ERP Software: The Underestimated Success Factor

It seems paradoxical: digitization and process optimization are among the top sales drivers in almost all industries. But many entrepreneurs neglect the potential of modern software for fear of complicated IT. What is ERP software anyway? What does everyday working life look like? And above all: How can you make profit out of it?

Man who hugs another man because he's successful.

What is ERP software?

To be successful with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), you first have to understand what it means. In a nutshell: ERP is the planning of various corporate resources. Resources can be capital, personnel, material and product as well as communication and information technologies. In an ERP system, these resources are organized and controlled. In doing so, care is taken to ensure that an efficient process is created through which a company generates more productivity and thus more sales.

As this planning is very extensive, there is software that tears down human boundaries and exploits the potential of full coordination. The functional areas of ERP software therefore cover the entire business process from marketing and sales to materials and human resources management, production and organization to finance and accounting. ERP software gives controlling a new meaning and therefore achieves the greatest possible efficiency.

Example case: Success of ERP software with consultants

A good example of the potential of ERP software is the consulting industry. Management consultants often see themselves as pure "people business" and neglect the application and integration of ERP systems. They are the best example of how you have to suffer success without losing ERP. Experts assume that consulting companies will forego efficiency gains of around 10% (in words: ten percent) due to the inadequate automation of their work processes. A figure that can make a big fortune.

What good software can do for business consultants.

With almost 15,000 management consultancies, Germany is one of the most consulting-intensive countries in the world. German companies spend around 23 billion euros annually on consulting. And yet: the times of high double-digit growth rates are over, auditors are pushing their way into the increasingly competitive market and the clientele is becoming more demanding. In addition to professional competence, success factors such as CRM, lean internal processes and transparent KPIs are also gaining in importance for consulting companies. Whether strategic management consulting, IT consulting or personnel consulting: consulting firms benefit from modern, industry-specific ERP software that supports all processes along the value chain and thus saves valuable consulting time.

Advantages of ERP software

What are the biggest advantages of this solution and what impact does the implementation of such software have on the company? We have summarized the most important points:

  • improved sales opportunities through CRM at the top level
  • optimal utilization through clear resource planning
  • reduced project duration through professional project management
  • higher contribution margin through maximum transparency in project controlling
  • more planning security in management through daily reports

As you can see, the advantages of ERP systems are very general and therefore do not only count for consultants, but are cross-industry.

 

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ERP systems: Efficient across all industries

Numerous processes in companies are still associated with a high manual effort. From time recording, quotation creation and invoicing, material requirements planning, production planning and merchandise management to profitability calculation. Many processes can be handled much more efficiently with the help of a sophisticated ERP system. What is still uncharted territory for many consulting firms has long since arrived in the agency industry: For about 30 years now, more and more agencies have been simplifying their workflow with the help of integrated software solutions - one of the reasons why good business software for consulting firms is often based on agency software.

Who is an ERP software suitable for?

  • All with high demands on CRM: Contact management has top priority. The software must therefore go far beyond pure master data maintenance and provide all relevant information on clients, prospects and suppliers at the push of a button (e-mails, files, tasks, appointments, etc.).

  • Project-oriented service providers: Every company, including management consultants, has an internal process through which they coordinate their tasks. This is why professional project management is indispensable.

  • Personnel-intensive service: Resource planning is important for optimal utilization of employees and freelancers.

  • Project-related services and costs: All services are calculated, offered, recorded and invoiced on a project basis (hourly/daily rates or flat rates), and external costs are also recorded on a project-related basis.

  • Controlling at project level: Important KPIs can not only be consolidated across companies, but also evaluated at project level (target/actual analyses, profitability, forecast, capacities, etc.).

Selection of the right ERP software

Choosing the right business software is not always easy. Paid for complete solution or freeware? License model or cloud? Rent or buy? Also the functional depth of the offered modules is often very different, as is the ERP manufacturer, ease of use and support. But a critical comparison is worthwhile - after all, you work with your ERP software every day.

 

You should pay attention to this when selecting ERP software:

  • Complete solution: Just one tool for all workflows
  • Modular design: Individually combinable and scalable service packages
  • Interfaces: Smart connection to external programs (FIBU, MS Office etc.)
  • Intuitive user interface: Decisive for high acceptance in the team
  • Flexible payment models: buy, rent, lease, finance. See what fits best to your cash flow.
  • Optional Cloud solution: Particularly attractive for small and medium-sized business consultancies that don't want to invest in technology and maintenance.
  • Mobile Access: From the Home Office and on the Go
  • Continuous further development: Future-proof, state-of-the-art software. Software that grows with your company.

Of course, ERP software cannot replace expertise and consulting quality - but it can make everyday work in companies more efficient through IT-supported processes. This saves time, minimizes costs and allows you to concentrate on the most important things: Profitable core business.

 

Of course, ERP software cannot replace expertise and consulting quality - but it can make everyday work in companies more efficient through IT-supported processes. This saves time, minimizes costs and allows you to concentrate on the most important things: Profitable core business.