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ERP for Service Industries

Are you looking to make a change to improve your overall business? Eventually, you want to improve service delivery by measuring and analyzing your business performance, differentiating your services based on profit potential.

Do you experience any of the following with your current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system?

  • Poorly integrated software
  • Difficulty driving costs
  • Difficulty driving growth
  • Difficulty delivering value

If you answered yes to any one of these, it is definitely time to re-evaluate your processes and your ERP system. Moreover, if your delivery of service is inefficient, you are simply wasting time on a non-billable task. Since disintegrated ERP system makes it difficult to evaluate projects, services and contracts, this lack of performance hampers your ability to develop new service offerings. Unhappy clients will turn to competitors for assistance, while voicing their dissatisfaction through various social media portals.

ERP provides rich functionality for all key service delivery processes such as service delivery, staffing, client billing, contact management, service notification, revenue recognition and profitability analysis. Get up-to-date demand forecasts via ERP’s reporting capabilities while increasing profits and creating additional client value by servicing your clients more effectively.

With ERP, you will immediately see the following benefits in your business:

  • The ERP enables role-based navigation to improve user productivity and adoption processes
  • The ERP enables you to match a forecasted demand for efficient services with current resources
  • The ERP enables client segmentation and analytics to strategically manage each client opportunity
  • The ERP enables to manage overall risk
  • The ERP streamlines the entire process and system
  • The ERP lowers operational costs

ERP is a comprehensive service business software solution that enables you to resource your business and manage service delivery. The ERP tool also helps you streamline financial operations and analyze business performance across the entire service organization. Embracing the latest in technology, ERP provides a real-time, accurate view of your services, so you can proactively manage it with confidence. Embedded business process management provides the flexibility you need as your business evolves. The right ERP approach can create the transparency your service company requires. ERP for service industries can help you control projects, tasks and engagements more effectively. ERP for service industries offer ready-to-go capabilities for a wide range of service organizations, including consultancies, accountants, law firms, architecture practices, engineering and construction businesses, real estate companies, etc.

ERP in Service Industries – What are the available options?

Service companies vary hugely in terms of what they deliver to their customers and the scale on which they operate. In terms of information technology (IT), the front office systems are usually specialized to support the specific service operations. As a result, the front office systems are often provided by niche suppliers. However, the back office systems tend to be fairly standard, supporting functions such as Finance, HR, Sales Order Processing, Purchasing, Inventory Control, etc. These functions are best supported by ERP systems provided by a large range of ERP vendors and partners. Therefore, the challenge for service companies is to find the best balance between front office and back office systems.

It is completely viable for the ERP system to be provided on a “Software as a Service” (SAAS) basis, allowing the ERP system to be paid for on a monthly subscription rather than an upfront license fee. New entrepreneurial style service organizations, which are planning to grow rapidly, should give careful consideration to the front or back office split in an ERP software. Using an ERP based approach for the back office will deliver a cost effective and scalable solution. The ERP system also enhances the rich functionality provided by the specialized front office system.

What do Service Industries need from an ERP solution?

In order to deliver the best service possible to their clients, people-centric organizations have very specific and varied requirements when selecting an ERP solution. Maximizing resource utilization, project management and execution, and managing time and expenses, are some of the ERP capabilities.

Service industries are project oriented by nature, as opposed to product-centric. Historically, ERP systems were built to serve companies that designed products, manufactured them and billed for them. Service-centric organizations trying to work with ERP systems have to distribute project information across system transactions through customizations. ERP systems for service organizations must be project-based and allow for the flexibility these organizations require to create service differentiation.

ERP for services deliver a completely different experience. These ERP systems are designed to manage complex projects and to allow service differentiation. As the ERP system is most critical for any sizeable service business, they can make the difference between success and failure.

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