Are you an SME business owner? Are you looking for an ERP solution? If the answer is ‘yes‘ then you must know the important features of ERP tools before you take your ultimate decision to make a purchase. Today in this article, we will talk about the most essential features of an ERP system.
But before that, you have to have a clear understanding of your business resources that need to be automated. If you do know your own need then you will understand on your own which components are the most important ones and deserves priority when it comes to the process of business automation.
Manageable resources of your enterprise
Generally, most of the business organizations include financial resources, human resources, and physical resources. The clients or the customers of a business enterprise are also considered to be an important resource. These are the resources most business owners find it stressful to manage.
However, you may think that you can manage these resources with the help of professional accountants, finance managers, human resource managers and client resource managers. But employing these professionals in your enterprise means you have to compensate them with a huge amount of money.
Fortunately, with the help of a full-fledged ERP software, these resources can be managed automatically with a few clicks and you can save your hard earned money, time and effort. No more fusses, let’s get straight to the topic now.
Essential features of ERP tools
Being the most important resource, humans or the employees of your enterprise need to be managed efficiently and with care. You may want to track the attendance and leaves of absence of your employees, automate the payroll process, evaluate the employee performance and so on. An automated ERP tool helps you do just these at ease.
As clients are the bedrock of your business, you will have to do everything you have to keep them happy. For this purpose, you will have to communicate them on demand, give support for any issues, schedule a meeting with them and many more. These can easily be done with an automated ERP tool.
Whatever you do if you do not keep the records of the transactions and analyze them properly to make insightful reports in order to make informed business decisions in the future, achieving success will be tough. A good ERP system will help you do this with almost no efforts.
- Support for payment gateways: Why will you take payments manually or in an offline method while there are so many ways to take online payments? Payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal are very popular. While choosing your ERP solution you must ensure that the tool supports these payment gateways. With this payment gateways, you will be able to take payments via credit cards from your customers.
- Email automation: No matter you operate your business online or offline, your team may go through a project management and you may want to notify them with automated emails in the event of triggering an event. Most importantly, you may want to promote your business by sending news and offers regarding your goods and services to your customers. To send emails in an automated way, the ERP software you choose must support this functionality.
- Customizability: When it comes to the ERP solutions, there is no such thing as “One size fits all”. That’s because every enterprise is unique and so a solution which is suitable for a business enterprise may not be suitable for the other enterprises. Therefore customizability is one of the most important aspects of an ERP system.
- Deals management: Since a deals management component of an ERP system provides information to the sales representative in real time, the impediments like the manual intervention of approval get terminated which in turn scales the profitability of your business. You can seamlessly coordinate with multiple customers and hundreds of deals without getting confused which is a must to increase upselling and cross-selling.
- Workflow management: With a view to reducing time and money, automating your emails, creating contacts and employees and other related tasks with the workflow feature can play a vital role to boost the productivity of your business enterprise. Hence, you should determine whether the ERP solution that you are examining has this functionality or not.
- Attendance management: Another essential feature of an ERP system is the attendance management. We know how much annoying it is to keep records of employee attendance entries manually. This process can be done using an ERP tool along with fingerprint scanners, punch cards or with any other biometric devices.
- Integration with WooCommerce: If you are using WordPress, you may use the WooCommerce plugin for your online business. Thus the ability of your ERP to be integrated with the WooCommerce plugin is a much-needed thing.
- Payroll management: Compensating your employees with monetary benefits in time is the bedrock of increasing the employee retention rate. A good ERP tool will not only allow you to compensate your employees but also will help you automatically calculate and deduct the federal tax and other stuff.
- Reimbursement service: ‘Reimbursement‘ is a very useful feature of an ERP tool. Assume that you are outside of the office and one of your employees need cash money to spend for your office operation cost. In such circumstances, the employee can request reimbursement and make expenses on the fly. You can compensate them later at your convenient time.
- Document Management: It’s a quite common scenario that the business owners are getting lost when they have to do a lot of paperwork, share those papers with other employees and keep them in a safe place. If you belong to this group, you should flat out scrutinize and make sure that the ERP tool that you are going to buy contains this document management feature.
- Inventory management: Another important feature of an excellent ERP software is nothing but the “Inventory management“. To prevent the events like backorders and surplus inventories and to balance between them, you must have to employ an inventory management software for your business enterprise.
- Asset management: Most, if not all, offices distribute precious office assets like cars, laptops, tablets etc. to their employees. With a good ERP solution, you will be able to create these assets virtually and assign these assets to certain employees. You will also be able to ask your employees with this component to give back the assigned assets to the authority on demand.
- SMS notification: Being one of the most important features, SMS notification is needed when you want to send SMS directly on the cell phone that your employee is using. This feature is imperative when the system emails and messages are not enough to notify your employees in the event of an important announcement or things like that.
- Contact synchronization: Chances are very high that you will get stuck in the hassle of re-entering the contact data manually if you move onto a new platform. If you do have numerous contact data in different client management solution then you may require to import them into your current ERP system. Hence, it is an important feature of an ERP solution.
- Project Management: Project management is no easy feat and the process of managing a project has different facets like assigning tasks to a particular team member, sending notification in the event of assigning tasks, sending messages, commenting on a certain task to a concerned team member etc. This is why project management is an integral part of an ERP solution.
- Recruitment automation: The importance of the automation of the recruitment process or hiring professionals for your business organization is something that none can deny. A full-stack ERP solution is usually embellished with this functionality. From publishing job posts on your website to screening, interviewing and providing training everything can be done with this feature.
- Financial reports: A fully-developed ERP can generate valuable financial reports on its own. These reports will help you make smart and quick decisions when it comes to the crunch.
According to our observation, these are the most important features of an ERP software. To operate your business properly, you must streamline your enterprise with an ERP system because no one can do away with the help of technology.
We recommend you use the WP ERP as it has all the important features needed to manage an SME business. The good news is that the tool has a free version and you can get it from below. However, if you notice that we forgot to enlist any important feature in the above listicle, then don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comment section below.