Digital transformation, customer expectations, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and disrupted supply chains represent just some of the challenges merchant, retail and distribution businesses faced in 2021.
But as we’ve seen from a recent customer survey, upgrading to new, future focused ERP software is now the No. 1 strategy for growth as businesses look to a post-Covid era.
So, as we look to 2022, we explore the latest ERP trends and key priorities leading the way for customers looking to grow their business in our new accepted normal.
- The Race To Multi and Omni-channel ERP Integration
- Web & 3rd Party Integrations Still a Key Driver
- Greater Adoption of Mobile ERP Apps
- Mainstream Cloud Adoption
- Business Metrics Where You Need Them
- Latest Technology Key To Fighting Supply Chain Challenges
The Race To Multi and Omni-channel ERP Integration
Customer expectations have shifted in recent years, moving towards a more cohesive shopping experience across different channels.
This has led to progressive businesses embracing multi-channel and omni-channel integrations with their ERP/business management system; eradicating information silos of disparate sales channels and ensuring customers are served efficiently throughout their journey.
With online marketplaces emerging as a powerful means of increasing revenue and driving business development, this is no surprise.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen requests to sell on online marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, skyrocket. Selling online has gone beyond a customers’ own ecommerce website to now looking at expanding and integrating omni-channels into their business strategy.
One sure-fire way to guarantee the experience your customers expect is to ensure your system offers seamless omni/multi-channel integration. Modern flexible REST APIs, found in the latest ERP software systems, are key here.
Your customers count on you to be able to deliver information and products on their terms, so know your market to implement the right systems.
2022 will see ongoing moves by businesses to expose their products to new and existing markets. And we are certainly ramping up our efforts to provide this to our customers with work continuing with marketplace solution providers.
Web & 3rd Party Integrations Still a Key Driver
2022 will see no let-up in the demand for web integration services as business seek to enjoy the benefits of multiple best of breed solutions without compromising on having a single source of truth (SSOT).
Today’s businesses are looking for limitless ecommerce and 3rd party integration capabilities and modern ERP systems that use REST API technology are facilitating this. This trend stood out for us most in 2021 with all prospective customer proposals incorporating the cost of our REST API services, and this is set to continue.
We’ll see a growing appetite for integrations with EDI, couriers etc in a quest to automate more and more business processes and to provide greater visibility throughout the supply chain; all to drive more efficiencies and improve customer service.
We’re also noting the rising trend in requests for applications that communicate delivery slots and progress to customers, like DPD or Amazon. Again, just another way to better serve your customers and something that will gain more traction in 2022.
The reality today is that any specific problem not addressed by your ERP solution, there’s probably a best of breed solution on the market for it. And once it’s capable of integrating in line with your business system, you’re assured they’ll sync with each other in real-time, feeding back into one unified platform.
Of course, none of this is achievable without modern flexible REST APIs which make integration with third party applications seamless. This will see many businesses moving from old legacy systems to more modern, future-fit ERP software platforms.
Greater Adoption of Mobile ERP Apps
Accessing critical business data on the go is a key driver for the growth of scaling businesses. Enabling employees to get a snapshot of accurately captured data, view the status of workflows, complete key tasks at home and collaborate with colleagues, provides a massive boost to agility and productivity of end users.
The growing demand for industry-specific, niche solutions will see the popularity of the desktop based one-size-fits-all ERP solution decrease. Enterprise mobility apps that contain specific features and functionalities that suit remote roles such as deliveries, sales etc. will become more prevalent, as businesses look to react quickly to changing customer trends and landscapes.
Having your ERP and business applications available on a mobile app will soon be the norm but already many modern ERP solutions offer role based mobile apps that your remote teams would warmly welcome
Mainstream Cloud adoption
From our experience, lots of companies are aggressively pursuing digital transformation, and at a much higher speed than expected. With that, customers now anticipate a subscription pricing model and a cloud or hosted offering with remote work becoming the new normal.
The adoption of cloud-based software is growing in all industries, and the benefits are clear— namely, but not limited to, reduced costs, improved infrastructure management, always on the latest version and easy to expand as requirements dictate.
More and more organisations today are shifting elements of their ERP systems to the cloud as we’re not quite there yet in terms of a fully mobile ERP solution. But this increased adoption of mobile solutions and increasing requests for subscription pricing clearly indicates that the cloud has moved into the mainstream, becoming almost mandatory.
And as mentioned, the ‘access from anywhere’ viewpoint is growing as organisations increasingly rely on distributed workforces in the wake of the coronavirus.
Business Metrics Where You Need Them
Since March 2020, we’ve seen business analytics take centre-stage as business owners grabbled to read their markets, get insight from their business software, and adapt to unprecedented challenges.
And while key metrics are important in every aspect of any business, they’re especially critical in sales. Providing staff with easy and convenient access to sales metrics is now a key priority for business owners.
This year we’ll see some ERP software providers develop their own integrated business metrics to reduce customers’ reliance on 3rd party applications, which can often be expensive.
This month will see the roll out of Intact iQ’s Business Metrics. This ‘out-of-the box’ business metrics module offers rich, real-time data to your staff, anywhere they need it in your ERP system. It’s a powerful tool that enables quick, evidence-based decisions to be made and is a significant time-saver, not to mention a great way to catch missed opportunities.
In 2022, data-driven companies that treat their data as a business asset will actively look to their analytics and the tools they use to help gain a competitive advantage.
Latest Technology Key To Fighting Supply Chain Challenges
There’s no doubt the pandemic has tested the ingenuity, resilience and flexibility of all businesses as they seek to maintain operations during unprecedented supply chain challenges.
Managing customer expectations over the coming weeks and months will remain a key priority for many businesses. As too is stock forecasting. It’s important therefore to have total faith in your ERP software to deliver the data you need to adjust your supplier lead times, recalculate them, and start ordering based on the times we’re in.
2022 will see continued focus on getting the balance right between meeting customer demands and order fulfilment.
More attention will be put on existing workflows to improve efficiencies and automate more processes to alleviate any supply chain pressures.
ERP systems that offer system generated order replenishment rules will come to the fore as this is key to getting your system to work for you. This is where, based on specific algorithms, your system will prompt you to buy the right products, in the right quantities and at the right time.
In 2022, we’ll see more and more businesses look to the latest technology to overcome current and future logistic challenges. For most, this will centre around getting their baseline ERP software technology right because without that, capitalising on the latest mobile apps or new technology can be a time consuming and costly experience.
At Intact, we specialise in delivering perfect-fit software solutions that align with your business objectives. To learn more about our services and what we can offer, visit the homepage or get in touch via our contact page.