Is Moving Your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System To The Cloud The Right Strategy For Your Business?
If you are considering migrating or integrating your corporate ERP system to the cloud, you may want to determine if doing so makes good business sense for your company. As most business owners currently operating ERP systems consider it “the core” of their business, it might not be a bad idea for you and your staff to review and discuss how moving your company’s software to a private cloud will affect operations. There can be numerous advantages and some potential disadvantages to utililzing your company’s business management system wihtin the cloud. So, would it make sense to move an ERP system into the cloud? First, let’s be sure we’re on the same page with what we mean when we say “˜ERP system.’
What is ERP?
Often, when people think of ERP systems they think that it is a powerful software program designed to meet the specific needs of larger manufacturing or wholesale distribution businesses. Because ERP is an integrated system that operates in real time, has a common database which supports all applications, as well as a consistent look and feel throughout each module, it is a popular business management solution for many different types of enterprises. In addition to manufacturers and wholesale distributors, an integrated ERP solution appeals to businesses of all kinds because as an “all in one” software system, it can include:
For more accurate tracking, management and control of general ledger, payables, receivables, cash management, fixed assets, receivables, budgeting, and consolidation
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
For more proactive tracking, management and control of sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact, and call center support
For highly efficient tracking, management and control of engineering, bill of materials (BOMs), work orders, material requirements planning (MRP), scheduling, capacity, workflow management, quality control, cost management, manufacturing process, manufacturing projects, manufacturing flow, activity based costing, and product life cycle management
Supply Chain Management
For streamlining the tracking, management and control of logistics, order to cash, inventory, order entry, purchasing, product configurator, supply chain planning, supplier scheduling, inspection of goods, claim processing, and commissions
Project Management (Often referred to as Enterprise Project Management (EPM))
For superior tracking, management and control of costing, billing, time and expense, performance units, and activity management
For easier tracking, management and control of “self”“service” interfaces for customers, suppliers and/or employees
For simplified tracking, management and control of the management of user privileges for various processes and procedures
In addition to facilitating the: accounting processes, tracking of inventory, warehouse management, project management, generation of accurate enterprise-wide analytics, progression of leads, managing existing customers, and tracking sales opportunities, some ERP systems on the market today can also help you maintain better control of your marketing and commissions efforts.
Moving An ERP System To The Cloud
Moving your company’s business management software to the cloud instantly makes it easier for employees to use the ERP system, from any location in the World, with access to the Internet. If it is worrisome to have your company’s critical data on a server in the cloud, it may be comforting for you to know that only those with the right credentials and permissions will be able to access your business management system. For small and midsized companies with more than one office or satellite location, deploying an ERP cloud solution can help streamline operations, by making it possible for remote sites to integrate their data with the company’s primary site. With all of your enterprise data in one database, consolidated reporting can be easier to do, and overseeing all operations can be as simple as setting up a dashboard. Further, once your business management software is in the cloud, it becomes a lot easier to integrate other systems, such as e-commerce, to your ERP system. Connecting one ERP system to another becomes a lot more straightforward. In the same way, reporting and business intelligence systems can connect to your ERP system, or multiple systems.
The Perception of ERP Systems
In the recent past, ERP systems were believed to be complicated software programs. Some business leaders thought that only the global manufacturing and wholesale distribution companies implemented and operated these kinds of software programs onsite at their physical locations. Due to software companies such as SAP which created ERP systems for small and midsized companies, the perception of this type of business management software has significantly changed. As simple-to-use solutions like SAP Business One ERP (SAP B1 ERP) were quickly and easily implemented within small and midsized businesses, the assessment of ERP systems changed for the better. Further, as a system such as SAP Business One could be installed on a secure server in the cloud, and all of the software’s service packs, patches and updates taken care of by a reseller as opposed to a company’s in-house IT department, the perception of ERP systems has steadily improved.
SAP Business One ERP Software, Tech Support and Services
Cornerstone Consulting has been providing enterprise business management software systems to small and midsized manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and retail companies since 1983. The flexibility of SAP Business One ERP , when combined with the customization expertise of Cornerstone Consulting, allows a company to implement a state-of-the-art business management solution, designed to meet its specific business needs. Instead of your business adapting to the software, the software can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of your operations. The Cornerstone staff knows that business owners do not have time to learn the intricacies of a complicated software program in order to operate their enterprises. If time is money, then wasted time is wasted money.
SAP Business One ERP has many benefits to offer businesses of any type including: the ability to access the system on your iPhone and iPad; better analytics via Crystal Reports; instant, “real time” access to information from finance, manufacturing, warehouse management, customer service and sales departments, as well as automatic “workflow alerts” that provide warnings based on individualized business rules. This permits immediate action in the event of any type of deviation in your company’s mission critical data. Such an “early warning system” allows businesses to anticipate problems and concerns ahead of time, which can save both time and money. To learn more about how SAP Business One ERP can help your small or midsized business, contact a certified SAP Business One Consultant directly at 813-321-1300 today.