Is it Time to Move from Spreadsheets and Disparate Systems to ERP?
By now, you are probably well aware of the benefits enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can bring to your business. While the promise of improved profitability, improved control over the business, and increased efficiency are certainly desirable, how do you know if your business is ready to move to ERP software? ERP is, after all, a significant investment in time, effort, and cost, and you don’t want to make the move until your business is fully ready.
Before you adopt ERP, take the time to evaluate your current systems and processes to gain a thorough understanding of your current strengths and shortcomings. This will help you investigate your need for an ERP solution and aid you in the ERP software selection process, should your company decide it’s ready to make the ERP investment. Take a look at the following characteristics of businesses that are ready to move from spreadsheets and disparate systems to a consolidated financial and project management system:
- You have a vast amount of data, but you don’t know what to do with it.
Most businesses bring in a massive amount of business-related data every day. When this data is harnessed efficiently, it can provide insight into a company’s performance and enhance decision-making. Does your current system (or systems) provide you with instant access to business-critical data from all across your company? Does it summarize this data into reports that your business executives can use, or do you have to mine the information further? If your current solution does not provide you with all of the information you need in an applicable way, it may be time to look for an ERP system. An ERP system will be able to provide your company with more critical insight into all departments, as well as improve your business processes.
- Your finance department is draining your profits.
In order for your business to be successful, it must be profitable. In order to remain profitable, you need to make sure that your financial processes are not jeopardizing your profits. In order to prevent this, your company needs to have a real-time integrated financial workflow that automatically collects billing data from all parts of the company. This will provide – and ensure – a centralized process for all financial activities, including month end, invoicing, supplier payments, and payroll. The purpose of the back office financial processes is to enhance a company’s profit, not inhibit it. If your current system does not support integrated financial processes and provide a centralized financial workflow, you need to switch to ERP.
- Your employee productivity levels are low.
Every business knows that managing your employee productivity is critical to reducing costs and remaining successful. In order to properly manage your productivity rates, you need to analyze your employee performance compared to project costs and timelines. In order to achieve this, you need a comprehensive workflow system that can provide executives and project managers with the information they need at any point of time during the project to ensure that they project is on target. An ERP system will consolidate this data and provide executives with the information they need on projects when they need it, including resource bandwidth and billable rates. By providing you with this information, you can effectively monitor whether or not the right people are working on the right projects at the right time.
- You are still relying on Excel spreadsheets for financial management and reporting.
This is probably the biggest sign that your company is ready to switch to ERP. If your company is still relying heavily on Excel spreadsheets despite significant growth, it’s time to invest in ERP software. Research shows that spreadsheets error-ridden and inefficient, a combination capable of bringing hardships to any company. Your company’s future is too important to leave in the hands of inaccurate and untimely information in Excel or other legacy systems. Switch to ERP to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your financial management and reporting.
If the above characteristics can be used to describe your business, it’s time to begin the ERP search. We are a Sage 100 ERP (formerly Sage MAS 90/200), Sage 300 ERP, and Acumatica certified reseller and can help you review your current system and processes to determine what features your company will need in an ERP software solution. If you’re ready to take the ERP plunge, give us a call today!
If you would like more information about getting the most out of your ERP software investment, download our whitepaper, “Maximizing the Return on Your ERP Investment”.