Is there ever a good time to invest in a new technology system that could potentially cost your business thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars? As the economy takes a turn for the worse as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, this may be a question you’re asking right now.
In the long run, an integrated ERP system will save your business a substantial amount of money while also increasing productivity and revenues. There's no question that an ERP solution is a solid, sensible investment providing a significant return to your company over time. But when is the best time to take the leap and justify such a significant expenditure?
Seven Indicators Now Might Be the Time for an ERP Upgrade
- The Need to Support a Remote and Distributed Workforce
An unprecedented number of employees are working remotely in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Beyond these immediate circumstances, the trend toward globalization and a distributed workforce means more businesses are required to support remote workers.
An integrated ERP system provides managers with cloud-based access to remote employee management and monitoring. And ERP systems are inherently flexible, meaning workers may be monitored anywhere, from any type of device. Worker data and metrics are also updated in real time, enabling managers to receive granular insights about employee productivity and efficiency.
Even without the current healthcare crisis facing our planet, the ability to support a distributed workforce is a smart investment in future growth and agility.
- Siloed Departments and Business Processes
Most businesses will eventually face the problem of siloed departments, data and business processes. Legacy technology investments may have worked well at one time, but it can't support the integration and collaboration required to expand and streamline a growing business.
Data sharing and collaboration are essential to long-term business growth, planning and oversight. A comprehensive ERP system that serves as a single source of truth will enable simple and efficient data sharing among departments, informing important planning and decision-making processes.
Beyond technology sharing, an ERP system can break down the organizational and structural barriers among departments that exist in many traditional businesses. These silos are simply not practical for any forward-thinking organization looking to grow and expand long into the future.
- Manual Processes that are Begging for Automation
This may require some soul searching, particularly for businesses that have operated in a particular way for long periods of time. But if employees are spending hours or days manually logging data and creating reports, it's time to consider an ERP system.
Not only will an integrated ERP solution automate certain data entry tasks along with report and graph generation, it will provide valuable insights and analytics. This information is invaluable for making long-term business planning and growth decisions.
The other benefit of automation is that it frees up your workers to focus on more challenging projects related to long-term company growth and revenue generation. Moving to ERP may require a shift in mindset, but it will pay off in the long run.
- Company Growth Requires Better Enterprise Resource Planning
Companies that have experienced recent growth will benefit greatly from an integrated ERP system. Increased revenue and staff numbers will almost certainly create new organizational challenges, not to mention more complex long-term planning and strategizing.
It may be tempting to just hire more staff to handle those complexities, but that may not be the most efficient or cost effective option. An ERP system can help by automating many routine tasks and can also provide tremendous value and insight.
By freeing up existing staff members to tackle new roles and focus their energy on company planning and revenue generation, an ERP system can offset many of the challenges associated with rapid growth. By implementing an integrated ERP system instead of hiring new staff members, companies can save money over the long term while continuing on a comfortable growth trajectory.
- Outdated Technologies are Creating Challenges
Most companies realize when their legacy hardware and software systems are holding them back. When technology is creating large expenditures for maintenance and management, and routinely failing to get the job done, it's time for an upgrade.
Rather than embarking on a piecemeal upgrade of different technology systems and spending potentially exorbitant amounts of money, it may be the right time for an integrated ERP system.
ERP solutions handle many of the tasks previously managed by disparate technology systems. These include everything from CRM to HR applications to project management, supply chain and logistics. If outdated technology is slowing down your business, ERP may offer a cost-effective solution.
- Customers are Demanding More Complete Interactions
We live in an omnichannel world, and customers are increasingly demanding more complex, omnichannel interactions and experiences. If your business is struggling to satisfy customers using your existing CRM solutions and processes, ERP may be in order.
Integrated ERP systems provide automated background and historical insights about customer behavior, better informing interactions from everyone from sales and marketing to front-line customer service representatives.
Providing strong customer interactions and experiences is one of the leading competitive advantages for any company and a growth driver in today's global economy. If you can't ensure customer happiness and satisfaction with your current technology and processes, ERP may give your business the advantage it needs.
- The Need for a Holistic View of Data and Processes
At the end of the day, the companies with the best long-term planning and strategies will remain competitive and successful. Having a holistic view of all departments, processes and data flowing throughout a business goes a long way toward informing the best long-term decision-making.
An integrated ERP system provides that central view of an entire organization, enabling data to be managed and manipulated in real time to support the best outcomes and growth trajectories. There's no better way to ensure long-term goals are realistic and achievable than with the support of data and reports provided by a comprehensive ERP system.
ERP may seem like a major investment for a growing company. But for organizations struggling with any of the above indicators, it also is the solution to some of a company’s most persistent problems.