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Businesses create strategies with only the best intentions.

And once formulated, they try to commit to these plans in order to seize market share, increase revenue, and widen profit margins.

The problem, however, is that market conditions can change quickly, rendering at least parts of your strategy inapplicable.

When this happens, you have two choices:

    1. commit to your strategy in the hopes that brute force will make it work, or
    2. stop, reassess, and revise

Your strategy doesn’t have to hold you hostage: when market conditions change, your company can change with them.

You don’t have to be stuck with a dated strategy just because the market decided to defy your expectations. Instead of staying with flawed assumptions (or abandoning an aspect of your strategy), use what you know to modify your strategy for a new operating or competitive environment. Take advantage of the information in your systems to understand how unexpected external or internal conditions have affected sales, employee productivity, and other key performance metrics.

With the gap between forecasts and actuality identified, you can refresh the relevant aspects of your strategy to align with prevailing market conditions and move forward confidently while the competition continues to rely on the plans devised previously. To secure the data you need to make the appropriate decisions, ERP solutions such as those from SAP can help. An ERP system can ensure that you have the most accurate data available and reduce the time it takes to pull information from disparate sources and assemble it through clumsy, time-consuming, and error-prone report development efforts.

Once you’ve ascertained a change in market conditions and have assembled the appropriate data, you can revisit your strategy and make the adjustments warranted by the new reality you face. Equipped with a shifted approach to the marketplace, you’ll be able to capitalize on the turn of events more quickly, which opens an opportunity to take market share from competitors, deepen existing relationships, and engage new clients. As a result, you’ll have a magnified competitive advantage, simply because you listened to the market and used the data you already have in your organization.

Your ERP system is the key to releasing you from a strategy that’s no longer relevant to the world around you. As you watch the economy and your clients, be ready to watch your data, too. Digging into your ERP system can help you see what your company can do to stay head of the world around you.

Photo credit: Frank Black Noir