The awesome ERP features your organization needs—and deserves

· 3AG blog,erp

It’s easy to criticize traditional ERPs in the same way that it’s easy (at least proverbially) to shoot fish in a barrel; we can all do it but there are probably better ways to spend our time. 

ERPs could be cooler, more useful, worth the money; they don’t need to be abandoned altogether. But how could they become measurably, tangibly, practically more useful to the companies that adopt them? In this article, we consider several features we think would be seriously awesome additions to ERPs; these additions are ones all ERP customers should demand, whether they have an old legacy system or the fanciest new showroom model. 

At 3AG, these are the features we consider most useful for maximizing ERP effectiveness:

  • IoT integration;
  • mobility and intelligent data entry;
  • modern dashboard tool integration;
  • analytics capabilities beyond basic spreadsheets; and
  • intelligent recommendations.

These elements can mean the difference between an ERP you’re constantly upgrading and/or maintaining, and one doing the kind of sophisticated thinking a properly set up and scalable ERP should.

shooting fish in a barrel

IoT integration

One of the core challenges for ERP usage is the difficulty users have entering data. This results primarily from poor UX design; for example, creating a data entry form requiring users to enter values for 25 different measurements when they only measure 8 will discourage them to the point of inaction. Worse yet are business processes wherein staff fill out paper-based forms that then need to be converted to a digital format and then, finally, can be entered into the ERP.

IoT reduces friction associated with data gathering and entry by allowing already-digital sensor measurements directly populate the storage system. Further, IoT sensors generally don’t make mistakes, miss shifts or, arguably, cost as much as their human equivalents.

ERP vendors may claim their out-of-the-box standard IoT component will address these issues; this is rarely how things play out. Too often, such vendors subject clients to overly complicated processes that include adding all sorts of extra (non-complementary) modules during implementation. None of these extra steps or pieces are necessary.

IoT integration can and should be as simple as pressing a button to begin collecting a new data stream from a new sensor. It’s a given that new sensors will continue being added to IoT deployments over time. T