Almost all manufacturing departments will get to this point. Everyone on board is working at peak capacity, yet demand for your product or service continues to outpace available labor and internal systems. Your team manages a shared spreadsheet which tracks raw materials procurement, work orders and sales. It’s becoming increasingly untenable with dozens of worksheets hastily sown together by a mess of VLOOKUP functions which are slowly draining the youthful colors in your hair.
A typical solution is to bring on a new head to ease the burden. So you’ll work with an internal/external recruiting team to get a requisition written up and posted, then roll through the process of vetting, cutting and finally landing on someone who now has to be trained on your processes and assimilated to the new office environment. Once the dust has settled it’s been two or three months since your company was stricken by more work than it could handle – pushing projects further behind schedule and increasing the frequency at which your sales team is calling to complain about their unhappy customers.
So now you’ve got a new person on the block. She/he is firing questions in all directions — leaning on the existing network of employees who know how to navigate the vaunted ‘sheet plus all the operational process at the plant, while trying to shake habits from their previous gig. There’s a chance they’re not jiving with the office banter – a comfortable culture you’ve spent years cultivating into a lighthearted setting which makes every day feel rewarding despite the mundanity of most work tasks. On top of all this you’re feeling like this new employee is fairly redundant – they’re just another operations analyst helping you stay on top of procurement, production and shipping.
There are many manufacturers in the US and around the world who operate on this model – increasing headcount to react to demand and reduce operational inefficiencies. But there lies a fundamental problem – shouldn’t we hire employees who not only help with operations, but also have the time in their day to provide strategic forward-looking value?
There’s a solution for this problem: Cloud ERP. Pull your analysts away from the spreadsheets and channel their energy & time towards developing new revenue streams, products innovations and partnerships. Let the ERP handle all the tedious stuff – A/R, A/P, inventory & billing management. Host it in the cloud as well so all those infrastructure maintenance fees can be deployed elsewhere in the company. Deploying a cloud ERP platform costs less than half the salary of a full time employee and takes one-tenth the time to on-board.
And don’t forget – software always shows up to work on time and will never pose a risk to your robust office banter.