Migrating to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is not an easy decision, especially if you are migrating from an on-premises system to one in the cloud.
But do you know when to make that decision? Sure there are the big signs, such as your support contract has expired or the system itself has reached end-of-life. But what about some of the smaller telltale signs that your legacy ERP system is just not keeping up with today’s digital marketplace.
- Does data have to be downloaded and manually re-entered into different systems? A modern ERP system can eliminate redundant manual processes (such as manual data re-entry). When your skilled employees have to take time to do repetitive, tedious work, they are wasting time that could be spent on tasks that deliver greater value to the business. And this undermines your company’s growth.
- Are customer complaints on the rise? Sometimes it is hard to see the connection between back-office systems (like ERP) and customer experience. But the link is very much there. A modern ERP Cloud can provide all employees with 360-degree view of the customer, their orders, and their frequency of purchase (to name a few). This data goes a long way to improve, customer response time, streamline shipping operations, provide more upsell opportunities, and introduce a variety of self-service options.
- Is all the trust (in your data) gone? Having accurate data is essential, but many companies don’t and therefore do not trust the numbers sitting in front of them. This leads business leaders to make bad decisions or resort to following gut instincts. And no one’s gut is as good as cold hard facts.
- Has decision-making stalled? If you cannot make the right decisions fast enough to grow your business, you may have an ERP problem. A modern ERP Cloud gives fast-growing companies visibility into day-to-day operations to correctly analyze business conditions, develop improved business plans, and measure progress.
- Are spreadsheets pieced together an ERP system through a myriad of point solutions? A point solution supports a limited set of accounting processes. It might solve a problem, very quickly cracks (literally) begin to form. Connections between point solutions break and spreadsheet-based workarounds appear. These workarounds, in turn, create data siloes and multiple versions of the truth (depending on the number of copies floating around), which reduces productivity, increases security risk, and undermines the company’s automation goals and workflows.
- Are those point solutions poorly integrated? If so, you are not alone. In a recent survey, 34 percent of participating organizations said that they operated with multiple ERP systems (from various vendors) with disparate infrastructure platforms. And herein lies the problem. When growing companies continue to fix problems by adding even more point solutions, integration becomes increasingly jumbled and complicated, causing data loss, broken workflows, a proliferation of manual tasks, and errors. In fact, your ERP amalgamation will become so complicated and provide such a lousy user experience, that your users will stop using it.
- Does it take an unnaturally long time to close the books? If it takes more than a couple of days for you to close the books, chances are your management team is not getting the information they need to review performance, make adjustments, create actionable, strategic plans. Closing the books is a very mechanical task that should not use up massive amounts of employees’ time and energy. With the right ERP Cloud, you make the financial close process so efficient it is possible to close the books every day if needed.
- Do you have the functionality to support new revenue models and forecasting methods? Growth means never sitting on your laurels. It means finding new revenue streams and revenue models (subscription-based pricing, anyone?) and using the best planning methods for strategic growth. ERP Cloud and EPM Cloud solutions make it possible for SMBs to approach planning from an entirely different angle with support for driver-based planning, zero-based budgeting, and rolling forecasts.
- Has vendor support ended or have support costs skyrocketed? Forrester has estimated that 80 percent of IT spending is on maintenance and only 20 percent is geared toward new projects and initiatives. Cloud applications help organizations to focus on their business plans and initiatives instead of purchasing, deploying, and maintaining an IT infrastructure or application software system.
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” now is the time to start working towards a modern ERP solution. You won’t be the only one. Approximately, 70 percent of enterprise organizations are currently migrating data for ERP applications to the cloud. As a fast-growing smaller company, you can gain access to the same tools, technology, best practices, automation (the list goes on and on) and start competing on a level playing field. Cloud applications are the great equalizer, slowly making the term “SMB” obsolete.