CFOs are struggling. Too often, they’re forced to make important decisions based on little more than gut feeling and instinct because they lack quick access to reliable data.

At least, this is the case according to a recent survey by Epicor, which indicated that almost 50% of CFOs currently face this “data deficit” challenge. The research found that while finance executives who make decisions based on empirical data instead of instinct are more likely to drive profitability, only about half believe they have the benefit of “good visibility” regarding financial information in their organisation.

“Today’s business realities necessitate fast action and systems to support effective decision-making,” concluded Epicor’s Malcolm Fox. Of course, the inference is that Epicor ERP systems represent the best solution for CFOs struggling to access the data they need to make good decisions.

The vendor wants users who face this problem to put their faith in Epicor version 10 – the latest iteration of its flagship software that is now more than a year old (it was released in April 2014). At the launch, Epicor 10 was described as a platform that would help businesses to “make smarter decisions, faster, and with better results”.  So does Epicor ERP 10 deliver on this promise? And if so, how exactly does it support better, smarter decision-making for financial executives?

The truth and the tragedy is that while ERP 10 will provide the basis for fast and effective decision-making neither it, nor any other ERP system, will do this automatically – some effort is required.

Good business processes must be put in place and adhered to. Solid KPIs need to be defined, along with subordinate measures that will allow a business to monitor its performance by defining and using appropriate reports against those measures.

Epicor 10, nor any other ERP system, will deliver real value without those precursors being put in place: it is almost a metabolic reaction.

Good process: good measures: good ERP = success. ERP on its own is some software – little else.

Epicor ERP 10 is an excellent ERP system that can deliver real benefit to its users, but it needs a level of intellectual as well as financial investment. The software can provide a vast repository of valid company data, as long as your processes are solid.

ERP 10 also offers the ability to access that data and use it to take action from anywhere on the globe: ideal for our mobile, constantly connected world.

Define what you want to achieve; structure your processes to allow you to do so; define your measures and reports so that you can monitor your progress and configure your software to enable you to access information automatically, concisely and, where possible, by exception.

ERP 10 is the engine that will help you drive your organisation to success. However, in the business world, there are other factors at play and you’re still likely to encounter some obstacles on the road. We aren’t in the land of autonomous cars just yet…

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