by Camille Chin | May 9, 2023
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system that provides the automation, integration and intelligence necessary to help brands unify people and core business processes. These processes include procurement, material resource planning, demand forecasting, supply chain management, accounting, warehouse management, reporting and more.
Historically, ERP systems were suites that worked separately. Data silos lead to errors, misunderstandings and inefficiency. Legacy ERP systems were complex and expensive to maintain often requiring customized code, which slowed the integration with additional new technology. Legacy ERP systems weren’t mobile, which dampened both employee and customer experiences. Legacy ERP systems hindered business growth on a global scale.
Cloud ERP systems have eclipsed legacy systems in several ways. Cloud ERP systems better connect processes, solutions and data. They typically run on an ERP vendor’s cloud platform not a business’s on-premise network.
The benefits are vast. Here, we’ll breakdown seven core benefits of cloud-based ERP systems and help you envision what this modern technology can do for emerging and established brands specializing in fashion apparel, footwear and accessories.
1. A Single Source of Truth
Does your business data currently reside in different applications or spreadsheets? The biggest benefit of a cloud ERP is that data entered (or pushed) by users in different departments is centralized in one database in real time and is available to pull from across the organization.
Centralizing essential operational, financial and business performance data that all departments have immediate visibility into is empowering. Employees are assured that there is one enterprise truth, which makes data-driven decision making faster and easier. Employees can also run business intelligence reports with complete confidence that they have all the relevant and up-to-date information.
2. Improved Data Security
Data is an asset that brands must protect, particularly when it concerns private employee and customer details. Data that is spread out across siloed applications with varying levels of security is a vulnerability.
Centralized and standardized data on a cloud ERP is better protected. Data is typically distributed across several remote servers to establish redundancies and protect against a single point of failure (SPOF). What’s more, access to data can be limited to specific users. Rules can be set so employees only see the info that’s relevant to their role, which doubles down on data protection.
3. Flexibility Through Mobility
Smartphones and tablets have changed our professional lives. Employees and partners, including global manufacturers and suppliers, use these portable devices more and more to complete many business functions.
A cloud ERP is smartphone and tablet friendly delivering flexibility to work from anywhere. The cloud strengthens that freedom and power since all employees need to access their business dashboards, reports and tools is the Internet. A modern, cloud ERP also consists of mobile apps for additional tools designed specifically for smartphones and tablets.
4. Limitless Integration & Scalability
A cloud ERP can easily scale as businesses grow. The system is maintained by software vendors who can add or remove remote server space and capabilities as requested with little disruption or downtime. A legacy, on-premise ERP requires IT staff to manage changes and updates.
A cloud ERP is often all-encompassing, but there are instances when an integration with a third-party is required. These systems can integrate seamlessly via an API or custom integration, or via a certified, partner integration.
5. Standardized Workflows
In addition to centralizing and standardizing business data in one database, which saves on search time and reduces errors, a cloud ERP standardizes the steps taken to complete tasks, oftentimes streamlining and/or automating repetitive steps to make it faster and easier to get things done.
A cloud ERP helps to establish business requirements and best practices across your organization, which boosts productivity and frees up employee time so they can focus on responsibilities that would truly benefit from a human touch. Ultimately, these time (and cost) improvements trickle down to your front office and end customers.
6. Superior Customer Experiences
A cloud ERP serves your end customers in multiple ways. Centralized, enterprise-wide, real-time inventory and order details ensure that employees are adequately informed to fulfill customer orders correctly and on time. Fast and accurate inventory management and order fulfillment is essential for growing customer trust.
Accurate and comprehensive historical data that is centralized also impacts customer experiences. Historical sales data helps businesses optimize demand forecasting. Adequately equipping businesses with inventory and staff in line with demand ensures better experiences for all. It also protects revenue and profit.
7. Cost Savings
A cloud ERP save businesses money on hardware, servers and IT resources. They also lower other costs because, as the saying goes, time is money.
As we’ve discussed, everything on these systems is centrally stored and transmitted, which reduces paper and cross-departmental communication time. Automation streamlines manual tasks, standardization helps to establish best practices, and mobility permits flexible, remote work. Business data is in one place and syncs in real time facilitating data-driven demand forecasting to help brands stay ahead of the market. A cloud ERP helps businesses increase efficiency across their organization for major cost savings.
Many businesses don’t recognize the limitations of their legacy ERP. Data silos, accessibility and mobility restrictions, the inability to quickly scale, and manual and repetitive tasks are a few of the challenges that businesses face with an older ERP.
Businesses that leverage cloud ERP technology boost their brand’s performance potential, create a more agile foundation for growth, and remain competitive alongside their peers as more and more brands of all sizes and across all verticals recognize their value.
To read more about cloud technology and leveraging its advantages, check out 5 Reasons Why the Cloud is Key to Retail Apparel and Footwear Recovery.
To learn more about Jesta’s Retail Management Suite for omnichannel retailers, or Jesta’s Supply Chain Management Suite for brand manufacturers and wholesalers, request a 30-minute chat with an expert here.