Best Business Software as the Necessity for the Company Efficiency

Continuously changing market conditions, high speed in decision-making, multitasking in asset management and the need to reduce risks require modern approaches to the organization of economic activity. The output in the increasingly complex internal and external environment of the enterprise becomes complex digitalisation. It allows you to free up precious resources for strategic planning and concentration of management in key areas of the company. We will talk about what automation and the ERP software are, why a process approach is needed and what software is most popular in the world and in the UK.

Business and Automation: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Business automation is a partial or complete translation of stereotypical operations and tasks under the control of a specialized information software, or software and hardware complex. As a result, the release of human and financial resources to increase productivity and effectiveness of strategic management.

Automation is usually carried out in two directions:

  • Automation of the basic processes: for example, sales management or work with clients. In this case, it is carried out to directly increase the volume of sales, the number of products produced and increase the profitability of the entire business.
  • Automation of supporting processes, such as accounting, reporting, records management. Directly to increase revenue, such automation does not affect, but helps reduce the time and costs of doing routine work.

The main tasks of digitalisation are the following:

  • effective support of the company's operational activities, organization of accounting and control;
  • preparation of any documents for partners, including invoices, invoices, reconciliation acts and proposals;
  • quick receipt of reports on the state of affairs in the company for any period of time;
  • optimization of staff costs, increasing the efficiency of working hours by freeing employees from routine work;
  • minimizing the negative impact of the "human factor" on the most important processes;
  • safe storage of information;
  • improving the quality of customer service.

Key areas and software for automation

One of the main conditions for business automation is the company's application of the process approach. This term is understood as an approach that determines the consideration of the company's activities as a network of business processes inextricably linked to its main goals, tasks and mission.

The process approach, unlike the structural approach prevailing in many companies, is oriented not to the existing organizational structure of the enterprise, but to real business processes, the end result of which is the creation of a service or product. The process approach helps to increase the flexibility of the business, reduce the response time to changes in the business environment and improve the performance of the enterprise.

Each operation in the company consists of a set of individual operations with the order of execution, determined by technology or instructions. The necessary characteristics are routes and rules, as well as inputs, exits, consumed resources, participants and owners.

Before proceeding to automate business processes, it is necessary to work on their isolation and description, as well as to classify them as main or auxiliary processes. This is a fairly long procedure, in practice it requires the participation of all units of the company in close interaction. The types and number of business processes are individual for each company. All differentiated business processes can then be integrated into several main areas, each of which can be automated both in general and in a separate process:

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Management:
  • Strategic;
  • Economic security;
  • Legal support;
  • Accounting;
  • Budgeting;
  • Information security.
Marketing and Sales:
  • PR;
  • Advertising activities;
  • Sales;
  • Customer relationship management (CRM).
Production:
  • Production;
  • Inventory;
  • Supply;
  • Production equipment;
  • Logistics software.
Personnel Management:
  • Selection of personnel;
  • Training and development of personnel;
  • Personnel accounting;
  • Motivation and remuneration.
Finances:
  • Bookkeeping;
  • Tax accounting;
  • Financial planning;
  • Management of settlements with customers;
  • Calculation of employees' salaries.

Improve the quality of management

Automation of workflow can significantly improve the quality of management in the company and the quality of its product.

For the enterprise as a whole, it gives a number of significant advantages.

  • Increase the speed of processing information and solve repetitive tasks.
  • Increase the transparency of the business and its manufacturability.
  • Increased coherence of staff and the quality of its work.
  • The ability to control large amounts of information.
  • Reducing the number of errors and improving management accuracy.
  • Parallel solution of several problems.
  • Rapid decision-making in stereotyped situations.

As a result of workflow management digitalisation, the company manager receives more information for analyzing business processes in the form of detailed analytical reports and has the opportunity to manage the company qualitatively taking into account external and internal indicators.

Where to Start

The majority of companies start automation from routine labor-intensive processes, as well as from operations that significantly affect profit and revenue: finance and accounting, workflow, production and inventory.

Digitalisation of such areas of activity as enterprise management, marketing, quality management and external communications at most enterprises is just beginning. In the context of the economic crisis, priorities in the field of business process optimisation are changing rapidly.

The main trends of the current season include the following:

  • Use of cloud technologies. The main difference between this method and the traditional approaches is the lack of a server hardware in the company room. Such softwares are very popular among small businesses, because they cost significantly less than the traditional server.
  • Active development of digital marketing tools: implementation of CRM-software, and BI-software.
  • Development of inter-machine interaction technologies. The emerging trend M2M - Machine to Machine - involves minimal human involvement in those processes where possible, because the complexity of business processes and equipment does not always allow a person to adequately assess and respond to changing situations.
  • Use of the big data tools. Another trend in the development of business process automation is attention to large data and related business analytics.Demand large companies, because for processing large data requires specialized expensive equipment.
  • Real-time data analysis. Business automation softwares will evolve towards real-time transaction processing, which will lead to fully synchronized transactions.
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ERP: a New Stage of Evolution
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Separate business workflows of the company sooner or later becomes ineffective, as attempts to combine several different programs into a single unit are often unsuccessful. When implementing such approach, the goal of increasing the overall efficiency of the enterprise is usually not set. In contrast, a comprehensive software of business automation is a software for managing the financial and economic activities of the company and ensures the operation management and accounting in general.

The concept of an integrated enterprise management software - ERP - was developed in the late 80’s of the last century. In the early 90's, it began to gain popularity, as software that could realize this concepе began to appear. At the heart of the ERP-software lies the principle of creating a single information space that helps to track in real time all information about business in all divisions of the company. ERP-softwares are built on a modular basis, and their structure implies the existence of separate units responsible for a particular procedure.

Thanks to this principle of the organization, the functionality of the entire software can be improved and expanded as new technologies, changes in legislation or in the needs of customers arise. Most ERP-softwares include the following groups of modules:

  • Logistic;
  • Industrial;
  • Marketing providing;
  • Marketing and others.
How to Choose a Software Product
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When choosing a software software for automation of business processes can go in two ways:

  • use of a sample product;
  • development and implementation of individual software.

Note: The standard (out-of-the-box) product will cost the company cheaper, and it is somewhat easier to implement. But choosing the best business software for your company, do not forget that not every program can be reoriented to the individual needs of the enterprise, since in a number of programs the options for additional settings are limited or even eliminated. The same problem exists for cloud services.

In order to choose the right program, it is important to answer a number of very serious questions:

  • What business operation are planned to be automated?
  • Will the functionality of a particular program correspond to the tasks assigned to it?
  • Is it possible to customize for a specific business practice?
  • Is it possible to quickly change the software without stopping operation in case of changes in business conditions?
  • How easy is the software to use?
  • Is it possible to integrate the software with existing services programs?
  • Who will implement technical support and how?
  • How much will implementation and technical support (ownership) cost?

Since it is almost impossible to independently and at the same time qualitatively answer these questions, it is advisable to get advice from software developers. In addition, you should talk with your business colleagues, because their experience sometimes helps determine the choice. However, it is important to understand that the opinions in the business community can be very subjective, due to the specifics of the industry, the size of the enterprise, the limited experience of owning various ERP-softwares and, as a consequence, the inability to see the whole picture and compare all products in relation to yours conditions.

As for whether to automate individual procedures or install an ERP software, it all depends on the specifics of the particular enterprise, so do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your project.