It is extremely important for any business owner to find the right business software applications. I cannot stress enough that the most efficient software programs are those that are fully integrated under the same package or platform. I will explain why in the following blog.
Software Programs You Cannot Avoid
It is no secret that every enterprise uses software programs to manage and monitor their operations. Whether it is a small or medium size company, different software programs are being leveraged to manage the business operations. The following is a list of software systems that companies cannot avoid in order to execute and run their day-to-day business.
Today, there is no enterprise that can run its daily operations without accounting software. The accounting package is the software application designed to manage a company’s accounting books and data as well as financial status and progress.
Products and Inventory Management
Managing products and inventory (stock level) for companies in the retail, distribution, manufacturing and services verticals, is a crucial part of the business. There is not one enterprise that can afford to run their business without a software system to keep track of their products, services, and inventory transactions such as on hand, production, imports, sales, etc.
Manufacturing and distribution companies that produce, sell and distribute products have no choice other than carrying stock and inventory in their own warehousing facilities. In some cases, those warehouses are spread out in different parts of the country or even in several foreign countries in order to be able to service different geographical territories. It is a clear setback for a company carrying stock not to have a warehouse management system (WMS) to manage and track its inventory transactions and all aspects of warehouse activities on a real-time basis, giving the complexity of business demands.
Sales and distribution are the revenue making aspect of any enterprise. Each company uses at least one basic software program to manage sales and billing processes.
Purchases and Imports
In today’s business reality, lead-time to deliver to customers is becoming very crucial for companies in the manufacturing and distribution verticals. This fact enforces companies to have a great replenishing capacity by keeping the supply pipeline of purchases (goods and raw materials) as well as imports of all types full and properly scheduled. Without any software system in place, no company can efficiently and successfully achieve any of these goals.
When companies are selling to major retailers (i.e. Amazon, Costco, Loblaw’s, Sears, Wal-Mart), they have no choice but to exchange EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) with those big players in order to continue doing business with them. Most companies do in-house EDI and use at least one software application to receive, send and translate EDI.
Sales Forecast and Budget Planning
To be able to compete in today’s business world, executives within an enterprise work with tools and software programs to help them better forecast their sales and cash flow. Using forecasting programs helps decision makers to better manage their purchases and improve their lead-time of delivery.
Business Intelligence (BI)
The days when computer programs used to print pages and pages of reports (on screen or by printer) are fading out. Business intelligence (BI) is a great source of information for better decision-making at the operational level and the business decision level. Unfortunately, companies are still using reports and dashboards based on different software programs mainly spreadsheets.
With the growing popularity of electronic commerce in recent years, many distributors and manufacturers have made the decision to sell their products and services through an electronic store (eCommerce Store). Taking business online creates another source of revenue and builds client following and loyalty.
How do these software programs interact?
Based on our observations and long-time presence in the small and mid-size market, I can confirm that most of the enterprises use a mix of different suites of software programs from different software vendors to manage their business. Normally, those software programs are not able to communicate with one another or talk to each other (out-of-the-box), which adds an additional overhead whenever they want to integrate one piece of information from one system to the other.
Why ‘integration’ is the best way to go
There are different reasons why it is best for an SME to use one integrated suite of software programs, covering the functionalities listed in my previous list.
At the user experience level, when employees within a company are using the same studio, they are more productive as they find it easier to learn and work with one interface rather than multiple ones.
At the technical level, for the IT team, it is much easier to maintain one software platform, one database and one set of processes defined by one software vendor, rather than many.
Reduce labour, time and effort used mainly for data entry and most of the time replicating the same data
Reduce the level of human errors
Better quality of information
One central place for your data: no redundancy, no errors
Better and shorter process for business decision making
Better employee efficiency
Real-time data availability
Now is the time to get integrated
Unlike popular belief, this kind of software solution exists for the small and mid-size enterprises. Many executives and business owners that I have met had no idea that a high value fully integrated software solution was affordable to them. They were all under the impression that solutions like this are very expensive and meant only for larger enterprises, therefore they have stuck with their existing software methods.
To give you a better idea of how our integrated solution is offered and priced, NAMTEK’s erpWizard solution encompasses all the modules listed above. Some of them come with the basic package and others are optional add-ons, as not every business will need the same aspects. It is offered under the SaaS model (pay as you go) with a deployment in the cloud or on premises. Backed by years of experience and knowledge, top-notch technology behind the product and a great support team, erpWizard can lead your business to the next level of growth and success.