Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. There are plenty of warnings about taking your time on the important things in life. But what about those other nuggets like the early bird catches the worm? Whichever way we look at it, it’s all about the optimum timing when it comes to the important decisions in life. So, the question is – how long can your organisation really wait to ride the ERP wave?

We’ve seen companies of all sizes, and spanning several industries, realise that the only time to implement an ERP system, like SAP Business One, is when a few common factors occur, including:

  • A major disconnect between reported and actual financial statistics – resulting in senior management unable to rely on data
  • Departments working in silos, completing manual, repetitive tasks – resulting in a frustrated workforce generating unreliable results
  • Sales opportunities are lost to more proactive competitors – resulting in profit loss and a risk to the future of the organisation
  • An overwhelming amount of incoming data from multiple sources – resulting in inaccurate reviews of facts and figures and reduced decision making power

A mixture of these factors, colliding in a timely way can be catastrophic for companies without an ERP system in place. What starts as a seemingly minor problem can soon turn into a huge risk. It’s often at this time that companies wish they had thought about managing their business differently. It’s also the time when it’s probably too late to stop some, or all of the damage.So how can small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) get their timing right without making the leap into ERP too early? Here are some of our guidelines for walking this tightrope;

  • What’s your vision? Along with senior management, stakeholders and other trusted advisors to your business, you need to clearly define (and agree on) where you see the organisation going in the next 2,5,7,10+ years. What about in 25 years? At what point in time will it become unmanageable to scale your business using your existing legacy systems and processes?
  • What level is your risk taking at? Are you the kind of leader who can take calculated risks for potentially significant gains or would you prefer to stay within the comfort levels your small or medium sized organisation has always retained?
  • How tuned into the latest technology and trends are you? Is your organisation able to win and retain new markets using old approaches or is your sales team weary of losing out to the more prepared, proactive competitor?
  • What role do you see your employees playing in the future success of your organisation? Are they just today’s workforce, or are you empowering them with the tools and applications to become tomorrow’s visionary leaders of your company?
  • How hungry are you for real insights into your organisation? These can show the real state of your business now, as well as guide you to reaching your future vision for the company.

If these questions piqued your interest, it’s probably time to make some big changes in your business, even if you’re worried about the investment in time, money and effort. The best thing about an ERP solution like SAP Business One, is that you can really start small and test out the most important elements of an ERP system according to the needs of your business. Then, when the inevitable time arrives that you want to expand further, this can be done with minimal disruption.

Your organisation could also benefit immensely from the game-changing business analytics tools within SAP HANA (whether you have an ERP or not). Read our posts here about how SAP HANA is creating a new future for many companies.

Chances are that if you are interested in improving or growing your business at any level, you have already considered an ERP solution. But, for whatever reason, you’re still holding back hoping something else will happen.

Let’s be honest; you have to make the right decision for your organisation and sometimes that decision means making a bold step into unknown territory.

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