Business Health Check: What Are Your Symptoms?

At Blue Ocean Systems we take a collaborative approach with our clients when we are assessing their needs for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. It’s almost like having a health check for your business because we might make you think about your systems and processes in a different way, and consider alternative ‘treatment’ options for those niggling business issues you’ve been struggling with.

Just like with any other health check, we might start asking you some generic questions. Here are samples of those questions, along with some of the most common responses we hear:

 

Describe some of the key challenges or ‘pains’ you have experienced across your organisation in the past 12 months.

  • We just can’t seem to keep up with our competition – they sell a better range than us, at a better price and they always seem to know exactly what the market wants.

  • The red tape around remaining compliant with industry and country regulations is crippling us – the expense, the administration and the skills are draining our resources. And the regulations keep changing.

  • We’ve tried to break into overseas markets but we’ve lost too much money with little chance of a return on our investment.

  • Our once loyal customers are now jumping ship and going to our competitor – even though we still believe we have the better product, we just can’t match their attractive pricing.

  • We have very high rates of staff turnover – the recruitment and training costs alone are devastating to our bottom line, not to mention the loss of skills and knowledge.

 

What actions have you taken to try and overcome those issues?

  • Nothing, it’s a hopeless situation. We just can’t keep up with the market or the competition. We are just waiting for an attractive takeover offer from a rival company now.

  • We’ve drastically reduced costs, and are now running at a loss.

  • We try to poach staff from our competition so they can bring their skills to our organisation.

  • We’ve stopped investing in our company training and corporate culture because people will just leave anyway.

  • We’ve gone onto social media and looked at how other companies are marketing themselves and copied them.

  • We thought Europe would be a good expansion zone so we just gave it a go without any data to back up our decision.

  • We’ve stopped being loyal to our customers because they’ve stopped being loyal to us.

  • We’ve stopped trying to comply with so many rules and laws – it’s too overwhelming.

  • We’ve invested considerably in various systems, tools and software programs to help us be more efficient and productive.

None of these seem to make business sense, do they?

 

If you could change 3 things about your company’s performance in the next 12 months what would they be?

We often hear these on our clients’ wish lists:

  • Have confidence that when we look at our financial reports, we can trust that it is accurate so we can make the right decision.

  • Really understand where our biggest costs are so we can work on reducing them.

  • Learn more about our customers and how we can better meet their expectations.

  • Attract and retain the best leadership team to drive our company’s success.

  • Have a real growth plan, based on facts and data, not just guess work.

  • Make our competition sit up and realise how important we are in the market.

  • Win back our customer base and attract new market segments.

  • Recoup lost profit and start to see proper business growth and profitability.

  • Integrate all our systems so they speak to each other and we can see proper data insights.

  • We would like to be fully compliant, with minimal administrative and financial burden.

 

Is an ERP the answer?

Whilst an ERP (like any other system) cannot solve everything, most of these common scenarios can benefit from an integrated business application, like SAP Business One.

An ERP can bring together your finance, budgeting, sales forecasting, procurement, warehouse, supply chain, projects, customer service and much more in a single, easy-to-use solution.

There are many benefits an ERP like SAP Business One can bring to SMEs. The ones that seem to make our clients the happiest include:

  • Being able to rapidly identify new products, segments and markets to expand into based on data-driven analytics

  • Executing quick and accurate business forecasting models that show results fast

  • Having real-time access to company data at the micro and macro level wherever they are in the world

  • Becoming a greater threat to their competition due to their innovation and understanding of market needs

  • Attracting a high calibre of loyal employees due to investment in technology and innovation

  • Welcoming loyal customers who know they can depend on your service, your price and your future

While many SMEs wait until business challenges become too much and they lose the battle, because they thought SAP was too big a system for their small operation, you might be surprised to learn that SAP Business One is designed purely with SMEs in mind.

Read our recent post to learn more.

 

If you recognise these business pains, and want a health check for your organisation, contact the team of ERP consultants at Blue Ocean Systems who will provide all the information and insight you need on the road to business recovery.

 

Do you know or work with an SME going through these pains? Connect them to us today!

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Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.

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