potential of erp

Unlocking the Full Potential of ERP: Beyond the Basics

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions have evolved into the backbone of operational processes, managing resources, controlling finances, and streamlining operations amidst a rapidly changing digital business landscape. Businesses are realizing that ERP is no longer a single strategic tool but a platform for true transformation and meeting the different needs of different organizations.

The power of ERP to enhance profitability, growth, and agility is irrefutable, but when does it become “More Than ERP” and why should businesses even care? Let’s get answers and explore why these attributes are now table stakes for any enterprise-worthy ERP solution.

But first, let’s understand the ERP basics.

ERP Basics

ERP systems are based on a single, well-defined data structure called a schema, which usually shares a database. This makes it possible to guarantee that data utilized throughout the company is standardized and founded on shared definitions and user experiences. These fundamental ideas then link systems and their users through business processes that are driven by workflows across business divisions (such as finance, human resources, engineering, marketing, and operations). ERP, to put it simply, is how a contemporary organization integrates its people, processes, and technologies.

Take the case of a corporation that manufactures automobiles by sourcing parts and components from several vendors. To make sure that every step of the procure-to-pay process uses consistent, clean data linked to organizational workflows, business processes, reporting, and analytics, it might monitor the request and purchase of these items using an ERP system.

When implemented correctly at this automotive manufacturing company, ERP ensures consistent identification of components like “front brake or brake pads” through comprehensive data fields such as part name, material, size, source, supplier part number, lot number, serial number, cost, and specification, among other descriptive and data-driven attributes.

ERP makes it simpler to gather, arrange, analyze, and disseminate data—which is essential to any contemporary business—to all the systems and people who require it to carry out their respective roles and responsibilities.

To accurately monitor and depict all costs, ERP also makes sure that these data fields and attributes roll up to the appropriate account in the business’s general ledger. It would be challenging for the automotive manufacturing company to calculate the annual cost of brake pads and decide whether to switch suppliers or haggle for lower prices if their brake pads were referred to as front pads or just brakes in one software system (or possibly a spreadsheets), “pads brake” in another, and “brake pads” in the next.

A basic ERP tenet is the collecting data centrally for broad dissemination. ERP systems offer order to chaos so that all users—from the CEO to accounts payable clerks—can produce, store, and use the same data derived through similar procedures. This is in place of several independent databases with an unending inventory of disconnected spreadsheets. All members of the company may feel safe knowing that the data is accurate, current, and comprehensive when it is housed in a centralized, secure repository. Without depending on prone to errors in spreadsheets, data integrity is ensured for all tasks carried out throughout the whole firm, from a single overdue receivables report to a quarterly financial statement.

Now, let’s explore what it takes to become “More than an ERP”


The modern workforce is undoubtedly mobile—there’s not even a debate about this. With the number of mobile workers increasing each year, every piece of software must utilize—ERP included—be accessible anytime, anywhere. The question for businesses today is much simpler: Does the ERP solution under consideration empower a mobile workforce? Can employees access a wide breadth of data and collaborate easily from anywhere? The capacity to offer seamless mobile access has quickly evolved from a luxury to an absolute necessity for those striving to remain relevant in today’s digital age.

IT Costs

Traditional IT infrastructure can be both: costly and inefficient, much to the chagrin of businesses the world over. As proven time and time again, a significant portion of a company’s data center capacity is continually left idle day in, and day out; a direct reflection of the lack of IT funds to leverage technology properly. Is the current IT setup genuinely cost-effective and optimally efficient? In many cases, poor data center operations are serving to drain resources that could—and should—be used for a much more viable business success endeavor. Through leveraging ERP solutions that offer a cloud-based or hybrid deployment, however, businesses can simultaneously slash their IT overhead, dramatically improve scalability, and, most importantly, free up resources so that they’re able to concern themselves with strategic initiatives—not keeping the digital lights on.


Enabling access is crucial for extracting the most value from ERP solutions. Businesses should ensure that their employees, partners, and stakeholders can easily interact with the system and reach the data they need in real time. This involves allowing web and mobile access to the information users are looking to include in reports, dashboards, and key performance indicators (KPIs) needed for quick and informed decisions. Can important data be securely and seamlessly accessed by users who aren’t part of the organization? The ability to deliver access well beyond traditional boundaries is an essential enabler of collaboration, innovation, and agility and is thus central to growth and success in business.


Simplicity drives adoption which delivers productivity. ERP solutions should empower users by providing them with an interface to the system that is uncluttered and an experience that can be enjoyed any time and anywhere the user might want to engage — on any device. It should be simple to perform one’s tasks and take advantage of the power of modern technology, whether one is on a laptop at a desk, using a smartphone at home, or carrying a tablet through an airport. The more the user experience can be simplified, the higher the level of adoption, the less time it takes to train people and the higher the overall productivity. Are our employees provided with tools that make their job easier and more productive? Businesses that flip the question and invest in providing them with ERP solutions that are an effective enabler of the KPI — productivity — would be surprised at the potential impact to be had.

When evaluating ERP solutions, businesses are well served to look beyond traditional offerings and go with a solution that offers mobility, affordability, accessibility, and simplicity. Microsoft Dynamics ERP is an ERP solution that does all of those things. It extends traditional ERP with simplicity and agility and a small IT infrastructure footprint. As part of the community with tens of thousands of other companies, millions of skilled users and experienced developers of all sizes, this is a great way for businesses to keep pace today.

Remember that ERP is much more than software. It allows strategic enablement for all businesses to drive innovation, efficiency, and growth regardless of size. So why limit your business? All businesses deserve the best to help them succeed in this ever-changing digital landscape.

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