Can You Afford To Ignore ERP?
Can You Afford To Ignore ERP?
New research shows that ERP software heavily impacts the success of UK organisations. As businesses without ERP are rapidly falling behind, both competitively and financially, it’s time for you to be proactive. The cost of doing nothing is simply too high.
The ABC of ERP
If you’re a bit late to the party, it will be worth knowing that Enterprise Resource Planning software, commonly referred to by its acronym, is an essential tool for organisational management. Most businesses face countless processes, systems and activities daily - not to mention, the vast amount of workflows and procedures that may or may not be fully automated. With an ERP in place, you can easily and effortlessly track and manage data across various departments and locations, covering areas from accounting to production, to CRM and beyond.
In a nutshell, ERP allows you to achieve full automation by streamlining daily tasks and freeing up staff. Not only will it boost productivity, but it will also reduce operating expenses. And what can possibly be better than that?
An integral part of your business
In a recent CIO magazine survey, a variety of small to medium-sized businesses were polled on their implementation and use of ERP. And what did they discover?
Unsurprisingly, it revealed that a majority of UK businesses considered themselves to be “completely married to and dependent upon their ERP systems”. Additionally, 85% agreed that their ERP was essential to their business - with a handful even quoting that they “could not live without them”.
These businesses are reaping the many benefits of ERP. Despite this, some organisations are still on the fence when it comes to investing in software. While not necessarily known to be cheap, it seems unlikely that a software can save you money in the long run. This, however, is exactly what can happen.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits:
Most ERP systems will have one thing in common: they will enable you to share and edit data in real-time, as well as improve your security and access. You will no longer need to share data across various systems - instead, all will be compiled, stored, shared and accessed in one single system. This means that you can easily share and edit information with your colleagues.
ERP will make it both easier and faster for your team to generate reports, including everything from expense statements, income data to customized reports based on metrics and current trends. With instant access to important data, it will be easy for both you and your team to make good decisions as quickly as possible.
Last, but certainly not least: ERP can also lead to better customer satisfaction. If used for marketing tasks, ERP can include efficient solutions for lead generation, customer acquisition, and customer retention. In a nutshell, it will help you communicate better with your clients - throughout all the stages of the process.
It’s time to implement ERP
Still hesitant about investing? It’s time to get off the fence once and for all. But don’t just take our word for it: Nick Castellina recently published “The Cost of Doing Nothing”, a report in which he presented the results of a recent ERP research study.
In the survey, Castellina discovered that those using the latest version of ERP software tend to perform better in DSO, on-time delivery, internal schedule compliance, inventory accuracy, and customer satisfaction than those without. Additionally, those with new versions of ERP announced that their operations were majorly simplified as they could access their system from mobile devices, enabling them instant access to business analytics, eCommerce support and social business capabilities.
Do you understand your needs?
The report also reveals that a lot of UK businesses gravely underestimate their needs.
When asked why they have yet to implement an ERP solution, 49% claimed that their business was too small, and 26% revealed a rather disturbing laissez-faire attitude by claiming they had been able to work without it in the past. While an “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” attitude can surely benefit you in some aspects of life, it can be a dangerous response in the world of business. Castellina describes these businesses as “naive” and explains that: “These organisations either do not plan on growing in the coming years, or they are unaware of how their current technology environment is holding them back”.
Interestingly enough, the organisations without an ERP solution in place admitted to suffer from several technological liabilities, such as: Redundant data (35%), system that can’t interact with one another (33%), inaccurate data (23%) and lack of collaborative systems (23%). These are all challenges that easily could have been addressed by a software solution.
Don’t forget to upgrade
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find an abundance of businesses that already have implemented an ERP solution - but is missing out on the full value, either because they are using an old version or because they have invested in a solution that’s not right for them.
So how do you know when it’s time to upgrade? The organisations polled gave the following answers to why they had decided to upgrade their current solutions
41% said they lacked features in their current solution
22% said their solution was unable to integrate with other programs
12% said they lacked qualified resources to maintain and support their current system
So what separates these businesses from the industry leaders? Castellina is clear: “Top performers look to their ERP vendor as a partner that will help them with business innovation, providing access - to industry best practices and technology - to help them scale over time”.
If you’re still on the fence, remember that inaction comes with a great cost. Whether you have yet to invest in ERP, or you are running an outdated and inadequate version, the short-term benefits are far outweighed by the long-term consequences of waiting. The top industry performers make sure they continuously upgrade and optimize their ERP software, thereby making sure that they are all ahead of the competition.
The numbers are clear: If you want to beat your competition, you cannot afford to wait.
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