Business Automation and Software Blog

Responding to Growth with ERP Selection: Challenges and Opportunities

Posted by Robert Baran on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:23 AM

The positive side of business growth is that growth necessitates progress but also allows for it to happen in terms of finances and resources. The downside is the need to make changes that can disrupt operations and require a learning curve. When growth necessitates new technology, this is even more so the case. There comes a point when the current information technology (IT) infrastructure or lack of IT infrastructure can no longer handle the operational scope it needs to handle. When this happens, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) overhaul is typically a first step. Such an overhaul is not easy, but it can be very necessary. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of considering ERP software, challenges of using it, and also the opportunities that result. Are you ready to take the next step into the world of modern ERP in response to business growth?

Why ERP Software Matters

The reality is that ERP selection and use is one of the most important components within IT for businesses that are growing. This is because it assists in the operations most critical to business and monitors them as well. ERP software encompasses sales operations, accounting practices, human resources, supply chain management, and customer relationship management among others.

Challenges of ERP Selection and Implementation

Because of its wide reach and influence, ERP selection and implementation is not easy. It is a large investment that will profoundly influence important business facets. These include data migration and employee training. In addition, customization of an ERP system is almost always necessary to truly fit your unique business needs and handle daily operations. This can make a long and costly process even more lengthy and costly, and updates down the road can be extra complicated. Because of these factors, it is clear that ERP selection is not easy and the implications are significant. But, the potential rewards are significant, too.

Opportunities ERP Offers

  • Good News for First-time ERP Users: Software Advice carried out a study that examined trends of ERP software selection within potential buyers.  The findings showed that a large percentage of prospective buyers were not even currently using an ERP system before. That is good news because it shows that many businesses are growing to the point of outgrowing more simplified systems of operational management. In essence, they are at a critical point where they need a robust business system only found in ERP.  Currently they are using a plethora of systems each with limited functionality such as, QuickBooks only, a non-ERP business software, Office productivity software, a proprietary system, or manual methods. Implementation from one of these other systems to ERP can actually be easier than trying to switch from one ERP system to another.
  • Good News for those Switching from Multiple Disparate Systems to One ERP System: Using multiple systems to carry out the functions that ERP software can do by itself is common. The challenge lies in how much time is consumed by unnecessary duplication of data entry into all systems that don’t work together.  In addition, this duplication often has data entry errors resulting in additional time wasted reconciling them.   With ERP software, this is not the case. The system communicates within itself offering real-time and consistent data across the board regardless of if it is being used in the front office or back office. Manufacturing automation is greatly assisted by this process as well because information is current and transactions are being communicated automatically to other departments that don’t slow processes down. In short, manufacturing automation and countless other business functions are improved in their integration with ERP.

Certainly ERP selection presents new challenges for growing businesses, but it also offers opportunities for those using ERP for the first time and for those streamlining from multiple systems down to one system. For more information on how ERP can help your growing business, contact us. As discussed above, it is important to understand what an ERP system can do to have a positive impact on manufacturing operations and their connection to the rest of the company. View our pre-recorded broadcast to understand the reality of manufacturing called “A 20/20 Look at Global Manufacturing”.


Topics: ERP, Manufacturing