How Today's ERP Solutions Can Improve Your Enterprise Resource Planning

Jonathan Spooner

We are bombarded with messages about the latest features in ERP software. But when it comes down to it, how do they actually benefit the business?

I believe the answer lies in how the data is handled. Accurate ERP relies on the veracity of your data, how quickly and easily you’re able to access it, and your ability to respond to changes as they happen. So what could the benefits be, and what do you need to consider when looking at upgrading your ERP solution?

Better connections within your business

One of the major problems posed by traditional approaches to ERP is that they often rely on an unwieldy hodgepodge of different tools and applications melded together. More often than not, this leads to data silos with a clear disconnect between different departments and functions within the business — hardly the best foundation for data-driven insight. Older offerings require you to integrate the dedicated ERP component with other applications to draw in data from across the business.

Look for an ERP system that will consolidate all the business processes you need into one package, consolidating your data as a result. This means your analytics software can access a large pool of data — from every aspect of your business — opening up the possibility of making completely informed decisions.

Power to handle Big Data

We live in an age driven by data and, for businesses, the ability to quickly and accurately process large data sets has changed from “nice to have” to “essential” in a relatively short time. It’s crucial for businesses to be able to process data from a variety of different sources from across their operations, regardless of the form that data comes in.

Find a solution that gives you the tools to access data from anywhere inside or outside of your business. Even better, find a solution that uses the smart application of technologies such as machine learning and advanced analytics. That way, even unstructured data such as text, predictive, spatial, time series, and event streams no longer pose a challenge. Instead, it can be easily harnessed to inform business decisions.

Consistent data

We’ve all experienced the confusion of coming across data points that say one thing in one place and something completely different in another. It’s an occupational hazard if your business draws data from several different sources. A good ERP solution will solve this issue by giving you a single database for all your business processes. That way, not only can you be certain that data you’re using is correct; there’s also no need to update each data set manually, as once the data is entered in one place, it will automatically change in all instances.

Real-time analytics

Responding to market conditions as they change is a vital part of modern business. However, it’s often the case that by the time you’ve gathered the information, analyzed the data, produced a report, and run it past the board, an opportunity has been missed or a problem becomes more acute.

When you are researching new ERP solutions, look for in-memory computing, where data is processed at much higher speeds. This means that even the most comprehensive reports can be produced in very little time — enabling you to respond to market conditions in near real time and make business decisions based on live information from across your organization.

SAP S/4HANA provides businesses with all the tools they need to better harness their data and, ultimately, boost the speed, accuracy, and agility of their processes. Read the AgilityWorks eBook to find out more about the migration to SAP S/4HANA.

For more on this topic, please read the ERP Deployment Options Series.

Jonathan Spooner

About Jonathan Spooner

Jonathan Spooner heads up AgilityWorks' practice for SAP S/4HANA, with over 20 years’ experience, working for some of the largest consultancies in the UK specialized in SAP solutions. He is uniquely placed to help clients shape and deliver their SAP S/4HANA transformation programs, having worked on several major projects. These include large-scale system conversions, new implementations, and one of the largest SAP S/4HANA programs in the UK, delivering enterprise asset management and maintenance, repair, and operations capability in the defense industry.