We recently switched from an on-premise to a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for human resource (HR) and finance management. Since the integration, we have benefitted from lower costs, greater accuracy, higher levels of automation and improved productivity.
Going from disparate to integrated
Within the past few years, Ensono began using Workday, a cloud-based ERP solution that brings HR, finance and planning together in one seamless system for better business performance. Before the switch to Workday, Ensono had been using a number of disparate and non-integrated systems — such as email and SharePoint — to manage HR and finance.
There were many drawbacks to this non-integrated way of managing HR and finance. One of the biggest was a lack of efficiency. In order to approve new hires, purchase requisitions, and travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses, department managers had to access all these different systems. An approval process that should take about two hours sometimes stretched out to two weeks or longer.
Another drawback was inaccurate data. For example, HR and finance managers present headcount numbers at leadership meetings each month. But their numbers rarely coincided with each other because their systems weren’t integrated, so time-consuming reconciliation had to be done.
The non-integrated solution also wasted money because all of the disparate systems had to be maintained, supported and upgraded, often using expensive outside contractors.
Benefits of going to the cloud
Switching to a cloud-based ERP solution has solved these and other problems that were presented by the old on-premises HR and finance management systems. The benefits of a cloud-based ERP solution include:
• Improved accuracy — By integrating and syncing HR and finance records into a single system, instead of having data spread out among multiple disparate systems, there are no more discrepancies between the information that’s shared between departments.
• Lower maintenance and support costs —Hardware costs have been eliminated and there’s only one integrated solution instead of many disparate systems to maintain and support. Ensono has saved more than $1 million in annual software maintenance costs alone since switching to the cloud-based ERP solution.
• Greater efficiency — T&E expense management is a good example here. Charges from each Ensono associate’s corporate credit card flow automatically into the solution. Associates can easily create expense reports with just a few clicks, which increases overall efficiency.
Also, it’s now easier for us to take advantage of new releases and keep software up to date. Due to all the coding that was required to make the old disparate system function, we could only upgrade software once every three or four years — by which time it was often already out of date. New releases of the cloud-based ERP solution are released twice a year and the software is automatically updated, so Ensono is always working with the latest versions.
Meeting today’s challenges
The use of integrated, cloud-based ERP solutions is a good example of the digital transformation that’s taking place within businesses. We can rest assured we have streamlined our processes to better track the various functions that are critical to the business.