How a Cloud ERP System Can Optimize Your Operations

Innovation doesn’t always mean introducing something entirely new. Some of the most important innovations for businesses are changes and improvements to existing concepts.

Just as an example, consider the transition from ledgers and manual spreadsheets to spreadsheet software. These digital programs retain all of the benefits that the manual process and tools offer.

At the same time, spreadsheet software includes useful additions that drive efficiency and reduce the possibility of human error. Automatically calculated and applied formulas, along with easily generating a spreadsheet of nearly any size, are two key improvements.

The same is true in many other situations, including the development of cloud ERP systems. Cloud ERP delivers the same advantages in terms of insights, reporting, and transparency as on-premise ERP. However, cloud ERP also provides unique and powerful benefits that aren’t found in on-premise ERP.

Let’s take a closer look at what cloud-based ERP systems are. Then, we’ll focus on how they can help you optimize your business.

What are Cloud and On-Premise ERP Software?

Cloud and on-premise ERP solutions represent different delivery and implementation models of the same type of software. Let’s briefly define what ERP is before we distinguish between those models.

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is a broadly effective and highly adaptable integrated business management tool. It emphasizes the automation of otherwise tedious tasks and connecting data across a business. The end result is a readily available source of information and reporting that supports more effective business decisions.

We summarized the five key benefits of ERP in this blog post, which are:

  • Connect the key functions of an enterprise in one location
  • Manage workflows alongside each other, in an integrated fashion
  • Track resources, business obligations, related needs, and more
  • Increase the transparency and accessibility of operational data in real-time
  • Provide a single source of truth for the company

The intent of ERP is to provide better insight into and control over nearly all business processes. For machine shops, manufacturers, and similar companies, that of course includes production activity — the core of your business. ERP makes it easy to track raw materials and parts, production productivity, completion of customer orders, and much more.

However, ERP’s benefits reach across an organization. That extends into finance, sales, human resources, accounting, and nearly all other areas of operation.

The last key fact we’ll mention about ERP, in general, is the potential to customize it. A wide variety of add-ons, modules, and other resources are available. These can make ERP a better fit for your business specifically.

What is On-premise ERP?

On-premise ERP is installed on servers owned or leased by your organization. This is the traditional structure of an ERP system. It’s generally purchased as a product, often requiring a large upfront investment.

On-premise ERP can offer very advanced, fine-tuned control over the system for businesses that truly need it. However, it requires your business to take the lead in terms of establishing infrastructure and maintaining the application.

Many companies don’t need that level of advanced control, and don’t have the IT resources or infrastructure in place to manage this type of ERP.

What is Cloud ERP?

Cloud ERP is delivered through your ERP vendor’s infrastructure (i.e. its own servers). It’s an example of software as a service (SaaS), paid for through an ongoing subscription, often making it more financially accessible.

Cloud ERP is also more accessible to users due to this delivery method, a benefit we’ll explain in the next section. Another unique quality it offers is that your ERP vendor will handle maintenance, upgrades, security, and more. This significantly reduces the burden on your internal IT staff.

How Cloud ERP Solutions can Optimize Your Business

Cloud ERP Systems Empower Your Staff to Work from Anywhere

Working with an on-premise ERP system from home or on the go is a complex process, at best.

With ERP cloud systems, their inherent design makes them easily accessible from anywhere, as Epicor explains. It gives staff more flexibility to share relevant data with a client during a business trip, or to review key reports and make important decisions when they’re not in the office. That makes your business more flexible and agile.

Cloud ERP Systems Put Experts in Charge of Security & Maintenance

An on-premise ERP system requires your business to take the lead on security. If you don’t have the internal IT resources and infrastructure needed to protect sensitive data, it can lead to a variety of issues.

In contrast, your cloud ERP vendor will take the lead on security. You can count on ERP experts to follow best practices for security instead of having to manage them entirely by yourself. CTND specializes in helping A&D manufacturers maintain compliance and keep contracts.

Similarly, your ERP partner will take the lead in terms of maintaining and updating your SaaS ERP. That means more time for your staff to focus on other critical issues.

Cloud ERP Systems are More Accessible Financially

The high up-front price of traditional ERP can make it difficult to justify for many smaller and mid-size companies. With the SaaS model, costs are broken down into a much more manageable recurring model. Those payments also help to provide benefits like ongoing maintenance and security oversight.

Cloud ERP Systems are Easy to Implement

Training, education, and organizational buy-in will always be crucial for success with ERP. That said, the ERP implementation process is often simple with cloud-based solutions.

A dependable partner will lead the effort and provide targeted support. Ensure a potential ERP partner can offer useful, relevant training and provide a dedicated team for configuring and optimizing your solution.

The Best Cloud ERP Systems for A&D Manufacturers and Machine Shops

CTND specializes in providing the most relevant and useful cloud ERP solutions for A&D companies, machine shops, and general manufacturing. We make sure your ERP delivers its intended and important benefits while constantly prioritizing compliance.

Ready to learn more about the benefits of cloud ERP for your business? Get in touch with our team of ERP experts!

Posted in ERP