Comparing Purchasing Software vs. Hiring an Employee

Mark Canes

We’ve previously discussed the importance of planning ahead in order to achieve your strategic goals. While company growth is exciting, it often means that current processes and strategies need to be updated. For example, how are you currently managing your accounting and inventory? If you are using QuickBooks, you may need to upgrade to a fully functional ERP software system that automates your processes. Or, if the increase in orders means you can’t keep up with deliveries then maybe you need to hire another driver. Either way, when growth becomes too much to handle for the current staff level, businesses start to look for ways to spread out the workload. Two of the most common options are:

  • Hire an extra employee to take on some of the workloads
  • Automate processes through an ERP or other software systems to decrease the pressure current employees face

Both of these options have pros and cons, and choosing between the two can be tough. If you decide to hire someone, your focus might be on growing the team, or you may be unsure of the software options available. Adding an additional employee not only results in higher salary costs but also presents training, management and longevity issues. If you choose to invest in an ERP software solution, you will see benefits in terms of long-term company growth and automation, but you will still face issues when it comes to IT maintenance and updates, costs and support. Either way, here are a few things to consider:

  • Cost: evaluating both tangible and intangible costs (time, dollars spent etc.)
  • Longevity: how long either option will endure
  • The Future: where your company is headed, and which option better suits your long-term strategic goals

There is no right or wrong answer as to what option to choose, but it is advisable to objectively evaluate both in order to make the decision that will be the best for the company.