The question of whether or not a Cloud ERP solution can truly add to your company’s value was recently asked and answered by an Acumatica executive with a resounding YES.
Here’s what he had to say:
Success in business requires being deliberate – focusing on and doing the limited number of things that you know that you absolutely must do in order to succeed.
One of those things is leveraging a cloud ERP system to run your business. A cloud ERP solution is the informational foundation on which your business can thrive.
Building Business Resilience through Cloud ERP
COVID-19 created some great examples of resilient businesses succeeding because their cloud ERP solutions gave them the information they needed to track progress, predict and forecast, budget, and report in order to completely change their business strategies.
Companies who were able to use information provided through cloud ERP to make deliberate changes to their strategy and thrive during the early pandemic experienced a rapid increase in company valuation.
Company value is goes beyond the value brought by the business leaders. If you are thinking of selling your business, you need to know what your company is worth without you. In order for your business to retain value without you, you need to make sure that your processes are repeatable and successful.
A cloud ERP system provides the proof that your company, its processes, and its systems deliver sustainable value over time. It can prove that:
- You maintain profitability and can track it by customer, inventory item, vendor, or department
- Your business is disciplined in its practices
- Your people can set a budget and stick to it
- You successfully track inventory
- Your business is future proof and disaster proof
A cloud ERP solution can go beyond providing proof of your business’ value. It can give you perspective.
The Power of Perspective
Perspective is essential for establishing how you view your business and how you define success.
For example, if you have a revenue growth goal of 10% year-over-year and achieve 12% growth, you may count that as a success. However, if you find out that your industry average for growth is 20% year-over-year, your perspective shifts and you see that your business is not thriving and that will affect its value.
A key to gaining perspective is by ensuring you have access to data about your industry which can often be acquired by industry association surveys which reveal the industry’s key performance indicators (KPIs).
Successfully tracking KPIs requires you to understand what elements or contributing factors to each KPI need to be tracked. First you need to set target outcomes, gauge your current results against your desired outcomes, understand what you can do with the results you have gained, and know how to view the status of each KPI at any given time.
The most valuable thing that you can do with information about your KPIs is ensure that it is delivered or available to the people responsible for the results.
Every employee should be able to see the KPIs relevant to their role on a personalized dashboard in order to keep them focused on their own priorities. Having a role-based dashboard, gives each user an appropriate perspective, manage to that perspective, and hold people accountable.
Bring Decision-Making to the Level Closest to the Customer
One thing that the distribution of the workforce due to the pandemic made clear was the need for employees, wherever they were, to be able to provide accurate and timely information to customers, vendors, etc. It has been demonstrated, that if a customer or prospective customer does not receive a stellar experience when dealing with your company, they can find an alternative within 6 seconds or less. Therefore, it is imperative that your company delivers that stellar experience each and every time.
The most important foundation piece to delivering a stellar experience is to give your people the tools, data, and access that they need. You need to have a connected business. Without this foundation, your business value decreases.
If you understand that your customers can easily find an alternative, then you can easily see that your customers desire and require customer self-service. Therefore, you need to push your decision-making to the level closest to the customer, which is the customer!
Customers’ Changing Buying Behavior
Customers today expect 24×7 access to your company, accurate information, and the ability to gain access to your systems on the device of their choosing for self-service.
Your business management solutions needs to allow customer access to their account to check their A/R status, pay a bill, question a charge, etc. Your customers need to be able to research items or services they may want to purchase through videos, content, and user reviews.
In January 2021, an IDC report stated that up to 70% of a purchasing decision is made before the customer ever speaks with a human. If you lack customer self-service capabilities, you will be losing customers before you ever know they had considered buying from you.
The kind of experience you offer your customers and prospects significantly impacts your ability to grow your company over time, which impacts that value of your company today.
Connected Cloud Business
The world is changing too quickly to be left behind on a legacy solution that cannot deliver all that your stakeholders require. You must take advantage of all that the cloud represents.
At Acumatica Summit 2021, they announced that in 2020 Acumatica:
- Provided a 99.996% uptime to customers
- Had zero successful cyber attacks
- Rolled out 2 successful product updates
Those successes were due entirely to the strength of Acumatica’s cloud platform. The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to the world. Companies that were/are on cloud-based business management solutions weathered the storm much better than those that were not.
At this point, not operating your business in the cloud is not an option and a failure to move to the cloud has a significant impact on the perceived value of your company.
In order to be perceived as valuable, your business management solution must be able to connect your people no matter where they are, at any time. Your customers expect it.
Future-Proof your Business
The pandemic did not cause any of the issues businesses are facing today. They were already occurring. However, COVID-19 accelerated the need to deal with these issues. It accelerated the need for companies to embrace digital transformation by at least 7 years!
The way that customers consume products and services has changed dramatically and is unlikely to ever return to way things were. Expectations have changed and they aren’t changing back.
However, we still need to find customers, manage sales cycles, differentiate from the competition, obtain raw materials or inventory, and deliver customer service.
Business leaders can no longer use the excuse of “I didn’t see that one coming.” You now need to expect the unexpected, anticipate local and global disasters, and plan accordingly. That is how you create a “future proof” business.
A future-proof business is what potential investors want to see, what customers demand, and what employees need in order to stay. It is deliberate change that can add value and bring success.