Does your business management software support your business by being agile enough to respond rapidly and intuitively to any changes in operational or market conditions?
Unfortunately, many companies find out too late that their chosen vendor dictates how the system is to be used. Often it’s the case that the system has been built to work in a certain way and you have to fit their solution to carry out certain processes. This can be frustrating and limiting, at best.
Some obvious signs that your software might not be agile enough for your business might include, you’ve become less and less flexible in your operations, you’re using more workarounds to complete simple tasks, customer complaints are on the increase and/or you’re unable to integrate new technologies that could improve efficiencies, company-wide.
Below, we highlight all the tell-tale signs and pitfalls of an inadequate system, and walk you through the benefits of business management software that’s tailored towards agility.
How to recognise when your software lacks sufficient agility
If you’re still using a restrictive legacy system, you’ll probably find minor changes are incredibly costly to make and/or come with excessively long development times. This is one of the biggest challenges experienced by companies looking to adapt their software to changing circumstances and can be extremely frustrating for all involved.
And often, huge issues can arise when trying to communicate a simple change request that gets lost in translation between the end user and your software reseller/vendor.
Today’s modern ERP systems are designed to give you the autonomy and control to make continuous changes to your business rules, processes and tasks through in-built, code-free customisation tools. This is the kind of agility and flexibility you need in your ERP system to handle today’s ever-changing market conditions.
But how else can you tell if your software is lacking the necessary agility? Let’s take a look at a few other tell-tale signs…
- Time pressure due to overprocessing: If your team are constantly working towards deadlines and don’t have the necessary time to get other things done, then this is totally at odds with the principles of agile. Too much pressure on a team can often lead to a lack of productivity, which stifles innovation and fails to push the business forward. If you’re unable to adapt your system to automate many of its processes or customise user interfaces to increase productivity, your system is limiting your business’s progress.
- A lack of shared knowledge: If the software is leading to information silos among your team or departments, then the inefficiency this creates can cause untold problems. The collaborative culture facilitated by agile software improves efficiency throughout your organisation as teams work together, share a single database and understand their specific roles in the process. This is key to being able to quickly and easily adapt to evolving situations.
- Increase in workarounds – If you find your staff increasingly using workarounds to deal with tasks you’d expect your software to be able to manage, then it can be an indication that it’s not fit to adapt to new or changing circumstances.
- Missing out on new technologies – One sure fire way to tell if your software lacks agility is being unable to take advantage of new technologies. Rigid or legacy systems, which are often built on old technology, are unable to seamlessly integrate with new technologies or the latest 3rd party applications. This can reduce your ability to introduce new efficiencies, improve collaboration and/or increase customer service.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your business management software – and you require more flexibility to modify processes to reflect your needs rather than the other way around – you should be looking for an easily adaptable, agile software solution that enables you to make continuous improvements to your business operations.
The benefits of agile business management software
An agile ERP system is a dynamic tool, and when used correctly it can enable you to grow your business and gain a competitive advantage. These systems are developed using the latest technologies and offer a more agile and cost-effective way to tailor your software to suit all your little nuances.
It’s these small changes that make big impacts, ones which could result in a new level of efficiency and productivity within your business. The added upshot? You’ll have more time to focus on the other areas of your operations that add more value.
When your employees have access to a repository of real-time accurate information and data, it enables them to quickly and efficiently respond to any situation that may arise. What’s more, customisable dashboards allow end users to quickly and easily interpret information, providing them with the insights to make intelligent real-time “data-based” business decisions.
Look before you leap
ERP implementation can be a tall order. Without the proper preparation, a successful and seamless project will prove a challenge. Our FREE 30-page guide is here to help you with that.
How else can agile software benefit your business? Here are some more standout advantages that such systems can bring you…
The flexibility of agile ERP systems means that many tasks can be easily automated, and as your needs change, you have the autonomy and control to tweak more processes for greater efficiency. In doing so it allows end users to be more precise in their roles, allowing for flexibility that serves both the requirements of your business and an open culture of your company to take on suggestions for improvements from employees.
An agile methodology emphasises teamwork and accountability, two things which allow collaboration to flourish. And since an ERP system centralises company information in one place, it ensures that teams and departments all work from the same hub of data in a way that’s transparent and in sync with each other.
Since accurate reports have a large role to play in your teams’ productivity and success, ensuring this information is relevant to your team’s duties is key. Agile ERP systems allow metrics and reports to be designed with key users in mind, providing them with the most salient information without overloading them with superfluous information.
And since it’s all reachable in one place or pushed out to staff through alerts, they can easily access the information they need and respond to it in ways that benefit both business and customer.
Where does an agile ERP system make sense?
An agile ERP system can make a huge difference to your day-to-day operations, especially when you need things like the following done in an instant:
- Colour coding of customers in a meaningful way that’s specific to you
- Preventing staff from placing orders under certain circumstances
- Ensuring your most popular products are in stock at all times
- Preventing margin leakage by taking control of discounting at the point of sale
- Adding new fields to CRM records
There are countless ways in which modern ERP software can be altered, by you, to meet the ongoing needs of your staff and business. So, if you struggle to make the simplest of changes in your system, then it’s a sure sign that its rigidity is limiting your business’ growth and you should look to a more agile solution.
Choosing the right ERP software
At Intact we understand that there are no one-size-fits-all ERP solutions. That’s why, for over 30 years, we’ve been listening to our customer change requests and building solutions that give you the power to adapt your solution without needing to go back to us.
Our third-generation ERP product, Intact iQ, contains a unique personalisation layer that enables perfect-fit automated business processes and role-based tailored screen design. Basically, it’s all about what you want to do and how you want to do it.
And crucially, all this can be done without the need for code, which allows for the requisite flexibility, control and autonomy you need to make continuous tweaks to your system to grow and scale your business.
So if you’re thinking about upgrading your existing ERP software, be sure to check if the software is agile enough to adapt to your own unique business needs as you grow.
Struggling to find an ERP system to suit your business? Intact iQ does just that, providing perfect-fit, future-proof solutions – tailored to even the smallest specifics. For more information, head to our page here or get in touch with us today.