Intelligent SME.tech Issue 5 | Page 43

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// FEATURE // level the playing field by developing enterprisegrade ERP solutions for the SME market . These solutions that are born in the cloud and take advantage of the faster time-to-value that the cloud makes possible , reducing implementation times from months to weeks .

Here are the top five benefits that SMEs can expect from implementing an ERP solution :

1

An integrated business management approach
An ERP system streamlines , automates and integrates multiple sources of disparate information and business processes . This supports planning efforts by , for example , matching raw material purchases to accurate sales forecasts to minimise wastage in the supply chain .

2

Greater transparency , efficiency and cost-savings
ERP solutions enable SMEs to store information once and without duplication . This removes inefficiencies and enables the entire organisation to work off a single source of truth . Without an ERP system , valuable insights , such as production information used to calculate profitability may be stored in multiple silos leading to inefficiencies and potential wastages .

3

Decisions powered by predictive analytics and business insights
Many technology pundits have dubbed data as ‘ the new oil ’. The notion is predicated on the fact that raw oil isn ’ t as valuable as the final products that are produced once its processed . In the same way , data isn ’ t as valuable as the insights that are generated once it is analysed . ERP enables SMEs to analyse data and extract valuable insights that inform decision-making , enabling them to quickly adapt to changing market conditions .

4

Improved compliance , governance and data security
If data is indeed the new oil , then organisations need to take reasonable steps to safeguard it , both from a security and
governance perspective . SMEs striving to comply with the POPI Act or Europe ’ s GDPR , for example , can leverage their ERP solution to ensure sound governance by maintaining the correct levels of access to data for various stakeholders within the business .

5

Accessibility of businesscritical information
Cloud-based ERP systems enable business leaders to access business critical information from anywhere and at any time . In our current state of disruption , having the ability to tap into a real-time view of the total health of the business is invaluable to decision-making . The ability to securely access information about the company ’ s operations from any device , anywhere and at any time is also an important component of Business Continuity . �

IF DATA IS INDEED THE NEW OIL , THEN ORGANISATIONS NEED TO TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO SAFEGUARD IT , BOTH FROM A SECURITY AND GOVERNANCE PERSPECTIVE .
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