How cloud ERP systems help business owners increase efficiency
Imagine running an aircraft carrier. Aircraft taking off and landing already look busy enough. However, you also have multiple systems running concurrently: navigation, communications, defense, maintenance and repairs, and supplies for munitions, food, and fuel.
Similarly, “running a tight ship” is easier said than done in terms of managing a business. When executed correctly, coordinating the efforts of interdependent departments such as procurement, inventory, marketing, customer relations, sales, distribution, and human resources means having an edge over less efficient competitors. This drive for efficiency led to enterprise resource planning (ERP) — the stitching together of separate management schemes into an integrated whole via enterprise-wide software.
By using continuously updated common databases, departments can share data with one another, and communications with external stakeholders can be better managed. As with most software tools of late, ERP systems are being shifted away from in-house implementations and onto the cloud. Here’s why this is good news for large and small businesses alike.
The cloud enables mobility
Being on the cloud means being perpetually connected via the internet. Traditional ERP systems often require users to be within corporate networks to gain access to shared databases. But, with cybersecurity measures put in place, cloud-based ERP systems can let mobile staff safely access proprietary files and contribute to the shared database. In fact, for as long as an internet connection can be established, expanding or moving operations to different locations are better facilitated in the cloud.
Real-time data updates made possible on the cloud
Cloud service providers can wield immense computing power to process data incredibly fast. Where internal ERPs will suffer lag when crunching huge data sets, top-notch cloud infrastructures can deliver results in real time. In practical terms, data delivery speed will only be limited by how fast your internet connection is — which, by the way, is increasing by the day.
Having access to information in real time contributes to cross-departmental collaboration. For instance, quality assurance inspectors who spot defects in a particular raw material coming from a supplier immediately notify production managers. These managers can then notify procurement officers of their concerns and coordinate with one another. By simulating adjustments to production plans, they can quickly arrive at the best production reconfiguration and implement it while they wait for proper supplies to arrive. In such a scenario, quality issues are mitigated and costly idle time is minimized.
Having real-time access to sales figures and marketing insights also allows firms to shift production to accommodate changing market demands. For instance, movie distributors who find that a certain film would bomb at the box office can preemptively cut their losses by going straight to streaming services instead. Theater managers will appreciate the early heads-up and dedicate screens to more profitable movies instead. In short, information obtained faster leads to more timely decision-making.
You don’t need to worry about hardware maintenance and software updates...
...because cloud service providers will take care of those for you. Obsolete machines and missed software updates for in-house ERP systems translate to inefficiencies and cybersecurity vulnerabilities for your business.
Localized ERP systems are vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. On the other hand, cloud-based ones can feature redundancies your firm can fall back on in case your primary data center goes down. More than merely offering backups, reputable cloud providers such as SimplyClouds deliver failover and failback services. The former lets you execute essential business functions during and after a disaster, while the latter lets you go back to normal operations as soon as possible.
Eager to run your business like a tight ship via your very own cloud-based ERP system? SimplyClouds is here to help! Contact us to learn more about what our cloud experts can do to significantly improve your bottom line.