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Future of supply chain- ERP experts from Epicor, Infor and Sage discuss the adoption of ERP systems within the supply chain industry in order to drive efficient operations.
Over the last few years, “ERP has evolved hugely,” comments Phil Lewis, Vice President, Solution Consulting EMEA at Infor, “previously it was seen as a static system of record, it has now become the basis of digital transformation – a backbone for increased agility and responsiveness. These are vital concerns in the supply chain industry, which is facing an almost perfect storm of increased regulation, huge customer demands and intense competition.” Both Robert Sinfield, Vice President Product Sage Business Cloud X3 at Sage, and Mark Hughes, regional vice president, UK and Ireland at Epicor Software, agree with Lewis. “Ultimately, supply chains can benefit from ERP technologies because it allows for consolidation of data and business applications, giving IT the capability to deliver their services in building block form. ERP allows management of purchasing, inventory, sales and finance, resulting in better productivity, efficiency and a great customer experience,” says Sinfield. “This is the only way supply chains can face the current industry challenges, is with an efficient ERP system and an efficient electronic exchange of data throughout that provides visibility and instant updating,” adds Hughes.
“What are the benefits of ERP for the supply chain? This is a question that could lead to an essay of an answer. Modern ERP is all about driving a business forward, be it faster and leaner processes, lower costs, better customer service or even developing new business and revenue streams. It sounds like a bit of a cop out, but it really does depend on the business that is implementing the technology – which means that the very first step must always be a thorough evaluation of the desired benefits and the creation of a strong business case,” says Lewis. “Introducing an ERP system to your business can improve efficiency considerably. Some of the benefits for businesses include enabling better departmental collaboration and gaining a single overview of the business that helps with insights for improvements.” adds Sinfield.