How ERP can fundamentally improve collaboration between companies

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2nd May 2024

How ERP can fundamentally improve collaboration between companies

With more firms and governments choosing to collaborate, the need for effective integration solutions has never been greater

Johannesburg, 8 May 2024—Companies worldwide are integrating Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to provide business intelligence, efficiency, and visibility.

The global ERP sector is estimated to be worth $ 87 billion (R1.6 trillion) by 2027.

These solutions are soaring in popularity due to the numerous issues that occur when workplace systems are disparate. Incompatible data formats, lack of real-time data synchronisation, difficulty sharing information securely, and varying levels of complexity all result when systems fail to “talk” to one another.

These problems are highlighted to an even greater extent when two or more businesses choose to collaborate, a trend that continues to gain traction.

With data now such a huge commodity, it is not uncommon for tech giants to merge or collaborate. Microsoft, for example, acquired LinkedIn, while Google invested in Anthropic.

These integrations have numerous benefits, including creating a broader scope for innovation and establishing additional revenue streams.

Closer to home, the South African government’s collaboration with the country’s private sector is yielding positive results in other ways.

According to Business Unity South Africa, this was officially launched in June 2023 to “significantly grow South Africa’s economy and restore public and investor confidence”.

The private sector has supported the partnership with R170 million to tackle the power crisis, crime and corruption.

Such collaborations require extremely focused integration solutions, and ERP is serving this need by improving communication channels through features like messaging platforms, collaborative online workspaces and integrated email offerings.

As Stephen Howe, director of South African business solutions provider Times 3 Technologies, points out, these enable real-time communication, document sharing, task assignment, and project tracking, all of which enhance collaboration efficiency and transparency.

Thanks to ERP, collaborating companies are offered standardised data formats, robust data integration tools, middleware solutions for connecting disparate systems, support for industry-standard protocols, customisable integration interfaces and data mapping capabilities,” he says.

“Additionally, ERP implementation often involves business process re-engineering to align workflows and practices across collaborating companies.”

From the employee perspective, the benefits are just as advantageous.

While there will always be some teething problems when a business collaborates with others, having a system that can reduce manual tasks, minimise data entry errors, streamline processes and provide access to accurate and up-to-date information removes considerable stress when the venture starts.

“What you then find is greater teamwork and knowledge-sharing that promotes a culture of transparency and accountability,” Howe says.

He adds that an effective ERP solution also enhances employee engagement.

This is because it empowers workers with the tools and information they need to perform their jobs effectively, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility for collaborative projects.

“It promotes cross-functional teamwork and communication, provides opportunities for skill development and career advancement, and recognises and rewards collaborative achievements.

“Overall, ERP helps create a positive work environment that values collaboration and encourages active participation from employees.”

From the organisation or company’s standpoint, effective implementation of an ERP system creates greater operational efficiency, improved collaboration between firms and departments, compliance with regulations, customer satisfaction and ultimately, profitability and market competitiveness.

Howe notes that there is also a direct correlation between streamlined processes and the ability to make sound business decisions when they are needed most.

“Because managers and team leaders can easily access reports or essential analytics when needed, they can respond without delay. Furthermore, there is a greater accuracy because centralised data is acknowledged as the only source of truth.

“With staff tapping into the centralised information hub, the business environment becomes much more responsive.”

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About Times 3 Technologies (T3T)

Times 3 Technologies (T3T) is an established South African Sage business partner, provider of Sage business software and implementation services.  Sage, established in 1981 in the UK, is the third-largest software company in the world.

T3T, a leading Sage partner, resells Sage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Payroll & HR software, customising its implementation to clients’ specific needs through the following main products and services: Sage X3 (formerly known as Sage Enterprise Management), Sage Intacct, Sage 300 People, Strategic Customised Developments, and Implementation Service and Support. The subscription cloud-based financial-management applications and services enable businesses to tailor a solution covering finance, procurement, distribution, inventory management and manufacturing, as well as facilitate payroll and HR functions.  The T3T team has in-depth experience in providing and fine-tuning solutions that suit a business’s needs and enhance its growth.

T3T holds Sage’s highest-ranking, ‘platinum’ status, with 30 years of implementing business solutions successfully across numerous industries and sectors throughout Africa.  Sage has recognised T3T’s ongoing commitment to providing the best solutions by awarding the company dozens of accolades over the years, including Partner of the Year, Top Implementation Partner and Highest Customer Retention in AMEA (Africa and Middle East).

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