According to Gartner, ERP systems have entered into its 4th era of development, defined by superior data-centric, AI-driven, agile and customer-facing systems. Why is this so important for commercial enterprises?
By 2023, it is estimated that 65% of organisations will use ERP applications, encompassing the attributes of its fourth era, from strategic planning to predictable data analytics and more.
This represents a major shift from the limited resource planning role of the earlier traditional ERP platforms, then perceived as just another piece of IT software to be implemented.
From Resource Planning to Data-Driven Strategy
ERP systems have gone through many improvements over the last decade. It moved away from a back-office resource planning system to become a strategic tool comprising integrated financial and operational processes.
In its 4th stage, ERP improves planning and management of the various operational processes as well as allowing for better decision-making. The majority of businesses will invest in ERP systems as a must-have. This includes small businesses, up to large enterprises as these days there are solutions available for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Organisations will select their ERP system based on future-proof business capabilities such as strategic planning, process integration, and data management. Fully integrated systems, brining all key operational functions of the business together, providing a holistic view of the business, will be invaluable. Businesses, people and general consumer expectation are becoming smarter and more efficient, so it will be crucial for businesses to keep up and to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently.
Consequently, ERP is not a one-size-fits-all piece of software and it’s not limited to fulfil a singular function like resource planning or to address one ecosystem - clients or suppliers, for example. Its purpose can change according to the business capabilities required to achieve specific goals, in a particular industry - IT, distribution, wholesale etc.
The 4th era of ERP
Modern ERP channels a broader ecosystem that includes other stakeholders. It can integrate a whole suite of operational functions. Some of the key areas it relies on:
Data-centric management. Understanding and managing data is a critical component of the latest software platforms. Accurate data is integral to process improvement. It helps support data analytics, as well as identifying potential risks in the organisation.
People-focused system. Modern ERP relies on automated operations but is, in fact, more people-centric than ever. It supports human resources by allowing employees to perform at a more strategic level instead of spending time on less productive tasks and time-consuming, routine or manual work. It can better serve customers, too, if everything runs smoothly in the back-end and if all data is accurate and up to date.
Agile implementation. A flexible solution is preferable to a rigid, outdated framework. The latest ERP systems are easily accessible and agile enough to grow with the business as its needs changes.
Kerridge Commercial Systems has been at the forefront of transformation in ERP systems for many years. During this time, our ERP solutions have grown to adapt to the changing needs of the distributors and wholesalers of today.
Find out more about Kerridge Commercial Systems' innovative solutions at kerridgecs.co.za.