Flowlens - Custom Software for Manufacturers and Engineering Services

How ERP Software brings Long-Term Gains

by Rich Dale

April 5, 2016 | Reading Time: 2 minutes

Modern, cloud software can unleash your business potential and long term growth.

For build-to-order manufacturers who are competing for market share, there are many demands on budget. Some will have made investments in legacy systems, while some will have no ERP system at all and rely on spreadsheets.

Long term gains are clear:

  • Standardised processes allow the business to run faster
  • Reduced friction: process orders faster
  • Shared data reduces manual effort and confusion
  • Cloud availability aligns with modern working practices
  • Reduced costs impact profitability

Our experience shows that make-to-order companies recognise the benefits of investing in technology that supports and streamlines business processes. The most significant challenge for ERP software is to support effective collaborate across departments, processes and teams, while integrating with existing system that support the business. Effective communication across departments reduces waste, and therefore provides significant cost-savings through enhanced operational efficiency.

In the age of big data, reporting and analytics are another significant challenge for SMEs. It’s essential that data is shared across the organisation and various platforms so relevant reports and analytics can be extracted to inform better business decisions. ERP can address these issues, but many firms struggle if their data is spread across various systems and spreadsheets.

Companies that have updated to joined-up, cloud ERP have been able to reduce costs, and ensure accurate information sharing across the business. This enables sales, operations and after-sales to function efficiently and respond better to customer needs, providing a competitive edge. The benefits for SME’s are clear but what do these firms needs from an ERP software solution?

Our customer research suggests it needs to offer:

  • A single and centralised view of the customer through a single contact database.
  • Workflows to standardise the flow of information efficiently.
  • Real-time reporting to react to new opportunities or recurring issues.
  • Integration with existing applications such as Finance, RFID and CAD systems.
  • Experienced assistance to define processes and manage implementation in the business

By choosing a partner that listens and understands the business and processes you can achieve significant return on investment. While projects such as ERP have a reputation for being protracted and costly, this is now becoming a thing of the past. With the right methodology and support in place, these risk are minimised while maximising the return on investment.

Flowlens provides a common sense and tailored CRM, MRP and ERP platform for build-to-order companies, that supports the customer lifecycle. We create long-term partnerships by listening and understanding your business problems and configure the platform to ensure effective change and return on investment. Customers such as Survitec Group have seen real-world return on investment such as a 40% reduction in manual administrative effort.

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Rich Dale

Rich leads the Flowlens team, developing a beautifully simple, yet powerfully integrated ERP and CRM system for small businesses. Flowlens helps you control your costs and margin, with joined up reports, stock, purchasing, quotations, sales pipeline, operations/production, dispatch and after-sales management functions.

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