The Value of Integrating Business Intelligence across the Company

Businesses need to integrate all the elements of a system to make it work, and, as such, the elements that fall within the scope of enterprise resource planning (ERP) must be integrated as well. When this happens, marketing, sales, warehouse inventory management, purchasing, and other operations run like a well-oiled machine.

In this post, we discuss how a well-integrated ERP system, like SAP Business one, makes businesses perform better in the areas that matter most.

Disparate Systems are Failing Systems
We cannot overstate the importance of an integrated ERP system. Businesses that attempt to use ERP-like functionality in different systems across different departments suffer from a lack of adequate visibility to drive important decisions. Additionally, they cannot perform mundane operational tasks easily, which slows the business, increases costs, and leads to missed opportunities. According to the results of a recent study by Aberdeen, businesses that are in a growth phase suffer in the following ways when they lack an integrated ERP system:

  • Systems cannot interact with one another
  • Systems cannot track business processes
  • Inaccurate data exists within all departments
  • Redundant data resides in multiple systems
  • Remote data access is either impossible or lacks meaning

Companies that can identify the critical aspects of their business operations and optimize them for speed and efficiency stand to gain a significant competitive advantage, and a robust ERP system that enables intuitive, cross-departmental collaboration makes that happen.

How Modern ERP Integrates a Company
A modern, robust ERP system can serve all departments, processes, and workflows from an integrated set of applications that sit atop a single, unified database. Within this database lives a single version of the truth for all data related to the products and services a company delivers (the ERP system’s user interfaces will vary based on the department in question, but the underlying data will remain the same). This way, business information captured anywhere within the system becomes instantly accessible to any application within the organization. As supply chain participants are granted access to role-specific portions of the ERP system, information sharing becomes an inter-company reality that further improves the supply chain.

Sharing information is just one benefit of a unified ERP system. With all data entries and revisions being input into one system, companies can establish workflow-based processes and alerts that result from specific data inputs/changes. For example, when an inventory specialist updates the bin information for a specific warehouse, the resulting data change may kick off an automated workflow to purchase additional quantities of a specific component. Or, a salesperson may attempt to book an order that surpasses predefined limits for production runs. In response, the ERP system can automatically block the order until the necessary authority figure – who was automatically notified when the order went through – grants approval.

A third major benefit of unified ERP is a reduction in bad data. Because modern ERP system eliminates duplicate data entry, errors get resolved much faster, saving businesses from multiple downstream costs associated with such errors and their subsequent costs.

In the end, a modern ERP system delivers the following results

  • Real-time visibility into all critical processes across departments
  • Standardized back office processes
  • Improved ability to share with suppliers, customers, resellers, and regulatory bodies
  • More accurate forecasting
  • Better business analytics with deeper meaning
  • Automated notifications for faster response

The Possibilities are Nearly Endless

To learn more about how modern ERP, like SAP Business One can unify your departments and your supply chain, provide automated workflow and exception alerts, contact LBSI today.