By Jodie Smith – Recruitment Consultant
I do a lot of work with clients in the service industry, both public and private sectors and they all seem to encounter the same problems when it comes to their IT systems. A lack of customisation, high costs from Vendors for integration work and a lack of flexibility that inhibits collaboration between departments.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, I’m speaking to more and more clients who are solving those problems by implementing ERPx, Unit 4’s flagship offering which has celebrated its 1st birthday this month. I wanted to take a deep dive in to what I’ve learnt from supplying Unit4 resource over the last year and show how implementing/upgrading to ERPx can help your organisation.
What is ERPx?
ERPx is a cloud hosted offering that combines ERP, HCM/HR and Finance applications in one platform. ERPx is also Unit4’s first offering to use machine learning that powers a digital assistant, “Wanda” who helps users complete tasks more efficiently. The system has another clever use for its machine learning capabilities - the ease of automation of simple and repetitive tasks.
After getting feedback from contacts who are implementing the system, the most exciting addition is access to low-code capabilities meaning that companies can easily customise and configure the system in-house without having to rely on vendors to supply expensive and unfit solutions.
How ERPx can help
As ERPx is tailored towards companies in the service industry, meaning that it removes some of the cost of customization that usually creep in when companies implement ERP’s. This ease of customisation means that most changes can be made in house, saving on third-party services and if solutions are built in to the system, then there is no need for them to be integrated. These features mean that the ROI for the product is achieved much faster than it would be if you were implementing an older or less targeted ERP.
The platform allows customers to achieve gains in productivity by consolidating Unit 4’s ERP, HR, and Finance solutions. This eliminates manual tasks associated with transferring data and reports from one application to another through process automation, saving users time for those more important tasks.
As consolidating systems streamline data flows and promotes collaboration, companies can achieve a greater understanding over their daily operations. Users now experience seamless real-time data availability between the solutions, meaning that performing analysis is far easier, allowing users to support decision-making with up-to-date statistics.
Ease of integration & systems maintenance
IT departments are also expected to save time on general maintenance and updates as those responsibilities are mostly shifted to the cloud vendor.
With the increase in use of custom and “off the shelf” cloud apps being used to solve specific issues, another problem has arisen…. Companies are now spending a fortune trying to integrate these applications or are migrating data across from disparate platforms, applications and CRMs that are tricky to integrate with ERP’s – to combat this Unit4 have released Industry Mesh that offers turnkey data flows that are tailored to specific industries that will eliminate cost/time for professional services and manual data work. Industry Mesh also allows companies to gain a strategic advantage by offering comprehensive and accurate data/insights to drive strategic decision making.
Market factors/resource availability
As with all new technologies there is always a delay of available resource whilst new skills are learnt and changes to the new product offerings are fully understood. This hasn’t stopped my ability to place contractors on client sites as some skills are instantly transferrable, predominantly project management, business analysis and reporting. Report writing has been the biggest uptake from clients as they start to make the most of their access to accurate/real time data that ERPx offers. I’m starting to see an increase in the availability of technical resource and consultancy skills coming on to the market, so if you are in need of any additional resource for your project then I’ll be happy to secure you some high quality, cost effective resource.