5 warning signs your business systems are leading you into disaster

22nd February, 2017

The best businesses don’t weather the storm; they avoid it completely.

One of the more interesting things about human behavior is that we tend to not want to think about disaster and think about everything going smoothly.

That doesn’t exactly help when everything goes south in a hurry.

In bigger businesses, disaster is often the byproduct of business systems and processes going wrong all at once.

They often have multiple systems with multiple databases that don’t play well together. Without accurate data, they can’t see a pathway to a solution.

Metaphorically speaking, they’re standing next to their business watching wide-eyed as the storm rolls in. By then it’s too late, they batten down the hatches and try weather the financial storm.

What if could see the warning signs early?

5 warning signs of impending systems doom

1. You’re wasting a lot of time with duplicate data entry

When information is stored in one database you don’t have to enter it multiple times so records match. It can also be found easily and reports can be generated faster.

As a result, planning and forecasting becomes a much simpler process.

If you’re having to enter data twice or manually matching data across multiple databases, it’s not so simple or easy.

2. No single source of customer information

Having customer information stored across different systems makes it nearly impossible to gain a complete and accurate picture of your business.

For example, a salesperson might be able to see previous orders and shipping addresses for a customer.

However, they may not be able to see that the customer hasn’t paid their last four invoices and finance are no longer extending their credit.

This means they’ll be spending time on a sale only to have it cancelled as soon as the order is raised.

3. It’s difficult to run reports

When systems run separately, processes that are designed to make sure a company runs smoothly can become more complex than they need to be.

If you need to pull reports from multiple systems to collate them into one report, it’s not only time consuming but invites the possibility of errors because it’s done manually.

Because these systems are separate, they often require other tasks to be completed to run a report leading to massive inefficiencies and a waste of time.

4. Data entry errors

Entering data across multiple systems can often lead to inaccuracies that cause major issues for your business.

Imagine a customer’s order being shipped to the wrong address because the shipping system hasn’t been updated to sync with the order entry system.

These mistakes can cause severe issues for your business and even financial loss.

5. Unnecessary added costs maintaining multiple systems

Maintenance is a key driver of the success of your business management system. It’s also a key component of the overall cost involved.

One of the most common challenges posed by the management of multiple systems is the fact that companies are required to pay for the services of multiple system providers.

The cost and hassle of maintaining support agreements with various providers can also lead them to play the blame game.

That’s one company passing the blame onto another and they do the same, leaving you  without the support you need.

So, now you know the signs, what can you do to avoid the storm?

3 ways to avoid systems failure

1. Always analyse existing processes

If you’re still using the same systems and processes you used since the beginning, you might have some problems.

Are your processes enabling your staff to work efficiently? Are they easy to use and scalable if your business grows suddenly?

Then when you’ve analysed your existing processes, plan to do it again.

Plan your next review so you don’t end up in the same position a second time.

2. Identify your functionality gaps

Once you’ve analysed your processes you’ll probably have a pretty good picture of what tools your business lacks to implement changes.

Ask your stakeholders for input, as they feel the pain too and you’ll need them on side if you choose a new system.

Figure out if customisation is necessary to suit the unique needs of your business. The payoff will be a more agile solution that will enable your business to stay current and support future change.

3. Always focus on improving

Even if you’re not focused on world domination, building a sustainable business model requires a touch of focus on continuous improvement.

Think of it as a process of staying abreast of change and ensuring your business is changing in conjunction with modern business conditions.

MYOB offers a range of ERP solutions that deliver enterprise grade capabilities including our 100 percent cloud-based ERP solution MYOB Advanced. Contact us to learn more about our business management solutions.