As fast-growing companies achieve greater market penetration, gain more customers and their organization grows, they often run in to a wall where internal processes struggle to keep up with continued demand. The key challenge to supporting that growth is laying the groundwork to scale the business effectively and efficiently while maintaining customer service and support.
Inefficiencies of a Standalone System Architecture
Businesses that select their systems over time can find themselves with a poorly planned architecture that handles short-term tactical needs sub-optimally while holding the company back from scaling efficiently over the long term. These inefficiencies can become so severe that they cripple growth. There are four primary issues that hinder growth when running a business with siloed systems:
Wasted Employee Productivity
If your employees are bogged down with inefficient and disjointed processes, it increases errors and takes time away from their more important core duties. Important processes such as order processing, invoicing, expense approvals and fulfillment, can take a lot longer to get completed if too much manual effort is required and are often erroneous. For instance, your employees may be spending hours re-entering order information into the accounting and invoicing system, while other employees pull that same information from your CRM system for their order fulfillment processes and to calculate sales commissions. If any orders are canceled in the meantime, your employees have to sift through mounds of data to reconcile this information again.
Lack of Real-time Visibility
When software systems are unintegrated, you have multiple overlapping databases and cannot easily get a view of business performance in a timely fashion. Reports showing performance across your finance, sales, marketing, service and fulfillment departments are crucial to giving you an integrated view of your company’s operations. Most companies simply give up on acquiring this information on a regular basis because of the amount of time it takes to source, extract and analyze this data. For those that do, countless hours are wasted trying to tie unrelated, error- prone and out-of-date information together. Consequently, businesses end up making critical decisions slowly based on inaccurate information, or they make hasty and risky decisions off of gut instinct.
Integration Complexity and Cost
With so many siloed applications, IT wastes an enormous amount of time and money on integrating, maintaining, upgrading, and acquiring new versions of these applications. Once new versions are purchased, even more integration and maintenance needs to be performed for all the different versions of software to work together. Consequently, valuable IT time that could be used to make the business more productive is wasted, while maintenance costs skyrocket.