Whether your business is small or quickly growing, it’s important to think toward the future. For many business owners, this means thinking globally. In a world where digital technology has changed how we do business every day, it’s not difficult to see why our business models have changed along with it. The way we communicate is key. The way we integrate technology into our supply chain systems is vital.
No matter if your business has just started up, or is quickly growing, it’s not usually a matter of if you’ll need to use ERP or enterprise resource software, but when. A growing company in this digitally run world is bound to generate a hefty amount of data. Between data generated to data sources to track, there’s a lot to get sorted.
As a person who deals with consumer data in my daily business, I know first hand the impracticalities that come with trying to manage data over multiple platforms on your own (or with a small team and inefficient software). Let’s face it. Without the right tools and training, tracking the right data isn’t only time consuming, but costly. Mismanagement of data can be detrimental to a business that has just found its foothold in the world.
Although no one can pinpoint the exact moment that a small company is ready to take the leap into more complex data management systems or enterprise resource software, there are a few key things to consider and spot in your own business that might help you recognize when the moment to forge ahead has come.
#1: Your Current Software is Hindering Your Workflow
A.K.A, you’ve outgrown it. It’s not uncommon for software to work for the first years of your startup and then, suddenly and swiftly, that software becomes a major hindrance. Growing pains are normal, and it’s more common than not for smaller companies to hold onto their familiar software for longer than they need. If you see the signs of outgrowing your software, and it doesn’t serve a purpose anymore, it’s time to move onto something better, like an ERP.
#2:Your Data Workflow Has Become Nonexistent
It’s safe to say that for almost any modern business, big or small, data is the lifeblood. But what if you’re still processing your data though an entry-level or outdated application? If you’re cutting off the source, you’re basically dooming your business to fail. An entry-level software may have been enough to hold onto the volume of data you started with—and it might have saved you substantial money at the start—but there will be a point when you just need more. Don’t be afraid of the price tag that comes with a more robust system. It’ll do more harm than good to shy away from a higher-level application to try and make do with a system that doesn’t suit your needs.
That Sounds Fine & Dandy, but Why an ERP?
Okay, great. So you realize you need a system with quite a bit more horsepower, but you might be wondering, why an ERP? Simply put, and ERP is designed especially to store hefty amounts of data, and not just in one area or another. The fact is, and ERP can handle the data that occurs across the board of your operation. From accounting and manufacturing to HR and beyond. With that, you’re allowing your business and subsequent data management some room to grow.
#3: You’re Unhappy with the Hefty Bill
The biggest issue many small to medium-sized businesses begin to notice once they’ve obtained significant growth is a spike in their system fees. Sure, you might have felt comfortable with the bill before, but now that you’ve outgrown it, you’re spending far more than you to on complicated integrations to streamline your ever-important data. If you’re not currently using an ERP, the chances are high that you’re not being efficient with your data or your finances. Integrating systems across multiple departments takes great effort: from training and labor to operations and licensing fees. If you’re lucky enough for those various integrations to work seamlessly together, you’re still likely to pay much more than you ought to be, yearly.
Where Does the ERP Come in & Why Do You Need It?
Although there are differences between various ERP systems, one thing is certain, ERPs are built to streamline your data across the board. This means lowering general costs, reducing the time spent training, reducing user error, and lowering the energy it takes to maintain multiple systems.