In last week’s post, we took a long, difficult look at the past 12 months for your business; the good, and the not so good. The next step is to look at how the ‘not so good’ can be transformed so that when you perform your end of 2014 business review, you’re much more satisfied with what you see.
In your business review, look back at the lessons learnt from the past 12 months. This is a good starting point for setting future goals to avoid repeating the same failures or mistakes. Some common business lessons and the goals you set might include;
Your business lost a long-standing customer because you were unable to keep up with, and anticipate their needs. Their new supplier offers more competitive rates and fulfilment times that work better for them.
- Customers need constant care and attention, even long-standing ones
- Customers expect us to anticipate their future needs
- We must always review our prices and ensure loyal customers are rewarded
- We need to adjust our fulfilment capabilities to meet customers’ expectations and exceed our competitors’ capabilities
1) Ensure the sales and marketing teams are working on strategies to engage with and keep existing customers happy, not just looking for new opportunities
2) Use data to forecast market trends so we can better respond to changes in market prices and conditions
3) Regularly review our capabilities to deliver and adjust systems and processes when needed
We were presented with several opportunities last year to work with new partners and came very close to signing some lucrative deals, but we pulled out at the last minute. We also over-invested in a new product which seemed too good to be true and have not yet seen a return on that investment.
- We approach opportunities and risk in a haphazard way and just hope for the best; this is not a sustainable business strategy
- When faced with opportunities we have no idea how to assess their viability
- If we take too much or too little risk, the future of our business will be in jeopardy
1) Set up a process which can calculate the potential risk in any opportunity based on real time and reliable data
2) Establish a risk strategy that everyone is agreed on
3) Agree on next year’s strategy and focus on exploring opportunities only in those targeted areas
Your company was hit hard last year by the departure of several senior and middle management figures who had worked for the organisation for many years and took with them a great deal of experience. You had heard rumours throughout the year that many were dissatisfied with the lack of investment in new technology and the high attrition rates of more junior employees distracting them from being able to focus on business development strategies.
- Even the most loyal employees have a breaking point
- The best employees want more than just a pay packet, they want to know they are part of an organisation that has a bright future
- Your HR department needs systems and processes in place to engage and communicate with employees effectively
1) Involve staff across all levels in key organisational strategies and value their input [learn more]
2) Regularly review the pain points of all staff completing their daily tasks and commit to addressing these issues [learn more]
3) Engage staff in the business strategy and vision in creative and innovative ways [learn more]
You might be surprised to learn that these common goals (and many more) can be easily achieved with the help of an ERP solution like SAP Business One. The end-to-end capabilities of SAP Business One can support your organisation to;
- Become more flexible and proactive across all systems, processes and departments, enabling you to predict market trends and reap the benefits
- Develop meaningful and successful sales and marketing strategies that are targeted to the specific needs of consumers
- Retain existing customers by providing data, insights and analysis to support their current, and future, business needs
- Leverage Big Data to approach any opportunity with the facts and figures needed to make an empowered decision
- Provide a transparent view of all departments, opening up opportunities for business development
- Alleviate transactional staff from repetitive data entry work, enabling them to contribute to more stimulating tasks
If you and your management team are worried about repeating the same mistakes year after year, talk to one of Blue Ocean Systems’ ERP consultants about how next year could be the transitional year for your organisation. You can also connect with us via our active Facebook community and LinkedIn.
What’s holding you back from deploying an ERP system like SAP Business One (Version for SAP HANA) for your business to improve operations and productivity?
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.