May 21, 2018

Is Your ERP Adaptable to Changing Times?

Written by
Daniel Erickson
Tags: ERP

One of the key features of an ERP solution is its ability to adapt to the changes that occur in your business and in your industry over time. Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Ensuring that your ERP has the breadth of features, proper technical architecture, intelligence, and responsiveness to make change possible and profitable for your company is essential. Focusing on these key areas gives you an edge over the competition.

Which ERP solution is right for your company?

Mobile reporting

While the concept of mobile reporting is not new to ERP, its relevance to the success of companies remains applicable in today’s evolving business environment. If you want to stay ahead of the competition and provide the best service possible to your customers, your employees need the ability to access your critical business data anytime, anywhere.

Mobile devices allow access to data outside the four walls of the building, ensuring that business activities are no longer restricted to one location – many tasks can be completed from this device. Whether it’s a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, you get the job done at the touch of a button or scan of a barcode. Mobile reporting provides key opportunities to your business by offering up-to-the-minute access to information to make timelier and more accurate decisions.

With mobility comes adaptability, which is imperative in changing times. Your salesforce can start and close sales from anywhere, allowing real-time updates to your ERP’s accounting records, which in turn updates your projected sales information. You provide a consistent message to your customers, and they receive the same accurate information whether it comes from the home office, via a salesperson on the road, or through a web-based customer portal – improving overall customer service. Business analytics software enables interactive visualization, reporting, and analysis of data to drill into critical KPIs from anywhere. All of these capabilities of a mobile ERP illustrate the benefits of adaptability.

Regulatory Compliance

If there’s one thing that can be said for the current state of affairs in regards to governmental regulations, it’s unpredictability. While ever-changing rules have always been a challenge for the manufacturing industry, the tenure of the current administration has added complexity to an already turbulent regulatory arena. As the president forwards his agenda for regulatory rollbacks, confusion remains about how this will affect regulatory compliance requirements for companies. With the repeal of some regulations, withdrawing or delaying proposed rules from the Obama era, trade war prospects and the addition of regulations of his own, there are many moving parts. In addition, legalization of cannabis in various locations across the country has produced an additional layer of complexity. To navigate the changing landscape, an ERP solution must be able to handle new, revised, and complex governmental regulations to ensure compliance at all times.

Batch process manufacturers answer to a variety of groups – auditors, inspectors, regulators, shareholders and consumers – ERP software provides assistance with scheduling automatic audit and inspection reminders. The functionality of the software allows integrated communication among departments to help provide the required reporting for the FDA, GHS, EPA, USDA, and other regulatory bodies as necessary. Quality control functionality enables companies to remain compliant with cGMP regulations, supply chain product traceability, and recall preparedness.

Varied Deployment Options

If you’ve outgrown your current business management system and are searching for a new solution, it’s important to ensure that the ERP you’ve selected has the flexibility to offer a variety of deployment options. Since you’re making a substantial investment towards your company’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability, your ERP deployment needs to meet your unique customer requirements. There are three basic options to consider: On-Premises, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Cloud Hosted.

On-Premises is a solution that consists of services hosted at the manufacturer’s physical site with software purchased from a particular ERP vendor. This means working with the ERP vendor to install, implement and maintain the ERP software but gives your organization full control over management of the system, including backups, security, IT support, and customization. Ownership of the software license gives your company maximum control and security to meet your business needs.

SaaS ERP uses a subscription model wherein a company pays a fee to use the vendor’s software – servers, software, enhancements, updates and data are controlled by the ERP vendor. This option offers access to software through a web browser without your IT team having the responsibility of maintaining the software. Cloud hosted deployment is web-enabled software that’s housed on remote servers managed by an ERP vendor – essentially the SaaS model except that the server is hosted in the cloud. This solution requires limited company IT resources as security, backups and data redundancy are handled by the vendor. Any user connected to the Internet can access the ERP solution, which offers unlimited scalability. As these deployment options provide a budget-conscious model with the flexibility to accommodate future growth, they can meet the needs of a growing manufacturer.

The only situation that your company can be sure of in the business landscape is that change is inevitable. An ERP solution that handles and adapts to that change is essential in the competitive manufacturing marketplace. Examining an ERP’s ability to handle mobility and regulatory compliance, as well as offering flexible deployment options is key to finding an ERP solution for your company that can manage change.

Daniel Erickson has been with ProcessPro since 1999. As ProcessPro Product Strategy Manager, Daniel focuses on driving overall market success by ensuring products meet both current and future market demands. His diverse experience with the customer base with food and beverage, nutraceutical, personal care, pharmaceutical, cannabis, and chemical industries and within ProcessPro provides a strong foundation for his position.