ERP stands for ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’, and in the case of cloud ERP this of course involves the use of cloud systems that allow you to store information online as a backup or in order to work collaboratively.
More specifically, enterprise resource planning is a term that covers activities such as purchasing, inventory management, finance, HR, business analytics, supply management and more.
In other words, it is the management and organization of a range of resources whether those are material, financial or otherwise. Of course this is something that every business must do, whether it realizes it or not, but by using the cloud to handle your ERP you can greatly increase your organization, save money and avoid mistakes. Here we will look at how cloud ERP works and why it’s such a useful tool.
Why Move to the Cloud?
Cloud software can be any type of software that lets you save your files on one or more online servers rather than your own hard drive. What this then means is that any connected computer can then connect, no matter where it is – as long as it has access.
This then results in a large number of new features and possibilities that simply weren’t possible before.
For instance, if you were to update your inventory sheet on the cloud, the changes you made would then be reflected on every single device in your organization meaning that no-one had outdated information. For a company with multiple chains, or a warehouse that wasn’t instantly accessible, this is an invaluable tool.
Even within a single office or warehouse, a cloud based system such as this one would allow staff to check information on their tablets without having to go to a central computer connected to the network. This is a feature that no retailer should be without.
More Opportunities on the Cloud
Another benefit of cloud ERP is that it allows more than one team member to edit the same document at once. This can be useful for collaboration, but it can also be useful for avoiding conflicts when new resources come in and out rapidly and often at the same time.
Better yet, because all this information is stored and handled online, it’s virtually impossible to lose – even if your computers are damaged.
Then there’s the fact that cloud ERP makes it much easier for your staff to work from home or from a hotel. On top of this you’ll never need to upgrade your software again – because the actual software is online, cloud ERP will upgrade itself in the background, meaning that you’re never forced to halt work while you transfer to a difficult new system. Make the switch now, and you’ll never have to do it again.
Of course there are some downsides to making the switch, the main one being that you’d have to abandon your current systems as you move online. Bear in mind though that at some point you’re going to have to bite the bullet, so you may as well do it now.
Another concern is internet connectivity – what if your internet goes down? Well one solution is to use a redundant internet service which can also help you to balance your bandwidth during active periods. At the same time though, you can keep up-to-date backups on your machines to ensure that you can access the most recent information while you wait for the internet to get back up and running. But let’s be realistic – when was the last time the internet was ‘down’ in your entire office?
So in short, if you are already operating from the cloud, it’s time to make the switch or risk being left behind.
The author of this post, Gregory Fisher, started Berkeley Sourcing Group eight years ago after realizing the need for efficient processes and coordination between manufacturing firms located in the United States and factories in China. He has a strong manufacturing and engineering background, and is proficient in Mandarin.