Businesses Need Smarter ERP Engines to Capitalise on “Systems of Engagement”
Part 1: The Evidence
Smart technologies such as, cloud computing, the Internet and mobile devices have irreversibly changed our lives as individuals. We now have instant audio and visual access to each other and associated information in our personal lives. There is now an expectancy of immediacy in all things social, whether it is sharing experiences, exchanging images or gathering information.
Technology has introduced us to new levels of “Situation Awareness” and “Self-Service” in our lives through systems of engagement. Technology has revolutionised the way people think, achieve and benefit from so many things in their lives today. From banking online, shopping, tax, to travel and much more, we simply couldn’t function efficiently without it.
Accelerated advancements in Internet and mobile technologies have spun out amazing marketing capabilities and business opportunities across the world. Technology is effecting change in business thinking. More and more companies continue to introduce platforms such as e-commerce websites to promote and sell their products and services online.
However, for most online traders it is a constant and costly struggle to reconcile all their sales transactions with their back end business management systems, or “systems of record”. Meeting these challenges erode net margins through rising costs of fulfilment, technology and accurate financial reconciliation. It is a matter of record that even Amazon.com failed to make a trading profit for the first eight years of selling online, and are still struggling to make profits today. And yet they always had plenty of customers, plenty of orders and unlikely to be selling goods at less than cost.
The fact is that front end “systems of engagement”, such as e-commerce, CRM and mobile fail to seamlessly integrate effectively enough, with the traditional “systems of record” such as ERP, Accounts packages etc, to deliver the greater levels of efficiency, economics and profits needed to service customers and markets today.
It is acknowledged by international analysts, ICT commentators and business experts that these challenges are best addressed by having smarter business management solutions that are designed to maximise the new business channels provided by Internet and mobile technologies.
Regardless of whether it is business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) transacting, bolting new technologies, and older business management or ERP solutions together is not the answer. This approach is costly, restrictive and less effective for improving customer service levels, business growth and preserving profits.
Business platforms of the future will have to provide companies with the ability to fully utilise internet and mobile technologies enabling them to remain competitive and agile in ever changing market conditions. “Situation Awareness” and “Self-Service” will become more and more critical for employees, customers and suppliers of businesses everywhere.
- Part 1 of 3