Managing Data to the Billions

December 29, 2021

Managing Data to the Billions

Why a generic ERP isn't robust enough to handle tracking at a granular level

By Joe Schutte

Managing data for any company should be—and usually is— a top organizational priority to maintain effective and efficient operations. Now, in a pandemic-affected world, understanding and contextualizing data is more important than ever. The pandemic has made people realize just how unpredictable life can be and has forced companies to re-evaluate their crisis management plans. 

Aside from having to plan for the unknown, companies have encountered significant supply chain obstacles and realized the need to use a strong data management system to handle data security and product tracking, which is vital to remain successful in an increasingly challenging market. While many companies utilize management systems and ERPs, it’s important to find a solution that fits your specific needs as an organization. Generic solutions are often a bad match for highly specialized businesses, which makes robust and comprehensive solutions like Ashton Potter’s ProLinc® a great alternative.

Many organizations implement a subpar solution because they simply don’t have the knowledge of what a robust system can enable. Let’s discuss the drawbacks of a generic solution, detail how they lack visibility at a granular level, and explore better solutions for advanced data tracking and tracing.

53% of businesses believe an ERP

is one of the priority sectors for investments now and in the future.

The Power of Granular Data

Today, simply producing data is only part of the puzzle when it comes to efficiency and scaling your business effectively. The true benefits of capturing data fall into place when organizations are able to assess the right data and utilize it properly to make important decisions. Generic ERPs essentially focus on summary data for identifying trends but fall short when it comes to forecasting or analyzing data. Custom reporting is also limited in favor of out-of-the-box options. Due to organizations’ desire to obtain authentic, precise, and actionable data, finding a solution that delivers the features you want while providing the security you need remains a goal across industries. Granular data is needed to be able to acquire a precise view of products down to every component and to make decisions based on a complete view of all product-related data.

Experts say that 53% of businesses believe an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is one of the priority sectors for investments now and in the future. With data management a top priority, acquiring a system that’s flexible, fast, and robust enough to handle high levels of data requires research, planning, and an understanding of the available technology.

Generic ERPs: Off-the-Shelf and Under-Performing

Generic ERPs are an off-the-shelf solution, which may seem appealing, but they often come with restrictive customization options. While many industries utilize these products, they tend to focus on basic functionalities like order processing and sales, but are missing out on key opportunity areas such as inventory management, manufacturing operations, product traceability, custom reporting, and complete mobile functionality.

Additionally, due to the need for high-end customization with generic ERPs, some companies spend substantial time and money on trying to get their processes just right. Customizing generic solutions usually involves other software add-ons and development with consultants—not to mention the potential for added failure points that comes from third-party customization efforts. And generic ERP shortcomings don’t stop at the lack of system flexibility. They also lack the level of security needed to protect the massive amount of data companies handle. Studies show that 44% of organizations say their ERPs are inflexible and are exploring options for extending it with a new system.

Securing the Product Lifecycle

The supply chain is complex, and there are many opportunities for things to go wrong and for data to be missed. It’s imperative to utilize a solution that can trace a product from the supplier to the factory to the consumer, all while maintaining data integrity every step of the way. Implementing a product security and traceability solution like ProLinc® enables advanced security and compliance management with rapid scalability and granular insight into the product lifecycle.

The right solution will be able to work seamlessly with existing enterprise systems, factory equipment, and intelligence tools to help maximize ROI. With a single scan, organizations can learn everything about a product down to every component, item, and batch—enabling complete product serialization and authentication for all products across the global supply chain. By automating management processes with a secure, Blockchain-enabled database capable of handling billions of records, companies are assured that the lifecycle of every product is tracked and traced, creating a strong and efficient workflow.

Partnering for Success with the Right Provider

Obtaining reliable technology will help support operations by having a centralized solution for the different components of your business. Only 5% of organizations use their ERPs effectively to create and augment high-quality data, which is key to effective analytics and insights. Building a strong partnership adds quality to the solution that a generic system can’t deliver. Partnering with a technology-driven SaaS provider can assist you with more than just managing data.

The right partner will focus on providing product security and integrity at all checkpoints and areas of the supply chain. They will also provide a product that can increase the value of data analytics by utilizing analysis tools, dashboards, data warehousing, and extraction tools—all in real-time. When it comes to optimizing operations, having a system that prioritizes data, security, and flexible customization will lead to quality insights and ensure product and subcomponent understanding, safety, and authenticity.

Enabling a Complete Solution for Your Supply Chain

As organizations are now understanding that analytics can give great insight into critical business functions, developing a system that can authenticate and securely house data has become a priority. While generic systems and ERPs can provide solutions that assist in product traceability and integrity, they often lack the flexibility and robustness to deliver on features that companies need the most. These shortcomings, along with security obstacles, lead businesses to look for additional solutions. But by utilizing a platform that encompasses every potential area of data accessibility, management, and actionability, companies are more equipped than ever to track products precisely and securely at every step of the supply chain.

Speak with an expert today to learn more about the power of ProLinc® and how it can provide product security, tracking, and management.