Cloud-deployed ERP Solutions Help Safeguard against Business Disruption

Small companies have to prepare business productivity procedures for any situation. An organization can't let employee problems, missed payments or other business disrupting activities throw a wrench into successful operations. Companies must also be ready for huge external events that affect daily practices.

Companies implement ERP solutions to improve their normal operations, but enterprise data software can also help with extraordinary situations. If a company has a centralized system for communication, data storage and process reporting, it is ready to batten down the hatches and weather a storm.

Protect data with cloud hosting
Companies use insurance policies and safety training to prepare for events that may damage facilities. A small business needs to employ every necessary tactic to protect its employees, its resources and operations from natural disasters, criminal activities or other dangerous events. If a company is ready beforehand, it stands a better chance of getting procedures back on track after an emergency is over.

Property Casualty 360 reported 90 percent of small businesses spend less than one day per month planning for business continuity after disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Survey said 40 to 60 percent of companies with less than 100 employees never open their doors again after incidents that cause severe damage like storms or fires. On the other hand, 20 percent of major corporations spend 10 days per month on continuity plans and they are much more successful at returning to business as usual after a disaster.

Smaller organizations don't have all the resources larger companies do, but they can use ERP solutions to protect valuable information and simplify continuation strategies. The U.S. Small Business Administration suggested companies should use automated business software to routinely back-up financial records and other valuable data. Automatic processes save time and ensure information is continuously recorded.

Cloud-deployed storage options are great for making sure data is accessible after an emergency. Offsite hosting protects hard drives that contain valuable information, and cloud storage facilities are usually prepared for any possible disasters. The technicians who safeguard cloud data commonly receive intense security training, so they are a perfect resource for smaller companies that don't have their own expert IT staff. Cloud-deployed ERP software helps protect data from both physical and cyber threats.

Prepare for disasters
Researchers from multiple universities studied how businesses were able to successfully continue operations after the 2011 tsunami in Japan, with their results published in Business Horizons. The team found data visibility was key to returning to business after the disaster struck. Many manufacturers used a centralized software system to coordinate activities between multiple facilities; the companies could see which locations needed extra supplies and where undamaged operations could help.

One company did not have multiple buildings, but it was able to survive damage to its procedures using technology that tracked shipments, sales and production processes. The business's IT investments allowed it to access finances from multiple investments and find new suppliers after old ones were stalled.

Automotive Logistics said companies that distribute goods to multiple locations need to use modern business tools to prepare for supply chain disruptions. Mobile devices allow employees to continue work after facilities are damaged. Data visibility lets managers communicate specific needs to suppliers, and daily real-time information reporting creates a clear picture of exactly how the business operates and what steps need to be taken to return to normal.

Looking out for trouble
Companies have to be ready to share supply chain information with multiple stakeholders at a moment's notice. Cloud-deployed ERP solutions centralize all vital data into a uniform system. Software like Microsoft Dynamics or NetSuite are mobile-capable so employees can access data and features on a variety of devices. Numerous users allow businesses to keep an eye out for events, both big and small, that may disrupt normal operations.

ERP solutions can help a business overcome common problems, even something like traffic. CNBC reported the Pope's recent visit to America will stall shipments of the new iPhone. Apple expects traffic from multiple visitors and security concerns to prevent trucks from reaching stores. The company has warned consumers of delay and rerouted certain delivery routes.

A visit from a global leader is a little more predictable than a tornado. Businesses can use a centralized software solution to communicate adjustments around events weeks in advance or they can use mobile tools to quickly update procedures when incidents catch companies by surprise. Small businesses should make data flexible and secure so they are ready for any emergency, disaster or disruption.

by The TM Group

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