In my 18 years at Codestone, the number of small and midsized companies I have engaged with runs into the hundreds and covers probably every industry sector that you can possibly imagine.
Although every company is different and the challenges they face feel both unique and personal to those at the centre of the business, there are definitely a handful of recurring themes that I hear every week. Here are just four of them.
ALL I WANT IS MY SPREADSHEET
When you were small you had a spreadsheet and life was great. This single spreadsheet told you everything you needed to know. It was concise, accurate and enabled you to feel the pulse of the business. Now you have many spreadsheets and many systems that churn out multiple reports. You spend hours comparing data, and can’t understand why different sources give you contradictory information – all you want is a single source of the truth.
PAPER, PAPER EVERYWHERE
Another sign that your business has grown beyond all recognition is the mountain of paperwork that seems to cover every desk. People spend all of their time looking for paper, shuffling paper and rekeying information off paper. This is definitely a sign that it is time for processes to be automated and functions to be connected.
STOCK, TOO MUCH OR NOT ENOUGH
More customers and more line items equals a far greater stock challenge. Empty shelves means you are missing sales opportunities and full shelves means that you are tying up precious working capital. How do you get it right? How do you accurately align supply and demand?
CUSTOMER RETENTION STARTS WITH RELATIONSHIPS
With an exponential growth in customers, it is no longer possible for you to know them all – let alone keep track of the relationships you have with them. You rely on your sales team but you are conscious that retention is dependent on customers having a relationship with the company and not the individual. How do you manage customer engagement? How do you ensure that every opportunity is being maximised?
For many growing businesses that I talk to, it is often the case that what was a strength is now proving to be a weakness. When they were smaller, managers had full visibility of the end-to-end process. There were no weak links, and the company was agile. Growth has made is difficult to achieve full visibility and to understand which processes are weak. Agility is hampered by a fear of breaking overstretched systems.
The good news is, while at Codestone, I have seen the team help many organisations facing these challenges and not only overcome them, but deliver an enabler for future growth. We have just created an infographic that summarises the challenges faced and outlines the potential value that can be delivered by ERP solutions such as SAP Business One. Click Here To View.
To contact Dan or the team at Codestone, please call 0370 334 4000.