In the era of cloud computing, there are countless services that you can provision to improve business processes at your company. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is one of the most comprehensive cloud deliverables that can assist you in your digital transformation.
ERP software combines numerous fundamental processes, from supply chain management to human resources, and houses them within one system. Not only does this setup make disparate functions more profitable, but it also boosts overall efficiency. Moreover, ERP delivers the data management tools that your organization needs to make critical decisions more quickly.
If you’re looking to integrate an ERP system at your company, then you will need to know the essential terms related to its delivery and use. Here is an overview of some important ERP terminology:
Ad hoc query
With a name meaning “for this” in Latin, an ad hoc query refers to any question that you ask of an information system that hasn’t already been programmed. Most commonly, you will pose ad hoc queries as a way of dealing with day-to-day business processes.
Within an ERP system, your end users will be able to make ad hoc queries any time they encounter an issue, receiving an answer quickly. Not only does this boost productivity, but it also makes your ERP system more effective.
A key facet of ERP use, analytics involves the provisioning, examination, and study of important data generated by your organization. Through this process, you will be able to pinpoint former business trends and leverage them to make more informed decisions for your organization.
For example, you can utilize your ERP system to find trends related to customer demand during the year. By analyzing these changes, you can more easily adjust your services to accommodate these varying requirements.
Business intelligence (BI)
BI refers to the programs or tools that you can use to turn ERP software data and performance indicators into information that is easy to understand and apply. You will be able to access this data in a simple format such as a table or graph, which makes it easier to understand and, thus, act upon. Armed with this information, you and your team will be better prepared to make pivotal business decisions.
Change management will be an essential component of ERP implementation. This term outlines the process you will use to guide your staff through major organizational changes, such as ERP deployment.
Through effective change management, you will be able to explain your new system and more accurately outline the alterations that it will bring to your organization. Not only will this help the implementation of your ERP system go more smoothly, but it will also boost the performance of your team after the system’s deployment.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
One of the crucial business functionalities that an ERP system can support is CRM, which is software that helps you oversee the connections that you have with your customer base. ERP can support CRM functions by making communication the foundation for all your customer relations processes.
CRM allows you to monitor all of your contact with clients, from sales to marketing. You can also analyze the data you collect so that you can improve your firm’s customer relations.
Within an ERP system, integrated software allows you to combine at least two separate applications or components into a single program. Whether you are looking to merge inventory with order processing or revenue management with your invoice platform, you can blend processes that utilize the same data. By combining software, you can incorporate disparate functions into a single system.
Key performance indicator (KPI)
KPIs are crucial to ERP use because they allow you to determine how aligned your organization is with its business objectives. To this end, KPIs allow you to establish goals for company performance. You can assess your KPIs at any time and gauge how close you are to achieving those targets.
You can implement KPIs within all areas of your company. This makes it easier to measure performance at any level.
Sometimes also referred to as “off the shelf,” out-of-the-box encompasses any ERP software that you are utilizing without customization. Instead, you typically employ this type of software for its most basic functionalities.
You are, however, able to customize out-of-the-box ERP software should you need to accommodate certain business processes. How much you personalize will depend on the unique needs of your company. Alternatively, you could overhaul your existing business processes to work more effectively within your out-of-the-box system.
Value-added reseller (VAR)
As their name suggests, VARs specialize not in the development of their own products, but rather in the resale of items from other firms. Typically, these entities acquire products (such as ERP systems) and incorporate their own services, platforms, or even hardware before selling to customers. By working with a VAR during ERP implementation, you can also receive help setting up your new system and training your staff.