Andy Wilson

The ERP Diaries…a series that takes you through the process of implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution

For businesses on a strong growth trajectory there comes a time when thoughts invariably turn to “we need an ERP”. Yet, is that always right?

As a business scales and grows, the amount of data grows and it’s often at a much quicker rate than the growth itself. Managing and analysing all that information across multiple platforms becomes hugely inefficient, costly, time-consuming, and at times inaccurate. It’s even more challenging for PE-backed businesses on a buy-and-build strategy

So, all roads will seem to be pointing towards ERP… but the key question is “when does my company need an ERP and are we ready for it”? It’s crucial to determine whether you are in fact ready for an ERP solution; as sometimes, you might not quite be there.

Where to start?
Firstly DON’T GOOGLE it. Selecting software providers is almost the last thing you will need to look at. There are thousands of Google pages that suggest a myriad of positive reasons for implementing an ERP system, but a lot fewer giving you reasons NOT to do so and obviously less still WHETHER YOU’RE READY OR NOT!
Look at these telltale signs and pain points – do any or many of them resonate with your business?

  • Your business has outgrown its existing financial and operational, commercial systems
  • The existing end-to-end business processes are inefficient
  • The finance team and operations include a wide selection of ‘spreadsheets’ as part of their critical processes
  • Internally departments that are part of a single business process can’t communicate or collaborate effectively
  • Your business is spending too much on software integration or development to ‘make things work’
  • Can’t meet customer demand or scale parts of the business due to systems constraints
  • Every new system your business introduces has needed more headcount and not less
  • Lack of automation across your enterprise
  • Lack of visibility of costs, margins, assets etc for the finance and operational teams
  • You need more and more granular and consolidated reporting that you worry is inaccurate and ”know” it shouldn’t be used for strategic forecasting
  • Current systems are end of life or unsupported

If any of the points above resonate with you today, chances are there is a need for things to change. Once you’ve answered “yes” to some or many of the points above, it’s time to look internally – is your business actually ready for it?

The ERP Decision Tree

The decision to invest in an ERP solution is a large one that will need buy-in from members of the senior management team, your investors (if PE-backed) and very importantly – your resources.

To help businesses with this decision, we advise taking an honest walk over the stepping stones in the Panamoure ERP Decision Tree below. Please enter your details below to view the stepping stones and continue reading the article.

How did you do?

Did you get all the way to “Go for it” and feel comfortable? Did you stop on any stones and think “hold on…we’re nowhere near ready”….. or did you (be honest) pass over some steps you thought were not necessary that you’d “sort out once we’ve started”.

Before moving to the next step, the honest appraisal of your business must be completed.

Too many businesses fail before they’ve begun by blindly thinking an ERP is the silver bullet and that technology will solve all ills. It won’t if you’re not ready.

Quite often companies can struggle with this part of the thought process and we’d always recommend a third party help you through this stage of the journey.

In the next piece, we’ll look at how to step successfully through the above and what you need to do to ensure you decide on the right solution for you.

For more information about how Panamoure can help and advise you with your ERP project or other areas of technology transformation please get in touch.

Enter your details below to view the continue reading the article and view the Panamoure ERP Decision Tree and receive the latest article in The ERP Diaries sent directly to your inbox.
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