The thing that makes innovation so compelling, and exciting is the possibilities that come with it. Sure, it can be scary to take a leap of faith and try something new, but the simple possibility, even the smallest outside chance that it might work, is what drives many of us to ask, “What if?”
Do What You Think You Can’t
When Henry Ford painted his Model-T black, it wasn’t personal preference that drove his decision. It was innovation. When the first cars were built, they were painted with the same oil-based coatings used for traditional horse-drawn carriages. While the colors were striking, it was an expensive, complicated process and it took several weeks to dry. The paint also faded, with most yellowing with age due to lack of a binding medium, so they would have to be repainted.
Ford understood that his cars would prove too expensive for most people, so he looked for a way to do it better, faster and more cost-effectively. The newly formulated paint allowed for mass production, making the cars more affordable, which saw greater adoption of the product, and grew the industry into the behemoth that it is today.
Ford was inherently curious, breaking things down to their cores to see how they worked and spent time rebuilding them to see if he could do it better. He is quoted as saying: “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do,” and it is with this spirit that he went about identifying and solving problems that mattered, both to his business, and to his customers.
Innovation is About Working Smarter to Stay Relevant
Today, as we find ourselves spurred on, or perhaps at times even pressured, by the rapid technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it becomes even more important for us to acknowledge that the innovation happening around us needs to be at the very least acknowledged, at best, embraced, and matched, or improved on where possible. It’s become important for us to dare to do the things we think we can’t.
If we as a business, aren’t cognizant of the opportunities that new technologies afford both us, and our customers, then we risk falling behind our competitors. Innovation isn’t about taking unmanaged risks though, it’s about working smarter to stay relevant, and finding strong partners who can help us to achieve the things that we perhaps think we can’t.
ERP Enables Business to Innovate
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has enabled business across the world to innovate by automating and integrating their core business so that they can focus on being more effective and successful. It helps to manage risk, by automating the customer order process, scheduling operations, keeping a watchful eye on inventory records, and the company’s financial data.
An ERP system can drive huge improvements by defining business processes, protecting business data, enabling work plans, providing customer service tools, and translating data into easy-to-understand information that allows for better product development, and driving down costs and wastage.
Innovations in ERP
As providers of ERP systems, it is critical to ensure that our software solutions evolve constantly so that our customers can continue to draw upon the improvements and insights that it generates to further innovate and thrive.
Our customers shouldn’t have to look to other vendors because we’re not providing them with the latest functionality, integration, and applications. By constantly innovating as an industry, we are enhancing our customers’ ability to innovate.
When considering whether to newly implement next-generation ERP solutions, or upgrade your current systems, the C-suite should be asking whether the solution they’re considering can convert complex data streams to simple, actionable information, which can be used to optimize their business operations.
They should question whether the solution provider undertakes the on-going development of relevant functionality and governance, and leverages emerging technologies and the latest innovations, or at least has plans to do so.
These could include:
- Machine Learning – which harnesses Big Data and provides predictive analytics.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) – where sensors allow machines to talk to each other, boosting productivity by harnessing the physical and virtual worlds on the manufacturing and distribution floor.
- AI Bots – which allow your customers to talk to an intelligent and human-like chatbot, which can answer queries quickly, freeing up your staff to handle more mission-critical tasks.
- Social ERP – which allows business owners and employees to check on the operating status of their business 24/7, and provides collaboration capabilities to follow and track key data; action and communicate relevant information to internal and external stakeholders through a simple to use and familiar interface
By choosing a solution that has flexible functionality and consumption, diverse accessibility, scalability and 24/7 availability, they can future-proof their ERP investment, receive greater business value, enhance their ability to innovate and retain or gain an advantage over their competitors.