By Dana Larson
July 20, 2016
Our lives are filled with signs. Some are obvious. The empty light on your dash signals you to gas up your car; running out of clean socks tells you it’s time to do laundry.
Others are slightly more vague, like knowing when it’s time to replace your home’s plumbing or reaching the point where you’ve outgrown your current business system.
Yes, often the bigger the undertaking, the more ambiguity that surrounds the signs. There are a number of possible causes for those water spots in your basement, for those tedious month-end closes. But no one wants to be the Little Dutch Boy trying to prevent a disaster one day.
Consider the following a few – often overlooked – trigger signs that may suggest your organization needs a new or refreshed ERP.
Recognizing the Signs
Are you spending significant time every month reconciling transactions and/or data from one system to another? The right business management solution for today’s modern businesses is completely integrated, eliminating the need to pull data from one database into your accounting system and then tediously check for errors or duplicate entries. If you’re running multiple, disjointed processes across numerous, disconnected tools, it’s a key sign that you’re not running a best-fit technology for your changing business needs.
Death by Spreadsheets
Is your information handy and accessible when you need it, or does it require significant scrubbing before it’s useful? If you’re relying on spreadsheets to track and report your monthly financials – exporting your system data, consolidating entities, and manipulating in Excel before presenting to key stakeholders – your business is not optimized with the right technology.
How does your month-end usually go? If it is more mayhem than methodical – filled with an overload of manual, time consuming accounts receivable and payable processes – you not only risk an incorrect entry after the month is closed, but you’re wasting valuable internal time and resources on inefficiencies easily remedied with a modern solution.
If you’re waiting to process bulk transactions in your business management solution until your end-of-month cycle instead of entering them in real-time, your system data will never reflect your current financial status. This lack of accuracy and visibility only perpetuates a distrust of your system, and it’s a sign that you’re not leveraging technology to effectively drive your business forward.
Hopefully you’re backing up your system data, either internally or managing it off-site, but is all your business critical data secure and restorable in the case of an emergency? Hint: Not knowing is not a recommended disaster recovery strategy.
Forest in Your File Cabinets
Rather than storing print copies, many of today’s leading ERP solutions track and store attachments as they are entered in the system, making that woodland copse in your office drawers more wasteful than ever.
How streamlined is your internal approval process? Are you relying on email to prompt approvals for transactions, slowing your operations? Checks and balances are a necessary part of business, but workflow automation eliminates frustrating project creep by keeping everything moving forward in one solution and out of people’s overloaded inboxes.
The proper tools, like reliable plumbing, make everything run smoother. After all, your business systems have a lifecycle; what functions well today will not work completely unchanged 5 years from now. Recognizing the signs of a rusty leak in your business’ processes is the trigger signaling that it’s time to consider a new or revamped business solution … before the pipes burst.