Picture this. A company starts out small, possibly with even fewer than 10 employees. At this stage, the operations of a business keep everyone busy, getting products out to the market is key to sustaining the growth. Functions such as finance, sales and marketing and human resources might be handled by the same person or even non-existent at this point. Processes evolve naturally, often out of necessity as issues crop up.
The business does well, more employees are taken on and bring with them their own ideas and ways of performing tasks and activities. There is still no central management of processes because things are ticking over well. Suddenly whole departments are created to support the main hub of the organisation; they continue to grow and over time establish their own trusted ways of doing things. They might even purchase their own systems for their own processes.
This is all fine until…..
Your business grows beyond a few simple processes carried out by key man employees. What will happen to the knowledge those early employees had? There are too many people to share it all with now and every department is running its own systems and procedures; there is no way to oversee how each of these functions combine and what story they might tell.
This is a common scenario for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their early stages. They don’t always imagine how big they can get, and how fast, and before they know it, their business is in real danger of collapsing just when it was starting to succeed.
Scenario 1: The Problem – You don’t know who your customers are!
- You know that orders come in and you deliver the products they require but you have no system in place to be able to pull reports on your customer’s demographics
- You don’t know who your best customers are in terms of orders, payment agreements or relationships
- You’re not sure where your customers are based geographically
- You don’t know if a customer pipeline exists and whether the right customers are being targeted at all
- There is no customer feedback system or communication process in place to build closer relationships with your customers
The Solution – A Sophisticated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
SAP enables you to:
- Establish your customer pipeline and track leads, prospects, meetings and sales in a fully transparent system
- Foster relationships with customers in new and innovative ways – because you have the data you need to be able to do this
- Become a provider of choice for your customers – this can be achieved because you have a much better understanding of them and their positioning, their needs and their pains
- Manage feedback in a fully integrated system – gain the ability to share positive feedback and handle complaints in an efficient way when they happen
Scenario 2: The Problem – Your Stock is in a Mess!
- Your warehouse is a shambles – there is no process for storing items, perishable /sensitive goods are often wasted before they are used, orders come in everyday and there is never enough staff to log things properly
- The operations team is constantly frustrated because items they need run out quickly without being replenished
- Your customers become frustrated (and leave) because you seldom have what they need in stock
- You write off too much unnecessary stock
- You are unable to negotiate the best prices because you are never sure what the most used items are or your what your purchasing power is
The Solution – An Integrated Inventory Management System
SAP enables you to:
- Maintain stock at optimum levels based on operational supply and demand
- Store inventory in the most efficient way and substantially reduce waste
- Streamline incoming deliveries based on staff levels and a structured timetable
- Run a smoother operation with a steady stock supply
- Enjoy return customers because you are able to keep them happy with the products they need
- Increase your buying power and take advantage of the best prices with your suppliers
Scenario 3: The Problem – You Never Know if You’re in the Black or the Red!
- Your cashflow is a mystery to you and other senior managers
- You worry that you are reaching your credit limit
- IT must generate all financial reports; it takes a long time and the data is never quite right
- You’re not sure if you can afford to take on more employees for seasonal work
- Forecasting doesn’t take place or the figures are based on guesswork
The Solution – An Advanced Finance System
SAP enables you to:
- Access up to the minute financial data across your entire organisation
- Gain visibility of all your cashflow, at all times
- Pull accurate reports anytime, anywhere from your phone or iPad
- Manage staffing appropriately to take on more business opportunities
- Have confidence in your forecasts
As an end-to-end business management platform, SAP Business One is able to revolutionise the way you do business; today, and for many years to come. Departments are able to work smarter, management has more visibility over the entire business and employees are able to focus on their activities to grow and sustain the organisation.
As a leader, you are also able to drill down on problem or under performing areas and manage them effectively. You will also be able to make those important management decisions leveraging the up-to-the-moment accurate data SAP delivers to your PC, phone or tablet.
If you’re ready to stay ahead of your game, contact the Blue Ocean Systems team of specialists today.
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.