Business

Are your outdated business systems a growth prevention tool?

Owners and directors of growing companies can become stressed at the potential disruptions that can come with implementing new technology

LIFE for small and mid-size companies can be so busy, overwhelming and stressful that they need the best and most-reliable allies to support the business each day.

From the employees you depend on, to the suppliers and business partners you trust, everything and everyone must act and operate with as high a level of efficiency as possible.

I have seen time and time again, owners and directors of growing companies, not willing to risk or put up with the potential disruptions that can come with implementing new technology.

But as the business grows, it gets harder and harder to justify entry level business management software that provides only a basic level of functionality, while at the same time, the company could be missing out on opportunities, experience unexpected delays and downtime, and in doing so, observe a drop in customer loyalty.

In short, the ever increasing pressure and stress that comes with the pace of change in today's competitive environment, is encouraging businesses in growth mode, to rethink their business management and reporting solutions.

Directors are facing up to the possibility of moving to the next level of complexity and performance from their IT Infrastructure and financial management systems.

The question is therefore, are the current business systems supporting and encouraging growth or constraining it? For many small and medium sized businesses, like that of the majority of Irish companies, growth is a goal that promises long-term prosperity, and a firm foundation in brand loyalty.

However, this has a warning sign that comes with it! As the company grows and possibly branches out into new markets and into new regions or possibly even new countries, the more complex the business becomes and the more risks the company is prone to.

It's clear that our businesses are only as efficient as the technology we use to manage them. We continue to collect more and more amounts of business data and no matter what size that data collection becomes, we require faster and more accurate processing of it. Both industry and its regulators are becoming more specific in regards to their reporting requirements, often to achieve and maintain compliance status. For our companies to better view performance, opportunities and risk, its best if all information and processes are unified into one core management solution.

With a little bit of planning and a digital strategy built around a intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, small and medium size businesses can create sustainable growth, by joining up processes, data, systems, and employees all together.

Real-time insight and smarter employee/customer-centric practices need reviewed, when considering every aspect of the company. Developing a company-wide ethos of flexibility when deploying new digital interfaces and the continual on-going improvement of business systems, could deliver significant competitive advantages.

Implementing or upgrading an ERP system may seem daunting to management or a board of directors. But running a business without a strong foundation for growth, can significantly hamper its performance.

Depending on the your type of business, it may be time to build a digital core including Office 365, alongside an intelligent ERP platform to gain the real-time visibility and decision-making power to help guide the business in the right direction.

:: Trevor Bingham (editorial@itfuel.com) is business relationship manager at ItFuel in Craigavon. Follow them on Twitter @itfuel.

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