Chief Executives and C-suite leaders are faced with more challenges and investment requirements than they have resources to meet them. New products, new plants, e-commerce, new geographies, “old” competitors…. and the list goes on.
Where does an ERP system fit into those competing priorities? It should be near, if not at the top of that list because it solves fundamental business problems. It also positions the company to grow faster and achieve a more profitable level.
How does an ERP improve a business?
Understanding the way in which a new or modernized ERP system will improve a business is vital. Some very important questions to ask are: What are the pain points that your company is experiencing? What are your competitors doing, and how are they doing it?
Your ERP system: Some points to consider
- A successful ERP system can increase revenue and profitability by integrating your CRM activities, sales opportunities, and supply chain and manufacturing operations. This provides higher levels of service, reduced cost of execution, higher ROI on manufacturing investments, and shorter order-to-cash cycles.
- Successful ERP implementations are the opportunity to re-think and re-deploy current state business practices that have grown up around legacy systems. These systems often don’t talk to each other, have multiple data entry points that produce different answers for the same question, and have limitations due to geographic or functional separation. How often does a customer ask for order status, pricing, or warranty information and come away dissatisfied? Don’t implement an ERP to “get the same information only faster”. Implement ERP to solve real business pain points with Future State processes and methodologies.
- Today’s ERP systems for small and mid-size companies have come a long way. The past 10 years have seen significant change. They have significantly more imbedded functionality, they are more scalable for your size and type of business, and they provide automation, integration, and analytics that can address a company’s or industry’s unique challenges. For example, mid-size companies in the Oil and Gas and related industries today need to get their inventory and operating costs aligned quickly and effectively. By integrating and aligning sales forecasts and quote capture rates, total supply chain transparency, and fixed asset utilization rates an ERP system can get this done in time to act effectively.
- “We don’t know what we don’t know”. What is the true cost of the “50 I.T. project requests” that your company is waiting on? What is the impact at the C-suite level of having a 5 to 10 day period end close in order to consolidate and report on last period’s performance in all divisions/locations when business might be softening? What is the impact on your best people when they spend the majority of their time being “super clerks” instead of the Controllers, Supply Chain experts, and Engineering leaders they were hired to be? Automating and integrating your basic, core business processes puts your company’s people, assets, and costs where they do the most good.
As you look toward this year and consider your options for growth or the company’s future overall, it is important to put the need for modernized and agile technology in its place: right at the top. Your people, processes and technology will become the assets that they are intended to be, and you can move your company forward.