The economy is slow, sales are down, cash flow is tight, and you want to do what? Implement an ERP system! While most people are tightening the purse strings and slapping a moratorium on purchases, the smart ones, the industry leaders, are looking to the future and there is sound business and financial logic behind their actions.
First, the current economic conditions will not last forever and those who are prepared for the next period of growth will have a distinct competitive edge over those who hesitate.
The highest rate of growth has often been the period immediately following a recession. (Office of Productivity and Technology, Bureau of Labor Statistics) Being prepared for that growth and having systems and procedures in place to sustain that growth is paramount to success.
The right ERP system can:
–Improve business performance by streamlining processes
–Increase efficiency by providing a flexible system that can be tailored to your needs
–Standardize operations and reduce costs
–Replace disparate systems with an integrated system that gives you full visibility
These alone do not guarantee success but are a key cog in the wheel of success. They will put any organization on the right path, but ERP systems can be expensive and software costs are only the start. The resistance to buying ERP systems in an economic down turn is understandable. Financial resources are at an all time low and the cash flow that is available is being directed at revenue generation and not at software upgrades. When implementation costs are factored in the urge to resist heightens, but this highlights another good reason to act now.
The core of any successful business, no matter how technologically advanced, are it’s people. Keeping them employed and engaged is key to any organizations success. The current economic downturn has left you with that key resource at your disposal. Who knows you business better than your own managers?
There is a great deal of time and money spent in the early stages of implementation, bringing the software vendor’s team up to speed on your business specific processes. By utilizing the slow period and have existing personnel do the initial investigation and ground work you can save costs in several areas such as:
Identifying what specific business problems you need to solve with ERP?
Do you need to shorten product lead times or improve communications with your suppliers? Are there industry regulations to which your company must adhere?
What goals and metrics you will use to measure the business benefits of your organization’s new ERP solution?
Good starting points for these metrics are KPI’s such as:
Month-end closing processes
Supplier lead times
What features and functions do you need from a new ERP solution that will help increase users’ productivity and provide access to the business data users most need?
Which modules in your ERP package will you begin rolling out first?
Midmarket ERP systems are modular enough to allow you to implement them in phases, first rolling out the features that will meet your organization’s most dire needs. Taking the implementation in prioritized steps gives IT managers and ERP users a chance to learn new processes.
Data conversion can be easier – using templates provided by the software vendor. You employees can be more effective at understanding stale or outdated data that should be deleted before uploading it into a new system.
All of those are costly investigative processes that any experienced implementer would have to perform before getting an ERP system operational. Getting your people involved will not just save time and money, but boost optimism and foster a sense of purpose throughout your organization. It establishes ownership of the project making acceptance of change easier. Finally, while your competition is laying off their knowledge base, you are putting yours to work on the future. That exercise, in and of itself will pay dividends, it will become infectious and your team will start delivering results at all levels not just on this project but in their daily duties as well.
It has been said over and over, this current economic cycle has taken out a lot of good people. Some where your customers and some where you competition, but opportunity exist your competition’s customers are looking for new suppliers are you ready, are you prepared to be competitive?
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you get ready.