Living in CO or ND snow (and lots of it) is inevitable in the Winter. Also, an inevitable reality to any growing small business is the day you realize that pushing paper not only kills trees, it’s killing morale.  And once you learn Sandra, who’s been with you since the beginning and helped you grow over the past several years, is now moving on to a new job. Reality sets in and all those manual processes you’ve been doing all this time are going to bite you.  Badly.

Don’t get stuck

Sandra was the only one who knew your vendors.  She knew Vendor A submits invoices on Wednesdays and wants to be paid in cash while Vendor B needs to be paid sometime next month via electronic check. And don’t forget it’s time for the annual equipment checkup from Vendor C – where’s their contact information?  All this stuff is in Sandra’s head.  And Sandra’s leaving.  It’s time to scramble.

Unfortunately, it happens all too often.  Someone gets stuck in a snowstorm and can’t make it into the office, leaves the company, or some other major unplanned change happens. Now you’re stuck with the aftermath of silos of knowledge in someone’s head that you can’t retrieve, often about processes that were highly manual and complicated.  Sadly, these really aren’t “unplanned” changes.  Stuff happens.  So right now is the time to address them.  And a great way to do that is with a modern ERP system.

Automation is key

A great ERP system goes hand-in-hand with automating processes.  Sure, not everything can be automated, but a good rule of thumb is that for any one person in your company (no matter how big or small), you should have enough processes documented or simplified that it takes a new person only a couple of weeks to get up to speed.

Taking our vendor example – if your vendor information is on stacks of paper, in a notebook, or in an Excel document on someone’s local hard drive (heaven forbid that laptop crashes!), how does someone else look at that information?  How do they find it?  With a modern ERP system, all your vendor information is stored in one place, in one universal format.  And it’s accessible to everyone at any time from any device.  So you have a searchable vendor list, but you also get to set up payment terms with them, and you don’t have to remember which vendor gets paid in what manner, or how often.  Every vendor also tracks contacts that work there – and how to contact them.  And there’s always room for notes or custom comments.

All on the same page

The modern ERP isn’t just a Rolodex, it helps you define a process that will help benefit your business operations.  You often start with a Purchase Order.  And then get a Receipt, which then steps into an Invoice.  Like clockwork, your ERP can keep track of and tell you what’s next to pay, and process Payments against those Invoices so you make sure to avoid those embarrassing collections calls.  And for the most part, this process is just “built in” to your ERP system.  And now you, and everyone you work with, can discover most anything they need to know about your vendors.

And that’s just the start.  Got inventory you track on spreadsheets?  Imagine digitizing and automating those processes.  Customer Relationships? Sales? A modern ERP can take paper-pushing to the next level. It will give you confidence that not just a single person holds the keys to vital information, and more importantly, gives everyone access to that information at any time.

What’s holding you back?  What inevitable “disasters” await you that you could be better prepared for?  It might be time to ask a lot of questions… because your business just might depend on it.

Before jumping in, Rockton Connect is here to help understand your business strategy and cloud strategy. Working with growing businesses for more than 20 years has taught us a thing or two about what companies want from an ERP solution. We are helping businesses thrive by connecting people, processes, and priorities.

Next Steps:

By: Rockton Connect, www.rocktonconnect.com, Colorado and North Dakota based Acumatica Partner.

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