Top 5 Signs That Your Business Is ERP Ready
It takes longer and longer to reconcile finances at the end of the month. Their sales forecasts are based more on guesswork than hard numbers. Your business is having trouble keeping up with your order volume, and customer satisfaction is slipping as a result. He has no idea how much inventory he has in his warehouse, and it’s a hassle to find out. If this sounds like your business, or close to it, then it may be time to consider an ERP system.
Because every company is unique, there is no single indicator that says, “You need ERP now!” However, the companies that would benefit the most from ERP software often face similar problems and frustrations. Does your company face some of these same problems? Read on to discover the top five signs that your company is ERP ready.
#1 You have a bunch of different software for different processes
Take a few minutes to think about how your company’s employees record, track, and process information. Do the accounting staff use one system for accounts receivable and payable, and the sales staff use another to enter customer orders? Is the process of taking those orders and fulfilling and posting them a manual, time consuming process? Are your warehouse employees using a completely different solution to track shipments and receipts?
When multiple front-end and back-end systems run separately, they can wreak havoc on the processes that need to ensure your business runs smoothly. Without accurate sales data, inventory management can suffer, while not having the latest accounting information can trigger a ripple effect on everything from marketing budgets to payroll.
ERP software integrates these systems so that each business function is based on a single database. With a source of information that contains accurate, real-time data, an ERP solution removes information bottlenecks, helps staff make better decisions faster, and frees up their time to work on higher-value pursuits, like helping the business grow even faster.
#2 You don't have easy access to information about your business
If someone were to ask 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? For companies that rely on siled systems and spreadsheets that need to be constantly updated and manually reconciled, the wait could be a long one.
The pace of business is faster than ever, which means your company’s employees need immediate access to key data. With an ERP solution, executives can get a holistic view of business operations at any time, while other staff can get the information they need to do their jobs more effectively. For example, sales reps should be able to view a customer’s entire transaction history and more proactively improve renewal rates while increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
#3 Accounting takes more time and is more difficult
Often the first obvious signs that your business needs ERP software will come from your accounting department. If your employees rely on paper invoices and sales orders, spending hours each week manually entering them into different sales and accounting systems, you need to consider how much time is wasted on tasks that ERP software can handle in a flash.
The same is true of financial reporting: if it takes a long time to consolidate or reconcile financial information between systems and across countless spreadsheets, an ERP solution can have a significant impact. With all finances in a single database, accounting staff won’t have to spend hours posting information, re-keying numbers, or manually reconciling data. Your accounting staff will be more productive, freeing them to deliver critical reports without delay or frustration.
#4 Sales and customer experience are suffering
As businesses grow, one of their biggest challenges is often managing inventory. Ensuring that the right number of products are in the right place at the right time is a vital part of business operations.
When sales, inventory, and customer data are kept separate, it can create serious problems throughout your business. If you run out of a popular product, sales will be halted until the next shipment arrives. Meanwhile, if a customer calls inquiring about an order and employees can’t track it to see if it shipped, or even if it’s in stock, your business will start to develop a poor reputation for reliability and service.
With an ERP system, on the other hand, staff in each department will have access to the same up-to-the-minute information. Customer service representatives need to be able to answer customer 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. In the meantime, the warehouse manager can see that the stock is running low and can reorder.
#5 Your IT is too complex and time consuming
One of the biggest disadvantages of having multiple systems in your business is that IT administration can become a nightmare. Customizing these systems, integrating them, and maintaining them with patches and updates can be complex, expensive, and consume time and critical resources.
If your patchwork of systems includes legacy commercial software on-premises, system upgrades may be more trouble than they’re worth. These updates are not only costly and time consuming, but they can also undo customizations implemented by IT staff. Given that, it’s no surprise that two-thirds of midsize businesses are running outdated versions of their business software.
Rather than adding more software and complexity to an already ineffective system, ERP technology can give you the agility to quickly respond to changing business needs. That’s why selecting a cloud-based ERP provider like ICIGAI is critical. With ICIGAI, system updates are no longer a problem and it’s easy to add new features as your business grows and changes.
Convinced? Ready to learn more, or just have questions? Contact us today. Our ERP solution experts are ready and willing to answer all your questions and help you get started selecting the right solution for your business.