There is more to business management than putting out fires and handling customer complaints. I’m going to share with you 10 clever tips, tricks, and hacks to help you improve your bottom line fast. Are you ready to work smarter, not harder? #Goodbusiness #Smartbusiness
Smart ERP hacks: Ways to work smarter, not harder for seriously good results.
- Track it and then pack it – We are talking superior warehouse management. If you don’t know what you have in stock, when it’s coming in or where it is in your warehouse, how are you ever going to sell it? Unless your current system has the capability to manage your incoming and outgoing stock accurately and timely, you’re in trouble. Your warehouse module should ensure that the correct quantity of products are on your shelves (or in your bins), recognize when a customer has purchased a product and automatically signal when products need to be moved. A robust warehouse module will allow for automatic re-ordering at the appropriate time from your main warehouse (if you are lucky enough to have multiple), and product management information reports.
- Know your customer: who’s buying and who’s looking – Who is your customer? Do you know their buying history? How many purchases have they made? How long since their last purchase? Do you offer a reward or loyalty program? Are they members? Which customer has had an incident report? How was it handled, by whom, what was the outcome? More importantly, after an incident, are they still a customer? How many times has a potential customer clicked on your website, browsed for a minute or two and moved on? Are you able to capitalize on their curiosity? Do you even know who’s looking? Lots of questions. You need the answer. Customer service is not simply offering excellent, thoughtful and professional service to those customers who have purchased from you, but also finding a way to encourage the looky-loos to return and make a purchase. Then you can offer that excellent, thoughtful and professional service to them!
- Do you actually read your reports – if you don’t know what’s happening, how can you anticipate, react, deal? You need to be able to take data and turn it into actionable insights. Your department heads need to be able to run their own reports, analyze and understand the data.
- Purpose (relative data available to the appropriate person)
- Executive summary for a business report(Cliff’s notes for your boss)
- Informational reports providing factual information without analysis
- Financial, compliance, study, situational, policy and process
- Your reports need to give you the information you need to make decisions and make things happen, now.
- Smarten up your website – Your website may need some simple improvements to make it more customer friendly or it may need a complete overhaul. You’re going to have to be objective or hire someone who is. What your website looks like and how user friendly it is may determine the effectiveness of #2 (see above). No one wants to struggle through a clunky, confusing, complicated process to place an order, trackpackages or leave a message for your customer service department. Spruce it up, make it easy to navigate and increase your font size.
- I predict you need some help with your forecasting. If you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer and have repetitive orders of the same products, you have undoubtedly asked yourself at what stock level you need to be at to replenish your inventory. Undoubtedly, your goal is to reduce inventory levels while being able to fill most of the orders that come through the door. Accurately predicting future inventory requirements is oftentimes a difficult process that relies heavily on spreadsheets to analyze historical sales trends and other data to determine stocking requirements for the future. First rate forecasting manages the planning, ordering, and receiving of inventory into one or more warehouses. Receiving of purchased goods is best when it is completed in real time. Can your current system do that?
- Personalization – Yes, I would like my initials on that sweater, but more importantly, I want my business personalized to fit my needs. Today’s personalization capabilities fulfill that promise by dynamically and uniquely tailoring software modules to each business and offer it in a seamless manner across channels, thereby propelling both growth and value. The ultimate goal business personalization is to use data to make it easier for management to not only offer customers what they want but to ensure that all aspects of business is receiving what they need.
- Returns and Exchanges – the bane of every retailer’s existence. But, the silver lining is that this is where YOUR business can shine. Do you have a module that allows for easy returns, exchanges, refunds? Are your call center associates equipped with an easy to use customer service menu to help them guide a customer through the return process? Is your warehouse manager able to easily receive in returns and restock quickly? When customer service is our goal, easy returns, exchanges and refunds are a must. BOOM!
- If it’s on sale, I want two – We all love a sale, a discount, a promotion. Sales promotion is one of the five aspects of the promotional mix. (The other 4 parts are advertising, personal selling, direct marketing and publicity/public relations.) Media and non-media marketing communication can be employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Sales promotions can be directed at either the customer, sales staff, or distribution channel members. They can include communications that attempt to provide added value or incentives to consumers, wholesalers, retailers, or other organizational customers to stimulate immediate sales. These efforts can attempt to stimulate product interest, trial, or purchase. Examples of devices used in sales promotion include coupons, samples, premiums, point-of-purchase (POP) displays, contests, rebates, and sweepstakes. Sales promotions can be implemented to attract new customers, to hold present customers, to counteract competition, and to take advantage of opportunities that are revealed by market research. Does your ERP do all that?
- Money, money, money – The truth of the matter is, you need to know what you’ve got and what you owe. Your accounting module needs to be accurate, precise and available. How a transaction is recorded in the General Ledger (GL) depends upon the nature of the transaction. Accounts Payable (AP) is recorded in the AP sub-ledger when an invoice isapproved for transactions where the company must pay money to vendors for the purchase services or goods. On the other hand, Accounts Receivable (AR) records any money that a company is owed because of the sale of their goods or services. On the company’s balance sheet, accounts payables are recorded as liabilities while receivables are recorded as assets. If you are not an accountant, you better make sure you have a good one! Or a good ERP.
- TOP TIP – Get a coach! If you were an athlete, you’d want the best coach; if you are a student, you’d pray for the good teacher; if you are a musician, you’d want the finest director. If you are a business, you need the best ERP software you can find to meet your needs today and anticipate what you they will be tomorrow. You need a personalized system that will help you excel in the areas you are best at and assist you where you need a little boost. Your ERP should be able to integrate to your current system to manage your business and automate your back office functions. Circle Commerce can do that for you. Fast, flexible, affordable; order management/ERP software that works for you. Now that is #Goodbusiness #Smartbusiness.