Every day, you pursue your business model with your vision and goals. You serve customers, locate new revenue opportunities, strive to outperform competitors, and accomplish as much as possible with limited resources. You build productive relationships with vendors and business partners. Moreover, you look for the highest possible return on your investments.
Software technology and the people who will use it can help you steer the business in the best direction. Financial management systems, also known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, can play a critical part in your success. However, how do you find the best technology solution-a solution that meets your business needs, but is also familiar so that your employees can adopt it quickly and start putting it to work? You need to evaluate your company’s needs, define the problems you expect your solution to address, research the full range of business software available today, determine what solution is best for you, and find an experienced IT professional to assist in implementation and training.
If you want to take your business forward by using technology wisely—these pages are for you. They can assist you in understanding what a business management system can do, planning your evaluation, and design your solution. Moreover, to illustrate key points, a fictional scenario unfolds as you read, following a wireline service company through the processes of determining business needs and defining their solution.
When to consider a financial management solution
Many of the best solutions available today are modular, so you can implement only the functionality that you need now, and make enhancements and upgrades as your requirements change. Unlike older ERP systems, today’s flexible solutions can extend to almost any critical business process or practice in your organization, including financial management, sales and service, and human resources. For an overview of what a new system can help you accomplish, consider critical thresholds in the life of your organization, or essential areas that need to reach peak performance for your business to thrive.
It’s not always easy to identify clear limits that call for a new financial management system. However, several indicators can send a strong signal that change is needed:
- How fast is your business growing?
Your business recently won a significant number of new customers, added new products and services to its offerings, hired more staff to accommodate changing business requirements, or is beginning to extend into new market segments. Your software systems and business technology are still in the state they were in when your concern was more limited in revenue, numbers of customers, products, and services, or employees.
Jefferson Wireline is an independent service provider who has been servicing the Field Service industry in Western Canada for 12 years. The sales team just booked a significant contract with a leading oil well drilling company. Also, Jefferson Wireline is beginning to explore business opportunities with several other leading wireline service companies. Moreover, the company recently opened another branch office in Estevan, SK and hired additional staff and to keep up with growth.
- Is current technology restricting your movements?
Your workers need to enter and access information in too many different applications, causing errors. Because of different software, people in one department or out in the field can’t integrate or exchange information with their coworkers in other departments or back at the office. Systems administrators get an unprecedented number of requests for workarounds that strain the capabilities of the current software, and employee productivity does not appear to benefit from software tools. Alternatively, maybe you acquired another company, and now you need to find a way to combine the technological infrastructures of the two.
Jefferson Wireline acquired a small company two years ago and never had the opportunity to integrate the two companies’ data and technology. The result: Duplicate inventory databases, order entry, and customer relationship management systems. Information about customers who order products from both former companies’ product lines is tough to find and aggregate, making it difficult to provide a good customer experience. The small IT group often acts as the company research group, helping to locate customer and transaction data. This disconnection causes many functionality inefficiencies such as incomplete reporting due to extensive reliance on spreadsheets for performance analysis, inaccurate/incomplete KPI’s used for aiding executive decisions and handicapped purchasing patterns caused by the inability to view real-time information on materials and products consumed across the company.
- How well can you plan and manage the business?
You know information about business performance and customer preferences reside somewhere in your organization—but you can’t get to it with ease, and it’s useless in your strategic planning. Key business partners and suppliers can’t connect to your business processes efficiently.
Randy Powell, Jefferson Wireline’s VP of Service, wants to forecast sales for the next year. The company has been profitable ever since its founding in the mid-’90s. Still, Randy finds it challenging to locate past sales results and establish reasonable projections. While in a meeting with Jody Smithers, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Randy learns that Jody has the same problem. Jefferson Wireline appears to be doing well, but, lacking visibility into actual business performance, it is almost impossible for executives to plan and take the company forward.
Essential Functions: Distribution, manufacturing, financials, CRM
Looking at it from another angle, you may want to consider the opportunities that business management solutions can present in several critical business areas:
Are the right goods in the right place at the right time? What improvements do you need to manage inventory, warehouses, orders, and purchasing better? Is sales forecasting accurate and dependable, and does it connect directly to your materials and inventory planning? A robust business management system can improve efficiencies in distribution and supply chain management, help control costs, and use limited resources to accomplish optimal results.
Can you make what your customers want, better and more efficiently? What would be the effect if you could develop, produce, or assemble products faster or with less overhead? Consider the quality of your output—would you like to see a higher level of consistent product and service quality with adequate quality assurance? In addition to these factors, many organizations implement a business management system so they can respond to market trends and competitive pressures with greater agility.
Jefferson Wireline’s success has brought the company into competition with much more extensive service providers. However, the big competitors have an advantage: They’ve implemented technology to help them quickly customize product and service offerings for customers, and to help develop and bring new products and services to market at astonishing speeds. If Jefferson Wireline tried to do the same today, it would run into quality issues. Rory Chow, Chief Operations Officer (COO), can see a massive opportunity in tightening service responsiveness. However, he knows that Jefferson Wireline doesn’t have the funds or personnel that larger companies have spent on technology to address these issues.
Financial management: Is business performance in line with your strategy?
You carefully watch the financial performance and financial events affecting your business and manage your finances as efficiently as possible. What if you could simplify and accelerate financial management and make critical, financial information available more easily? The right system could, for example, help minimize the time and effort your staff devotes to month-end closing. An easy-to-use interface can reduce human error in financial processing. A good business management system could also help you create valuable financial reports based on all relevant information in your organization.
Paula Bento, CEO, and Jody Smithers, CFO, are already considering taking the company public. If that happens, Jefferson Wireline needs to streamline financial management and satisfy additional reporting requirements. Even with the company privately held, owners are concerned with the dependability and efficiency of its financial management and reporting. However, the practices required are going to be costly and time-consuming without a technology solution to assist.
Customer relationship management (CRM): Do customers love doing business with you?
Your relationship with your customers may be the most important one in your business. Are you making it easy for them to do business with you? Do you understand their needs and preferences, and do you satisfy them? A new system can help you bridge the gap between your customers and your sales and marketing efforts. Possible benefits include high sales revenue and better customer retention. Business Scenario: Randy Powel worries about customer retention. Listening to his team, he knows their work isn’t getting more comfortable. Sometimes it seems that for each new customer they win, one is lost to a competitor. Randy knows that the company can’t become a market leader if this trend continues. He also realizes that, despite best efforts, the sales team hasn’t significantly increased the annual dollar volume per customer. A CRM solution may help Jefferson Wireline manage its customer relationships with better results—and better service levels as well.
In the current marketplace, the clinic of innovation is not practically creating fresh products. It indeed is all about discovering completely brand new niches which match previously not known and therefore untapped customer desires. Moreover, at the time of the online trade, the action of innovation becomes a level greater struggle, awash in a sea of fresh thoughts. Therefore the drive towards deciding on and executing the most suitable views and bringing them to market before your competitions choose in an urgency which has been previously unknown nonetheless is sure to rise in the rapidity of its scale at the years ahead.
Like a result, the driving force supporting invention – previously technological innovation and also the constraint of high-quality and cost – have shifted far in topics of efficacy and therefore are currently entirely focused on the creativity and even the growth of their company before an upcoming nation of competitiveness.
An ideal example could be understood from the act of free cost using a smartphone. The mobile price has offered the best annoyance for shoppers preventing them from needing to carry close to credit cards along with also other ways of value. Nevertheless, it has to turn into the standard for many businesses, cellular cost’s proliferation amid start-ups is signs of the desire to attain consumers throughout expediency and simplicity of use.
5 Actions into a Complex Option
Without Regard to size and extent of the company, customer-centered businesses appearing to innovate for the contemporary customer may contemplate the Subsequent strategy:
Work out the issue you are attempting to resolve
Like only about any first measure, that one is vital. Be confident in attempting to fix the right problem and do not try to extend a cure for something crucial in the eyes of one’s consumer. Do so by asking the most suitable questions and celebrating, possibly in focus groups or by merely assessing aggressive organizations, products, and their clients. Inquiring fundamental issues such as ‘what exactly does X Y Z business do better-than us’ or ‘what is lacking from our product or assistance which could create it better? ” May go a ways towards establishing your leadership as of this phase.
- Evaluate the difficulty
Inside this phase, you would like to reverse the issue upside down and inside-outside, pulling every factor and appreciate which causes it (and therapies it). Focus on how usually the situation happens, and just how intense it’s, likely causes, and also precisely what if any particular circumstances affect. Still another main focus ought to be to the timeframe of the issue. The length of time does it ever been transpiring? Could it be ever getting worse at the time and again, if not, is there any factors which can cause it to accomplish therefore in perspective?
- Classify the choice standards
Demonstrably defining the desires which contribute to buy purpose, right here you would like to identify some and every decision that points to your decision making procedure. Which of those criteria most crucial? Can the conclusion be predicated solely upon present criteria are there some Exceptional worth Which Can Be Used
- Come using more significant than one alternative
That was absolutely no substitute for the amount and also the target in this time would always be not to make an even expensive solution that dining table. Therefore, do not halt in the first available way you develop with. Instead, appraise any other situations as quickly as you can, checking the advantages and disadvantages of each to be sure the definite answer you are pursuing essentially the absolute most aggressive and hence profitable 1.
- Choose the Best answer
After you have assessed all of the choices and values gleaned out of ways one through four, then you must pick the perfect most remedy mentioned above to move forward together with, creating a foundation of service in your company and preparing for absolutely any inside or outside contingencies.
Direction and direction skills are all often regarded as the same by numerous companies. Although both inherently share many equivalent faculties, they differ for the reason that maybe not all of the directors are frontrunners, but most of the leaders are all administrators. They’ve been mathematical attributes inexorably linked into each other, and some other endeavor to extricate one by one different is impossible. Whereas the boss proceeds to organize, arrange and organize, a leader functions to encourage and inspire. Militarily speaking, a director is a battlefield overall as the boss is still your commander in chief.
Traits of the Manager
A supervisor is regarded as a replica of the pioneer, liable for communicating the regulations and characteristics of their provider to individual employees, and ensuring they stick to these. For a boss, his/her relationships with staff members depend on the way of a hierarchical management-system, also infrequently by personal kinds. They genuinely are liable for maintaining the day daily procedures of this provider consequently that the cogs of their surgery stay well-oiled. Administrators are ordinarily more anxious about all the quarterly bottom-line, also may frequently base conclusions primarily based on these sorts of calculations. Fantastic managers are commonly regarded as “great troopers” they scarcely wonder the decisions of their high echelons of both the business and just function to enforce the execution of its policies.
Traits of the chief
By comparison, a pioneer focuses on social relationships with other essential connections in different businesses, in addition to promoting promising men and women inside the enterprise to cultivate creation. A pioneer bases his or her conclusions regarding studies from section heads to estimate the entire company’s position and proposed plans. An actual pioneer is also willing to discount the organization’s quarterly baseline for all quarters – substantially to the chagrin of investors – and even create investments for a long-lived growth perspective. A pioneer is described as a “bold innovator” for the reason that he or she struggles the status quo and can be unafraid to shoot good risks in search of higher wages, for clients, workers and investors equally.
Replies involving Professionals and Advisors
It’s stated the supervisor asks “how” and “if,” whereas a pioneer inquires “what” and.” In many professions, leaders and managers assume precisely the same function. However, if your pioneer of the firm only handles an organization – and never question its authentic possibility- afterward it’s going to collapse supporting its business friends probably. Additionally, if managers overstep their boundaries and endeavor to revolt against the business, they then may soon wind out themselves of this project. In a few instances, at which micro-management is essential to make the most of efficacy, cultivate abilities and maintain employees arranged, sturdy managers are still an absolute need to prevent elevated mortality speeds and the “brain drain” of the skilled workforce. A fantastic chief will also stay in the front field of struggle, and also be more acquainted with every single facet of both the company, resulting via inspiration as opposed to coercing as a result of hierarchical control. A complete supervisor who accomplishes the position of an actual leader will probably undoubtedly be able to direct individuals effortlessly and attract the appropriate strengths and knowledge of every critical specific inside the business. Lots of managers will likely fight for their entire careers rather than achieve that. However, a skilled couple will soon develop into real leaders.