These days it seems that successful companies grow extremely rapidly. One minute they’re a start-up working out of tiny offices with just a handful of staff; the next, they’re a global concern, working with multiple currencies and languages, and generating vast revenues.
There are many considerations along that path to success. While it’s relative quick and easy to secure larger premises, hire more staff, and expand into new markets, it’s the IT systems that power these businesses that are key. If you buy into an ERP system that is tailored to your company at start-up, you want to be confident that it will continue to meet your needs as you transition into a fast growth company and then eventually towards IPO.
What should you look for in a system that will provide the solid foundation you need while you are still small, but which can adapt and still support you as you scale up?
Rapidly growing operations need access to accurate, timely analytics on which to base what are often business-critical decisions. Working with spreadsheets, pulling in data from several departments and manually creating reports drawn from multiple data sources is inefficient and prone to error.
An ERP like NetSuite can automatically generate reports that are tailored for each user. Senior executives can quickly access the information they require that allows them to highlight growth opportunities. With KPI analysis readily visible in the dashboard, growing companies can accurately track sales, forecast future growth and make crucial decisions.
Systems that support rapid growth need to be able to scale as quickly as the company is growing. Because it’s a cloud-based system, NetSuite can very quickly be changed to suit new situations. New divisions or subsidiaries can be added, along with multi-entity reporting.
NetSuite has other optional modules that can be added as the company grows. While the base system comes complete with marketing automation and customer relationship management tools, optional modules can be added that bring advanced functionality to inventory management, demand planning, ecommerce, contract renewals, payroll, project management and many other areas of a business.
For companies that are growing by expanding into new territories, an ERP needs to be able to handle multiple currencies, varied payment gateways, different languages and contrasting tax frameworks.
NetSuite can be quickly configured to add this sort of multinational functionality, enabling the growing business to adjust for local differences, yet also consolidate at the regional or global level.
Automating Order Management
As a growing business onboards more and more customers, then transactional order management will become a more complex and time-consuming process.
In implementing NetSuite, Roku, a manufacturer of streaming set-top boxes, was able to automate order management for 85 percent of its revenue stream. This was a dramatic reduction in manual tasking. The company was also able to bring its financial monthly closing times down by 500 percent and NetSuite also helped to streamline its order management with hundreds of retailers.
Ramping up Customer Support
Regardless of industry, it’s a near certainty that having more customers comes with more customer service enquiries.
The rise in the number of customers can happen so quickly that a company may have trouble keeping up. With NetSuite though, software provider SolarWinds was able to cope with double the number of customer support cases, without having to double its staff.
One System for all Processes
While companies are small, they will look to maximise budgets by only buying software when they need it. In this way, as it grows, a company will bolt on specialised software piece by piece. Having different software for different business processes can quickly become unwieldy. Ultimately, data exists in different systems – and is often conflicting.
Having one system that truly covers all the business processes you will ever need is the answer for growing companies. With its modular system, NetSuite delivers this. It is also exceptionally scalable. Not only do large organisations like Pret, Fitbit, Asics and DocuSign use it to drive their growth, but more than 21,000 companies – from small to large – also rely on it.
Ecommerce and Supply Chain
Ecommerce is certainly booming right now, and it’s another industry where companies can experience rapid growth.
For ecommerce suppliers and wholesale distributors, all manner of warehouse KPIs can be improved by the use of warehouse management tools. NetSuite tools help warehouses to improve stock control, forecasting and demand planning. And analytics can provide much-needed insight into the supply chain.
To support such a fast pace of growth, companies need an agile and scalable ERP solution that can also sustain global expansion. Struggling with disparate systems, manual processes and spreadsheet-based accounting will hinder a company’s growth and progress towards IPO. NetSuite is a truly scalable and flexible cloud-based system that meets the requirements of any rapidly-growing business.
If your systems are struggling to keep up with your growth, let us show you how NetSuite can help. Book an appointment or contact us today for more information. Our team has experience of working with rapidly growing companies.