By Scott Martin, Marketing & Communications Specialist with Open Systems. *Note this was a republished article from OSAS.com
How do you protect yourself or your family from fires? Do you poke your head in your house every so often, sniff, and determine whether or not there's smoke? Do you appoint someone to sit in a chair 24/7, trading watch shifts on fire patrol?
Of course not. You have a smoke alarm, which is always working and doesn't need to be relieved.
So how do you detect metaphorical fires at work in your ERP system? Usually someone is panicking, or you've discovered a problem when reviewing data, or you need to set aside specific times to check the works and make sure everything is ship-shape.
This makes about as much sense as watching your house for fires. Your ERP solution can offer you a better way through automated monitoring.
Automatic monitoring to the rescue
With automated monitoring, your system not only tells you when a fire needs attention, it can tell you before a fire even starts. Let's say that you need to manage inventory of a particular part. If your automated ERP system detects a shortage in that part, you can be alerted through an email or a pop-up alert. You can set the shortage parameters ahead of time so you leave plenty of time to investigate before it even becomes a problem.
Or, you've got a client who hasn't paid their invoices for an extended period of time. Rather than wringing your hands and constantly checking on their balance, you can set up your system to place the customer on credit hold at a certain length of delinquency or at a particular balance. All this comes with a notification, of course, so you can contact the customer if necessary.
Not just for fires anymore
Automated monitoring of data isn't just good for preventing emergencies. If your customer places an order through an automated system, your system can alert you or--better yet--send an automatic thank you note on your behalf.
There are all kinds of benefits to be had from an automatic data monitoring system.