Switching to an integrated ERP system is a big step for many businesses but it’s also a sign of success. As your business expands, you may have outgrown your current software and systems and need to look for an alternative.
Some businesses are apprehensive about the time and costs involved in implementing an ERP system. That’s understandable, as traditional ERP software can be inflexible and take a significant amount of resources to implement.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. Business management software offers the benefits of ERP without those drawbacks, so you can integrate your systems and reap the benefits for your business. Here are 8 signs that it’s time to make the change:
1. Multiple data sets
If you’re running separate finance, sales and marketing systems, you’ll know how much time and effort it takes to keep your data up to date. Simple processes like setting up a new customer have to be done in multiple places and you then have to keep each of those data sets up to date. Automated integration can help, but only if the data is in the right format. Imagine how much time you could save if you had a single system?
2. Lack of insights
With all those pieces of software, it’s almost impossible to get any real insights about your business. Even simple measures, such as the average time from initial contact to payment, can be hard to track when the data sits partly in your CRM system and partly in your finance software.
With multiple systems, managers often struggle to see where the business could be more efficient or to understand the business processes fully. By using business management software, all data is integrated, allowing managers to spot inefficiencies and improve processes to remain competitive.
3. Lack of collaboration between departments
Departments need to share information if your company is to perform at its best. But data is often in silos and owned by different teams. This means you either need to run reports to share information or people simply don’t have the information they need to make informed decisions. A single system lets everyone access the data they need, while keeping confidential information safe with tiered permissions.
4. Not being able to provide information to customers in a timely way
If you’ve ever been on the phone to a customer and been unable to answer their questions, you’ll know how embarrassing it can be. Excellent customer service improves retention and profitability and your software should be able to support this. Having all your customer data (from project and product information to invoices and contact details) in one place lets you offer the best service possible. It also allows sales teams to understand the financial status of accounts, so they can adapt terms and offers based on actual payment data.
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5. Large amounts of customisation to get your existing software to work
If you have a range of custom plugins and have paid for expensive development work just to get your software to work, it may be time to upgrade. While there will be costs associated with the new system, it should be flexible enough to grow with your business and support your way of working.
6. Trouble in meeting schedules
Do you know when work is in the pipeline? Does your sales team overpromise for delivery? With multiple systems, it’s hard for different teams to get the information they need about the production schedule, leading to delays and lost business.
7. Issues with managing inventory
Too much or not enough? Both can have a massive impact on your business, your cash flow and your relationship with your customers. By using the data from your CRM and finance systems, you can make better predictions about the volume of inventory you’ll need and manage stock accordingly.
8. Lack of access when working remotely
If your software only works on the desktop, it’s likely to be holding your business back. Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that companies who are leaders in their field are 49% more likely to integrate real-time data for mobile workers. Switching to business management software could give you an advantage over your competitors and help you to become a leader too.
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