The tide of business never ceases to ebb and flow but of all the pitfalls facing business leaders, stagnation is surely the biggest and deadliest killer of them all.
Not only must managers react to changes in the marketplace, continually adapting and honing their product so it is the very best it can possibly be, they must also keep one step ahead and anticipate a continually shifting raft of changes to come.
One of those changes is that, as the years pass, businesses will be handed over to the next generation of new managers with a fresh ideas and different priorities. This can be bad news for business supply firms who may have long relationships with clients which are cancelled at a stroke when new management gets their feet under the desk and decide to do things differently.
But here at Statii we are seeing the positive side of such changes: an ever increasing number of second generation business owners are knocking on our door to ask about our ERP software. These are often people who have worked in their firm for the past ten to fifteen years and have either been handed the reins of power to steer the ship for the next quarter of a century, or have been primed to do so.
What we are seeing is that alongside investigating what new capital equipment will be needed and all the number-crunching that surrounds making big investments for the future, these new managers are also taking a good hard look at the whole flow of their business processes and how these can be improved.
This is where the very essence of our product comes into its own: second generation managers – who have, after all, grown up in a far more technological age than that of their predecessors – are able to see at a glance the huge benefits that things like a really efficient ERP system and MRP software product can bring to their business. Incredible as it may seem in today’s fast-paced world, many engineering companies are still quoting using pen and paper as their tool of choice. But when it comes to the new faces that we talk to, they can clearly see the huge advantages of having a computerised method for key aspects of the running of their business, such as enterprise resource planning, inventory management and of raising and tracking quotations.
No more dusty filing cabinets taking up valuable office space, no more time-consuming searching for the right pieces of paper; for new managing directors, fully automated enterprise resource planning with the full traceability and efficiency that it offers is without a shadow of a doubt the right way forward, freeing up time and space to devote to the really important task of making the very best product they can. And by getting rid of all those tiresome paper-based systems, they will even have room for more staff!
So much for the present day, but, to go back to the beginning, it isn’t enough for businesses to react to change, they must also anticipate it.
That is where the forward-thinking of second generation management has a clear advantage over their competitors, for it is they who are able to see the untold benefits not just in computerised small business software, but even further forward into investing in cloud-based ERP.
Because let there be no doubt about it: cloud ERP is the future. The benefits to any business are huge – for one thing, storing data in the cloud allows businesses to scale back on hardware. This is very important for SMEs who haven’t the resources to invest not only in hardware but in the additional costs of upfront expenses and upgrades to the system. While there may have been doubts over the security risks of placing data in the cloud, these have been largely erased as people become more and more aware of the huge advantages cloud-based systems have to offer.
Another big area which we are finding that second gen management has to think about is in the time-consuming arena of actual physical production management. Again, here new managers have a technological advantage over their paper-based forbears, and we are seeing inquiries come through the door asking about the production management software solutions that we offer.
At Statii we pride ourselves on being a firm with a manufacturing background that offers manufacturing solutions for manufacturers; our knowledge and experience of the unique challenges faced by the engineering industry gives us a heads-up when it comes to providing tailor-fit solutions for engineering SMEs.
A robust, fully-integrated production planning and control system can bring huge benefits to a business in terms of efficiency and cost. We are now well into the 21st century and gone are the days when a business needs several computer or even paper systems on which to monitor different aspects of their processes. A properly thought through production planning software scheme will enable users to monitor and oversee all aspects of their business flow at a glance, from accounts to quotes.
Need a way of inventory management that is connected to your order book? It’s time to think carefully about the right production management software that is tailored to your needs, doesn’t include unnecessary features, and is cost-effective. The main advantages of fully inclusive systems such as these is that they cut down on human error – there is only one system that needs updating with new information, not five – and also reduce costs by enabling business leaders only to invest in one computerised system and not several. The fewer possibilities of orders, information, parts of other vital aspects of your business falling through the cracks, the greater the time you can spend on that all important production line.
It is not just the second generation of managers that need to be considered, it is up to businesses to look far into the future and devote themselves to dragging the engineering sector into this century so it is ready for the third generation and beyond.