At any given time, a hundred different things are going on in your business that are all vital to its success. Receiving payments, closing sales, ordering, counting, delivering stock… Just thinking about it is enough to give you a headache.
Having a handle on every part of your business can feel impossible. But it’s also necessary for making the best business decision and ensuring success – which puts you in a tight spot.
I’ve worked with many businesses who struggle to make the best proactive decisions for their business, no matter how hard they work or how smart they are. And a lot of the time, it’s been for the same reason – they have poor visibility.
Are you running your business blind?
Poor visibility doesn’t mean you don’t know where your staff or stock are. It means you don’t have the data insights that can help you really see what’s going on in your business, and why.
Data – and the information it gives you – are the key to staying ahead of the competition, making smart business decisions, and growing your business. But many organisations aren’t utilising data as they should be.
This could be for many different reasons:
- You’re relying on manual processes for some key tasks;
- You’re using disparate systems that don’t work together;
- Data is only examined to find an answer when something goes wrong; or
- Running data reports is too hard and time-consuming.
Some or all of these might be true for you – either way, your systems aren’t set up in a way that supports you to make smarter business decisions.
Data is the common thread across all business processes
Data visibility doesn’t just affect one part of your business – it has the power to impact or improve across every single process and department.
That’s why you need something that will help all processes, not just some. An ERP system has the power to improve data visibility across the entire business, meaning you’ll be able to have eyes on everything.
I commonly see wholesale and distribution companies struggle with three key areas of business. Take a look at how data visibility and an integrated ERP can improve them :
The lifeline of your business, inventory can be one of the most complex processes you deal with. Having proper visibility over every aspect of inventory – products, suppliers, pricing, quantities, orders, warehousing – will help you achieve your main business objective: to sell.
Visible inventory data can not only help you sell more through insights into buyer behaviour but can also help you save. Understanding the what, when, and who of your inventory means better strategic buying and ordering decisions. More sales and less cost are good news for you and your bottom line.
Customers and Market
While inventory control is important, it means nothing if you don’t have anyone to sell it to. With the right data visibility, you can identify all kinds of risks and opportunities within your customer market that will help you stay competitive and deliver high-level service. This includes:
- What’s selling well;
- How often and what each customer orders;
- Quote follow up; and
- Competitive pricing.
The most powerful thing data can do is show you where the problems are. Are you losing sales? If so, why? Is it because of follow up, staff or competitive offerings? With an ERP system, you’ll be able to identify issues and apply the resources to fix them.
Many businesses already use data, but often I see it utilised only when someone’s seeking an answer to a problem. If they’re not proactive and looking at the bigger picture, they miss the opportunity to implement procedural change and stop problems reoccurring. Without complete visibility, they don’t know what they’re doing well and what could be done better.
With easy access to the right data, you’ll have more opportunities to make strategic decisions and better plan for the future through forecasting and performance insights.
Put your data to use with the help of an ERP system
Data already exists in your business – it’s there, ready and willing to help you. It’s just waiting for you to implement the right tools.
When it comes to collecting, processing and accessing meaningful business data, nothing is more effective than an ERP system. ERP systems organise and interpret data so that it is:
- Accessible – data can be accessed easily and shared across every team member if needed, in an easily interpretable and reportable mode;
- Integrated – ERP integrates data across multiple systems, processes and departments, to give a wide and overviewed visibility of your entire business;
- Efficient – Have clear and easy access to your data when and where you need it; and
- Accurate – Make sure your data is up to date and unchanged, and track any changes or edits that have been made.
HARMONiQ is a fully-customisable ERP system that is built to not only give you the personalised business data you need but grow and learn as your business does. So, you’ll never lose sight over your business – no matter how large or fast you grow.
If you’re considering implementing an ERP system into your business, you can discover more about the process in our eBook ERP Automation: Is an ERP system the right move for my business? Or, click here to contact HARMONiQ for any general enquiries.
Robert Butler is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems and is focused on helping business leaders overcome inefficient sales, inventory, and customer relationship management practices by leveraging cutting edge technology. If you want to improve your business visibility and make data-driven decisions, click here to organise a demo to see how HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software can make a difference to your business.