Wiise: When should you implement an ERP?

The following article has been created by Wiise. View the original article here.

Enterprise Resource Planning, Unpacked

If you own or work in an organisation where key functions feel disconnected and basic day-to-day tasks feel frustratingly inefficient, chances are you’re using a solution you’ve outgrown and need to switch to an ERP system as soon as possible. Yet somehow, you keep putting off making the decision to implement an ERP, holding your business back as a result. 

This article will debunk the three ERP adoption myths that actively prevent businesses from moving past outdated business solutions. It will also highlight the five signs that tell business owners and organisational leaders that it’s time to invest in an ERP implementation.

If you don’t take away anything else from this article, just remember this: as a small or mid-sized business with growth ambitions, it’s not a matter of if you’ll need an ERP solution, but when

3 ERP implementation myths debunked

1. ‘My business isn’t big enough to need an ERP yet’  

Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, you don’t have to be a large or complex business to start thinking about implementing an ERP solution. The reason to avoid the ‘not-big-enough-for-ERP’ trap is that the larger your organisation gets, the more complex your processes and therefore your technology stack will be.

Overhauling your foundational system after you’ve reached a significant level of growth and complexity will be a lot more challenging and end up costing you more, both in terms of downtime and capital.  

Putting ERP infrastructure in place when you first start seeing signs of growth will not only be so much easier, it will also end up being a lot more cost-effective. Modern SaaS-based cloud ERPs are scalable which means you can start small and expand the scope of the solution to suit your needs.

2. ‘I don’t have the time to go through an ERP implementation now’ 

When you think of implementing new software, do you imagine an IT team storming your office, and taking over your computers, not allowing you to do any work while they physically install the ERP solution?

Cloud-based ERP solutions are faster to implement as they don’t require any changes to your hardware. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2023, 65% of ERP deployments will be executed predominantly by remote rather than on-site implementation teams.

Fully managed ERP vendors will be able to connect you with solution partners who are well-versed in the needs of growing businesses, as well as the industry you belong to, and will be able to ensure minimum disruption to your business as they deploy your ERP solution. 

3. ‘I can’t afford to implement an ERP at this time.’

What if we told you that your existing business solution made up of numerous applications and standalone solutions is costing you a lot more than it would if you switched to a cloud ERP solution?   

Think about the multiple subscriptions you’re currently paying for as well as the IT costs every time you need a hardware or software upgrade or security updates. 

In Wiise’sprevious article, Wiise explained how the responsibility of maintaining your ERP solution lies with the ERP vendor which allows you to treat the cost of your cloud ERP solution as operating expenses (OPEX) rather than capital expense (CAPEX).

Secondly, modern cloud ERPs are designed to help users realise business faster thanks to clever automation, built-in business intelligence as well as a host of features and integrations for every kind of business. This means, in the long run, the benefits of a cloud ERP will outweigh the costs so the sooner you implement it, the faster you’ll be able to see returns on your investment.

5 signs it’s time to invest in an ERP system

Now that you know that an ERP solution isn’t just for large enterprises and that implementing it isn’t as daunting as you thought or cost you as much, how do you make the case for implementing an ERP?

Whether you’re a business owner talking to your financial controller about the need to overhaul your business software or an employee who’s looking to streamline and automate your current processes, if any of the below are familiar, then we can assure you that your organisation will benefit from an ERP solution. 

  1. Inefficient processes and your staff waste time on admin

    If your employees have to physically update information in several places every time there is a transaction or need to manually bring together data from multiple places in a spreadsheet doubling as a central database, ask yourself, is that the best use of their time?

    When your various solutions don’t integrate with each other, really what’s happening is you’re paying your staff to do data entry work.

    Implementing an ERP solution ensures that data entered just once flows right through the system, giving everyone access to updated and accurate information. It also automates processes like order management and payments and can be set up to notify team members to complete certain tasks. Not only does this increase information accuracy but makes processes a lot quicker.

  2. Uncertainty when making decisions because you don’t have visibility 

    If you’re often only hearing about issues well after they have occurred, you’re putting yourself at a constant disadvantage. Built-in analytics in modern cloud ERP solutions turn the information already in your system into actionable insights that help you see everything from your cash runway to how various departments are performing and more. 

    When you invest in an ERP system, you’re investing in real-time business intelligence that helps you be prepared for unforeseeable events.

  3. Your current system just can’t cope with the workload

    While lots of businesses struggle with performance issues that are common in legacy systems, not all are able to see or quantify the negative impact these outdated technologies could be having on the growth of their business. Legacy ERP systems, accounting solutions, and spreadsheets that may have done the job once will struggle to cope if your customer base grows or transaction volumes increase or you decide you want to add on new tools to the mix.

    With enterprise-grade cloud capabilities, modern ERP solutions have the ability to process unlimited transactions, store unlimited items of inventory and more. Leading cloud ERP vendors also roll out continuous enhancements including platform upgrades and new features, which ensures that you’re never relying on an outdated solution to run your business. 

  4. Your IT infrastructure is high maintenance and costs too much

    Not only does using standalone solutions to manage key business processes impact productivity and create blind spots that hamper decision-making, it also comes with a hefty price tag.

    In addition to customisation and integration costs, you’ll also be paying for software patches and security upgrades.

    With a cloud ERP solution, you wont have to pay for system and security updates and integrating new tools and solutions as your business evolves will be a lot easier with APIs.

  5. Your disconnected systems are impacting customer service

    When you use separate systems for sales, inventory, and CRM, you risk negatively impacting your customer service. Without access to the same, up-to-date information across the board, your customer service teams might struggle to answer customer’s queries about stock availability and the status of their orders and might need to check with different departments.

    A centralised database that captures up-to-date information from across the business and makes it accessible to key team members can ensure your customers have a positive experience every time which allows them to see your business as being reliable and trustworthy. 

Why the time to invest in a cloud ERP is ‘now’

A cloud-based ERP system not only resolves your most pressing challenges but also sets your business up for growth. With visibility over every part of your business , your teams will be able to work more efficiently and with a lot less friction. With built-in analytics generating real-time insights for you, you’ll be in a better position to steer your business in the direction you want it to go. 

Making the decision to finally implement an ERP system may feel like a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Get in touch with our team to find out what implementing an ERP solution will look like for your business.

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