As a small business owner it is inevitable that some of your time will be spent putting out fires, and dealing with issues as they arise on a daily basis. For wholesale distribution companies this may include: time spent searching through various systems and files to find information on specific orders, doing physical inventory counts to determine actual inventory volume and calculating different price levels for customers when vendors change their costs. Although the flexibility to do this is often seen as a benefit of being a small business, it is important to not let it get in the way of executing other projects and achieving your strategic goals. As a business owner, you should try to avoid becoming so overwhelmed dealing with everyday tasks, and putting out fires, that you’re unable to focus on the core success factors of your business. One solution is to begin looking for a more robust distribution ERP software system in order to streamline operations, automate processes and reduce the amount of time spent manually managing your business. Although this may be one of the most important reasons to upgrade your existing software, four more are outlined below.
(1) Your current systems lack integration with one another.
Lack of integration may include all or a few of your existing systems such as: accounting, CRM, inventory management and eCommerce. Although each of your existing software systems may work perfectly well independently of one another, as your company grows the issues that arise from lack of integration will start to become more and more obvious. Working with multiple disparate systems means that the same data must be entered several times, which can lead to keying errors and inconsistent information. In addition, if one system gets upgraded, this version may no longer be compatible with your other systems for managing simple tasks like importing and exporting data.
(2) Your current system is no longer supported, has reached its end of life, or is a sunset program and will no longer be developed.
Just as you have a business to grow and manage, so do software vendors, which means they may discontinue development on older systems in order to focus on more modern and lucrative software initiatives. Although this issue is unavoidable, it is important to be proactive in finding a new solution when this happens. With no support or further development, your system is more vulnerable to security threats and will no longer receive system patches. As with purchasing insurance, upgrading your software system is more beneficial when carried out pro-actively in order to protect your business from future issues.