It’s not easy to deliver great customer service these days. From Western Australian manufacturers to Brisbane-based retail chains, businesses tell us it’s increasingly difficult to keep customers happy.

Customers want to know where their goods are, and when they can expect to receive them. But when organisational resources are stretched and there’s no budget to invest in new technologies, staff can’t easily find that information.

This applies in particular to businesses that have experienced rapid growth in a short time.

If you’re keen to deliver top-notch services, gain a competitive edge and do business better, it’s smart to direct your limited financial resources where they will be of most benefit.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can open the door to a more sophisticated, efficient and cost-effective way of working. But how do you know if your business is ready to make the change?

Keep an eye out for these five signs your business may be ready for an ERP system.

 

  1. You have multiple systems that don’t talk to each other

If you find it challenging to navigate the elements that record, track and process information, you’re not alone. Most businesses have different systems for orders, accounts, inventory, shipping and receiving.

This is only a problem if your systems don’t talk to each other. When you can’t share information across systems, employees lose time double-handling information and re-entering data.

ERP can integrate systems so they run on a single database. With access to a single source of up-to-date information, your employees can make more informed decisions and focus on value-adding tasks.

 

  1. You can’t find information quickly

No one looks forward to manually calculating daily sales, or dealing with a bulging tray of paperwork when doing monthly accounts. After all, in a fast-paced business environment, you can’t afford to work slowly.

If you struggle to find information when it matters most, an ERP solution can help. Want to know last month’s sales margins? Need to see a customer’s full transaction history? ERP systems provide this information instantly.

This makes it easier for employees to do their jobs too. With ERP, they can upsell or cross-sell, and provide immediate, comprehensive information about all aspects of purchases, orders and shipments.

 

  1. You spend too much time on accounts and reports

How much time do your staff spend dealing with invoices and orders, and manually entering them into various systems? What about financial reporting?

Working with financials in different spreadsheets can add up to hours each week. ERP software can do tasks that once took many hours almost instantaneously.

With all your financial information in one ERP database, you could say goodbye to:

  • manually entering data
  • cross-checking information
  • re-entering incorrect data
  • copying information to other systems.

Your team will be more productive and free to work on the outputs you need. They will be less frustrated and you will have fewer delays.

 

  1. You don’t know how much stock you have – or where to find it

It’s important to get inventory management right, but this can be tricky if you run several software packages that don’t interact with each other.

ERP can bring your sales, inventory, and customer data together in one place. This makes it easy to view current information about stock, orders, and shipments.

You will have peace of mind of knowing products are in stock and that orders and payments are easily accessible.

 

  1. You can’t keep track of your IT systems

You’re busy. Your resources are scarce. Like most small to medium businesses, you probably don’t have time to pay attention to your IT infrastructure.

If you’re running multiple software systems, it can be expensive and time-consuming to stay on top of maintenance, upgrades and patches.

Fortunately, ERP technology can make your system more efficient and give you the agility to respond to changing business needs quickly.

With a cloud-based ERP provider, experts will take care of updates and new functionality as your business expands.

You will gain valuable time and be able to redirect your focus back to running your business without having to deal with IT management issues.

 

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