Published on: August 28, 2018
in: Company News
Every business leader requires an understanding of operations across the organization to fully optimize business processes and to become more profitable. Business management software systems that are fully integrated go a long way toward providing a window into complete operations that managers need.
Business management software can provide immense benefits to any business, but to take full advantage of such software it’s important to lay the right foundation. Otherwise, you end up dealing with the consequences.
Consequences of Keeping Business Software in Silos
So, what are the consequences of not properly planning for business management software in your organization? The number one mistake that many companies make is to keep their business software in silos.
This means each department or business area takes an independent approach to business management software systems by purchasing and incorporating limited software solutions specific to their function.
These limited software solutions can lead to many problems as you work toward trying to build a dashboard or database representing information about the overall business.
A financial department may purchase financial software to manage payroll, purchasing, and other financial processes. Warehouse managers may purchase and install a distribution system to monitor inventory, receivables, and more.
As each department develops their own business solutions, these individual silos become isolated islands of information. These silos introduce several inefficiencies that ultimately hurt your business and your bottom line including:
- Lagging Productivity
With software segmented throughout the organization, it’s difficult for employees to do their jobs. It’s also complicated for management to develop oversight over the operation.
In smaller to mid-sized organizations, the issue of siloed business systems can occur as the search for more economical software solutions leads individual departments to opt for off-the-shelf solutions that may not fully meet the needs of the company.
This leads to a company with several different business solutions storing data in numerous individual databases. Separate customer information may be found in accounting software, order management systems, sales force databases, and marketing spreadsheets. Since the databases are separate and disconnected, this can lead to employees working longer hours, manually transferring data from one database to another.
- Prone to Errors
Because siloed systems usually require the manual transfer of data, human errors are more likely to make their way into the data.
Manually entering order information into accounting systems while also manually entering identical data into order fulfillment systems can lead to discrepancies throughout the company.
At best, this leads to inaccurate historical records. At worst, it can create shipping or order errors, which can impact the customer and influence the company’s bottom line.
- Poor Decision-Making
When management can’t see integrated data across multiple systems, it’s very difficult to obtain a 360-degree view of the business. This can be especially difficult for the CEO or CFO who needs to see information correlated across all areas of the business in a real-time manner.
Without an integrated business management system, it’s impossible to develop dashboards that provide immediate information and help leadership proactively respond to issues the moment they occur.
Advantages of Integrated Business Management Software Systems
The difference between a business that has software in silos and one that uses integrated business software is staggering.
There are many case studies that prove the benefits of migrating to an integrated business software solution. In one example, Bell and Company implemented Acumatica, an affordable cloud ERP solution. The case study detailing the project showed that after implementation the company saw increased efficiencies from the mobile capabilities, improved customer support, and reduced IT support costs.
The following are some of the most significant advantages your organization could see from implementing such a solution.
- 360-Degree View
Integrating a business software solution across all departments throughout your organization lets you develop dashboards that wouldn’t have been possible before.
With a 360-degree view of the organization, you can customize dashboards that are tailored for specific roles, but that bring in information from all areas relevant to what you need to know.
For example, a shipping manager could view orders-to-ship compared with current resource demands to determine more accurate delivery dates. Salespeople could view dashboards that show information from throughout the organization to provide more accurate promises to customers during sales calls. The CEO or the CFO could customize their own dashboards to see the most important information they want to see every day from every department throughout the company.
Mindover Software customer, Ciscon, saw the benefits of implementing Sage 300 ERP across the organization. Their business teams gained a bigger picture that provided better long-term decision making and greater profitability.
- Greater Productivity
When information is integrated across many areas of the business, meetings are more productive, and teams can make more-informed decisions.
In many organizations, troubleshooting issues or performing a risk-analysis for business decisions is made extremely difficult if the decision-making team can’t easily see information from throughout the organization. Teams often need to invest a lot of time and resources into implementing data-collection methods and extracting the information they need to make an educated decision.
With integrated business management systems, the team can save resources and time by looking at existing dashboards or quickly creating new ones to analyze whatever issue they’re responsible for.
Decisions are more efficient and produce better results.
- Reduced IT Costs
When a company must maintain multiple software products across many areas of the organization, it can put a significant demand on IT resources.
IT analysts often need to create custom solutions to integrate all the separate databases for the siloed software solutions. Sometimes, integration isn’t even technically feasible and only manual data entry is possible.
When a company consolidates all these software solutions into a single integrated business management system, it significantly reduces overall IT costs.
- Improved Customer Relationships
An integrated business management solution lets you talk to customers with a better picture of your organization’s situation. You can develop better pricing models, you can provide delivery dates that are more accurate, and you can offer customers useful information more quickly.
All these things lead to reduced time customers need to spend on the phone, a better overall customer experience, and ultimately more sales.
Integrated Software Solutions Is the Future
More companies these days are realizing the tremendous benefits and cost savings associated with integrating software solutions into a single business management system. Mindover Software has helped small to mid-sized businesses to realize these benefits and achieve greater profitability. Read more about our customers’ successes.
Contact us to get rid of business software silos and improve your business.