Business ProcessesHabits are difficult things to break. Humans are resistant to change. It takes an average of 21 days to form a new habit, longer if it’s a more difficult behavior to change. If you’re always doing things the way you’ve always done them, you’re always going to get the same results. Your clients may not care about the “why” behind what you do, they just want the promised results when and how they were promised.

One of the better ways to ensure you are meeting client expectations is to streamline business processes. According to Business Enterprise Mapping, improving processes can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction. The more customers are satisfied, the higher the customer retention rates and the lower the levels of attrition. By working to streamline business processes, you might even improve your revenue.

Poor Processes = Lost Revenue

According to IDC Research, companies lose 20 – 30 percent of their revenue due to poor processes yet many companies don’t even realize that it’s their lack of process that is hurting productivity and revenue. If a manufacturer doesn’t have tight controls on the manufacturing process from start to finish, they may lose revenue because:

  • They have miscalculated the amount of time required to fulfill the order, thus delaying shipment and causing the customer embarrassment or lost revenues;
  • They lack raw materials needed to fulfill the order because they have poor reordering and supply chain management processes;
  • Critical personnel are missing when orders come in due to open jobs, vacations, or other reasons, leaving gaps in the human capital needed to complete the order; or
  • There are few or no quality controls in place, leading to poor products and high returns.

The Missing Link in Your Process: ERP Software

Customers expect manufacturers to have processes in place to prevent missed deadlines, poor quality, and lack of information about their orders. One of the best ways to improve processes is by adding tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to your company.

Companies with well-integrated ERP software find themselves using data to drive innovation and decision-making. An ERP gives all members of the organization insight into the company’s business, providing transparency to ensure that process gaps are brought to light. Once those gaps are discovered, it’s up to your team to close them.

An ERP system itself cannot build a process; however, it does provide a framework in which a process can run. Take a look at supply chain management: Companies lacking an ERP system may need to manually check and manage aspects of their supply chain. Records could be on spreadsheets, and information shared via phone calls, emails, or texts. It may take days to get information from a vendor into the spreadsheet and back into a manager’s hands. By then, the order may be delayed.

Contrast this with a company using an ERP system to manage its supply chain. Managers can see the inventory status of all the parts, equipment, and raw materials they need to manufacture orders. If anything is lacking, they can request reorders immediately or transfer stock from one location to another. If an order is delayed, they can see quickly when the revised delivery date is expected and alert customers without waiting for spreadsheets to be updated or phone calls to be returned.

Make the Move to ERP

You can tighten and streamline business processes now by examining areas that demonstrate persistent problems, gaps, or customer complaints. Use customer complaints to help you pinpoint areas in your processes that could benefit from improvement. Once those issues have been addressed, you can move on to other systems that need to be updated.

Ready to change what you’ve always done for something new? If it’s time to implement an ERP into your processes, look to the experts at Accounting Systems, Inc. (ASI). With extensive experience in both Sage and Acumatica ERP systems, ASI will be able to help you select, customize, and integrate the right ERP solution for all your business process needs. Contact us today to get started.