Part 1 of 3: Identify Each of Your Business Systems and Processes

At the risk of stating the obvious, your business management software is critical to the success of your business.  Without it, you will be flying blind.  So, what happens when you need to make a change?  How can you change out the system that monitors the status and health of your business without causing disruptions to your business?  Well, the answers to those questions are quite complex, so we will be covering them in depth in the coming weeks and months. We will talk about choosing the right system, the right way to do it and how to approach an implementation.

When it comes to business management systems implementation, the odds are unfortunately against you. Statistics in The Chaos Report show that only 32% of company management teams rate their IT (computer) projects as a success. That means slightly more than two-thirds of business managers rate IT projects as challenged or failed.

With over 25 years of experience in this industry, we have the knowledge and information you need to ensure you do it right. We want to help you succeed with your business management systems.  If you are considering changing your ERP system: STOP.  Please take time to first do your homework – your homework is not about software – your homework is defining your business goals, objectives and requirements.  The success of software selection process and, more importantly, your business depends upon it. Preplanning may be the most important step in your software selection.

First let’s take a minute to define business management system.  Your business management system is all the methods, tools and processes you and your employees use to get information relating to your business so that you can manage your company.  In our experience, many companies say, “Oh, you mean my accounting (or my ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning) software?”  While that is part of it, your ‘system’ also includes yellow pads, sticky notes, clipboards, spreadsheets and other manual processes and/or add-on systems.  You have systems that may or may not include software.  We want you to think about every system (and process) that you have in your company so that you can make sure that you are considering all the requirements you and your staff have prior to beginning your research process.

Many times, we find that while the accounting software records data on the current quantity of inventory items on hand, a company has one or more other systems that track operational data such as:

  • Where is the product located?
  • How is it stored?
  • What has passed inspection?
  • What lots are in stock?
  • What lots were shipped to each customer?
  • What products are combined into kits?
  • What are the components in the kit?
  • What is the cost of the kit?
  • Etc.

The list could go on and on.  We might say it this way: your ‘business management system’ includes corporate verbal legend (the part where you ask Jim or Mary about something because they have it recorded in their heads), yellow pads, bound notebooks hanging from a string, clipboards, rolodex, 3×5 cards, paper filing cabinets; as well as the software you use including spreadsheets, parcel shipping, warehouse management systems, manufacturing software, shop floor control applications, human resources, time keeping and your accounting or ERP systems.  In addition, there is a bigger variable – the people part of your system.  They are the ones who really make things work.  And, so far, we haven’t touched on the most difficult process to define – your sales system.  Your sales system includes all of the manual methods, plus email and your contact management or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.

Once you have compiled a comprehensive list of your business systems and processes, you are ready for the next step: Knowing what you are getting into.

If you would like to discuss your needs with one of Business Automation Specialists, please give us a call. We would be happy to help you make the best decision for your company.  We can be reached by phone at 763-571-8580 or 877-571-8580 or via email at: