Could You Use an ERP System?
Reasons to explore enterprise resource management software
by Wayne Bailey

With the introduction of the enterprise resource planning system (ERP), companies can now identify profit centers, collect valuable employee data without wasting time, and keep a check on company resources.

If you still run your company using old methods, you might want to consider updating your systems and adapting to the ERP system. Not only will your job be easier, but you will have a firm stand in the market when it comes to meeting overall demand.

ERP is software that works across the entire organization to integrate workflow, manage the business and automate many back office functions. In the HME industry, ERP allows the complex organization to integrate software systems from the customer service representative to the warehouse inventory, drivers and billing team. When the entire operation is using the same software and database, business operations are much more efficient and optimized for maximum profitability.

Reasons Your HME Business Requires an ERP System

1) You have different software. Some HME companies work with as many as 10 different software products to solve different problems. But even if you have great software for one aspect of your business, if it doesn’t talk to your other software programs, you are spending a lot of time trying to build bridges so that your company is all on the same page.

A different software for accounting, inventory and billing can add several hours to the amount of processing time. Furthermore, double entries are always a possibility, which is why an ERP system is beneficial as it will reduce the total time and common discrepancies by a considerable margin.

The future of software lies in integrating these individual problem-based tools and providing a complete solution for businesses. This is the promise of ERP. Instead of working with multiple software vendors, and being forced to export data and enter data twice, an ERP maintains all of your critical data in a single place.

2) You don’t have any access to business information. Every piece of information counts while running a business. If you do not possess the knowledge that is needed at the right time, you can risk your business falling behind. What is your profit margin? How much do you make per sale? How much debt do you have? How much bad debt does your business incur per annum? The answers to all of these questions must be at your fingertips at all times. That can happen if you have a single ERP platform that comprehensively covers all the facets of your business, which primarily include the billings, debts and sales.

3) Accounting takes up a major chunk of time. ERP systems are often required in companies where the accounting departments are not able to complete billing efficiently and effectively, resulting in delays and discrepancies. There are chances that your professionals may make a lot of mistakes when preparing the balance sheet, they may get the figures wrong leading to audits and delayed reimbursements. With an ERP system, even if any problems occur, they are identified immediately for the accounting staff to correct. Furthermore, with the implementation of ERP systems, your accounting department will have no excuse for slacking off, and this will increase efficiency as their job will be on the line.

4) Inventory management is suffering. The secret to a good HME business is the efficient management of inventory. No HME business has ever succeeded in producing at its full potential if the inventory is not adequately managed. Managing your inventory means knowing where the right products are at the time of transport, knowing which warehouses are properly stocked and also knowing how much raw material is bought and how many produced goods are sold.

Separate systems for sales and inventory can make it harder for companies to establish communication and therefore aren’t efficient in transporting the right goods to the right customers. ERP systems properly arrange these items in singular categories, which all departments can view, leading to the correct shipment of goods. Having a more centralized approach to the information about your company can lead to growth and expansion.

5) Your IT department is incapable. ERP systems aren’t necessarily the only systems in the market. Your IT department might have experimented with other systems before, but may have failed. This can be due to their incapability to understand the complexity of such systems. ERP systems can be complex unless a good, dedicated team is there to solve the issues and bugs that occur in the system. The previous systems that your IT department tried to install must have failed largely because of the lack of knowledge and experience handling those systems. The ERP system, however, does not require much therefore is easier to handle. If your IT department is not capable of handling an ERP system, consider hiring fresh people for the job.

Benefits of ERP System

Cost saving is the biggest reason why ERP systems are implemented around the world. Companies are reducing the time and effort that is required to run a system and what better way to do that than to automate a major chunk of the business process.

ERP systems significantly help to increase productivity. Your HME company will see a rise in production as the processes are more streamlined, and the time it takes to communicate the inventory to the sales department is cut by more than half.

Modern ERP systems can be customized to your company’s needs. They are flexible in their functionality and a good IT department can help you in customizing a better system that operates based on the sensitive scenario of production as well as communication. As your business grows its natural bounds, so too will the ERP system.

Data security is a major concern of HME companies. Sensitive data in the wrong hands can shut a business down. With built-in resources such as several firewalls and an antivirus system, along with an alarm that alerts as soon as there is a breach, you can rest assured your data is safe and secured against anything.