How ERP Improves Customer Service
By David Ephraim, ATAK Interactive President, Development + Operations
In today’s world, customers have myriad options when it comes to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Asset-intensive companies in the distribution, high-tech, and manufacturing industries, now turn to ERP to improve their internal business processes.
These companies know that doing so will save costs through increased productivity and higher efficiency levels. These improvements work toward higher levels of customer service satisfaction. In the end, ERP is key to better business operations along with increased customer satisfaction.
As a company grows, the company will need more staff, a more significant number of services must be in place, and business activities increase. To manage these tasks systematically, ERP is necessary.
How ERP Enhances Customer Service
Companies know that modern technology is of utmost importance for streamlining business operations. Because businesses are now competing in a global market, providing seamless service is vital. Companies that do not do so will find their customers moving on to other suppliers.
Customer Service Improvement with Streamlined Backend Processes
Once you add an ERP system, your company can:
- Improve productivity
- Deliver customer’s goods more quickly
- Implement inventory control
- Offer reliable opportunity-, lead-, and quote-tracking
- Foster quality customer communication
- Improve shipping operations
- Create improved supplier relationships
- Automate current manual processes
Strengthened Supply and Demand
An ERP system assists companies with order fulfillment. The system connects fulfillment management teams to sales order management personnel. ERP users can:
- Assign priority scores for existing customers
- Create service-level rules
- Allocate supply locations
- Designate inventory to customer sales orders
The system will then define settings according to individuals or groups of customers. The system can also automate fulfillment, depending on the preferences assigned. Order fulfillment is a complex process. Goods must be delivered accurately, on time, with no damages, and complete documentation. ERP tools and features include:
- Replenishment software
- Freight software
- Inventory forecasting software
- Buying history analytics
User Experience Improvement
Modern ERP systems provide superior service because they gather:
- Customer history
- Customer prioritization
- A holistic view of each customer
- Discounts for long-term customers
This data allows for better shipping operations and reliable tracking and shipping information.
Access to Needed Information
When information needs distribution among internal teams, a modern ERP system can:
- Utilize vendor scorecards
- Receive real-time, easy-to-use information for non-IT users
- Integrate between warehouse and front office
Accurate Order Shipping and Delivery
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) gives companies the automation and integration solutions they need.
Elevating the Point of Sale
- ERPs can allow Point of Sale (POS) solutions that include:
- Processing sales and service orders quickly and efficiently
- Speeding up check-out
- Access to inventory data needed to close transactions
- An intuitive interface that allows for personalized customer service
- Real-time updates for the entire organization
- Integration among eCommerce, brick & mortar, kiosk, and mobile venues.
Distribution Management Software
- Coordinate customer deliveries
- Plan optimized service delivery
- Schedule different delivery dates from different fulfillment locations to separate addresses.
Availability of Reliable Inventory Information
- Create daily inventory workflows
- Publish accurate inventory distribution documentation
- Organize the merchandise areas and more.
Using ERP to Delight Your Customers
Along with the Enterprise Resource Planning topics we have already discussed, ERP also has various processes essential to running a business that we have not yet shared.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
NetSuite’s CRM software is a cloud solution that delivers in real-time. It offers businesses a 360-degree view of their customers. The entire customer lifecycle is part of a seamless flow of information through:
- Sales order
Along with this, NetSuite delivers:
- Order management
- Sales forecasting
- Integrated e-commerce applications
Reporting and Automation Synchronization
By using NetSuite, employees can pull reports from one system. This capability means that:
- Orders can be processed more quickly
- Requests are more accurate
- The business’s performance on key metrics is available to employees in a fast and understandable manner.
Signs that Your Company Needs an ERP System
According to Microsoft Dynamics 365, some companies are hesitant to get on the ERP bandwagon. They may be unsure as to how to choose the right ERP solution for their businesses. Some organizations are fearful that upgrading to an ERP may be too expensive, while others may be concerned with losing data and access to the tools they are now using.
The truth is, however, that ERP is likely to be able to use the best of a business’s processes and bring them together under one system. The cost of a new system does not have to be paid all at once. Instead of investing in significant software innovation, a business can purchase software modules separately.
In most cases, the ERP solution a business chooses will work with the existing business software. The new ERP software will have features that enhance what a business is currently using.
If one’s business software is limiting market expansion and the ability to grow on a global scale, the business probably needs a new system.
If the business’ system has components that don’t work well together, and the business is spending more money than necessary trying to solve the disparities, perhaps the business is ready for new technology.
If the business can’t meet customers’ expectations, new tools should be applied.
The Benefits of an Excellent ERP System
One’s relationship with his or her existing and potential customers must be strong. Doing what one says he or she will do for his or her customers is vital. If a customer wants to return an item, the process must be as streamlined as possible. When your business offers its best and most loyal customers special discounts this delights your customers. If the business gives its customers advantages that other businesses do not provide, the business will soon have even more customers.
As Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Customers do not require perfection 100% of the time. They want to feel taken care of, with the opinion your business can and will fix any problems that occur. An outstanding ERP system can help businesses do just that.
We at ATAK Interactive can help you get started. Take advantage of our free 15-minute consultation today so you can begin your “marketing with a purpose” journey.
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