Starting, running and growing a business is not easy at the best of times; in the current market it is becoming more and more challenging and competitive. As such, companies are having to ensure they are best placed to win new customers and projects and retain their existing ones and that they maximise profitability at all times. As such their focus needs to be on innovation and retaining competitive edge rather than trying to overcome the inadequacies of disparate systems and unconnected data. They need to be able to rely on the accuracy of their data to make key strategic decisions that could impact the business for months or years to come.
The advantages of a suite of integrated business applications and data-sets over disconnected include:
Efficiencies in Business Processes: Processes are part of our daily routine and are likely to impact on tasks such as order management, fulfilment, invoicing, cash collection, expense approvals, and financial consolidation, to name a few. With integrated systems, it is far easier to automate these and save time and money over manually fulfilling these. In many cases this can avoid recruiting new staff and existing staff can be redeployed or experience an increase in productivity in existing roles.
Real-time 360° Visibility: Understanding your business and your customers is key to the growth of any company. Integrated systems and datasets allow businesses to review and analyse data in real-time and make tactical or strategic decisions based on accurate up to date information. No longer do you have to wait for the monthly management reports to find out that a problem occurred at the beginning of the month. Real-time visibility allows companies to view and understand data at any time through the use of dashboards and accurate up to date reporting. As such you can understand where issues are arising and immediately act to resolve them saving money and avoiding the problem of issues escalating over time.
Increased Customer Acquisition and Retention: The professionalism and accuracy with which we deal with customers is core to their satisfaction and directly correlates to their desire to do business with a company and make them less likely to seek an alternative provider. By integrating systems and data companies can provide their employees with complete visibility as to every aspect of the client’s dealings and transactions with your business. As such speed of response is dramatically improved, questions can be answered immediately and support provided without delay.
Understanding your clients in this detail will also make cross-selling opportunities easier to identify, increasing revenues and profitability.
Significant IT Time and Cost Savings: Limiting the number of systems your IT department or support company has to procure, install, maintain and support will significantly reduce operational costs and allow IT time and spend to be focused on improving business operations and managing important factors such as security and risk. By integrating your systems, you will cut down on:
1) the number of systems and databases to support
2) the need to look at new systems
3) the knowledge and training required to support multiple systems
4) the risk created by having multiple data-sets and the volume of data this produces, the costs, maintenance, time and risk of multiple back-up routines
You will also be able to increase the security of your data by having one single protected version rather than multiple datasets that require securing individually.
Improved Growth Potential: With integrated software systems, it is easier to make key business decisions and plan for growth and expansion based on accurate real-time data. It is far easier to strategise for business development and identify new market, selling opportunities and areas for diversification. In essence all, of your focus and energies can be aimed at developing the business rather than being encumbered by poor data, cumbersome processes and out of date reporting.
User-Driven Innovation: Having integrated systems allows process changes to be adopted in a more agile manner, employees are able to apply their knowledge and expertise to tailor processes and the use of applications in a way that improves their day to day working practices. As a result, the IT department can have less involvement and instead focus on strategic initiatives that can add value to the bottom line by implementing innovative solutions that add value and efficiencies to the rest of the business.
Today, many companies are using sophisticated software solutions to drive their business and empower users. However, many of them struggle to unify these disparate systems and often end up with siloed information and processes, resulting in cumbersome and time-consuming processes that act as a bottleneck to providing excellent customer service.
Integrated solutions are transforming the ways these companies work and enabling them to focus on developing and growing their businesses. Companies that embrace this approach are seeing an increase in revenues, profitability and growth through client retention, new client acquisition and diversification into new markets. These companies are no longer being held back by an inability to service their customer base or make strategic decisions to develop their businesses based on accurate data.