Sustainable business planning (with ERP systems)


ERP systems are the future of sustainable business planning. Enterprise resource planning might be three little words, but they contain within them a world of business stability and growth opportunities. For those new to ERP, let’s take a moment to break it down before we move on.

Your business is a business. This business has resources (even if your business is currently located in a back room, your business devices and your website – and the office you work from – are all resources). When you can make resource projections, you can plan the sourcing of all materials, monitor their usage (including waste), and even track sales. You can then use the data to make your decisions. Ultimately, it helps you figure out what works for your business, as well as what doesn’t. ERP ultimately allows you to make smarter choices and hopefully lead your business to greater success. Let’s explore how …

What is included in the ERP?

ERP software can be customized to help your business achieve a higher level of productivity (see Sage ERP System for an example of ERP software). And as any business owner knows all too well, productivity and efficiency are the life and soul of the workflow.

For example, do you currently have access to a range of customer relationship management (CRM) tools that allow you to glean audience information? Do you have instant access to data relating to your production cycles, including inventory tracking? If the answer to these questions is “no” then you need to think about changing that.

Each business shares certain needs. From buying and selling to all aspects of production (including human resources), ERP can help you keep track of what’s important to you. When you have the data you need at the click of a mouse, you can make more informed decisions that ultimately benefit your business in terms of long-term sustainability. It makes sense.

A vision

Different aspects of your business come with different operational considerations. From staffing to warehousing and raw materials to your sales, the different departments will naturally develop under their own direction (in the hope of increased efficiency).

The only problem is that communication can break down between departments, especially when they have little or no idea how each is functioning. Do your staff understand the entire production cycle? Do they have access to the most recent information regarding the distinct roles that each department plays? ERP provides a central hub of information that can enable your staff to better plan their production to create streamlined work processes with a singular vision. Each department has to work harmoniously step by step, as if a cog in the chain falls off, it can have a domino effect. Communication and clarity in all of your departments are absolutely essential.

In terms of sustainability, your business will benefit from this singular vision by reducing waste and promoting the idea that where things can be done more efficiently, the business is open to suggestions (your staff are your boots on. the field – they are best placed to suggest how interdepartmental working strategies could be improved). Always let your employees know that you are open to their opinions on work processes, and if they think there is anything that can be improved, really take that information into account.

Digitization increases production (and staff retention rates)

When your project-based learning knowledge is implemented, your performance is increased and staff experience a much higher completion rate. If you take the time to Listen, the people you rely on to run your business will see that their contribution is valued and the business as a whole can benefit from their decisive actions, staff retention rates begin to reflect a more sustainable workplace. And what would you be without your teams? Recruiting is expensive and the right employees can be hard to find – that’s why you need to treat those you have with care and respect, to make sure they stay on board. Give them the right tools for the job, and they’ll pay you back with their services, along with a great attitude.

Put simply, not switching to ERP can lead to a communication crisis and unnecessary stress that results in unsustainable staff turnover (with frequent loss of skills that could spell the end of your business).

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