We have been hearing the term, ‘Intelligent Enterprise’ a lot lately. It is a term coined by the world’s largest software and technology vendors, and it’s becoming as familiar as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain, but do their customers really know what it means?
In basic terms, intelligent enterprise means companies that are exploiting their use of modern cloud-based technologies to gain real-time information about their operations, and use this information to capitalise on market trends/demand and conditions, as well as putting their customers at the heart of everything they do. It means using technology to support their growth, becoming agile and flexible, and responsive to market demand.
Forward thinking businesses are using technology to automate processes, which improves their employees’ experience and contributes to higher levels of workplace satisfaction and motivation. Previously manual, repetitive, jobs can be automated, which increases productivity and saves time, while enabling employees to focus on more meaningful tasks that make greater use of their skillset.
Not just for large enterprise
Working towards the goal of an ‘intelligent enterprise’ is not just for large enterprise and global businesses, however. It is equally achievable for SMEs with big ambitions – companies not afraid to take the leap with new technology, with the aim of improving and automating processes to help them grow, and give them the information they need to support their strategic decision making for the future.
Intelligent enterprise in practise
One of our customers, Abbeydale Direct, a small online retailer based in Derbyshire, implemented SAP Business One with exactly this ambition. Having integrated SAP Business One with their new series of e-commerce websites, the first action a team member has with a customer’s order is picking it from the shelf in the warehouse. With all processes automated up to the point of picking and packing, days of man hours are saved each week by various members of the team, allowing them to focus on sales opportunities and marketing. David Brownsey, Commercial Director, says, “SAP Business One essentially allows our company to run itself.”
Business are using technology to automate mundane, repetitive processes, which improves accuracy and reduces time wasted on duplication of data and effort. The detailed insights provided by an ERP solution, such as SAP Business One, enable companies to forecast based on previous years’ sales, respond to peaks and troughs in production, keep control of their inventory costs and optimise their use of resources.
How can ERP solutions help?
Centralised ERP solutions that automate processes in every functional area of a business enable companies to put the customer at the heart of everything they do. In an increasingly competitive market, it is the companies that value customer experience and communication that will survive and thrive in the future. With information at their fingertips, the company is able to update their customers on the status of their orders, delivery information and after-sales service and support.
The customer experience can be further enhanced by the use of portal technology, enabling them to log in to access information and updates. Certified add-ons to SAP Business One, such as Applications Platform from Codeless Platforms provide portal technology that can transform the way employees, customers and suppliers interact with the business. Portals can also be used to engage employees, providing them with self-service abilities to update their personal details, access holiday balances and anything else pertinent to their job roles.
More than technology?
Intelligent enterprise is not just about technology; it’s more of an attitude of using modern strategies and processes, supported by an advanced suite of technology solutions. This approach helps companies use all the information available to them to differentiate their offering based on those insights, and win in highly competitive markets.
Although intelligent enterprise isn’t just about technology, technology solutions provide the digital backbone to support future goals. This won’t happen with outdated systems that don’t ‘talk to each other’, and it won’t happen with old-fashioned ‘make do and mend’ attitudes. Cultural change doesn’t happen overnight but visionary leaders, supported by the best technological solutions to fit the organisation’s requirements, can drive businesses towards future success. The symbiotic relationship of people and technology is what makes a true intelligent enterprise.
To find out how Ascarii and SAP Business One can help you on your intelligent enterprise journey, please contact us now for a friendly chat.
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