June 2023 - Striven

How Business Owners Can Benefit from ERP Software

Business owners are always looking for ways to manage their daily operations more efficiently. You want to provide the right resources for patients to make their visits easier. If you’re searching for new tools to implement, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an excellent investment.

This article will cover:

  • What ERP software is
  • How it benefits growing businesses
  • Examples of how to utilize ERP software
  • Resources that can help provide a better customer experience

There’s quite a bit to cover here with each of these topics. If you’re wondering if ERP software is right for your business, you’ll have all the answers you need to decide by the end of this article. Read on to get all the information.

What Is ERP Software?

ERP software is a resource to help your business manage everyday tasks. It integrates your main business practices into one streamlined system. Any modern organization will use several digital tools to track data and improve the customer experience. Common tools include:

  • Accounting software
  • Data-tracking software
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Scheduling systems

All of these and more are critical aspects of an organization’s system. However, they are often accessed through separate software and systems. You may use QuickBooks for accounting, Salesforce for CRM, Microsoft Excel for manually tracking key data, and so on.

Managing all of these different programs in different places can create disorganization and frustration. An ERP helps by eliminating the need for separate software to manage certain everyday tasks. Instead, you can manage all these functions through one system that tracks everything. In doing so, your employees, patients, and bottom line will all benefit.

How Can ERP Software Benefit Your Business?

If you still aren’t convinced, there are several other ways ERP software benefits businesses. Here are some of the main benefits:

1. Track key performance indicators (KPIs)

Every organization wants to get the best results for patients. Valuable key performance indicators like customer lifetime value, revenue growth, and employee productivity can show you how you’re performing. ERP software can track all that data in an organized system.

2. More efficient customer service

If ever an organization needed to offer quick, efficient service, it’s small and growing businesses. Emergencies are frequent, and you need to be able to process information through your systems fast to get patients the care they need. An ERP will provide you with information in a single place to speed up systems drastically.

3. Increase information security

Cybersecurity is a major concern for every business. It’s especially important for every business that handles transactions, where sensitive information can be vulnerable to malicious actors. If you store information across numerous software programs, this increases the chances of a data breach—intentional or otherwise. Putting everything on an ERP makes storage more efficient and helps you focus security measures in one place.

4. Reduce physical and digital storage needs

Having a vast amount of information spread across paper hard copies and digital files creates a storage nightmare. That’s a big problem for businesses that have to be timely and organized. You can reduce your storage and free up physical and digital space by using ERP software for everything.

As you can tell, an ERP can be a valuable resource. The next section will provide some additional examples to show how these benefits can come into play.

How ERP Software Can Help Streamline Processes

If you’re looking for an ERP to help manage your growing business, here are some key results to look for in the software that you choose:

  1. Streamline the customer experience while keeping everything organized and secure
  2. Manage billing, documents, scheduling, and more all in one place
  3. Create digital customer and vendor portals that make setting appointments and organizing schedules easy
  4. Use tried and true accounting practices to manage your financials appropriately

All these features and more will help your business provide better and more efficient service.


There you have it. You should now have the information you need to decide if implementing an ERP will be right for your organization.

Using one will benefit your bottom line by organizing your financials, customer portals, document management, and more all in one place.

Data Analytics in Manufacturing: Benefits and Use Cases

Manufacturing businesses traditionally drive their production processes using machinery and physical assets. However, data has now become a valuable asset for organizations across industries. In particular, manufacturing firms have started leveraging data to gain a competitive edge.

Data analytics in manufacturing is becoming more and more popular nowadays. Using the power of data, businesses facilitate cost reduction and customer satisfaction improvement. Analyzing vast amounts of data, manufacturing companies can gain insights into their processes. Thus, they can simplify the process of identifying inefficiencies and increasing performance. 

In this article, we will focus on manufacturing analytics’ benefits and use cases. Discover ways to make data-driven decisions and optimize your operations with us. 

What manufacturing industry challenges can data analytics help to solve?

The importance of technologies such as AI, data analytics, and big data in manufacturing is enormous. It is because businesses in this industry face problems such as:

  • supply chain disruptions
  • quality control issues
  • changing customer preferences
  • regulatory compliance
  • cost management
  • fraud
  • expensive downtime
  • customer churn 

However, data analytics can help solve the issues listed above. This is because it provides insights for better decision-making and more efficient processes. Hence, manufacturing businesses can better plan their budget, improve their decision-making, and optimize efficiency. As a result, many organizations are now opting to utilize off-the-shelf software. Others hire Scala developers to integrate data analytics with their custom solutions.

Benefits of data analytics in manufacturing

Data analytics helps manufacturing businesses achieve more through smarter resource and asset management. Let’s review the key benefits of data analytics in manufacturing in more detail.

Cost optimization

Using data, businesses can eradicate insufficiencies and save money. One of the manufacturing analytics examples includes identifying inefficient equipment. Companies can then schedule repairs before a breakdown occurs. 

Thus, data analytics allows for avoiding costly downtime and machinery repairs or replacement. Moreover, analyzing data allows for finding areas of waste. As a result, businesses can optimize their use of resources, thus saving costs.

Better decision-making

Being well-informed is one of the main principles of the decision-making process. Analyzing  generated production data makes it easier for companies to identify improvement opportunities.

For instance, data analytics helps determine the most profitable products or production lines. After that, a company can allocate resources in a more productive way.

Increased efficiency

Areas of waste, bottlenecks, and other resource allocation issues often impact productivity. By using data analytics to identify the problem, companies can streamline the production process.

Another way to increase efficiency is to optimize equipment utilization. For example, data analytics can help monitor and replenish inventory levels to avoid overstocking.

Customer satisfaction

Customer data is yet another asset for a manufacturing company. Analyzing this data helps businesses gain insights into their clients’ preferences and behaviors. So, an organization can better meet consumers’ needs with improved products or services. As a consequence, customer loyalty grows, as well as the possibility of upselling. 

In addition, data analytics can assist in user experience monitoring and optimization. By tracking feedback, it can identify areas to improve the UX. Thus, companies may strengthen their brand reputation and retain more customers.

Manufacturing analytics use cases

The manufacturing industry can benefit from data analytics in many ways. Some prominent use cases are predicting maintenance needs and forecasting demand. Leveraging data analytics tools enables businesses to gain insights, optimize operations, and improve their bottom line.
Now let us look at manufacturing analytics use cases:

Predictive (preventive) maintenance

Imagine being able to predict when your equipment will crash or require maintenance. Sounds convenient, right? Well, predictive maintenance makes this dream a reality.

By analyzing sensor data and historical records, businesses can identify potential failure patterns.  Predictive analytics for manufacturing can help enterprises avoid costly downtime and reduce maintenance costs. 

Another way to prevent a breakdown is to find the best schedule for proper equipment upkeep. This approach involves the analysis of historical maintenance data. Thus, companies will minimize the chance of unexpected malfunctions. This can lead to machine uptime increase, productivity improvement, and budget optimization.

Demand forecasting

Data analytics in manufacturing helps predict future product or service demand. For this purpose, engineers analyze sales data, economic indicators, and other relevant factors.

Demand forecasting allows businesses to estimate how much of a product or service a firm will need to provide. Thus, companies can enhance their inventory management and streamline production schedules. As a result, they can reduce the risk of stockouts or overstocking.

Supply chain optimization

Now what about using data to improve the efficiency of the supply chain? Manufacturing analytics can benefit suppliers, transportation providers, and other supply chain partners. It allows businesses to identify cost reduction, process streamlining, and collaboration improvement opportunities. 

An example would be when a company defines the optimal order quantity. Another instance is when it reduces lead times or improves inventory management. By analyzing transportation logs and shipment data, companies can identify route planning inefficiencies.

Having optimized supply chains with data analytics, manufacturing businesses can:

  • increase their agility 
  • improve responsiveness to customer demand
  • optimize routes
  • minimize transit times
  • reduce fuel consumption
  • improve overall delivery efficiency

Quality control

Quality control involves using manufacturing industry data analysis to improve the product. First, manufacturers receive data from sensors and inspections. After that, the ensuing examination allows them to detect and address quality issues. Thus, clients do not get defective products, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. 

Data analytics in manufacturing also helps to identify patterns that indicate potential issues. Businesses can then take action to mitigate any problems that may arise. This proactive approach allows manufacturers to address issues before they become significant challenges. In such a way, manufacturing businesses can reduce rework costs, improve customer satisfaction, and maintain brand reputation.

Price optimization

It takes much work for businesses to establish an ideal price price for their products or services. On the one hand, they strive to make the most income possible. On the other hand, customers have to feel that they pay a reasonable amount of money for what they receive.

Manufacturing data analytics facilitates the optimal price point determination for products or services. It consists of the analysis of market trends and customer behavior. This allows organizations to charge the amount that maximizes profitability while remaining competitive.

Product development

Another application of data analytics in manufacturing lies in product development and design. Manufacturing businesses can examine data on customer preferences, market trends, and product performance. Consequently, they can make informed decisions about product design and features improvement. 

Organizations can identify opportunities for new product development using data analytics. Moreover, it enables businesses to prioritize their efforts based on demand and profitability potential. This way, they can create products that better meet customer needs and preferences. Moreover, it allows for the reduction of development costs and time to market.


Why is data important in manufacturing?

Data holds significant importance in the manufacturing industry. Through advanced analytics techniques, manufacturers can uncover hidden patterns, trends, and correlations within their data. Data analytics enables them to optimize processes and streamline operations. Thus, companies can gain a competitive edge.

What are the benefits of analytics in manufacturing?

The benefits of analytics in manufacturing include cost optimization, better decision-making, increased efficiency, reliable quality control, and improved customer experience.

How is big data analytics used in manufacturing?

Manufacturers use big data analytics to gain insights. For that, companies analyze complex data sets from various sources. Next, a team of engineers can turn raw data into actionable insights. Then, organizations can make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement and success.


To sum up, data analytics holds great significance in transforming the manufacturing industry. Firms can leverage this technology to make profoundly important decisions and overcome any potential challenges.

Using data science in manufacturing, an organization can implement predictive maintenance, demand forecasting, supply chain optimization, quality control, and price optimization. As a result, manufacturers can bring their business activities to the next level.

Is the Supply Chain Still Hurting?

To keep expenses low and avoid inventory that wouldn’t move, most businesses went to an order on demand type model a decade or more ago. Unfortunately, when the supply chain runs into issues, not having inventory in stock hurts both consumers and businesses. 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, people learned just what could go wrong with a supply chain. The store shelves were barren of toilet paper and everyday supplies. In some areas, the shelves were wiped clean of canned foods and perishable items, leaving people feeling panicked over where they’d get sustenance. 

Where Is the Supply Chain Right Now?

Since, things have improved some but issues still remain in some industries. The issues that caused supply chain issues in late 2019 and early 2020 have not completely gone away. Continued shifts in supply demand and labor shortages impact some sectors, including consumer goods and food. Another issue is structural factors and getting items from point A to point B, with the risk of disruptions at any point along the way. 

Wars in Ukraine and disruptions in other parts of the world might also impact an already weakened supply chain. According to Statista, the global supply chain market will hit around $30 billion by 2026. Many of the services making up that number are to help businesses navigate the new normal in securing materials or products.

While you can’t control pandemics, wars or even labor shortages, there are some things you can do to ensure your business runs smoothly and you have what your customers need when they want it.

1. Control Your Inventory

The first step to avoiding supply chain issues is to know what inventory you have. Invest in an inventory management system that alerts you when you run low on a popular item or need to clear out stock that isn’t moving quickly. 

Look for a program that tracks sales, customer requests and stock for the most benefit possible. You should occasionally run analytics to see if you should up the amount of inventory in a particular area. For popular items, you may be able to integrate with the vendor’s system and submit automatic orders whenever your stock falls below a certain level. 

2. Manage Customer Expectations

If customers expect to walk into your brick-and-mortar store and buy what they need or pop online and get an order in two or three days, you may set them up for disappointment with particularly popular items. 

Figure out how long it takes to receive the product. Are there any delays typically? What promotions are you planning and do they make sense based on how easy or difficult it is to get stock?

 Know what you’re spending on various promotions and marketing efforts. For example, one company allotted around 25% to promotional activities, but the amounts vary depending on what type of product they’re offering.

3. Add Time for Delays

Disruptions in the global economy, government regulations and increased demand in some areas all contribute to supply chain issues and result in delays in receiving products and raw materials. 

Whenever you plan out your ordering time frame, allow a little extra time for unexpected delays. It’s better to overlap inventory and have some still left in stock when new items arrive than to run short and miss out on sales.

Think about what you do when you visit a store and they are out of what you wish to buy. You either go online or you drive to another store until you find what you need. If you fail to serve your loyal customers, you’ll lose them to someone who has what they seek to buy. 

4. DIY Products

What type of products do you sell? Can you make it yourself or add some customization and offer it in a different way?

For example, you might want to invest in a 3D printer and create your own products on-site. Another idea is to invest in a Cricut or other scoring machine and customize items to your patrons’ liking. Cricuts are already changing multiple industries such as education and retail. 

5. Build Relationships With Suppliers

Who are your current suppliers? Take the time to phone them and get to know them on a more personal level. If you don’t have a point of contact for each company, develop one now. You need a human who can handle your concerns and answer questions about delays or estimated delivery times.

Once you have a solid relationship with your current suppliers, seek backup sources. Is there another company offering similar products? Can you place a smaller order and see how it goes? While you don’t want to damage the positive relationship with your current third-party vendors, it’s smart to have another option in your back pocket for those times when your supply chain can’t deliver what you need when you need it. 

6. Watch Demand and Stock Up

Keep an eye on how much of an item moves in case you need to buy sooner than expected. Most inventory management software lets you set alerts. You’ll be notified if something starts to sell faster than expected.

If you notice some seasonal shifts, you might want to stock up on those items before the busy time hits. Look ahead and plan accordingly, and you’ll be less likely to run out of something you need.

Take a Breath and Understand You Can’t Control the Supply Chain

While you can take steps to improve your inventory management and develop relationships with vendors, you can’t control the supply chain. You have no say over if a war erupts near the factory or shipping vessels get held in port. You can’t predict how many other people might buy the same item and drive demand up or down. 

The only thing you can do is pay attention to trends and numbers and adapt as needed. If you can stay on top of your company data, you’ll have a much higher chance of navigating the supply chain successfully.

How Growing Businesses Can Develop Effective Technology Strategies

At the risk of stating the obvious, technology has changed everything. It’s changed the way we communicate, the way we buy and sell, and the way we seek information. These changes are impossible to ignore, especially for businesses. As new advances continue to disrupt the workplace and reorder the consumer experience, the most successful businesses are able to adapt and evolve.

Of course, that requires the development of a robust and comprehensive technology strategy. Whether you are running a Florida LLC or a Partnership in California, it’s important to be intentional and visionary in your deployment of technology.

What is a Technology Strategy?

Maybe a good starting point is simply to define our terms. Technology strategy sounds like a perfectly good entrepreneurial buzzword, but does it actually mean anything?

To put it most succinctly, a technology strategy is a concrete, specific, and detailed set of documents that outline a company’s technological goals: What’s your vision for technological deployment? What do you hope to accomplish with your technology, and how will you measure your success?

A good technology strategy will articulate the budget you’ve set aside for IT, the kind of staffing and training you’ll need to deploy technology most effectively, and the operating models you have in place for technology compliance, governance, and security.

Why Does Having a Technology Strategy Matter?

This isn’t documentation for documentation’s sake. On the contrary, there are some specific benefits that growing businesses can gain from having a well-designed technology strategy in place. Those benefits include:

  • It provides a clear and consistent approach to information-sharing, which can boost efficiency, encourage collaboration, and minimize redundancy.
  • It provides a holistic approach to cybersecurity and to regulatory compliance.
  • It supplies you with clear metrics for assessing the success of your technology program.
  • It defines responsibilities for decision-makers, IT leaders, and other stakeholders within the company.
  • It provides direction and vision for how tech resources should be allocated.

How to Develop a Technology Strategy

With all of that said, then, what are some practical ways for growing businesses to put technology strategies into place?

1) Start with your business objectives

Technology, when rightly deployed, can have a positive effect on all aspects of your business, including every department and every employee. As such, your technology strategy should never be created in a vacuum, as though IT is simply its own little island.

Instead, your development of a technology strategy should always begin with key stakeholders taking stock of core business objectives: Sales targets, long-term growth plans, marketing goals, and more. Use these objectives to provide some shape and direction for your technology plan.

2) Gather information

It’s also important to bring key decision-makers and stakeholders into the planning process. That means seeking input and gathering information from everyone who will be most directly affected by your tech roll-out (including the IT leaders and department heads who will be spearheading the roll-out).

You might even consider surveys or town hall meetings to get insight from your employees, seeking their opinions about technology goals, hurdles, or pain points.

3) Set a timeline

A good strategy should include measurable goals, as well as a basic timeline. In other words, it’s important for your technology strategy to clearly articulate what you hope to achieve, and at what points you need to be hitting key benchmarks.

Something else to consider: When will you and your IT team pause to review the technology strategy, and to make any necessary additions, revisions, or improvements? The strategy itself should document a basic timeline for audits and reviews.

4) Audit your current technology infrastructure

Speaking of audits, as you develop a technology plan, it’s critical to take stock of the assets and resources you already have in place.

By identifying these assets, you can first determine the technological gaps that must be accounted for. From there, you can develop a strategy for filling those gaps as cost-effectively as possible, and with minimal disruption to your day-to-day operation.

As you conduct this audit, however, you need to be attuned to more than just hardware. Also think about the human factor. Which technologies do your personnel actually use, and which ones are underutilized? Which existing technologies feel essential to the big picture, and which are peripheral?

5) Define your metrics

How will you know whether your technology strategy is actually working? Simply put, you’ll need to define your metrics up front, along with the processes you’ll use for measuring and reporting.

There are a number of metrics to consider when establishing a business technology strategy, including project delivery time, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, marketing and sales ROI, and more insights from Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). As you think about which metrics are most worth measuring, go back to those core business goals you established in step 1.

6) Obtain buy-in

Your technology strategy will only be successful if the stakeholders in your business agree to its value and importance. That means getting buy-in with leaders and managers, who can then promote the strategy to the other employees.

Here, clear communication is essential. Be prepared to convey the big picture, avoiding too much technical jargon and instead focusing on the reasons why your technology plan will benefit the company in its day-to-day operations.

7) Seek help as needed

Developing a whole new technology strategy is a major undertaking, and it’s sure to have implications for your entire business operation. It’s normal to feel like you need a little guidance from an external partner, so don’t hesitate to enlist an IT vendor or technology consultant as necessary. Invest in getting your technology plan right, and it should yield major dividends over time.

Take a Strategic Approach to Business Technology

The bottom line: Every growing business benefits from taking a proactive, long-term view of their technology needs. The right strategy can undergird your productivity and align all of your other business goals. Take a careful approach to your technology strategy, and be ready to revisit it regularly as your business grows and changes.