Publication – Times Of India
Digital transformation is a buzzword in the business world that has taken the industry by storm in recent years. It refers to the integration of digital technology into all aspects of a business, which results in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers. At the heart of digital transformation lies the integration of data, people, and processes. Standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are built on unified and extensible platforms but now the artificial intelligence enabled modern ERP solutions have the potential of eliminating the need for employees to spend time on manual and repetitive tasks like double data entry. This enables organizations to automate core business processes — finance, sales, purchase, supply chain, HR, and so on.
A cloud-based end-to-end business management solution like Business Central helps small and medium-sized businesses innovate, optimize resources, and streamline operations. It brings together financial management, sales, purchase, service, and operations in one seamless system, providing businesses with the insights they need to make better decisions and improve their overall performance.
There are several capabilities of Business Central that are changing the way small and medium businesses think about integrating their business data, creating flexibility, and improving operations. Let’s look at its prime capabilities and how they are contributing to the success of the digital transformation brought about by its implementation.
Integration of business data and actions
One of the most demanding expectations from any ERP system today is the ability to integrate data from across the organization into one centralized system. This means that data from finance, sales, service, and operations can all be accessed and analyzed in one place, providing businesses with a complete view of their operations.
With integrated data, businesses can make informed decisions faster, reduce the risk of errors and duplication, and streamline their operations. The system can also help identify trends and opportunities that may have been missed without the insights provided by integrated data.
The greatest thing is that we can leverage a host of advanced functionalities available across enterprise technologies by integrating other systems to Business Central. For instance, we implemented a highly capable CRM along with field service applications which use advanced GPS based features allowing on ground teams to engage with customers while Business Central helps manage this aspect of business within the same system.
One such implementation for a major American asphalting company has enabled them to reduce inventory carrying costs by 30% and improve on-time delivery rate from 75% to 98%.
Flexibility in processes and user adoption
Modern organizations look for systems that can be customized to meet the unique needs of a business and not some rigid software which pigeonholes the processes into adopting the workflows set as default. The Business Central system offers a wide range of built-in features and functionality, as well as a powerful no-code / low-code development platform that allows businesses to add custom functionality, workflows and integrations.
This flexibility means that businesses can tailor the system to meet their specific needs, rather than having to adapt their processes to fit the limitations of the software. This can result in more efficient operations, improved productivity, and ultimately, increased profitability.
User adoption of Business Central is quick as it is not obtrusive in terms of the transformation process. Most of the users within the organization who have been using legacy ERP systems easily get a hang of Business Central because of its flexibility and an arguably simple user interface compared to many other industry applications.
By providing businesses with a complete view of their operations, Business Central enables them to identify areas for improvement and optimize their processes. This can lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
For example, a manufacturing company that has implemented Business Central can use the system to track production schedules, inventory levels, and shipping information in real-time. This allows them to identify bottlenecks in their processes and make adjustments to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
The true advantage of AI and automation in ERP is seen where businesses get predictive insights and forecasting which can help in budgeting and cash flow management. Now such features are available with Business Central, which allow organizations to get cash flow forecasts, sales and inventory forecasts, predictive insights on timely payments and accordingly take actions.
The challenge of scalability always affects small and medium businesses as it is difficult to operate optimally within available resources. We have seen carefully calibrated digital transformation can offer a breakthrough for businesses in highly competitive markets where scaling up is not always easy. Take for example the real estate sector. The business of selling and buying immovable assets is often slow, riddled with compliance issues and highly sensitive to economic ups and downs. Customer trust in property investments is also seen to be low at times.
However, with a visionary implementation of Business Central, a frontier Indian real estate management company was able to increase its repeat investments in immovable property and reduce customer acquisition cost by 30-40% which is impressive by the standards of highly unpredictable market of property investments.
I can share many such client success stories where we have seen that businesses adopting Business Central have achieved significant improvements in their operations, such as reduced inventory carrying costs and lead times, as well as increased order capacity and on-time delivery rates. This leads to better customer satisfaction and increased profitability. All the above ultimately help overcome the question of scalability.
Business Central provides small and medium businesses with some of the most advanced tools they need to compete in today’s fast-paced business environment. Besides the system’s integration of business data, flexibility, and ability to improve operations, modern automation and AI based features indeed make it a powerful tool for businesses looking to grow and succeed.