Team meeting to learn more about OPAL from experts.

The Benefits and Shortfalls of ERP Systems

If you are running a complex business, you probably have or are considering the acquisition of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system. It could be QuickBooks Enterprise, NetSuite, Sage, or one designed specifically for an industry like BlueCherry.

The concept that became ERP was developed in the 1960’s. Individual software programs were developed and designed for inventory management in manufacturing environments. By the 1970s, this had evolved into Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems for scheduling production processes. ERP has continued to grow and evolve into a complex system. Current ERP technology can handle all types of business functions, both back office and operational.

While time consuming to implement, this is a smart business decision and investment for many companies.  With an ERP system all departments of your company have the same view of important business information.  Information is stored in a main data base eliminating the need to re-enter data, thus reducing the risk of error, improving productivity and speeding up the time to fulfill orders.

The availability of consistent data improves the speed and quality of decision making. Your management team can identify potential production bottlenecks that might affect delivery times or affect productivity levels. Financial controllers obtain an immediate, up-to-date picture of orders, work in progress and stock levels to improve financial planning. Production planning staff can manage stock levels efficiently in line with orders and delivery schedules. Human resources staff can identify the need for recruitment or redeployment in line with changing business needs.

However, it’s not a panacea – especially in the world of product drop shipping through big box retailers and e-tailers where adequate margins become difficult to achieve.

All ERP systems provide standard order processing modules. You’re probably also using a third-party supply chain management company like SPS Commerce or CommerceHub to help process orders and connect you to your customers or you may be using an EDI service company to translate and transmit order fulfillment information. Unfortunately, all of these things still require trained staff to manage the process AND cuts into your product profitability when drop shipping.

What’s needed is an extension to an ERP’s order processing capability so that you can truly automate order processing, sales orders, invoicing, inventory tracking and connect directly with your retailers and e-tailers without EDI translation and transmission fees and the need for trained order processing personnel.

Visualize a touchless, self-driving solution working 24/365 that knows how to handle every order with 100% compliance, without EDI translation and transmission charges, and without human intervention that seamlessly plugs into your ERP system to improve profitability and enhance your existing investment.  Meet OPAL.