Anyone who has ever been involved with a comprehensive ERP implementation will tell you that it requires a significant investment of time, resources and money to get it done right. Those things tend to be in short supply, especially for smaller manufacturers, so it’s not surprising that an ERP project won’t make it to the top of the priority list. However, the potential benefits gained from a well implemented ERP solution can easily offset the cost, so it is at least worth thinking about. In assessing your current situation, and determining whether it makes sense to invest in a different ERP strategy, consider the following:
Customer Experience: How well do your current systems enable you to meet and exceed your client’s expectations? In a competitive landscape, responsiveness, accuracy and following through on commitments are critical in retaining existing clients and obtaining new ones. A well implemented ERP, connecting the functional areas of your business, can help you positively impact your customer and prospect engagements.
Actionable Information: How quickly and accurately do your current systems allow you to collect and analyze data? It is common for organizations to identify a specific area of need in one area of the company and then purchase a point solution to fix the issue. Over the years, this can lead to multiple point solutions within the business that have no connectivity to one another, making the process of data collection and analysis slow, difficult and prone to errors. A modern ERP’s organizational interconnectivity minimizes data collection issues and allows for faster and better decision making.
Profitability: Do your current systems allow you to capture your true operating costs and optimize your productivity? In a competitive environment, the selling price of your product or service is generally dependent on perceived value, demand and competitive pressure. Therefore, to maintain or improve profitability, it is critical to keep your business running as efficiently as possible. A comprehensive ERP solution can be instrumental in identifying productivity gaps, eliminating unnecessary tasks, and automating processes to ensure maximum operational effectiveness and profitability.
Growth: Based on your current growth objectives, will your current systems meet your requirements in the future? Most companies measure their success on their growth, whether organically or through acquisition, so while your systems may be able to meet current requirements, this may not be the case if you expand. A good ERP solution has the functionality and flexibility to adapt and grow with you as your company grows.
If you find that your current systems are lacking in addressing one or more of the above areas, you should consider a higher prioritization of your ERP strategy. As mentioned above, a complete and well implemented ERP solution will require a significant investment of time on your part, so waiting until something breaks can be detrimental. Even a relatively simple implementation of an ERP solution that connects all the functional areas of your business can take 6 months or more to implement, not to mention the time it will take you to evaluate your options.
In the past 30 years, LogicData has successfully implemented the CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) solution for more than 250 clients, primarily in the manufacturing space. We estimate that in approximately half of those implementations, the client situation was one of extreme urgency due to the negative impact they were experiencing in one or more of the areas discussed above. Stress and opportunity cost would likely have been minimized if those clients had continually assessed their ERP strategy to ensure it was meeting their current and future needs, enabling them to plan and implement before the situation was critical.