Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a technological system for tightly integrating key information from the HR, logistics, inventory, and accounting fields. ERPs systems were pioneered in the manufacturing industry, but this is not the only sector where they are useful. As technology has developed and grown more flexible, ERP has become useful to a host of different industries and businesses, including professional service companies like law firms.
ERP tools can be used in a professional context to speed up the sharing of information, inform decision makers better, clarify business planning, and make executive and corporate-level strategy more effective. A cloud-based ERP system also equips a law firm with powerful tools for enhancing communication and productivity. These are rather abstract advantages to adopting ERP principles in your law firm. Here are four more specific benefits that ERP can deliver:
1) Greater Transparency
A properly-implemented ERP system removes a lot of ambiguity from your firm’s activities. Everyone can see who is responsible for what task and how much progress is being made. A lack of transparency becomes a significant problem for many law firms. Partners and other key team members often labor under inaccurate impressions of what their peers are supposed to be doing. This hurts productivity and can even lead to resentment and personal friction within the team. With ERP, every member of the firm gains a clear understanding of how they and their peers contribute to the organization’s workflow.
2) Greater Efficiency
Implementing ERP can help make a law firm much more efficient. It provides this benefit at both a large scale and a small one. At a strategic level, ERP tools clarify your firm’s workflow and make it easier to identify redundancy and other sources of inefficiency. On a smaller scale, ERP tools speed the flow of accurate and useful information through the firm. An ERP system can simplify and streamline information sharing and free up your professional attention to focus on more productive, client-oriented work.
3) Increased Independence
A very significant benefit of an ERP system is making your firm more capable of working independently and remotely. The robust infrastructure created by your ERP implementation allows you to outsource basic tasks like document preparation and paralegal work without surrendering any managerial oversight. In most cases, you can track outsourced work and examine the results being produced in real time. A good ERP platform also generates useful documentation and reports that make it easier to manage every aspect of your firm. This is particularly helpful for companies that are expanding into new markets.
4) Smarter Decision Making
Making critical high-level decisions that will affect the future of the firm is always a challenging, stressful process. Equipping a lawfirm like Lamber Goodnow have, with an ERP system takes a lot of the guesswork out of macro-level decisions. The accurate collection and analysis of vital data translate into actionable and reliable advice you can use to make important decisions more intelligently.