If your business is growing in size and complexity, you and your teams are probably spending too much time on manual processes, in and out of Excel spreadsheets and juggling multiple systems to run your business. You also might have extra staff whose roles are dedicated to full-time admin.
There comes a time when your business starts to outgrow its existing finance or operational systems. And if your current systems are struggling to keep up with growing complexities, you may not be future-proofing your business. So what happens next? Businesses that want to scale usually consider moving to ERP software.
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It’s the software businesses use to bring together and manage all their operations and processes in one place. ERP software is the next level up from accounting software.
It’s sophisticated technology that can run any number of your operations – including accounting and CRM, payroll, inventory, supply chain and distribution, project management and more. It’s the next logical step up for businesses looking to scale or those outgrowing their existing software.
1. You can see exactly where your cash is going, in deal, and plan ahead
Clarity over your expenses is essential for a scaling business. Money can be tight, so you need to have a true picture of your financial position at any given time and be able to make spending decisions confidently.
So a single source of truth is a must, no matter how big or small you are. Whatever part of the business your people are in, they’ll be able to access the same, up to date information to do their work. Decisions are easier, processes are simpler and confidence in the data a no brainer.
Businesses that are looking to scale need to see exactly where their expenses are going. Tagging and tracking business expenses accurately across cost centres will give you detailed reporting just when you need it. Plus, a true reflection of your spend and profit and loss across the whole organisation.
2. You can save head count and re-invest in your business
Running a business of any size is complex. Older, basic systems tend to mean certain manual tasks are an unavoidable part of the day. Manually running reports, keeping track of stock and consolidating transactions take a lot of time and people power. And they’re prone to mistakes. And siloed systems mean that getting a true picture of how your business is running is impossible.
You may be hiring more full-time administration staff to manage your finance or operations. It’s a way of plugging a leaking hole, and many businesses think hiring more staff to manage finance and operations will help them grow. But it’s a short-term solution.
3. You’ll get greater transparency and see the true health of your business in real-time
A centralised ERP system gives everyone access to the same information at the same time, when and where they need it. It’s a great way for your people to work together better. You don’t need to spend time consolidating and checking data across multiple systems. And projects have ready access to a single source of truth of company information.
This saves time and gives you confidence in the accuracy and security of your data. Entering information into different systems means human error is a big risk, not to mention the wasted time. Do it once and do it right and get on with growing your business.
By bringing clarity to every part of your business, your team can see exactly how invoicing impacts inventory, where you’re spending your cash most and where you can gain efficiencies
4. ERP improves customer service and helps attract more clients
If you’re struggling to produce and deliver your goods on time or you can’t easily give your customers details of their order, cloud ERP can help by giving you customer insights instantly in one centralised system. Taking a customer-focused approach is the only way to keep customers coming back for more.
Many ERP solutions have some CRM (customer relationship management) functionality or are integrated with a CRM system, giving you easy access to customer information across the business. Seeing your customers’ order history and having instant access to their details helps you proactively give them what they want. It helps you provide updates to customers in real-time, and chase those overdue bills.
By managing sales opportunities and driving engagement, you’ll see a big boost for your sales pipeline and forecasting. And understanding orders and revenue will help you make business decisions confidently. In such a competitive market, keeping your existing customers happy means your future customers will stay happy too. And in an ever-changing landscape, businesses can’t afford to lose too many customers. Customer service matters.
5. Improve efficiencies today to future-proof your business for tomorrow
There are plenty of cloud ERP systems to choose from, and yes, there’s an initial investment. But once you’ve made the leap, you can move your finances and the majority of your processes all into one system.
That means you can get rid of older and less efficient systems, saving you licence and maintenance costs. And streamlining the way your people access what they need in the one hub. This is going to help save time by not having to log in and out of (not to mention organise training on) multiple systems and tools. One system, one training program, one vendor. Good right?
Cloud ERP means the software is housed in a cloud environment as opposed to on-premise. This is just like the apps on your phone, you can access it anytime, anywhere, with just an internet connection.