Is Your Business Ready for an ERP System?

As your business expands, the complexity of your operations increases along with it. Chances are your systems and processes aren’t producing the same results they once did. Perhaps you no longer have an accurate idea of how much inventory is in your warehouse. Or maybe it’s becoming more challenging keeping up with orders and your customer satisfaction levels are wavering because of it. Or, are you noticing that it takes longer to reconcile financials?

If any of this sounds familiar, it may be time to consider an ERP manufacturing software system. Here are the top 5 warning signs your business is ready to upgrade to an ERP system:

  1. You’re running a variety of independent systems (Islands of Information), creating weakness in your operation. Take a hard look at what you’re using to run your business. How does each department record, track and process information? An accounting software package? Separate spreadsheets? Does your business use one system for accounting, another for entering customer orders and yet another for tracking orders? Does information have to be entered and then re-entered again and again? If you’re working off a combination of spreadsheets and disparate systems, ERP is the solution. It integrates all business processes, providing accurate, real-time information, breaking up logjams and allowing your staff to be more productive, and most importantly provides you with “One Source of the Truth.”
  2. Financial reporting and accounting are inefficient. Do you depend on paper-based invoices and sales orders to run your business? If so, your employees are likely spending a lot of time manually entering them into different systems. Aside from being inefficient, this process allows for a greater possibility of user error. Just think about how much time is being wasted on tasks that an ERP solution can handle in an instant. Additionally, if it’s taking too long to reconcile financial information across all systems, an ERP solution can make a significant improvement. This information provided in a timelier and more accurate manner will also help your credibility with your bank.
  3. You don’t have immediate access to key data. Poor access to critical information is a clear indicator that your business systems aren’t up to par. If it’s becoming difficult to keep track of tasks, resources and projects, it may be time to consider an ERP system. Moreover, if you don’t have immediate access to key performance indicators (KPIs), such as ROI and sales margins, your business is not running as efficient and effective as it could.
  4. Your customers are not as happy as they should be. Inventory management is often one of the biggest challenges faced by growing companies. When sales, inventory and customer information are maintained separately, setbacks will occur that ultimately lead to unsatisfied customers. For example, if you run out of a particular product and your salespeople don’t know about it, they may end up taking orders they can’t fulfill. Ask yourself this—do your salespeople need to call someone in production before they can respond to a customer inquiry about a new or existing order? If the answer is yes, it’s time to consider ERP.
  5. IT is a nightmare. Managing several different systems across your business can be an obstacle for even the brightest IT department. As your business grows, customizing, maintaining, upgrading and integrating these systems will become incredibly costly, and the possibility of data accuracy errors grows exponentially. Furthermore, as your business grows, your IT needs will only become more complex. Rather than adding more complexity to an already inefficient system, an ERP solution streamlines processes and allows IT to react quickly to changing business needs.
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