The Evolution of a Business System Hairball and How to Avoid it
Untangle Your Business System Hairball
Many businesses start off by investing in a financials/accounting solution to run their back office and then a separate CRM, ecommerce, HRIS or any other point of solution as they grow. While these disparate systems may get the job done, having a single version of the truth could prove challenging when reporting or auditing.
As businesses grow and evolve, they add software and systems to manage departments, automate processes and provide insights into operations. It’s an iterative process that evolves on a timeline dependent on growth, industry competition and other factors.
It’s rarely, however, done holistically, with long range goals in mind. Occasionally, there might be one system that can handle a number of functions or some software packages might come with pre-built integrations for certain industries. However, the end result is frequently a “hairball” of disparate systems, loosely connected with brittle integrations that demand attention with every upgrade or tweak.
The emergence of cloud-based applications and Software-as-a-Service hasn’t eliminated the hairball, it’s just moved it to the cloud. In fact, the cloud’s low upfront costs that facilitate departmental purchases without oversight from IT or costly hardware investments sometimes make it worse. It doesn’t have to be that way.
How do you Know When it’s Time to Switch to a More Comprehensive ERP Application?
• Things are getting harder to keep track of – Inventory, expenses, orders, RMA, contracts, projects, WIP, etc.
• There is no reporting, it takes a long time or is unreliable – Financials, sales, inventory aren’t really “connected,” and you spend more time trying to fix inconsistencies than studying and learning from the data.
• It takes multiple conversations to get to the ‘truth’ – When things go wrong, do you have limited understanding of what actually happened, why it happened and who was involved?