When the sun pokes through the clouds and the flowers come out, spring is in the air. But are your business processes in good shape for the coming season? Spring is a great time to clean out your loft or garage, but it’s an even better opportunity to clean up your IT processes.
What areas should you focus on when tidying up your firm? From customer relationships to warehouse management, any process can be streamlined and made as lean as possible. Here are some ideas for getting the job done.
Make Relationships with Clients Smoother Than Ever
Most manufacturing firms rightly make customer relationship management (CRM) a key priority. Without regular, reliable customers, no firm can plan for the future or ensure a steady revenue stream, so keeping high value customers happy is a must.
With the right CRM tools in place, you can carry out a customer audit and work out who requires more contact, and who to contact less often. Target high value clients with your messaging, give them discounts and tidy up queries that they may have, and put strategies in place to retain their business.
Clean Up Your Warehouse Processes
Warehouses should always be kept clean and tidy, for health and safety reasons if nothing else, but not many companies focus their energies on creating lean, streamlined warehousing processes. However, if you tidy these up, the potential benefits can be huge.
Carry out regular tests to find out whether all of your product lines are kept at the right stock levels. That way, you can tell if orders are being missed, or production is set too high or too low. Carry out quality audits as well to make sure that your production line is meeting your goals. If not, the whole business can suffer.
Tidy Up Your Online Presence and Sales Pipeline
Every business needs a slick online presence in today’s competitive environment, whether you’re a cosmetics supplier or a maker of industrial machinery. Now is a great time to assess your online strategy to find out whether your site is as user-friendly and effective as possible.
Having a marketing programme in place can attract customers to fuel a healthy sales funnel. Campaigns can be created and tracked within the same CRM system sales staff use so, both departments can see what and when is going out. Leads can be tracked from start to finish, marketers can see the success rate and cut out any wasteful campaigns and craft ones that really hit home.
ERP systems can assist in creating USP by utilising product configurator features as you will be able to create personalised orders for your customers. Some ERP systems like WinMan can also integrate with e-Commerce platforms such as Magento.
Put Your Accounts In Order
Accounting is one area that many businesses struggle with. Nobody wants to be told by their financial officer that the books have descended into chaos, so any time is a good time to create accounting processes that prevent this.
ERP software is a good way to connect every department in your firm to the accounting team. Financial flows across all areas of the business can be indexed and analysed from a common data set. Compliance issues can be automated, limiting the scope for human error, and accounting staff can report easily to the board to keep everyone in the loop.
If your firm performance has been sluggishly or growth is starting to stagnate, it’s time to take action. One of the best ways to tidy up your processes is by investing in business management systems such as ERP. It will bring everything together, so that managers can exert tighter control and know exactly what the business is doing.
With ERP, you can deal with accounting, warehousing, CRM and your online presence in a holistic manner. When next year rolls around, tidying up will be so much easier with a well organised IT solution in place.