integration of crm and erp

Integration of CRM and ERP for your enterprise!

CRM AND ERP – TWO PARALLEL SYSTEMS, REALLY? NO!

Traditional ways of conducting business and the rules propelling success are fast relegating to pave way for new and innovative methods. When the big IT revolution took place, ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning was the true game-changer. By bringing all business functions, departments and processes in the product development and back-office operations including human and machine resources under one integrated application, ERP software solutions have streamlined process management for the entire organization.

CRM is the front-end mantra to enable business houses to focus more on the front-line i.e. the customers and the methodology focuses on building long-term relationships with prospects and customers, such that the company’s ecosystem grows around the end-user at the center.

Both systems focus on sharing of information across various entities within the company, with an aim to increase efficiency, improve profitability and enable sharing of data. By coupling these together, it would be the symbiotic business thrust that can bring the backend operations in tandem with the frontend and in the process, streamline both, just like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that complete the holistic picture of a smoothly functioning organization.

A BIRD’S EYE VIEW

On the face of it, integrating CRM and ERP systems lays the foundation for a unified platform that can help establish a holistic bird’s eye view across the length and breadth of the company. The marketing, sales, finance and product development teams can work in unison to improve efficiency, reduce data gaps and thereby add to the bottom line. The CRM-ERP integration will help to consolidate relations with customers and also ensure that sales and support work to help improve the service that you provide to them.

CAPITALIZE ON THE HANDSHAKE

A seamless SuiteCRM REST API integration with ERP shall allow you to be able to gauge your customers’ needs even before they realize it, and be prepared with your solutions for them. It will also allow you to efficiently transform proposals to orders. Specifically, the benefits of ERP-CRM integration as follows:

On the go availability of critical data
Mobile is the way of today. Whether it is a report for your top management brass, your sales folks, or anyone in the company, it is now possible to get access to critical data from across both the systems whenever and wherever they need it.

Smooth and consistent
Since the ERP and CRM integration helps to close any gaps in information, it ensures consistency of data and view at all points in the organization. This propels smoother workflow with increased automation and a truly streamlined order processing. The system can now update customer’s records via the order flow or inform the inventory management when the expected demand for a particular product seems to be on an increase.

Bid adieu to duplication
Without the integration of ERP and CRM, data from leads in CRM had to be copied and fed manually into the ERP and vice versa. Now the systems can feed into each other directly. This reduces data duplication efforts and reduces chances of manual errors.

Optimization is the buzzword
Since the objective behind the integration is to share a common vision, this will inculcate a culture and mindset of all interlinked departments to work towards the bigger picture and help them to work for the overall optimization of the entire business as a whole.

What is in it for each one?

  • For the Sales guys who sweat it out there: Sales team can now get an insight into how their sales are moving from the prospect to an actually paid and closed order. This motivates them as their commission is based on actual closures.
  • For the product teams: They can get visibility on the customers’ data, their specific needs, buying habits, preferences and feedback and accordingly improve their own order processes.
  • For the business leaders: A single repository for contacts and accounts across ERP and CRM helps the leadership to make critical decisions that can impact the overall functions across the board and study how a change in one area will impact the overall workflows.

Every bit worth it

The world of outsourcing has made it possible for enterprises to break their workflows into segments that can be better handled by experts. A bottleneck in the entire chain can thus be given a boost and help to improve the overall cycle. As such, the definition of customer is now expanding to include vendors and partners as well. In such times, ERP and CRM integration is the natural extension to entail professionalism and accountability at any given point within the working.

The opening of interfaces and strict standards today means that you can choose from a host of vendors who offer CRM and ERP solutions from across the globe and not feel compelled to pick a single vendor for both the systems. The survival of any solution today is smooth interoperability in both directions.

Source: Srikanth


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in Vietnam and China. Please feel free to contact us to find more information about the integration of CRM and ERP as well as the most suitable and flexibel ERP for your business.

History of ERP

The Ultimate History of ERP: Its Rise to a Powerful Solution

With the rapid expansion of technology making communication easier than ever, new and exciting business opportunities have begun to make their way onto the scene.

The ability for information, capital, and even human talent to be transported around the globe at rates that would’ve been unimaginable mere decades ago created an environment ripe for creative ideas to flourish.

However, the huge demands of such far-flung aspirations require a similar set of intricate systems to support and coordinate this mobility.

As one of the primary organizing principles of our current social world, large enterprise corporations have increasingly become reliant on ERP — Enterprise Resource Planning — systems to ensure the accuracy of the complex undertakings of these entities. Delving into the roots of these systems can tell us much about their current iterations as well as the initiatives they’re intended to support.

ERP systems are expansive pieces of software with a wide variety of functions and applications available to their users. As ERP solutions are ultimately intended to help coordinate large-scale business processes, their history is generally reflective of this; they started as a way to expand the coordination of different manufacturing undertakings under one enterprise and later evolved to include more back-end professionals as well.

ERP systems—like most widely used software solutions—were first innovated in order to solve a fundamental problem of human enterprise. In this case, ensuring the validity of information across rapidly-growing businesses that would have been previously unimaginable. As the shape and structure of business have changed over the past few decades, so too has the software intended to support it evolved.

In many ways, the history of ERP systems is closely tied to the stunning development of computer hardware that characterized much of the tech space in the latter half of the 20th century. Each decade has seemingly brought its own new permutation of ERP software alongside the latest developments.

The increasing accessibility of powerful computers has also shaped the history of this software; turning it from a luxury few could afford to a necessity for enterprise manufacturers that has forged a not-insignificant presence amongst mid-market organizations.

ERP systems date back to the 1960s; however, they’ve only become understood in their current form in the past few decades. They’ve undergone several iterations since their invention. The term ‘ERP’ wasn’t coined until 1990 and has had several variations on that classification in the intervening years.

The precursor: inventory control systems

Before the lifecycle of this particular software solution began, most product-based organizations used their own centralized computing systems that automated inventory. These ‘IC systems’ emerged in the 1960s and were usually developed internally and rarely went beyond tracking the presence or lack of final products against monthly or quarterly production quotas.

Such packages might seem simplistic by today’s standards—they lacked many of the functions of their contemporary counterparts—however, they represent the first step in using computational machines to gather and utilize data in product-based manufacturing with the explicit goal of optimizing production and distribution in a systematic way.

MRP software

Materials Requirements Planning—MRP—software emerged from a collaboration between IBM and a manufacturer of tractors and construction machinery: J.I Case. The ability to calculate the specifics of business has been a core requirement of businesses around the world over since the days of mercantilism, and modern incarnations of this were no exception.

By applying computational machines to the day-to-day operations of their business, the manufacturers at J.I. Case found they were able to meet and even surpass the markets increasing needs to achieve a greater level of coordination between manufacturing products, procuring raw materials, and the delivery of goods to and from their factories. The software achieved this by automating the scheduling of operations and procurement.

In its earliest incarnation, this software was only really used by a select few manufacturing companies. These types of businesses were fertile ground for a system like early MRP software to develop due to the unique requirements of procuring raw materials, producing goods, and moving these products to the final sellers.

The limits of computational technology were also keenly felt by many organizations in the 1970s; the hardware needed to run a complex program like MRP software could often require entire rooms in order to access the same processing power we can access in our smartphones today.

Only a select few enterprise-level organizations had the capital readily available to feed such insatiable mechanical beasts.

MRP II

The 1980s saw several advances in technology, including the invention of the CD and the launch of Nintendo’s Game Boy. For production software, it saw the development of Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) systems.

This iteration of pre-ERP software had an emphasis on the optimization of manufacturing processes through the integration of raw material requirements and production schedules. These systems included the functionality of old MRP systems but began to integrate overarching coordination between the different departments responsible for the creation of the organization’s end product.

ERP

It wasn’t until the 1990s that we first saw proper ERP software entering the arena. This saw the full integration of the entire business across one single database in order to create agile adaptations to the demands of the market for the schedules of MRP and MRP II systems.

ERP systems are defined by how they build a database that acts as the single “source of truth” for production-based businesses. The advancement this software shows over MRP systems is in the integration of seemingly disparate departments, such as marketing, finance, and HR into one digital ecosystem.

ERP II

Following the release and subsequent widespread adoption of ERP systems saw many of the software’s respective vendors developing even more functions beyond the core front-to-back integration.

These add-ons or “apps” created the idea of extended ERPs which could tackle a wide variety of different business issues such as incorporating consumer interactions into the core dataset customer relationship management through integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

At this point, it might seem like ERP systems had simply grown to be far bigger than was reasonable. However, the truth is that each subsequent add-on to the base software, in fact, served to increase the predictive power of the program. The more sources of data an ERP system has at its disposal—through external programs such as CRM—the better users are able to react to changes in demand or new trends in their industry.

This is what characterized ERP II: an integration with other efficient business software solutions that allows the otherwise slow and ponderous machinery of large businesses to instead strike like lightning when an otherwise unattainable opportunity presents itself.

ERP and the cloud

This most recent iteration of ERP software has seen many organizations adopting ERP as an application or series of applications that are delivered remotely over the internet in the software as a service (SaaS) model.

This cutting edge method of ERP deployment is possible due to the staggering advances made on the internet where entire software packages can be delivered and operated remotely without the need for the end-user to invest in the hardware or infrastructure necessary to run massive systems like ERP on-site.

This has vastly lowered the barrier to entry for many businesses and has been increasingly responsible for the proliferation of ERP software amongst mid-market organizations.

This history of ERP was not only influenced by the surrounding technological trends. The companies that developed these software solutions also played a large role in adding their own personal and historical elements to the development of ERP systems.

While the rise of the SaaS model has opened the market to dozens of new ERP vendors, the four oldest listed here have by far wielded the most influence on the trajectory of this burgeoning industry.

SAP

Started by a team of former IBM engineers in Germany, Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP for short) was founded in 1972 to provide business software for enterprise-level manufacturers. They released their first ERP system, R/2, in 1992. However, it wasn’t until the release of the next iteration of this software, R/3, that they exploded in their overall market share and quickly rose to prominence as one of the top vendors in the industry, with over 17,000 customers by 1999.

JD Edwards & Co

JD Edwards was founded in 1977 in Denver, Colorado, as a supplier for software for the IBM System i; an early mini-computer used by many businesses before the turn of the century. They launched their ERP system, OneWorld, as a flexible alternative to larger products with a reach into many mid-market organizations. It was acquired by Oracle in 2003 for $1.8 billion.

The BAAN Company

A Netherlandish company founded in 1978, BAAN entered the ERP market with the belief that the internet is the “ultimate enabler”, and it’s easy to see that philosophy in the approach to their particular software solution. They are known for their unparalleled cross-functionality amongst a variety of different business aspects and have access to a special tool, Orgware, that helps with implementation costs and has led it to become a leader in the defense and aerospace industries.

Oracle

The current industry leader, Oracle is a titan in the ERP space, and for good reason. It’s the second-largest software company in the world after Microsoft and has been in the ERP space since 1987. Their ERP system, Oracle Applications, has one of the most extensive stables of applications and their database management software has served as the basis for other ERP systems, making them both a partner and competitor to these companies.

With all the new developments happening every year in the tech space, it can be hard to sift through the noise and tell what will stick to a particular industry. For ERP, it seems that the integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence could lead to promising new avenues for users of the software.

These intelligent ERP systems (iERP) can theoretically make use of advanced data analytics in order to lend incredible predictive power to large business operations at a global scare.

The spread of IoT devices has also had an impact on recent ERP businesses. By connecting production and distribution devices directly to the central database provided by ERP systems, iERP could achieve unparalleled integration and agility by automatically sending commands to warehousing, procurement, and manufacturing units based on the data received from other integrated software such as CRM.

Hogwarts, a history

ERP can seem so complex as to be practically magical. The past can tell us much about the present and future of a particular industry. ERP software developed from the need to coordinate, predict, and react to ever-changing market trends and forces, and this history has a strong hand in determining the next evolution of these dynamic and expansive systems.

Ensuring data integrity is imperative for any enterprise business. Ensure you have the highest quality data available when you implement a new ERP system

Source: Piper Thomson


Data V Tech has implemented Epicor ERP software for many businesses in various industries. If you are looking for an appropriate solution, please feel free to contact us!

Epicor in Taiwan

Epicor beats 16 others in Taiwan

Epicor has won a contract to replace the ERP solution at Chin Fong Machine Industrial Co Ltd in Taiwan. Chin Fong is the largest manufacturer of mechanical power presses in Taiwan. Founded in 1948 it has revenues of $7.4 billion NTD.

The company is aiming to become the largest manufacturer in the world. It has manufacturing plants in both Taiwan and China. It has also expanded further overseas. Chin Fong acquired Stamtec Inc in 1990 and also has sales offices in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, and Thailand. It also has a global distribution network. In 2001 it extended its capability to automobile presses and can name Toyota and Ford amongst its customers.

Chin Fong first implemented an ERP solution in 2002. Seventeen years on the business has grown significantly and become more complex. The original ERP could only support standardized products. This increased the burden on staff from workarounds and it decided to replace the legacy solution

Mr. Yuta Tu, IT manager at Chin Fong, said: “Our old ERP system could not cope with the type of orders we were receiving. With customer demands becoming increasingly diversified, whenever we processed orders or managed production, our workforce had to spend lots of extra hours to solve problems caused by the system.”

“Furthermore, since our various subsidiaries used different ERP systems, a lot of additional time was spent compiling data for use in our financial statements. All of this had a negative impact on decision-making within the company.”

A long evaluation process

Chin Fong took its time evaluating the different solutions available. In total it looked at seventeen suppliers. That it took so long is unusual, one might argue that ERP solutions can change considerably over those two years.

However, the answer may lie in another comment by Yuta: “During the testing stage, we found that the combination of Epicor ERP and Microsoft technology complemented each other well. This was especially evident when having to process unexpected financial statements—the system’s ability to quickly input data helped reduce the amount of work for the IT department, thereby greatly increasing efficiency. As a result, we decided to completely switch all of our operations to the new ERP system by the end of this year.”

With such an important decision to make, after all its previous solution had lasted more than 15 years the duration starts to make some sense. Running a pilot to understand the integrations between its different solutions clearly helped. It will also have seen the improvements that Epicor has made to its core ERP solution. Epicor updates its core ERP solution, version 10, every six months. The latest release was in October this year.

Cash flow and mobile ERP key objectives

Chin Fong also had clear objectives for its new solution:

  • Cash flow traceability: required for the core organization and its subsidiaries. By tracking orders and transfers between business units it wanted to manage resources in real-time. This allows it to provide customers with accurate quotations using accurate costs.
  • Mobile-enabled ERP: International growth means it is important that managers can see up to date information on their mobile devices. They can both view information and take action decisions through the mobile application.

Epicor was finally selected based on its integration with Microsoft, the total cost of ownership and positive reference customers.

Implementation begins in China

Chin Fong will first implement the solution at its factory in Jiangsu, China in December. The implementation at Jiangsu will deliver order processing, logistics, purchasing, and finance. Staff from the head office in Taiwan will assist with the implementation.

 Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President, Asia, at Epicor

    Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President, Asia, at Epicor

This will help them gain a deeper knowledge of the solution. It will also be useful when they deploy Epicor in Taiwan in Spring 2020. With a unified solution across its operations, Chin Fong will obtain visibility it has struggled to achieve previously. It should also make further expansion easier.

Vincent Tang, regional vice president, Asia, for Epicor noted: “Epicor has a wealth of expertise in developing ERP software for machinery manufacturers. Our solutions are specifically designed to provide the greatest level of flexibility and promote business growth. We are proud that Chin Fong has selected Epicor ERP to help meet its business goals, and we look forward to supporting the company in its future growth ambitions.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

With the Taiwanese manufacturing production index falling in 2019 companies need to ensure that they increase efficiency. Chin Fong will do so over the next few months. This should cut both direct and indirect costs as it rolls out the application. Importantly it will have a better picture of its costs and will be able to transfer production between its plants as required. This should enable it to maximize profits and revenues in the coming years.

The advantage of adopting the Epicor solution is that it will also be able to take advantage of the upgrades every few months without a significant cost burden. It is unlikely that it did so with its historic solution.

Source: Steve Brooks


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

How cloud benefit enterprises

How the Cloud Technologies Benefit Enterprise Resource Planning

Cloud technologies are a catalyst for change in digital finance with the potential to disrupt the entire healthcare landscape, especially enterprise resource planning.

December 02, 2019 – The healthcare industry is on the cusp of a digital transformation that will affect stakeholders, customers, and organizations as a whole. At the center of this digital transformation is unlimited data, and organizations that build a new data model around aggregating, storing, and securing individual, population, institutional, and environmental data will likely be better positioned to drive the future of health.

One of the main emerging technologies disrupting transformation and benefiting organizations is enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud computing software. ERP can transform companies’ IT architecture and infrastructure by using scalable, elastic technology to deliver services via the internet rather than traditional on-premise architectures. Fueled in part by its flexibility to meet a wide range of diverse needs, cloud ERP systems are seeing immense growth in the marketplace with the potential to disrupt the healthcare industry.

Aside from providing a made-to-order flexible solution, cloud ERP allows organizations to leverage powerful ERP technologies without substantial startup costs. At the same time, they can enable organizations to see benefits like streamlined data integration, improved accuracy, and efficiency of data and research, enhanced patient experiences, and increased shareholder return.

Even with a clear idea of the potential benefits, controllers in the healthcare industry may find themselves with more questions than answers as they discuss and plan for cloud ERP implementation.

“Interoperability between cloud solutions and some of the EMR, health records, and even third parties are driving a lot of healthcare organizations’ to move into the Cloud.” – Tom Foley, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Benefits of cloud ERP solutions for healthcare organizations

As a core technology, the cloud offers the potential for optimized data architectures and processing engines, flexibility and an opportunity to scale, and streamlined integration with other emerging technologies. Implementing cloud technology into healthcare organizations offers many specific benefits, including:

  • Serves as a single platform and user interface to access and analyze infinite data across the organization, enhance research, and help innovators develop new tools and better solutions for consumer-centric and virtual health.
  • Allows for a single source of the truth that is less reliant on data from multiple systems to enhance patient experience with more targeted solutions and generate unique insights for personalized, always-on decision-making and more reliable and efficient patient care.
  • Offers streamlined ways to integrate with point solutions and other disruptive technologies that may reduce clinical platform costs, increase productivity and efficiency, and improve cost control across an entire organization.

The core components of cloud technologies provide organizations with a standardized platform to enable more streamlined and efficient processes. In turn, healthcare and health science organizations may be able to shorten close cycles and provide advanced insight into the business, while at the same time building more confidence in the accuracy of their data.

“Implementing a cloud ERP solution is a catalyst for transformation. It doesn’t just enable the overall controllership function, but also the other adjacent areas within your organizations, which can lead to a broader, more successful, and more refined operations in healthcare.” – Temano Shurland, Life sciences & health care principal Deloitte & Touche LLP

Leading practices for cloud ERP implementation

An organization’s journey into a cloud environment likely starts with a series of fundamental questions to validate the path forward. Should our organization migrate to the cloud? What cloud features do we want to adopt? How will migrate to the cloud impact the organization?

Nearly all of my clients are discussing what it means to move to the cloud. They are trying to get smarter—more educated—and they are reaching out to both technology vendors and organizations like Deloitte to get insights and information. —Tom Foley, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

While the drivers and roadmap for cloud implementation are unique for each organization, exploring its core features and potential for the future of healthcare can help professionals develop a broad understanding of cloud technology and what it can do for the future of healthcare.

Source: Deloitte


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Cloud ERP for many businesses in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

school erp trends 2025

Survive the roller coaster of digitalization with flexible ERP

‘Techquilibrium’ is a balancing act as enterprises embrace agility in their core IT. Infor’s Rod Johnson explores the role of modern ERP in digitalization

Technology is fueling the transformation of industries worldwide. Digital innovations are changing the way we work and live. But, enterprises often struggle to keep pace with the new demands and expectations. Remaining competitive requires investment in new solutions. Pressures to adopt modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of things (IoT), can push companies into projects that lack sound strategies, plans for deployment and budgets for training.

The hype surrounding digital solutions also adds to the confusion, sometimes creating expectations that are unrealistic. For some early adopters, proof-of-concept projects brought disappointing results. Plans were derailed, putting the entire IT infrastructure under scrutiny. Some industry pundits are even questioning the role of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in a hyper-connected ecosystem of multiple solutions. Is an ERP solution critical for visibility and a single view of the enterprise performance? Or, does it get in the way of agility? The answer, of course, is that it depends on your ERP system when it was updated and if it is deployed in the cloud. Some solutions with built-in industry functionality are highly successful. Others … well, not so much.

Three stars out of five

Just as ERP systems have varying degrees of success, so do digital initiatives. Some have flopped. Others have been wildly successful. Industry observers loved to speculate on the straw that broke the GE Digital’s back. Even the wunderkind of new digital revenue models, Uber, has provided plenty of fodder for skeptics, as the company is now in hot water over its profitability and financial health. This proves once again that a brilliant idea — without sound profits and business management — is unlikely to experience long-term business success.

Gartner’s model of the typical hype cycle includes a “peak of inflated expectations,” followed by a severe drop into the “trough of disillusionment,” as early adopters become discouraged. Digitalization has been no exception to this typical roller coaster shaped curve. While we may be at a low point now, the “slope of enlightenment,” the next phase, maybe only months away. Enterprises are certainly moving forward with modernization plans. Digital initiatives are still driving software sales, including migration to the cloud.

Recent Gartner research indicates that, on average, organizations have digitalized 20% of their customer-facing products, services, and revenue value propositions. For internal workforce processes, 39% of systems have been digitalized, focusing on increased productivity.

However, top-performing CIOs said over half their operations are digitalized and a third of their value propositions are digital.

Still, for many companies transitioning beyond proof-of-concept projects has been a challenge. Often, they struggle to integrate their new ideas into their old network. Managing the internal turmoil is time-consuming and high-stakes. Two-thirds of IT directors see digitalization and technology disruption as their number one business challenge, Gartner finds.

The digital-ready ERP system

Most industry experts agree that ERP systems still play a valuable role. Deployments, though, need to focus more on practical use-cases, creating solutions that are agile, building in the ability to scale with changes in demand and providing tools for user engagement.

Forrester recently reported on this transition stage in the digitalization process, calling out the shortcomings of outdated legacy ERP solutions:

Digital initiatives fail without the right operational systems and processes, and many ERP initiatives have failed to deliver on their promises. Today, we see the beginning of a new era of operational systems that are so different that calling them ERP no longer makes sense. We call them the digital operations platform (DOP) to reflect their agile, AI-based, and experience-driven nature and the critical role they play in digital business.

Real digital business success requires a massive change to core technology elements. The elements can be loosely coupled into an integrated suite containing such necessities as:

  • Specialized, advanced functionality – think AI-driven analytics or voice-activated digital assistants. These types of solutions lay on top of the core solution, enhancing native functionality.
  • On-demand apps – examples include mobile apps, social tools, and team sharing sites.
  • Well-integrated edge programs – an asset management program is an example. It functions largely independently, but it integrates with the core solution and shares data as needed.
  • Low-code platforms for self-service add-ons – many user groups are demanding platforms that provide easy-to-use tools for creating new forms or applications.

Balancing acts

It’s certainly time for a refresh. For many companies, their software solutions are in desperate need of an upgrade. Modifications that were once helpful have now made upgrades cumbersome. Often, updates have been delayed, as companies fear complications.

Gartner’s recent IT Symposium/Xpo in October 2019, addressed the issue of flexible systems and how to find success in digitalization. Valentin Sribar, Senior Research Vice President at Gartner, introduced a new term, TechQuilibrium:

CIOs should partner with their executive teams to design a value proposition that drives the right mix of traditional and digital business. When you reach this balance point, you have reached your TechQuilibrium. Individual enterprises and whole industries will have different points of TechQuilibrium. Not every industry needs to be digital in the same way or to the same extent.

Other industry insiders insist ERP solutions should be more strategic, playing a larger role in helping users leverage data and data insights. Rob Jones, Director of Enterprise Applications at IT Lab, discusses what’s behind the ERP evolution:

As digital disruption now reaches the boardroom level, senior decision-makers are seeking to deploy more strategic solutions that will support business objectives, agility, scalability, and growth.

The changing role of ERP and broad-reaching applications is symptomatic of a change in user requirement, as well as a change in user demographics. Notably, we have seen a shift in the delivery of these solutions, which are now packaged in ways to suit the requirements of the current boardroom.

These new “packages” could take many forms, from two-tier systems to a hybrid approach of cloud and on-premise solutions or CloudSuites, which integrate the specific functionality the customer needs into one solution. The specifics of functionality and architecture are likely to continue to evolve. Only one tenet seems certain — future-proof solutions must be flexible, scalable, and packed with powerful capabilities.

A new world, new expectations, new software

Software must change to meet ever-growing demands. Volatility has become routine, a contradiction of terms, yet true. Shifting global economics, conflict, and unrest among nations, eroding trade relations, and political turmoil creates a backdrop of uncertainty in industrialized regions, as well as emerging nations. Rapid innovations, on the other hand, continue to propel growth, create new opportunities, and enhance living conditions in many markets. Servitization, the sharing economy, omnichannel sales, and on-demand manufacturing are among the concept changes that have become commonplace in an eye-blink.

Connected by satellites and mobile technology, 4.39 billion people now use the internet, an increase of 9% in just one year. Connections open doors to education, entrepreneurial opportunities, and eCommerce. Forward-thinking enterprises are embracing agility, adapting to the changing consumer market, meeting the challenges of global competition, and experimenting with new business models. Often, they are also stepping up to the role of corporate citizens, setting positive examples in inclusion and diversity, workforce development, and environmental stewardship. These are all positive steps, made possible by digital technology and innovative thinking.

At the center of many of these critical changes is one common thread — software technology. Modern software, including ERP solutions, makes it possible for enterprises to take advantage of the opportunities and cope with the challenges.

Source: Rod Johnson


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in Vietnam and China. Please feel free to contact us to find the most suitable and flexibel ERP for your business.

ERP market research 2025

ERP Market to Reach a Market Size of $70.3 Billion by 2025 – KBV Research

According to a new report Global ERP Software Market, published by KBV research, The Global ERP Software Market size is expected to reach $70.3 billion by 2025, rising at a market growth of 10.5% CAGR during the forecast period. The ERP market has grown rapidly over the past decade with providers introducing enterprise-wide solutions. These providers ensure that ERP solutions have a wide range of features, can be incorporated into other enterprise solutions, and can be tailored to growing business needs.

The On-premise market dominated the Global ERP Software Market by Deployment Type 2018. A cloud-based solution, nevertheless, is currently considered to be a cheaper alternative to on-premise solutions, and several small players appear to be assured of cloud data privacy. With developments in technology, a more advanced approach can lead to faster implementation for different ERP applications. As a response, ERP providers will deliver tailored solutions to cater for a large number of vertical markets, resulting in more tailor-made ERP solutions

The finance business role has been the largest contributor to the ERP software market in 2018. It is expected to remain dominant over the forecast period also. This trend can be associated with the increased adoption of the finance module in most companies to minimize the burden of financial functions and gain overall business expertise. However, the human resource (HR) module is projected to see the highest growth due to ongoing business expansion in developing economies.

The Manufacturing market dominated the Global ERP Software Market by Industry Vertical 2018. The Retail & Distribution market is witnessing CAGR of 9.3% during the forecast period. Additionally, The Healthcare market is expected to witness prominent CAGR of 10.9% during (2019 – 2025).

The North America market holds the major market share of the Global ERP Software Market by Region. The Europe market is expected to witness a CAGR of 9.7% during (2019 – 2025). Asia-Pacific, however, is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to the large involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises. These companies are turning towards hosting ERP solutions to handle their business processes effectively, especially in developing countries like India, China, and Singapore.

“KBV Research has introduced the Subscription-Based Model which aims to offer market intelligence to its clients ensuring a convenient and economical approach.”

To know more, visit this site.

The market research report has exhaustive quantitative insights providing a clear picture of the market potential in various segments across the globe with country wise analysis in each discussed region. The key impacting factors of the market have been discussed in the report with the elaborated company profiles of Microsoft Corporation, IBM Corporation, Workday, Inc., SAP SE, Oracle Corporation, Infor, Inc., The Sage Group PLC (Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), Plex Systems, Inc., Epicor Software Corporation and Unit4 NV.

Global ERP Software Market Segmentation

By Component

  • Solution
  • Services

By Function

  • Finance
  • Supply Chain
  • Manufacturing Module
  • Inventory Management
  • Human Resource
  • Customer Management
  • Others

By Deployment Type

  • On-premise
  • Cloud
  • Hybrid

By Organization Size

  • Large Enterprises
  • Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises

By Industry Vertical

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail & Distribution
  • Healthcare
  • BFSI
  • Telecom & IT
  • Government & Utilities
  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Others

By Geography

  • North America
    • US
    • Canada
    • Mexico
    • Rest of North America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Russia
    • Spain
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Singapore
    • Malaysia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • LAMEA
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • UAE
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • Nigeria
    • Rest of LAMEA

Companies Profiled

  • Microsoft Corporation
  • IBM Corporation
  • Workday, Inc.
  • SAP SE
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Infor, Inc.
  • The Sage Group PLC (Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.)
  • Plex Systems, Inc.
  • Epicor Software Corporation
  • Unit4 NV

Unique Offerings from KBV Research

  • Exhaustive coverage
  • Highest number of market tables and figures
  • Subscription based model available
  • Guaranteed best price
  • Assured post sales research support with 10% customization free

Source: KBV Research


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. For more detailed information about the market in this region, please feel free to contact us.

epicor helps UK manufacturers

Epicor: Why connectivity is key for UK manufacturing

Epicor is helping UK manufacturers overcome the challenges of Brexit by achieving a connected enterprise through digital transformation.

Epicor’s roots go back to the early 70s when, in previous iterations, the company began developing software for job shop manufacturers. Fundamentally focused on delivering industry-specific core solutions for manufacturing, Epicor was founded in 1999. Where there is a customer demand – typically with lower volume, higher value types of businesses – Epicor’soffering supports manufacturers of configuring to order and made for demand products.

Digital Transformation

Epicor’s Regional VP for UK & Ireland, Mark Hughes, believes that the efficiencies technology can bring to manufacturers are critical and its where Epicor aims to be at the cutting edge with functionality. “Deployment methods, cloud, SaaS, all of these things are becoming more relevant,” he says.“Whether we call it Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things or simply connectivity, it’s about taking technology and really enabling a business to get value out of that. The big thing we’re seeing at the moment is interoperability between the shop floor and supply chain. The ability to take data from anywhere in your extended enterprise, and turn that into something that helps you react quicker and satisfy more customers by making better decisions.”

Hughes warns against the dangers of being seduced by the latest “shiny new things” which can create an unwanted layer of complexity rather than adding real value. He advises: “Whatever ERP product you’re using has to fundamentally behave in a way that your business does. Increasingly, a younger workforce expects tools and systems to behave in the way we’re accustomed to with apps on smartphones. It’s that user experience approach we’re adopting at Epicor. Achieving user adoption and making the tools easy to use is critical, and technology aids that.”

The challenge for widespread digital transformation in the manufacturing industries, from automotive to food & beverage, is a deeper one than that faced by service industries with a virtual business model. “Manufacturing tends to have a shop floor with tools and machinery,” notes Hughes. “It’s why these customers are more comfortable with physical servers and are less driven to move to the cloud. Hence the need to offer choice with hybrid solutions that can start on-premise and move to the cloud where required.”

Hughes sees the hybrid-type model offering flexible solutions for manufacturers. “You can do real-time data capture physically on the shop floor, analyze it and at the same time that data can be passed up into the Azure cloud. Combining this with other data being processed means another level of analysis can be achieved. It’s not only hybrid in terms of taking particular pieces of capability or functionality and choosing where they sit, but it’s actually about levels and layers within what you do, and using that differently.” Epicor’s customers are embracing this approach. Dutch fine metalworking company Boers utilizes a shop floor where every piece of equipment is IoT enabled (see video) and drones are even used for stocktaking.

Elsewhere, London Electric Vehicles (formerly known as black cab company London Taxi) is another Epicor customer in the throes of business transformation by applying technology to the manufacture of its new, cleaner vehicles. Ultimately, whether its fully connected or mechanical sensors used for local analysis, Hughes believes it’s all about what adds value giving companies the opportunity to do more for less and de-risk.

Brexit

Preparing for risk is a big focus for UK manufacturers operating under the looming specter of Brexit. “Uncertainty always offers opportunity if you’re geared up to take it,” says Hughes. “Looking at the two different sides of our business… For food manufacturers, there’s a great opportunity to embrace the made in Britain concept. We’ve got some very successful customers, such as Ian Macleod whiskey distillers, doing just that and sourcing local ingredients to make unique local products.” 

It’s a different story for companies reliant on extended supply chains across borders. “They’ve got huge problems to overcome,” reckons Hughes. “Whatever happens after October 31st transporting across borders will be a real challenge. We’re seeing customers stockpiling raw materials and components. From a systems perspective, being able to identify and declare origins of goods, whether it’s a hard or soft Brexit, is going to lead to the necessity to be able to provide a lot more information about how goods have been created. Many Epicor customers are familiar with offering high levels of traceability throughout their products, whether that’s serial numbers of electronic components or down to what field a potato was grown in that ended up in a bag of crisps. The ability to quickly adapt to changing reporting requirements is going to be critical.” Allied to this, growing issues with the movement and reduced availability of labor is having an impact that is changing the way companies do business. “Going forward it’s important for Epicor that anybody we choose to work or partner with has a similar global model,” says Hughes who believes that the spread of capabilities maintaining the ability to service customers will be vital.

Trends

Many UK manufacturers have excelled when it comes to design and prototyping at the front end, but Hughes believes there’s an opportunity to improve production processes via automation. “How do we join the two up?” customers are asking Hughes. “A lot of them are also looking to get technology across the supply chain, making it more robust with much better levels of communication and visibility.” Hughes also notes the prevalence of the “Amazon effect” in B2B leading to customers demanding reduced lead times even with configure to order custom products. “It’s why many of our clients are looking for technology to help them make better predictions about what their customers are going to want so they can satisfy demand quicker.”

Hughes highlights that the UK has been relatively slow to adopt technologies such as automation. “There is catching up to do across the board to keep up with industries like aerospace and automotive…” He believes the best progress can be achieved with automation in bite-sized chunks. “For some of our customers, that’s as simple as putting mechanical sensors on devices to count the number of cycles a machine goes through to then start looking at simple automated handling. For others, that’s right through to the use of fully automated cobots.”

Hughes speaks to UK customers building new factories with connectivity in mind from the outset. “They’re thinking about which areas, from IoT to automation, that will make them more efficient and add real value going forward,” he says. Meanwhile, Epicor is doing its part to encourage collaboration on these key issues facing manufacturers by inviting customers to participate on advisory boards which will shape the future of their products, and the industry itself. “Some weeks I’m visiting five different UK manufacturers,” reveals Hughes. “We’re seeing them go through significant business transformation projects. To be able to bring my 25 years of experience in and around software for manufacturers, and share that knowledge to help them use technology to make their businesses future proof really excites me.”


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many manufacturing businesses in Vietnam and China. For further information, please feel free to contact us.

epicor 2019 global survey

Epicor releases findings of global survey into business growth in 2019

Software provider Epicor unveils the results of 2019 Global Growth Index.

Manufacturing business growth has continued to rise over the past year, but at a much slower rate than the previous 12 months.

Despite challenging market conditions and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff, there has been a marginal one percent rise in the number of businesses reporting growth.

These findings are survey results unveiled today from the annual Global Growth Index by Epicor Software Corporation – a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth.

For those companies who have experienced growth, maintaining it hasn’t been easy over the past year. Forty-two percent admit it has been challenging, whilst a fifth (22%) have found it stressful.

Forty percent of businesses cite market conditions as having a negative impact on growth, and 23% feel that staff skills and experience have also played a detrimental part in maintaining growth.

Political volatility and uncertainty also continue to be a common cause for concern across the globe.

“The manufacturing industry plays an integral role in our global economy and people forget that it is responsible for delivering important products we use every day,” said Epicor CEO, Steve Murphy.

“As such, the health of the manufacturing industry is something we should all be concerned about. While it’s good news to see that growth in this industry is still taking place, we need to keep a close eye on what factors are contributing to this growth and what factors are causing a lag. The information in the Global Growth Index empowers businesses so they can make strategic plans that will best position them for the future.”

Now in its third year, the Epicor Global Growth Index is designed to measure the state of worldwide business growth within the manufacturing industry. The Index tracks the performance of businesses – year on year – within 13 territories across a number of key indicators, including turnover, profits, headcount, and product range. Compared to last year’s results, the Growth Index rose by one percent. This is down from 3.7% in the previous 12-month period.

Reid Paquin, Research Director, IDC, said: “Investing in the right technology, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, can help businesses better plan for change by improving visibility and insights into current operational workflows. This can help alleviate stress and enable people to deal with challenges more effectively, by providing flexibility, agility, and adaptability needed to respond to market conditions and customer demands. Technology can also have a positive influence on other factors including work ethic and staff recruitment and retention.”

Source: Mark Bowen


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many manufacturing businesses in Vietnam and China. For further information, please feel free to contact us.

ERP process manufacturing software

10 ERP software choices for process manufacturing

Selecting ERP software for process manufacturing can be confusing, and different industries have different requirements. Learn about some of the leading choices for process manufacturing.

Process manufacturing is highly complex. Issues such as traceability mean that companies in process industries such as chemicals, oil and gas, and beverages use ERP software that targets the needs of recipe- and batch-focused production.

Deciding which software to choose is never an easy task, and there are a lot of contenders in the market.
Here are 10 choices of ERP for process manufacturing to help you get a sense of the landscape.

What is process manufacturing?

Process manufacturing takes raw materials or ingredients and transforms them into something entirely new. Items made via process manufacturing cannot be broken down into their original ingredients. This type of manufacturing uses formulas or recipes to produce items such as medicine, food, beverages, chemicals, cosmetics, plastics, and biotech products. These industries frequently use batch manufacturing, where the production of similar item types are grouped together in a specific time frame before production of another type of item begins. As an example, a baker might create a batch of white bread before changing the recipe to produce a batch of cranberry and walnut bread.

Process manufacturing is often compared to discrete manufacturing, as the two are common methods of production that stand in direct contrast to one another. In theory, the physical goods produced by discrete manufacturing — for example, automobiles, computers, toys, and furniture — can be disassembled into its component parts. With discrete manufacturing, the finished product is an inherently distinct item.

Both discrete and process manufacturing can use batch manufacturing, but the overall process is different for each method of production.

Why use ERP software?

While ERP software can be used for both discrete and process manufacturing, each production method has its own needs.

Process manufacturing requires ERP software that can track raw materials, as well as their potency, shelf life, batch or lot number and overall quality.

Many of the items created in process manufacturing — in particular, food and beverages, chemicals, medicine, and cosmetics — are subject to strict regulations and may be subject to recall if they are deemed unsafe or improperly made, as is also the case with discrete manufacturing. Features like lot traceability, recipe and formula management, and scalability aren’t just useful tools — they’re often necessary to the production of these goods.

When it comes to ERP software choices, manufacturers have a number of options available to them. An organization’s choice depends on the industry and the goods it produces. For example, software that caters specifically to the creation of food and beverages won’t be helpful to a company producing chemicals or medicine.

There are a lot of software choices for ERP for process manufacturing, but here are 10 options from the mix.

Deacom Inc. produces ERP software designed for medium to large-sized manufacturing and distribution companies. It covers food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals, adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings. Deacom ERP can be installed on-premises or in the cloud.

The core system includes a warehouse management system, inventory management, CRM, lot traceability, direct store delivery software, forecasting, and commerce. The software includes integrated accounting and financials that are designed to provide users with real-time transactional posting. Additionally, Deacom’s software package includes installation, ongoing training, and professional support.

Deacom ERP also works for both process and mixed-mode manufacturing.

Epicor Software Corp.’s Tropos ERP is aimed at midsize manufacturing companies that produce food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and mill and metals. Tropos ERP is cloud-based and can be purchased via a subscription or on a per-user basis. Its software is accessed via the internet and is not installed on-premises.

It offers users to inventory and supplier management tools, accounting integration, CRM integration, and customizable functionality. The software also includes CRM, accounting and modules for inventory, supply chain, and quality management.

Some customization and training may be available for a fee. If required, larger companies may need Epicor Mattec or Epicor Informance EMI.

FS ERP is designed to streamline service and asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and project management with component-based, pick-and-choose functions. These can be implemented on an as-needed basis. As the business expands, new components can be added and preexisting ones can be removed.

User support is offered via phone and email.

EnterpriseOne ERP offers product lifecycle management, financial and project management, order management, CRM, supply chain planning and logistics, and business intelligence. Its manufacturing and distribution modules enable users to manage manufacturing operations by using lean or project-based manufacturing modes, and its consumer goods module allows users to manage the quality of goods, the supply chain, and transportation.

The software can be used for process, discrete and mixed-mode manufacturing.

JustFood ERP software is aimed specifically at the food and beverage industry. It runs on Microsoft’s cloud platform.

In addition to running on Microsoft’s cloud platform, JustFood is built on top of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which offers sales, purchasing, operations, accounting, and inventory management. The software also offers features designed to address food safety and compliance, quality and production, recipe development and management, and food recall and traceability. It includes lot traceability and quality audits — both necessary for food safety — as well as real-time inventory management and shipping and logistics management.

JustFood ERP can be customized and scaled as a business grows. It uses Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, Excel, SQL Server, and SharePoint.

Infor M3 is an ERP suite that can be used on-premises or in the cloud. Aimed at the chemicals, distribution, equipment, fashion, and food and beverage industries, as well as for a broad range of process and discrete industrial manufacturing industries, it is designed for medium to large national and international businesses.

Infor M3 allows users to monitor and manage manufacturing operations, supply chain activities, customer and supplier relationships, warehouse and distribution processes and financial management.

It also allows users to oversee lot and serial number traceability, equipment configurations, and product attributes such as styles, colors, sizes, and byproducts. It also manages and analyzes business operations. Infor M3 can be used for discrete, process or mixed-mode manufacturing.

Open System’s ProcessPro offers an ERP software package aimed at the food and beverage, chemical, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and cannabis industries. The software package can accommodate small to medium-sized batch process manufacturers and is designed to help them manage manufacturing, sales, inventory, quality and financial integration with scalability and options for customization. ProcessPro can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.

The software is meant to provide full forward and backward lot traceability. Users are also able to automate their production schedules and maintain complicated formulas and recipes.

ProcessPro’s ERP software is meant to manage batch processing’s various needs, including full lot traceability and recipes and formula management, quality control and visibility of sales, manufacturing, and inventory.

Ross ERP by Aptean is geared toward the food and beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. It enables lot control, material shelf life, bidirectional lot traceability, and recall requirements.

Ross ERP can be deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. In addition to traceability, it supports business processes for planning, manufacturing, procurement, inventory, customer service, shipping, costing, accounting, and financial reporting, as well as barcode scanning for receiving, inventory, manufacturing, and shipping.

The platform offers customer support via phone and email and is offered on a monthly subscription basis.

Sage Group PLC’s Business Cloud X3 ERP is a web-based, browser-agnostic ERP software suite that can be deployed on-premises or as a service in AWS. Sage X3 is designed to support the food and beverage, chemicals, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, life sciences, and whole distribution industries. It also supports distribution, discrete manufacturing industries, and services. The software caters to large global organizations.

It comes with integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, manufacturing and business intelligence. Users can also customize the software with add-on tools to interact with third-party software like CRM, warehouse management systems and e-commerce.

Sage X3 is designed for organizations that have multiple companies, sites, languages, currencies, and legislations with customizable tools to extend its software capabilities and the ability to interact with third-party software. It is also responsive on mobile devices.

The platform can be used for process, discrete or mixed-mode manufacturing.

SAP Business One ERP is geared toward small to midsize companies in the food, chemical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as a number of other industries. It can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
Business One ERP includes material resource planning, pool controls, quality controls, supply chain, and sales management, advanced planning and scheduling and multiple warehouse management. Users can customize reports, export them into different formats and modify them to fit different “what if” scenarios. The software also supports multi-currency transactions and has multilingual capabilities.

Business One ERP offers a remote support platform that performs automatic system health checks, scheduled database maintenance operations, upgrades eligibility checks and automatically fixes detected issues. It can also be used for discrete manufacturing.

Source: Lindsay Moore


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many manufacturers in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

AI in finance ERP

How AI in ERP will create the finance team of the future

Finance and accounting professionals are under constant pressure from the C-suite to elevate the strategic relevance of their function. At the same time, they are under day-to-day pressure to help their organizations stay ahead of audit and compliance requirements, report on financial results, and manage ongoing accounting activities.

These activities are all critical for business growth. As enterprise resource planning is meant to be both the primary source of truth and technology used to perform these tasks, it can play a critical role in improving the ease and accuracy with which they are completed. Having the right ERP technology can make or break a finance team’s ability to focus on the strategic instead of the tactical.

Unfortunately, many finance departments are still mired in paper-based processes and manual data entry, and often conduct reporting and forecasting using tried-and-true spreadsheets with data aggregated from multiple sources. These outdated approaches consume excess time and resources, complicating what could be simple tasks for finance and accounting, and prevent a business from obtaining a holistic view of its financial health. In a recent survey conducted by Bottomline Technologies and Strategic Treasurer, finance professionals indicated that cash flow forecasting, invoice processing, and payment receipt and reconciliation all remain inefficient, manual financial processes.

This day-to-day reality at work is in painfully sharp contrast to finance professionals’ personal lives, where everything from managing their household finances to shopping online to composing a text message has transformed into more automatic and personalized experiences. This is thanks in large part to artificial intelligence — more specifically, machine learning and natural language processing.

The disparity between professional and personal does not need to exist because this same technology exists within ERP systems today. Much of the continued reliance by finance and accounting teams on manual processes at work can be attributed to inertia and comfort, versus a lack of options. AI and its offshoots are still intimidating concepts for many people, regardless of their profession. It can be difficult to determine where and how to implement these innovative technologies in practical ways.

The move to the cloud in ERP systems has enabled new ways to embed AI, machine learning and natural language processing as a value-add to customers. ERP technology providers have a significant opportunity to educate their customers on how these embedded technologies will not only make day-to-day financial operations and management easier but also propel finance and accounting teams into the future with newfound strategic value.

What are the practical ways in which these technological innovations can move from buzz to beneficial? Pairing the right processes and workflows with AI, rather than trying to force it across the board, can create a competitive advantage and enhance the strategic value of finance and accounting professionals.

Let’s look at some key examples of how AI can be applied to financial functions within ERP.

Automate manual tasks

Machine learning plays a huge role in automating repeat, mundane tasks, and can free finance and accounting professionals to focus on value-added activities that will drive their business forward. As an example, machine learning can detect when a user is performing the same task over and over and offer to automate it in the future. Entry and approval of purchase orders, invoices and payments typically consume a significant number of hours for multiple full-time employees within a middle-market or large corporate organization. Month- or year-end close activities are also highly time-consuming. While these activities can require human intervention from time to time, rules can be put in place to create straight-through processing in the majority of cases and only route outlier scenarios to staff or senior management for their review or action.

Machine learning-driven automation results in cost reduction, increased staff productivity and overall operational efficiency gains. Because they’re spending less time re-keying information or pushing paper around the organization, team members will have more time to spend collaborating with one another, solving problems they were previously too busy for, and further optimizing the finance function.

Deliver richer, more actionable insights

Machine learning makes it possible to analyze massive amounts of clean data and detect patterns and other relationships to make predictions — even from potentially disparate sources — with incredible speed and accuracy. Machine learning embedded in the ERP system can examine historical data from multiple internal finance functions and external sources such as bank accounts to help an organization more accurately predict cash flow. This technology can look at an organization’s production and sales patterns to improve inventory management, or examine payables and receivables data to find discrepancies in regular bills or make suggestions about when to pay a supplier.

The full extent of actionable insights that a finance function could obtain by implementing AI for data analysis is difficult to quantify. Needless to say, leveraging the technology in this way will ultimately enable finance professionals to increase the overall financial health of their business. Improved cash management, optimized payables, and receivables strategies, and reduced risk of making fraudulent or erroneous payments to business partners or employees are all hugely beneficial outcomes and are just the tip of the iceberg.

Improve the experience for end-users and external business partners

The use cases above all underscore the myriad ways in which machine learning can make daily work in the ERP system less frustrating and more gratifying for finance and accounting professionals. Natural language processing, which powers digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, is another technology that can make ERP system interactions more human and intuitive. Natural language processing can help users more easily search and interact with massive amounts of data that may be stored across applications or other silos, with a simple voice-based search.

This technology could also be applied to analyze conversations between trading partners and work in conjunction with AI to suggest the next steps after a conversation has concluded. For example, if an accounts receivable clerk reaches out to a customer requesting payment of an invoice that the customer then claims to have not received, natural language processing and machine learning could work together to automatically type and send an email from the accounts receivable clerk that resends the invoice in question without it bogging down a team member’s inbox.

The benefits of these elegant, time-saving processes go beyond efficiency and productivity. As opposed to job replacement, providing employees with this level of technical assistance can help businesses attract and retain valuable talent.

Looking ahead

We are still in the early stages of AI and machine learning’s impact on many financial and business management tools, including ERP. There is no question these technologies will ultimately transform work for the masses the same way they have transformed our consumer lives. How long will adoption take?

The answer likely varies by company size and industry. The turn of the decade will be an interesting time period for watching end users’ experiences with these technologies and the benefits realized, as this will help set the tone for further adoption within core ERP functions and beyond. For their own part, ERP companies should be focused on driving usage of embedded AI and machine learning across their customer base and ensuring their AI/ML strategy considers the capabilities and data from any broadly adopted plug-and-play technology partners in their ecosystem.

Source: Accounting Today


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many financial businesses in Vietnam and China. For further information about artificial intelligence – AI in financial ERP, please feel free to contact us.

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