Why mid-market organizations need ERP | Unit4
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Why mid-market organizations need ERP

We’ve talked about the value of ERP in general terms before – including what it is, what it can do for your business, and how it can elevate your people’s experience of work.

Today, we want to focus in the specific benefits that ERP – specifically modern, cloud-based ERP – can bring to professional services organizations in the midmarket.

Midmarket: the challenges

Midmarket companies (the “middle third” of businesses) face a very particular set of challenges: they’re generally too large to benefit from the nimbleness and agility enjoyed by smaller businesses and start-ups, but also have to deal with all the headaches that come with enterprise-level organizations, including the proliferation of administrative bloat, struggles with data visibility and useability that hamper effective and timely decision making, and navigating increasingly competitive markets for both talent and customers. All without being able to enjoy the economies of scale that have traditionally driven greater efficiencies in their larger competitors.

Midmarket businesses are also under the greatest pressure of all segments to continue their growth trajectory, which brings with it a host of its own challenges. A fast-growing company can typically outgrow typical early-stage operations solutions (like spreadsheets and standalone tools) and processes within just a few years, making them much more likely to run into problems as they attempt to scale their operations.

Combined, these challenges make managing the status quo more difficult. They also make navigating the complexity that inevitably accompanies growth more difficult – especially in a post-COVID world characterized by increasing levels of competition and service demand, and continuous economic upheaval.

The shift toward remote working also presents unique challenges for midmarket service companies, which typically lack complex custom-engineered IT ecosystems. Accessing organizational data securely from remote workstations is likely to be highly impractical for midmarket organizations without the help of powerful modern cloud tools.

Click to read Increase service excellence and profitability with ERP Gated

Which is where ERP comes in

Larger organizations have been aware of the business benefits of modern ERP solutions for some time, and have already been implementing them in order to streamline operations, boost efficiency, and automate the administrative functions that get in the way of higher value work.

A cloud ERP solution acts as both a single source of truth for all your organization’s information – including financial, project, client, and HR – and creates a common working environment and shared data portal that can be accessed by everyone in the company from any device at any time. It also serves to remove much of the burden of routine manual tasks – such as data entry, invoice management, and key aspects of both employee and financial processes – including the month end close.

Many of our customers have found that with Unit4 ERP on their side, their month-end financial process changes completely. Going from a several-day long scramble to find, check, reconcile, and collate data from multiple sources and involving multiple different people across departments to a one-man operation that takes just a few hours.

Moreover, a modern ERP system can be a key tool in keeping your people engaged and reducing attrition. People want to work somewhere that’s run efficiently and smoothly, because efficient processes are a key part of them being able to do their jobs well. Integrating project, financial, and HR data makes it possible to keep track of your people’s skill sets and career ambitions, and assign them to the work they’re best suited for and keen to do. Ultimately boosting both your employee and client satisfaction, and contributing to the workflow management that keeps projects profitable and service levels high.

When’s the right time to make the investment?

Without a modern ERP solution to act as an operational backbone, your organization will not be able to take advantage of the process efficiencies your larger competitors are already bringing to bear. You’ll also struggle to match them in terms of both productivity, the ability to capitalize on intelligence quickly, and compliance with regulatory restrictions across all the markets in which you operate.

Mid-market businesses often run their operations with a mix of different solutions and manual processes. These can include everything from simple management-by-spreadsheet to a hodgepodge of accounting software with a variety of different point solutions for specific tasks.

If this sounds similar to you, it’s likely your organization would already benefit from a dedicated ERP platform. Especially if you find yourself wondering how your current setup can be flexed to allow for further expansion, the development of new services (or the productization of existing services) or for entry into new markets.

Be sure to make the right choice

There are plenty of enterprise-grade ERP systems available on the market, but these are unlikely to be fine-tuned to the specific requirements of a midmarket organization looking to make the necessary operational transformations to scale and remain competitive.

When picking an ERP vendor, you need to know that they are committed not just to their solution and to its evolution, but to meeting the challenges faced by an organization like yours head on – and to creating solutions that will help you to meet the demands of your market, your people, and your customers for the long term.

How can Unit4 help you?

Unit4 has been designing enterprise software specifically for the midmarket for over 40 years. We specialize in creating ERP software for people centric organizations, and are deeply familiar with the specific needs and challenges of organizations like yours. Our People Platform incorporates ERP, FP&A, HCM, Source-to-Contract, and Professional Services Automation solutions created specifically with your needs in mind.

To learn more about How Unit4 is helping the mid-market, check out Constellation Research’s report here. Alternatively, click here to book a demo.

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