How an ERP system can change your DME business

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Monday, September 24, 2018

With warp speed changes in the DME industry, it can be hard to stay ahead of the game. And if you don’t, you’ll find that everything from identifying your profit center to managing almost every aspect of your entire business will suffer, causing wasted time and money.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system may be just what the doctor ordered:

Streamline your software programs

Does your business run on a number of different software systems? You’re probably using different systems for compliance documentation, sales, inventory, billing, accounting and delivery, like most DME businesses. All of these different systems running at once can sometimes hinder, not enhance, the efficiency of the process for every order. If margins are healthy, multiple software systems probably work fine, but if margins are tight, efficiency counts. To make matters worse, if your software systems don’t communicate with each other, you’re adding more steps to the process and making it more inefficient. Time is valuable and it can’t be wasted. 

Better access to business information

You’re running your DME business in a competitive market, so access to accurate, up-to-the-minute information about your business is crucial. Information about average sales margins, most profitable products and accounts receivable should be at your fingertips if you expect your DME business to compete in the current market, so a single ERP platform that covers inventory, delivery, billing, accounting and sales is vital. 

Cleaner accounting

One of the most obvious signs your business needs an ERP system is that your accounting system is slow and becoming an obstacle to efficiency. If your accounting staff spends hours per week manually entering data about inventory and billing into a paper-based system, it’s time to consider measuring the wasted time and taking a hard look at what it’s doing to your bottom line. Also, if preparing and printing financial reports is slow and lagging, you need to consider the impact that can be made with an ERP solution. Imagine all your financial information—billing, accounting and inventory—in one database, so you spend time less time manually posting and reconciling information, ultimately freeing up your accounting staff to make them even more productive.

Improved inventory management

At the core of every DME businesses is inventory. If you don’t have the necessary products in the right warehouse and trucks, delivered to the right customers, your business will fail. If separate billing, sales and  inventory systems aren’t in sync, it can be impossible to get a clear picture of inventory at any given time, which can lead to a serious breakdown in communication with customers. With an ERP system, delivery drivers are aware of any change in inventory and can communicate properly with customers; everyone involved has real-time access to up-to-the-minute inventory data. Products can be loaded, counted, rented and sold from one database.

Simpler IT

For your software system to run properly, someone needs to understand it and be able to teach others how to use it. As your business increases and uses multiple software systems, the support staff needed to train, fix bugs or administer the system itself, needs to increase too. Using an integrated ERP systems requires less supervision, since it is one place providing your overall software services including training, support and new product implementation for the whole company.

Wayne Bailey is director of client services for Bonafide Management Systems. He can be reached at wayne@bonafide.com.