Welcome back to week 2 of our 5 week series ‘Have you outgrown Sage?’ Each week we’ll be discussing a new business challenge, last week we looked at when you’re No Longer Receiving Value for Annual Maintenance Fees and this week we discuss the situation when ‘Your Business is Ready to Grow, but You Can’t’.
Time for a more flexible ERP system?
Have you an idea, an innovation, to improve your competitiveness, your revenue, your growth? Perhaps it is something simple like controlling costs by automating approvals or improving sales by adding new fields to invoices to cross sell or up sell complementary products. Or perhaps the idea is something more bold like creating a new business unit to capture a new market opportunity. You’ve done the research, it makes business sense but then you discover your back office systems cannot support the change.
This is why we advise companies looking to invest in ERP and CRM systems to make sure they invest in agile ERP and CRM systems that will not constrain your business as you try to grow. This is especially true of smaller companies who face different challenges to bigger companies and often have to react more quickly to remain competitive and exploit opportunities.
Business Challenge #2: Your Business Is Ready to Grow, but You Can’t
In order to run a successful business, you need to constantly change, to meet the needs of customers, to grow product lines, to outpace your competitors. Right when you need your ERP software the most, you just might find that it is no longer able to keep up. Your Sage or similar Tier 3 software may have worked when your business was smaller and sales volume was manageable, but now its limitations are holding you back. This is especially true as your business processes become more complex, transactions start to increase and your customers’ expectations rise.
This is why Microsoft Dynamics is the most popular ERP and CRM applications in the world which cater for 1 – 5 person businesses (such as the event management company, Aiken Promotions) to large enterprises like Calor Gas or Dale Farm which have hundreds of simultaneous users.
The reason Microsoft Dynamics scales is its architecture and Dynamics scales in three ways:
- Functionality – unlike smaller Tier 3 systems like Sage, Dynamics is a fully functionality ERP and CRM application that covers all the core business operations from finance to production to inventory to warehousing to logistics to field service and sales so new divisions and business units even international can all operate on the one database since Dynamics ERP and CRM are multilingual and handle multinational businesses with consolidation and multiple currencies, etc.
- Transaction volumes and users – because of its three tier architecture, Dynamics ERP and CRM applications can scale to thousands of users handling millions of transactions. This is because each batch of 50 users is managed by a new service tier since the processing and data and logic is separated from the service so there is no limit to growth. Three-tier architecture is defined as having a separate database, server and client where:
- The database stores the data.
- The server runs the application business logic.
- The client application allows users to connect to the server to access business logic and use the data in the database. Scale therefore is simply a matter of having sufficient numbers of service tiers to manage the load. The applications themselves have no scale limit.
- Upgrade compatibility – this is the most common limitation of Tier 3 software like Sage. To meet the requirements of the change you demand, new code has to be written into the Sage application but this will impact any future upgrades since this hard code will need to be rewritten against the new version. This is not only expensive, it is time consuming and will delay your ability to exploit your competitive advantage. Dynamics ERP and CRM applications are fundamentally different because of their Model Driven Layered Architecture (MDLA) which allows for quick and seamless upgrade compatibility. This unique Model-Driven Layered Architecture (MDLA) makes company-differentiating changes easy to execute. In essence, the individual application objects (e.g. tables, forms, code units, reports) that make up the application are defined in meta-data and grouped in models, which are accessible through central model-stores. In this modern architecture, unique requirements can be addressed declaratively, without writing code. This technical feature gives Dynamics ERP and CRM applications an edge in terms of their flexibility and adaptability compared to other ERP applications and will enable you to remain an innovative and agile organisation that can experiment with new ideas while being supported by an ERP application that enables and hopefully improves this entrepreneurial agility.
In addition to Dynamics’ agile architecture, Dynamics is also designed to be quick to access and use with role-tailored dashboards and tasks will allow you and your team to re-act faster, spot new opportunities, as well as correct situations that can deter you from meeting your goals. It’s integrated with Office 365 for a fully collaborative experience and has mobile clients that work on tablets and smartphones making it possible to serve your customers the way they want – whether you have 5 or 5,000. You can also identify trending data and leverage it to grow or develop new product lines, boost sales, and expand into new areas. It’s an easy to use, flexible ERP system that is backed by the number 1 Microsoft Dynamics Partner in Ireland with vast industry knowledge and solutions to meet your business needs.
Join us for part 3 of this blog series next week when we explore the business challenge: Productivity can’t keep up with your growth.
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by Gerry Power