Growth is almost always a positive thing, especially when it comes to business.
If your business is growing, you can generally expect that will mean more customers, bigger profits and wider recognition of your brand. Overall, you’ll be more successful, right?
I’ve also seen business growth completely overwhelm businesses and cause them to miss their own expectations – and those of their customers.
This disappointment is nearly always because their systems and processes can’t keep up with the growth. As your business develops, so must the way you manage it – or your growth will suddenly come to a halt.
As your business grows, so does the complexity of the everyday
Growth comes with a lot of ‘mores’. But while many people focus on the positive ‘mores’ – more sales, more customers – it’s important to consider the other ‘mores’ as well.
More inventory, more demand, more suppliers, more orders, more staff, more salaries to pay, more investment – more risk.
As the complexity of business grows, the complexity of the processes and procedures needed to carry out your day-to-day business will increase. As will the difficulty of managing them all successfully.
Your current system may have got you to a spot where further growth is possible, but will it continue to work as your business increases?
Think about your current tasks, and how they will change with growth:
- Inventory – more stock coming in and out, across multiple warehouses and stores;
- Management – more staff carrying out more tasks, with more room for error;
- Pricing – increased pressure to offer competitive pricing, and the ability for reps to match customer price;
- Quoting – increased writing and following up of hundreds of quote requests; and
- Ordering – increased pressure to stay on top of stock depletion, know exactly how much and when you need to order, and to notify the right supplier.
If you had 10, five, even three times the amount of work you have now, would you still be able to keep up?
3 signs of a system optimised for growth
Pointing out the challenges of growth is not meant to scare you off, but it is meant to get you thinking. Before you commit to growing your business, you need to set yourself up to maintain that growth.
By making sure your systems are optimised now for future changes, you put yourself in a better position to sustain your growth. You need to effectively manage the challenges of growth if you want to enjoy the benefits.
When your system works with you and not against you, it doesn’t matter how big or small your business gets, you’ll have the power to run it well.
For this next stage of growth, your system needs to be:
You can’t have more time in your day, so the way you manage the time you do have needs to improve. To make room for all those ‘mores’ we mentioned earlier, processes need to be streamlined and automated where they can, ensuring faster and more accurate work and lower labour costs.
Growth is unpredictable, so you need to expect the unexpected. Having a system that can grow as you do (or shrink, if things take a downturn) will mean you never have to change or upgrade your system again. Scalability and flexibility are key so you can grow and change however you want, and know that it won’t affect how your business operates.
You want your business to spread far and wide – but you don’t want your data to as well. Having systems that talk to each other and centralise all business data ensures easy access and visibility from anywhere. This integration makes communication much simpler and empowers staff – whether in sales, warehousing or accounts – to improve the way they do their job.
An ERP system provides an all-in-one answer
Some businesses decide to try and achieve these capabilities with quick fixes or band-aid solutions, such as system add-ons and extra staff. But if you’re committed to sustaining long-term growth, overhauling your processes with an ERP system is the best answer.
While traditionally only an option for big businesses, ERP systems are now predominately adopted by businesses with complex inventory and distribution processes that want to grow.
Implementing an ERP system is the most efficient way to achieve automation across your business. ERP’s are fully integratable, and can streamline processes throughout your entire operation, including:
- Warehousing and distribution;
- Inventory management;
- Sales; and
If you’re willing to invest in growth, investing in ERP should be at the top of your list.
HARMONiQ is ERP software specifically designed to provide all the benefits of ERP while remaining customisable enough to work for your specific business and grow as you do.
If you’re considering implementing an ERP system into your business, you can discover more about the process in our eBook ERP Automation: Is an ERP system the right move for my business? Or, click here to contact HARMONiQ for a no-obligation chat and software trial.