Your business has successfully grown from a start-up to where you are today. You’ve worked hard to get to this point and most likely along the way, you’ve had some struggles.
It’s a significant accomplishment to grow a manufacturing business and it’s important you have the right tools in place to keep moving your business forward.
Surpassing the Limit of Current Technology
Your technology environment evolved over time, just as your business has.
As departments are established like sales, marketing and product development, you purchase software applications to accommodate their needs.
Eventually, you get to this point where it is difficult to manage all these separate tools and it’s nearly impossible to get a clear picture of your business from so many fragmented data sources.
This is a great opportunity to take a good look at your overall operations and evaluate plans for now and future growth.
Ideally, you want a technology solution that will grow as your business grows.
“Five years ago when deciding to implement an ERP system we knew we could only do so much and had to approach implementation in phases. With Macola, we have been able to grow into the solution without further investment.”
– Denise Johnson, President, RiteWay Manufacturing
The Growing Need for Business Software
We’ve seen many businesses reach a point where they continue to grow but their technology resources reach their limit.
That comes in many forms:
- Servers and software that become obsolete (no longer supported)
- Extreme difficulty in getting reports from the various places data is stored
- The loss of data or the challenge of maintaining data in Excel Spreadsheets
- The simple accounting package can no longer handle the complexities that go along with your growing business
It’s no longer considered a luxury to utilize a business-wide software application, it’s a necessity.
You need these tools to operate internally but on top of that, you’re expected to have technology in place that interacts with your suppliers, customers and even transportation providers.
For instance, you may be asked to receive or submit orders via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) or provide shipping quotes and tracking details to your customers.
All-Inclusive Business Software
Today’s next generation business software has evolved to the point where all business functions can be managed and tracked with one all-inclusive application.
This means you can have end to end visibility from sales opportunity all the way through to cash collection giving you a complete 360 degree view of your business complete with reporting and analytics dashboard.
- Eliminate ongoing, manual reporting
- Eliminate paper based processes
- Clear visibility and accountability into outstanding work tasks in each step of the process
What we mean by “All-Inclusive”?
It’s similar to going on an all-inclusive vacation where your transportation, hotel, food and drinks are part of one price that you pay. (Essentially everything you need for an easy, hassle-free holiday).
With software, you pay one price per user and get all the functions you need to manage your business.
Many vendors will sell the basic package and you have to pay extra costs for additional functions that you will need such as Account Management (CRM), document management and project management.
With an all-inclusive application, you pay one price per user and have Core ERP (accounting, manufacturing, distribution), Account Management (CRM), document management, project management seamlessly integrated through automation and configurable workflows.
Using workflows means you no longer have to rely on spreadsheets and emails internally to share data. In addition, you can see the work assigned and track the progress throughout the process.
An example of an all-inclusive business software is Macola. Macola has spent 40 years evolving their software specifically for growing manufacturing businesses. They understand that the focus of your time should be on building your business, not your software.
What to do next?
To get you started, it’s good to have a clear understanding of the following:
- Evaluate your current business environment and the key processes that drive your organization
- Identify the resources you have available to support a new technology and software system and the work involved to implement the solutions
- Also be aware of the ways each department or role within your organization interacts with each other and the way they use the current tools
- Have an idea of the sense of urgency on the project or timeframe
- Have an idea of budget
You may benefit from talking with a consultant to help evaluate your current business environment and appropriate software solutions to meet your needs. They can help you navigate the various tools and save you a lot of time and effort. If you need some advice, we’re happy to help guide you. Contact us (Harvest Ventures) today for more information.