ERP and HR: featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi

Desi Csorba

As a Jedi knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi is well aware of the challenges posed by Human Resources. As a battle-hardened trainer (even though the results have not always been what you might  have hoped for, thank you Anakin) and a wise Jedi, Obi-Wan has plenty of advice to offer. 

On Tatooine, ERPs and SMEs were not very common yet. Nonetheless, Old Ben would have loved to benefit from them to manage Luke, because he knows that ERP and HR go well together, and that would have prevented all kinds of setbacks (because yes, Jedis are difficult to manage). He has therefore agreed to discuss the benefits of management software for the Human Resources department with us.

Benefits of ERP for the HR department

Any ERP solution worthy of the name and designed for SMEs features a HRM (Human Resource Management) module. These modules may be developed to a greater or lesser degree but they should at least cover two major, essential functions: employee management (vacation, scheduling, expenses, etc.) and management of recruitment processes (job postings, employment contracts, etc.) 

The return on investment period  for the deployment of an HRM module in an ERP solution can be very quick if all the rules have been followed. By centralizing processes and data, HR teams will experience major productivity gains. There will be no more files stacked in the corner of the office: everything will pass through your enterprise's central software application. 

Clearly, integrating human resource management into your application software helps you to structure your employee related activities more effectively.  Workflows that relate to particular tasks are clarified and the HR team will benefit from genuine trace-ability. In the case of branches and subsidiaries, it's also an excellent way to standardize your processes. 

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HRM Modules: benefits for every business

The benefits of an HRM module within an ERP system doesn't stop where the HR department ends. They have a positive impact on plenty of other departments in your business. Indeed, let's take the example of accounting: it is now much simpler to prepare payroll. With just a few clicks, you can have full access to vacation, attendence, overtime, and more - and the same goes for expense reimbursement. Your SME's ERP allows you to automate the entire process.

The communications team can also feel the positive effect created by using an ERP to manage human resources. Time-consuming tasks that add little value can be carried out in less time than it takes to describe them. Do you have a new job offer to post online? No need to chase after your HR department to obtain a job description and a reference: everything is in the ERP system

It's also a positive change for your employees, who will see improvements in their working lives due to the simplification of a variety of administrative, sometimes tedious tasks. Finally, moving your SME's HRM into the orbit of your ERP will enable you, as a manager, to gain access to a full set of information about your employees or your recruitment in the blink of an eye. 

 

Not all HRM modules are created equal

You can quickly check that the HR element is present in virtually all ERP systems offered on the market. Nevertheless, be careful: not all ERPs and not all HR modules are created equal. Moreover, even if your peers are delighted with their HRM modules, it does not mean that they are suitable for your SME. 

For example, if you are a dynamic, high-growth SME and recruitment is a big part of your HR activity, the way in which recruitment is managed can vary hugely between different ERP systems. In the most modern ERP systems, such as Odoo for example, everything is automated once the listing is created. It appears online within a few seconds, applications are centralized, automated e-mails are sent to rejected candidates, and so on. Once you have selected a candidate, the "employee" file is generated as if by magic. The administrative overhead Is considerably reduced and HR teams can therefore spend more time considering applications and interviewing candidates.

 Take the time to benchmark the various solutions carefully and, if needed, get the support of an expert. This will save you from years spent with an unsuitable, stagnant or obsolete ERP system

As Obi Wan would say: "That's no moon, it's a space station!" »

 

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