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Nine in ten businesses in SG not prepared for growth surge: Epicor survey

Adrian M. Reodique | March 15, 2016
According to the survey, 56 percent of the business leaders worry that they are not prepared for the challenges of managing a larger and more diverse business.

Nine in ten (94 percent) businesses in Singapore were caught out by unplanned growth last year which exposed them to significant business dangers.

This is according to the findings of a global survey- conducted by Epicor Software Corporation, a provider of industry-specific enterprise software- which polled over 1,800 business leaders from 12 countries.

In Singapore, nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) reported growth in 2015, while majority (61 percent) expect to grow this year. In addition, only six percent of business experienced growth in line with their plans last year.

Unplanned business growth also carries potential pitfalls on the enterprise.

Globally, the survey revealed that majority of the businesses (65 percent) worry that unplanned growth puts excessive pressure on their operations, thus damaging quality and customer satisfaction. In addition, 57 percent were also concerned with the capability of the IT systems of the business to cope with managing a larger and more complex business model.

As such, CEOs' top concern was the perceived loss of customer intimacy.

In terms of the availability of resources, more than half (62 percent) of the respondents worry that their business might take on large or more complex projects in which they lack the skillset and technology to effectively deliver the service, thus damaging the reputation of their brands.

Majority of the businesses (56 percent) also worry that the unplanned business growth may increase the workloads of the staff to a level that places too much pressure on them, prompting key employees to resign.

In line with this, 56 percent of the business leaders surveyed are worried that they are not prepared for the challenges of managing a larger and more diverse business.

The survey also unveiled that significant levels of unplanned growth will most likely be experienced by mid-sized organisations with 100 to 999 employees (37 percent) compared to the larger enterprises with over 1,000 staffs (29 percent). In essence, unplanned growth will most likely be painful (in as many as one in ten cases) by smaller mid-sized businesses as they make the difficult shifting from small to mid-sized organisations.

In Singapore, majority of the respondents (62 percent) found growth challenging in 2015.  

Meanwhile, 78 percent of the businesses worldwide think that an integrated and effective IT infrastructure is essential to prepare and support the enterprises on unplanned growth. "This adoption of new technologies should position organisations to reap the benefits of newfound efficiencies and pave the way for growth," said Malcolm Fox, vice president of product marketing for Epicor.

"Although the majority of businesses intend to grow in 2016, it's clear that there are significant concerns with regards to businesses ability to deal with growth. These concerns are not altogether unfounded. As our research shows that even when businesses plan to grow, this growth can still surprise them; putting unexpected pressures on the organisation. The proper time to prepare for growth surges is well in advance, as having an information framework to enable an organisation to respond and keep pace in the face of growth has never been more vital," he added.  


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