Unlocking the Power of Cloud ERP: A Guide to Key Features
As the business landscape becomes increasingly complex, cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are no longer a luxury but a necessity for companies looking to stay competitive.
Today’s cloud ERP systems are advanced software solutions that are designed to integrate and automate essential financial and operational functions within a company. They provide a centralised database that allows for easy access to critical business data, including general ledger (GL), accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and financial reporting.
Modern cloud ERP systems go beyond just financial management. They also provide functionality for inventory management, order management, and supply chain management, as well as procurement, production, distribution, and fulfilment. This allows businesses to manage their operations more effectively and efficiently.
In order to fully leverage the power of cloud ERP systems, companies should have a good understanding of the 12 core cloud ERP features.
Integration is a critical component of a cloud ERP system. The primary benefit of cloud ERP is its ability to integrate different solutions in your organisation to provide you with a centralised view of essential financial, operational, and business data in near-real-time. By integrating different data, cloud ERP systems eliminate data silos and provide a single source of truth for the organisation. It will ensure that everyone has access to the same up-to-date information and share the data accurately and efficiently across the company.
Cloud ERP systems provide companies with the ability to automate repetitive business tasks, such as: payroll, order processing, invoicing, reporting, and more. By automating these tasks, cloud ERP systems can minimise the time spent on manual data entry, reduce errors, and enable employees to focus on more value-added tasks.
Cloud ERP systems also provide the ability to automate complex workflows, which can involve multiple departments and processes. For example, an inventory tracking module could automatically trigger a shipment and invoice when a certain SKU becomes available. This not only reduces the time required to complete the task but also ensures that all departments are working together and sharing the same data.
3. Data Analysis
Cloud ERP systems collect and store vast amounts of data from various functions, such as finance, procurement, inventory, sales, and marketing. This data can be used to generate meaningful insights that can help businesses make better decisions and improve their operations.
According to Brainyard’s Winter 2020 survey, CFOs and business leaders have long recognised the power of data analysis, as it enables them to identify new business opportunities, optimise current operations, reduce costs, detect fraudulent activities, and improve customer satisfaction. With cloud ERP systems, data analysis can be performed in real-time, enabling businesses to stay on top of trends and respond quickly to changing market conditions.
Reporting is another important role of cloud ERP systems. Cloud ERP systems provide businesses with a wealth of data from various sources, and reporting tools allow businesses to turn that data into actionable insights. Reports generated by the cloud ERP system can help businesses identify problem areas before they become major issues. It can also help businesses optimise their processes and identify opportunities for improvement.
With better reporting capabilities, executives and managers can make more informed decisions based on the data presented in the reports. The ability to quickly generate reports also means that information is more readily available and can be acted upon in a timely manner.
5. Tracking and Visibility
Tracking and visibility are key features of cloud ERP platforms that enable companies to monitor, analyse, and optimise their business operations.
Tracking refers to the ability to monitor and record various aspects of business operations, such as sales orders, purchase orders, inventory levels, production schedules, and delivery timelines. By tracking these metrics in real-time, companies can quickly identify potential issues and take corrective actions to minimise any disruptions to their operations. This also enables companies to make informed decisions based on accurate and up-to-date data, which can ultimately lead to improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased profitability.
Visibility, on the other hand, refers to the ability to surface and understand business metrics by providing real-time access to data across the organisation. By breaking down information silos and offering reporting and analysis for every aspect of business operations, cloud ERP platforms enable companies to gain a holistic view of their business performance. This allows them to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for improvement, which can be leveraged to optimise operations and increase revenue.
Accounting is a critical component of a cloud ERP system that enables organisations to track, store, and analyse financial data. Cloud ERP accounting features typically include capabilities such as accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR), general ledger (GL), budgets, and forecasting. Additionally, many cloud ERP systems may offer more advanced features such as tax management, fixed assets management, revenue recognition, and multi-currency reconciliation.
One of the key benefits of cloud ERP accounting functionality is the ability to decrease the time it takes to reconcile and close monthly financial statements. Month-end closes can be a time-consuming process that involves reconciling various accounts, reviewing transactions, and generating financial statements. Cloud ERP accounting features can help automate and streamline many of these tasks, reducing the time and effort required to complete them.
7. Financial Management
Cloud ERP systems play a significant role in financial management by providing a centralised platform for tracking and managing financial data across a company. As financial management is a critical task for businesses that involves planning, organising, and utilising funds to achieve the company’s objectives, a cloud ERP system can assist finance teams in managing these complex tasks.
8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to the strategies, processes, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. Integrated CRM features in a cloud ERP system allow organisations to incorporate customer relationship data into their operations, expanding their business view and enhancing customer service.
9. Sales and Marketing
Cloud ERP systems with integrated CRM features can help organisations improve their sales and marketing efforts by providing better insights, automating processes, and enhancing collaboration between teams. With integrated CRM features, cloud ERP systems can provide real-time insights into sales trends, customer behaviour, and also can provide a more personalised and tailored experience to customers. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as increased sales revenue.
10. Human Resource (HR)
The Human Resources (HR) component of a cloud ERP system is designed to manage all aspects of employee management, from recruitment and hiring to payroll and benefits administration. With an integrated HR module, organisations can streamline their HR processes and reduce manual workloads. Therefore, automating HR processes with a cloud ERP system can save time, and reduce the risk of costly errors. This frees up HR staff to focus on more strategic tasks, and help companies to improve the employee experience.
11. Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Supply Chain Management (SCM) refers to the planning and management of all activities involved in the production and distribution of a product or service. A cloud ERP system with SCM functionality enables businesses to streamline and optimise their supply chain operations by tracking and analysing data related to demand, inventory, manufacturing processes, logistics, and distribution.
Cloud ERP systems have long played an important role in manufacturing, providing businesses with a centralised platform to manage various aspects of their production processes. With cloud ERP, manufacturers can streamline product planning, monitor production, and forecast demand. The system can also assist with sourcing raw materials and managing the assembly process.
Maximising Efficiency and Growth with Oracle NetSuite Cloud ERP’s All-In-One Platform
Oracle NetSuite is a cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that brings together multiple business functions in one unified platform. This cloud-based software is designed for enterprises across various industries. It offers real-time insights, streamlined customer service, and reduced supply chain costs through the integration and automation of essential financial and operational functions. These functions include inventory management, order and supply chain management, procurement, production, distribution, and fulfilment.
With Oracle NetSuite cloud ERP, businesses can benefit from a centralised platform that eliminates data silos, reduces manual errors, and enhances overall efficiency. The system allows for greater visibility and control over all aspects of the business, from finance to HR to sales and marketing. This integration helps businesses make better-informed decisions by providing real-time data insights and reports.