Leverage Powerful ERP and Big Data for Customer Service
This month, health-conscious grocery giant Whole Foods announced a transformative new partnership with software company Infor to overhaul their enterprise software and consolidate several disparate and aging ERP systems into one powerful, overarching solution. The move is a clear indicator of the future of the interconnected enterprise; companies harnessing ERP and CRM software and the data it can collect on customers, transactions and business process to boost both revenue and customer service.
However, Big Data and ERP isn’t only for retail; any business implementing or already using enterprise software is able to collect powerful data about their inventory, demand and sales process. Analyzing this data allows you to make informed decisions in all areas of your business, including ordering, scheduling and marketing. When all of these processes are backed by hard facts and running smoothly, your customers will always stay happy. ERP for customer service is a powerful tool that many don’t take advantage of; here’s why you need to start.
ERP Software and Big Data
Your ERP systems has the potential to store massive amounts of information about your business’ supply, inventory and manufacturing processes. If you are not taking this ‘big data,’ and analyzing it to reap critical insights into your business, you are missing out. It contains key insights into your company, including where it’s been and where it’s going.
When you have the total view of your inventory, product sourcing and purchase history that ERP provides you can then deduce a 360-degree view of your customer from initial interest to sale. You can predict demand for a new product based on how much you have sold of predecessors or competitors or ensure that you’re never out of stock of a critical item because you know from data when it is highest demand and you need to order more. When you use proven data from ERP for customer service you are actively engaging with customers from the very beginning to the very end of your sales process.
Leveraging ERP for Customer Service
Whole Foods stated that their ERP overhaul will allow them to hone in on the target market; the socially conscious shopper. If a shopper wants to know the production history or ingredient sources of a particular product, they will be able to scan it and see for themselves. A consolidated system will also allow consumers more transparent inventory information—whether a product they are looking for is in stock at a particular store, or when they can expect it to be delivered. Big data can not only help you appeal to a target market however; it can also you find one. An integrated CRM and ERP system will allow you to recognize the leads you make the most sales from and what channels are getting you the biggest interest. You can use data analysis to focus your marketing dollars where they are going to be more effective.
This is just a mere example of the many ways you can harness your back-end data to transform your front-facing customer transactions. It’s hard not to impress potential customers when you can answer any questions they have about your business or products; ERP software allows you to do just that. And if you don’t know an answer, you can find it at your fingertips with the help of cloud data and a mobile device. The term ‘big data’ may sound like another ambiguous IT ‘buzzword’, but the concepts behind it and the power that it can put in your hands are truly going to transform the landscape of software, technology and business.
By hosting their new software and data in the cloud, the Whole Foods case also demonstrates the huge potential of web-based enterprise management and its scalability. They can now operate their brick and mortar and online business through the same software, and bring the data and sales insight from every aspect of their company together into one all-powerful enterprise system. Instead of wasting time collecting data from several different sources and risking errors and holes in their information, the cloud allows businesses to streamline and focus their efforts on their business’ true mission.
However, the cloud is not just for retail giants; off-site hosting means that you only pay for the server and storage space you need, so it’s also an attractive option for small to midsize businesses. With the cloud it’s easier to sync information across disparate systems and multiple offices and off-site employees—no matter how big your office is or where your employees might be located. As long as team members have access to the internet they can harness your data to make decisions, close sales and drive revenue.
An integration of your ERP and CRM software can take the marriage between big data and enterprise software even further. As CRM systems track all of the information on the sales side of your business, ERP tracks all of the production and manufacturing. Distilling all that data into a single source gives you the most valuable information for analysis and demand prediction; truly driving the ROI on your significant software purchases. An interconnected enterprise can mobilize data from CRM and ERP for customer service that is out of this world.
Are you running legacy software, or struggling to consolidate a bunch of different systems and finding that you’re not achieving the full potential of any of them? Contact an expert at Datix today—we can help streamline your software solutions and align them to your business processes.