White Paper

The Beginner's Guide to ERP

This guide is written to help you understand how Dealer Management Software can help you with your growth as an Equipment Provider.

When Do You Need ERP?

In the earliest stages of your business, when virtually every transaction was done manually, you found that switching to an accounting software system gave your company a boost in efficiencies. As your company grew, you saw you were outgrowing tools like spreadsheets, email, your accounting software and/or other disconnected applications.

Meanwhile, the information needed to take sales orders, dispatch the service technicians, move equipment in and out of rentals, replenish parts, and many other vital business processes remained locked inside the heads of key employees and not in a centralized, integrated system!

Once your business starts to grow in size and/or complexity, your management starts wanting, and needing, to measure everything related to all aspects of the business. The various spreadsheets or disconnected ‘sidecar’ applications that the company has been making do with to manage data falls short of accurate, timely metrics. Only an integrated software system, such as ERP, offers a single version of accurate data visible to all employees, so that key performance indicators and benchmarks can be set to measure performance.

Now, with Business Software, Dealer Management Software, ERP or whatever you choose to call the software that will help run your business, you can move into the stages of Measurement, Control, and Improvement that are the signs of a mature, thriving company. Technology roll-outs during these later stages could be called ERP+ wherein the software extends its transactional reach into data management and analysis for all movements, such as Price, Configure, Quote functionality, Field Service Automation, e-Ship and EDI.

Why Do You Need ERP?

There are a lot of moving parts in the business of being equipment provider, as you know. An ERP software system built specifically for your industry, can handle all the vital functionality required, including:

Dispatch board

Service contract management

Technician availability

WIP order & labor

Field service

Rentals Functionality That Supports Your Business

The equipment rental industry has been growing at a rate four times more than the general economy for years now, according to ARA statistics, and equipment rentals are poised for even greater growth in 2014. To get the most out of this thriving rental market, equipment providers need to use software technology to squeeze out all the inefficiencies in rental contract management, shipping, billing, and fleet management (whether 100 or 30,000 units) and more.

Availability tree

Rental contract management

Cross-department hub

Shipping

Billing

Fleet management

Logistics/Warehousing

Sales Functionality That Supports Your Business

Sales orders

Integration with service & purchase orders

Logistics/Warehousing

Lease management

Trade-ins

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Parts Functionality That Supports Your Business

Inventory management

Replenishment

Manufacturer parts

Equipment Management Functionality That Supports Your Business

Transfers

History

Warranty management

Component & attachment management

Financials & Reporting Functionality That Supports Your Business

Financials

Reporting

Costing

What are the Benefits of ERP?

While ERP software is no small undertaking at a company, it does bring many benefits to your business, just to highlight a few:

So You Think You Are Ready For ERP?

Not all ERP software is created equal, so here are some points to help guide you in your selection process.

  1. Which industry does the functionality within your ERP software best suit?
  2. Do you have up-to-date IT certification as validation of specialized knowledge in ERP?
  3. What is involved in the upgrade process of your ERP software?
  4. What is the long-term product road map of your software, i.e. what kind of R&D investment is being made to your ERP?
  5. Which customers may we speak to about your ERP and how it serves their companies?
  6. Will you use our actual business data to do a software demonstration?
  7. What does after-sales support of the ERP product involve?
  8. What has been the trajectory of growth in customer base and revenue at your software company?

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