ERP: The Crystal Ball of Global Companies?

The surprise defeat of the Springboks by Japan in their opening Rugby World Cup match has got me thinking about predictions. Specifically, when it is possible to precisely predict an outcome and when these predictions are simply educated guesses.

In a business environment, there are certain processes that are easier to accurately forecast than others. For example, companies operating in multiple markets and currencies are aggressively competing for business and while revenue generation cannot be reliably controlled, a company’s internal costs can be predicted and monitored.

The rapid growth of multinational companies moving into new markets and locations, especially in emerging markets, and a challenging global economic climate has driven the need for full visibility of costs across the total supply chain, ensuring an iron-fist control over rising overheads.

Predicting and controlling costs throughout multinational group offices, means visibility is key across the entire organization, giving head office management a single consolidated view, without any isolated data pockets.

This is where a single solution that ties together and streamlines all ERP processes (as opposed to a limited financial solution) can help to help improve collaboration and provide businesses with a 360-degree view of all their processes. The accounting functionality needs to support peripheral functions like supply chain, manufacturing and marketing and sales to efficiently achieve business objectives.

In support of this view Gartner predicts ERP spending worldwide is projected to grow from $26.03B dollars in 2013 to $34.3B in 2017 as the focus on cost control across organisations comes increasingly to the fore. There is little doubt that the larger ERP software providers can be very expensive. Consequently we are seeing the more mid-size market ERP vendors moving into this space and providing affordable, efficient and automated financial software solutions for expanding companies intent on controlling the total cost of ownership across their organization.

Customers are asking themselves: Why go for the largest providers when a more affordable mid-size provider’s solution can give us the same functionality, visibility and cost control?

The silver bullet for the future of financial software solutions for customers must include business intelligence tools that can help optimize business processes companywide and provide decision makers with insight into both financial and operational performance.

A comprehensive financial solution offered as part of an ERP system may be the key to predicting and controlling cost.


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