Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms provide significant advantages to manufacturers. The efficiencies, integration and data-driven insights are among the core reasons companies choose to adopt an ERP solution.
Migrating that solution only turns up the dial on those advantages. In the cloud, an ERP reduces costs and improves productivity far more than on-site solutions. In Your definitive guide to Cloud ERP, part 2: The sun always shines on the top of the cloud, we take a closer look at why the future of cloud-based ERP is bright.
ERP and cloud basics
ERP solutions are a way for companies to integrate multiple functional units under one umbrella. In some cases, it also allows suppliers and customers to input information and view data to make better decisions throughout the supply chain.
ERP solutions create a powerful infrastructure by bringing together disparate data from different systems into one database. Dashboards and reporting tools allow for quick access to real-time information that lets employees make better decisions faster. Integrated units include finance, manufacturing, research and development, human resources, sales, marketing, logistics, and audit.
The cloud is a growing area of shared computing. In the cloud, developers, administrators, and end users can access platforms, applications, and programs. In most cases, the servers and data are stored offsite, allowing for scalability, flexibility, and reduced operating and personnel costs.
The advantages of cloud ERP
Moving to a cloud ERP provides considerable advantages, including:
- Affordability. Consider the costs that go into a new system. Personnel need to be hired to manage, customize and train staff members. Additional data center space (and utility costs) are needed to house servers and other equipment. Maintenance and upgrades need to be managed throughout the organization. With cloud ERP, companies instead pay a monthly or annual fee that usually includes installation and maintenance support, automatically delivered updates and patches, and storage and security at offsite, centralized locations.
- Faster launch. With cloud ERP solutions, multi-site companies can be up and operational fast. There’s no need for multiple hardware installations.
- Flexibility and scalability. Few things can frustrate finance and corporate leaders than paying for not enough or too much capacity in a platform. The quandary is often around anticipated future growth, meaning companies need to project what their needs will be years out when purchasing a product. With cloud ERP, you can keep up with growth without needing to purchase additional servers, space, and people. The cloud lets you expand as your company needs to without needing new hardware or software seat licenses.
- Focus on core. By combining multiple functions into one platform, cloud ERP reduces the time and expense of pulling data from different systems, running conversions and correlations, and generating reports. Instead, these tasks are automated, pulling from real-time information, letting staff focus on other priorities and executives to interpret the data.
- Accessibility. Cloud ERP allows for easy access to systems and data without regard for location or device. Users across the globe, using tablets, PCs or smartphones, can enter and pull information easily via cloud-based access. Common interfaces allow executives to see the data they need at any time, anywhere.
- Security. Cloud ERPs are housed in modern data centers that are secured both physically and digitally. When updates, upgrades or security patches need to be delivered, they can be transmitted directly to all end users. Redundant backups ensure that your data is accessible in case of technical issues or natural disasters in one location. Cloud providers ensure that applications and data are available with clearly defined contractual guarantees.
- Technology. Often businesses struggle whether to upgrade to a new system version due to the considerable time it takes to implement. However, with the cloud ERP solution, a company can quickly gain access to new technology, improved functionality, and upgrades features.
- Future integration. As more applications and companies move to the cloud, the opportunity for further integration and data sharing accelerates. Companies with a cloud ERP can seek other synergies and partners to leverage better results, products, and services.
At NexTec Group, we help companies find the right cloud ERP solution for their business. Our consultants work with top providers, including Sage X3 Cloud, Acumatica Cloud, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec Group can find the idea cloud ERP for your company.