In a recent IDC report written to compare ERP vendors on capabilities and strategies, this analyst firm provided additional insight into the market and the technological landscape, exploring the changes driven by digital transformation, the power of the cloud, advice for technology buyers, and the topic we will discuss today: Current issues faced by executives and priorities they have when looking at new ERP.
Five issues that executives seek to address with the help of operational ERP
For product-centric organizations including those in manufacturing, distribution, and retail, operational ERP is a necessity, providing ease-of-use and automation for a variety of business processes. In this, modules need to integrate across the organization to provide executives and leaders with information about product flow, cash flow, timeliness, and more, incorporating order management, finance, procurement, enterprise asset management (EAM), manufacturing, and supply chain, among others.
This type of product is focused on delivering efficiency across the entire organization by combining finance software with other key modules to provide a complete product focused on connecting operational transactions with a financial impact so that they are reflected directly in financial modules.
In the report, titled Worldwide SaaS and Cloud-Enabled Operational ERP Applications 2019, IDC mentions these five priorities for executives in 2019 and beyond:
1. Key metrics: Knowing what, where, and why
When it comes to running your business, the basic numbers only go so far. Yes, your ability to track revenue, profits, and inventory accurately is important, but key decisions rely on more than just financial metrics. If you want to drive more productivity at your organization, you need to have the right information at the right time delivered to the right people.
Productivity improvements from shop floor to supply chain to enterprise end-to-end business processes were critical. In addition, inventory accuracy, booked versus billing ratios, and customer on-time deliveries were the metrics mentioned the most in operational ERP systems.
Whether it’s manufacturing, distribution, or retail, the right key performance indicators (KPIs) can inform your people, allowing them to make smarter decisions faster. In a recent series of whitepapers, Acumatica discussed which metrics matter for companies like yours. We invite you to read their Key Performance Indicators for Manufacturing and Key Performance Indicators for Distribution here.
2. Ridding yourself of manual processes and making your workflows work
For too many businesses, workflows just don’t work. Reports have to pass through numerous departments, with collaboration relying on email, resulting in numerous document versions and inaccuracies that need to be reconciled before anything can be done.
Today, there are still thousands of companies of all sizes with many manual workflows. As a result, the operational and financial processes used to run the business become exceedingly inefficient — consuming precious resources and returning delayed approvals, with a multitude of errors. Moreover, manually driven processes within operations can lead to inflexibility and a lack of agility, which can be extremely harmful to a company’s ability to maneuver in the increasingly dynamic digital economy.
As this moves forward, businesses are opting to automate and integrate processes, with an eye toward artificial intelligence as one way to find operational efficiency in workflow design.
3. Visibility issues from retracing steps
You can’t move ahead if every step forward that you take requires you to take two steps back. Paired with workflow automation and easy measurement, your ability to see where your company is heading relies on coherence, consistency, and confidence.
Operations and finance executives do not have time to retrace their steps in an effort to find lost transactions and errors and/or verify previous transactions. This leads to operational resources spending extra time looking backward instead of at current information and modeling it for the future for the best possible outcomes.
Operational ERP presents data in a usable way, minimizing the retracing and simplifying the verification process, allowing your organization better visibility and in turn, improved decisions.
4. Resource constraints: Doing more with what you have
Just because your business grows doesn’t mean your costs should grow as fast or faster.
In many growing companies, operations professionals are being asked to do more with less, and in many cases, legacy systems add to the workload instead of reducing it.
In the age of digital, employees need to rely on their technology systems to do more so they can spend more time modeling, predicting the future, and bringing better business outcomes. One such example of this ability to deliver technology that doesn’t drive up costs is the resource-based pricing model employed by Acumatica, in which companies are not charged by the number of users on the platform, but the amount of resources used. This helps companies to save money no matter how fast they are growing.
5. Take advantage of the opportunities afforded to you
Companies with inefficient operational and financial processes not only risk doing damage to their reputations, but they also often lose opportunities to take advantage of early payment discounts, cost savings, and efficient processes.
Operational ERP removes these barriers, giving companies the ability to make decisions faster and ultimately capitalize on opportunities that exist. Acting faster with better information gives companies like yours a competitive edge.
Acumatica Cloud ERP: Delivering operational efficiency for today’s business
If you are in the market for a modern enterprise resource planning solution designed for today’s product-based business, you have many options available, but one of the leading options according to end users and analysts alike is Acumatica. Built in the cloud for growing businesses like yours, Acumatica delivers the flexibility, technology, and automation you need to thrive in the age of digital.
NexTec is a leading provider of this powerful ERP solution and has helped companies like yours to implement and successfully use Acumatica. We invite you to download the entire IDC MarketScape here and contact us for a free consultation.