How to maintain effective systems in periods of rapid growth
As an organisation moves through the five stages of the business lifecycle, rapid growth must be coupled with sound processes and access to information to reach maturity. With the correct systems in place, the business can function at the same efficiency regardless of its size. However, if there are deficiencies in these systems, the deficits will grow as the business grows, ultimately resulting in decline and the death of the enterprise.
With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, the professional world is becoming increasingly aware of the power of technology in developing, implementing and tracking these systems. As the business' footprint expands, it must effectively manage its finances, projects, sales, purchase orders, inventory and contracts - ensuring that supply can continue meet demand.
According to Jane Thomson, Managing Director at Softworx, an Infor partner, keeping pace with rapid growth and the continual addition of newly acquired business units requires strategic software implementation. Thomson offers EOH's most recent upgrade to Infor LN as an example of how technology can bolster growth and even aid the organisation in garnering new business.
Zunaid Mayet, EOH Group CEO, confirms that: "Our distinction lies in our ability to deliver and execute on our promise to clients, and ultimately fulfil and exceed their expectations." To continue to deliver on its promises as its expansion continued, EOH was determined to develop and maintain full integration, automated business intelligence and rich, analytical reporting.
"Fully-integrated time and expense management was required to collect weekly timesheets, approve those timesheets and update the billing information to customers. The ability to submit, verify and approve expense claims and advances, as well as reimburse employees, became a critical business process," confirms Thomson. "Automated business intelligence and consolidated reporting was required, providing analysis by: segment, industry and customer spend; business unit and revenue split analysis; and budgeting and forecasting."
To address these needs, the software deployment at EOH entailed a middleware solution to integrate financial, customer and project data in ERP to the timesheets and expense reimbursement in XM, with reporting, analysis, budgeting and forecasting from BI. Realising full automation, ensured that all data was available in one central database and was consolidated seamlessly.
"Infor LN gives EOH executives an up-to-date view of operations at any time, even as our business grows from day to day - we can make better executive decisions faster," confirms King. With more than 11 500 employees across 134 locations in South Africa (and 50 more across the globe) servicing more than 2 000 customers, efficiency, accuracy and access to reliable information become a fundamental operational need.
"The integrated Infor solution set of ERP LN, XM and intelligent business reporting has greatly reduced the effort to produce standard, detailed reports on the revenue and costs of more than 230 EOH business units," states Townsend.
Infor LN is currently live on over 100 sites at EOH, processing more than 90 000 expense claims and 30 000 timesheets per annum through Infor XM. "As a result, EOH now has better control of its operations with automated business processes, which are more efficient, less labour intensive and completely standardised," concludes Thomson. "This drives functionality, ensuring that the business' processes can grow with it as it remains on an upward growth trajectory."