ERP (enterprise resource management) is vital for business growth, but what it is and how do I know my business needs it?

Quick and proper decision making is more critical than ever. We need to be able to respond speedily in markets that are growing again. To respond quickly and appropriately we need to have fast access to dependable information. What are my stock levels like? What margins am I making on business transacted yesterday? How can I prepare faster for management meetings each month? Are my sales forecasts anywhere close to reality and can I depend on them when making purchasing decisions or planning manufacturing? These and other questions are constantly in our minds when making daily business decisions.

It can be difficult to make good decisions when we are not in possession of the right facts or information to back those decisions up. Our decisions are often based on intuition and experience. Experience and a feel for the business may have served us well in the past but, today, the competition is moving too fast and margins are too tight to allow us the luxury of making mistakes. ERP is designed, from the ground up, to resolve these issues. ERP integrates all operational areas of your business into one system to make sure that you always have a 360 degree view.

The following are five of the classic signs that you are ready for ERP:-

1. Your business systems are reporting different values for what should be the same information.

You look to your stock control system to see what you have available to sell or what you need to purchase but the value of stock differs to what is in your accounting system. Your business systems are not integrated and there is significant double data entry taking place.

2. Your sales people don’t have easy access to customer history and stock levels.

You need your sales team to be able to see, not only what customers have bought in the past but also what their payment history is like. They need to know what promises they can make about delivery times. Sales people are struggling to get this information quickly and often have to phone in to get the up to the minute information.

3. It’s increasingly difficult to get the information you want out of your current systems.

You are about to make an investment decision involving a certain range of goods. You need to see volume and margin history over the past six months. Your accounts team tell you that it will take two weeks to get you the information you are looking for. That will push you into a difficult delay or force you to make a decision without the full facts. It could also be an expensive process to get that information tying up one or more of your staff in a costly information gathering process.

4. Monthly Management Meetings are being delayed because you cannot get accurate monthly accounts prepared on time. 

Preparing monthly accounts is taking longer as your business grows and becomes more complex. You get the feeling that you are becoming more remote from the timely detail that you need to run the business.

5. The cost of operating your current systems keeps increasing
You are running several systems to manage your business. The internal expertise required to run these systems is becoming increasingly expensive and technical difficulties often cause delays in integrating data correctly between the systems.

Written by Joe Kelly: ERP Director, ProStratgey 

If you feel your business is ready for the move to ERP, contact us today to see how ProStrategy can help with your project!

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