To grow your business in a competitive market you need to be cost conscious, nimble and more importantly have the right system. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can significantly improve a company’s efficiency and productivity, and help it take growth to the next level. By integrating accounting and finance with sales, operations and other functions, any company can increase process efficiency and reduce workloads, errors, and costly mistakes. In fact, it can be one of the most transformative investments a company makes.
Not every Company has the same needs and issues, however, companies that would benefit often face similar problems and frustrations.
Read on to discover the top five signs that your company is ready for ERP.
Your company has grown and you have tried to take advantage of software solutions to facilitate that growth, however, these systems require data downloads and data porting to other software to piece everything together when needed. Think about it. How do employees at your company record, track and process information? Accounting staff may use one system for receivables and payables, and sales use another to track sales activity and another to enter customer orders? Is the process of recording those orders and getting them fulfilled and invoiced a painful and time-consuming task?
When front- and back-end systems run on different software, it can wreak havoc on the processes that are meant to ensure your company is running efficiently. Without accurate data from sales, inventory management may suffer. Not having the latest information from accounting can trigger a ripple effect on everything from marketing budgets to payroll.
ERP software integrates these systems so that every business function sources the data from the same database. With one source of accurate, real-time data, an ERP solution simplifies accessibility without compromising security, helps staff and management make better decisions faster, reduces stress, and frees up their time to work on more high-value activities.
Often, the first noticeable signs that your company needs ERP software will come from your accounting department. If your employees rely on paper-based invoices and sales orders—and spend hours every week manually entering them into different accounting and sales systems—you need to consider how much time is being wasted on tasks that ERP software can handle in seconds. How long does it take to re-key information from one system to another, and how many errors are missed that must be reconciled later? Processing expense reports, accessing documents, and transaction history, preparing financials, balancing and accounts with an ERP system performs these tasks in seconds.
Are your revenue forecasts based more on guesswork and optimistic projections than solid figures?
If someone asked you what your average sales margin is, how long would it take you to find out? What about other key performance metrics, like orders per day or sales to date, revenue pacing, and consumption forecasts. For companies that rely on siloed systems and spreadsheets that need to be constantly updated and reconciled manually, it could be a long wait, and too late.
With an ERP solution, executives can monitor from anywhere real-time dashboards with all the key metrics that drive their business functions and profit performance, while other staff can access the information they need to do their jobs more effectively and help make them more productive.
The same goes for financial reporting—if it takes ages to consolidate or reconcile financial information across systems and through countless spreadsheets, an ERP solution can make a significant impact. With all financials in a single database, accounting staff won’t have to spend hours cross-posting information, rekeying numbers, or reconciling data manually. Your accounting staff will be more productive, freeing them to deliver critical reports without delays and frustration.
You an estimate of inventory on hand in the warehouse, your just not sure how long it has been there or how much more you will need more to fill an order, and it’s a pain to find out.
Your business is having trouble keeping up with its order volume and customer satisfaction is faltering thus your customers start to feel they can’t depend on you and select other vendors.
Meanwhile, if a customer calls to inquire about an order and employees can’t track it to see if it’s been shipped—or if it’s even in stock—your company will start to develop a poor reputation for reliability and service.
As companies grow, one of their biggest challenges is often inventory management. Ensuring that the right amount of product, but not too much ensures what you need is in the right location at the right time.
With an ERP system, on the other hand, staff in every department will have access to the same, up-to-the-minute information. Customer-facing reps should be able to answer customer’s questions about order and shipping status, payment status, service issues, etc., without having to hang up the phone and check with another department. Better yet, customers should be able to simply go online to their account and view status information. Meanwhile, the warehouse manager can see that stock is getting low and can reorder.
One of the biggest downsides of having multiple systems across your business is that IT management can become a nightmare. Legacy business software upgrades can be more trouble than they’re worth. Not only are these updates expensive and time-consuming, but they may also undo customizations implemented by IT staff. Given that, it’s no surprise that two-thirds of mid-size businesses are running outdated versions of their business software.
Rather than adding more software—and complexity—to an already ineffective system, cloud-based ERP technology can give you the agility to respond to changing business needs rapidly. That’s why selecting a cloud-based ERP provider like FocusERP is critical. With FocusERP Software, system updates are no longer an issue, and new functions are constantly being added as your business grows and changes.
ERP solutions provided via the cloud include setup, upgrades, security, and maintenance so you won’t have concerns about expenditures when working with a small business budget. Price is very affordable with this option and includes better mobility capability when sending and communicating with your staff into the field.