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Has your business outgrown that small accountancy software solution? Is your legacy system holding you back on the path to digital transformation? Do you find it difficult to match your customer data with supplier information?

An important question to ask is whether the time is now to switch to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. There are a few clear signals indicating that your current software solution may be holding back the growth of your business.

If the business uses an inordinate number of spreadsheets, spends lots of time reconciling data, and cannot come to a consensus on a single version of the truth, it is time to invest in an ERP solution. A modern ERP system should be end-user friendly, accessible from anywhere, and provide answers and insights to questions in minutes – not days and weeks. 

“Making the move from an accountancy solution to an ERP system designed specifically for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), is a valuable and sensible next step for many businesses,” says Mala Bhatt, managing director, Seidor Africa Eastern Africa and Mauritius.

“It optimises business processes which directly improves productivity, enhances information visibility, and enables effective communication. Small businesses need to be faster and sharper than the competition, which is reason enough to implement an ERP solution. Keeping control of an entire business end-to-end, across sales, customers, purchasing, inventory, operations, financials and HR functions in an integrated structure, offers a critical competitive advantage.”

ERP solutions with personalised dashboards allow users to see data when they need it. They can zoom into profit, check the business’s cash flow, find its most profitable customers, review the sales pipeline, and then drill down deeper into the detail with a single click.

“You can select from pre-set key performance indicators, create a report for the board meeting in seconds, and with features like enterprise search, you can find anything you need fast,” adds Bhatt.  “Because one size does not fit all, it’s important to set out on the path to digital transformation with a business management solution designed specifically for your business.”

·         It is time for an ERP solution when the business needs to integrate its backend with its website, and new customers and web orders need to be imported directly into the system.

·         It is time for an ERP solution when the company needs to quote or sell new products and needs to import vendor or distributor’s data into the system automatically so that the information can then be made available to salespeople who can quote directly from the system.

·         It’s time to upgrade to ERP when management needs the ability to see all open items, which orders have yet to be processed, and then report on that information. The solution allows for greater control over the movement of products out of the warehouse and the returns from customers.

With an ERP system in place, the business will be better able to handle a larger volume of transactions and be able to scale its operations or product offering without adversely affecting system performance.

“If a business is losing out to competitors because its people don’t know what they don’t know when they need to know it, it’s time to seriously consider upgrading to an ERP system,” says Bhatt.