The state of ERP, at least of the better, more sophisticated systems is this, says Tatara: they are end-to-end solutions that contain advanced SCM capabilities that the best-of-breed software vendors offer, and because they are based on modern business architecture, their interoperability with other systems is greatly improved. In other words, "they play nicely with other systems." The end result is that a lot of challenges involved in collaboration and visibility are solved.
Factor in their scalability, and today's ERP systems become highly desirable. Not only can they grow as one's business does but more modules can be allotted to a larger portion of the organization. The fact that modern systems offer a single repository for data means that enterprises don't have to manage information from disparate sources. "So there's a lot of efficiency to be gained in terms of both product management and, overall, in information management," Tatara says.
Business intelligence functionality is embedded in modern systems. That drives processing capability of larger data sets. "So we can do more event modeling and scenario planning." Moreover, BI is delivered to users in real time, and to more users - many below the executive level. "There's both a greater sense of empowerment because of that, and greater accountability," he says.
"Ultimately, business intelligence becomes more actionable because it can be tied to business analytics and KPIs that can be tied to ROI calculators that today's better ERP systems feature. Leaders can readily see in real time how they are tracking against long-term goals and how they are delivering on ROI based on their assumptions about how they thought ERP would improve the bottom line of their business and make adjustments as need be."
The capability of modern systems is designed for businesses across the board regardless of their size, Tatara says. Small and mid-sized businesses face many of the same challenges that the larger players have, not the least of which is the need for interoperability with many systems. These include not just those of one's trading partners but the many mobile devices that employees work with now. Obviously, legacy systems don't have that degree of flexibility.
The tremendous amount of information generated by social media certainly can be helpful to any company, but managing that data is a difficult and expensive task. Today's systems drastically lower the total cost of ownership in that regard, Tatara says.
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Keywords: ERP & Enterprise Systems, Supply Chain Visibility, Business Process Management, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Technology, Business Strategy Alignment, Supply Chain Analysis & Consulting, Global Supply Chain Management, ERP Interoperability, Scalable ERP Systems
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