How do you know when your business needs an ERP system? Here are 5 warning signs that your business is in desperate need of an efficient ERP system.
If you have been wondering whether it is time to implement an ERP system for your company, take a moment to think about all the processes that are essential to the running of your business. Whether it be inventory or order management, accounting, customer relationship management, or more, is your business running as efficiently as it should? Are you relying on guesswork instead of data to forecast sales? Are you spending too much time on back-office functions and admin tasks?
Simply put, an ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning system can integrate all the various functions that are essential to your business into one complete solution. This means more streamlined processes and information is easily stored and shared across the entire business.
Here are some signs that may indicate your business is ready to implement an ERP system.
1. You are using multiple software systems or applications
Do you find that your employees are using different software systems across business functions? For example, is your accounting staff using one system for recording receivables and payables, and sales using another to enter customer orders? Do warehouse employees use a different system to track shipping?
When your business runs various separate systems, it becomes difficult to run efficiently and you are likely to end up with inaccurate or redundant data, risking possible damage to your operations.
ERP software will integrate all these different systems together. For instance, Dynamics 365 Business Central, an ERP system ideal for small and mid-sized businesses, will allow you to manage your entire business from one platform, connecting data from all departments, such as sales, finances, inventory, and more.
A centralized system also means you’re dealing with just one vendor and a support team. And all the costs and time spent managing, maintaining, and utilizing various stand-alone systems can be better spent on useful, revenue-generating activities!
2. You are unable to access financial information about your business easily
Do you have a clear idea about how your business is performing? Are key performance indicators such as sales margins, order per date, or sales to date easily accessible? Does it take more than a couple of hours each week to pull together financial data from countless spreadsheets and different applications?
If accessing information and reporting on business performance has become a nightmare, it might be time to switch to an ERP system. Accurate data is key for making critical business decisions and you need to be able to generate this data with minimal manual input so your staff is free to focus on the more important things.
With an ERP system, all your data is in one shared database with accurate, real-time data. This makes it easier to get a holistic view of business operations. When you have all the data at your fingertips, this allows business owners a 360-degree view into your operations and allows them to make more informed business decisions.
3. You rely on too many manual processes
How much time are you or your staff spending doing manual tasks such as:
Manually entering data
Re-entering incorrect data
Copying information to other systems and software
Are you heavily reliant on spreadsheets, paper-based invoices or sales orders? ERP software can handle all of that in an instant and easily streamlines and automates tedious tasks that otherwise take hours to complete manually. An ERP system frees up valuable staff time, boosting productivity and efficiency in your business.
4. You are struggling to meet customer demands
Are you having difficulties managing and tracking inventory? When your business operations start to grow, inventory management becomes more complicated if you are still using manual methods and stand-alone applications to track inventory and process purchase orders.
An ERP system can not only simplify this for you but also help you scale appropriately. It can monitor and keep track of whether you have the optimal amount of product for uninterrupted business.
Some ERPs go further. For instance, Dynamics 365 Business Central can predict when and what to replenish with built-intelligence, sales forecasts, and dynamically updated inventory levels.
Finally, a consolidated database also means that it easier for customer service reps to answer questions about shipment status or product availability and does not impact brand reputation.
5. Your IT processes are extremely complicated
If you are running multiple software systems to run your business, it is time-consuming and costly to stay on top of maintenance, upgrades, and patches for each of those applications.
Managing these can be a hassle for your IT staff. If you are a small to mid-sized business, you probably have scarce resources and have little time to dedicate to an increasingly complicated IT infrastructure.
If you implement ERP software, you only have one centralized system to maintain. Plus, if you choose to go with a cloud-based ERP system, the hassle of upgrades and updates fall to the software vendors. Cloud-based ERPs also give you the option to easily scale your business up and down, as required.
You’ll be able to regain your valuable time and redirect your focus to running your business, instead of worrying about endless IT hassles.
As opposed to multiple, independent software applications, a single ERP system provides accurate, easy-to-find data that enables visibility and efficiency in your day-to-day operations.
An ERP system can be the advantage that your business needs in order to support growth, agility, and data-driven decision making to get ahead of your competitors.
You’ve Spotted These Signs – What's Next?
If you identify with a few of these business pain points and are considering ERP software, identifying the right ERP system for your business is the next step and we can help you there.
With years of industry knowledge and expertise in ERP selection, planning, and implementation, our team of experts is there to help navigate the ins and outs of your ERP journey. Contact us today for a consultation.