As Fortune 500 companies face an increasingly competitive global environment, their management teams pursue gains in productivity as a vital element of achieving profitability goals. Already, agile organizations find the effort to generate more profit from revenue requires a new level of creativity and efficiency. For the past decade, that focus has elevated the role that enterprise resource planning plays on the forefront of most IT strategies.
With cloud ERP software, Fortune 500 executives are able to achieve new levels of productivity without equivalent capital investment in computer hardware, staff, training and implementation efforts. The scalability of enterprise management software operating in a cloud environment eliminates the traditional limits to such incremental improvements in productivity.
As more companies, large and small, come to appreciate this new dimension of cloud ERP software by looking to productivity gains throughout the organization, including:
- Supply chains
- Sales and marketing
- Manufacturing and engineering
Learning From Top Players
Interestingly enough, an article in Forbes looks at the cloud-based ERP software market and notes the dominance of NetSuite in the mid-size business market. While the huge player, SAP, has built its business focusing on the largest players with significant installed IT investments, NetSuite has used the scalability of cloud ERP software to bring its advantages to the market. These expectations are both fed by and delivered on by companies using cloud-based ERP software from providers such as NetSuite.
For example, the integration of NetSuite as a platform provides real-time, cross-enterprise access from open invoices to customer histories. This type of platform organizes a wide range of processes within the organization and ties them together for a fully transparent and seamless transaction for every single customer. This synced environment allows companies to generate more revenue and profit for a much lower investment. Executives favor ERP solutions because they can better forecast sales, track where specific customers are at in a sales cycle, and work as a more responsive corporation.
Seeing these trends and results, Fortune 500 companies are also somewhat sensitive to the responsiveness and flexibility of their smaller competitors. In fact, customers are intuitively pushing the envelope and expecting companies to provide increasingly dynamic services and apps from start to finish.
Fortune 500 players have traditionally used their access to capital and virtually unlimited resources as a competitive tool against the SMEs, creating large barriers to entry and competition. Ironically, it is this aircraft carrier mentality that limits their ability to compete with the nimble SME cruisers relying on dynamic cloud ERP software solutions. Tailored to their own industry and market niche, these SMEs have informational powers only dreamt of in pre-enterprise management software days.
The Changing Business Conversation
The transformative effect of the newest era of software is allowing and demanding a bottom-up relationship with the customer, discounting the power of the traditional top-down approach employed by the big guys. The focus on customers that is demanded in today’s market is forcing these Fortune 500 companies to rethink their strategies, especially when they see market segments being eroded and productivity being lost to a new customer environment.
The distance from C-level executives to the customer has never been more critical to a company’s ongoing vitality than it is in today’s market. Management teams are interacting directly with their production floors and customers with a level of communication that is unexpected and impossible to attain without the use of software that creates alignment in each part of the business process.
Productivity and profits are as elusive as the Holy Grail without customers. Companies who fail to respond to the must-have customer demands in all aspects of their business will find that their opportunities are lost to those companies that are responsive due to their use of efficient and consistent cloud ERP software.