What does the future have in store for your business? You might be tempted to respond, “I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball.” But you do, don’t you? You don’t know for certain what changes the future will bring, but chances are, the future state of your business will resemble its present state, but with some set of relatively predictable changes. If you repair appliances, for example, you probably won’t be offering healthcare services to your customers any time soon. However, you might add a spare parts warehouse to your business. That’s a definite possibility, even if today you don’t know for sure that you’ll be making the move.
The challenge is to be prepared for the future. IT, in particular, should ideally be able to accommodate whatever changes you intend to implement. IT vendors call this “future proofing.” The concept refers to acquiring a tech solution now that can adapt to the future without any major change projects—or worse, the need to be “ripped and replaced.” Legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions have not been great in this regard. They tend to be slow and costly to change. They’re not very future proof. Future-blocking is more like it.
Cloud ERP is generally better at future proofing. Its architecture and cloud-native software make it relatively easy to modify and augment with add-on modules for new types of operations. Consider the following future activities that cloud ERP can facilitate without undue disruption or cost:
Changing lines of business
In the future, you may add or change the ways your business serves its customers. For example, you might add field service. With Acumatica cloud ERP, creating a field service operation would require simply adding Acumatica Field Service Edition to the core ERP suite. This module gives you control over scheduling, dispatch, field service billing, inventory management for field service appointments and more.
Are you considering opening new locations, perhaps in other states or even different countries? With Acumatica cloud ERP, you can set up accounting and operational software for multiple sites. That way, you can carefully track income and expense for each location, while also overseeing practical details like inventory, payroll and so forth on a location-by-location basis.
Supply chain change
It’s a given that your supply chain will evolve over time. Your suppliers will merge or go out of business. You’ll add some and drop others. You may change your procurement and supply chain management business processes. With cloud ERP, you can accommodate such changes within the solution’s existing supply chain framework.
Changes in organization structure
The future will almost certainly see changes in the structure of your organization. Revenue growth and staff turnover, among many factors, will result in the formation of new departments, business units and reporting relationships. With these changes come new application access rules and process workflows. Cloud ERP is designed to make such changes fairly simple to implement.
M&A and multi-entity business
It’s possible that you will acquire other businesses over time. Those will have to be integrated into your operation. Cloud ERP software enables you to provision the same system to everyone, regardless of the business entity they started out in. This capability alleviates the problematic scenario where newly acquired businesses run their own legacy ERP in parallel. That’s a great way to get to a state of confusion or at least waste a lot of time in dealing with incompatible systems. Alternatively, you may elect to divide your company into multiple, wholly owned business entities. Here, too, cloud ERP allows you to have each entity on its own books, but with accounting and operational consolidation of data at the top.
We have worked with many businesses on these types of change issues, endeavoring to future proof their companies as they plot their next strategic moves. To learn more about cloud ERP, contact us for a free consultation and product demo.