With the exclusion of payroll, approximately 90 percent of mid-size organizations should operate with one integrated business management system. This can sometimes be more difficult than you would expect as more and more companies in the low to mid-range are requiring the same system capability as much larger entities. It wasn’t all that long ago that foreign currency and inventory serial number tracking were a faint hope. Manufacturing in small shops was often managed off the back of a cigarette package. Now all of these capabilities and more are required for nearly any size of company.
So why should companies stick to one system? There are a lot of solid reasons, some of which we will discuss.
One of the most important reasons is the enormous cost of entering the same data into multiple systems. Not only will your staff have to double, or triple their efforts, the potential errors will cost in the long run. There are studies that show fixing data entry errors costs seven times as much as the cost to input the data in the first place. Unreliable data with a degree of error ensures that every bit of information must be carefully scrutinized during the month and at month-end. If you are not sure about the numbers, you certainly don’t want to share them with anyone.
Another is the high cost of running multiple systems. Besides the cost of duplicate data entry or integration, you will now need to work with multiple software vendors and possibly different hardware platforms. Running multiple systems that are key to your business will likely increase your systems cost by 40-50 percent over a five year period. Having multiple systems can also demand a complex and sometimes unreliable integration between systems that were never designed to communicate with each other.
A less obvious cost is the time it takes to train and support your staff on multiple systems. If your business is experiencing growth and changes in its business model, you need an adaptable and capable of system that can both grow to virtually any level and be able to accommodate change. You can’t afford to change systems any more than you can help, both in terms of time and cost.
You need to find the right system that can do everything your organization requires. Make sure it is the last system you ever need to work.