Strengthen Your ERP System To Work From Home
It has been more than 18 months that many Malaysian workers have been working from home because of the Covid 19 pandemic. Many of your employees have been accessing your ERP systems in a remote work ecosystem, some for the first time. Some do not have access to the system from home due to corporate compliance policies; however many couldn’t because the organizations just wasn’t ready for it. It is a predicament that requires and update of your system and policies. Even companies with established work-from-home policies may not have updated policies specific to ERP system and employee access to the system and data. The absence of these processes can contribute to communications breakdowns, declines in productivity, difficulties with timely reporting and financial closes, and increased cybersecurity risks, to name a few.
Getting your ERP systems up to speed in today’s remote-work reality will require that you assess, update, and automate processes and technologies – and make sure that workers are adequately trained on the complexities of performing all of their tasks outside the office. Here are some key points to consider and strategies to embark on:
Remote Working and Productivity
Many Malaysian companies till today have been struggling with the effective management of people working from home, with this translating into many workers feeling untrusted and micromanaged by their management. Many shifted to remote work virtually overnight and were rushed to implement a work-from-home program. It is time to revisit initial and subsequent decisions to make sure they form a cohesive, effective whole. Updated remote-work policies will be essential to help support employee productivity and continuity if internet service and other communications are disrupted. Businesses will also need to create or update remote-access workflows and test their communications networks and VPN performance.
Your staff require adequate internet access for high-bandwidth applications like videoconferencing, as well as remote maintenance of ERP systems. Many companies have not established guidelines regarding equipment such as personal computers, smartphones and home networks accessing sensitive information and data in their ERP system while working remotely. This poses great data exposure and loss risk to the organization.
Businesses need to evaluate tools policies that would help to contain and minimize such risks. There is a great need to synchronize employee accessibility to the ERP system and security protocols that are required to ensure data security. Cybersecurity is a critical concern as Ransomware attacks have spiked. Companies need to defend themselves against such threats and review of cyber security and privacy protocols is definitely required; plus additional training for employees to ensure compliance.
ERP System Access
It’s critical that essential staff is able to securely access ERP systems via VPN or a web-based portal. Modern ERP systems can be managed remotely. It remains critical that configurations for remote IT support are up-to-date and tested. Cloud-based ERP solutions offer an advantage over on-premise systems because they are designed to be remotely managed; they also offer immediate scalability and flexibility for future fluctuations in business needs.
Automate Manual Business Processes
Organizations need to continue to automate manual business processes and workflows to make a remote-work environment operationally efficient. They should, for example, consider automation of approval workflows like ordering and processing of invoices. The practice of using manual spreadsheets for reporting and forecasting will need to be replaced with an automated and centralized Business Analytics system. You cannot afford to have island of information stored remotely without proper security. Other operations such as warehouse should consider automating tasks like picking, packing and shipping to increase efficiency during this time of crisis.
Supplier Invoice Management
The time is now to automate supplier invoice processing. Manual data entry which is always time consuming and leads to lots of errors needs to be eliminated. Supplier invoice automation is key. Invoice is received from your supplier – data is extracted automatically using OCR or RPA and the data is inserted into the ERP system. The manager is automatically notified and can approve or deny payment. Once approved, finance is alerted to execute the payment. There’s only one instance of data capture and it is imperative to eliminate human interaction from the process.
Automating Accounts Receivable
In trying times like these, it is often difficult to contact customers that have not paid their invoices. In order to help manage cash flow more effectively, it is necessary to digitize some of the Accounts Receivable processes. ERP systems can automate the sending of reminder letters, statement of accounts, provide analytics of customer payment trends and track payments. The traditional methods of handling AR maybe an empathetic strategy but is not effective today. Enhanced and automated communications with your customers is needed to provide better AR results.
Streaming Data: Reports and Dashboards
Employees are still both dispersed and virtual, and that can interrupt reporting and data analytics processes and workflows. Dashboards and collaborative workflows in ERP solutions can help businesses manage remote reporting.
Depending on your specific business requirements and existing processes, the right strategy can help improve productivity of what could become your permanent remote workforce. Your organization will be better positioned to flexibly manage the operational impacts of future crises, automate processes and increase efficiencies, and instil a culture of preparedness. These steps will also help businesses improve resilience during this ongoing global emergency and prepare for a future in which today’s operating anomalies become tomorrow’s norms.
What Is PRONTO ERP?
A powerful Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution is designed to help manage key aspects of day-to-day business operations – from financials, marketing, distribution, supply chain, asset and facility management to manufacturing – all within one fully integrated system. This is why it’s often referred to as business management software.
Pronto Software experts take the key processes of a business and align them on Pronto Xi ERP. This way across the organisation, everyone has the same direction and information to collaborate and create one fluid system. The automation of core processes with Pronto Xi ERP helps teams do more, with fewer resources. Control is also maximised – strengthening compliance with ever changing legislation and regulation.
Organisations are creating an increasing volume of data, all captured in their ERP software. This data holds valuable information about opportunities and gaps. Without the right expertise however, businesses struggle to build data models and extract these insights, especially with multiple sources of data – from the factory floor to the shop floor.
To enable businesses to take advantage of their data, Pronto Xi ERP leverages a deep integration with IBM Cognos Analytics. Relevant data is automatically pulled, depending on the query – and interactive dashboards deliver clear visualisations, customised to the needs of individual business users.
This is not just about populating a colourful bar chart. We believe true business intelligence is when you can ask questions and receive answers in plain language. AI-fuelled data analysis with Pronto Xi interprets the data, delivering actionable insights that enable confident data-led decisions – reducing your business risk and accelerating outcomes.