I believe that asking the right questions is often a critical factor in the pursuit of a successful outcome. Choosing a car? Ask about performance and comfort. Buying a home? Ask about the neighborhood and the school systems. Ordering a steak? Ask about the cut and the side orders.
This theory can also be applied to finding the right software to support your growing business. Two key questions that need to be answered are: does it accommodate a constantly shifting environment and does it adapt rapidly to the ‘noise’ around what can be done to grow top-line revenue?
Today’s business climate is fraught with change – new supply sources, escalating regulation, cut-rate global competitors, automation, new technology, to name but a few - all of which can make or break a business
Nowhere is the impact of this change more profound than on those emerging companies that have grown steadily or rapidly and now find themselves trying to address complex resource planning challenges with one-dimensional software.
The inability of a company’s existing entry level software to change with the business and provide meaningful data access and reporting that supports current and future growth presents a real problem.
So, to return to my belief in the value of questions, here are a few you should be asking yourself if you suspect that your software is getting a little long in the tooth:
* Are many of your business operations still being run manually because your current software does not have the functionality to accommodate them?
* Does your system limit your ability to adopt vital current technology (such as cloud, mobile, workflow, etc.)?
* Are your customer orders being delivered late and error-laden and you don’t have the controls to correct it?
* Is your current system able to manage and plan shop floor production?
* Is it taking too long to figure out what materials or product you need, how much you need and when you need it?
* Is your poor or inadequate inventory visibility causing over or understocking?
* Is your limited financial control impacting on profitability and time management?
* Are your competitors outpacing you?
Too many “yesses”?
If you have answered yes to even one of the above questions, it may be time to consider a full-function ERP solution that is best suited to support and facilitate business growth. If your company is to become more effective and competitive in its marketplace, it may be necessary to implement a capable ERP system that will better provide operational effectiveness and better visibility.
This can only be achieved after a thorough examination of your processes, plans and required outcome. After all, to quote French anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss: “the wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions.”