7 Use Cases for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

7 use cases for ERP

Many companies around the world are already enjoying the benefits of 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Because the software runs your entire operation, its versatility means that a wide range of businesses can see improvements using one.

The overall benefits of ERP software are clear. An ERP is based on a unified database so it affects  aspects of your business and delivers immediate value via business intelligence insights and efficiency gains. 

The best way to understand the exact benefits that ERP software can deliver is by looking at use cases. Here are seven examples of businesses that can streamlin their processes and optimised their businesses by using an ERP.

1. Finance

Any company who sells directly to customers can improve their workflow using an ERP. Thefinancial management capabilities of an ERP system removes the need to manually track purchase or customer orders, a process which can betime-consuming and error-prone.

When you use an ERP, the accounts receivable and payable transactions are recorded automatically. The general ledger is also fully managed. This gives company directors increased visibility and insight into the company’s finances. It lets them exert greater control over their cash flow and expenditure. The finance team can easily and quickly generate important reports and documents, like balance sheets and profit and loss statements, without having to laboriously slave over a jumble of spreadsheets.

2. Stock management

Without stock management software, a retailer would have to rely on physical stock counts, probably tracked in a spreadsheet. This would give little certainty about current stock levels or the location of stock. It can also result in slow fulfilment, customer order issues and frequent out-of-stock situations.

Stock management using an ERP system gives retailers confidence they are always working from an accurate stock situation. 

It lets them see real-time stock levels, letting them see how much additional stock they need to order and when to order it. It stops retailers from finding themselves unexpectedly out of stock and even speeds up order fulfilment – making items quicker and easier to locate so operatives can get more orders out each day.

3. Purchasing

A manufacturer without an ERP could spend countless hours researching potential suppliers and sourcing quotes for component parts, raw materials or ingredients. And with this done, staff would still need to manually assess the quotes and set up purchase orders – plus update approved supplier lists.

Introducing an ERP with a purchasing module automates this whole process. Quote requests can be automatically sent, and then stored along with responses. Purchase orders can also be issued with just a few mouse clicks. An ERP even maintains the approved supplier lists and lets the manufacturer track down the progress of purchases. 

Automating these processes improves their reliability and makes them cheaper as less staff need is needed.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Let’s take the example of an international distributor who is losing business to competitors. To increase revenue, they want to try to cross-sell and upsell to existing clients, and also find new customers. However, their current system doesn’t capture new prospects. Even worse, existing customers’ data is hard to filter and capture information from.

Using the CRM module of an ERP can completely streamline this process. An ERP will automatically capture all the details that prospects put into website forms and add them to the CRM. Previous order history is collated by the system so it can be analysed, updated and reused easily. For example, if they want to contact customers when their original purchase is reaching the end of its predicted lifespan for an upsell.

This increases the revenue potential for the distributor and mitigates the impact of the competition.

5. Project management

A growing professional services firm is struggling with tracking time, costs and resources for its growing client base. This makes billing more difficult, time-consuming and liable to inaccuracy. Invoices are sent out late or with errors, and time and cost estimates for new projects are slow and complicated to calculate.

The project management module of an ERP system tracks all this data for each project. Staff can quickly see the project status, and billing hours are tracked, along with expenses and client communications. Automatic invoicing can also be set up to be triggered at project milestones or set intervals.

6. Asset management

Tech startups with funding often grow quickly. New investment means that more staff can be employed, but this brings a need for more office equipment, such as computers or laptops, telephones and mobile devices, desks, chairs and filing cabinets. There might even be a move to larger premises.

An ERP asset management module can manage these assets – as capital allowances and depreciation – throughout their lifecycle. The startup can use the ERP to keep records of equipment value, and office costs as well as take care of the associated tax and capital gains reliefs. This ensures compliance with accounting standards.

7. Ecommerce

Our final example looks at a B2B distributor that decides to explore additional revenue streams. It sees that it could gain by selling its products directly to consumers rather than distributors so decides to set up an ecommerce channel.

Using the ecommerce module of its ERP system, its existing website can be modified into an online store. Products can easily be added and updated and other ecommerce aspects, such as order information, stock management and CRM – also included in the ERP – are all integrated. This means that all sales and payment information flows directly into the ERP and is logged and accounted for.


These are just some of the use cases for an ERP system. This list is not exhaustive though – it could also be used to support sales and marketing, manufacturing, supply chain management and compliance monitoring.


On top of this, all businesses can benefit from the advanced business intelligence the software incorporates, the automated reporting functionality and the multiplier effects of having an integrated system that touches all parts of the business.



NetSuite is capable of all these use cases. Some of the functionality comes via the core system, other areas from the optional modules. More than 22,000 businesses – across all industry types – in more than 200 countries worldwide run NetSuite.


If you would like to become another example of a great use case for ERP, book an appointment now or contact us for a free business consultation or a quote tailored to your needs.


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Stephen Adamson


[email protected]

(+44) 115 758 8888
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