They all started there – in that startup phase where the CEO was also the operations manager, the production manager, the sales and marketing guy, the hirer and firer, the chief problem solver. They knew everything about the organisation because it was their concept, their baby and they knew every contact, every sale, every team member, every report generated and where every dollar was spent and earned.
Carrying out manual processes helps the foundation of the business to be strong, it helps the executive committee to understand the mission of the company and it helps issues to be identified and fixed – while it doesn’t really affect too many people.
Exhilarating, exciting, exhausting – this phase can’t go on forever. Sooner or later, an important lead will be lost, a contract compromised or a quicker response will be achieved by your competitor. It is at this crucial stage – ideally before you even reach it – that successful companies invest in enterprise resource planning (ERP). Whilst other companies struggle on, believing that they are not yet ready for investment, or not big enough for the process overhaul, savvy companies take onboard a new way of thinking, adopt a sophisticated way of operating and look towards a clear path for growth.
If your organisation is here…
Operationally out of your depth
- Reports are manual, unhelpful, and take too long to generate
- You rely on paper of any kind (reports, invoices, contracts etc.)
- Your staff are deskbound (they must be at a PC to perform their job tasks)
- Processes have never been reviewed or updated
- You have seasonal staffing issues
- You have no idea of your sales strategy or pipeline (or if these even exist)
- No-one in the company knows the current cash flow status
- You fear a call from the bank manager about your credit status
- You would like to expand but not sure which areas are the priorities
Lagging behind competitors
- Other organisations have quicker supply chains and you tend to lose out to them on last minute and/or big deals
- You’re not sure if there is any consumer loyalty because feedback isn’t logged or tracked
- You don’t have preferential pricing and delivery agreements with vendors because they can’t rely on you
- You fear technology so prefer to keep everything on paper and spreadsheets
- You believe social media is not for business use
- Your IT team members are only ‘fixers’ and not ‘innovators’
- Big Data doesn’t worry you as you are only a small company
With an ERP system, you could soon be here…
Reaping the benefits of operational excellence
- Automating key processes to consistently reach optimal levels
- Speeding up delivery times, fulfilment rates, customer service responses
- Generating real-time, accurate reports based on business needs [read more]
- Digitisation of paper documents leading to better efficiency and compliance [read more]
- Key staff can work anytime, anywhere with sophisticated, integrated business apps [read more]
- Forecasting enables optimal staffing levels all year round
- Sales strategy aligned with business strategy
- Sales pipeline based on accurate market data
Spending what you need, where you need, when you need
- Financial analysis providing you with real-time insight into your company’s financial health
- Confidence in credit terms and purchasing capabilities
- Ability to consider investments with up-to-the-minute accurate financial data
- Sophisticated supply chain management fosters long-lasting client and customer relationships
- Customer feedback is shared and distributed effectively as a marketing tool
- Optimised agreements with partners because you are a trusted and reliable organisation
- You leverage technology to streamline processes and innovate new products and ideas [read more]
- With proper analytics, you know where your customers spend their time (and money) online and create targeted marketing campaigns
- Your IT team are passionate about driving the company forward with the latest tools
- Analytics provide you with all the key business data you need from every source [read more]
SAP Business One is built specifically with small, but growing companies in mind. Did you know:
85% of the Fortune 500 run SAP software
80% of Fortune 1,000 companies run SAP software
60% of Fortune 2,000 companies run SAP software?[SAP.com]
It starts as small as you need it to (fewer than 5 users? No problem!) And it grows with you at every stage of the way, meaning that when you transition from the ‘small and medium-sized enterprise’ label into the ‘large organisation’ bracket, SAP will support you. Of course, if your company grows but still remains a ‘SME’ that’s fine too.
It is only natural that small businesses fear the financial investment, the operational turmoil and the risk factors traditionally associated with moving to an ERP. Whilst these fears are somewhat justified, the team at Blue Ocean Systems knows that with the right system in place, and the best team to help you implement it, your organisation will soon be growing in size and profit. You could even be up and running in just 2-8 weeks!
Contact our team of SME experts to really learn how SAP Business One could be the best investment you make for the future of your organisation.
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.