(Last updated: 05/13/2020)
Maintaining financial control of a business is not always an easy task. Management can be overly piecemeal, with inputs for accounting and operations coming from digital silos. However, with well-integrated solutions for different areas of the business, monitoring becomes simple, fast and efficient. Business health and progress flow accordingly. This is known as a “connected business.” While this is ideal in normal times, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it practically essential.
What is a connected business?
The term “connected business” refers to the use of a fully-integrated solution intended for distribution, retail and eCommerce and various other branches of a business. They are all connected. So, too, are the internal elements, such as ERP, CRM and so forth. The term further implies a degree of automation in the management of business resources.
Software elements of connected business
The connected business is typically built using a cloud-based ERP system that provides the essential features and functionality to operate your business processes from a 360° perspective. It integrates all main organizational fields such as finance, inventories, CRM, e-commerce, purchasing, sales, human resources, production, and supply chain. It offers a variety of methods to visualize your company data through a broad range of reports, graphs, and indicators in real-time.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP, or enterprise resource planning, integrates multiple business processes into a single system. An ERP solution usually combines finance, supply chain, manufacturing, purchases and so forth. However, the connected business ERP system is not at all simple. It provides visibility and analytics that drive efficiency across multiple areas of a business. Using the latest technology, an ERP system in a connected business facilitates the real-time flow of data across all departments. It allows you to make data-driven choices and manage performance in real time.
Accounting software is a given in any business. In a connected business, accounting software has automated processes that simplify the work. It performs accounting tasks more quickly. Through integration, you get a real time, intuitive view of how the business is performing, in financial terms.
Logistics software complements ERP, overseeing the movement of goods. The connected business provides tools to help logistics, freight forwarders, air, land and sea freight companies, exporters, importers and all those involved in supply chain management (SCM) reduce errors and improve efficiency.
Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI)
Software for data analytics (sometimes called Business Intelligence or “BI”) helps you visualize and interpret the data about your business. This is an essential element of the connected business. Without BI, you won’t know how the various parts of the business are functioning. The connected business offers you a complete platform that integrates data management and visual analysis.
Why you should migrate to a new connected business paradigm
Companies that want to see beyond conventional, piecemeal software would do well to explore the potential of connected business. If you are looking for your first ERP solution or are planning to update an existing system, it’s worth assessing the potential value of the connected business approach. It promotes growth while managing complexity. The results of this are robust solutions that optimize your return on resources.
Additionally, a connected business allows for a near-seamless shift to remote work, something many businesses have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the business branches connected, employees can access them through the cloud wherever they have internet access, ensuring business continuity in times of crisis.
We have worked with many companies on the adoption of these concepts. It can be an incremental process, so if the time is right for your business to make the move, let’s talk.