The Tangible & Intangible Benefits of ERP

by Kathy Adams McIntosh; Updated September 26, 2017

ERP systems, or enterprise resource planning systems, refer to certain computer systems used by businesses. These computer systems tie information together from various departments into one. These systems commonly include data from the accounting department, human resources, production or sales. Employees can access information from any department directly from their computer rather than manually contacting other employees. ERP systems provide many tangible and intangible benefits to businesses.

Reduced Operating Costs

One tangible benefit of using an ERP system involves the operating costs of the company. With the easy access to information available using the system, an employee can gather information by running a report. Employees working at companies without ERP systems need to contact another employee to request the information. The other employee gathers the information and forwards it. Without an ERP system, the company incurs labor costs for both employees to gather the information. With an ERP system, the only cost involved represents a few minutes of the first employee’s time.

Real Time Information

Another tangible benefit of using an ERP system considers the timing of the information received. Employees with access to an ERP system receive data immediately and use that information in their work. Employees without access to an ERP system need to request information from others and wait for a response. This response can take days or weeks to receive. This benefit increases in value as the urgency of needing the information increases.

Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction represents an intangible benefit of ERP systems. ERP systems make the employee’s job easier by providing her with information on how to perform her responsibilities. She can use the system to access reports and current data which she incorporates into her own analysis. The ease of acquiring the information creates less stress during the workday and a greater sense of accomplishment. The company benefits because employees focus their energy on higher level work rather than on acquiring the information.

Flexibility

Flexibility also offers an intangible benefit to companies who employ ERP systems. Most ERP systems allow employees to access the data through the internet. Employees who travel or work from home can access the system and fulfill their work obligations. The system eliminates the requirement that employees need to work from the office. The company benefits because employees away from the office lose no productivity time.