Uncertain times call for flexible technology

26 May 2017 | BlueBridge One

Never a good time…

Uncertainty creates indecision. Indecision causes delay. Indecision leads to paralysis. Paralysis can be the death-knell of a business. For much of the last decade, uncertainty over the future has been very widespread, and it continues to be so. Indeed, it’s not unrealistic to speculate that we may now have just as much certainty as we are going to get ever again.

From the real impacts of Brexit to the influence of Donald Trump on globalisation, the business world may be characterised as uncertain and prone to sudden and disruptive change. One thing over which businesses often exhibit uncertainty-led indecision is technology investment.

Even without the influence of global uncertainty, just like the arrival of the stork with a new-born, some might say there is never a good time to change ERP systems. However, just like we cannot put off accepting the gift of a new arrival when it turns up, software investment decisions cannot be deferred indefinitely, while we wait for more certain times to arrive.

Planning for uncertainty and flexibility

When it comes to selecting software, we can plan for uncertainty by looking for applications that provide flexibility. One might be forgiven for feeling that flexibility is an over-used virtue when it comes to software. However, there’s a good reason why.

The expression ‘Wag the Dog’ means that something of relative unimportance has assumed a dominant position. If we apply it by saying ‘the software is wagging the business’, we mean that a business application is restricting the business by limiting what the business can do and how it can react to a changing trading environment

For many, this is untenable. A business application needs to be flexible and support your business as a continually changing business environment demands.

Quite simply, in today’s world uncertainty is a given. It is something we must keep in mind when making ERP software investment decisions. When a business is able to respond quickly it is more competitive. Being stuck on older, rigid legacy systems will not help the cause.

Flexible ERP adapts to your business and to change

Expanding on this concept of software flexibility, it follows that software should also be capable of adapting to change. Change might be process changes, such as alterations to business operations. It might also be the ability to adapt to changes in the operating environment.

As an example, supposing your business has done really well in opening up in a new territory, so much so that you want to create a new country subsidiary as a separate entity through which to channel, process and report all the business transacted in the region.

Conventional, legacy ERP applications are often rigid and inflexible and cannot adapt to the requirement. You may need to commission two completely fresh systems and junk the existing one. This is a major upheaval likely to cause disruption.

Supposing though, that you had a system that could cope with such a change and allow you to reconfigure the software to match the shape of the business without junking existing investment and without disruption?

If creating another entity is an extreme example, take the case of Brexit, which is likely to create significant complexity to tax reporting and compliance for many UK companies pretty soon. In today’s globalised marketplace, every product distributor needs a flexible ERP application that can really adapt.

Flexible ERP from BlueBridge One

BlueBridge One is a NetSuite 5-Star Award winning system integrator that specialises in partnering with product distribution businesses. We specialise in delivering the benefits of a flexible ERP application that really adapts to what you need and what’s going on in the wider business world.

If you would like to discuss how to plan for uncertainty with software that adapts to changes in our business or the operating environment, simply get in touch today.

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