When manufacturers think about installing ERP software, it is often linked to wanting to make improvements to production management. While it is true that ERP can hugely benefit the production processes, ERP solutions can benefit other areas of the business as well.
Before ERP was introduced, it was MRP (Material Requirement Planning) that was used for procurement and manufacturing but, it has since evolved to ERP.
A natural extension to MRP software
By extending the principles of MRP to cover other business functions and disciplines, the purchasing and production control elements of any business would benefit significantly by being linked to things like accounts, purchasing and sales. In fact, in many instances, it is the sales function that drives manufacturing.
Extending the software capabilities to include sales and sales orders, means you can trigger bills of materials by customer demand. Thus, ERP came into existence, and for maximum advantage, the software should manage all business disciplines. MRP is still relevant, but it all depends on an individual company's needs and often MRP is now a part of comprehensive ERP systems.
Specific sales-only software is a thing of the past
For decades, sales management and sales-specific software programmes stood alone. However, by separating the sales process from other areas of the business can cause inefficiencies, duplication and inaccuracies.
Although sales are often seen as a separate function, it is the start of the chain that links to all the other functions, including accounting, purchasing, inventory control, production management, order processing, and customer relationship management. Modern ERP can manage all these functions within one system.
The benefits to the sales function
The immediate benefits of working sales into the overall equation are apparent to the manufacturing process. But the sales function can reap benefits from inclusion in ERP software programs.
Modern ERP software can often do what specific sales orientated software can do - in fact, it can do far more. As well as keeping a business's sales data in one easily accessible location, it can be used to track the sales process. It can help to lead an improvement in conversion rates. It enables improved customer retention rates as lead times can be reduced due to increased efficiencies, manufacturing issues can be minimised, and CRM can lead the way to better productivity.
Contact records can be kept denoting all communications with prospective and actual clients; trading information such as payments terms, sales history and any special delivery needs can be stored.
ERP software can also contribute better sales cycle management, improved customer relationships and aftercare service and it will also help to lower sales and marketing costs.
The benefits of controlling everything under one ERP umbrella
The wider the brief for ERP/CRM software, the more beneficial the outcome will be. Why have different stand-alone software programs running for various business disciplines? The outcomes of actions within any given department have interdepartmental repercussions.
When different departments can utilise the same ERP program, all ramifications are apparent and can be used to control and improve the outcome.
If you would like to find out more about how your business operation, including the sales process, can benefit by installing ERP with integrated CRM software, contact WinMan ERP Systems today.