Delivering a top-quality product used to be the distinguishing mark of a company destined for success. However, in today’s market, those with the best product or service can quickly fall victim to production bottlenecks, administrative inefficiencies, and other factors that keep them from reaching their greatest potential – and even open a door of opportunity for competitors to get ahead.
You might not even realize how much you’re affected. Many startups invest little in their accounting solution, and with rapid growth, they quickly outgrow its capabilities. Yet, they feel that handling new processes with spreadsheets or other manual workarounds is simply how it’s done.
There is a better way. ERP software can help you manage every aspect of your business, from a sales lead all the way through to product shipment. It helps you define clear, structured business processes that ensure a smooth workflow. What is more, the right solution grows with you, adapting to your changing needs.
In this article, we’ll talk about how ERP helps you overcome many challenges that all businesses face, as well as the many benefits such systems bring. We’ll also give you some tips on how to choose the right ERP for your business and show you where to find more information.
The Challenges that ERP Overcomes
- Chasing Information. Sales reps struggle to stay on top of product pricing or customer order history. Customer Service personnel are unsure how far along a customer’s order is in your production process. It takes days (or even weeks!) to produce financials for management to analyze. The procurement staff struggles to know when to replenish raw material stock and how much to order when they do.
- Fear of Expansion. With growth comes challenges. Extending into new markets brings new financial, legal, and language requirements. You may need to do business in multiple currencies. Multiple locations require more organizational overhead to keep everyone consistent and in sync.
- Customer Service Slip-ups. Rising customer demand makes it difficult to keep up. Often, customer orders are tracked in a separate application, in a spreadsheet, or even on paper,
- limiting visibility and making it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately answer customer inquiries. Estimating production cycles and shipping times becomes little more than a guessing game, as there’s no real way to know for sure. Those inaccuracies lead to a loss of customer confidence.
- Cost Overruns. Your company may be bleeding money and not realize it until it’s too late. Costs rise suddenly and unexpectedly. When financial reports take days or weeks to prepare, management struggles to adjust course in time to compensate.
- A Sea of Applications. An accounting application is a must for any business. Some will use a separate solution to help them track orders through the production process. Another application will help keep track of material movements in the warehouse. Yet another solution will handle customer relationships, and another for employee timesheets and benefits, just to name a few. Data sharing is limited or nonexistent, leading to duplicate and inaccurate data.
The Benefits ERP Brings
ERP software is a powerful tool to streamline your business operations. It solves those many challenges and supports your future growth.
- Universal Access to Business Data. A good ERP solution ensures everyone has access to accurate business data – anytime, anywhere. A few clicks of the mouse bring you the information you’re looking for so you can move ahead.
- Built for Expansion. The right ERP solution will handle multiple locations with ease, helping you manage the administrative overhead and ensuring consistent operations despite the distance that separates your units. International business comes baked in, with support for multiple languages, currencies, and much more.
- Stellar Customer Experiences. ERP software helps you see the order process from beginning to end and empowers you to respond quickly and accurately to any inquiry. With precision and efficiency, you deliver on time – every time.
- Secure Profits. An ERP solution gives you a complete financial picture at a glance – through instantly-available reports or intuitive dashboards. It alerts you to cost adjustments as they happen, allowing you to quickly make the needed changes so your profitability stays on target.
- A Single Source of Truth. ERP flexes its muscle to bring all your business operations into one application with a centralized database, drastically reducing IT labor and keeping everyone on the same page.
How Can You Choose?
Many ERP solutions are on the market, and they are not all created equal. Here are a few things to look for to be sure the ERP you choose meets your needs today, and tomorrow.
- A Modern Tech Stack. Many ERP solutions are based on decades-old technology, including obscure programming languages, proprietary components, and complicated server architecture. Look for a solution that uses modern technologies at its foundation and is easy to customize.
- Cloud Deployment Options. Even if you need on-premises today, your requirements may change tomorrow. Having a cloud-native ERP ensures a path for future growth and flexibility. And when you do migrate to the cloud, you’ll enjoy many benefits, such as reduced IT expense, 24/7 access from anywhere, mobile device support, and much more.
- Industry-Specific Solutions. Some of the more notable ERPs offer solutions customized for industry verticals, providing the functionality you need out-of-the-box and saving you the time and expense of extensive customizations.
- Scalability and Flexibility. Determining the true cost of an ERP solution is a real challenge because it goes far beyond the initial implementation. Some providers charge per user, stifling company-wide adoption of the software. Others have many hidden fees related to historical data, data storage, active modules, and more. It also needs to be scalable as your transaction volume increases and allow you to easily share data with other applications as the need arises.
Do the challenges resonate with you and your organization? Are you eager to reap the benefits of a powerful, modern ERP?
Then you’ll be interested to dig deeper by reading the eBook titled: “Why Growing Businesses Need ERP Software – Tapping into the Power of ERP Features and Benefits”. In it you’ll find more information about the benefits of ERP, but also how the modular components of ERP work together, a list of must-have features, deployment tips, and how Acumatica meets the needs of today’s businesses.
Next, get expert advice to help you find the right ERP solution and guidance for implementing it quickly and painlessly.