Organizational silos are far too common in business and describe the isolation of individual departments to compete for scarce resources. By withholding valuable data, knowledge, or assistance, department leaders either knowingly or unknowingly strive to increase their value in a company to gain a more significant share of the budget or additional employees.
What do organizational silos look like in a company?
Consider this scenario. The marketing department needs information about sales trends and forecasts. They also want to know who their most significant customers are to develop highly targeted email marketing campaigns. The marketing department doesn’t have access to the business information software, so they must submit work request tickets into a company-wide software system. The technology department manages the ticket system, and a dedicated team reviews all the tickets and distributes them to the employees who are best skilled to fulfill them. For marketing data requests, they almost always go to an employee in the accounting department who manages the billing software. Once the accounting employee receives the ticket, it falls into the employee’s worklist. It may not receive attention for several days, even though the tickets generally take about 15 minutes to complete. Sound familiar?
Here’s another scenario. The leadership team meets to discuss progress made on achieving company goals and strategic initiatives. The CFO reports a significant drop in gross revenue per location, while the COO shares numbers showing a steady increase in sales across the region. Confused about the current state of affairs, the CEO directs both of them to meet following the meeting to discuss their numbers and email the leadership team with the correct information by the end of the day. Been there?
Do organizational silos drive you crazy?
Organizational silos create distrust, animosity and slow down the process of achieving success. Employees are frustrated they can’t get the information they need quickly enough. Managers coach their teams to achieving performance goals that may create unnecessary and unanticipated challenges for other departments. Leaders are unclear about which information is accurate. Leadership meetings can end in arguments and accusations and are eventually seen as a waste of time. In the end, no one “wins.”
How can a new ERP tear down the silos?
Today’s ERP software solutions create transparency, provide functionality, and facilitate communication between departments to eliminate organizational silos. The key lies in the way ERP software solutions are built.
ERP solutions include several functional modules that work with a single database, from the back-end processes to front office sales. By using one database, common errors related to imports and exports are eliminated. Transactions and data flow seamlessly from one department to another, allowing instantaneous changes and accurate reporting.
Here’s an example. The warehouse receives products into inventory and inputs quantities and wholesale costs into the system. Accounting receives the notification of the receipt, updates the retail prices, automatically sends a notice of price changes to store managers and queues the invoice for payment. The POS system now has the updated information, so sales will automatically ring up with the new price. With POS systems connected to the database, anyone can view a report of sales at any location up to the minute. Marketing can view the sales information they need with the click of a button, and all members of the Leadership Team have access to identical information.
Implementing a new ERP solution goes beyond providing your employees with an easier way to complete their work. These solutions are integral to eliminate organizational silos by creating efficiencies, enhancing communication, and making information accessible to everyone.
Would you like to eliminate organizational silos in your company?
At WEnd Consulting, we’re dedicated to helping petroleum distributors and convenience store retailers adopt technology that will boost their bottom lines. We can help you streamline processes and increase accessibility to data to help your team members more easily achieve strategic goals. Our team is comprised of individuals who spent decades in the industry and are eager to help you analyze your current technology and learn about options that will make your company more successful. Contact us today, and let’s build a plan to reach success.