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  • Jon Brown FCCA

Taking Your Business To The Next Level-Part 3.How your business can benefit from next level software

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Bill Of Materials

Expanding your business is an exciting development. Exploring the potential of your business through new software options is a big part of this process, and no less exciting! As we have discussed previously, business management software is a central part of any business and many do not realise the potential for growth by upgrading.

So, what does the next-level software offer and how can it help grow your business?

Greater depth and broader range of functionality

The next-level of business software offers much more than just the basic recording or bookkeeping functions that entry level software provides. They are designed so that the processes you need are part and parcel of the one system, so they offer a lot more functionality.

As an example, let’s look at what you might find from a procurement perspective:

Customer backorders - when no stock is available at the warehouse or other branches - need to be purchased or manufactured, as do job orders. Stock reorder reports can either raise a stock transfer request to the warehouse or feed into purchasing. In larger organisations purchases might come through a central purchasing department and require authorisation. After a purchase order is raised and goods are received, these may go back to the customer, the job, into stock, out to a store or consumed internally.

Full stock and order integration = hours of savings through no rekeying

More tailored to your needs

Because the level of functionality is so much broader in an ERP system, it is important that this be aligned with your business processes. You don’t want users being overburdened and confused with information on screens that is not relevant to them.

For this reason, most larger systems are broken into areas of functionality, often called business modules. You then only purchase or see the business modules you require to meet your company's particular business processes. Even within business modules the operational side is normally quite configurable. For example, in a Sales Order processing environment: are quotes required? Do you pick goods off a picking slip or scan them? Once picked do you require a picking confirmation stage? Is there a separate delivery process before invoicing, possibly in round and drop order?

Fully integrated

Whether it is Point of Sale feeding through right up to your General Ledger, or Jobs being put through to Purchase Requisitioning and Purchase Ordering – it’s all part and parcel of the one system and fully integrated. No more messy add-ons, which means no more compatibility or updating issues.

You can integrate your online business and website with your back of house accounting system. Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, customers want instantaneous information on products, prices and availability, with the next level software you will have accurate and instantaneous information, accessible to both you and your customers, improve efficiency and reduce costs with customer self-service options and seamless and live integration, ensuring all your data is in the same place.

Designed for higher volumes and more users

When you have 20 or 30 users accessing a system at the same time they will be doing a myriad of different tasks, some of which will be overlapping. It’s import that systems are properly designed to handle this load. In general, any number of people should be able to access the same area and function at the same time, i.e. no lock-outs or loss of data or slowdown in performance.

More users generally come with higher volumes of data. The next level system is designed to handle these higher volumes. Whether it’s tens of thousands of stock items or hundreds of thousands of transactions the system, performance needs to keep up. This means greater efficiency and less frustrations for everyone involved.

Better security and auditing

Once your business starts to grow and you are employing more and more staff, much of the work you once did will be delegated. You may also have managers looking after key areas. Although this is critical for your business success, it needs to be done in a controlled way.

Larger systems allow you to limit what certain users or groups of users can and can’t do. For example, sales staff could access all the sales functions but are locked out of the General Ledger. They also have scaled levels of security, e.g. no access, enquiry only, modify, add and delete.

It also becomes too difficult to personally monitor the data. You need to know what is happening within your system and who is doing it. With better auditing and security inbuilt into the system, it decreases the possibility of something going wrong, and if it does it can be traced back to the source and resolved quickly.

Stronger and more detailed reporting

You want to be able to access the information in your system in better ways, for example see it graphically and produce and customise your own reports. Instead of having to export and manipulate data in spreadsheets, it is much better if you can get those reports directly from the source as an integrated part of the system. Not only will the figures be more reliable but it also means that anyone with access can produce them.

In larger organisations, you also need the ability to produce management reports, at a point in time, that once signed off on are not going to vary when run again in a few days, even if older transactions have since come in. Next level software offers business intelligence tools that are fully integrated to give you on-demand access to performance data across your enterprise.

Detailed Information for Better Decision Making
There are 100's of options for this report, which means you get the information you need

Consolidated multi-branch/multi-entity reporting

Not only do the next-level systems have the ability to include different stores and branches in the one system, but they can even include different entities within the one umbrella organisation. Your business might have separate retail and manufacturing areas, and they could possibly even have different ABNs. Being able to get consolidated reporting encompassing all aspects of your business is crucial and allows you to see the “big picture” – a capability only offered by the next-level systems.

Mobile Scanning Technology

Technology advances at lightning speed these days and mobile technology is becoming a huge new trend in the business sector. Many businesses have discovered the advantage of mobile scanners and the real positive effects it can have on their business and their bottom line. Technology such as mobile phones, tablets, mobile scanners, and the software applications that can be run on these devices, are revolutionising the way businesses operate around the world.

The benefits of mobile scanners speak for themselves, and can make your business more efficient, more accurate, you can reduce costs, and even reduce your business’ carbon footprint. There are several ways you can take advantage of mobile technology in your business. Paperless Picking, Stocktake Scanning, Stock Requisitions, Mobile Sales & Ordering, B2B e-Commerce.

Ability to grow with your business

This is the key thing you want your system to do for you. It can start off small and it can nurture you along the way but it can take you to where you want your business to go. If it only has a limited amount of functionality and scope, it’s not necessarily going to be able to grow with your business, causing major issues in the future.

With the next level software, you will be able to successfully manage your company by providing a systematic integrated approach. It will add value to all your business practices and save you both time and money. An integrated ERP system should be considered a core part of any organization’s corporate strategy.

If you would like to discover How to Take your Business to the next Level, read on with my next instalment entitled “How to take the first steps towards next-level software” or if you would like a free consult, just contact me using the details below.

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