As analysis of 2015 business results are made available, one thing is abundantly clear: employment and economic growth is being driven by the service sector. A recent report by Gartner, Competitive Landscape: ERP for Services-Centric Industries (available via subscription only), reveals that service-centric enterprises are growing faster than product-centric ones. Part of this growth relates to a global shift to "knowledge-based" economies, as well as the increasing demand for healthcare and education services.
Gartner reports that service-centric enterprises are growing faster than product-centric ones. Click to Tweet
Much of the growth in services is also directly related to changes in IT, such as cloud computing. The increasing adoption of cloud computing technology is enabling providers of services to outsource internal business process and staff functions, thus enabling the reconfiguration (or redeployment) of IT resources. This reduces administrative costs (who isn’t for saving money?) while improving execution capabilities. The adoption of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is making powerful software and analytical tools available to small and medium size businesses in the service sector for the first time in history. Previously, this software and tools were only available to enterprise level businesses. These are ground breaking times!
While service businesses may not need to manage inventories or production facilities, they have unique needs which are every bit complex. To think of them as less complex than manufacturing enterprises is a fallacy. The "product" offered by service businesses is their people, and the value those people bring to their customers. For a service enterprise, talent management, collaboration, and project management are critical to providing value-added services to their customers in a cost effective and profitable manner.
To think of service businesses as less complex than manufacturing enterprises is a fallacy. Click to Tweet
Service enterprises need sophisticated software. They need ERP. Not just any ERP, but one that has:
- Fully integrated document management capabilities
- Mobile-enabled applications
- Robust, built-in analytical capabilities
- Dynamic, customizable accounting software (Many service based businesses operate on a contract basis for which there are specific accounting rules for recognizing and recording revenue. Not having this capability as part of their Accounting software, not only adds additional manual Accounting efforts, but may skew operating results and lead to errors in statutory or tax reporting.)
In addition to this list, a service business must utilize ERP and CRM solutions which can interface in the future with IoT-enabled devices. The IoT is already changing the consumer products marketplace. For example, smart machines and vehicles that can detect problems or “callout” for maintenance require that the business that services them is able to do so. This service is typically done via an ERP or CRM system. Is your business and software able to handle these future needs?
The number and type of service businesses are extremely diverse. Often, specific markets or local business needs define the nature of services, and thus the software functionality required. At Acumatica, we work with an extensive network of Partners, many of whom have developed software "extensions" to meet the needs of specific service providers, or local markets. Since we share our underlying platform and software development tools with our qualified Partners, the software extension they provide work seamlessly with our base software suite of modules.
The service sector is predicted to be the engine of future economic growth worldwide. Service businesses can position themselves to share in that growth, but only if they make the investments necessary. ERP and CRM software which provides functionality specifically required by service businesses and which are built on a platform that can integrate mobile and IoT technologies is essential. At Acumatica, we provide such a platform.
The service sector is predicted to be the engine of future economic growth worldwide. Click to Tweet
You can learn more about our platform and software for the needs of service businesses.
Better yet, come to the Acumatica Summit where you can personally meet with our service industry experts. They’ll show you solutions and a platform to help your service business grow and thrive in 2016 and well into the future. Register today!
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