Whether you are a brick-and-mortar retail location, a manufacturing business, or an online business, there is going to be a digital portion to your operations. Even if you don’t rely solely on the internet to reach your clients or provide your service, the intelligence of IT systems nowadays makes it impractical to bypass them and stick to just a pen and paper system.
Most businesses today use some sort of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or CRM (Customer Resource Management) program to make the most of the information they have and help with decision making and running operations effectively and efficiently. These often cloud-based programs allow for storing data on inventory, cash flow, customers, potential customers and more.
When used properly, you can really capitalize on the human side of things too, as your sales staff can have more interactions with clients, your management doesn’t have to do as much research, and your technicians don’t need to spend as much time with ordering inventory, etc. Otherwise, you can just invest a lot of money and time into a program that doesn’t bring you much value. It’s really worth fine tuning these ERPs and CRMs to take care of things so that your team can grow your company with their skills.
But how to make the most of the IT so that your human side can shine?
Choose the Right One
There are quite a few options on the market right now, from Salesforce, NetSuite, FinancialForce and more! Depending on the type of business you have, one might be a better fit than the other. Most offer a trial period or at least an extensive demo that can help you decide which works best for your situation. If there is other software you rely on, see if they is any potential integration that would make it using this new software easier for you.
Customize the System
All the CRM and ERP programs out there are quite customizable, but unless you are an expert, you likely won’t take full potential of what the program could potentially do for you. Call an expert who can provide you with a CRM training module, personalized to your business. This can illustrate the opportunities for a smooth setup and customization that will automate tasks and make others easier for you.
Train Your Team
If you are the only one who knows how to use it, you likely wouldn’t get very far, and badly managed IT is sometimes worse than no IT at all. It’s important that you train your entire team on how to use the software you purchase. Every time you make a change or expand your operations on there, it’s important to re educate your team so that you don’t get tangled up in misunderstandings.
If you ever worked in IT or even just had your own business, you’ll know that there’s no such thing as “done.” As soon as you finish one project, there is another one for you to address. The same goes for IT. Once you have personalized your IT to fit your business, your business will surely shift, and so must your CRM and ERPs! Re-evaluating and recalibrating is key to a successful and relevant system.
If IT is something that you struggle with, there are consulting companies that can help fit your business with a system. Afterwards, you can learn more about it from the company that makes the software and always compliment it with personalized tutorials from consultants. This might sound like an expensive endeavor, however, it’s truly worth it. The innovations can help boost your sales exponentially, saving money on things like marketing, minimizing waste, and cutting out inefficiencies.