Does SMB needs ERP & does it drive their ROI?

Introduction to ERP

Every organization needs some level of data capturing at every stage of the business process, be it small or large. Sometimes output data of one process becomes an input to another. The entry of this data through manual intervention would be prone to human error and bring productivity losses. It drives the need for an integrated system. It needs to get the right level of normalized integrated data in a secured environment to make various enterprise processes. To generate a single source of information to drive accuracy in decision making. The ERP software is required in the Call Center Setup and business consulting firms recommend this software.

An ERP is software that manages day-to-day business activities covering both core and non-core operations. A complete ERP not just supports business activities like manufacturing, finance, supply chain, HRMS, procurement, etc. but also helps in planning, budgeting, reporting, predicting the organization’s financial results, and create enough data to do the predictive analysis.

ERP systems help in eliminating data duplication and provide data integrity with a single source of truth. There is a myth that it can only help mid to large organizations; however, it is equally essential for small to mid-size organizations. One needs to understand the importance and accordingly look for the solutions within their budget instead of just using the spreadsheets. ERP is indispensable for any organization irrespective of technology advancement as it only improves the productivity experience based on normalized and accurate data.

Modern ERPs cover their traditional importance and have a digital edge using the cloud, social, mobile, analytics, etc. ERP helps in improving productivity by generating data-heavy reports with a click of a button.

2) The History of ERP

The term ERP was devised in 1990 by Gartner, but its roots go back more than 100 years old. If we talk about 1913, engineer Ford Whitman Harris developed the economic order quantity (EOQ) model, a paper-based production scheduling for manufacturing. In 1964, Black and Decker became the first company to adopt a material requirement planning (MRP) solution with a mainframe computer for scheduling production processes.

In  1983, MRP grew to encompass more manufacturing processes, and it was called Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II). By 1990, these systems had further expanded beyond inventory control from other operational processes to other back-office functions like accounting and human resources that set a stage for the ERP.

Later, with the introduction and widespread use of the Internet, ERP was further expanded to include other areas of a business, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Human Capital Management (HCM), Business Intelligence and E-commerce.

With the introduction of cloud-based ERP, ERP usage has gone beyond mid to large-size organizations to a more affordable solution for all organizations by removing a significant obstacle of capital expenses to bring the most of the cost at the operational expense level.

3) ERP Fundamentals

The design of ERP systems is around a single, defined data structure (schema). It ensures that the enterprise’s information is normalized and determined based on its expected usage and definition. There is an interconnection between the entire system and business processes driven by various workflows, defining its internal functions and approval mechanisms by putting people and process technology together.

For example: consider a company that builds steel by procuring iron ores from multiple mining suppliers. It can use the ERP system to define the entire raw material handling process from identifying the demand, placing an order, receiving the material at the plant level using the procure to pay process. Similarly, it can also define entire customer management, order booking, production, invoicing, dispatch, and finally receiving the amount.

A fundamental ERP principle is the central collection of data for wide distribution. Instead of several standalone databases with an endless inventory of disconnected spreadsheets, ERP systems bring everything in order, so all users—from the CEO to analyst—can create, store, and use the same data derived through standard processes.

4) Benefits of ERP

ERP not only helps employees to do their job more effectively but also breaks barriers between various business units within the organizations. It provides real-time data visibility across the organization resulting in different proactive business decisions and improvements. It automates multiple internal processes and compliance, resulting in better control and reducing regulatory risks to the organizations by enhancing customer service by having a single truth source.

A single source of truth removes the information silos and helps to get fast answers, day-to-day reporting to mission-critical business decisions. This helps in lowering operational costs through streamlined business processes and best practices. It improves efficiency by removing the barriers by providing the right level of data and information to the individual basis his/her role.

It also helps organizations improve their compliance and assist in predicting and preventing risk.

To build a business case for ERP with a positive ROI, one needs to list the benefits of implementing the ERP. It should start with the current business challenges and slow-moving information across the organization and quantify it with the right justification. These challenges would be mitigated by having an integrated ERP system. After fully implementing the new system across your organization, decide on key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can measure.

5) Challenges in Implementation

Implementing an ERP is two edge sword many times. People start implementing various processes without re-looking at the need. They are making the entire ERP process wholly customized to the enterprise’s needs. This customization helps in fast implementation as low change management effort but never allows improvising the techniques and removing the ecosystem’s clutter. It also makes the entire system very custom-heavy, resulting in future support issues and upgrades. Resulting in the ERP’s lousy name.

One must have a process champion from each department and give them full authority to bring all the processes. All reports, forms on the drawing board and discuss the need for the same in a new ERP-driven world. It would help reduce the implementation cycle and make productivity benefits over a while.

6) Conclusion

An ERP system helps generate structured data for any organization further used for various decision-making and analyses. If any organization can analyze the data correctly in a structured way. It would bring a lot of value to the organization in day-to-day and strategic business decisions.

Gone are the days when it was just limited to large organizations. Now with time, these systems have become a commodity. If organizations focused on big names like SAP and Oracle. They would find it hard to even think about it due to various constraints. However, now we have many systems with a similar maturity level. And budget, so one must look at the need, budget and accordingly opt for it.

Unless any SMB Organizations cannot generate the correct data into information used for decision-making, they can’t become a large organization. To convert your disintegrated, decentralized data.  Disorder data into integrated, centralized data and then convert that data to the right kind of information. ERP is a BIG boost.

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Developing An Omnichannel Strategy | Omni Channel Retailing Harvard Business Review

Developing an Omni Channel Strategy

Developing an omnichannel strategy is quite important. Recently, the Harvard Business Review studied 46,000 shoppers to gauge the impact (if any) omnichannel retailing had on their experience.

The power of omnichannel experiences can lift sales dramatically. For example, customers interacting with an omnichannel experience 4% more spent in-store and 10% more online. In addition, companies with omnichannel retail strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers from channel to channel.

Omni-channel retail revolves around your customer and creates a single customer experience across your brand by unifying sales and marketing, which accounts for the spillover between channels. It removes the boundaries between different sales and marketing channels to create a unified, integrated whole. The distinctions between channels are onsite, social, mobile, email, physical, and instant messaging. It disappears as a single view of the customer, and an experience of commerce emerges.

Omni Channel Retailing Harvard Business Review

  1. 7% shopped online exclusively
  2. 20% were store-only shoppers
  3. 73% used multiple channels
  4. Another study by Business Insider found that shoppers who engaged on multiple channels made purchases more often.

Omni-channel merges the worlds of websites, emails, re-targeted ads, social media & brand promotion services, and physical locations to show personalized offers, products, and messages.

The Store and the Online World are connected. Concators have the prowess for the proper infrastructure, tech stack, and the necessary vision to integrate and execute. Critical factors that Concators has to offer are Consistency and Seamless Integration.

Developing an Omnichannel Strategy

Developing an Omnichannel Strategy

We Help You in Creating Omnichannel Marketing to:

  1. Deliver more seamless experiences for customers from on-ground to online levels
  2. Build more brand awareness and personalized experiences
  3. Increase customer loyalty over time
  4. Meet customers at their convenience
  5. You can also read the Omni Channel retailing Harvard business review above. 

Various Steps for Developing An Omnichannel Strategy:

  1. Mobile-friendliness of the website is a necessity.
  2. Which channels are used frequently by your premium customers?
  3. The journey of a customer and its effective mapping.
  4. Sit and map with your marketing channel which channel is performing better.
  5. Audience segmentation is required.
  6. Significant and user-intent posts advantage.
  7. Maximum customer channel support for all platforms.

At Concators, we also provide virtual CTO services via business consulting firms at an unbeatable cost.

So, we hope you enjoyed reading about Developing an Omni Channel Strategy here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Omnichannel Strategy?

Omnichannel marketing is not new to the marketing world but has gained immense popularity in the last few years. It is a cross-channel content strategy employed to improve customer experience and drive better relationships across all forms of channels. It refers to a multichannel sales approach that allows customers to have an integrated and unified shopping experience irrespective of whether they are shopping from a handheld device, a brick and mortar store, or even via phone. 

How do I Get my Business into Omnichannel?

You do not need to be a technical pro to get your business into Omnichannel. All you need to get started is to create a website for your business. If you have a website, a simple plug-in can get you rolling. Next, you may need to solicit the services of a marketing agency to help your business set up an omnichannel and help you start selling over email, Instagram, or any other channel. Finally, if you have several employees, you will have to train them to help customers navigate and use your omnichannel.

What are the Keys to Succeeding with an Omnichannel Strategy?

The key to succeeding with your omnichannel strategy, no matter which industry your company belongs to, is that it should offer whatever, whenever, wherever a customer may want. You can personalize the online set to cater to your customer’s interests. To make the omnichannel platform a hit, be sure to think consumer first, segment your users, understand your users, personalize across all channels and track your success with the right metrics. 

What is an Omnichannel Marketing Example?

Omnichannel marketing is a fancy term for a simple concept. By developing an omnichannel strategy, your customers will enjoy a seamless shopping experience and return to your store again and again. A few examples of omnichannel marketing are – 

A customer receiving an SMS message about a promotion, discount, or sale while shopping in-store

Customer receiving an email on items left behind in the cart

A customer receiving retargeting adverts for any cart products that have not been checked out

A customer receiving ads on items based on their browsing history

What is the Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing?

Though the two terms sound similar, they are pretty different. Some essential differences set these two strategies apart. First, multichannel marketing is used when companies need multiple channels to communicate with their customers. These channels could be direct or indirect. This strategy tends to put the brand as the focus while marketing.

On the other hand, omnichannel marketing focuses on the customer. Its core is to ensure that the customer enjoys a unified experience instead of just one at every touchpoint. As a result, Omnichannel makes shopping fun and easy for customers and leads to more purchases. 

Why is Omnichannel Better Than Multichannel?

An omnichannel retail experience paves the way for a great shopping experience. Customers get to experience a unified look no matter which touchpoint they use. Omnichannel marketing builds a relationship with the customer instead of just selling goods. Customers enjoy a better experience when all touchpoints are unified, making shopping seamless and hassle-free; when the customers feel important and feel that their needs are being addressed, brand loyalty increases. 

How to Build an Omnichannel Strategy?

To build a solid omnichannel strategy, it is essential to understand your customer’s browsing habits and behavior:

  1. Please find out how customers behave across your business channels and how long they spend on each platform.
  2. Utilize this data to understand your customer’s online search behavior to develop a solid strategy to address their shopping preferences.
  3. You must then categorize your customers and create a personalized journey for each customer.

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A Shift in the Training and Development Space Post Covid

The shift to the home office due to the global pandemic has become a new norm for most of us. Employees are finding themselves thrown into the deep end of adapting work from home. We, as employees, need to find out how to make this transition an engaging one. Are we reaching the precipice of another significant world-shaping event, introducing a new era of human interaction?

In a post-COVID-19 workplace, the Training Industry must provide an excellent roadmap to help in this regard. The Training Process Framework organizes training functions and processes into four functional groups: administration, content, delivery, and technology. Currently, it is to focus on technology.

Training and Development Professionals

Today training and development professionals are scrambling to adopt the new way of designed and delivered courses. They are also struggling to find a way to ease the instructors’ interaction with participants. Instructor-led training (ILT) has been a standard for so long that we saw a need to reskill, to become proficient with remote meetings and training platforms.

While preparing a virtual training session, a trainer recognizes the need to incorporate more interaction by more question-and-answer sessions, engaging visual aids, videos, polls, and breakout sessions. These are essential to stay connected with participants. Today, modern trainers also keep in mind the need to provide regular breaks and avoid the distraction of being an “apologizer” every time the technology doesn’t cooperate.

When instructors apologize for their unfamiliarity with the platform they are using, learners may start watching for mistakes and could miss the presentation’s substance. With ILT being possible, instructors offer more sessions to accommodate the smaller class numbers required for social distancing. They also have to change the way they position themselves in the classroom. Instructors can no longer approach students with close physical proximity, so they need to work to engage more in their training methods. Virtual training should always be direct and to the point to engage learners and keep their attention.

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The shift to the home office due to the global pandemic has become a new norm for most of us. Employees are finding themselves thrown into the deep end of adapting work from home. We, as employees, need to find out how to make this transition an engaging one. Are we reaching the precipice of … Continue reading A Shift in the Training and Development Space Post Covid