Growing a business can be difficult, to say the least. There are several indicators or warning signs that should make getting serious about an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system purchase a priority. Your business can run into major issues quickly if any of the following occur:
· Reconciling accounts takes too long
· Forecasting sales is difficult
· Inventory and stock in the warehouse is nearly impossible to track
Let’s explore these warning signs in a little more detail:
1. Accounting suffers
The earliest sign that your company needs ERP software usually appears in the accounting department. Growth suffers when the accounting team repeatedly has to ask the sales team for more up to date figures. Are you using paper-based invoices? Do sales orders and invoices have to be entered manually? Do you have different accounting and sales systems? ERP will automatically track sales and integrate accounting, automatically saving you time.
Lack of integration can be hugely problematic. Most companies operating without ERP have a separate accounting software and use these systems together with cumbersome spreadsheets to operate. While separate accounting systems and spreadsheets were effective in the past, multiple applications can become a big problem, especially when you are trying to stay competitive.
Difficulty in system and reporting consolidation, along with reconciling financial information across systems and countless spreadsheets, is your first indicator that you need an ERP system, like Infor’s CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine). With all financials in a single database, innumerable hours will be saved when accounting is no longer wasting time cross-posting and reconciling data. By centralizing all operations in an ERP system, reconciling financials and forecasting sales is effortless. ERP software saves time and money.
2. Decision making suffers
Your business has the best chance at growth and stability when all departments and systems in your organization are effectively communicating. Ease in the transfer of data and transparency across all departments are big keys to success. When you are operating using multiple systems, this generally means that one department is using software that can’t be accessed by the others. This results in poor communication and lack of shared data can be disastrous. A simple example is when personnel from accounting are unable to access data from sales, resulting in financials that can’t be easily reconciled.
The perfect storm occurs when the accounting department uses one software system and sales uses another. This results in the sales department having no idea of available stock and potentially overselling or overpromising, especially when the warehouse is unclear of actual stock on hand. The purchasing team inevitably struggles with ordering replacement inventory and goods are most likely not shipped to customers in a timely fashion.
Eliminate opportunities for the perfect storm to occur. Get your systems and your people communicating effectively by implementing an ERP system such as Infor’s CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine). With an ERP system in place, staff in every department can access the needed information, eliminating the potential for miscommunication and lost sales, thereby driving the potential for exponential growth.
3. Sales suffers
At the beginning, your business was able to visualize the ratio of stock on hand to sales in hand. However, lately, you are increasingly finding the volume of sales is unpredictable, and the control of stock is virtually unmanageable. Customers suffer when stock to order is out of balance and inventory is unable to fulfill the sales orders. This virtually cripples your sales, and therefore, your bottom dollar. Nothing causes sales to decline more rapidly than your ability to fulfill orders. If customer demand outweighs stock availability, your reputation will ultimately suffer. Sales suffer when inquiries can’t be answered, and orders can’t be properly tracked. If your product shipping and inventory stock seem out of alignment, your business will inevitably begin to develop a poor reputation for reliability and service.
Your entire organization will operate better with real time information from an integrated system that flows and communicates with all facets of your business. With a single source ERP solution like Infor ClousSuite Industrial (SyteLine), both sales and customer service can see the correct information and view the order or ship status, and in turn, the warehouse has a clear picture to manage stock. Customers receive orders on time and are more likely to become repeat customers. ERP simplifies communications, so smart decisions are made across the board – thereby solving your sales problems.
4. Mobile access suffers
Employees need access to software to manage and drive business in real time. Many times, they will need reliable access, updates and account information input from a mobile device. Sales needs to be able to close new business, and see upsell opportunities, and this is facilitated by the ability to see stock availability. Historically, senior management was the only group to travel, now, everyone travels. Having reliable information available to everyone in your organization, in real time, enables proper decision making, thereby driving the success of your business to new levels.
Most ERP software developers – but not all – provide functionality designed specifically for field-based staff which ensures they have everything at their fingertips on mobile devices. Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) provides real time mobile access, making it an optimal choice. Ideally, in today’s market, you need a system easily accessible to everyone in your organization form an array of different devices including smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
5. IT suffers
If your organization has multiple systems and platforms, it is inevitable that your IT department is wasting valuable time and resources. Continually customizing different systems, integrating and maintaining them with patches and upgrades can be a complex and costly nightmare.
Your patchwork of systems may even include on-premise and legacy business software. Updates are expensive and time-consuming, and can often undo customizations implemented by the IT staff, creating chaos and stress that could easily be eliminated by implementing an ERP system such as Infor’s CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine).
In closing, recognize the signs, and don’t add more software to an already complex system. Step up to ERP technology; it will give you the ability to respond to your ever-changing business needs. Whether you choose a cloud-based ERP or an on-premise ERP, you can be sure that implementing ERP will allow your business to stay nimble and grow exponentially in today’s business climate.