As a company grows, it becomes more and more important to assess certain aspects of the business, whether it is hiring someone to head up a new department, investing in IT support or updating the company hardware. A growing business needs to consistently be evaluating processes and operating methods to ensure that productivity is at its peak.
One of, if not the most important is the business systems, or lack of. Once upon a time, Excel spreadsheets and an Access database were probably all you needed to manage the business.
Inexpensive and reliable, these programmes were perfect for starting up, but eventually, there will be simple errors made like duplication of data; the input of unimportant information; staff having to spend time having to dig out data in a sea of records – the list goes on. Time consuming and out-of-date, using these programmes will eventually result in lower quality of service to clients and a dip in company productivity.
If the above sounds like you, then it’s time to get serious. Unfortunately those trusty old Microsoft Office programmes aren’t going to cut it now you are running an established firm. The beauty of being a business owner in the 21st century is the sheer amount of technological advancements that are available for small enterprises.
No longer do SMEs have to put up with generic ‘off the shelf’ systems due to budget restrictions – there are plenty of opportunities out there that will allow you to get ahead of the competition without blowing your budget.
A tailored web-based management system that is user-friendly might be just what your company needs. A system like this allows businesses to store all client, supplier, quotation and job information in a database. The database can either be saved onsite, onto a server within the company office, or if preferred, offsite in the cloud.
A web-based job system will allow staff to login in wherever they are, whether that is at home, at work or at a client’s premises. All information that is needed will be available instantly, and all inputted data will be saved and updated in real-time, allowing for quick access to all information.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the functionality of this type of system. Everything is designed to create the ultimate streamlined approach, from creating one-click pre-frilled documents that are handy when raising invoices, quotations and certifications, to keeping track of and creating reports based around the status of a client request. Web-based systems are designed to be user friendly and will often include a homepage dashboard that contains company updates and quick links to important information.
Worth Investing In?
To new business owners and start-ups, this may sound a little daunting. The benefits of this kind of solution outweigh the doubts and when it comes to a questions, like ‘is it really worth investing in a web-based system?’ The answer is simple – yes, it is worth it. Not only will you be saving your employee’s time and increasing their productivity but you will have complete control over your own data and say goodbye to inconsistencies.
If you are worried about the cost, you will be relieved to know that investing in a web-based system will mean that there is no on-going rental cost, no limit on users or cost per user and low cost ownership. What once seemed to be expensive is now a savvy investment for the future of your business.
Karen Harding is the Marketing Manager for the one of the South East’s leading web and software development companies – Objective IT.