Mastering organizational growth

Posted by  Henk Onstwedder

Mergers and acquisitions play a key part in the continuing high-growth rate for service-focused, project-driven companies. And, as SPI Research highlights in its “2016 Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark” report, that trend has increased significantly in the past year – especially in larger organizations.

While this strategy enables far more rapid growth than through organic growth alone, it also brings its own set of challenges. Companies are obviously working on strategic and organizational alignment, in order to realize the expected synergies. One side of that is to reduce back-office costs by eliminating duplicate functions, but equally important, they should also look for ongoing efficiency gains via standardizing common business processes and reporting structures. That, in turn, raises the need to standardize the supporting IT systems.

Wouldn’t it be great if your ERP solution supported this process from day one, instead of being a roadblock to it?

Bringing data and processes together

When going through a merger or acquisition, the new combined company is likely to have two or even more ERP systems to support the day-to-day businesses. However, this often leads to a range of issues, such as misalignment of KPIs, different management reports, or worse: similar reports with similar data with different data definitions, and so on. It follows that there are many benefits associated with having a single solution in place. In other words, you need to standardize your core system and choose a single professional services ERP solution that:

  • Provides a “single version of the truth” for joined up working and full 360 degree visibility across your operations.
  • Allows for a company-wide implementation and roll-out of best business practices.
  • Makes it quick and easy to adapt the system to ongoing business changes and to accommodate local processes.

Working and acting together

Supported by a single agile and connected core ERP system, it becomes much easier for the combined companies to move forward and thrive as one business:

  • A single set of clear, consistent and accurate KPIs is a vital foundation to manage and measure performance, helping to give all your teams a common purpose and shared stake in achieving results.
  • One shared source of up-to-date, accurate and complete data will fuel fresh insights into the business and enable decision-makers to steer the business to even greater success.
  • A single solution will allow for further standardization by implementing based on best business practices, leading to a lower back-office cost.
  • Effort and knowledge can be focused on learning, using, optimizing and maintaining just one shared system, supporting a lower TCO.

By having a system with the capability to easily adapt to changes, you ensure that your ERP solution can evolve with your business and your operating environment – adjusting to developments such as reorganizations or new compliance requirements – without delay or costly specialist support.

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New innovations and developments in enterprise software directly challenge the status quo for professional services organizations – it’s time to change your perspective on what is possible. Take a fresh look at the way your business works, and the ERP/PSA project and accounting tools that support it.

Henk Onstwedder

Henk Onstwedder is Global VP at Unit4 focusing on the Not for Profit and Public Services industries. He is responsible for building Unit4’s value proposition, creating and delivering on industry product roadmaps, developing the ecosystem, and leading strategic sales engagements.

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