As counter-intuitive as it may seem, there is a lot more to running a business than making money. Or perhaps the more accurate phrasing would be that there is a lot more to making money than meets the eye. Of course public perception is important, as people will not purchase your product if they view you as a corporate Beelzebub. Often overlooked is the labor intensive process of tracking your business operations. While the traditional business model separates payroll from billing from order placement, modern technology makes it possible to record all transactions and operations in one program. This cuts down not only on man-power, but makes records much easier to locate, saving time in multiple ways.
By choosing a reliable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, you can cut down on a lot of menial tasks and make your business run more efficiently. Though there is speculation that ERP is a thing of the past, it is evolving as much as any technology. Now available in cloud-interface, most programs allow you to access your information from almost anywhere.
Accountants have an enviable set of skills, but not necessarily an enviable job. If you hire out for your payroll, you probably pay more than you would if you had an in-house accountant. The problem is that payroll only takes a few hours every couple of weeks. What else would this person do?
Well, instead of having to track all of the orders yourself, which you don’t have time to do effectively anyway, have your accountant track product orders, shipping information, revenue, and anything else involving numbers. Chances are, once they get everything in the system and work out a routine, they will run so efficiently that you will still be searching for work for them, but one full-time employee is still infinitely better than three part-time contractors.
As a business, it is best to have your files available at any time. You never know when an audit may happen. Even on a day to day basis, having shipping or past-purchase information for clients improves productivity and makes customers happier. The less hoops you have to jump through, the less time your customer spends waiting for you. People expect errands to be painful. Making your business a place that they enjoy going to will only benefit your sales.
Obtaining permits is another one of many possible official reasons that instant access is almost necessary. Depending on what market you are in, there are probably a multitude of permits, credentials, and other files necessary for you to stay in business. If any of these expire, you could lose a lot of money. Keeping track of these records saves you a lot of stress, hassle, and money.
By using one program to complete such a plethora of tasks, you are going to be saving a lot of money. Not only will you be able to avoid late fees and improve your efficiency as previously mentioned, but you also cut out a lot of middle-men. Multiple software programs can add up, as can having too many outside contractors. With ERP, you can keep a lot of the business functions of your company in-house, which saves both time and money in the long run. You will not regret having instant access to all of your information. It increases your company’s accountability and transparency, which will also help build healthy relationships with governing agencies. Efficiency is your friend and ERP makes you the kid with the pool; everyone in the neighborhood will want to be on your good side.
Vanessa James is a business technology consultant specializing in database management. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge with individuals and companies alike. She currently writes for the ERP company, qad.com.