Your choice of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system will play a major role in future business growth. But be careful – stagnation and slowed progression can and do occur if you’re not aware of long-term company needs from the start. When investing in ERP software for your company, it’s imperative that you plan ahead, look beyond just your current needs, and determine which systems must be integrated for optimal growth potential.
Your technology provider/ERP partner should assist you with this analysis and provide a demonstration of how your new platform addresses the unique needs of your business. Read on to see several key areas to consider.
Investing in ERP software the right way:
(Vital business needs you can’t overlook)
What’s the heart of your growth potential? Your business’ financial system. Yes, many other systems grow your business and market share – but cash flow problems, revenue leakage and inaccurate financial reports all lead to slowed growth.
We can’t stress this enough: your ERP software options must address both your current financial management requirements and be adaptable to future needs.
Business Intelligence and Reporting
As your company grows, it becomes essential that you have access to the “big picture” of your business. This is especially important for planning. Real-time insight allows you to:
direct resources effectively toward emerging products
close out unprofitable lines in a timely fashion
Business intelligence and reporting capabilities give you understanding and awareness to drive growth. The best ERP solutions offer these powerful features.
Human Resource Management
As important as your finances are, people are your key to effective business growth. In order to maximize their efficiency, your ERP system has to give you proper insight. What should your ERP solution provide? For starters:
a clear picture of where your employees are spending their time
when and where employee training is necessary
where workloads need to shift to improve productivity/ lower the cost of lost time
Supply Chain Management
Smooth revenue cycles depend on smooth supply chain management. Having the materials you need on-time to execute your business plans on schedule is necessary for growth. Disruptions in the supply chain lead to missed deadlines, late product releases and end up costing you money in both marketing and sales. Your ERP system should be able to pinpoint potential problems before they become disruptions.
Too much inventory on-hand slows growth because it ties up capital. Too little inventory leads to poor customer service and lost sales. Your platform needs:
inventory target integration for your current/future product lines
estimates for when and how much inventory needs to be replaced
alerts to potential shortfalls or overruns
You’ve already created great products, put together marketing plans and pitched your product – but you still need to get from the drawing board to your customers’ hands. Your ERP system needs to be able to track the process from beginning to end. It plays matchmaker in making sure your product gets where it needs to go when it needs to be there.
Not every ERP software package is right for every business.
Your business needs are unique and your expected growth over the next ten years will determine what ERP system is right for you. Cost is but one element, and the lowest price is not always the best investment. As you consider all the different areas of your business, look for a provider that can walk you through the options. Compare on-site ERP deployment with cloud-based ERP software so you understand the different long- and short-term costs associated with both deployment types. Most importantly, be sure your technology partner is truly a partner, working with you as you're investing in ERP software for successful growth.
by InterDyn Artis
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