We’re swiftly reaching the end of the year, an ideal time for business leaders and strategists to start outlining the challenges they want to tackle after the holidays. This article is meant to help decision makers who often get caught up in the day-to-day operations of their companies, to take the time to plan for the future.
So, let’s take a time-out together and look at three key aspects of your business that indicate it’s time to look at putting an ERP solution in place.
Experiencing growth is an exciting time for businesses of all sizes: adding new headcount to increase production; opening new locations to expand operations; maybe moving into new markets which weren’t available before.
But growth also comes with its challenges. Growth puts a heavier load on your business’s current infrastructure, which will rapidly bring two key issues to the forefront:
- Is your current infrastructure capable of scaling up to accommodate a larger business?
- Can your infrastructure sustain the increased demands without breaking down?
These two factors, scalability and sustainability, are critical components that can determine success or failure after achieving significant business growth.
Here’s a helpful exercise: before the end of the year, sit down with a blank piece of paper and make a list of the important systems your business relies on. You might also draw how information flows between departments to your laptop. Then take a moment to consider how these systems would manage to keep up with elevated business growth in the new year.
Are your systems scalable? Are your processes sustainable? These issues are top considerations when we at VistaVu start working with our customers in crafting their new business management solutions. We get to know the ins and outs of their business, assist in identifying areas of improvement, and build a custom solution that meets all their requirements.
Here is a real-life example featuring one of our customers. Vandstrom, a fluid separation and purification company, needed a way to consolidate their information to make more accurate business decisions as they made the leap forward to commercialization. Read about Vandstrom’s ERP journey.
As businesses evolve over time, different departments typically adopt new technology tools to better accommodate their changing workflows. Also, new acquisitions bring their different information systems into the mix. It doesn’t take long—particularly during periods of high business growth—for a company’s information systems to start resembling a patchwork quilt that’s coming apart at the seams.
Here is a common business integration story; see if any of this sounds familiar to you:
- Your finance department is using a legacy program that isn’t compatible with a growing number of your customers’ systems, causing billing information to be misplaced or lost.
- Your human resources team just bought a brand-new application that won’t share employee salary information with the finance department’s system.
- Your product managers rely on critical internal applications that require using an antiquated operating system released two decades ago.
- You have potential customers that you can’t commit to because they have security or regulatory requirements that pieces of your IT infrastructure can’t fulfill.
Welcome to the land of integration challenges. As businesses grow over time, it becomes more and more difficult to keep their information systems aligned. This disparity will eventually lead to issues causing employee inefficiency, poor intra-departmental communication, and costly information errors.
Here is helpful exercise #2: on a new sheet of paper, write down the problem areas in your business that could benefit from integration solutions. Do you have software incompatibilities that keep areas your business departments from communicating with each other? Is your critical business data scattered across silos, making it difficult to perform meaningful analysis necessary for strategic planning?
VistaVu and its partner Boomi create solutions that offer seamless integration between systems and data. Have a look at the Boomi Solution Brief to learn how VistaVu and Boomi work together to help our customers overcome their integration issues.
The general benefits of automation have been well documented throughout every industry. These benefits have even begun to trickle down into our homes in the form of smart devices and voice assistants which can be used to perform automated routines that make our lives easier.
Most business strategists know that implementing automated processes creates greater efficiency, higher levels of accuracy, and more significant cost savings. What they might not know is the full scope of business activities which can be automated, based on the most current ERP business management solutions.
For example, SAP’s ERP software has a feature called Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (IRPA). IRPA offers a growing number of pre-built automations that help streamline common user activities, or even perform unattended actions without user intervention.
There are literally hundreds of SAP IRPA bots currently available, and even better, there is an IRPA software development kit (SDK) which can be used to create custom bots for unique use cases.
So, here is helpful exercise #3: write down a list of all the workflows in your business that would benefit from automation. Include every example that comes to mind; you might be surprised by the advanced automation solutions which are available in modern ERP solutions.
Think of all the repeatable information tasks that you or another employee must perform every day, and how much time and effort would be saved by automating them.
We help businesses begin their ERP journey. When you’re ready, contact us so we can have a conversation about your business.