Running a business can be a daunting task. There are multiple decisions to be made every day and each one could mean vastly different paths for your organization.
Often, relying on data and looking at numbers is your best bet. Recognizing this and investing in systems that help you to stay on top of numbers and operations can make or break your success in an increasingly digital world.
ERP and CRM systems are usually the most common and in-demand tools that most businesses rely on for smoother execution. Let’s take a look at some of the ways these systems can you run your business smoother and more efficiently.
Real-Time Reporting – Stay On Top Of What’s Happening
Real-time reporting tools provide entrepreneurs with an eagle-eye view on the various processes in the organization and the status of different projects. Most such platforms offer dashboards that are fully customizable. These dashboards give you snapshot of the most important metrics for your organization at a specific point of time, as well as allowing you to analyse trends.
Real-time reporting can be a great asset because it gives entrepreneurs the ability to base their decisions on data that’s relevant to the decisions you’re taking today, on inventory, the load on the delivery system, the revenue pipeline, and so much more. According to a Forrester TEI study, one popular real-time reporting and business intelligence tool can pay back the cost of investment in as little as one month and can deliver an impressive ROI of nearly 300%, thanks to productivity savings and reduced operating costs.
Another benefit of adopting real-time tools is that they give you the opportunity to streamline your processes and build a more scalable model, aligned with out-of-the-box presets. Of course, you can configure these systems to match your processes too, to accommodate specific unique processes.
The one distinct advantage here is that when real-time tools are properly implemented, they can help you identify and rationalise repetitive, manual processes. This gives your employees more time to focus on value-added tasks. The international ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) reported an 80% reduction in time and effort thanks to the deployment of a real-time solution.
While it can take some time to adapt your organization to processes aligned to real-time, data-based decision making, the efficiency gains are well worth the effort.
Modularity And Flexibility
Many ERP and CRM systems are built on modular frameworks. This gives you the ability to pick and choose sections of the tool that would be of use to you, eliminating the hassle of buying and installing a massive, monolithic solution that you’ll never make full use of. This greatly reduces the complexity of your IT systems, delivers a more user-friendly experience, and saves costs! According to ERPFocus, just 20 percent of ERP modules in a package offer up to 80 percent of the actual value to a typical customer.
Predictability, Forecasting, And Planning
Another major advantage that real-time CRM and ERP solutions have is that they add a method to the madness in terms of forecasting and planning. With proper data and reports, these systems enable entrepreneurs make solid forecasts and plans for the future based on reliable data collected right now.
Many solutions also give you AI capabilities, vastly expanding prediction and planning capabilities. The ability to look at vast amounts of data from the past, to look at more recent trends and to then take data-driven decisions is an immense asset.
A CRM or an ERP system is probably not going to revolutionize your business in one go: it isn’t a silver bullet for all your problems. What it can do is to drastically simplify a range of common processes, freeing up time, as well as making it easier for you to arrive at better decisions.
As an entrepreneur, data is your best friend. Having systems that give you the most important metrics you need, in real-time, and with just a few clicks, can mean the difference between success and failure.
Starting early, setting up reliable processes, and collecting clean, valid data, are some of the steps you’ll need to take before you implement real-time solutions. Prepare well, strategize how best to integrate these solutions into your business strategy, then deploy.