Businesses are constantly looking for a way to increase the efficiency and productivity of their processes and can do so by integrating them into a single system. This can include planning, purchasing inventory, finance, human resources, marketing, and sales. Enterprise resource planning or ERP is the process used to manage and integrate these various business functions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down businesses and forcing teams to work remotely, the importance of ERP software is being felt by companies around the globe. ERP systems accommodate sudden or abrupt business changes and facilitate working from home arrangements.
In order to understand how ERP can help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to look at the situation the world is currently facing. With over three million cases identified worldwide the COVID-19 pandemic has caused cities and states to go into lockdown, with badly affected countries looking at a major economic decline.
Due to social distancing measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, businesses were required to temporarily shut down their offices and ask employees to work from home. While essential services are allowed to function, the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and various sectors is yet to be fully comprehended.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers or PwC, the impact of COVID-19 on businesses can take many forms, including crisis management and response, workforce, operations, and supply chain, finance and liquidity, tax, trade, and regulatory, and strategy and brand.
Looking at the workforce, PwC says that besides human welfare, other people’s challenges that businesses will be required to tackle include supporting remote working at scale. Cloud ERP software like NetSuite ERP can be of great use in this regard as they support remote working arrangements.
With businesses operating remotely or with minimal staff, how can enterprise resource planning be of use to a business? A cloud ERP system is one where the ERP solutions are hosted or managed in the cloud. This means that they can be maintained remotely, thus not requiring IT teams to be present at the workplace.
An ERP system like NetSuite ERP can help in keeping production on track. Large factories require several operators and material handlers on-site in order to carry out operations. With COVID-19 containment measures in place, however, factories are forced to operate with a minimal number of staff.
This poses an issue to businesses, but manufacturing ERP systems can be put in place to minimize the number of onsite staff through features that precisely schedule work, monitor equipment for output, and report quality and maintenance issues in real-time.
Through various processes like this, a cloud ERP system can keep production on track during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus lessening the impact on businesses.
The impact of the pandemic on businesses depends largely on the sector. Essential services and safety gear manufacturers are seeing an increase in demand while apparel and tourism are badly affected. Enterprise resource planning can help manage this shift in demand.
Manually adjusting to these changes and fluctuations can be time-consuming and a business may not be able to manually adapt to changes like the supply of raw materials. A cloud ERP system like NetSuite can re-plan, re-schedule, and re-provision these aspects to running a business in an extremely short time and from remote locations.
In addition to NetSuite ERP, NetSuite also has customer relationship management or CRM solutions, which businesses can benefit from. Essential services can also make use of Netsuite’s SuiteCommerce solution, which is ideal for eCommerce platforms, during a time when the demand for online stores is high.
As discussed above, one of the many difficulties faced by businesses during the pandemic is having to minimize the number of employees that are onsite and having more people working remotely. While working remotely was an option at some businesses, not many businesses had such large numbers of their teams working from home and at such short notice.
Cloud ERP as well as a cloud CRM solution can be of great use when working from home and is one of the ways in which these solutions are of use during pandemics such as these.
Given the importance of eCommerce CRM and ERP during the lockdown and working from home periods, businesses may also be interested in using SuiteSuccess, which is a bundled solution incorporating the best practices for different industries. This can include ERP as well as a cloud CRM solution.