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Pressing on with the Business of Global Growth in an Era of Uncertainty

Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President, International, Epicor Software Corporation | Jan. 20, 2017
How can developed world businesses bolster their competitive position to keep emerging market businesses from overtaking them?

Newer business systems - such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions that are key to running and managing operations have also been designed to support the needs of global business. Therefore, emerging world businesses running next-generation ERP systems benefit from a powerful toolkit of capabilities to support global growth.

These include:

  • Sophisticated tax engines assist with global tax determination
  • Compliance platforms to support local reporting requirements
  • Currency engines to assist in helping ease trading complexity in multiple currencies
  • Cross-border trading functionality provides support for reporting of goods shipped/source to/from countries and intra stat reporting
  • Support for multiple accounting standards critical to support revaluation requirements around assets according to IFRS guidelines and US Gap standards
  • Support for regional and local banking standards, i.e. SEPA requirements for Euro states
  • Product classification support to meet standardized international codes (UNSPC codes and regional requirements)
  • Multi-lingual support for customer-facing documents and to support overall user experience
  • Social enterprise capabilities to support internal and external team collaboration across borders and proactively manage the challenges of a virtual team environment

Digital business furthers global growth

Companies that offer web-based products and services can excel in the global growth arena, simply because it's easier and less expensive to port digital offerings across borders. However, in her Harvard Business Review article, 7 Traits of Companies on the Fast Track to International Growth, author Nataly Kelly says that even in older industries that pre-date the web, such as manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, those companies that are more invested in online and software-based models for strategic business areas tend to have faster rates of global growth. Her take: Digitisation makes a company more agile and responsive to opportunities in global markets.

Many organisations leverage e-commerce to give them a virtual presence and an additional sales channel with relatively minimal investment. But outside of e-commerce, digital capabilities can bring to the fore operational costs and inefficiencies, and provide the global "glue" to bind the extended organisation together and improve collaboration. This can then support channel partnerships to extend a company's presence in new countries/regions and help drive greater return on investment from potential strategic mergers and acquisitions.

The good news is that buying and implementing new technology is easier and more cost effective than ever before - so organisations can quickly use these capabilities to give themselves a major competitive leg up. However, the recent advent of cloud computing is a great global technology democratizer - making powerful technology affordable to organisations where previously it was out of reach. The significance of this is far-reaching and developed world companies must be vigilant and aggressive in their use of new technology, lest they suddenly find themselves outflanked by upstart emerging market businesses, potentially shifting the nexus of power in the global economic and business landscape.


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