If today’s small and mid-sized manufacturer is to sustain growth and thrive in today’s global marketplace, they must evolve from some of the practices they used in their early stages.
Case in point: the use of Intuit® QuickBooks.
A huge number of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) adopted the use of QuickBooks to track the finances of their young businesses. However, many of these young businesses soon realize that to manage the business, the scope of business systems needs to go beyond finance. It needs to include the ability to plan, procure, produce, distribute, and sell, as well as to account. In addition, today’s business climate demands more complex transactions, requires more critical planning and tracking of revenues, greater visibility of customers, and involves more stringent accounting and regulatory standards.
The dynamics of today’s markets have changed the competitive landscape for businesses large and small alike. Competing in global and emerging markets, once the domain of large global multinationals, is now within the scope of virtually every commercial enterprise. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine a manufacturer that doesn’t somehow interact with today’s global manufacturing supply chain.
Technology has broken traditional barriers and “flattened the world.” This flat, new world has sharp edges. Yes, opportunity is greater for all; but so, too, is competition. To compete successfully, companies must have the technical confidence to communicate, collaborate on, and record transactional activities on a scale heretofore unimagined.
Moreover, companies must accommodate an increasingly dispersed workforce, as well as complex, multi-tiered, nuanced supply networks that span continents and are subject to different regulations, taxes, currencies, and so on. While small and mid-sized businesses are empowered by these new market developments, they face greater challenges than their larger competitors because of capital and personnel constraints.
Historically, the transition from QuickBooks to a more robust solution was an agonizing decision for SMBs. The traditional path involved implementing costly, complex, user-challenging, on-premises software. Often these solutions required long and costly deployment cycles, new hardware purchases, and internal IT resources that simply weren’t readily available.
Today, that transition has been eased. The advent of cloud-based, on-demand solutions, often called software as a service (SaaS), has enabled SMBs to better meet the business requirements of the new marketplace. Now they can easily move beyond the simple financial functionality of QuickBooks to more effective and comprehensive solutions for the total business.
A decision to not embrace this new world, driven by both technical and business changes is for many companies a decision to not embrace their full competitive potential.