Most South African businesses are facing a perfect storm, with rand/dollar volatility, disruptions at the ports, load shedding and slow economic growth putting their adaptability to the test.

In the current volatile climate, the organisations that will thrive are those that can rapidly detect, respond to, and even anticipate changes in market conditions.

The key to achieving this level of agility is having an enterprise backbone that gives you a holistic view of your data in real time.

But many small and medium enterprises in South Africa are held back by standalone legacy business systems and manual processes that result in duplicated effort and poor business visibility.

Today’s cloud-based enterprise planning systems address these challenges. Modern platforms such as SAP Business One are designed to be the only system that a business needs for most of its processes and functions.

This includes financials, sales, service, inventory, production management, customer relationship management and more.

These platforms are also designed for easy integration with a range of solutions from independent software vendors (ISVs), offering you access to added functionality.

What this all adds up to is a business solution spanning the entire business with just one database that serves as the single source of truth for the organisation.

Real-time visibility: The key to informed decision-making

Managers no longer need to extract information from multiple systems to run reports or manage data silos.

Everything is tracked in real or near-real time, making for better decisions based on a complete, accurate and up-to-the-second view of what’s happening in the business.

Key stakeholders and users also have access to immediate updates which allows for faster reactions to new opportunities.

With information about the processes of different departments stored in one place, ERP gives a 360⁰ picture of performance.

Because everybody is working in one application, they can collaborate more effectively based on a connected flow of information.

End-users also love the fact that they spend a lot less time manually keying in data or exporting it from one application to another.

The tight integration of ERP and the smooth movement of data across the business also enables elevated automation. ERP streamlines the hard work of running and managing a business by facilitating smooth workflows across the entire enterprise.

Teams get instant boosts to productivity and efficiency, allowing them to spend more time and strategic and value-added activities.

A sometimes overlooked benefit of ERP lies in how it can help improve customer service levels. Rather than needing to access or cross-reference different systems, your sales and service teams can easily find real-time data to solve queries instantly.

Automating common tasks, such as sales order tracking or billing, will lead to better customer experiences.

Embracing innovation

ERP solutions can also help a business to take advantage of innovations such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

These cutting edge technologies can help address modern business challenges, leverage vast volumes of data for more business benefit and innovate faster. But all this power doesn’t mean ERP needs to be complex or expensive to put in place.

Today’s preconfigured, cloud-based ERP solutions are based on industry best practices, are affordable for mid-sized businesses and can be deployed rapidly for quick ROI.

SEIDOR globally, has deployed such solutions for hundreds/thousands of mid-sized businesses, which are using them to improve decision-making, enhance productivity and become more agile.