ERP solutions are best leveraged when they integrate with the full spectrum of business process and operations. Ephraim Cohen in a recent Smart Data Collective article called ERP the "consolidating central nervous system of business information technology," but IT managers must understand all business demands as well as the ERP system for the company to truly benefit.
"Although the ERP system is meant to become an all-embracing technology solution, often times it is dealt with as an island of excellence apart from the rest of the IT infrastructure that the business relies upon," Cohen wrote. "This becomes particularly true if the business uses a partner to care and feed for the ERP solution and has no competency internally in the organization."
Manufacturing Digitial also touched on this subject of integrating business processes into an ERP. Johnny Williamson wrote in the article that companies, specifically those in the manufacturing business, need an overarching system that can capture documents and data from different operations and departments and connect that information instead of keeping it in different silos where it is unattainable and cannot create business insight.
For instance, an ERP system may be handling account payable processes, and processes are now moving smoother and faster. But issues arise.
"The ERP is managing their data just fine, but what about the invoices, purchase orders, contracts and quotes that are required for effective and proper management of A/P?" the article stated. "These hidden issues are a plague to manufacturing, eating up costs and labor yet remaining unresolved."
Company data from all operations should be linked so business can identify where improvements can be made and the system can be best leveraged. When it comes to operations related to supply chain and distribution, integrating wireless barcode scanners in warehouses can expedite data collection, leading to swift integration of key information with the ERP system. The data collection technology offered by RFgen integrates with a range of robust ERP solutions from companies such as Deltek, SAP, Microsoft and Oracle.