Recently another ERP and accounting software reseller (located in the southeastern U.S.) wrote a brief article in which they noted “a trend in some of the most common limitations experienced by those using older business systems. “
According to Accounting Systems Incorporated of Columbia, South Carolina, they found that while putting off investing in new systems may seem to produce a cost savings, many clients found that once they made the move to a more scalable solution, they saw that they had actually been losing productivity in three key areas. The three areas they listed were as follows:
1) Internal Collaboration. The most common comments received revolved around the lack of collaboration capabilities users had found in older systems. [At our own firm, we call this the “separate silos of information” syndrome.] Data cannot be shared across the enterprise. Customer service addresses a recurring issue regarding a customer, but sales does not know about it, or lacks sufficient visibility into the issue. Yet when internal communication is improved, operational costs – and mistakes – are inherently reduced. We see this in all sorts of areas, across all departments, in so many companies today. As we find so often: The value of having a company’s key business information under the umbrella of a single system – a single repository of data and customer information – is priceless to the improved performance of any company.
2) Decision Making. It stands to reason then that better visibility over information by more people can lead to better decision making overall. But ASI makes the further point that yesterday’s systems required a lot of manual, time-consuming and specific report writing. Today’s newer systems are capable of producing more ad hoc information, quickly, to the users who need that information most. They accomplish this via drilldowns, browsers, filters and dashboards – tools that optimize reporting in the shortest amount of time. Today’s queries can thus be answered today, not next week. The industry has obliged this trend with a new buzzword, of course: BI – for business intelligence and the tools that produce it.
3) Unnecessary Complexities Holding Back Productivity. Most companies with older systems find their systems either too complex and cumbersome for seeking out meaningful information, or too simple and limited in their ability to report upon the health of the company – let alone to manage the full suite of a company’s desired workflow. Today’s systems, while not necessarily simpler, have been designed with a much greater level of flexibility. For example, in certain screens, viewing of desired fields can be turned on or off – by the user. Screens can be instantly resorted, via filters, into more meaningful views of the data. Information is updated in real-time, instantly. And the interfaces and usability of today’s systems are greatly improved over those of older systems.
In short, the business improvement benefits to today’s newer, more modern ERP systems are vastly greater than those of the 80s, 90s and even 2000s. And that can translate into big cost savings, greatly improved efficiencies, much better data analysis and a more profitable company.