technology

Business Technology Really Helps You Compete With The Big Boys

For today’s small business, technology is the great equalizer. In the past, small organizations didn’t have the resources to invest in large scale technology solutions. In the modern world, these solutions are available to all at the click of a button.

This is a tremendous advantage for a small enterprise. This technological advancement allows even the most resource-limited company the ability to compete with the largest of competitors.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

The most audacious level of technology solutions is the Enterprise Resource Planning software platforms. ERP software at its most fundamental level is the integration of all business processes into a single platform. For this reason, everything you do would have a module in your software system from sales to inventory management to accounting to payroll.

Often, ERPs will include other tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI) and eCommerce integration. Common ERPs include platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP and NetSuite.

Also read: Inventory Management Techniques For Effective Inventory Planning

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

WMS technology has become the standard for any business with product distribution needs. These systems generally do not include the basic operational or accounting functions. They are specifically designed for your “back of the house” inventory management.

These applications provide visibility and management for every step of your warehousing operations. Examples include Seldat’s WMS360 and HighJump.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Sales and Marketing organizations especially love CRMs. This is because these applications allow them to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the customer life-cycle. As a result, they are very effective at keeping you in touch with your customers. Customer Relationship Management software keeps all of your most important customer information at your fingertips.

While many may not be familiar with Zoho, most people have probably heard of Salesforce.

Also read: How To Implement CRM in 5 Easy Steps

Accounting

Accounting software is something that every serious business needs. Many businesses simply are not ready for a full ERP. However, there’s no reason in this day and age to NOT have accounting software.

Even the smallest startups have access to powerful, cloud-based applications like QuickBooks Online and Xero. These can be had for a lower monthly cost than many of us spend on lunch.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (known to most as “dashboards”) provide attractive, high-level insights into your business operations. Many also have the ability to easily integrate with your existing accounting software or ERP.

Like any good software application, they’re inexpensive and available in the cloud. See Qlik, Microsoft’s Power BI and Tableau for examples.

5 Must-Have Technologies for Small Business

Productivity Tools

Need a simple way to track data, manage projects and collaborate with your team? No problem. Try any of the dozens of online productivity tools like Smartsheet or GSuite.

Technology Is Your Friend

While not the solution to every problem, technology is your friend. It can, at the very least, improve most functions and processes that you rely on to service your customers.

No matter your needs, the solutions are virtually limitless.

Gone are the days of spending incredible sums of money to have software custom-written for your enterprise needs. The advancement of the internet and cloud computing has opened the door for the availability of business applications that are no further away than a search on your preferred search engine.

Is Your Business Running You? A Fractional COO can help.

Kevin A. Nye

A veteran of multiple industries, Kevin A. Nye has parlayed more than 20 years of management and leadership experience into a consultancy designed specifically for the benefit of small businesses. Having served in roles in Supply Chain, Operations and Regional management, Mr. Nye was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of a regional steel company and is currently focusing his expertise to help small business owners create the organizational foundation required to grow their enterprise.

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