Managing multiple departments and internal operations is always a challenging endeavour, especially without clear visibility and connectivity between each. Fortunately, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software allows teams to maintain a real-time overview and integrate key processes across various business areas, including finance, human resources, and inventory.
Moreover, the introduction of cloud technology continues to revolutionise how businesses can access and implement ERP systems, streamlining their operations and remaining competitive in today’s dynamic marketplace.
In this article, we explore the various benefits of cloud ERP software and how they can transform a modern organisation’s operations.
What is Cloud ERP Software?
Cloud ERP software encompasses a range of business management tools hosted on the cloud (internet-based servers), rather than applications running through on-premises servers. Cloud software allows the system and the data held within to be accessible for all team members through the internet at any time, from anywhere in the world.
Cloud ERP software typically includes a suite of integrated business applications that allow modern businesses to manage and automate various back-office and front-of-house functions. These range from financial management and accounting, to procurement and inventory management, and even various marketing strategies with customer relationship management.
What are the Functionalities of Cloud ERP Solutions?
Accounting & Financials
Cloud ERP software provides a range of financial management tools to help organisations manage their ongoing transactions, operations and obligations, including:
- • General ledger accounting
- • Accounts payable and receivable management
- • Cash and bank management
- • Budgeting and forecasting
- • Financial reporting and analytics
- • Tax management and compliance
Inventory & Order Management
Cloud ERP solutions also provide inventory management software to help businesses streamline their supply chain processes and manage inventory levels. Through a single, comprehensive platform, a team can:
- • Manage all purchase & sales orders
- • Automated stock replenishment
- • Maintain adequate inventory levels
- • Organise & streamline warehouse operations
- • Shipping and fulfilment management
- • Closely monitor and refine the product life cycle
Cloud ERP software offers support throughout standalone and ongoing projects, helping teams to track their progress throughout various milestones, identify potential roadblocks, and ensure efficient delivery. Capabilities include:
- • Project planning and scheduling
- • Resource allocation and management
- • Budget tracking and forecasting
- • Task and milestone tracking
- • Risk management and mitigation
Procurement & Supply Chain Management
Ensure stock levels remain at an appropriate level with integrated procurement and supply chain management solutions within cloud ERP software, utilising tools like:
- • Supplier management and qualification
- • Purchase order management
- • Receiving and inspection management
- • Accounts payable management
- • Sourcing and contract management
Risk Management & Compliance
Cloud ERP software also assists organisations in managing their regulatory and compliance requirements, including:
- • Audit management and reporting
- • Compliance tracking and monitoring
- • Risk assessment and mitigation
- • Policy and procedure management
- • Document management and retention
Cloud ERP software empowers businesses to optimise their sales process, driving growth and profitability. Whether it is handling new transactions or understanding sales trends, the system offers a suite of tools to manage every aspect of the sales cycle, including:
- • Fully integrated point of sale capabilities
- • Sales order processing and invoicing
- • Linked purchasing from initial quotes to acceptance
- • Sales forecasting and analytics
A comprehensive Cloud ERP system enhances supply chain management by streamlining operations and providing real-time visibility into every aspect of the supply chain. This allows businesses to make informed decisions and improve overall efficiency, while still delivering a frictionless delivery between partners and customers.
Key features include:
- • Demand planning and forecasting
- • Data structuring
- • Buying group and supplier catalogues
- • Automated staff notifications on orders
- • Supplier relationship management
- • Production planning and scheduling
- • Supply chain analytics and performance monitoring
Integration with Third-Party Applications
Cloud ERP systems also offer seamless integration with various third-party applications, such as Payroll application, HR systems, and CRMs, ensuring smooth data flow and enhanced collaboration across different departments and platforms.
With these integrations, organisations can create a unified, comprehensive business management solution tailored to their specific needs.
What are the Benefits of Cloud ERP Systems?
Minimal Upfront Expenses
With cloud-based ERP solutions, there is no need to concern yourself with covering the sizable initial outlay that goes with installation fees, purchasing equipment, and other expenses related to on-premises server alternatives.
Instead, you pay an ongoing subscription fee, which can be far more cost-effective and allow you to get up and running much faster. What’s more, it frees up further capital to reinvest in other areas of your operations.
Reduce Operational Costs
Businesses can also enjoy lower operating and maintenance costs by opting for cloud ERP solutions. All server maintenance, tech support, and other IT-related staffing requirements are bundled into the subscription price and handled by your provider, lowering operational costs. Systems also often include automated processes that streamline workflows and reduce manual errors.
Accelerated Implementation Speeds
With minimal hardware and software installation needed, getting started is as simple as logging into your online account. Plus, a user-friendly interface, hands-on service, and in-built support make for productive engagement right from the start.
Whether your business is growing to offer more services and needs greater support, or downsizing to refine operations, cloud ERP solutions can be easily scaled up or down to meet the changing needs of an organisation. The software can easily grow with the pace of your business without the need for additional hardware or software purchases.
Cloud ERP software allows users to access the software and data from any location with an internet connection, making it easier for remote workers or employees in different areas to collaborate as needed. Teams can also access the software on a range of devices, including mobile devices, and in a world where remote & hybrid working arrangement is becoming increasingly common, this is a huge advantage.
Better Internal & External Visibility
Integrating these tools delivers a holistic overview of your team’s operations in real-time, equipping managers and team members with a better understanding of how each process ties into and impacts one another, ensuring they make more informed decisions when improving workflows over time.
Advanced Security & Disaster Recovery
Security is another of the leading benefits of cloud-based ERP systems. Providers have dedicated security teams on-hand to ensure sensitive data remains safe and your operations remain compliant, adding an extra layer of protection to your operations should disaster strike.
In the unfortunate event of a disaster, cloud-based ERP systems also offer faster disaster recovery solutions, such as safeguards, automatic backups, and failover systems, so you never completely lose your essential data and can always retrieve it when needed.
Customer Support & Automatic Upgrades
Cloud ERP software providers typically offer customer support and automatic upgrades to ensure their solutions are always up-to-date and functioning at optimal levels. Doing so eliminates the need to spend additional time and resources on maintaining and upgrading the software.
What are the Different Types of Cloud ERP Software?
Multi-tenant SaaS is the most popular type of cloud ERP software. Under this model, multiple customers share the same server to receive the same service, keeping their data separate and secure. Given how numerous users will operate on a single piece of infrastructure, this option is usually the most cost-effective, reducing the need to install individual software.
Single-tenant SaaS is similar to multi-tenant SaaS, but each customer is given their own separate server and tailored software, allowing for greater customisation and control. Naturally, this can also increase costs.
Public cloud ERP software is hosted on infrastructure shared by multiple customers and managed by a third-party provider. This is another cost-effective option providing a greater level of flexibility and scalability. Unfortunately, it is open to greater exposure, meaning it might not meet the specific security requirements put forward by certain businesses.
Private cloud ERP software is hosted on infrastructure dedicated to a single organisation, typically managed by an internal team. Private arrangements provide greater security and control over the infrastructure and data with the system, but can prove more expensive.
Hybrid ERP combines elements of both cloud and on-premises ERP solutions. In this model, select functions are hosted in the cloud while others are managed on-site, providing a mix of the above benefits of cloud ERP software. Naturally, this can make it more complex to manage.
Why Use Frameworks in Your Company?
Frameworks is the foremost business management cloud software provider, offering a range of customisable solutions for small businesses in the building, plumbing and electrical trades industry.
Our platform has undergone meticulous refinement to ensure you have access to all the benefits of our cloud ERP systems, including:
- • Comprehensive financial integration
- • Project management tools
- • Optimised trade desk sales
- • Inventory management
- • Seamless integration with third-party systems
- • Automated workflows for increased productivity
- • Point-of-sale capabilities for added convenience
- • Industry-specific features, including timber handling and pack management, integration with buying groups, linked purchasing and more