If you’re a Chief Operating Officer (COO), or aspire to serve in this role, what should you be looking for in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system? ERP is potentially the core software for business operations, so the choice of ERP can have a big impact on how a business runs. Based on our experience working with COOs on ERP selection and the ERP implementation process, here are some qualities of an ERP that’s good for the person in charge of operations.
What is the Relationship Between ERP and COO?
The COO is a person. ERP is software. How are they connected? In the best of circumstances, there are many deep synergies between the operations chief and the applications that make the company function. Consider the COO’s responsibilities:
- Meeting customer needs through well-run operations, e.g. on-time delivery, good customer service, adequate inventories, etc.
- Sales and marketing (though in some cases, there are “C-Levels” who have this portfolio)
- Corporate financial performance, as it relates to operating activities, e.g. high gross profit from operations and inventory management that helps, not hurts, the cash cycle
- Supply chain management and all aspects of vendor relationships
- Human resources, including recruiting and retention of top talent
- Planning for future operational needs
- Implementation of change programs, e.g. new plant facilities, organizational restructuring
So, basically, everything… the only matters that don’t directly concern the COO are mergers and acquisitions and major strategic planning initiatives. In well-run companies, however, the COO is involved in this work, too.
How can software help the COO address all of these responsibilities? The simple answer is that no single application can do all of this. The best ERP solutions are flexible and multi-faceted. They can be extended and adapted to suit the COO’s unique portfolio of responsibilities at any given company.
Acumatica and the COO
Acumatica is a cloud ERP solution. This means it’s really a suite of interconnecting software products delivered through cloud hosting. On-premises and hybrid options are also available. The COO can assemble an ideal solution for operations management based on whatever Acumatica modules best fit the requirements. Going back to the COO’s mandate, it looks like this:
- Meeting customer needs—Acumatica has deep operational features that oversee order management, deliveries, field service and so forth. There are several different vertical modules for construction companies, manufacturers, distributors and others.
- Sales and marketing—Customer Resource Management (CRM) is part of Acumatica. The product also integrates with sales management applications.
- Corporate financial performance—Accounting and financial management are core to Acumatica ERP. The COO can set up customized dashboards that display financial and operational data to enable effective real time management.
- Supply chain management and all aspects of vendor relationships—Vendor and purchasing management features in Acumatica give the COO the ability to define and monitor supply chain management as he or she sees fit.
- All aspects of human resources—HR is an optional module for Acumatica, though the solution will also integrate with other HR platforms if that is what works best for the COO.
- Planning and implementing change projects—In-depth reporting along with project management tools in Acumatica give the COO powerful tools for planning and overseeing change projects on time and on-budget.
If you are interested in learning more about how Acumatica can help you do a better job of managing operations, you can arrange for a free demo on our website. Let’s talk.
Additional ERP Resources for the COO
Checklist: How to Evaluate ERP Software