Countless small and medium-sized enterprises are challenged today when it comes to growth. In fact, according to the most recent Development Survey released on November 11, 47% of SMEs in Singapore experienced zero growth while 6% experienced negative growth, an interesting development in the once rapidly growing sector.
Perhaps even more intriguing, the same survey also reported that 68% of SMEs invested in in-house technology and applications, citing the benefits of reduced manpower and improved competitiveness. However, despite the number of SMEs adopting technological solutions, there still appears to be numerous organizations that are struggling to stay afloat.
The question then becomes, why? Why are SMEs unable to achieve sustainable growth, or even worse yet, achieve negative growth? Although there is no single answer, there is a variety of problems that have become apparent.
Prevalent Problems addressed by Integrative Software
It is not uncommon for small and medium-sized enterprises to be slow to adopt software and applications to improve organizational efficiency. In fact, it is also quite common for SMEs to integrate software applications individually within their organization. For example, many SMEs choose to first adopt accounting applications, later on adding other software applications such as HR systems, Payroll applications, CRM software and more. What’s the problem? Although this approach can appear to be cost-effective in the short-term it often ends up being detrimental in the long run. By taking a fragmented approach and relying on multiple isolated tools, SMEs often end up with stunted growth, the last thing they are trying to accomplish.
Inevitably, by relying on fragmented tools and solutions for integrative software capabilities, SMEs end up with a number of less than desirable results. While implementing systems individually may seem cost-effective initially these type of quick fix solutions lead to a number of detrimental results in the long-term, including but not limited to:
Disparate systems have been shown to reduce productivity tremendously in the long run. After all, rather than taking care of a single system, SMEs with multiple software tools are faced with the challenge of effectively managing numerous tools simultaneously. This is not only difficult, it is time-consuming, making efficiency nearly impossible.
Poor Customer Service
It can be extremely challenging to manage numerous software systems and applications, and unfortunately for many organizations, it shows. SMEs that fail to adopt comprehensive software solutions frequently find they are unable to provide the same level of service as those who do adopt more integrative alternatives.
Isolated Data Silos
Organizations with multiple software tools in place frequently develop isolated and fragmented groups of data, otherwise known as data silos. Information becomes detached, confined, and ultimately deserted in some cases, leading organizations to make ill-informed decisions and future projections.
Completely Disparate System
Time and time again, multiple isolated data silos have proven to lead many SMEs with a completely disparate system. Rather than data becoming seamlessly integrated across an organization, it becomes segregated and isolated. Leaving systems to become ultimately more challenging to manage over time.
A Better Alternative
So, are all SMEs doomed from the start, or is there perhaps a better alternative available? The answer? There is absolutely an alternative available to otherwise highly fragmented and disparate software systems. Although these systems tend to be the norm for a number of SMEs, they don’t have to be. In fact, integrative software solutions have proven to increase productivity and competitiveness substantially, and we’ve witnessed these changes take place first hand. How are these results achieved? Integrative business applications are able to eliminate redundant and unnecessary data silos and replace them with a completely integrated business application. For example, SMEs with one integrative software system in place are able to replace outdated legacy systems and instead replace them with a comprehensive solution capable of seamlessly integrating HRM with employee self-service for tasks such as eLeave and claim management, reducing unnecessary inefficiency and improving organizational structure and security. Paving the way for long-term SME growth and success. What about you? Does your organization rely on one or multiple business applications?