A delivery note is only part of a purchasing process. In order to map this business process completely digitally, it is necessary to connect ERP data sets with business documents. The company-wide, reliable data exchange is only possible through the connection of ERP and ECM systems. Our ECM white paper “ERP and ECM – a Sensible Connection” shows the advantages that lie in linking the two systems. We have put together an excerpt for you. 

Great potential, easy connection

Companies that extend their ERP system(s) can generate great potential. It’s the same with a connection to an ECM system. The more you recognize yourself in the following statements, the greater the added value for you in introducing an ECM and connecting it to your existing ERP system:

  • You don’t know how long your employees take to process an incoming invoice – but certainly too long.
  • You find your document storage confusing.
  • Your employees spend far too much time searching for documents.
  • You often struggle to understand the relationship between different documents.
  • You aren’t sure if all business-relevant data is archived correctly. Some of the documents are in the basement archives.
  • The database of your ERP system is getting slower because it is overloaded.
  • Each clerk stores their e-mails differently.
  • Your employees spend a lot of time in front of the copier.
  • You often print documents to have them approved by employees who don’t have access to the ERP system.
  • Documents have previously been lost on the way to/from the archive.

Meaningful addition

An ECM system can be an important addition to an existing ERP solution. Especially where business-relevant documents are to be stored separately and linked with ERP data sets so that business processes can be mapped completely digitally – without media discontinuities. The task of the Enterprise Content Management system is to manage documents of any file format and to archive them on an audit-proof basis. Regardless of whether they were created inside or outside an ERP system (e.g. with Office or e-mail programs) or reach the company via various channels as letter, fax, or e-mail. With the help of an ECM system, virtually all of a company’s document inventory can be linked to an ERP system and made available company-wide.

There are a number of application scenarios for supplementing an ERP system with functions for for example, linking all correspondence to a specific supplier. Or the mapping of an electronic machine record that contains both images and production-accompanying documents and information from the ERP or PPS. Bidirectional interfaces ensure access to all data at any time. Users are not forced to switch between applications, but can work in the familiar environment.

Benefits of connecting ECM & ERP

  • Linking business documents of any data format with ERP data sets
  • Simple record creation
  • Automatic assignment of documents to ERP entries
  • Use of digital ECM workflows , e.g. approval, knowledge, testing – even on mobile devices
  • Audit-proof archiving of business documents (IT compliance)

In summary: There are enough reasons to examine how your own ERP system could or should be enriched by integration of an ECM system. Transparency, time-saving during processing, audit-proof archiving, avoidance of media discontinuities, and a better way of searching for information are just a few of the benefits.