If you run a business of any size, you wear a number of hats (or have people wearing those hats) during your busy day. You work with customers, sell products, pay bills, create marketing plans – you get the idea – lots of work and information to track. The question is, how DO you track all that? Here is a list of the top five types of business software that can really help your business. If you are using one or more of these already, good job! Are you using all five? Let’s take a look at them…
The first software purchase almost all companies make is an accounting package. Accounting software is the core of any business – that’s where your money is! Accounting software should give you:
- A robust chart of accounts for reporting Profit and Loss;
- Banking and Financials;
- Purchasing and Bill paying;
- Sales order entry.
(2) CRM/Opportunities Pipeline
Once you have your financials in place, it’s time to track leads and customers. CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, software does just that. Once you have customers, CRM software can show you trends, sales histories and more to help you drive additional business. With a CRM, you can:
- Enter key information on prospects and leads;
- Create a sales process “pipeline;
- Describe what opportunity you have with them;
- Create and send sales quotations;
- Assign your company sales process stages to activities;
- Track the sales process through to completion.
(3) Inventory management
Do you sell products? Then you need inventory software to track what you need to purchase and deliver to fulfill customer orders and stock retail shelves. Inventory software should:
- Show what you have in stock – and where it is located;
- Track what has already been ordered;
- Offer base quantity levels needed on popular moving items;
- Have entry for inventory counting and adjustment;
- Views of missing or overstock products;
- Have serial numbers or batch numbers;
- Provide multiple warehouse and bin level stock locations.
Every business has a customer or two (or 1,000) that need support for your product or service. How do you handle that today? Helpdesk software is the best way to log customer issues and solutions. When you look for helpdesk software, look for:
- A customer database that can include company and contact information;
- A product database;
- Ticketing tied to customers and products with selectable priority of issue, type of issue, description of issue;
- A knowledge base updatable by your support team for faster response;
- Reporting on overall tickets and solutions by support team member, customer, product.
If you are like most companies, you know how valuable it is to see your business “at a glance” via tables, charts and graphs. At many businesses, creating those visuals is typically handled by each department as the need comes up. BI, or Business Intelligence, software is becoming easier to use and more and more powerful. The value proposition is the ability to automatically tie multiple different areas of business together in single, easy to consume screens. Make sure any BI software you look into offers:
- An easy way to connect to your various other software. This is most important as you will need to connect:
- Financials data from your accounting software;
- Opportunity pipeline data from your CRM;
- Sales data from your accounting software;
- Inventory and stock levels from inventory software;
- Support data from your helpdesk software.
- A large library of tables, charts and dashboards to present data;
- Power and bandwidth to provide real time feedback on critical information.
So, how did you do? Are you using all five types of software? If not, it may be time to do some planning.
BONUS: The SIXTH type of business software
Before planning out any new software purchases, let me save you a bit of time and money. I would be remiss to not mention a SIXTH type of business software that combines all FIVE of the above:
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning software
ERP software incorporates all types of major business software into one suite. SAP Business One is a great example – and just happens to be the software ACUMEN Corporation is a subject matter expert on. The #1 benefit of an ERP software? All your unique data points such as sales, inventory, support, financials and accounting are already “connected” – so the final piece of business intelligence needs no configuration. Additionally:
- All the dashboards, KPIs and more work out of the box.
- Since data is interconnected, CRM data flows to Sales Orders. Sales Orders to Purchasing. Purchasing to Inventory. Inventory to Helpdesk.
- All your employees have a single user name to remember.
- Once top level administration needed for access and authorizations.
- And much, much more…
Would you like to see a demonstration of SAP Business One and how it can help you with your business? Contact ACUMEN Corporation today – www.ACUMENCorp.com or just give us a call 804-323-0467 x214