- ERP improves collaboration and workflows.
- Cloud-based applications enable better customer service.
- ERP boosts cash-flow.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back-office functions related to technology, services and human resources. Under the lockdown, many companies have adapted to technology, contributing to Zimbabwe boosting its ERP Services spending by 50%, noticed during the lockdown.
ERP is found across a variety of industries, not just manufacturing. And since the early aughts, ERP software is now available from Cloud-hosted platforms. A survey by World Wide Worx in collaboration with Dell Technologies, Intel, F5, and Digicould Africa shows an increase in investment in ERP and Cloud services across the continent, Zimbabwe boosted its ERP Services spending by 50%, while Nigeria and Botswana recorded a 50% increase.
Deidre Frier, a Solutions Engineer at SYSPRO Africa– Global Developer And Distributor Of ERP Software for manufacturers and distributors in Africa, gave an example of manufacturers, he said that manufacturers should consider digitizing their shop floors utilizing tools like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which can capture useful data to improve throughput. New technology is changing the capabilities of ERP applications. The latest trends include artificial intelligence computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
The survey attributes the surge to the growing need for businesses to be more efficient, with 63% of the firms citing efficiency as the main benefit sought from the services. For manufacturers and distributors in Africa, Frier added that digital transformation for companies that are not originally digital native like manufacturers can invest in digital tools to collect data, which can then be used to improve their processes and boost how they monitor production processes.
When an organisation gains enterprise-wide flexibility and the capacity to collaborate all across the business, it’s able to respond to a changing market swiftly, growing and expanding the business to take advantage of the most impactful new opportunities before the competition. For organisations to survive, IT must be turned into a revenue-generating powerhouse. The scope of IT is expanding beyond a role that helps keep the lights on, to one that finds a way to monetise the data from the lights and turn it into a product for customers.
For one to run a business, decision-making needs to be guided by accurate data. ERP solutions use business intelligence (BI) tools to provide data collection, analytics, and reporting methods. Jane Masiga, CEO of Mission for Essential Drugs (MED)s, a distributor of medicines and medical supplies in 8 countries in Africa, says integrating their barcode scanning systems to Syspro ERP systems has boosted their operational efficiency.
ERP systems revolutionized workflow visibility particularly when people notice a common database from the ERP suite to get real-time details about what’s simultaneously happening at their manufacturing plants abroad and distribution centers right at home. Speaking on the benefits of their ERP transition, Jane says: they consider ERP as the heartbeat of MEDS because it runs MEDS business and they can’t do without that system.EPR proves a challenge to manage 3,000 clients and items with manual intervention.
A lot of companies in Zimbabwe have adapted to e-commerce especially during the lockdown period, IT experts were consulted by different organizations and companies to help them create and manage communications between the manufacturers, clients and potential customers. This might contribute to the boost of cloud spending