When an organisation adopts a cloud-based business or finance system, the software vendor typically specifies certain usage parameters within the account, such as monthly transaction volumes, number of users, file storage limits, and concurrent processing.
As your company expands and approaches or exceeds these service parameters, it is important to ensure that the software solution can meet your growing needs. This is where a scalable financial management system like SunSystems or an ERP solution (such as NetSuite) that provides scalability options come into play.
A key advantage of these systems is their scalability, enabling them to adapt and expand alongside your business.
Why is this crucial? Neglecting to address your service levels could impact business efficiency and customer service. If your business systems cannot keep up with rising demand, bottlenecks and delays could introduce additional business risks and cause lost profits.
Here are the areas in which businesses may exceed the service parameters of their solutions as they grow (and tips for rightsizing to the appropriate service level):
1. Monthly Transaction Line Volume
During peak selling seasons or periods of fast overall growth, your business systems may struggle to keep up with high order volumes. This could result in a delay in processing sales orders into invoices.
If your systems are unable to handle the number of orders you receive, it could result in delayed revenue recognition and financial losses. Additionally, depending on your business system, customers may face slow website browsing and errors during checkout, causing them to abandon their purchases and resulting in further revenue loss.
Your solution needs to have transaction line reports that show the monthly transactions and help your administrator and key users see when you are reaching your transaction limits. This will provide you with a better understanding of the metrics, help you track important numbers before hitting the limits, and reduce the risks to your business.
2. Numbers of Users
A system’s responsiveness can also be affected by the number of users that can be supported in an environment. If the business application is overloaded, users may experience significant delays when doing things like loading pages or running reports. Needless to say, this results in poor user experience, low productivity, and even ordering and billing delays due to overladen resource demand.
Similar to the transaction line reports mentioned earlier, it is important to have an understanding of the number of users to efficiently operate your solution. A user visibility report can provide information about full licenses, allowing you to proactively monitor when you are nearing your user limit.
3. Concurrency Limits
If your business system is attempting to route an excessive number of concurrent web service processes, you might encounter some problems.
System performance can be negatively affected when multiple operations, scripts, and file import jobs are set up simultaneously. As these tasks are layered on top of one another, they create a heavy load on the system, causing problems.
The base and maximum concurrency amounts are determined by the service levels, which control how many parallel operations an account can perform for tasks such as data import and export.
If there is no increase in the concurrency limit, operations will be slowed down across the entire system. This could result in reduced productivity and efficiency.
To avoid experiencing slow or delayed operational processing and performance issues, it is recommended that you incorporate application checks into your solution to measure the health of your applications. The checks cover a range of metrics, such as page load time, summary details, processing monitoring, web services analysis, and so on.
4. File Storage Limits
As the business scales and collects more data, inadequate limits on file storage can become an issue. If the system is not configured correctly to facilitate larger file storage, it could lead to slower performance. This can be caused by large files taking up too much space, resulting in blocked or slow processes.
To prevent this from happening, your solution should have a feature that allows you to track total file storage usage and possibly set specific limits for individual users. Taking advantage of this will help ensure smooth operation as your business grows and expands its data collection capabilities.
When it comes to rightsizing to the appropriate service level, the first step is understanding what works best for your specific business needs. It is important to define the right service level before purchasing a solution.
You should take into account an estimate of how many orders you need to process per month, how many users will be accessing the system at once, and whether or not you need extra storage space for files or reports. You can then use this information to find a plan that meets those requirements.
If after some time in operation, you realise that you’re approaching the parameters of the current service level, consider upgrading to one that offers more throughput capabilities. There are usually options available for different levels of usage and performance requirements. To ensure maximum efficiency, track usage closely and monitor for any signs of slow processing or performance.
By taking the time to fully understand your business needs and proactively monitor for any changes, you can ensure that the solution is rightsized and optimised for optimal performance. This will help your system remain up-to-date with your specific requirements, ensuring that you get the most out of your investment.
Looking to upgrade your finance system or ERP solution to one with a higher service level? Talk to us today.
As leading providers of the best financial and business systems on the market, our team of experts can help you find the right solution for your business.