The top five business drivers for implementing international ERP
The world is becoming more and more international, and more companies are operating across borders. In our dialogue with international companies, they emphasize five areas as special focus areas for their business transformation: Growth, data, processes, management, and costs. Each area is a major business driver for implementing an international ERP solution.
Business driver #1: Growth
The acceleration and scaling of startups and unicorns in recent years has been strong, thanks to new digital and dynamic business models. In addition, more companies than ever before have an aggressive growth strategy, which involves targeted acquisitions – locally and abroad. Regardless of whether the growth is organic or part of a planned acquisition strategy, more companies will become internationally oriented in the future.
The need for growth is universal, no matter if you run a high-tech company or a classic business model.
Your investors may have expectations of aggressive consolidation and growth. Or you may experience disruption from low-cost countries which challenges your business model and forces you to focus on your costs, operation, and future services.
To achieve growth – fast and efficiently – you need a uniform digital backbone throughout all your international business units.
Business driver #2: Data
No matter if your company is big or small, or what industry you operate in, you need to control your data in order to grow. With new technologies, data has become far more accessible and integrable. In fact, data has probably become the focal point for everything you do. Once you have control over your data, you will know where to improve and how to grow.
Data analytics is far more sophisticated than ever. It supports not only analysis of historical data, including consolidated group reporting, but also predictive analyses. Data analytics enables more precise budget forecasts as well as explorative business development. You will be able to develop new digital services for customers that go beyond the company’s core services. Therefore, access to all types of data from all your subsidiaries around the world as well as intelligent analysis of data are becoming increasingly important to stay competitive.
Business driver #3: Processes
Historically, companies have defined their business processes themselves, and the software applied has been adjusted or customized entirely to those. However, the result is often stationary processes that do not keep up with the dynamic way things are changing outside the company.
What we experience today is that many companies rely on the integrated processes defined by the major software vendors. By adapting to standard software, processes automatically become more dynamic, digital, and updated. You do not need a heavy, monolith solution but merely a platform solution with agile applications that fit the exact needs of your business and can be adapted to your needs, globally as well as locally. Although most processes may be defined by the software vendors, you stay in control of the business and have the flexibility to adjust to local regulation, customs, and culture.
Business driver #4: Management
The degree to which you want to top-down manage your subsidiaries is relative to how harmonized and streamlined you want to be – or how diverse, flexible, and locally oriented you want to be. It depends entirely on the industry you’re in as well as the culture of your company. Basically, management is about creating the synergies that control processes, operations, and results. It’s also about creating transparency. It’s a balance between how much control you can get, and how much control you want. However, to be able to manage and drive business performance internationally, you need to have one, core solution.
Business driver #5: Costs
A disconnected IT and application landscape is costly to support and develop. Dispered systems require different IT competencies that may – or may not – be available in the countries you operate. It also involves a business risk because you do not have control over data. With one, core solution on a cloud platform, you achieve cheaper operating costs, while always being up to date – everywhere in the world.
Let’s meet if you want inspiration for your upcoming business transformation. We have long-standing experience in international business transformation and happily offer you, our insights.