Web Portal

Warning Signs You Need ERP

4/1/2013 2:49:36 AM Posted by Erin Carrather

If you are an expanding small business, chances are you’ve faced a dilemma on deciding how to invest for the greatest return. As time progresses and you transition out of startup mode, you’ll notice that ad-hoc reporting does not produce the same results it once did. Similarly, chances are you will experience hindered growth and profitability. The solution to these business challenges lies in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Chances are you’re stumbling along working off of a combination of spreadsheets and disparate systems to store your data. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “ERP is too complicated and how can we afford it?” when the real question you should be asking yourself is, “Can we afford not to invest in ERP?”

Neglecting to invest in appropriate enterprise business systems can significantly hinder the progression of your business in the right direction. Some warning signs that you need to invest in ERP include:

  • Loss of Control – if you are working with manual processes, have data scattered in various filing cabinets and spreadsheets being touched by multiple sets of hands, you run a serious risk of introducing errors and losing control.
  • Clueless About Expansion – You may know that you want to add new segments and expand your organization, but without visibility into where, when, and how you made your best profit, you’re at a standstill.
  • Can’t Meet Customer Demand – As inventory levels rise, you slip more and more in terms of meeting customer demand and requested ship dates. You need to have the functionality to better forecast and produce product in a timely matter, but don’t currently have those capabilities.
  • Cash is Tight – Without the ability to keep a close eye on cash and liquidity with your current business system, you struggle with financing supply chain costs or investing in growth.
  • Lack of IT Staff – Without experienced IT professionals, technology will leave you behind

Ultimately, you want to be able to manage complexity, increase cash flow, and forecast to achieve a competitive advantage. As complexity increases, so do your requirements and regulations. The table stakes increase with growth and the global economy is making it more challenging to maintain a competitive advantage. In a performance-based culture like ours, it’s crucial to have strong processes, audit trails and relatable data that is immediately accessible. Neither spreadsheets nor non-integrated, outdated applications can compete with the added value an integrated ERP system can bring to the table.

The overall goal of ERP is cost savings, but you need to spend money in order to save money. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where I will go into further detail on the benefits of ERP and why now is the time to act on it. Contact Third Wave and find out how to position your organization for future growth!