Is it time for you to invest in ERP software?
As a business grows, managing processes and information can become a major challenge. Companies often invest in different software systems to simplify management. Although these can initially be useful in terms of reducing the complexities of running a business, they are often only a short to medium term solution and can even cause problems in their own right. Read on to see if your business has outgrown its existing management software and if it’s time to consider an ERP software system…
- The software systems you have in place don’t talk to each other
Many businesses use a number of different software systems and this frequently increases as a company grows and the need to automate processes and gather information increases. Although a single software system may be sufficient for managing the department where it is used, the information it holds may be invisible to the rest of the business. ‘Data silos’ – where different departments and personnel can only access information related to their business area – are commonplace in growing business and are a source of misunderstanding between different teams.
For a business to operate as a single entity, it is essential that business can flow freely around all departments. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like Encore from Anagram Systems holds all information in one place eliminating data silos at a stroke.
- It’s difficult to analyse information about your business
Effective business intelligence is all about analysing information to make informed decisions but if you can’t gather data in the first place, you and your team members will remain in the dark. Encore consolidates and centralises all business information within a single repository, enabling you to view information relating to any area of your business quickly and simply.
Encore includes advanced reporting functionality which enables you to visualise data, making it easier for you and your teams to understand.
- Financial management is increasingly time-consuming and complex
As a business grows, the number of individual transactions can grow substantially and with this the challenge of ensuring they are accurately recorded. Effective bookkeeping and accounting is only possible if your financial management team have complete visibility of all incomings and outgoings and are not reliant on other teams to provide this information to them. Encore ERP software enables accounts team to gather the information they need to maintain accurate financial records and provide the reports provided by senior management and third parties such as HMRC.
Although most businesses have dedicated accounting software these days, a lack of integration with other business applications can make accurate accounting unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming.
- Sales and customer services are suffering
In a business’ early years, when the volume of product sales may be relatively modest, stock control and inventory management is something that is easily manageable. As sales grow, however, there is a risk that customer demand can outweigh stock availability, resulting in disappointed customers and a damaged business reputation. Although a sales and warehousing team may be using software systems that automate record-keeping and order processing, a lack of integration between them can be highly problematic.
The alternative is an ERP software system like Encore which consolidates all information within a single repository. This means sales personnel can view stock levels before making promises to customers and purchasing staff have complete visibility of what products and components are required and when. Effective resource planning enables a business to plan ahead for the future and avoid any nasty surprises.
- Lack of mobile access to software
These days, it’s key that your teams can access the software they need to manage and drive your business from wherever they are working from. This is especially the case for sales staff who need to be able to access and update prospect and account information when they on the move. Their ability to close new business and spot upsell opportunities is underpinned by access to data as well as electronic marketing collateral which they need on demand when they are speaking to prospects.
Your senior management team also need access to data when they need it – often at times when they are travelling between meetings – and easy access to up to date information is key to their decision making. Encore is accessible via a range of devices – including smartphones and tablets – from wherever internet access is available.
- IT Management – time consuming and expensive
Running multiple software systems is expensive and puts pressure on your IT infrastructure, including the people who manage it. Annual software and support contract renewals are costly and you may also find yourself spending money hardware upgrades and having to employ more IT staff.
Reducing the number of software systems you use frees up IT resources and reduces the costs related to running multiple solutions. By adopting ERP software like Encore, you can remove the need for multiple systems, hardware costs and the need to employ more IT staff than necessary.