Despite the advances in cloud ERP technology and automation over the last few years, Britain’s productivity has fallen, with a report from the Resolution Foundation revealing that London’s longer working hours are dragging down productivity. Key factors in this decline include a lack of adequate technology being implemented, as well as a digital skills gap. There’s also a well-known tendency for productivity to fall off a cliff in summer months, as the weather gets warmer and people are more likely to take holiday. So what can business leaders do to beat the summer productivity slump? And how can they turn a traditionally quiet time into a period of productivity? Here are three tips:
1 – Make the most of summer downtime
Summer is always a quiet time of year, so make the most of the downtime to get your technology in order. Carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the technology infrastructure used within the business will allow you to see where improvements can be made. For many SMEs or growing businesses, moving data away from excel sheets (or even paper), and into a system such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a vital cog in the digital transformation wheel. However, it’s also something that can get put to one side, as concerns about costs, or disruptions to the business are pushed to the forefront. Indeed, according to a report from Bloor Research, 30 per cent of data migration projects fail, and 38 per cent run overtime, or over-budget, so it’s important to get it right. Similarly, switching to a cloud ERP vendor that’s a better fit for your business can be a daunting prospect. However, whether you’re moving vendors, or dipping your toe into the cloud ERP waters, the summer months are the perfect time to do it.
Similarly, businesses can also make the most of the downtime so get rid of old data, or unnecessary software. Do you still need that list of customer addresses that’s been hiding in a folder which hasn’t been touched in years? Or, if you’ve moved to outsource your finances, is the recurring monthly charge for a piece of accounting software necessary?
By utilising the summer months to re-evaluate or upgrade, your business will be in good stead to tackle the winter months and see in the new year.
2 – Arm employees with the ability to work remotely
While there’s clearly a desire to go mobile, and the benefits are tangible, the unfortunate reality is that many companies both large and small are still lagging behind. In a recent survey, over a third of senior decision makers did not have the correct technology to support mobile working, and 43 per cent couldn’t perform business-critical functions on a mobile application.
The good news is that the technology exists, and there’s been an enormous amount of innovation in the last few years. For example, many modern cloud ERP systems now support mobile application generators which allow users to create a range of applications from their mobiles and use them to perform core business processes no matter where they are. These can be created in a matter of minutes, and don’t require high levels of IT expertise. For example, if you’re a sales rep you can check factory stock levels, reach out to delivery drivers, and perform transactions, while in the field, without having to be at a computer. Similarly, a CEO travelling on the go for business would still be able to access real-time company analytics from his mobile.
But if the technology is there, what’s stopping business leaders from jumping on board? The most likely reason is that they’re unaware, which is why the summer months are a perfect time to take a look at what’s available on the market and explore your options.
3 – Switch to cloud ERP
The cloud is regularly seen as a gateway to increased flexibility and efficiency. It reduces costs, encourages innovation and mobile working, is scalable, and allows companies to take advantage of emerging technologies, such as APIs and artificial intelligence. Plus, in an era where security should be of paramount importance to business leaders, cloud solutions are actually emerging as a more secure option compared to on-premise. But there are also myths surrounding cloud adoption that have put some business leaders off. There’s a misconception that moving to cloud ERP is an exhausting process that has a high failure rate, will require a complete overhaul of systems, and end up being more costly for businesses. Indeed, Gartner predicted that nearly all cloud ERP projects would fail by 2018, and yet we’re over halfway into 2018 and cloud ERP is still growing.
With the right vendor, cloud ERP doesn’t have to be a laborious process and will offer a vast number of benefits to your business. The quiet summer months are a perfect time to make the switch, as it gives you time to methodically consider your options, and choose a vendor that will support your transition.