Are You Facing These Business Challenges in 2014?

March 24, 2014

Authored by Sarah Mack, TeamCain

As you may recall, in January 2013 we conducted a survey to get an idea on what types of business challenges were in store for our customers and shared the results in our blog. Well, we’ve done it again and found similarities and differences to last years’ replies. Here are the results...

To give you some background on the survey participants they were all from North American companies that worked in a variety of industries - educational, energy, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, transportation and government. Over 60% of the respondents were using JD Edwards EnterpriseOne while over 30% were using World (the other 10% were either utilizing a co-existence model ERP or did not specify). The majority of respondents were associated with IT however there were some from Manufacturing and the Finance Department.

Similar to last year, we asked participants “What are the Top 3 Business Challenges that you are facing in 2014?” The replies we received really shed light on what is important to companies going forward for this year. We also asked what role IT played in these challenges and many said the role of IT for facing these challenges was primary and major. The top business challenges were divided into 5 categories:

  1. Budget & Controlling Costs (i.e. IT costs, smaller budgets, lack of resources)
  2. Upgrade (Hardware/Software) (i.e. Migrating to/from JDE, upgrading to the 9s, tools upgrade)
  3. Business Growth (i.e. Expansion, acquisitions, integration)
  4. Applications & Solutions (i.e. WMS, archiving and purging, business intelligence, reporting)
  5. Ensuring Corporate, User & Customer Satisfaction (i.e. User adoption, meeting customer demands, complying with corporate standards)

The Top Business Challenges for 2014

The Top 3 Business Challenge categories were Applications & Solutions, Upgrade (Hardware or Software) and Budget & Controlling Costs.

Applications & Solutions

Most who indicated that applications and solutions were an upcoming challenge referred to data purging and archiving, business intelligence, warehouse management and mobility. A lot of these “challenges” are solutions in themselves. For example, if your system is slower or you’re thinking about upgrading, a data purge and archive project can speed up the process and increase your system’s efficiency. If you’re thinking about inventory management, investing in an Automated Data Collection (ADC) solution like RF-SMART can not only help with inventory accuracy but user adoption is seamless and your warehouse operations will be efficient. 

Upgrade (Hardware/Software)

A part of being in the technology industry is that you’re always moving to the next level - upgrading hardware and software becomes second nature. Some on the survey indicated that they wanted to make sure they were taking advantage of the new enhancements and features available in the latest releases of JD Edwards. Thankfully, Oracle makes sure that their customers are in the know when it comes to these new features (like the new Security Enhancements in World A9.3). There are very useful resources designed to help and work with you on your impending upgrade (and TeamCain would love to help out too!).  Oracle has done an awesome job with updates in particular for the end users, with advanced queries, EnterpriseOne pages, watch lists, the carousel, favorites, OVR and more in EnterpriseOne, and EDD extensions, extensibility, easier upgrades, web services, named events and a bunch more in World. 

Budget & Controlling Costs

When it comes to the budget, a lot of the time you won’t have any say - you are stuck with what you’re stuck with. But you can control your costs by making small changes. To reduce mistakes in your warehouse operations and financial departments, automation of data can help avoid costly data entry errors. Investing upfront in a business intelligence solution can give you a global view of your company thus saving you money down the line.

We appreciated everybody taking the time to complete our survey and offer us some insight into what’s important for businesses going forward in 2014.

What about you?

What are the top business challenges you and your company may face in 2014? Let us know in the comments below, via Twitter or on our LinkedIn Group Discussion.