Aligning Your Systems For Business Growth

Analysis, Enterprise 2716 views

Aligning Your Systems For Business Growth

In today’s globalised Professional Services (PS) market, business efficiency is instrumental to long-term success. Despite the current strained economic climate, there are still opportunities for a successful firm to grow, as such; a continuing trend we are seeing in this market is businesses consolidation and acquisition.

Acquisition has become the new frontrunner for expansion – it’s one of the most popular and successful strategies for growth. But acquisitions aren’t always easy, especially if your firm is the one being acquired, and from a business operating outside your industry e.g. Mazars, an accounting group recently acquired Sarah Buttler Associates, a UK immigration services business. For these two businesses to be aligned and take the first step on the path to growth together, it is critical to have the most value-driving internal processes in place.

Whether your firm plans to acquire or is on the market as a potential acquisition, ensuring your processes are aligned in a way that promotes efficiency and productivity is a critical component of growth and success.

Know your business and its core process

It stands to reason that knowing your own core processes is instrumental to ensuring you are focused on the right strategy. Before a business starts thinking about growth and/or acquiring another firm and implementing the strategy for it, it needs to make sure it has the absolutely best processes in place to optimise efficiency. And it doesn’t have to stop there. Just because a firm has successfully streamlined its processes, does not mean there’s no benefit in re-evaluation later on.

The firm has to continue to take stock and examine whether the processes in place align with the overall strategy. And if the processes don’t align, an informed, prompt decision must be taken to readjust and ensure that the company doesn’t stray from the path of growth. The businesses that have the agility to adapt accordingly are the ones that will remain competitive and grow in this changing economic landscape.

Choose the right ERP system

The most effective way to begin your journey to business efficiency is by utilising the right resource management and ERP software that is purpose-built for your business. Many firms fall into the trap of implementing generic or ‘in-house-built’ products, rather than selecting an ERP offering that is tailored specifically for their unique industry/business.

If you’re a business that treasures your people and time as your most powerful resources, a broad ERP offering can only serve as the most rudimentary tool and not something that can give you the sophisticated and relevant insight into your business. It is important to choose an end-to-end ERP offering, such as Deltek Maconomy, that can truly sync your internal people and processes, to help you deliver against your ultimate goals of efficiency, visibility and profitability.

Adopting shared services

Shared service refers to any service that is shared by more than one department, group or part of an organisation to take the operational strain off the businesses that are struggling for growth. Its original driver was a simple one: to cut costs for businesses within an unpredictable market place.

However, the strategy of cutting just cost has been redefined and the new industry-wide objective is deploying a more efficient business model that results in profitability. In today’s business landscape, it’s not enough to merely slash and burn for the sake of cost cutting. Instead, businesses need to keep their eye on streamlining processes, so that any shared service hits the perfect balance between resources and profit.

When it comes to aligning your business for growth, with the right tools and best practices in place, today’s Professional Services firms can reap the benefits of efficiency, visibility and end-to-end, improved profitability.

Neil Davidson

Neil Davidson is UK MD at Deltek, a global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for professional services firms. An experienced ERP professional, Neil has spent over 12 years in client facing roles for Deltek and prior to its acquisition, Maconomy, as Sales Director and Services Director. He holds an LLB in Law from Nottingham University, and a diploma in Strategy from the Scandinavian Institute of Management.