Cloud computingIn an increasingly digital world, there are now, more than ever, competing interests for your time. We used to think of striving for a work vs. life balance, but even that is not quite enough. The balance needs to be felt at work, too. Your attention is divided among so many facets of your company. There are top-level decisions to be made, but there are also hundreds of micro issues that are ripple effects.

An entrepreneur is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. You have to have big ideas, a vision for the future and innovative techniques at every turn. However, you also have to know how to get things done and turn ideas into reality. It can be intimidating when you are first starting something new. If you do not have the right team in place and the correct software solution to empower that team, things can go south quickly. Or your great ideas may never get off the ground at all.

Managing your time is the first step, but what about managing your projects, customer relations, payroll, IT, human resources and more? No one has enough hours in the day to oversee all of these processes. That is where an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution comes into play.

For those unfamiliar, an ERP solution allows an organization to fully integrate its applications through management software. It is a way to manage your business through automation of many time-consuming and cumbersome technological processes. Moreover, with so many demands on your time, it is important to have one stable factor in any workplace.

While there are many obvious reasons to move to an ERP, there are also several unexpected benefits that businesses experience when making the switch. We take a look at three of them here.

Better access to all business functions

A common pain point that companies face before moving to an ERP is that they are unable to access information across all departments. Financial information is stored in one software system and does not always interact with data that is used in other departments. If one of those other departments needs to access the financial data, the process can be cumbersome to share that information. This headache takes extra time, effort and money.

An ERP can help solve that issue and create efficiencies. With an ERP, your company will have an integrated software system that speaks to all aspects of your business. There are no more workarounds or feeding data from one system into another system. The integrated solution allows easy access to all data when and where you need it.

One of the most common red flags that it is time for an ERP is that you cannot access business data easily. If you are unable to track projects from start to completion and all of the steps along the way, you need a better software solution. It should not be hard to see whether or not your company is meeting or exceeding its goals, and it definitely should not be hard to see if you are failing to deliver on your promises to your customers. An ERP allows you to plan, track progress and stay on top of all of your projects.

Ability to work remotely

Do your employees want flexible working options, such as the ability to work from home, splitting shifts to finish work after family time or the desire to take business directly to the customer? With an ERP, an integrated software system provides a tremendous amount of flexibility that often does not happen within an office during traditional hours.

A cloud-based software system keeps all of your essential business functions within reach no matter when or where you need to work. This flexibility can also boost morale with your employees since they can now have more control over how they balance work and life. This also can lead to greater productivity since your employees can work when they feel the most awake, inspired and productive. Sometimes that is 9-to-5 at the office, but sometimes that is after a refreshing meal and nighttime activity with the family.

Growing your customer base and your business

Fully integrating your systems leads to greater productivity and efficiencies. The time you used to spend on outdated processes now can be spent on what you do best: develop new strategies for growth and implement innovative ideas.

You will have more time to attract new customers, and you will be in the position to better serve all of your customers by properly tracking data across the organization. And when that customer base grows, you will also have the ability to physically expand your office footprint, too. With an ERP, it is easy to share information across all business locations and anywhere else your employees might be.