A Business Management Solution typically refers to a software solution which covers all aspects of your business – finance, inventory control, manufacturing, reporting, sales, purchasing and customer relationship management. A Business Management Solution is often referred to as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software. The team at Leverage Technologies (www.leveragetech.com.au ) has implemented ERP / Business Management Solutions for small to medium-sized companies across Australia. One of the key questions we get asked is “Does my business need a new business management solution?” To answer this question we first need to look at your company’s specific requirements and current software solutions. Upgrading to a new ERP or business management solution can be a substantial investment in time and money – so a good starting point is to first ensure that your business has a requirement for ERP / Business Management Solutions. Most companies that are considering ERP / Business Management Software fall into 4 categories:

  1. A start-up business with no current software.
  2. An existing business which has outgrown current business management software solutions.
  3. An existing business with an outdated and potentially unsupported ERP / business management solution.
  4. A business using an ERP solution which is not providing the business with the required information, data and reporting.

Typical signs that your business has outgrown current business management / ERP software solutions include:

  1. Difficulty in getting timely reporting and management information. If your business is struggling to get monthly reporting done on time or just as importantly is battling to give managers access to the information that they want when they want it then you might need a new business management solution.
  2. Lots of manual processes. Separate systems, manual processes, and system workarounds are other signs that you should evaluate your ERP (business management solutions).
  3. Extensive use of spreadsheets for data analysis. Spreadsheets can be a great source of information for ad hoc reporting but when your business starts to be run by spreadsheets with hundreds of tabs and macros you might want to re-consider your ERP requirements.
  4. Islands of information – several separate non-integrated solutions. As businesses grow so do your business management solution requirements – an entry-level business management solution that you purchased 15 years ago might not cater for your current size and complexity of business. Most likely a good time to evaluate a new business management / ERP solution.
  5. Double entry of information. We have all seen this before – users having to enter information into multiple different systems – finance, inventory and reporting etc.. Once again an indication that you should consider a new business management / ERP solution.
  6. Limited support for current business management solution – if support for your existing business management solution or ERP solution is difficult to find then it might be time to re-consider your business management solution options.

Correctly used and implemented a good business management solution will have a positive impact on all parts of your business – finance, customer interaction, purchasing, cash flow, inventory control and manufacturing. Having an up to date ERP / business management solution is critical to business growth.