ERP in the Mobile Business Environment
When first introduced, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software was a groundbreaking innovation that allowed companies to manage massive volumes of information by integrating all processes into a single, unified system. It forever changed the way manufacturing companies would manage their businesses. ERP offered companies the opportunity to streamline operations, reduce costs and boost output. It provided unmatched speed and reactivity, posing a competitive advantage for those that adopted it.
Over the years, ERP has remained as vital as ever in the fast-changing business world. That’s because ERP software solutions evolve. As a child of technology, today’s ERP software is constantly adapting to the latest technological advances, rolling out enhanced performance features to compliment the changing needs of its users.
The latest trend is mobility in ERP. Today’s companies are moving fast and branching out. The traditional concept of the office, in which employees sit at their desks logging work for 8 hours a day, is fading. It’s rapidly being replaced by a more mobile workforce that uses smart devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to stay connected. This agile, fast-moving mobile workforce cannot afford to be slowed down by technology. It is accessing business applications and operations from home, job sites, hotels, airports, etc. rather than just the local office. This new mobile workforce requires an ERP solution that delivers unsurpassed performance while also maintaining flexibility, adaptability, scalability and responsiveness.
Many ERP software solutions are now providing mobile enterprise functions to compliment the increasing need for portability. For example, using mobile SCM solutions, production and operations managers can be alerted in real time if there’s a supply or manufacturing problem. Finance applications can alert accounting managers if there’s an issue with invoicing or a customer payment. Mobile sales and marketing ERP applications allow salespeople to better understand the profitability of a prospective deal using information linked to finance and manufacturing quotation processes.
Mobile ERP solutions deliver real time access to business operations and can steadily increase profitability through lower transaction costs, improved cash flows, enhanced communication and improved customer relations. And while it is unlikely mobile ERP applications will altogether replace traditional desktop ERP applications in the near future, they help meet the need for agility and flexibility in today’s changing business environment.