Many businesses have outdated processes and systems in place, often because they have grown, and outgrown their original business software. As they grow, they become a victim of their own success and the need to mitigate business risk becomes ever more pressing.
While their original book-keeping systems, such as Sage 50 or similar, was excellent at handling their needs when the company was small, it can buckle at the knees as the company grows. It may no longer be able to keep up with the demands placed on it, creating additional business risk. What are these business risks and how might they affect your company?
Disparate systems are a big source of pain for many small businesses. The simple book-keeping system that was fine in the early days can’t handle CRM, sales and stock control, meaning that other systems need to be brought into the mix. Very often these systems don’t ‘talk to each other’, meaning that staff must spend precious time duplicating data manually between systems to ensure they have the information they need.
Creating reports becomes even more difficult with disparate data, increasing manual workloads while creating the potential for data inaccuracies – after all, who has never typed an additional number or put a decimal place where it doesn’t belong? We also need to consider the time wasted in having to manually review data to find the inevitable mistake when those reports don’t look quite like they should! When you consider these issues, it’s easy to see how integrated ERP solutions can have an immediate and significant impact on the bottom line.
Communication and knowledge
Following on from disparate systems, it is easy to see that lack of communication between systems significantly impacts accuracy and efficiency. Not having to ‘search’ for information saves time, while an integrated ERP solution, such as SAP Business One, provides a single source of truth in just a few clicks.
IT problems and associated costs
IT costs make up a substantial proportion of business overheads, particularly when IT staff have various legacy systems to manage. The potential for errors is much higher when having to constantly spend time customising, integrating, and upgrading systems and platforms, not to mention the waste of time that could be put to more productive use helping to future-proof the business. If your business outsources IT support to external companies or contractors, this can also be a significant overhead that can be negated by implementing a comprehensive, cloud-based ERP solution. Running end-of-life software, coupled with the potential for hardware failures, is a massive risk to take, which can result in devastating and costly data loss. Inefficient IT environments make it more and more difficult for the IT team to support your business needs, but this is what happens when your requirements expand beyond the capabilities of your software.
This is one of the biggest risks faced by businesses today and can have catastrophic consequences. With data breaches, malware and ransomware attacks becoming ever more common, the potential costs to a business can be huge. In financial terms, not being able to fulfil orders and operate to full capacity due to inaccessible systems can be devastating, but the longer-term damage to a company’s brand and reputation may be insurmountable for smaller businesses. It is essential to implement the most secure solutions to negate these risks as much as possible.
Failing to meet customer expectations
Every successful business places the customer at the heart of everything they do, but with disparate systems that can’t keep up with the pace of modern technology, customers may not be able to access the information they need to ensure a good customer experience. Information on stock levels, delivery schedules and returns are difficult to access, as well as issues caused by incorrect delivery information and errors caused by duplicating data between systems. In most industries, there is plenty of competition out there so ensuring the best customer experience is essential for future success.
How can a comprehensive ERP solution help?
Forward-thinking businesses realise that investing in their IT environment with a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution, such as SAP Business One, will really help support their long-term success. As a solution that provides detailed insight into every operational area, information to support strategic decision making is available at the touch of a button. Processes are automated, manual administration is massively reduced or eliminated, accuracy and efficiency is increased, and staff can focus on more meaningful tasks that have a bigger business impact.
To find out more about SAP Business One, and how it can help your organisation automate and streamline processes, create efficiencies, and save time and money, please contact our friendly team now.