Growing your business internationally is not without its challenges, but being armed with the right erp software can help you navigate the choppy waters
Here are some useful tips to help you achieve a smooth sailing.....
Moving to International Markets
When it comes to growing a global business, (as I can re-call from my International Marketing degree days), there can be all sorts of complexities from branding, culture, language, politics, legal etc. It's not just as simple as setting up an office in Cork or Belfast and so it's important to do your homework. There is plenty of help available, particularly from Enterprise Ireland (or other similar agencies) who will assist businesses looking to get a foothold in a foreign market.
Although things have changed a lot since I studied International Marketing with converging tax laws, currency consolidations etc, the one thing I would say is that moving to international markets seems to be on the radar from a much earlier stage. Businesses today are much more dynamic and can see how they can gain market share and expand by moving into new markets.
From an ERP systems point of view, often this comes as an after-thought, when in fact it is a very important element of planning a strategic move into international markets. The choices you make now can have a positive or negative impact on the business as you grow and scale.
When it comes to making this decision on systems, below are 2 choices:
a) Run your own system in your home territory and then purchase a local accouting solution for each new market.
b) Implement a global solution
Option a) may be a good choice if you are running a tight budget and timescales are too tight to allow for changing the entire system. However, you would need to reflect on the impact down the line. So, let's say you go with option a) and a year down the line you are running 3 different local systems in 3 different countries. It becomes much more difficult to maintain and to get that all-important view of your whole business. Reporting will undoubtely become more laborious and stressful with deadlines looming at the end of month.
Option b) definitely requires a bit more investment in time and software, but the rewards should become apparent very quickly. So, let's just say you plan on starting in 1 new terrirory with the intention to open in 3 territories within 18 months. Having the right global platform in place will help you achieve this roll-out, particularly if you opt for a cloud based solution.
Having the right global system is critical and so we would recommend that you ask the right questions before you make your choice:
- language - can your system be localised for different markets
- legislation - check to make sure that the software meets legislative requirements in each of your potential markets
- head office/subsidiary - can you see key performance indicators and other business critical data across each subsidiary and at a global level
- If selling products - check to make sure you have a true global solution when it comes to order management and inventory fulfilment across different location
- Speed of deployment - once you have all of the ground work done for the head office, how quickly and easily will you be able to "set-up shop" in each new market
- Integration - can you run your whole business from the one system
Read about how NetSuite OneWorld, a global solution has helped Telco Solution Provider grow it's business.
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