In order to be competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment, you must eliminate the inefficiencies that come when your different departments don’t talk to each other. Communication needs to be automatic and data needs to be transferred in real-time. It’s time to get rid of functional silos.
Competitive and market pressures have required businesses to change their functional silo thinking to strategically integrating sales, marketing, finance, product development, manufacturing, and service. Collaboration between functions is critical to enable your company to move toward optimal performance.
Integrated Technology Improves Operational Effectiveness
Cross-functional collaboration is best facilitated by integrated technology. Departments cannot be integrated unless your business software works together. Standalone systems impose informational and operational silos. In fact, installing the most comprehensive system in each department, that doesn’t communicate with the other departments, isn’t much better than no system at all.
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system integrates departments, processes, and data throughout your company. When all functions input data and have access to the ERP database, everyone can work together. An integrated system will improve efficiency, productivity and profitability. If you already have an ERP, are you fully using its capabilities? Let’s look at ways to improve operations through an ERP.
Sales: Your sales team needs ERP data in the field. Mobile customer relationship management (CRM) tools can deliver a more personalized customer experience. Using mobile access to your ERP, you can complete orders in the field, enter important customer information into your ERP, and capture payments seamlessly. The data are transferred instantly to the ERP, providing the other departments with the customer and sales information they need.
Marketing: Using ERP system sales and operational data, marketing can analyze trends and performance of products allowing them to adapt quickly to changes in customer requirements.
Finance: Accurate and timely information is key to giving finance and accounting the tools they need to evaluate costs, follow cash flow, and manage assets. Your ERP accounting software seamlessly integrates with other departments so that data is only entered once.
Operations: Manufacturing and warehousing are important pieces of operational excellence. Automation enables operations to be accurate and efficient. When systems are still paper, inventory counts in the ERP are not updated until the data is keyed into the system, meaning that individuals accessing the system have an inaccurate reflection of quantities. Inaccurate data result in shipping errors, broken promises to customers, lost sales, and poor inventory levels. Clearly, these problems have a negative effect on the company bottom line.
When your manufacturing and warehouse management systems are connected to your ERP system, production and inventory data are accessible to other departments so they can do their job better. Any changes made to the ERP data are instantly available in the warehouse.
Field Service: Field service personnel need access to real time information in the ERP. Mobile field services capabilities integrated with your enterprise resource planning system should be a vital part of your field service strategy. These solutions can improve your service technician’s productivity, increase efficiency, and boost customer satisfaction.
Eliminating Functional Silos is Possible with ERP
If you are ready to eliminate functional silos in your company, contact us. PositiveVision specializes in working with small and mid-sized manufacturing and distribution companies to help them become more efficient and productive. We are a leading provider of enterprise resource planning systems, such as Sage 300, that delivers a suite of fully integrated modules including accounting, business intelligence, CRM, warehouse management, and human resource management. When your enterprise software communicates and real-time data are available to all, your departments will be on their way to better communication and productivity.