Make every move count



No matter how small, every decision made in business today – from agreeing a manufacturing plan, to launching a new marketing campaign – has the potential to drive success and business growth. Fast moving industries such as manufacturing and distribution know this all too well, with profit margins and productivity levels set to soar if the right move is made.

However, in today’s technology driven, 24/7 environment, the time available to make these all-important decisions has significantly reduced in line with customer expectation and global competition. Time zones and national borders are no longer a barrier adding to the pressure on those tasked with making the big decisions.

With the PwC 2014 Big Decisions survey “ Gut & gigabytes” finding that 44 per cent of executives surveyed make a big decision every three months, being able to make an informed decision - and quickly - is vital. However, despite this increased pressure, our own research conducted with ICM, found that over three quarters (79 per cent) of office workers in the UK, Sweden, Germany and the UAE have had to make uninformed decisions due to a lack of information available to them. A third (33 per cent) admitted doing so on a weekly basis.

What many businesses may not realise is that un-informed decisions can have serious business implications. For example, poor decisions over production priorities can lead to wasted man-hours, late deliveries, inflated work-in-progress, increases in working capital and worse, poor customer satisfaction levels – all factors that could prove detrimental to the future performance and profitability of the company. In fact, when asked to predict the likely financial impact of their most important decision, respondents to the PwC survey gave estimates ranging from under US$1m to over US$10bn - a clear indication of the true impact an un-informed decision can have on the business.

But despite no shortage of data or paper trails in today’s organisations, it seems that a disconnect exists between the information being available and it actually being usable to make informed decisions, leading many to rely on instinct and gut feel. The key is to harness information from often disparate sources and turn it into useful, actionable insight.

With technology being the catalyst for change in the decision making process, it can also provide the answer - in the form of next generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. By integrating data across the entire enterprise – from design, through engineering, manufacturing, delivery and service – immediate and actionable information can reach the necessary departments and functions with greater speed and accuracy than ever before.

Making decisions needn’t be a minefield and quick decisions can be made from an informed standpoint. By putting the right tools in place to help employees feel more confident about making faster and better decisions, the outlook for business success can become bright.   

For more information and insights from our office worker research, please visit our presentation on SlideShare.

Posted by Martin Hill, Vice President Marketing, Epicor International


Share on...