Technology used to have a nice place in the profit and loss sheet of a business – right beside office equipment, photocopiers and stationery. It was treated as an expense that was required to keep a business running – in essence, a cost centre. Those were the days.
It’s safe to say that technology has come a long way. Modern businesses are using technology to provide significant competitive advantages in areas such as:
Intelligence: enabling organisations to make better decisions in shorter amounts of time
Operational efficiency: making things happen faster
Cost: enabling products and services to be produced at lower costs
Scale: enabling a business to grow faster without a corresponding increase in resources
However, many businesses we speak to don’t always understand what technology can do for them.
So, why is that?
Why Businesses Are Slow to Modernise
At times, technology can be overly complex which can make it difficult to comprehend. This does not help with adoption but rather locks companies into operating the same way they have been for years. As it’s just ‘too hard’ to change.
In this article, we discuss what business modernisation looks like in
What Can We Expect to See Within a Modern Business?
Modern businesses that have taken the plunge have implemented technology solutions across the entire business to help them succeed.
For example, marketing is automated. It is structured to reach specific target audiences with specific messages. Modern marketing tools that are implemented well, generate sufficient quality leads for your sales function. This allows your business to engage with your audience at a far more productive level.
Rather than tasking your team to make phone calls or send emails, modernised businesses’ already have detailed information on offerings that is readily available on websites.
Sales can take place online (where appropriate) to fulfil customer needs. When a more ‘hands on’ sales approach is needed, clients have already been able to find sufficient information from your website (and other locations). They will only reach out to you if they have specific questions to ask where the answer couldn’t be found online.
Operationally, you have automated those business functions that really don’t need to be done manually. You have workflows in place to handle the rest. Systems control most of your processes, where the probability of making a mistake is dramatically decreased.
Of course, mistakes can still happen, as nothing is completely error-free! However, the controls that you have implemented limit both the number of mistakes and the severity of the issue.
You have solid, real-time reporting on business statistics, compared to innumerable amounts of data that you have to massage in order to make any sense of.
The term ‘order to cash’ is often used to describe the processes used from the time an order is received to the time payment is received. It covers the operational workings of a business. Here, your systems communicate automatically with one another, increasing operational efficiency.
There should be very little paper in the business. After all, if you have automated your processes, who is going to read it? Data ends up automatically in the accounting platform.
Sales orders feed automatically into the production cycle or dispatch team (if readily available). Shipped orders are automatically invoiced. Notifications, invoices, confirmations, and more are emailed out. There is no manual entering of data across disparate systems and your data is automatically sent into your accounting platform.
Employee expenses are collected remotely and automatically put in the accounting system for approval. There are very few manual transactions entered across the entire workflow chain.
You Just Need to Start
Does all of this sound like a dream? It’s not.
These principles can be applied to most businesses today. It’s a matter of keeping an open mind as to what is possible and then investing in this technology to help your business succeed. Those that have (and have gotten it right) produce superior results and are the ones the competitors look towards.
Having read this, if you realise you are a fair way behind, don’t worry. In saying that, don’t try to move too quickly. It’s unrealistic to think all of this can happen at once. History has shown that organisations that move too quickly tend to break their businesses. Success happens over time and only when you have a well-defined plan.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of change management. When you are making changes in how your organisation operates, it’s essential to bring your employees on the journey with you. It’s critical to longer-term success.
So, where are you in the technology cycle? With 20+ years of IT experience, we know there’s a better way to do what you do. Contact us today to talk about the endless benefits of modernising your business.