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The Basics of Enterprise Resource Planning

Today’s businesses are increasing their budgets to invest significant funding and resources into their company’s internal technology. As companies begin to add new systems and update older ones, it is important that one solution connects all of these internal systems together. That is where an enterprise resource planning system, or ERP system, becomes invaluable for growing businesses. Most companies use different software systems to run their customer relationship management (CRM), order management, accounting and sales systems. An ERP system can become the backbone of an organization by allowing all of these different systems to integrate and speak to each other.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Implementing the correct ERP system can have many benefits for a business, including increased productivity, management of company data, improved business communications, streamlined inventory management and more. One ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, was designed specifically with small to midsize businesses (SMBs) in mind. Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that helps businesses connect financials, sales, service and operations to better streamline processes, improve customer interactions and make better business decisions. With Business Central, companies can get a 360-view of their business with the platform’s core capabilities, which include:

  • Financial Management
  • Sales and Service Management
  • Project Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Operations Management
  • Reporting and Analytics

Business Central is a well-rounded ERP platform, and in addition to the core capabilities, the system also has functionality that caters to the SMB market. This system allows companies to better manage their financials by connecting data across sales, purchasing, inventory and customer service. As a Microsoft 365 product, Business Central has a direct integration with Power BI, a business intelligence and analytics platform. The system’s built-in Power BI dashboard allows companies to chart their financial performance and receive updates in real-time.

In addition to managing financials, companies can also automate and secure their supply chain by optimizing inventory levels, avoiding lost sales and maximizing profitability. The platform utilizes built-in intelligence to constantly update inventory levels, which allows companies to better maintain the right amount of stock.

Too improve the customer experience, an ERP system like Business Central makes it possible to better track customer interactions and provide value throughout the sales cycle. A key benefit for small businesses is the accelerated quote-to-cash cycle, including sales inquiries, service requests and payment processing, which can all be handled through Outlook. The Business Central system utilizes timesheets with advanced job costing and reporting capabilities to keep projects on time and on budget by analyzing project performance on a real-time basis. As an added benefit, Business Central can be deployed as a cloud, on-premise or hybrid solution, allowing employees to have the same user experience no matter where they are.

While an ERP system provides many benefits, the implementation process can be daunting for companies of any size. Even Business Central, which can be purchased as an off-the-shelf software will need customization to be fully functional A managed service provider can help a company to determine which ERP solution is best for their business, and create a customized solution that fits the company’s business processes.

Impact’s ERP Offering

Impact offers a fixed-fee implementation model meaning no estimates or hidden costs, just one upfront fee. While this is rare for ERP implementations, Impact’s assessment process allows the implementation team to get a deep dive into a company’s business processes to better understand how to configure technology to be the best match for employee workflow. Impact’s detailed assessment covers every aspect of how an organization operates – from financials and inventor to customer service. We observe, record and analyze how you’re performing business-critical processes across your organization. This detailed process ensures that the ERP system will be implemented successfully and become a powerful business tool rather than a complicated solution.

Learn more about our enterprise resource planning (ERP) consulting and implementation services.