So many companies want to be successful, but most are resistant to change. It can be difficult to come up with new concepts and ideas to keep your organization moving forward, but it can be nearly impossible to teach an old dog new tricks. Business trends and operating tactics evolve over time, and it has never been more crucial that we are each doing what we can to be proactive in improving and positioning our businesses for success. Whether you like it or not, change is necessary to promote the good. The following are 6 ideas you can implement to maximize your business’ potential for success.
1. Stand Out from the Competition
Many companies offer products, services and prices that are similar to their competitors. This makes it difficult to differentiate themselves and stand out as the better option. We believe the best way to come out ahead is to have the technological resources to provide thorough and comprehensive service throughout the buying cycle. This means that from marketing to sales, and purchase to delivery, customers feel unique and appreciated by your organization to keep them coming back and referring others.
2. Properly Invest in Technology
A while back we posted a blog titled Achieving Business Goals with Enterprise Resource Planning where we noted how an ERP system such as Sage 100 ERP (formerly known as Sage ERP MAS 90 / Sage ERP MAS 200) can take your business to the next level in regards to:
- Improving response times
- Achieving operational excellence
- Accessing better decision making capabilities
- Improving internal collaboration
- And more quickly getting products from concept, to production, to market
However, technology doesn’t stop at ERP. There are also applications to better care for your customers (CRM); systems offering real-time data access and comprehensive reporting (BI); as well as those that enable you to streamline and manage your warehouse and stock items more effectively (Inventory, WMS).
Additionally, another important note is that many organizations require 3rd party applications that can be seamlessly integrated into their existing ERP system in order to achieve the maximum level of efficiency and productivity. ASI offers numerous options in this category including: Service Center, Shipping Integration; Company Consolidation; Equipment Maintenance; Farm Plan Interface; and Credit Card Processing.
No matter which technology you invest in, you should make sure it is the right fit for your organization; and make a commitment to stay current – performing updates at least every two years.
3. Improve Collaboration
From virtual meetings, to internal CRM and cloud based portals where you can share necessary information with customers and suppliers; communication is crucial to success. Most companies have collaborative meetings with upper management, and CFO-level executives; but rarely ask the employees on the front lines or the customer, for that matter – how they can improve. When more people are brought into the discussion, you will inevitably have more ideas for positioning your business for greater success.
4. Update Your Reporting Processes
We have come in contact with so many companies who are still processing and distributing their reports ‘the old fashioned way’. If you have administrative staff who spend a large portion of their time pulling data out of your business systems and compiling it in excel in order to get a view of what is happening with your company – it’s time to make a change! Not only is this old model a waste of time, but it produces an unreliable end-result. Even the most careful of people will make re-keying mistakes. Here are three tips to help you come into the 21st century.
- Implement and / or begin utilizing a Business Intelligence (BI) application that seamlessly integrates with your ERP/Accounting system.
- Take advantage of secure ad hoc reporting options.
- Stop printing and distributing reports manually, rather post them to a company social platform where they can be shared and reviewed by necessary parties.
5. Consider implementing a Mobile Strategy
Whether you have staff members who work outside the office or warehouse, or those who don’t necessarily have a desk or office but need systems access, ERP mobility is crucial to improving efficiency and operations. Many companies are finding it beneficial to issue tablet and Smartphone devices to non-static staff members or implement a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. This not only provides much needed systems access, but it allows information to be inputted in to the ERP system much more quickly which in turn improves real time insight into warehouse activities, delivery status, inventory tracking, and more.
You can read more about this point in our blog: How Mobile ERP Solutions Can Drive Your Business into the Future
6. Commit to regular business process analysis and improvement
Every organization across the globe desires to improve business performance to achieve a higher level of efficiency and productivity. As your company evolves over time, it is important to revisit business processes to insure they are aligned with your long term strategy. It is likely that what may have worked initially, has since become ineffective.
For more information on how you can grow your business, you may be interested in viewing our complimentary whitepaper: 37 New Ideas for Growing Businesses.