Growth is almost always a positive thing, especially when it comes to business.
If your client’s business is growing, they can generally expect that will mean more customers, bigger profits and wider recognition of their brand. Overall, they’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 client’s business develops, so must the way they manage it – or their growth will suddenly come to a halt.
As businesses grow, 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 client’s day-to-day business will increase. As will the difficulty of managing them all successfully.
Their current system may have got them to a spot where further growth is possible, but will it continue to work as their business increases?
Think about your client’s 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 they need to order, and to notify the right supplier.
If your clients had 10, five, even three times the amount of work they have now, would they 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 and your clients off, but it is meant to get everyone thinking. Before your clients commit to growing their business, they need to set themselves up to maintain that growth.
By making sure their systems are optimised now for future changes, your clients put themselves in a better position to sustain their growth. Your clients need to effectively manage the challenges of growth if they want to enjoy the benefits.
When your client’s system works with them and not against them, it doesn’t matter how big or small their business gets, they’ll have the power to run it well.
For this next stage of growth, your client’s system needs to be:
Your clients can’t have more time in their day, so the way they manage the time they 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 your clients need to expect the unexpected. Having a system that can grow as your clients do (or shrink, if things take a downturn) will mean they never have to change or upgrade their system again. Scalability and flexibility are key so your clients can grow and change however they want and know that it won’t affect how their business operates.
Your client’s want their business to spread far and wide – but they don’t want their 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 your clients are committed to sustaining long-term growth, overhauling their 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 client’s businesses. ERP’s are fully integratable, and can streamline processes throughout their entire operation, including:
- Warehousing and distribution;
- Inventory management;
- Sales; and
If your clients are willing to invest in growth, investing in ERP should be at the top of their list.
HARMONiQ is ERP software specifically designed to provide all the benefits of ERP while remaining customisable enough to work for your client’s specific business and grow as they do.
If you’re considering implementing an ERP system into your client’s 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.