What Top-Performing Businesses Do Differently
September 28, 2021

What Top-Performing Businesses Do Differently

The top 20 percent of performers in emerging businesses that excel in their respective industries stay ahead of the curve by using their ERP systems more effectively and extensively than the competition.

These leaders are answering the need for better automation, visibility and collaboration by connecting and optimizing their people, processes and technology.

Research shows that leading organizations use ERP more effectively to drive higher margins, forecast demand, and deliver orders more rapidly.

How do the top performers compare?

Let’s take a look at a few key industry statistics:

These leaders are 633% more likely to be able to share data with suppliers, customers, resellers and regulatory bodies.

Top performers are 48% more likely to have real-time visibility into various data and insights.

Leading businesses that utilize their ERP systems can can make decisions with 36% less time than their competition.

Nearly half of leaders have the ability to tailor ERP to support business change.

Leading companies effectively used ERP to improve operating margins by 11%.

Rising up to meet the top pressures in business

Business leaders recognize that organizations require more from their technology environment in order to meet mounting challenges. The most common of these challenges often include:

  • Unpredictable demand
  • Increased volume and complexity of data
  • Availability of skilled resources
  • Inability to collaborate with the extended enterprise
  • Maintaining security and stability of data

In looking at these recurring issues, it’s interesting to note that most could be eased or solved entirely with the effective use of technology. Yet many organizations do already use some form of an ERP system.

So why are the majority of businesses facing these challenges if they already have an ERP system?

Research indicates that this is due to two main reasons:

1. Many companies still use outdated ERP solutions
These solutions just don’t have the functionality required to tackle top challenges. Legacy systems also cannot be easily updated to support evolving business needs.

2. Most organizations don’t know how to maximize the value ERP systems can offer
The majority of organizations simply aren’t making the most of the available ERP functionalities. This can be due to a lack of awareness about which features could best help their business.

Oftentimes, we find enterprises also may have implemented modules that don’t meet their needs, or have become bogged down with unnecessary customizations. Selecting the right customizations can reduce the complexity of your technology environment and streamline processes, rather than further complicating your system.

Most thriving companies may be using ERP, however, few are maximizing their investments by getting the most out of their systems.

What leaders do differently.

The top business leaders do a few things differently:

1. They establish standardized processes and procedures.
Companies with such processes have a clearer roadmap for ERP implementations and can more successfully work with IT consultants to determine which functionalities will best serve them.

Using up-to-date systems, such as Dynamics 365, allow organizations to configure their ERP to support their processes. This is in stark contrast with legacy systems, which require companies to structure procedures around limited functionalities.

2. They utilize data to make smarter business decisions and drive continual improvement.
Leading companies are more likely to maximize ERP functionality that optimize automation features to free up time previously taken by repetitive tasks. They implement modules that support processes they’ve deemed most valuable to their organization. For instance, leaders are more likely to utilize CRM, Business Intelligence dashboards, or modules that enhance capabilities specific to their line of business.

3. They aren’t afraid of change
Companies at the forefront of the industry don’t settle for the status quo. Outdated legacy systems, manual processes, a lack of real-time visibility and disconnected plant floors hold companies back from adapting to changes in their markets. (Not to mention, legacy systems typically incur at least 20 percent higher support costs and run a much higher risk of failure).

Updated systems allow crucial functionality, scalability and agility to better support rapid growth and new business opportunities.

How can organizations that have fallen behind step up their game?

Take stock of your current ERP system.
Which features are you currently using, and how well do they support your processes? Are there features or customizations you’ve implemented that aren’t providing value?

Learn how to maximize your system’s capabilities.
If it’s been a while since initial implementation, it may be wise to refresh your knowledge. Work with your IT consulting team to review which functionalities your system offers that you aren’t using effectively. There may also be new modules available that can replace outdated add-ons, better support your processes, or allow your system to expand into new areas.

Consider the potential ROI of an ERP upgrade or re-implementation.
While an upgrade or re-implementation may sound like a costly or time-consuming undertaking, consider how much time and money you spend currently to maintain your legacy system.

Assess whether updated features and functionalities of newer ERP systems offer enough short- and long-term business value to warrant the upgrade.

Much like you may use continuous improvement programs to eliminate problems, reduce wasted resources and streamline operations, a similar approach to ERP can help your company rise to the top.

Wondering if an upgrade is right for your organization? The CuroGens Microsoft Dynamics AX Upgrade Assessor takes the guesswork out of the process and can help you determine your optimal path to upgrading.

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