What Is ERP? Learn ERP’s Meaning, Uses, & Benefits in This Enterprise Resource Planning Guide

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Definition: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is management automation software for finance, logistics, human resources, sales, and other departments that require a centralized database for automating company processes.

Digital technology offers no shortage of ways to optimize the way you run your business. There are countless tools and platforms out there to help you drive more revenue in less time — and one of the best types of platforms is enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. What is ERP, though? 

Keep reading to learn more about ERP’s meaning and get answers to questions like:

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What is ERP?

ERP is software that helps businesses centralize and manage their various business data and processes.

ERP software serves to compile information from across your business — sales records, marketing analytics, product inventory, and more — in one location. It helps you manage certain processes related to that information, in part through automating simple tasks.

How do ERP systems work?

Now that you know ERP’s meaning, let’s dive into how ERP systems work.

While dependent on the ERP software, most ERP systems work by:

  • Providing a central database for storing company data points
  • Pushing and pulling information from the central database
  • Sharing data points across departments, from finance to logistics
  • Offering greater internal controls for managing company data and automating company processes

Examples of ERP systems include SYSPRO, Sage, and Striven.

Who uses ERPs?

Multiple industries use enterprise resource planning systems, including:

  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Transportation and logistics
  • And more

Departments within businesses that will benefit the most from ERPs include:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Human resources

Keep in mind that every business is different, though. Just because your industry or department isn’t listed doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from an ERP system. Keep reading to learn if your organization might be a good candidate for an ERP.

Do I need an ERP system?

You know ERP’s definition, but do you know if you need an ERP system? These questions can help:

  • Is our data frequently inaccurate?
  • Is our tech stack integrated?
  • Is our organization overly dependent on spreadsheets and email communications?

Analyze your tech stack and look at how much time, money, and effort your business spends making its current technology solution work. If you’re spending too much time on making your current solution work, it might be time for something stronger, like an ERP.

Why do you need an ERP platform?

Whether you need a marketing ERP platform is up to you. ERPs tend to be handiest for larger companies that have multiple departments and locations to manage.

There are several benefits that ERPs offer.

Here are four reasons you might need an ERP for your company:

1. To connect remote locations

If your business has stores or offices at more than one location, ERP software is an excellent way to make sure all those locations are in sync.

Let’s say you have two stores in different parts of your city. Each store is driving sales, but you want to know how your company as a whole is performing. Using an ERP will allow you to bring all your sales data from both stores together.

That means you won’t have to separately consult each store to find out how they’re performing — you can simply look in your company ERP to see how the two stores compare and what the company’s overall revenue looks like.

2. To centralize your data across departments

Marketing ERP software isn’t just helpful for centralizing data from different stores. Even if you only have one location, it can still be an excellent tool for connecting all the different departments in your company.

When your sales team makes a sale, that affects your product inventory. It also generates data that can be useful for marketing. But if all your departments are isolated from one another, it makes it difficult to distribute that information.

An ERP will give your sales representatives, marketers, and more access to all relevant data. If a sale is registered in the ERP platform, it won’t just be accessible to the sales reps — other relevant departments can use that information as well.

3. To automate business processes

The final way ERPs can benefit you is by automating business processes. Without an ERP, there are many tasks you must do manually. Those tasks could include updating information on your website, transferring data between departments, and more.

But with an ERP, you can automate many simple tasks across your company. Some things you can automate include:

  • Budget reconciliation
  • Payroll and employment records
  • Order processing
  • And more!

With so many simple processes being automated, your employees will be freed up to spend time on the more complex tasks, allowing your business to run more efficiently and generate more revenue.

Read the ERP Integration Guide

How can digital marketing work together with your company ERP?

Your ERP has the potential to do a lot for your company, but it could be limited by how much it has to work with. If you’re not making many sales or gathering an abundance of data, an ERP platform may not be helpful for your business.

Likewise, your digital marketing can be enhanced by the performance of your ERP, which can more effectively manage leads and sales. The two form a cycle of progress — each of them improves the quality of the other.

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In short, your ERP is at its strongest when paired with a solid digital marketing campaign. Read on to learn how marketing and ERPs can boost one another’s performance!

1. Improved user experience

One of the first ways digital marketing and ERPs can enhance one another is by improving the user experience on your website and elsewhere.

An ERP is an optimal tool for providing better customer service, as it allows you to automate tasks that would otherwise distract you from your focus on the customer. Marketing, meanwhile, can boost your web design and help users engage with you more smoothly.

Furthermore, your marketing ERP can help you gain valuable user information on your website, which you can then use to determine where users are struggling or what they seem to have the most interest toward. You can then use your marketing to improve those things for users.

2.  More traffic to your website

The purpose of your ERP is primarily centered around compiling business data. But where does that data come from? Much of it comes from your website. Your site is where you can gather data about:

  • Where users discover your website
  • How long users stay on your site
  • Which pages users are the most interested in
  • Which products or services are driving the most revenue
  • And more!

With so much data coming from your site, it’s critical to maximize your web traffic. After all, the only way to obtain that data is for people to visit your site.

That’s yet another area where marketing and your ERP can work together. With a top-tier marketing campaign, you can draw users to your website and engage them there. That way, you’ll have plenty of information to analyze in your ERP.

You can then use that information to turn around and further improve your marketing based on what is and isn’t working. In that way, marketing and ERPs can continually boost each other and drive your site traffic up significantly.

3. Lead and conversion generation

Finally, the best thing marketing can do for your business is to drive leads and conversions. You can use your company ERP to manage sales and inventory, but those things only matter if people are actually buying your products or services.

A strong marketing campaign can persuade people to sign up for email lists, try out demos, and ultimately make purchases from your business. Without marketing, though, none of those things will happen. So, for your ERP to be of any real value, you must pair it with marketing.

Your ERP can improve the quality of your marketing as well, though. If you want your marketing to drive a lot of leads, you need to base it on your analytics — analytics which come from your ERP. Use the information from your ERP to determine how you can improve your marketing to drive more leads. 

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

See More Results

WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

$3 billion

In client revenue

7.8 million

Leads for our clients

5.2 million

Client phone calls

Get the most from your ERP software with marketing from WebFX

Digital marketing is your key to unlocking more revenue for your business. So, whether you’re using an enterprise resource planning platform or not, you’ll want to invest some time and energy into digital marketing — and WebFX can help you with that!

We’ve been driving stellar marketing results for our clients for over 25 years, and we’d love to do the same for you. With our digital marketing services, we’ll help you drive each of the marketing benefits listed above and more.

To get started with us, just call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!

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