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For most small to mid-sized business owners, growth is the ultimate goal. For those businesses that actually accomplish sustained growth, eventually difficult decisions will arise. Just like you eventually outgrew your favorite pair of shoes growing up, your business will eventually outgrow the software systems you’ve put in place to run your day to day operations. But how do you know when it’s time to implement ERP? Here are 5 signs that your business might need to start the ERP software selection process.
You Need Data in Real Time
As a business grows, decisions become more and more complicated. Cash flow becomes a lot less predictable and understanding manufacturing schedules becomes much more difficult to manage with pen and paper. ERP software is designed to aggregate mountains of data and produce valuable business intelligence that allows you to make those complex decisions with the most accurate data possible.
Your Systems Aren’t Integrated or Automated
There are a number of business software systems designed to help small businesses handle operations. And while each are very good at their specific function, none of them do everything, and very few of them integrate with one another. Even worse, a lot of critical operations are relegated to Microsoft Excel. If you are running things on disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other and wasting man hours on manual data entry, then it may be time for ERP.
Manufacturing Costs Are Spiraling out of ControlIt can be hard to keep up with increased business demands, especially when you don’t have the right information in a timely fashion. ERP software can help you optimize inventory levels, maximize the production capacity of your shop floor, provide accurate lead times to your customers and even get the best rates on freight. By integrating and automating all aspects of your business, you can reduce the costs associated with scaling up.
Improve Departmental Collaboration
As we were saying before, there are business software systems that can handle the various functions of each department in your business. But those systems rarely share information or integrate with one another leaving you with multiple silos of data. A fully integrated system means that purchasing can see inventory levels in real time. It means that customer service can access production data to tell customers when their orders will ship more accurately. It means that sales can see outstanding invoices and follow up with their accounts accordingly. All of this can be done from one system with a few clicks of a mouse.
There are a number of ways in which ERP can help a scaling business manage growth efficiently. If you are at a point where ERP is becoming a serious discussion in your organization and would like a business process assessment to help determine your needs you can call The Attivo Group at 877-428-8586 or contact us here.