How Collaboration in ERP is increasing team productivity

collaborationWe all seem to be working hard to make things simpler, but they are getting complex. So complex that it gets almost impossible for an individual to do them. We need a team to achieve goals that we are aiming for. But, once we get a team, we realize it is a challenge to get the team members to work cohesively. In a business, teamwork can happen if the team members work toward a big common goal they believe in and can share data with each other and work on it together.
A typical business set up has multiple departments, each with a designated purpose & function along with various set of activities that every department needs to follow in order to contribute to business goals. Then, there are multiple teams within each department that aim to combine their efforts toward reaching the departmental goals.
In the absence of ERP software, every employee tends to safe-guard his/her own data and keep it stored such that only they can access it. This is typically achieved by using spreadsheets. While this may work in the initial days of a start-up, as the number of employees grow, spreadsheets become an irritant rather than a tool for convenience.
ERP provides an environment where any employee, regardless of their location can access data and applications seamlessly and, in real time. ERP is therefore a boon for data management as well as processing. With ERP, there isn’t any need to submit data in different forms required for different Apps or modules. Additionally there is no more need for employees to take regular data back up.
For a business to be completely in sync with the advantages tied to an ERP system, it is important that its employees have access to this system. Some of the common ERP features that businesses use on a daily basis are CRM (Customer Relationship Management), customer service, & inventory control. None of these can be done in the absence of updated data. ERP enables data being readily available to be used by multiple users while storing it at a central location.
Traditional ERP software while being efficient in storing data centrally had only Role- based sharing of data. It was sufficient for teamwork. However, great teamwork requires more than sharing. It requires collaboration.
Younger generation of employees today are used to sharing & collaborating with their friends and family on Social Media. A part of their everyday social regimen are activities such as likes, comments, share, follow, notifications & alerts. Modern day online ERP software solutions like workXmate provide role based sharing of data as well as Social Media like collaboration.
The employees want to communicate openly, so that they can share information and connect with anyone to get work done. They want to cut back on meetings and email chains. They want to work together in a flexible, collaborative workspace to get work done wherever, whenever. The Sales & Marketing teams want to use the CRM App to discuss Leads & Opportunities, share the latest Activities and strategize together. The Customer Service team needs the CRM App to be able to work within the Customer Service department, or with the R&D team and at times even the Customer too to solve any sticky issue. The HR team wants to screen job applicants collaboratively such that comments of each assessment round are visible to all involved in the recruitment process. The Admin team wants to hold events in collaboration with all the employees. Then of course we have the vertical collaboration where the employee makes requests such as Re-imbursements, Leave Request, Timesheet that have to approved by the manager. At times these need interactions for clarification. Moreover a lot of time, employees want to contribute by commenting on a transaction but there is no platform to do that. Collaboration and sharing are therefore an unavoidable phenomenon.
Besides collaborating on transactions, there is also a need to jointly create content. This can be done be having a repository of documents such that anybody who needs to use it has access to it. The repository should also have version control for documents so that it enables collaborative development. Users want to store all their files in one place and create, share and discuss content such as Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, images and videos across teams and get instant feedback. They want to upload new versions so the latest draft is visible to everyone and access older versions at any time. This has its benefits. The team is able to discover things they wouldn’t have found otherwise: the right people, documents and conversations needed to get the best work done.
The users of today expect tools that they can use for work to provide them the same capabilities that they are used to in their social world. Complex things require teamwork and managers must provide collaboration tools and an environment that enhances the employees’ productivity rather than jeopardizing it.

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