The future is upon us, and with it comes innovative advancements in technology once only dreamed of while reading the pages of a sci-fi novel. From nanotechnology to brain mesh and beyond, the technological advancements that are sure to come in the next couple of decades hold endless opportunities for the future of ERP software. Small and large companies on a global scale will soon be able to take advantage of tools that will make conducting business as easy as a simple thought. But before we get too ahead of ourselves as we think of all we’ll be able to do by 2040, let’s take a look just three to four years into the future and examine the top five ERP trends and innovations we’re likely to see hit the warehouse management and inventory control space by 2022.
Greater Access for All Who Seek It
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, is soon to be commonplace for all businesses. Whether a large, well-established corporation or a small startup, ERP software will soon be available for all who seek its benefits. This is because of the fact that as technology advances, the cost of it becomes more and more affordable. In 2011, Silicon Valley venture capitalist and software engineer, Mark Andreesen, said, “software is eating the world.” In a way, he was absolutely right because software is becoming a tool that we all rely on as heavily as we rely on electricity and food. For example, individuals in developing countries have greater access to smartphones today than they do to books, according to Unesco, and the trend is only growing. This is because of the affordability and availability of technology for the masses. Companies are also beginning to rely solely on technology for all of their core business functions such as Skype, Netflix, Amazon, etc.
Think about the cost of a laptop computer back in 1999. What may have cost $2000-$3000 for a piece of technology now seems like a primitive dinosaur compared to the capabilities laptops have today. What’s even more important to note is that the cost has drastically lowered over the years. A laptop today that’s far superior to what was available in 1999 can be purchased for around $500 or less. ERP software will be no exception to this trend in 2022. Purchasing an ERP to streamline company data and activities will become as commonplace for companies as having a website, and perhaps even more-so.
With the availability of technological advancements, companies no longer have to rely on primitive methods of the past for relaying information and communicating between different departments, vendors, supply chains, and sales teams. Companies want real-time updates, insights, and analytics on a day-to-day, or minute-by-minute, basis to allow decision making and the flow of activities to run smoother and faster. These capabilities are only becoming better as time goes on and we start seeing innovations like the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting us with the devices and tools we need to access data in real-time. For example, a food supply chain with IoT sensors can now tell a company exactly where in their supply chain inventory has been lost due to spoilage. This allows a company to react instantly and fix their faulty refrigeration system before anymore inventory or money is lost. There is no need to wait for someone to send over a report or wait for a repairman to troubleshoot the issue because the data is already being transmitted as it’s being received—much like the human brain.
Increased Workflow Automation
Over the next few years, we’re sure to see ERP software become broader and easier to use. More and more businesses will be automating and incorporating their processes, and ERPs will be producing more outputs as companies rely more heavily on insights and inputs. Technology will be easy to use by companies looking to streamline and automate their workflow processes so that even the most inexperienced person (as it relates to technology and computers) will be able to set it up. The technology that once required complex coding skills for implementation will now be available for everyone via drag-and-drop user interfaces (UIs). Companies are already demanding the future of ERP technology to fit and adapt to their unique business needs rather than trying to build a business around the technology that’s currently available. Because of this growing trend, innovations are moving toward becoming easy to integrate by all—providing a quick and easy solution for streamlining each component of a business’s activities.
Artificial intelligence is getting more advanced than ever before. By 2022, we should see AI that has the ability to analyze, learn, and grow much like the human mind. Using built in algorithms, AI can help make ERP more valuable for companies than ever before. Through advanced analytics, intelligent interfaces, and workflow automation, AI will be used with ERPs to improve internal management structures, create smarter tech infrastructures, and optimize the processes of a business that once required employees to do manually, such as data entry and searching through historical data. ERPs will have the ability to automatically input data, learn from it, create workflows, and save companies time and money without error. By analyzing the data from months and years past, AI will also allow ERPs to make suggestions and give business risk alerts.
The ERPs of 2022 will have no problem handling big data. AI will allow ERP software to analyze, organize, and present big data like never before. The good news is that the technology surrounding data entry automation and streamlined workflows is already in place and being used by Focus Netsoft ERP software. Current ERP technology is able to learn from manual data inputs and automatically suggest and create workflows for businesses without relying on employees to create their own workflows based on spreadsheets and data sourced from various systems. The ERP software has access to all of this data in real-time. Current Focus ERP technology also has advanced data mining features built in, and even greater AI capabilities are in the works. Focus 9 users are already able to ask questions via text or voice. For example, if a person wants to pull up invoices from a particular date they can simply ask, “what invoices did I have on May 23rd?” The system will then pull up the invoices and give an answer.
AR and VR
Much like AI, data visualization will also be receiving an upgrade by 2022. Virtual and abstract reality will change the way that abstract data is presented. While this technology is already being used for video gaming and entertainment, we can only expect it to become more advanced and lifelike over the next three years. This means that taking a look at data could actually bring users into the world of what it is they’re trying to better understand or monitor. This technology paired with a greater acceptance of wearable technology and the availability of big data could really shake up the way companies tap into target customer needs, lifestyles, and feedback surrounding a product or service. For example, VR can take a manager into a warehouse or distribution center from a remote location in order to change layouts and conduct business from halfway across the globe. This insight is going to rely on an equally advanced ERP to receive inputs and send outputs.
As technology becomes smarter, so will the ways businesses conduct day-to-day activities. People are already getting a taste for some of this technology we expect to see by 2022, and this is creating a demand for faster, easier to use software. For Focus Softnet, the future of ERP technology is already here. Focus is at the forefront of this new wave of innovative technology as it relates to enterprise software. By delivering a better, more advanced product for less than the cost of competitors such as Oracle Netsuite and SAP, we’re paving the way for the ERP industry as we near 2022.
Focus has helped companies ranging from small to large gain access to real-time data and insights in ways that were only dreamt of just a decade ago. One such client, Arabian Farms, needed to deliver 120 million eggs to various supermarkets. We were able to help them incorporate mobile applications to sales deliveries and supermarkets—allowing for updates to order quantities to be processed immediately so that no one skipped a beat, and nothing was amiss. These capabilities are only going to grow stronger over the next few years.
Focus currently has the fastest implementation speeds in the industry. We’ve assisted thousands of companies through our seamless integration process and variety of popular apps that allow businesses to access several vendors at once without incident. We already have a drag-and-drop UI built into our software so that anyone can take advantage of the peace of mind and ease of use our software provides. While we’re still waiting for the rollout of 3D holographic technologies to hit the mainstream as far as computer technology is concerned, we’re ready to embrace all of the innovations we’re expecting to see just a few more years into the future.
If your company would like to get ahead of the competition and gain instant access to data, insights, and the technological innovations ERP software can bring to your warehouse management software or inventory control software, Focus Softnet is the solution for bringing the future of ERP to your fingers in the here and now. If you’d like to learn more about how Focus can help improve your business processes, we’d love to schedule a demo or presentation with you today.