Technological advances have made ERP systems more efficient and more beneficial to companies. For instance, mobile technologies have had a profound impact on ERP, and current systems can provide more sophisticated analytics than older versions while being easier to configure.
New ERP solutions are better able to monitor and track business supplies and products, making it easier for employees to assess operations.
"Modern ERP systems are built for the internet-enabled world with e-commerce capabilities and the ability to integrate and collaborate with supply chain partners, customer portals, and aid in the tracking of incoming material and outgoing product to increase visibility and control," stated a recent release from ERP management consulting company RJT Compuquest.
Food industry provides model for contemporary ERP deployments
The food industry has been a significant adopter of ERP systems to improve product traceability, Manufacturing.net reported. Many food retailers and food suppliers are using mobile technology to gather data on their operations and integrate the information into their ERP solution. This information provides company decision makers and consumers, as well as federal regulators, with specific information on where exactly a product came from. With the use of a barcode scanner, food companies are able to gather very specific information on each product, capturing its progress from where it was grown or manufactured, to where it was processed and then packaged.
The article stated much of the traceability technology has been implemented due to federal mandates requiring companies to compile such information so regulators can trace the source of foodborne illnesses, but the result is that more people have more confidence in the food industry. The technology also brings a new source of revenue to companies that use it, according to Manufacturing.net, due to better targeted marketing and improved brand loyalty.
A representative from another consulting company, Crowe Horwath LLC, said in a release that many companies upgraded their ERP systems at the turn of the 21st century. However, more than 12 years later, it may be time for enterprises to consider another update, as the technological advances made in the intervening years could benefit the businesses. An ERP system should be able to continue to deliver a ROI and improve business functions. If it's not accomplishing these objectives, the company should consider a system upgrade.
"With an average life of 12 to 15 years for most ERP systems, and companies experiencing better financial performance following the worst of the recession, we're seeing a large number of clients ready for an upgrade," the statement read.