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10 reasons why you need flexible ERP services for your PSO

from  October 17, 2019 | 6 min read

Most companies see the merit of a good enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but they don’t always think through how it will deliver value — if their priorities shift. A flexible ERP solution is what thriving businesses need most, especially in people-centric sectors.

Why invest in professional services ERP software?

If you could list your top reasons for purchasing an ERP system today, what would they be? Perhaps you need to gain extra visibility into your finances, improve project delivery, or enable better forecasting? Perhaps you need ERP for HR to improve the allocation and use of resources across projects.

These are all excellent reasons to invest in ERP. In fact, an ERP for the professional services industry should have each of these features as standard. But what if your priorities needed to shift suddenly tomorrow? Will you find your room to maneuver severely restricted, and will you wish you'd chosen a different solution?

To avoid this scenario, there's a core capability that ERP services need — flexibility.

Flexible ERP give you the edge

If you’re a professional services organization looking at ERP capabilities, a truly flexible solution will help you move faster, become more productive, and sidestep disruption. It'll be primed for change, so you can react quickly as new needs emerge.

Here are nine examples of how a flexible ERP will enable you to react faster to new business realities:

1. Make mergers and acquisitions easier

Mergers affect personnel and operations — and they require a software platform that fits the new organization in the right ways. With a flexible ERP, you can rapidly onboard new departments, teams, and structures, so you gain the full total value sooner, as two or more companies become one.

The story around Bravida, the Scandinavian integrated supplier of technical solutions for buildings and plants, is a great example. The company's Siemens Installation AS merger was managed efficiently, as teams and data were brought together quickly and successfully.

2. Use ERP human resource management to restructure quicker

Internal structural changes to a team, department, or organization often result in reconfiguring software architecture to meet changing structural needs. Modern ERP human resource management and budget management tools come with a low-code or no-code set-up, meaning any business user can make changes with minimal cost and disruption. You won't be waiting around for "the new system" to take effect while productivity nosedives.

3. Rapidly adapt to regulation changes

Speed of change is critical for your business to remain compliant and retain trust in your brand whenever new legislation arrives. With a flexible ERP solution, your workforce can quickly respond and access any information required by regulators.

4. Use ERP forecasting to adopt new strategies with minimal disruption

As your business evolves, your supporting software must also adapt. ERP forecasting will enable your personnel to embrace new strategies quickly with minimal disruption. That way, your entire organization can keep in step with any new approach, helped by a system that supports change rather than getting in the way.

5. Keep consultancy costs down

The more complex and rigid your technology platform, the more significant input you will need from external technical experts, which escalates post-implementation costs and reduces your ERP's return on investment. Moving to a low-code or no-code ERP system gives you greater capacity to make changes internally, cutting reliance on consultancy. Non-tech-savvy users can make key changes using a simplified interface.

6. Use ERP services to react faster to disruption

The business world never stands still. Internal and external influences have the power to change your company agenda rapidly. Maybe there's an issue with suppliers, a big change in interest rates, or a new competitor arrives on the scene? ERP services with flexible software architecture enable you to welcome change and quickly respond to disruptive forces effectively.

7. Improve the customer experience

Customer expectations continue to soar — and so you'll need to innovate to maintain your competitive edge. While good ERP services will support most of your operational requirements, you may want to integrate third-party software or develop new functionality that gives your customers what they want, when they want it.

Suppose the platform you are using has an open API structure in the back-office and a low code/no-code interface. In that case, you can incorporate new functionality while maintaining the integrity of the application landscape.

8. Stimulate employee productivity with ERP project management

Too many talented professionals get held back by sub-standard software. Flexible, next-generation ERP tools give staff the power to move at maximum speed, delivering the required functionality whenever they need it.

Your profitability depends on swift and successful project execution, so it's essential that your team is freed from menial tasks, labor-intensive legacy systems, and disjointed manual processes. The best ERP for the professional services industry will give you control of productivity –from the inside out.

9. Boost people experience

People work best when highly motivated, and there's no better motivator than having the right tools for the job. Flexible ERP services deliver sophisticated support with configurable architecture. So, employees can use it intuitively to test new functions that enhance their professional capabilities – all without the frustration of waiting for technology to keep up.

ERP services for a changing world

How can you identify the right cloud-based, flexible ERP solution? For starters, look for a configurable service architecture with a low-code or no-code approach so that any business user can update it. The solution also needs an open API structure to integrate with other applications.

This set-up will give your organization the flexibility needed to flourish in a changing world, so you can adopt new technology seamlessly, create new business models, offer new services, and improve both your employee and customer experience.

Discover how Unit4’s flexible ERP services can help you

With Unit4’s flexible ERP for the professional services industry, you can free your people to focus on what matters: creating value for customers and earning revenue for your organization.

When your priorities shift suddenly – whether it’s due to mergers and acquisitions, responding to soaring customer expectations, or adapting to new regulations – you won't be left high and dry.

Our software-as-a-service platform is ultra-flexible. It harnesses innovation to boost your ability to react to new challenges, from self-service information access and natural-language digital assistants to the ability to work anywhere, from any device.

Learn how Unit4 can help your PSO move faster, be more productive, and sidestep disruption with a flexible ERP for the professional services industry.

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Henk Jan Onstwedder - Head of Departnet for Professional Services Organisations at Unit4

Henk Jan Onstwedder

Henk Jan is an experienced executive in the software business, who has worked in the ERP market for 25 years. Prior to joining Unit4 in 2016, he held a range of line-management roles in the software industry, covering sales, delivery and general management. Henk Jan is heading Unit4’s department for Professional Services Organisations, creating and delivering on industry product roadmaps, developing the ecosystem, and leading strategic sales engagements.

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