Posts

6 reasons to upgrade to a modern business application platform

For years businesses have been stuck using inefficient methods to manage everything from operations and processes to IT. These methods include things like computer processors, spreadsheets, and basic email. When it comes to collaboration, they can be confusing and frustrating.

If this sounds familiar, there’s a good chance you have outgrown your processes. The good news is that there are a variety of business application platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions available that can transform the way you do business.

If you’ve been considering an upgrade, now might be a good time to make the change. In fact, we’ve compiled six reasons why it’s definitely worth the effort to upgrade to a modern platform.

adaptable puzzle

Adaptable

Modern business application platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are designed to be fully adaptable. So as your business changes, you can keep up with modern trends and easily address client requests. Also, since most platforms are Cloud-based, they also keep you connected to your business anytime, anywhere, allowing your business platform to adapt to your needs and your busy schedule.

Scalable graph

Scalable

When it comes to growth, scalable services are critical for your business. With modern business platforms, you only pay for the platform and the services that you need now, not what you might need later. So as your business grows and changes, you can scale the platform and services to match your growing needs rather than replacing the solution when you outgrow it.

Top Divider

Related reading: Comparing ERP to on-premise

Bottom Divider
Support Hands

Reliable

Choosing a reliable modern toolset is crucial to this new stage of your business management, as is reliable customer service. Finding a reliable platform will not only improve your processes and reduce errors, but it will increase your ability to help your customers and ultimately add value to your business as a whole.

Top Divider

Related reading: 5 signs you need an ERP system

Bottom Divider
Gears

Manageable

The ability to manage and track your inventory is a basic need for most businesses. Switching over to a modern business application platform makes this much easier, more efficient and overall more cost-effective. When you know the true status of your assets you can position your company for growth, improve customer service, and plan ahead for the future.

flexible icon

Flexible

Every industry has a unique set of requirements. There are a number of different platforms designed with this in mind. Some platforms, such as Acumatica Cloud ERP Solutions, offer a range of options that are uniquely tailored for several industries, to help you address your challenges and reach your ultimate company goals. This creates a great starting point for you and limits the amount of initial customization required to get things set up just the way you need them.

Top Divider

Related reading: The difference between accounting software and ERP solutions

Bottom Divider
Custom work

Customizable

One of the greatest assets that modern business application platforms and ERPs bring to the table is the ability to customize the platform to your individual business’ needs. You have worked hard to build your business over the years. When you’ve done everything from designing spreadsheets to creating letterhead, It can be hard to let go of some of the fruits of your hard labor. With customizable platforms, you don’t necessarily have to let go. Many modern business application platforms offer the possibility of deep customizations to suit your specific business needs. This allows you to incorporate some of your personal documents that you’d like to continue using to avoid customer confusion.

Top Divider

Related reading: ROI of your ERP system

Bottom Divider

Final thoughts

If you think you’re ready to upgrade to a modern business application platform or ERP, you can begin right away. Although it might seem overwhelming, it will have a lasting impact on your business for years to come. To get started, we recommend the following process:

  • Assess your needs – Start by assessing your current business needs. Are you looking for financial management? Customer support? Project management? What are you looking to accomplish with this new platform?
  • Budget – How much can you afford to spend on this? Don’t forget to account for implementation, training, and ongoing costs.
  • Research your options – Now that you have a budget in place and you know what you are looking for, you can begin your search. You may want to use an external vendor to help with this process if your budget allows for this. If not, be sure to take your time and really review all of your options.
  • Narrow down your choices – Try to get your options down to a top two or three. These are the ones who you will ask for a detailed proposal from. Talk to them in detail and be sure to ask all your questions.
  • Make a decision – Make an informed decision based on the proposals submitted and move forward.

How to calculate the ROI of your ERP system

If you have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in place or are considering implementing one, you’ve probably wondered if the investment will pay off in the long run. Today’s ERP systems are more advanced than ever when you get into the things they can do now vs. just a few years ago.

At a basic level, an ERP system integrates the various functions of a business into one complete system with the aim of streamlining business process and data across the entire organization. It accomplishes this with a shared database that supports the multiple functions used across your business. This includes inventory and asset management, ordering, accounting, human resources, customer relations, and more. It can be a massive undertaking and can incur quite a bit of investment depending on the type of business. Naturally, you’ll want to know if your return on investment (ROI) is worth it.

Before you conduct an analysis of your ROI, ask yourself if you have given your ERP enough time to provide an accurate picture of its effectiveness. Popular opinion is that you should wait at least three years before conducting such an investigation. Five years would be even better and more accurate.

If you feel that your ERP has been in place long enough to warrant a look, here are some points to consider when examining the ROI on your ERP system.

Cost

Keeping a close eye on your IT budget is an obvious place to start when determining if your ERP system is providing measurable benefits. The most evident savings is going to be in hardware and software. As your ERP is most likely cloud-based, you’re not spending money on acquiring expensive equipment and paying your IT team extra on upkeep and repair. You also aren’t going to be paying for software licenses and upgrades. All of those should be covered by your cloud service.

Another cost point to look at is how your ERP system is contributing to the efficiency of your business and employees. Hopefully, you’re paying for less overtime with an established and consistent ERP in place.

Productivity

With a consistent and central integration of your business data, your employees should be spending less time organizing your business data. While this saves on payroll, it also improves workflow by unifying the process across your entire business, saving you time and aggravation in trying to get all of the data and employees on the same page.

This also results in less of a need for oversight and enhances any compliance processes you may have and lower auditing costs.

Asset control

Initiating a new ERP system can help improve inventory control and planning, eliminate waste, and improve your procurement process. This includes having a solid view of your supply chain from start to finish.

A majority of the benefits of an ERP are going to boil down to cutting down on waste in departments across the board. Whether it’s in the warehouse or in the IT department, an efficient ERP is going to help you identify where spending can be reined in so profit remains high.

Visibility

Customers like seeing a business that operates in a consistent and efficient manner. Considering how a positive customer perception can affect sales is something else to consider when measuring the financial impact of your ERP. By shortening fulfillment times and exhibiting good quality control, your customers will become more committed to doing business with you.

How do the numbers look?

Chances are that you’re going to find the numbers are on your side. While the financial benefits may not be apparent within the first couple of years, continued usage of your ERP system should show increased profits from a combination of savings across numerous departments and in how business is conducted overall and the technology is only improving.

It takes work, some investment and time but it’s a process in which you’re going to want expert guidance. While it sounds like a lot of risk, the larger risk is not keeping up with the technology available to improve and grow your business.