Running a business is a continuous learning curve with a range of challenges, such as how to securely hold customer data, accurately project costs, process orders quickly and so on. Overcoming these challenges is vital to the success and future of any business.
There are many ways to deal with each of these issues on their own, but as you develop and go from strength to strength, you will find there is often an accumulation of different systems and processes, where the day-to-day administration is becoming or has become inefficient and unproductive. Every business will reach a point where they need to consolidate their current systems or seek a more robust way of managing things.
Effective and modern business systems are crucial for the day-to-day functioning and continuous business improvement. Truly effective systems will be scalable, flexible and make the running of other areas of your business far easier.
Here are some signs that you have grown out of your current systems: -
Manual transaction handling is causing delays
If you are still handling transactions manually and this is starting to cause delays or taking you longer to complete tasks, then it may be time to upgrade your business systems. Greater numbers of transactions are a good thing as they are a sure sign that your company is growing, but if processes cannot keep up it may be difficult to maintain the momentum and customer satisfaction levels.
So rather than being held back by manual processing, seek a system that can assist with computerising and automating tasks. In doing so, it will also benefit other areas such as providing real-time business reports and staff absences will have minimal impact on processing transactions.
Your systems or processes are hindering productivity
Bringing in new staff and expanding different areas of the business is great but if employees both new and old are telling you they are restricted in what they can do with the current systems, then you know you are not getting the best use out of your labour and resources. Outdated processes and systems can slow down productivity and cause delays if they do not match the business needs.
Sometimes it is difficult to see the inefficiencies when you have been doing it a while or close to a project - so, it is always good to gain feedback from your employees as they will see things from a different perspective. Keeping up-to-date with industry news, process methodologies and technology can all provide you with inspiration for change. External consultants can also be contracted to review all your processes and provide a detailed report on findings with recommendations.
As your staff numbers and customer base grow, it is natural for expenditure to rise; but if you are continually getting surprised by the costs, invoices and expenses, it could mean costs are not being tracked or managed properly. The inability to create financial reports quickly or the need to go into multiple systems for the information - it is a sure sign that you need to review your systems.
Moving to one system that tracks and manages all costs will minimise things slipping under the radar - you can ensure valuable funds are not getting abused or put to bad use and manage cash-flow with ease.
Inconsistencies in business intelligence
If you are still working on separate databases and Excel spreadsheets for managing sales order processing, financial reports, production planning, product data, invoicing and so on, then as your business grows and the number of systems and files used will get higher and more confusing. There will no doubt be inconsistencies in business intelligence obtained from the different sources; meaning there isn't a clear picture of how the business is progressing and such errors can be seen as negative to potential investors or stakeholders.
For continuous improvement and maximum productivity, companies should consider having a well-consolidated business management software implemented. An all-encompassing scalable solution will help you to bring all aspects of your daily operations under one roof, which will provide accurate and informative data. A solution such as WinMan ERP Software can help consolidate existing systems, improve productivity and efficiency.