Connect Your Team with Collaboration Tools

Within a modern business, many people may work together to manage complex, integrated processes and solve diverse problems. Consequently, business software must promote collaboration and facilitate communication within an enterprise. In this blog, I argue that ERP software is ideally suited to managing communications that arise within a complex organization. The ERP solution however, must be rich enough to create seamless, integrated and enterprise-wide ways of problem-solving.

Effective collaboration requires the ability to work cooperatively with a range of stakeholders, be they suppliers, research partners, government, or regulators. The term “collaborative ERP” describes Enterprise Resource Planning software that enhances communication between these stakeholders at every opportunity. It is based on the sharing of operational data.

As organizations grow in scale and complexity, it becomes more difficult to share information in a clear, timely, and concise manner. This is a common problem that has motivated the development of new tools and strategies for communication. These solutions often incorporate single-purpose applications like Asana, Liquid Planner and Wrike. While these tools are easy to use and visually pleasing they are often limited to informal, ad hoc styles of collaboration. Furthermore, work done in stand-alone applications often ends up in silos of information that cannot be integrated with the larger body of information managed by a full-featured ERP solution. Thus, information becomes dispersed and disjointed, defeating the purpose of collaboration.

ERP software holds great potential for collaboration, because its sheer breadth incorporates complex business processes, projects and activity based costing models. ERP gives you faster supply chain communications and processes, closer customer relationships, more financially informed departmental decisions, leaner operations and closer interdepartmental communications.

Goals for Collaboration within the Enterprise:

Facilitate communications associated with relevant and purposeful activities.

  • Monitor all aspects of the organization, including finances and manufacturing
  • Access information easily for employees as well as customers and suppliers
  • Account for all actions relating to all activities and projects

Build, maintain, and organize the company’s knowledge base

  • Automate all business processes with little or no subsequent set up
  • Document all operational procedures
  • Gain visibility on all communications associated with business processes

Track costs for a projects and activities, whether simple or complex

  • View and modify schedules in real time with Gantt charts
  • Track all costs as specified by established business rules
  • Rigorously document all costs associated with projects
  • Link all activities such as a purchase order with an approval process
  • Automate and attach all purposeful activities to work processes

Share documents attached to business processes

  • Attach documents to a process for easy retrieval
  • Maintain records of all revisions made to a document
  • Authorize individuals or groups for document sharing

Streamline business email

  • Email is prioritized by urgency and associated with ongoing projects
  • Attachments are archived in a database to be retrieved as needed
  • View and sort all communications from a single screen
  • Choice of mobile device for off-site communication
  • Integration of external email tools (e.g. Outlook)
  • Authorize individuals or groups to send and receive email

Engage with your business partners

  • Manage internal and external contacts such as customers, vendors and suppliers
  • Organize all relevant information associated with business partnerships
  • Integrate external communications from mobile or alternative devices

Trust corporate wide security for all communications

  • Diligently maintain the highest level of security
  • Create multiple levels security in cloud-based tools
  • Securely replicate and back up data in redundant locations
  • Encrypt data at multiple levels, including data at rest

ERP products can provide many advantages depending upon your organizational needs. The most effective tools enable communication throughout the entire organization, especially when they are connected to all business processes. Visibility gives organizations the opportunity to respond to problems as they happen. An ERP solution that streamlines communications channels with relevant information can be a powerful tool. Synchronous ERP has been designed to enhance communication between employees, customers and suppliers.

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