Whether you’re a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) company, you’ll benefit from having ERP (enterprise resource planning) software to help your business run as smoothly as possible. Business software can also help increase your sales by giving you valuable insight into several aspects of your business. However, not all business software is the same, so it’s important to look at the different options and see which modules are offered that will best benefit your business.
These eight are all essential components of ERP business software.
#1: Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the process of keeping track of how your customers interact with your business and how you interact with them. CRM tracks communication with customers/clients and is used to help boost customer service and increase sales.
Finances are the foundation of every business and ERP system. As a part of business software, the finance module will track every business transaction to effectively manage your financial processes. This type of management will help drive business strategy and growth.
#3: Human Resources Management
Human resources management (HRM) and workforce management (WFM) software keep track of all things related to your employees. HRM software typically keeps detailed employee records that include performance and paid time off (PTO), while WFM software keeps track of payroll and employee work hours.
#4: Inventory and Warehouse Management
As the name suggests, inventory management in business software keeps track of current inventory levels while updating them in real time. If you own your own warehouse as a part of your business, you’ll also need warehouse management software that keeps track of picking, packing, and shipping your products. Of course, this is only necessary for B2C and B2B businesses that sell products to customers, as opposed to providing services to clients.
Whether you manufacture your own products or work closely with a manufacturing company, this is an essential application to have as a part of your business software. All components of making products will be coordinated to ensure that production and demand are in line with each other.
#6: Order Management and Procurement
An order management application is essential if you run an e-commerce business (online-only) or if your customers are able to order online. This function monitors and tracks customer orders from placement through delivery. If you’re an e-commerce business, you’re also going to need an e-commerce function of your business software that allows you to manage both the back and front ends of your online store.
Just as you need a way to manage customers’ orders, you’ll also need a way to manage your own orders— and that’s where a procurement function comes in. This automates requests for both quotes and purchases of raw materials, finished goods, or whatever you need. Procurement applications often go hand-in-hand with manufacturing and demand planning functions.
#7: Professional Services Management
Professional services automation (PSA) acts as project management software by allowing you to plan and track projects. It also includes time-tracking technology to keep track of the time spent on these projects. Your entire team will be able to collaborate on projects with real-time updates. Billing is also automated throughout the life cycle of the project.
Project management and time-tracking are essential when it comes to business. You want everyone to be able to communicate well and spend their time wisely when it comes to business projects.
#8: Weather Application Programming Interface
Weather application programming interface (weather API) may not seem like an essential part of business software, but having weather API can give you helpful insights into business performance. Mid-sized to large businesses can benefit from analyzing weather patterns and how the weather has affected business in the past. The historical forecast API function pulls past weather forecasts, and when compared with past business trends, you can see how the weather affected your sales. Real-time weather API is also available.
Of course, you’ll benefit the most by investing in business software applications that are most relevant to your business. For example, manufacturing, inventory, and order management functions aren’t necessary for law firms and other client-based businesses. On the other hand, all businesses can benefit from having customer relationship management functions, finance applications, and weather application programming interfaces because all businesses have either customers or clients, are striving to make money, and are affected by the weather. Overall, these eight applications have some relevance to the majority of businesses.