How Does ERP Help Improve Business Operations and Productivity?

When evaluating an ERP, you may wonder “how does ERP help improve business operations and productivity?” Let us clear the air for you and add some clarity. One of the most overused phrases in the last decade is ‘best practices’…..however, that is the term that describes the business practices embedded in ERP systems.  What is a ‘best practice’? It’s simply those practices that are universally accepted to work well under most circumstances.  So, ERP systems have ‘built-in’ best practices.

Another answer to this question is visibility.  By having all processes and information in one system, you can more easily analyze your business and find productivity opportunities.  You’ll spend more time on the business rather than in the business.

Discipline is the next significant benefit.  An ERP system prevents people from taking shortcuts, forgetting to attach critical documents, or building in ‘logic checks’ for transactions to avoid mistakes.  This yields consistent results with the details you need to make better decisions in your business.

ERP and Business Operations

The technology Epicor utilizes particularly important in this discussion.  The ‘layers’ of logic that sit on top of the base (source) code allow you to channel process flows, make logic checks, and send updates and reminders.  When the base code is upgraded (which infrequently happens, such as once every couple of years), these same commands can be reinstalled on the updated system, so your functionality remains in place.

An up-to-date ERP system that enforces your policies and procedures ensures transactions are correctly done from the beginning, eliminating the need for things like physical inventories and audits.  Once in place, these systems eliminate the need for extra sets of eyes looking for mistakes and allow for your staff to move on to more productive work.  

For instance, we have a customer that sells custom devices that monitor the temperature and other environmental aspects of shipments of foods and pharmaceuticals.  They purchase ‘blank’ (unprogrammed) devices from China, that arrive at their facility.  Customers call their customer service staff who used Epicor’s configurator to log in the parameters for the given order.  Once the order is entered, it is transferred electronically to the production department,t and the values for that order are loaded into their programming machines.  The machines program the devices and keep track of the serial number(s) used for that order.  

The group of units in a given shipment are given master lot numbers to be tracked together.  When it comes time for shipping team all that is done is the master label for the shipment is scanned, and all of the subsidiary data is transferred.  The impressive part of this is that they process over 50,000 serialized units per day.

These are the kinds of productivity gains that can be made with an ERP system.

ERP and Productivity

Once in place, these gains benefit your company in many ways, such as:

  • Minimize the cost of capturing information by only doing it once and making it as efficient as possible.
  • Automate the processes, so no step is missed by mistake – human error is eliminated.
  • Improve your ability to track items, whether they are inside or outside your facility.
  • Help your customers receive their products more quickly and correctly the first time.
  • Reduce inventory (raw materials, WIP, and finished goods) by eliminating mistakes and allowing you to closely monitor things like inventory and waste (MUDA) instead of inputting data unnecessarily.
  • Reduce labor because of improved efficiency.
  • Improve on-time delivery by using sophisticated software that can schedule your plant with every necessary detail accounted for.

And, by doing all these items, your need for additional equipment and/or production space is reduced.  Your ERP system should ‘pay for itself’ in all of these ways!

An Effective ERP Leads to Happier Workforce and Employee Satisfaction

How frustrating is it for a customer service rep to be fielding phone calls from angry customers who are receiving inferior products and late deliveries?.  When you are well organized and ‘under control,’ you and your staff can concentrate on improving your products and services.  Most likely this will mean less turnover of staff and continually better productivity from the staff you already have.

Contact EpiCenter to Improve Your Business Operations & Productivity

Yes, this is all somewhat complex, and you’re not expected to understand how ERP can help improve business operations & productivity from a few paragraphs on a website.  If you’re serious about learning more, contact us below, and begin a dialogue with one of our professionals.  We can walk you through the exchange of information needed to ‘scope out’ your needs, get you some initial pricing, and start identifying potential savings.

written by Jeffrey W. Glaze, President

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