The current pandemic may offer an opportunity to bring your entire organization together behind your mission and strategy. If you can unleash people’s insight and creativity, you might transform the business for the better. The right technology and an experienced technology partner can help you accomplish this. Sikich will assist you in improving processes and taking advantage of modern, cloud-based ERP solutions, so you can continue business operations without unwanted disruptions, serving customers today and in the post-pandemic future.
If there was ever a time for ‘business as usual,” we have left it behind. In recent years, companies in long-established industries like manufacturing, distribution, and professional services have reinvented how they do business and serve customers. With today’s digital technologies and cloud infrastructures, businesses can bring almost any information and process management capability to anybody, anywhere. Companies of all sizes, along with their supply chains, have increasingly embraced productive, efficient, secure communications and collaborations among teams and contributors who may work across business groups or organizational boundaries, and rarely or never meet face-to-face.
Coronavirus increases the speed and urgency of existing trends
The current pandemic has accelerated and reframed developments that were already underway. Such technologies as business analytics supported by artificial intelligence, automation that incorporates machine learning, or advanced software capabilities on mobile devices have spread from the more innovative companies into the mainstream. Today, when businesses need to protect their people from exposure to the coronavirus but still want to enable them to work productively from their homes, we can expect even more rapid adoption of advanced technology tools.
Entire teams and business groups are working remotely, practicing physical distancing. Some changes in how people work together, or how they support each other and their customers, will happen organically. Professionals will always find the most productive ways to do their jobs and realize their goals. But this could also be a great opportunity to pursue strategic, beneficial change in a transformative initiative, such as implementing an ERP system to replace multiple, disparate aging or specialized software applications.
Reviewing how people and processes work
As people to a degree reinvent their work environments to protect themselves against COVID-19, many employees may find it necessary to think about how they and their colleagues work. Organizational inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and financial or material waste may look to be even more unproductive and to limit than they did before. If you harness and channel your employees’ insight and resourcefulness, this might be a great time to begin transforming how the business operates. Once the pandemic subsides, you could be in a much better position to meet the increasing demand for your products and services.
If you or people around you already feel that current processes and business management systems might not be in the best shape to create value and serve customers, it will make sense to review them and document opportunities for improvement.
Charting your path
At Sikich, we often perform business process alignments to help companies assess the current state of their operation and begin charting a path toward improvement. By taking advantage of modern cloud and communications tools, we can perform a business process alignment entirely remotely, maintaining proper physical distancing and without having to take time for traveling. Meetings, conversations, research, and other activities can take place over video conferencing, no matter where people are. Even before you commit, we can give you a realistic projection of the ROI and outcomes from your business process alignment.
Your Sikich business process alignment will likely identify a number of potentially high-value improvements. At that point, some companies may decide to continue working on their own to improve the productivity of their business roles and processes. Others may be ready to move forward with an ERP deployment. When it comes to implementing a cloud-based ERP solution like NetSuite, we can again perform the entire project virtually, including fine-tuning the system to fit the way your company works and training users to be proficient with it.
Technical and business expertise you can use, including CARES Act guidance
Sikich is one of the few consultancies that support smaller and medium-sized businesses with a broad portfolio of technology solutions and advisory services. We have completed many successful ERP and other technology projects for clients in various industries, and we will also help you manage your costs and budget at this exceptionally challenging time. Sikich can offer financing options for your business process alignment or ERP system implementation.
Sikich’s financial and accounting experts can work with you to benefit from stimulus funding or forgivable loans that may be available to you. At a federal program level, you might be able to take advantage of the CARES Act, of which the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a key element. Some of the details to do with loans and procedures are still being finalized, and the Sikich financial consulting practice is closely watching these developments and aware of any updates. Working with you, we will use our expertise to help you access these programs without undue delays. The Sikich team can assist you in completing your application based on the most current qualification and process guidance.
Following an ERP implementation or other technology project that resolves urgent needs, you may still want to ensure the most effective day-to-day technology management for your business. For that reason, many clients work with Sikich for many years, relying on us to provide IT managed services or evolve their technology strategy through a dedicated, virtual CIO.
Turning stalled ERP projects around
If in your organization, an ERP effort was already underway but has stalled, we are experts at turning projects around and helping our clients conclude them to their satisfaction. It could be that the solution, the technology partner, or the deployment strategy were not quite right for your company. Or, it could simply be the case that key people could not take enough time out from their jobs to move the project forward, but they might be more than ready to participate now. In any case, we can help you find a way to revive your ERP initiative and get it back on track with the right buy-in and support from executives and business groups. This may be one of the best options to keep people working and ensure the continuity of the business.
Predictable, low-risk approach to strategic change
Preparing and performing an ERP deployment is always a complex undertaking. Even if you have been through it before, it can still be challenging. Sikich teams have performed hundreds of successful ERP projects. We will never underestimate their complexity, but we know how to achieve them in a low-risk, predictable manner. If, during the pandemic, some processes in your company run at a slower speed or lower volume than they usually would, this could even be an advantage in rolling out an ERP solution. Together with you, we can fine tune systems and processes for optimal resilience and efficiency, so that an increased volume of transactions or activities will not pose challenges. We will also help you ready your cloud ERP and other applications for the kind of growth you want to realize.
At Sikich, we favor an incremental, organic approach to important projects like ERP deployments. During the business process alignment, you can identify your priorities for process improvements and get an idea which people and teams will need what kind of functionality first. We help you create a step-by-step blueprint for the following events through a complete implementation, so you can phase process changes and ERP deployment in such a way that they can happen without preventable disruption.
Taking the next step
Sikich is ready to engage as soon as you give us the green light. For instance, if you decide on a business process alignment, we will get started immediately with fact-finding and research, learning about your organization’s current conditions, goals, and challenges. Many businesses find it challenging to familiarize themselves with the CARES Act and learn how to apply for a PPP loan. Because these resources can be extremely valuable for companies that want to thrive through and after the pandemic, Sikich CARES Act and PPP experts from our accounting and advisory practice can assist you in accessing them.
You’re under no obligation if you have a conversation with us to see how you could best weather the pandemic, and its aftermath. If you think it might be worth your while to take advantage during the Coronavirus quarantine of any opportunities, we should talk.
- Get in touch with your Sikich representative
- Visit the Sikich coronavirus resource page.
- View a recording of a recent Sikich Business Briefing about SBA and PPP loan guidance.
- If you have questions regarding the CARES Act or the Paycheck Protection Program
- Learn more about Sikich ERP and CRM services.