Business Herald Feature Cofficient
The May issue of The Herald’s Business Magazine – Business Herald – have featured Cofficient’s Emma Stewart. The article about how Cloud Software can enable small to medium enterprises was first published on Thursday 14 May.
Stay Firmly Connected – New Integration Software Can Work Well for Small Businesses
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software operates from a suite of integrated application which business can use to run every part of their organisation. Each division in your business “touches” in one way or another – nothing operates in a vacuum – so when your software mimics this interaction, results will improve.That said, ERP can be perceived to be too complex for SMEs. Previously considered the domain of “big business”, SMEs have shied away from the solution thinking it’s too big or costly for their needs. But operating in a competitive market and without access to the best tools to run your business, the question really is can you afford not to have your hands on ERP? Who says that just because you are not floating on the stock market that you have to use antiquated and not fit for purpose software? Who says that a smaller business shouldn’t be entitled to access all the responsive and competitive software which their larger counterparts have been deploying for years? Cloud based solutions now bring ERP into the realms of the smaller company – with impressive results.
Here’s five things you should know about cloud ERP for SMEs:
- The user interface is NOT ugly and inaccessible: Many software providers allow you to change your user interface so it’s configures to your needs. Simple drag and drop technology allows you to set your dashboard just the way you want it.
- ERP will improve your real time information: When your business information is contained within many spreadsheets and conflicting software, it can take a lot of time and manpower to extract the information you need to get visibility. By that time, it isn’t real time information. ERP gives you a 360 degree bird’s eye view of your business.
- The CRM will help you sell more: There is real value behind tracking a customer from a lead generated by marketing through to a sale. Without really knowing the value of your pipeline, your sales function can’t perform as well as it could. Once you know what is really working for you, you can spend your time doing more of that and less on the expensive and time wasting exercises.
- ERP will make you more profitable: SMEs often labour under a false pretense. Especially when you are trying to get off the ground, received wisdom is that all business is good business. Not so. Everyone has clients who we suspect are more trouble than they are worth. ERP helps you understand the profitability of your customer base so that you can spend more time on those who make you money and less on those who don’t.
- Moving to the cloud will minimise your down time: SMEs can’t afford to make the best use of time all of the time. A bigger business can afford to absorb down time. An SME can’t./ And there are a multitude of situations which can conspire against the SME when it comes to ineffective working time. Whether you are accommodating working parents or making best use of travel time, your employees can log in anytime and anywhere – providing you have a device and access to the internet.
At the end of the day, the key to growing your business is to thing big – start with your software!
First published in The Herald’s Business Herald 14 May. You can download the magazine here