Top 5 ERP Modules in 2020

As your business scales, it can be difficult to ensure you’re keeping track of everything.

Are you concerned that things are slipping through the cracks? 

Whether it’s customer relationship management, finances, your supply chain, inventory management, human resources or manufacturing, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can help you manage it all. 

However, it’s difficult to decide on an ERP solution because of all the options on the market today. Finding an ERP vendor doesn’t have to be tough, though.

To get the most out of ERP software, it should include some of the best ERP modules that are useful for many companies. Below, we’ve highlighted the top five ERP modules for you to review and use as a resource when selecting the right ERP software.

#1: Financial Management

Financial management ERP software modules are extremely helpful for a rapidly scaling company in need of resource planning. 

graphic of functions of financial management for ERP

Image via Startup Plan

When using a financial management module, you’re able to track your finances, which are the heart and soul of your business. You’re in business to make money, and this module lets you see just how much money you’re actually making.

A good accounting module works with every department to keep track of both the money coming in and going out.

The module should be keeping track of this information in real time. That means you should be receiving up-to-the-minute revenue data as soon as a sale goes through or an expense is paid.

Why is this so valuable?

Simply put, it helps you aggregate and manage the movement of money through your business. If your incoming revenue doesn’t exceed your outgoing expenditures, you’re firmly in the red.

The whole of your company’s financial life should be visible in the module you choose. It should include the general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable.

You’ll also want to make sure your module has security features built into it, much as you would a banking platform. You don’t want malicious actors gaining access to your financial data.

Depending on the size of your market, you might want a module that can track multiple forms of currency aside from USD. If you operate globally, you’ll have to be able to track various types of currency, whether it’s the Euro, the British pound or the Canadian dollar.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to select an ERP solution that allows you to set up alerts in your financial management module. That way, the module can warn you when finances fall to a certain level so you can immediately take action, whether that’s suspending ad campaigns or reallocating funds.

#2: Inventory Management

The basic principle of inventory management is that you need to know how much stock you have at any given time. This goes beyond just simple data analysis and order fulfilment. You also need this information to accurately allocate space for incoming inventory. 

That’s why inventory management modules through ERP software are so useful.

A proper inventory management module connects with various levels of your business and the manufacturing industry. This includes everything from initial acquisition of your inventory from a vendor to final shipping when fulfilling orders. 

An inventory management module can help you to increase profits thanks to a much needed boost in efficiency. That boost improves vendor relations and the overall customer experience, which leads to more satisfied repeat customers. 

Repeat customers are the backbone of any successful business. If you have poor inventory management skills, chances are someone is going to try and order something only to find it out of stock or inaccurately filed in your system. When this happens, it’s likely they’ll take their business elsewhere. 

It can be up to 10 times more expensive to bring in new customers than it is to hold onto existing ones. Efficiency breeds repeat customers, and that’s one of the reasons why an inventory management module is such a valuable resource. 

Some common features to look for in an inventory control module include tracking stock levels, processing receipts for all inventory and warehouse management for multiple locations. 

#3: Supply Chain Management

Another top module you should look for in ERP software is supply chain management. 

The supply chain has a large number of moving pieces, and that’s why managing it is best left to automated ERP software modules.

graphic of supply chain management for ERP

Image via Arovent

One of the most important features a supply chain management module needs to have is the ability to give you real-time data. That way, if there’s an issue, you find out about it right away, and you can make decisions based on the most up-to-date information available. 

If you’re working with outdated information, it’ll likely have a negative impact on your customer base. However, when you receive real-time data, you’ll find that you can resolve most issues before they become big problems. 

Your supply chain management module should also give you a good idea about how long it takes to produce a product. It also helps with demand forecasting. The best supply chain management modules will use predictive analytics to determine what future demand could look like to help you create an optimized production plan. That way, you can plan ahead..

In addition, a supply chain management module should help you meet the demands of your audience without exceeding them and wasting money on production costs for inventory that’ll clutter your shelves. 

Finally, a supply chain management module should include purchase order and document management to help you keep track of everything in a centralized database. 

#4: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A strong customer relationship management module (CRM) is the backbone of a successful sales team. You can run your CRM through an ERP system if the option is available.

Using a CRM helps you better manage the sales funnel. Keeping track of your customers, sales and leads becomes a simple matter when you’re using the right CRM tool. 

graphic of CRM module for ERP

Image via RolusTech

Any CRM worth its salt should be able to assign point values to your leads to determine whether they’re cold, warm or hot. 

Based on those values, you should be able to schedule outreach efforts. For example, hot leads should receive a touch phone call once a week, while cold leads might receive an email to gauge interest once per quarter. These efforts can be scheduled in the CRM, creating a calendar that tells your sales reps who they have to reach out to every day. 

On top of that, each customer or lead profile should include interaction histories. This data allows for a more personalized approach to sales with every customer. For example, if a rep makes a note that a lead mentioned he’d be going to his son’s wedding next month, that info will pop up when the rep calls back, and they can ask the lead how the wedding went. This is a small gesture that goes a long way toward building a solid customer relationship. 

From a sales management perspective, CRM modules give you the ability to track the progress of each sales rep and set their individual goals and quotas. This allows you to hold your reps accountable in a way that’s both well documented and easily accessible by managers and HR. 

Segmentation is another great feature of a CRM module. This feature can show you where your customers are located, segmented by region. This is valuable information that you’ll need when sending out region-specific offers. 

Plus, using analytics gathered through your CRM module, you can gauge how your marketing efforts are going. You can put all the leads who came from a specific ad group together and determine the average conversion level of that outreach. This helps you maximize your marketing budget and eliminate any wasteful or ineffective initiatives.

#5: Human Resources

Human resources (HR) is an important part of any company, and all of that vital work can be managed in an ERP software module. 

The HR module you choose should be a companywide service, reaching every department.

graphic of HR module for ERP

Image via SmartSheet

An HR module helps you collect information on every employee simultaneously, even if you’re working in different locations. Information can be shared between departments when needed. 

Some common HR tasks that can be automated through an ERP software module include tracking vacation days or timesheets or documenting coaching efforts or disciplinary actions. Your HR system can even track bonuses by pulling sales and commission data from a CRM module. 

What’s more, a good HR module keeps track of policy changes and how they’re communicated to employees so there’s no confusion.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to improve efficiency and boost your business’s bottom line, the question isn’t “Do we need an ERP software solution?” It’s “What kind of ERP product do we need?”

When shopping for enterprise resource planning software, it’s important to make sure the vendor offers the top five ERP modules businesses need to function effectively. 

By looking for solutions with modules that focus on human resources, CRM, financial management, supply chain management and inventory management, you can be sure your company will be able to track and account for its most critical data with ease.

 

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