When Goodwill Industries San Joaquin Valley (GI-SJV) came to us, they had a major integration problem. Their system ran on two software programs, whiteboards and a spreadsheet system. Tracking inventory was a nightmare and they did most paperwork by hand.
Manual systems and multiple software programs may sound familiar to a small business owner. It is natural and almost expected for small businesses to employ a variety of software and systems. You may have different software for accounting, inventory and shipping and receiving. If your business is omnichannel, you may employ different inventory systems for online and brick and mortar. However, as was the case with GI-SJV, this lack of integration meets its day. One day, you may realize your processes held back your business. It is best to pull away from this hodge podge business style while you still can.
Here are four reasons lack of integration hurts your small business.
The ability to see what happens within your company is priceless. Visibility allows you to assess your business from end-to-end. The early stages of a business are critical. You perfect overhead and purchasing. You nail quality control and customer service. Managing multiple departments is difficult enough. Life gets increasingly difficult when in accounting alone you have to pull up a spreadsheet to view a list of your employees, pull out a stack of papers to view their hours worked and open a software program to process payroll. In your flip flopping, you may miss something important. Integrated systems provide a centralized view, allowing you to see everything in your company in one space.
“Streamline”. It is the verb in business. The faster you can produce a product, the more money you can make. The strength of the connection between your departments can make or break your business. If things are not flowing out, money is not flowing in. When your accounting software connects to your payroll software, your employees are paid on time. When your inventory connects to your website, your customers cannot “purchase” out of stock merchandise. When customer service connects to shipping, orders do not go missing. Less division equals faster processes. Faster processes equals better business.
3. Man Power
Transferring data between systems is time consuming. The amount of hours spent doing so are countless and downright unneeded. That valuable time could be spent growing your business. Not to mention, the room for error. Every sheet completed and every number entered by hand has a margin of error. Your accountant’s pen has no red error code alerting them that a function cannot be carried or a bill is past due. Just imagine if all that information could be downloaded with the click of a mouse.
This one is simple. Many software programs have high annual maintenance and technical support costs. In addition, the startup cost of programs requiring an in-house server can grow rapidly. Not to mention the cost of maintaining said servers.
There is value and growth in integration. Once GI-SJV adopted a single ERP solution, they identified and plugged money leaks. The same is possible for your business. Do not wait until your processes start dying on you. Find an ERP solution that works for you.
For more information about SAP Business One and Softengine Solutions helping your business with inventory control, please contact Barry Lederman: 818.704.7000,
Read more about ERP and the solutions Softengine offers here http://www.softengine.com/solutions