How integrated ERP can ease international expansion of your business
As a company, you welcome growth, both regional and national. But to operate internationally is the aspiration of almost every business. Regardless of how you decide to expand or when you decide to expand, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) will significantly increase your ability to succeed in different ways in each of these scenarios.
Depending on the size of your organisation, you’ve probably already considered an integrated ERP solution to outdated silo-based systems, especially when you’re on the cusp of significant growth. So to help you grasp the role of an ERP solution on a broader level, let’s start at reviewing three scenarios in which ERP can help with expansion.
Regional, Eurozone, International – Challenges your business will face and how ERP can help
Whether you’re expanding regionally, into the Eurozone, or internationally, any type of geographical expansion will create new challenges for your business. These can range from the management of additional shipments and delivery depots to multi-national currency and linguistic requirements, currency exchange-rates, and multi-national HR and accountancy stands.
By adopting a single ERP, when you encounter these challenges, you’ll have a common infrastructure throughout your operations that can automate and streamline key business processes and set the stage for growth.
It’s important to remember that a single ERP solution is entirely different from its independent counterparts – software that is often deployed during early stages of expansion and is independent from the parent ERP. And whilst adding these independent ERP solutions to manage newly added systems (as a result of expansion) may seem logical, allowing them to proliferate within a company ultimately creates challenges that impair business performance and leads to considerable expense.
Single integrated ERP – The right way to achieve geographical expansion
Deploying an independent ERP application to manage a regional expansion, for example, or a new line of business, isolates that system from the rest of your overall business. This will then prevent you from being able to review important information from a company-wide perspective. At least not without heavy customisation. But even then, the problem only perpetuates as your business continues to grow and further customisations are required later down the line.
To put it simply, you’d be losing out on one of the most fundamental value propositions of an ERP; comprehensive, real-time visibility into the most important operations of your business. And when you’re operating on a multi-national level, this kind of functionality is imperative.
Other benefits of a single ERP that are worth highlighting include:
Consolidated financial reporting – Multi-currency and multi-language support can be combined with automated exchange rate updates to deliver accurate reporting – which would otherwise need to be replicated across disparate systems, leaving room for error and inconsistencies.
Lower operational expenses – Business functions, such as HR and accounting, can be consolidated into cost-saving departments that serve the needs of employees in all divisions across all geographies – as opposed to independently operated departments for each region and country.
Simplified tax management – Branching out internationally makes tax management a lot more complicated, with different tax regulations and standards varying across different geographical locations. A single ERP solution can be used to automate the application of multiple tax schedules that are regionally-specific.