It may be a shot in the dark, but we’re going to take it. We’re willing to bet that you would rather spend your valuable time at work taking care of tasks that don’t involve tedious data entry and cross-referencing.
Sound like you? Yeah, we’re with you there.
Successful businesses run on good data
You want the best information possible on your customers, your vendors, your inventory, etc., so that you can make the best decisions for your business. But that doesn’t mean you should have to devote hours of labor to entering a variety of data points on every single entity in your Operational ERP system.
By taking the time to set up different classes/types for your customers, etc., you can shave a lot of time off of the data entry process. For example, if you’ve acquired a new customer and they fit the criteria for a “Grand Rapids Retail” customer class, rather than requiring you to enter data into multiple information fields for the customer, a good Operational ERP system will allow you to simply assign the customer to a class, which will then “‘roll down” all the data for that customer class into the relevant customer fields (e.g. tax code, sales rep, etc.). Classes and types won’t take all the work out of entering a new entity into the system, but it will significantly reduce the time and labor involved.
It's more than just data entry
Classes and types are useful for more than just data entry, though. When utilized properly (and especially when nested), they can become a valuable organizational tool for a variety of tasks throughout the business day.
A customer class based on geographic location, for example, would take a lot of setup work out of offering a special discount to customers from a certain state. Rather than sorting through your customer list manually, you could simply designate all customers within that customer class as eligible for the discount.
Or let’s say you’ve determined that you need to shift some inventory around in your warehouses. You’ve mapped out a more efficient layout, but it means shuffling all of your goods around, which could spell disaster if your inventory isn’t smartly organized. If you utilize inventory classes or types, though, setting up a transfer of all of the “T-shirt” inventory in your warehouse can be done in just a few clicks. No mind-numbing inventory spreadsheet sorting necessary.
Organization is the key
Knowing what your different customers have in common (Are they wholesale or retail? Where are they located? Which of your sales reps is their point of contact?) can help save you a lot of time. When it’s time to find specific customers, target a deal towards a group of customers, enter new, similar customers into your system, you’ll already have much of the groundwork in place. The same goes for your inventory and vendors. Being able to group your customers, etc., into different “classes” or “types” based on what they have in common will help streamline your Operational ERP operations, eliminate errors, and make your workdays easier.
If you don’t currently utilize classes, types, or the like to manage your customer and vendor base or help maintain inventory control, it might be a good time to evaluate your Operational ERP software. A worthwhile software will save you time, not demand it from you, and if your current solution doesn’t offer tools that are as simple as customer classes/types, chances are it is costing you valuable time elsewhere as well.
If you’re looking to learn more about what kind of data you should be able to get out of your Operational ERP system, check out this blog post.