As marketers, we sometimes run the risk of narrowing our focus toward our business unit alone. To be efficient in our jobs, however, we must keep sight of every segment of the company or brand that we are marketing to our audience. This means keeping sight of financials so that we can gauge what sort of marketing budget is justified or following the sales trends so that we know which regions may need additional marketing.
This is where Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, comes in. Investopedia defines ERP as “a process used by companies to manage and integrate the important parts of their businesses.” Essentially, ERP allows the automated sharing and merging of relevant information between business units, enabling the business as a whole to operate as a single entity rather than as individual parts working independently of each other. This helps achieve cohesion in the running of a business. Oracle, one of the biggest providers of ERP software, outlines the following business benefits of ERP:
- Improved business insight
- Lower operational costs
- Enhanced collaboration
- Improved efficiency
- Consistent infrastructure
- Higher user-adoption rates
- Reduced risk
- Lower management and operational costs
It is easy to see how most of these advantages would be relevant and helpful to the marketing professional. Improved business insight allows us to better understand what we are promoting. Lower operational costs can raise the return on investment of our marketing plans. Consistent infrastructure lowers the internal uncertainty we sometimes face when having to predict trends. If your company is already utilizing an ERP, I encourage you to delve into it and extract as much usefulness from it as you can. If for some reason, an ERP is not yet in use or is not being implemented to its fullest extent, be the voice that endorses the many benefits it can provide.