Governments collect large amounts of data that have latent potential for improving processes. Streamlining and automating those processes saves time, reduces errors, and frees employees to focus on high-value tasks supporting key business goals. A robust ERP payment solution centralizes data, simplifies operations, and connects all departments in a single portal. It also offers data analytics to empower teams with actionable insights.
Unlike best-of-breed administrative software solutions, ERP systems automate and integrate business processes, eliminating redundant data entry and reconciliation tasks. This helps businesses streamline critical back-office activities, increase information transparency in real-time, and deliver on the public’s expectations. ERP is based on best practices and, in theory, should be deployed “as-is.” However, the complexity of business requirements often warrants some configuration (e.g., setting up cost/profit center structures, organizational trees, or purchase approval rules). ERP vendors offer a comprehensive set of tools to support this configuration. Some ERP software can also incorporate specific financial standards or regulations. This ensures that the system always complies with these requirements and can help avoid costly penalties. In addition, ERP can also help establish and manage program governance and data-sharing standards. This is important because municipalities handle large amounts of sensitive personal information and must oversee the sensitivity of this data with care.
A robust government ERP software provides a single source for real-time data reporting. This gives management a clear picture of their operations and allows for improved strategic planning. Whether it’s census data, motor vehicle registrations, or property taxes, government agencies collect massive amounts of information in their day-to-day administration of services. Many ERP systems include powerful data analytics engines that can discover hidden cost-saving opportunities. For example, a city can reduce costs by automating processes involving manual information or paperwork handling. This can enable employees to spend more time on higher-priority tasks and make it easier for citizens to get the needed services.
Compared to legacy ERP systems, today’s software offers significant increases in functionality – including application modules that support industry-standard best business practices for government financial management, procurement, asset management, and human resources/payroll. These features can help government organizations operate their administrative business more efficiently and cost-effectively. Many ERP solutions also feature powerful data analytics engines to help government leaders identify areas of need, meet citizen expectations, and achieve goals and objectives. Whether it’s analyzing census data, motor vehicle registrations, or property taxes, these tools can make maximizing the latent potential of existing data easier. Finally, many ERP vendors offer cloud-based software options that can reduce overall costs. This eliminates the need to install software on individual computers and allows all transactions via a web browser. This helps to speed up the order-to-cash cycle and improve the overall efficiency of processes. This can reduce both IT hardware and personnel costs.
When evaluating ERP systems, government leaders should think beyond ROI. While private-sector organizations measure success based on return on investment, the public sector requires a different measuring stick: a system’s ability to generate “return on citizenship.” Municipalities collect vast amounts of data in their day-to-day operations. These massive datasets are filled with latent potential that can reveal insights into agencies’ performance, citizens’ expectations, and gaps in service. The right ERP solution will use powerful data analytics to help agencies better understand their business and make more informed decisions. To ensure a practical deployment, local governments need to prepare high-level process maps that they can provide to vendors. This helps minimize resistance from long-term employees who may feel their process knowledge could be more valuable to share. ERP systems are designed to automate administrative organizations and operational processes, increase information transparency in real-time, and ensure data security. They also support best practices, which help improve the quality of services delivered to constituents.