As the weather warms up and spring approaches, it's a great time to re-evaluate and clean up your business processes. From customer relationships to warehouse management, every process can be streamlined and made more efficient.
The benefits of spring cleaning IT systems
An annual review of your entire IT and business operations is commercial common sense, and the second quarter is the ideal time. Spring is when it’s traditional to celebrate growth, fresh starts and progression to the better days. Taking the time to lay some groundwork is worth keeping in the back of your mind. Here are some areas to focus on:
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM):
Keeping high-value customers happy is crucial for any manufacturing business's future revenue stream. By using the right CRM tools, you can carry out a customer audit and determine who requires more or less contact. Target high-value clients with personalised messaging, offering discounts, and tidy up queries that they may have also, put in place strategies to retain their business.
2. Warehouse Management:
A well-organised and tidy warehouse is essential for health and safety reasons. However, not many companies focus on creating lean, streamlined warehousing processes. By regularly testing whether all product lines are kept at the right stock levels, you can tell if orders are being missed or if production is set too high or too low. Also, carry out quality audits to ensure that your production line is meeting your goals.
3. Online Presence and Sales Pipeline:
A slick online presence is critical in today's competitive environment. Assess your online strategy to determine if your site is as user-friendly and effective as possible. Implement a marketing program to attract customers and fuel a healthy sales funnel. Track leads from start to finish, and cut out any wasteful campaigns while crafting new ones that hit home. Utilise ERP systems to create personalised orders, utilising product configurator features and integrating with e-commerce platforms.
Accounting is one area that many businesses struggle with. Create accounting processes that prevent chaos by connecting every department in your business to the accounting team. ERP software can automate compliance issues, limit the scope for human error, and provide financial flows across all areas of the business that can be indexed and analysed from a common data set. This way, accounting staff can report easily to key decision-makers, and everyone can stay in the loop.
Tidy desk, tidy mind! That applies to virtual resources too and not just physical paperwork. Clearing old emails, redundant intranet resources and files, for example, can improve efficiency or simply help to declutter your state of mind.
Where to start
Conducting an end-to-end process review of your entire business may sound like a big commitment. However, simply getting your team together to reflect on the past 6, 12 or even 18 months may be a good way to start.
Identifying the biggest problem areas from your discussions will help you to prioritise, often it’ll be those that impact the team most. Look for signs where issues may have been quickly fixed or masked over, by drilling down on your processes. Find ways to make them more transparent and efficient every day of the year, including optimising your ERP solution to either get more from it or create integrated and visible business control. For more info about how to spring clean your business, ERP software or production planning, get in touch with our team today.
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