Top 5 Features of a Great ERP System
22/11/2011 5:18 PM

A great Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system should manage every aspect of your business workflow cycle, including stock control, servicing, invoicing, financials, sales, quoting and reporting. Essentially, it's a tool that allows your organisation to better control business operations. ERP software means you, as the business owner, can spend less time micro-managing and more time focusing on areas where you can make the biggest impact to your company's overall success. In this article, we'll take a look at the various areas great ERP software can help you manage.

1. Workflow
Simply put, workflow refers to the methods of doing, producing or organising something within your business. Employees can either operate within a workflow or implement workflow systems and processes. Productivity levels are a direct measure of the workflows' successes. A great ERP software system should monitor workflows using real-time overviews in order to measure and benchmark efficiencies.

2. Inventory
An effective ERP software system will not only look at traditional inventory, but will also factor in labour, tests and checks to measure the true costs of inputs, allowing you to oncharge these to customers in an accurate and consistent manner. The software should also offer integrated stocktake functionality in order to minimise the amount of time spent counting and verifying your overall stock value. The software should handle multiple rolling stocktakes based on a range of criteria, catering for serial and batch numbers, consignment stock, multiple unit measures and more

3. Productivity
As already mentioned, the success of workflows is a major contributor to overall productivity, but great ERP business software should also improve productivity in other ways. Individual workstations can be linked to your cash drawers, for example, allowing payment transactions to be recorded as part of that till's takings. Keyboard shortcuts and scanning modes can be enabled to speed up the process of sales entry and invoicing. Checklists can be set for users to follow when given a specific task, and these checklists must be signed off while automatically recording time, date and initials for records. All of these processes and more can help ERP software improve overall productivity in your organisation.

4. Financials
The company financials are one of the most important areas that should be managed by ERP software. Ideally, it should include drill-down options leading you to the source document relating to the balance you see. Various monthly views such as YTD comparisons, budget comparisons and so forth should also be available. Your ERP software should also offer efficient and accurate GST and BAS reporting with detailed audit trails integrated as part of the software. Finally, it should support multicurrency evaluations and possess the ability to integrate these into your workflow.

5. Advanced warehouse management
A great ERP software system should help you gain control of your warehouse, leading to improved customer service and better control of labour costs. It should give you a snapshot of your warehouse without having to leave your chair, as well as offering the ability to coordinate your warehouse in various ways, knowing where any piece of stock is at any given time.

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