Don’t let your business pain become a big headache

Ahead of Softworld guest blogger, Rebecca Bradley from Sage Business Partner CPiO, talks about the importance of carrying out regular business audits for the health of your business. And if you’re going to Softworld pop by our stand AF130, say “hi” to Rebecca and sign up for a free business audit.

Don’t wait for an undiagnosed business pain to make changes to the health of the organisation – prevention is better than cure.

Pain drives many strange decisions – especially in business. Whether it is a distribution process in chaos or customers leaving due to poor service, it often takes a serious issue to drive the UK’s businesses to consider new IT solutions. Yet such a reactive approach does not guarantee a solution that will drive the business forward. Just as a headache may mask another, more serious, problem that needs diagnosis and appropriate treatment, papering over the cracks in distribution with a new, standalone warehouse system is unlikely to be the best solution for the business as a whole.

Buying Technology

Why are businesses buying new technology? In a tight economic climate with fierce competition, it is understandable, although not laudable, that most will require a significant prompt. But what is that prompt? A requirement for a new sales ledger? Or the clear business objective to reduce credit control days?

The approach to the purchase will without doubt dictate the benefit that is attained. Those organisations that have a clear view of business issues that need to be addressed through technology are suffering the same pain as the competition but their attitude to solving, or salving, the problem is very different.

Indeed, it is those organisations that regard IT as a solution rather than a series of isolated products that have an edge. They take a proactive approach to achieving incremental business benefits and demonstrate an understanding of the critical value of IT to the business.

Achieving Benefits

Such a proactive approach requires a shift in mindset. Organisations must move from viewing IT as a necessary evil to a tool that underpins every aspect of the business. CPiO regularly works with companies to understand what is driving their business and how important a clear and coherent IT strategy is to achieving strategic goals.

The proactive use of alerts is a prime example of a simple technology that improves efficiency and effectiveness. Rather than relying on a weekly stock report to ascertain order requirements, alerts can automatically inform the business when minimum stock level has been reached. Taking the process to its logical conclusion: that alert could automatically trigger an order with the relevant supplier.  Not only does such a system minimise the chance of out of stocks, hence improving customer service, but it also frees up staff from time-consuming trawls through stock level reports.

The use of alerts is an example that can be applied across the business and provides a clear demonstration of technology’s ability to enhance the human interaction that remains a key element of business success. This proactive management requires a company to regularly review its requirements and evaluate those needs in light of technology. An audit of systems and business processes enables a company to future proof its investment and accessing the skill gaps in the organisation, leading to a more creative use of IT to solve real business objectives  and not just reduce pain.

Interested in a  free business audit? Pop by our stand at Softworld or drop our customer team an email.

Rebecca Bradley, CPiO