One of the biggest differences we have seen in the charity sector is that many organisations won’t have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This is a real shame as charities can benefit from ERP through better information management and increased operational efficiency.
What is an ERP System?
ERP is software which seeks to merge and streamline the business processes of a company to provide a single source of truth. The idea is that you can have all business functions and departments using the one system – Sales, HR, Finance, and everything in between. ERP offers a single, real-time, integrated system – so everyone around the business can see the same information. At the most basic level, ERP software no longer treats these functions as stand-alone and considers them part of the chain of the wider business processes. Thus, an ERP system is designed around a common, defined data structure which often has a common database.
How Can Charities Benefit From ERP?
Due to the number of different departments that an ERP system brings together, there are lots of benefits to be had across the charity. We’ve identified 4 key benefits of a well implemented and operating ERP solution.
1. Improved Collaboration
Having a silo mentality in your charity makes it difficult to work collaboratively. An ERP gives you a single database to support your organisation which means everyone has a single version of the truth. By working from the same, consistent information, departments and offices across different locations can make informed decisions. This helps ensure that the charity is quick to tackle problems before they arise.
2. Decreased Costs
Another way charities can benefit from ERP is the decreased costs that it brings. While there is often a large upfront investment, once implemented it helps streamline your processes and improve efficiency. Working smarter helps decrease your operating costs across the whole organisation. You also remove delays in the right information being available which drives smarter decision making to boost growth and increase opportunities.
3. Informed Decision Making
Reporting and analytics are a key driver of smart business decisions and in the charity sector it is more important than ever to report on your outcomes. A single, unified report gives increased visibility across departments, a huge benefit for decision makers. Also, with reporting tools pulling the data from a single ERP, you can end the need for rekeying vital data. This helps by minimizing the risk of human error and cuts down on your data collection time.
4. Boosted Productivity
ERP can boost productivity in a range of departments through the automation of tasks and processes. Correct ERP implementation can remove or reduce the time spent on repetitive, manual tasks – freeing teams to focus on bringing the most value to the charity. Many ERP systems now include compliance reporting functions, which can track changes in compliance regulations and give real time updates.
Conclusion to How Charities Can Benefit From ERP
A well-implemented ERP system can be hugely beneficial and effective to charities looking to streamline their processes and increase their productivity, effectiveness, and reporting capability.
If you want to find out more about how an ERP could help your charity realise its potential, then get in touch with our team today.