It’s late, and you’re still stuck in the office, trying to reconcile the day-to-day work processes as you have outgrown your current legacy system. You’re having a difficult time keeping up with the order volume causing customer satisfaction to drop. Your sales forecast has been based on guesswork, rather than evidential, and it’s been a long time since you knew the precise quantity of stock which was in your warehouse.
Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when your business has outgrown your current system and the former processes in place are not able to keep up with the pace of said growth.
If you find that your business is experiencing more than a few of these signs, maybe it’s time to invest in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
An ERP system not only helps you stay on top of your business and stay ahead of the competition, it also provides you as a business owner the opportunity to have the right tools within your market to track, analyse and grow.
Investing in an ERP system is essential not just for growth but also to measure and keep track of the various daily business processes, within one unified and integrated system, that not only keeps track of your business, but more importantly helps you have a much better level of communication.
Investing in ERP software can help businesses improve their performance and assist with the automation of certain processes within the organisation, making them a worthwhile investment. Although there is no such thing as a perfect set of rules to identify if your business is ready for an ERP implementation, identifying any issues you are experiencing could be evidence it is time to invest in an ERP system.
Before you adopt an ERP system, here are a few pointers we hope will help you realise and understand the need for an ERP solution that will not only aid your business but also hopefully move you away from spreadsheets to an effective and efficient management powerhouse.
1. Different Programs/Spreadsheets for different functions
How do your employees record, track, and process information within your company? Do your accounting staff use a system for payables and receivables, and the sales team use another to enter customer orders? Have you found the process of taking the orders and getting them fulfilled and through to accounting a tedious manual process? What about your warehouse team, are they also using a completely different solution to track shipping and receiving?
If you are still heavily dependent on spreadsheet and experiencing errors here is why you might have outgrown this system:
- Spreadsheets can be inefficient and riddled with human errors stalling your company’s growth in the near/far future, these can also be attributed to the communication issues experienced due to untimely information that can moreover be inaccurate affecting your company’s future within your market space.
- Another issue that arises is, when various front and back-end systems are running separately, it can cause major problems on the processes that are meant to ensure your company is running smoothly. Problems can start to occur, such as inaccurate data from sales due to manual entry which can affect inventory management, or not having the latest information from accounting can cause a ripple effect on other aspects of your business, from General Ledger to Job Quoting.
It is with ERP software that these systems are integrated, so that every aspect of a business functionality operates within a single database. This one source of information contains accurate, real-time data, allowing for ERP to break up information confusion, help staff make better decisions quickly, freeing up their time to work on more high-value projects which can help your business grow even faster.
Companies with powerful analytics are companies that grow exponentially.
2. You don’t have access to the data and information related to your business
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? Companies relying on separate systems and spreadsheets will find that they constantly require updating and need to be reconciled manually.
When your business experiences growth, you will instantly notice the speed of operating becomes faster than it ever was before, which means your employees need immediate access to key data at all times.
- If you were to be using an excel to report, the data needs to be consistently updated, saved, formatted again and emailed as a backup before any more information can be shared. This indicates your business has outgrown your current system.
Through the use of an ERP system, your staff can get the information they need to do their jobs more effectively, giving you a holistic view of the business operations at any time, or your sales representatives being able to view a customer’s full transaction history to assist with improving renewal rates while increasing up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
By having this data collected for you, in short you have one unified system that has the ability to effectively analyse your customers behaviour and trends, information that lead to effective change in terms of products and/or services you might have on offer.
Having an accurate, fast, and reliable system of data exchange between departments will assist with the reduction of time spent on duplicate processes and information consolidation, and with an ERP system producing accurate and real-time data, this enables a seamless flow of information across all required departments.
3. You’re having difficulty and spending too much time with your accounting
One of the first noticeable signs that your company is in need of an ERP system will initially come from your accounting department. Many businesses rely on paper-based invoices and sales orders, causing many hours to be spent every week manually entering the information into different accounting and sales systems. How much time are you actually spending on such tedious tasks that an ERP system can complete in an instant?
The same can be said for financial reporting. If you are finding yourself spending hours consolidating or reconciling financial information across a number of systems and through countless spreadsheets, an ERP system could be what you need to make a significant impact and save you some valuable time.
Implementing an ERP system means having all of your financials within a single database, meaning time will not have to be spent cross-posting information, re-keying numbers, or reconciling data manually. This will allow yourself and your accounting team to deliver critical reports without delays and frustration, and offer time for more important tasks.
Essentially to be successful the key is to be profitable, and to be profitable ensuring these processes are not taking over profits.
An ERP system such as Triumph with real time workflow capabilities will automatically collect information such as billing, invoicing, supplier payments, payroll and other financial activities from all parts of your company. These processes will promote profit instead of inhibiting it due to being integrated with your financial processes and providing a centralised system of financial workflow
4. Your sales and customer experience are suffering
As you outgrow your current business processes, you may find that inventory management starts to become a challenge. Ensuring that the subsequent amount of stock is in the right place at the right time is a vital part of business operations, and inevitably, business success.
When sales, inventory, and customer data are maintained separately, it can produce severe problems across your business. What if you run out of a popular product? This can cause sales to drop until the next shipment arrives. What if a customer calls to inquire about an order, but the employees can’t seem to track the item to see if it is in stock? Customers regularly seek out businesses which can give them the right information quickly, and expect to get their hands on their purchases straight away, therefore, if your company can’t offer the right information upfront, your business can start to develop a poor reputation for reliability and service rather quickly if you can’t keep up with the demand.
Implementing an ERP system into your business will allow for your staff in every department to have access to the same information in real-time, allowing for customer-facing reps to be able to answer customer inquiries without having to hang up the phone or put them on hold to check with another department, meanwhile the warehouse manager can see that stock is getting low and can reorder the stock before it runs out.
The driving force behind most of your business decisions should be customer satisfaction, and an ERP system can not only provide you with the data for a high level of quality service to the customer but also keep your manufacturer in the loop in terms of stock in real time.
5. Your IT is too complex, time-consuming and costly
One of the biggest downsides to having multiple systems across your business is that the IT management can not only be a nightmare to handle, but will burn a hole in your pocket in the long term. This can be a major indicator you have outgrown your current method of managing your various system processes.
It can be difficult for businesses to customise these systems, integrating them and maintaining them with patches and upgrades can be complex, costly, and can sap critical time and resources. Rather than adding additional software- and complexity- to an already ineffective, and most likely outdated system, adopting an ERP system can give you the capability to respond to changing business and IT needs rapidly, especially though the use of a cloud-based ERP system.
Using a cloud-based ERP software can increase efficiency and flexibility within your business, allow you to respond to change more effectively, and can slash IT costs. Whether your goal is to optimise your operations, employ leading edge business tools, or maximise your operational efficiency, you can gain the flexibility to manage and grow your business using fewer internal resources and without the installation and hardware investments associated with traditional software packages.
If you are experiencing issues within your business which is causing headaches and frustration, then it may be time to consider implementing an ERP system for yourself. With Triumph ERP, you will be able to manage your information in an efficient and organised manner, gain complete visibility across your organisation and have the assistance to make quick, educated decisions essential to the success of your business. As your business grows, so does its complexity. Triumph ERP has been developed in modules to ensure that we can deliver you a solution that will fit perfectly with your needs today, but also have the ability to adapt to your needs tomorrow.
We hope this…
has informed you to the myriad of benefits of an ERP solution that simplifies complex business process, giving you not just an improvement in terms of efficiency and control over your business but also a greater degree of profitability simply through automated processes and real time data.
If any of the signs above apply to your current problematic business processes, it might just be time to start the search for an ERP solution. If you are looking forward to implementing an ERP system for your business we have an in depth and informative article that will explain the process step by step.