As shown by Brexit, a global pandemic, volatile economic markets, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, we see first-hand, the toll that external factors have on SME manufacturing businesses and global supply chains.
We have seen many recent examples of how easily a business can be taken off course by factors outside of its control, from supply chain disruptions, rising energy costs through to increased competitive pressures. Navigating your business through ongoing change, requires you to be innovative and flexible to stay ahead.
As a small and medium (SMB) business, the good news is that you have business agility in your armoury to help you respond quickly to avoid catastrophic consequences in a difficult market.
Exploiting The SMB advantage through Business Agility
The recent turmoil has shown how fragile a business can become without a solid and agile business foundation. Manufacturers who had already invested in their business systems and processes, were well prepared to meet the challenges, adapting quickly to accommodate changes. Others, however, typically with less sophisticated business systems infrastructures, found they needed to resort to ad hoc, emergency procedures to maintain business continuity.
Some challenges vary by industry of course, but companies that run into “firefighting” cycles and have trouble getting proper, timely business information to support key decisions across the business, typically struggle to maintain optimum inventory and control costs.
The role of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in a market downturn
Cloud solutions are now a way of everyday life, with consumers and businesses familiar with the benefits of using cloud-based applications. Whether for arranging online meetings, providing email and office applications, or simply storing images and documents, most users now have experience and confidence in cloud-based solutions.
The acceptance of cloud services as a business platform, has enabled enterprise level solutions to be available to SMBs. In addition, the solutions are always up to date, always online, offer simple “pay as go” payment plans and can be rolled out quickly with fast benefits to the business.
When it comes to your business-critical systems, it’s even more important to have inbuilt resilience and flexibility to support your evolving business needs.
Positioning for Growth
Warehouse robotics company, Autostore are one such company that relies on a full function and integrated cloud-based ERP solution to manage their business. Despite the unexpected events of 2020/21 with an unprecedented and fluctuating set of global conditions, Autostore was still able to realise its impressive growth ambitions. Through its agile systems infrastructure, it was primed to take advantage of the market potential and was able to act quickly with plans to hire more staff.
Commenting on Autostore’s growth, its CEO, Karl Johan Lier remarked: “Global customers and ambitions for growth require a solid ERP system with full control, to make you productive and efficient,”
Read the full story here: AutoStore and the Growth Generator RamBase – A Perfect Match
Assessing your IT systems for Business Resilience
It takes time to implement a new Cloud ERP system and learn how to get maximum benefit from it. The way a business reacts during a downturn, has major implications on how it performs when the market recovers. Businesses that invest in building capabilities and improving their business systems are better positioned to capture increased customer demand.
Cloud ERP provider RamBase has put together a simple checklist designed to help SMB manufacturers assess their current systems vulnerabilities and identify where best to focus your systems efforts to improve the resilience of your business.
The assessment takes ten factors into account, including:
- Addressing manual accounting methods to improve costing and invoicing
- Increasing visibility and collaboration between manufacturing and business functions
- Automating your systems – moving operational dependence from inaccurate spreadsheets
- Providing visibility of vital and accurate business information in a timely way
- Reducing dependence on key individuals
- Maintaining and improving high levels of customer satisfaction
- Enabling profitable growth for your business
- Minimising excess/ superfluous stock
- Managing and improving supplier lead times
- Enabling a supported and agile systems infrastructure for the future
You can read more about how to spot the key signs that you should be reviewing your business systems, by reading the following article “10 Signs Your Manufacturing Business Needs a Modern ERP System.”
Turning Fragile into Agile
We urge any SMB manufacturer to dismiss these indicators for business resilience at your peril – your “work arounds” might work for now, but sooner or later, they will inhibit your profitability and growth, and you are likely to come unstuck.
As a manufacturer in industries that rely on high quality products, accurate documentation, and traceability, we invite you to explore the opportunity with RamBase Cloud ERP.
Get full access to your systems any time, any place and on any device – only requires an internet connection. RamBase Cloud ERP covers all your key business processes and lets you integrate the external information you need to grow your business efficiently.
- One system version
- New functionality is released regularly
- A secure cloud ERP solution
- Flexible subscription model