Without question, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software systems have made businesses of all sizes more efficient and cost effective, but as the internet grows more sophisticated and powerful new options for even greater efficiency and flexibility continue to emerge. Web portals are becoming a popular replacement for ERPs, especially for businesses that want easy access to information and simple lines of communication between employees, suppliers, vendors and customers.
The concept is simple. Enterprise applications were designed to help streamline a company’s internal information and processes such as, sales, inventory control, product development, manufacturing processes and account management. They could be designed or adapted to fit the specific needs of your business and help your employees work more efficiently.
Enterprise systems were the next step, designed to integrate all of the enterprise applications your business uses so that they would work together as a single unified system. This integration allowed for the seamless flow of data within your organization and reduced the constant need for time-consuming memos, meetings and mayhem.
The distinct advantage of web portals is that they can dramatically extend the efficiencies of ERP systems far beyond your internal users to encompass anyone who does business with you. An enterprise portal is a web-based interface that provides multiple forms of access to your enterprise applications and systems. A portal collects information from multiple sources (such as data from your vendors and customers) and customizes the information to fit specific needs. A secure web portal provides a “one-stop-shop” for those all those authorized to access the information that will help your business run more efficiently.
Think of an ERP system as managing the information inside your company, while a portal provides access to information both inside and outside your company. Here’s an example: An ERP application allows a sales agent to place an order for a product, but a portal can give that same sales agent access to much more information: the source of the order; availability of supply; manufacturer’s shipping and delivery schedules; warranties and rebate details; wholesale and retail pricing guides; even customer history. The depth and breadth of the information available in a portal is only limited to the amount of data made available to the system. Portals can be fully customized to give secure access to only those who are approved to view certain details.
Enterprise Resources Planning applications were just the beginning. If you’re looking for the most robust models of business integration and efficiency, step up to the nearest portal and take a walk through.
Cilio Technologies provides the most current and secure web-based solutions to connect your complex network of trading partners and customer orders every step of the way.
Call 262-320-0480 ext 101 for more information about how a web portal can make your business more efficient and cost effective.