How to Transform an ERP System from Record Keeper to Business Driver

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Guest Blogger: Joanna Rotter is the Content Marketing Specialist for MSI Data, a leader in field force automation software and creator of the enterprise field service app, Service Pro. Connect with Joanna via email at joannar@msidata.com.

Enterprise technologies are becoming more and more integrated and connected. Turning software into an all-in-one system can move a business forward.

Mobile Measurement Tools

Mobile Measurement Tools

Historically, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems only served database storage and business accounting needs. While these are still essentials in an ERP, today’s business software demands extend to integrated technology, so the best providers now support companies beyond the accounting department. When customers research ERP systems worthy of investment, they also expect them to accommodate service, sales, CRM, and other functions.

Why Changing Business Software is Good for ERP Providers

The connection between industry operations and accounting management isn’t anything new. Production and financial management have always been inextricably linked in any business. Whether its core focus is manufacturing, distribution, contracting, telecommunications or services, company leaders typically recognize the need to address accounting and common operational function management within a single integrated system wherever possible.

This call for integrated systems, while a change and a challenge for typical ERP providers, opens up a range of opportunities for connections and partnerships with other software companies. ERP providers can take advantage of the call for greater connectivity by partnering with software developers focusing on various industries to offer customers all-in-one solutions that perform an array of integrated functions to meet specialized needs.

ERP and Business Operations Systems: Better Together

In an increasingly competitive market, forging customer loyalty and long-term customer relationships are growing concerns for companies in a variety of industries. This is why all departments in an organization need to work together to form a unified front.

For example, many service-focused organizations now recognize the service department itself as a ‘company within the company.’ This means extending leadership and decision-making autonomy to employees working in this area, so they may operate as a profit center and better set themselves apart with exceptional service delivery.

No longer only reactionary, in these cases, the service department can now be tasked with becoming a critical driver of new revenue and curator of existing customer accounts. That means taking on many new roles and responsibilities, including sales, estimating, and even public relations. With these additional demands, service departments need their own software system that can integrate with the ERP so the sales and revenue initiated in their department is immediately accessible to accounting personnel and vice versa.

service_pro_web_portals

Service Pro Web Portals

What to Look for in a Mobile Partner

ERP systems function and exist within the confines of an office building. But many industries, like field service, are inherently mobile, thus require mobile software to integrate with their ERP system.

In order to give customers the best of both worlds, ERP providers can integrate with an industry-specific mobile application. When choosing the best mobile apps to connect with an ERP system, consider the following:

  • Is it cross-platform? Some customers are open to using the best device or mobile operating platform for the job. Others prefer not to be limited by a single option.
  • Does it run native? Mobile workers often work in areas without cell reception. You want to make sure the app still works when they’re offline.
  • Is it cloud-based? Cloud-based software allows companies to purchase software as a service, while easing the ability to share data and provide IT support.
  • Does it improve communication between in-office and mobile workers? You want the application to automatically connect back-office and field workers to save time and keep everyone in the loop.
  • Does it have data collection, storage, and analysis capabilities? Data-driven decisions are better than educated guesses, and real-time data is better than month-old data. Be sure your app provider delivers data that helps improve business decisions.
  • Can it schedule and send alerts to a mobile workforce? Employees who work off-site may need to be able to schedule appointments with specified instructions and receive changes on the fly.

Drive your business forward with the right software partners.
Businesses are learning that both administrative automation and software integration are necessary to compete in an increasingly connected workplace. Conduct a thorough and organized software selection and implementation process for targeted industries and realize the benefits of an integrated business strategy.

About MSI: MSI develops enterprise, scheduling and mobile software that helps companies improve the productivity of their field workforce and replace paper and disconnected spreadsheet-based business processes by automating field service, inspections, site surveys, audits, reporting and other critical field-driven business processes. Whether deployed in the cloud or on-premise, MSI field workforce software applications are easy to acquire, easy to deploy and deliver enterprises with rapid return on investment. To learn more, please visit www.msidata.com.

Are you looking for the right integrated, mobile ERP solution for you or your customers? Please contact xkzero at info@xkzero.com or 847-416-2009.
Also, to find more about our mobile offerings, visit our website at www.xkzero.com.