The Role of ERP In Digital Transformation of Industrial Business
In the new digital era, old-school spreadsheets and stacks of folders no longer respond to the operational needs of a business. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only proven that relying on spreadsheets gets businesses trailing behind the competition. The evolving digitization era is forcing businesses to adapt to the new digital age. Let’s have a look at why digital transformation is important, where to start and what role ERP plays in digitizing a business.
Why do I need to digitize my business?
The recent global events got the answer to this question - digitization is necessary to withstand another pandemic-like crisis. Having software that facilitates the adaptation process to the evolving changes in commerce helps businesses not only stay afloat but also thrive. The era of excel spreadsheets is long dead, and to be at the top of the innovations, businesses need to keep up with all the technology trends. Moreover, business software not only makes businesses stand out but it also helps them get ahead of the competition.
Where do I start my digital transformation?
Identify the problem areas
Any business transformation starts with spotting the problem area and devising possible solutions. It includes conducting an internal assessment of business processes, determining what is misfiring and understanding how digitizing a business could resolve these problems. If your order processing lags because of manual handling, think about how an automated online ordering system could tackle this problem. If you are having trouble with managing your stock levels, consider implementing a custom inventory management system to help with stock level tracking. If on top of these you’ve got a lagging accounting and customer management system, consider a full-featured ERP system. Knowing what areas need a fix will help you direct your resources where they are most needed.
Create a digital transformation roadmap
Once you have identified the gaps, get down to creating a digital transformation roadmap to help you bridge those gaps. A digital transformation roadmap allows you to determine the key goals and priorities, set intermediate goals and a timeline to achieve them and determine the key players in each area of the plan. It defines the steps on the way to transforming your business such as modifying the infrastructure, integrating new software, training employees etc. It is also important to keep in mind that a strategic roadmap needs to be flexible and be able to adapt to your business priorities in case they change.
Prepare for the transformation
Regardless of whether you are introducing a new accounting system or completely updating the software your business runs on, digital transformation will affect all your business departments. Thus, it is important that your team is ready for the new transformation. Because your team is the driving force of your business, it is crucial to get them entirely involved in the process of the business transformation to ensure everyone and everything is prepared for the new change.
Get the proper software
Digitizing is about bringing in new software. Once you have drafted a strategic plan, you will understand what type of software is needed to help you meet your new objectives. However, if you are not a tech-savvy individual, you can turn to business consultants to help you select the right software. They will also let you know if a custom solution is needed depending on your business goals.
What role does ERP play in digitizing an industrial business?
Enterprise resource planning software plays a foundational role on the way to digitizing a manufacturing business. In fact, industrial enterprises are seen to have benefited the most from digital transformations (PTC, 2019). Being a central repository of all business data, ERP allows managers and executives to view all business processes and access all business information instantaneously and from anywhere in the world. ERP helps business owners make informed decisions by providing them with analytics and insights related to their business operations. It simplifies the data collection and exchange between business departments saving time for employees and costs for business owners. ERP is a powerful tool that optimizes all aspects of business operations leading to greater efficiency, speed and customer satisfaction.
We are observing the dawn of industry 4.0, the industry where digital transformation determines the viability of a business. Integrating a business software, be it an inventory management system, scheduling system or ERP software, launches the digital transformation that gets a business at the forefront of the competition and inevitably leads to overall better business performance.