7 reasons ERP is on the rise

ERP software is often associated with managing the supply chain for distributors and manufacturing companies, and this part of the economy has been under increasing amounts of pressure. The challenge of delivering what customers expect when they expect it in the face of global events such as the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine has become a global challenge.  

The current ERP solutions such as Dynamics 365 Business Central is up to face these steep challenges. While the name and the goal are the same as they were in the last century, the technology has improved. Throughout the years, the ERP companies such as Microsoft have been folding in the best improvements to build something that is modern, service-oriented and completely integrated with every company’s stack. 

AI is now widely available 

Many of the companies addressing these tools are actively using artificial intelligence algorithms to smooth the workflow and take over some of the decision-making from humans. Some are making predictions to help the supply chain managers plan. Others are using AI to detect anomalies that should be fixed. All of them are taking advantage of the power that AI brings to automate steps and help humans manage large, elaborate mechanisms. 

Microsoft’s AI tools are now found folded into many of their different tools, from spellcheckers in the text editors to nodes in any ERP application. Dynamics 365 Business Central, one of their major reporting tools, can use AI algorithms to look for fraud.   

Data is more integrated than ever and speak both older formats like XML and modern ones like JSON. They communicate well with APIs and databases throughout the cloud. All of this makes it easier for ERP and ERP-like solutions to gather the data needed to make sound decisions.   

Often, both sides support the integration. Microsoft’s Power Automate can pull data into Dynamics 365 Business Central directly from other ERP systems such as SAP. At the same time, other ERP systems such as SAP actively works with its customers to help them move data across their gateway into SAP. This back-and-forth is common throughout the marketplace, and many pairs support data movement in both directions. 

Back-office processing is more automated than ever   

Many of the companies are using good AI to automate the tasks that were once dominated by paper. Good optical character recognition [OCR] and machine vision algorithms can read in paper invoices to help accounting or check a driver’s license to help a bank satisfy the Know Your Customer regulations. As these tasks become digitized, it’s easier for ERP software to create good aggregated insights into the enterprise.   

Low-code and no-code work  

Many modern platforms like to push their ability for flexible programming. The “no-code” and “low-code” drag-and-drop interfaces make it possible for nonprogrammers to do a good job building working flowcharts that control how data is gathered and work is accomplished. Developers can use many of the low-code features to speed up their work.  

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform for business management can also be customized with a variety of options, including their low code option called “Power Apps”.  

Process mining  

Some clever companies have developed tools that turn the power of AI and machine learning to understanding just what’s going on inside the complex collection of old and new code that keeps it running. Some call these extra tools “process mining” because the term suggests how the algorithms can watch the data flowing across the network for patterns that can be used to improve everything. These tools can make it simpler to create an ERP application and also ensure that the ERP applications are closely tracking the working environment.  

Digital twinning  

One of the metaphors that’s appearing more and more frequently in the world of enterprise software is the idea of a “digital twin.” It’s more of a goal or a vision than a technology, but it captures the desire for the ERP systems to accurately track everything that is happening inside the enterprise. Sometimes the digital twin technology focuses on particular products or markets and other times it’s the organization itself. Teams use the word in different ways. 

In the past, many companies were happy just to have the computer systems track invoices and shipments. Now, they can use more elaborate models to watch all the steps along the manufacturing and sales process. The idea of a digital twin is still far from being perfectly realized, but it illustrates the ambition of some CIOs. 

Predictions are more accurate than ever  

The AIs are taking on more roles and controlling more of the decisions made along the chain. It’s not that they’re more integrated, but they’re often more trustworthy. Well-trained AIs can take on more and more of the decisions in moments where the data is often clear. At other times, the AI can act as a pre-filter or an advisor for the humans who make the final call.  

Findability AI, for instance, touts the predictive ability of its artificial intelligence routines when the data and the circumstances are right. 

In conclusion, 

Over the years, the software industry has created a burgeoning number of useful categories of enterprise software, from robotic process automation (RPA) to business process management (BPM) to customer data platforms (CDP). ERP is a cousin to these three acronyms and several others too. There are differences between all of them, but the goal is the same: use the power of automation to simplify the workflow for the people in the trenches. Then use good reporting and pattern matching to help the managers spot bottlenecks and backups.   

Good organizations are deploying these tools to mediate the flow of information and work. This is producing more agile and efficient manufacturing and services. Customers are benefiting, whether it’s called ERP or something else.

For further information on Dynamics 365 Business Central Software please contact allonline365 on +27 (21) 205 3650, or email us on info@allonline365.com, or visit our website www.allonline365.com         


Understanding Food Industry ERP

Greek philosopher Heraclitus is attributed with coining the saying, “There is nothing permanent except change.” The wisdom in his quote is abundantly clear when you consider how rapidly the food and beverage industry has evolved over the past several years. 

Gone are the days when the biggest concern for businesses was delivering a viable product to market. Now, organizations like yours must account for stringent government traceability regulations, disrupted supply chains, consumer demands for sustainability and a host of other vital considerations. 

Thankfully, the technology at your disposal has also been advancing with the times.  

Food ERP: The Brains Behind the Operation 

Dedicated food ERP software is considered the foundation of any good digital transformation initiative. That’s because these all-in-one, organization-wide solutions serve as a “single source of truth” and include features for many of your critical processes, including lot traceability, quality control, inventory management and more. 

One of the key advantages to be gained from deploying an ERP at your company is the digitization of all your critical data. These systems make it much easier to ditch the outdated and inefficient paper-based methods of record-keeping that may still persist in some of your departments, as they not only eliminate siloes and serve as a highly accessible source of information but also can automate data collection via integrations with barcode scanners and smart devices. 

Food ERP systems also help you manage your supply chain with complete bidirectional visibility. That helps you stay prepared in the case of a contamination or full-blown food safety emergency, as you’ll be able to track the issue back to its source rapidly and execute your recall plan right away—with some steps even automated by the software. 

Finally, consider that advanced offerings like our own Aptean F&B ERP can be implemented via the cloud, lowering your up-front costs and maximizing the flexibility of your platform. With disruptions now a common occurrence and working from home and on the road a necessity, it can be invaluable to always have that option available. 

Your Partner for a Complete Digital Transformation 

It can really help to have an expert on your side who knows how to structure a comprehensive “digital transformation,” from creating the roadmap and milestones to providing training and advice on best practices. Our experienced and passionate professionals are proud to serve in this role for our clients, and your company could be the next to benefit from our decades of collective expertise. 

For further information on Aptean F&B Software please contact allonline365 on +27 (21) 205 3650, or email us on info@allonline365.com, or visit our website www.allonline365.com         


Optimal ROI of your ERP Solution

When your business incurs an expense, it’s only right that you expect to get something in return. It could come in the form of good will, brand reputation or general awareness—but in other cases, you’re looking for strictly monetary value, either through savings over time or better profitability going forward. 

One large financial cost that many companies choose to accept in the interest of modernization and improved business outcomes is the implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. When designed to suit your industry, these systems can be the foundation for optimized operations, but that must be balanced with the money, time and effort that your teams devote to deploying and utilizing the platform. 

Maximizing Your Return with Best Practices 

A solid approach to getting the most out of your ERP implementation includes both efforts to minimize costs as well as measures taken to get the greatest benefit out of the solution. That being said, one critically important part of maximizing your return takes place before you begin deploying the system—during your research and request for proposal stages, you absolutely must confirm that all platforms you consider are truly tailored to your industry.  

While there are many ERP systems that claim to be “one-size-fits-all” and universally applicable across many business types, such an offering won’t cut it for a highly sophisticated and specialized organization like yours. Whether you manufacture, process or distribute products in the food and beverage, consumer goods, apparel, chemical, cannabis or fabricated metals industry, your solution must be specifically designed for the unique challenges you face. 

Once you have thoroughly vetted your selected solution for industry-specific features and the segment-specific functionalities you need, the following steps can increase your chances of achieving the excellent ROI you’re hoping for: 

Choose a trusted vendor – Not all ERP systems are created equal, and neither are the providers that sell them. Conduct your due diligence on all vendors you consider, ask their current clients and other industry peers for their feedback and request specialized demos to see the platform in practice.  

Deploy via the cloud – We mentioned in the above section that implementation costs will be greater for those businesses that opt for an on-premise installation, as that can come with larger hardware and maintenance costs. A flexible cloud deployment lowers your overhead costs, promotes agility and ensures mobile access for on-the-go employees. 

Prioritize open communication and education – A successful ERP implementation takes buy-in from all members of the organization, from those who work the factory floor to the C-suite executives. Communicate your purpose and plans clearly, engage a variety of stakeholders and make sure that everyone understands how to use the software for their responsibilities. 

Know the value of data – In the preceding section, the accuracy and comprehensiveness of your information was mentioned as critical to calculating the ROI on ERP. It’s also generally one of the greatest assets your business has, so ensure that the ERP solution you select has excellent data capture, management and analysis features. 

Finally, rely on your solution provider for guidance throughout the implementation process and beyond. They’ve seen other businesses like yours through this journey and should be able to provide further advice and best practices to really get the most out of your ERP. 

Exploring the Advantages of an Industry Specific ERP 

We’ve looked at many of the aspects involved in getting the best ROI out of your ERP, but one that bears repeating is making sure that you’ve got the right platform and vendor for your business’s unique circumstances. After all, you can only maximize the value that you get out of the system if it suits all your needs and is backed by a knowledgeable and trustworthy provider. 

We’re proud to offer a full suite of industry-specific solutions built with decades of collective experience and in-depth knowledge of best practices in all the markets we serve. We’ve prioritized being a partner to our clients in thousands of successful implementations, starting with detailed roadmaps for the process and providing guidance throughout each phase and past deployment. 


For further information on Dynamics 365 Business Central Software please contact allonline365 on +27 (21) 205 3650, or email us on info@allonline365.com, or visit our website www.allonline365.com