In this series of Equipped to Compete blogs, we are looking at how a fast-growing business can people affected by process gapsadapt its processes to handle the challenges of expansion.

For example, you can cope with sketchy information about inventory for a while. But as the company grows, it starts to affect your ability to forecast accurately. Shaky quality control or occasional shipment delays eventually lead to unhappy customers.

Avoiding the pitfalls

According to the whitepaper The Three Pitfalls of Business Expansion – And How You Can Avoid Them by Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can help you avoid or mitigate these pitfalls. It can help optimize workflow and allow business leaders to see into and across the operation.

ERP solutions help you design best-practice processes, covering everything from the procurement of raw materials to the handling of customer returns. They also mean you can integrate corporate governance into your operations, rather than establishing controls that create unwelcome additional burdens. For example, your system can automatically submit invoice approval requests to your buyers based on business rules, as opposed to a cumbersome email-based process that has to be initiated for every new order.

A global view that applies local practices

By giving you a complete view of the company, an ERP solution can also help you set and apply different processes to specific sites or geographic locations. It can make sure that shipments conform to local requirements before they are dispatched.

In addition, ERP lets your business collaborate better, by providing business units and cross company functions with clearer insight into their roles in the chain. Planning becomes easier, potential problems become visible earlier and remedial action can be taken to avert crises. Plugging the gaps means that you spend more time making progress and less time recovering lost ground.

Visit our SME Community Experts Web site to read more about how businesses like yours are creating smarter business models to capitalize on business opportunities and scale for growth.