Touted as the ‘Central Nervous System of a Business’, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), over the years, has evolved to become perhaps the most crucial software suite in shaping and securing the future of any enterprise. Today, organisations across industries leverage ERP Suites to manage day-to-day operations across divisions: from Procurement, Accounting, Risk Management, and Compliance to even Supply Chain Operations.
Designed around one common database, ERPs are based upon a single, defined data structure, which ensures that the information being communicated across divisions within the organisation has the same context and user experiences. These ERP systems share data across functions, from Purchase, Sales, Accounting, Human Resources, Marketing, Operations, etc., utilising the most cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics to provide businesses accurate insights, intelligent automation, and greater efficiencies to become essentially a life support system for the organisation; a device to integrate processes, people and technologies throughout the enterprise.
Businesses across industries have very specific requirements when it comes to the ERP suites they implement. Over the years, we’ve seen ERPs grow to accommodate almost any requirements a business might put forth. Whether it is Disruptive Changes in the Supply Chain realm, Unprecedented Digitisation, Macro-Economic Calamities like the COVID-19 Pandemic, ERPs have got you covered.
From an On-Premise Solution customised to suit the needs and requirements of clients, ERPs have moved quickly to the Cloud, on the back of the explosion of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Model, offering unmatched scalability and convenience to users, as ERPs must be able to reflect specific workflows that ensure business processes work, which is why, over the years, ERPs have evolved to become mini-ecosystems in their own right, with simple-yet-powerful APIs that leverage the latest technologies, helping businesses improve efficiencies.
Data is the language that an ERP suite speaks. As we already know, ERPs are designed around one database common to all functions within a business, so as to ensure the consistency, validity, and quality of data flowing within the organisation. Using this approach, organisations leverage ERPs to simplify and standardise all communications flowing from one department to the other, creating an end-to-end system where all functions ‘talk’ in the same language.
Fintechs & ERPs
FinTechs in India and beyond have grown at an astronomical pace in the past few years. Explosive growth on the back of greater digitisation, the prevalence of technology, better services, and a more aware, tech-savvy consumer base ensured that FinTechs are a force to reckon with. However, FinTechs, despite their stellar history on the B2C side, see the B2B segment as the hotbed for growth in the near future.
Earlier, FinTechs strived to make the lives of their customers simpler, more convenient, and thus better. Be it Mobile wallets or the introduction of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), FinTechs designed their products towards the end consumers.
However, in a marked change in strategy, FinTechs have been increasingly targeting Businesses across industries in order to cater to the burgeoning B2B Space, providing innovative new solutions to solve their daily challenges, aiming for a market disruption all over again on the back of financial innovation.
With a generational change in the corporate leadership, today’s corporate leaders only want the very best in terms of the User Interface, Innovation, and CX- similar to what they experience as consumers. FinTechs understand this and work towards providing an experience to their corporate clients similar to what their consumers experience.
To this end, ERP integration is perhaps of utmost importance, as they allow these FinTechs to provide the aforementioned experience. ERPs are a reflection of the workflows that ensure all processes work as they are supposed to, and as businesses increasingly adopt newer, more advanced technologies, the role of ERPs comes under greater scrutiny as automation is perhaps the most crucial factor to remain competitive in today’s market.
Additionally, a modern ERP solution offers flexible deployment options, improved security and privacy, sustainability, and low-code customisation. But most importantly, it would lead to building resilience and continuity into your business, through insights that help you innovate at a rapid rate today while preparing your business for the future.
Integrating with ERPs
“Value innovation is the cornerstone of tapping the uncontested market as companies will make the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and their company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space instead of focusing on beating the competition!“ – W Chan Kim, Professor of Strategy at INSEAD.
The products offered by FinTechs leverage powerful APIs to integrate with companies’ ERPs in order to
1. Automate Manual Processes, or
2. Improve Efficiency, Profitability, or Compliance.
This has led both parties to design greater compatibilities amongst the products to maximise the aforementioned.
Clear + Your ERP: A Perfect Match
Clear offers a one-of-its-kind Invoice Discounting Platform that leverages the latest technologies to provide perhaps the most advanced Supplier Financing Solutions in the country and beyond. How? In one word: Flexibility.
We provide suppliers the flexibility to manage working capital as per their organisational requirements, where buyers with un-utilised cash or credit lines, can deploy the capital for early payments to suppliers leading to improved gross margins (increase in EBITDA) at no risk.
We leverage powerful Rest APIs to seamlessly integrate with clients’ ERP, which includes ERPs from vendors such as SAP (including S/4 Hana and ECC) Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and even their homegrown ERPs. This allows us to provide a seamless experience to all the parties involved, especially the Client and its Supplier ecosystem.
Furthermore, Clear Invoice Discounting prides itself on being compatible with scenarios including Direct Rest API Connectivity, using middleware (like PI, CPI, through SFTP servers), and Manual Uploads as well.
This integration allows us to introduce our clients to the principles of Dynamic Discounting, providing both buyers and their suppliers unprecedented flexibility in Supply Chain Financing and Working Capital Management.
In a nutshell
At the end of the day, all a business needs are happy, satisfied, and content consumers. And that is exactly what FinTechs are aiming for. With unprecedented efforts being invested in making the Customer Experience stand out, it is imperative for these organisations to integrate with their clients’ ERPs. This doesn’t just allow their products to speak the language of the enterprise in question, but be able to maximise efficiency, and by extension, profitability and compliance.
And at Clear, we are unequivocally committed to providing a win-win solution for Buyers, their Suppliers and Financiers.
To conclude, let me quote Former US President, John F. Kennedy, who is 1959 stated how ‘crisis’ can be a danger as well as an opportunity. In the spirit of this article, I’d say, Danger and opportunities abound in fintech after crisis events.