using ERP Software to Create New Business Processes
Imagine you’re running a steel works business and you need to have clear, accurate data over how each aspect of the steel’s journey – from manufacturing to delivering – is operating. An ERP solution could provide data on important criteria like time, weight, material etc., helping the company to make more intelligent decisions over their processes.
Solving Security with Your ERP System
ERP systems aren’t just ways to get visibility over your company, they can help you determine who – out of your team – require access to which parts of the business.
Ultimately, you want to protect your business data to ensure you have a strong company foundation, and this means giving different groups of people different levels of access. An ERP system facilitates this.
Using an ERP to Provide Amazing Customer Service
Now, more than ever, customers expect the best in service. This means getting products and services to them in the way they asked for it, and in the time frames they require it in. ERP systems are perfect for helping to deliver this.
They generate insight based on your customers’ previous experiences with your company, and they help you make decisions that will positively impact on them in the future. This means that every interaction will be a strong one.
Decision-Making Power That Transforms Your Business
The best businesses are those that are fluid, flexible and dynamic. They don’t just sit there while their competitors and the world around them change. Likewise, if their data is telling them that some particular aspect about their business isn’t working, they don’t just rest on their laurels. Instead, they adapt and change, using all the data available to them.
A solid ERP implementation will help to generate the analytics that business leaders and technologists require to make those important strategic decisions.
Introducing Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics NAV
There are plenty of ERP platforms to choose from when you’re looking to build an ERP solution that’s right for your business’s needs. At Dynamics Feed, we’re naturally mostly interested with Microsoft Dynamics tools, and therefore Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV.
Both are fantastic ERP solutions. The main distinction to make is that Dynamics AX is mainly used by mid-large companies and organisations, whereas NAV is mainly used by start-ups and SMEs.
Hopefully, you’re now more aware of the ins-and-outs of ERPs and ERP software like Dynamics AX and NAV. If you think you’re ready to employ a Dynamics AX or NAV professional, visit our Microsoft Dynamics Jobs Board.