ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is defined as a solution or a software system that helps businesses manage their backend processes, including processes in services, manufacturing, finance, supply chain, as well as core HR tasks such as employee register, absent reports, scheduling. ERP implementation is a big undertaking, so it’s no wonder that several businesses adopt it. Growing businesses eventually reach a point where spreadsheets no longer serve their purpose. That is the point where enterprise resource planning software comes in: ERP systems gather and organize key business information and help businesses operate lean, efficient operations and all that in an elegant, automated fashion.
Every successful organization today has either implemented or is in the process of adopting ERP. Therefore, ERP solutions for small businesses have now become essential to incorporate the latest technologies to stay up to date in the competition. Enterprise Resource Planning system also helps these businesses to integrate all the different functions that are important for any business into a single comprehensive solution. This implies more streamlined processes plus the information is easily stored and shared across the whole business.
This decision about the integration of new technologies into the existing infrastructure is a huge one. And there’s no hard-and-fast rule regarding this. If you are questioning whether it is time to implement an ERP system for your business, you need to think about all the processes that are vital for running your business. Furthermore, are you giving too much time to back-office tasks and admin tasks? Is your business running as efficiently as it should? Do you rely on guesswork rather than data to forecast sales and are your finances managed accurately?
Getting an answer to these questions can show the right path for your business and it is very important as this can impact the main processes, produce disturbances in the workflows, confuse things and even burden the employees, and not to mention at last the initial cost. Hence, it becomes clear that small businesses should not overlook an ERP solution and the advantages that it offers.
7 signs that show it’s time to implement an ERP
So, how do you understand if your business demands the implementation of an ERP? Here are seven signs showing that it’s time for your small to mid-sized business to invest in an efficient ERP system:
1) Your current process is inefficient with outgrown existing software
In a fast-evolving business environment, being prepared to respond to change is crucial. Inefficient manual workflows, spreadsheets, and outdated software can limit your business growth. An efficient ERP system can streamline your complete business and set your data all in one place, facilitating accurate reporting, collaboration-based and data-driven work environments.
Inefficient processes can appear as a hidden cost, an old ERP system also usually redirects resources into maintenance rather than enabling you to focus on solving real problems. Such inefficiencies can delay production, throw off timelines, and ruin a company’s bottom line. However, opting for an ERP system can help combine functions seamlessly, integrating different operations in a single, convenient workspace.
2) Unsatisfied Customers – Struggling to meet customer demands
Customers’ expectations 10 years ago were very different than what they are today. They have now become less forgiving, possibly this is because they have several options for contracting. Your customers are important to your business and a simple way to impress customers is by becoming highly responsive and providing instantaneous customer care service. All those customers want is that their queries be addressed in the least amount of time.
Traditional systems were not intended for multiple user access and caused various complexities. Observing this, several businesses today rethink their software’s user experience. Whether you’re facing problems in managing, tracking inventory, retrieving customer-specific financial information, or creating comprehensive reports for clients. ERP software enables you to organize and access data in a central location, providing instant, anywhere access to real-time information with efficiency, accuracy, and insight into your internal processes. If you’re not giving this type of business value, your competitors might have an advantage over you. And these efficiencies are essential to ensure customers’ happiness and loyalty towards your business.
Also, read: 9 signs Your Small Business Needs a CRM already
3) Spending too much on software integration
Poor software integration might turn into more IT-related problems and large consultation costs, therefore even small businesses should be concerned about this phase of their IT.
When choosing between several spend management solutions, it’s important to analyse their capability to integrate with your current ERP software. Integrating your fresh spend management solution with your ERP software will allow the two systems to efficiently and securely share important data and insights. The result will considerably improve your capability to make informed data-driven business decisions.
Whether you find an integrated or some other best ERP system to be a more suitable fit for your business, all ERP systems streamline data while decreasing user error, training costs, and the cost of maintaining multiple systems.
4) Unmanageable Data and Inadequate Insights
Businesses generate data, each department of an organization – HR, sales, operations, finance, manufacturing, supply chain, or even marketing deals with a lot of information that might take a lot of effort and time to record, process, consolidate and share. Several times this data becomes unmanageable and begins to impede regular operations. Here is when ERP Systems come into play and help streamline this data making it better to manage easily. By using an ERP solution, all such data can be shared thereby eliminating administrative struggles and confusion.
Businesses require access to reports with real-time data to make the best possible business decisions on time. They need useful insights to facilitate the planning of effective growth strategies. This cannot be accomplished with the use of manual processes, so if you are relying on regular reporting then it is time to invest in ERP software for more beneficial insights.
5) Lack of Collaboration among different departments
There are several departments in a business organization. For example – consider the marketing and sales department, they can only be effective when the collaboration between the two is at its best. So, all these departments should work seamlessly to assure that the entire business runs smoothly. But there are always possible challenges with all businesses that occur during the everyday operations and interactions. When you see such difficulties between the departments, it is time to explore and seek an ERP system that can improve the collaboration between the different departments. This ERP software fetches data from all departments each time the team demands it. This reduces the barriers and makes the environment suitable for innovation.
6) Changing Workplace Dynamics
There is no doubt in the fact that the concept of the workplace, as we understand it, is experiencing drastic growth. This development of the workspace that moves past the ‘norm’ to include a different, talented, global, and multi-generational workforce has also expedited a change in what employers and employees expect from each other.
Looking at today’s environment, you can often see that businesses work with employees in remote locations due to hiring off-site contractors or telecommuting. Working with a business model that depends on a centralized office is not just practical anymore. So, the user experience needs to extend beyond company walls to get continuous and unmatched productivity.
7) Poor Inventory Management and No Remote Access
When the different departments are isolated or are disconnected, inventory management becomes complicated. It likewise becomes challenging to determine the accurate number of orders and trace the available stock. Inexact inventory has some adverse effects, if you keep too much of everything, it will force you to utilize up storage space, will hold cash flow, and long-held things might become damaged, neglected, or obsolete. Also, if you keep too little, missing inventory will stop production, extra cost due to expedited shipping of missing parts, and finally, delay in delivery. So, ERP software can give sufficient data to maintain the stock accurately and keep your consumers happy and satisfied.
Technology today brings your team members together no matter where they are. If your team is limited just due to location, then your business might suffer. Therefore, one of the most significant benefits of using an ERP is real-time, immediate access. This implies remote access from a mobile device or laptop when you are working from home. And this also means access to the same data anytime across all departments.
ERP solutions for small businesses can help businesses integrate both their customer information and financial information into one system. The best thing about an ERP system is that it is affordable, adaptable, and simple to implement. It can help you and your small business to function more efficiently.
These above-mentioned signs that we have discussed link up and influence the process. If your business identifies any of the following above-defined signs, you are apparently in need of an ERP system. Therefore, when you recognize that the customer is unsatisfied, it’s time to renew the way you handle things. Proper ERP systems would provide solutions that would help to improve the business process. Also, if the implementation of your business comes with a big upfront cost, you can still save money during the long run by streamlining all processes and maximizing workflow performance.