Renowned organisational consultant Warren Bennis said: “Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.” These words have never been truer than they are today in the age of information. Indeed, businesses are hard-pressed to keep pace with constantly accelerating changes in technology, global markets, and the ways in which business is done.
In other words, agility is the name of the game - as is growth. Businesses that are agile enough to roll with change and keep growing to meet increasing customer demands are set to rise to the top. Meanwhile, those that lack agility may slow down and fall behind their competition. Of course, cultivating agility while advancing business growth is a complex undertaking - and becomes even more challenging when growth isn’t planned.
When unplanned growth leads to a lack of agility
A recent survey from Epicor and MORAR Consulting revealed several potential threats to manufacturers’ growth ambitions, one of which is that unplanned growth may result in unexpected consequences which would have a negative impact on the business. As an example, companies that don’t plan for growth may find that problems occur more often and take longer to resolve, indicating a lack of agility. Without accurate forecasts, they aren’t able to adequately prepare for the challenges of growth. And if they can’t respond quickly, they might end up losing opportunities to competitors.
Serious risks to the business can also occur as a result of unplanned growth and a subsequent decrease in agility - such as loss of focus over product direction. In periods of unplanned growth, there is a clear danger that management’s time becomes increasingly consumed by mounting day-to-day workloads. In the worst case scenario, this can degenerate into an endless series of reactive firefighting tasks. If that happens, little time is left to think about strategy and the longer term direction of the product offering. If this focus is lost, the company becomes vulnerable to up-and-coming competitors as they introduce products with new features, and present a clearer, more compelling story to potential customers.
Increasing flexibility and agility to enable faster growth
The good news is that the right business software solution can help you avoid these risks - as well as drive growth - by providing the agility you need to quickly meet changing market demands and stay ahead of the competition. For example, flexible ERP solutions from Epicor provide accurate information and insights in real-time - driving smarter, faster decision-making; enabling greater responsiveness to opportunities as they arise; and freeing up management to focus on strategic planning.
Andy Archer is Regional Vice President UK and Ireland at Epicor Software