ERP in a post-Brexit economy

Future-proofing manufacturers for life outside of the European Union is key to the UK's industrial fortunes, writes Rue Dilhe, Managing Director at Exel

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union is shrouded in uncertainty about certain change. But whatever legislative developments affect the movement of goods (import duties, VAT and export tariffs) post-Article 50, any and all British manufacturing companies will unavoidably need the right support to comply. Future-proofing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), therefore, must be the focus for the industry.

So, what is ERP? ERP is a software system that helps you to manage different business functions like financials, supply chain and production, bundling them together in one central place. In day-to-day terms, it relates to automating tasks like data entry or report generation. It means boosting data security, improving inventory management and eliminating the need for single-purpose software.

If the digitalisation shift is about the only thing we can be sure about in the modern world – Donald Trump's shock election to the White House will have also altered the trading fault lines in the West – then it stands to reason that ERP and cloud technology should form global businesses' silver lining. Cloud technology has helped businesses realise a mobile-first workforce and concordantly all successful ERP systems have some sort of web interface that allows you to work anywhere, on whatever device.

ERP improves the efficiency of a company's business processes, helping reduce costs and increase capability, whilst keeping customers happy and well informed. ERP provides unparalleled insight into all areas of your business, enabling you to identify high or low-profit activity so you can make better informed strategic decisions and more educated predictions.

Exel is a leading British software author, and we have been developing the flexible ERP solution EFACS E/8 since 1985. EFACS E/8 is adaptable and scalable and the inherent customisation tools mean that as your business requirements change, so can your ERP.

Brexit doesn't necessarily translate to a lack of internationalism. Even if leaving the EU shifts the goalposts for trade, it will not diminish the UK's significance or potential offering in one fell swoop, unless the UK allows it to do so. There are two impetuses, then. They are to make sure that UK business remains attractive and accessible to both stakeholders at home and abroad.

So, how have we at Exel mitigated towards this aim? We've made it very clear that we're a British company and a British company that isn't dependent on imports for what we sell. Currency fluctuations notwithstanding, we can offer our customers at home consistent UK-based pricing in sterling. That doesn't mean, though, that our reach is domestically exclusive. Exel's EFACS ERP systems have always been developed as multi-currency and multi-lingual, with the latest in use in 30 different countries. How do we propose to maintain that international appeal? The answer is simple: by continuing to make EFACS E/8 the most effective ERP solution possible.

By deciding to deal directly with their ERP solution's author, a manufacturer can make a meaningful reduction to the implementation costs, risks and timescale of their new ERP solution. More than ever, manufacturing companies have to ask hard questions about technology. Is it flexible? Is it web-friendly? Is it mobile-friendly? Is it extendable or customisable? Exel is prepared on all of these fronts, because you can't assume how you consume ERP today will be how you consume it in five years' time.