Manufacturing businesses know that it’s critical to improve process efficiency. The same goes for service and sales businesses. Shaving minutes off answering a query, checking stock levels, or sending an invoice will add up significantly over months.
Efficiency means better customer service, cost savings and a competitive edge.
Why should I streamline? Do I need to streamline?
It’s not only about efficiency and cost saving.
The streamlining journey means mapping out your processes, so that you can begin to update and improve them. There are many other short- and longer-term benefits of streamlining and mapping your business processes:
- Greater business agility
- Fewer errors in your processes
- Less delay
- Fostering a culture of change and constant improvement
- Greater transparency
- Reduction of repetitive tasks through automation, giving staff more time to focus on their core tasks
- Consistent results: as processes are mapped and understood, staff are more likely to produce similar outputs
- Easier to measure and report on business performance
- Makes compliance requirements easier
- Mapped processes are easier to outsource to specialists or train new people in
How do I start?
- The first step, and this can be a big one, is to analyse your current processes. Start by making a high-level list which moves from getting a lead to being paid for a completed job (…and beyond)
- Then break these steps into smaller processes. Use experts from each area of your business to help
- Now analyse each process and ask
- Can this be improved? Speak to the process owners and managers for ideas.
- Who should be doing this task?
- Would this task be better if it ran earlier or later in the process?
- Document each task clearly and succinctly
- Find solutions to improve processes
- Is there a software system which could replace human input?
- Are the right people doing the task?
- Can documentation or communication be improved to make subsequent tasks run smoother?
- Test your new workflow
- Ask for feedback
- Adjust processes and continue to get feedback
- Document everything so new starters understand their tasks
- Review regularly
- Look for bottlenecks
- Keep aware of new technical solutions
- Ask customers for feedback
Can an ERP system help streamline my business?
Historically ERP systems were fragmented and often their parts didn’t easily communicate with each other. Each system had its own owner, supplier and technical platform. This meant improvements were hard to rollout and regularly parts of the system would become unusable as suppliers and coders couldn’t be contacted and didn’t work together
The modern approach to ERP is to aggregate all features into one unified system, so that data flows smoothly between the parts. The systems often allow for super users to make modifications themselves without needing supplier help.
The systems are continuously updated and allow companies to grow without needing to change technology.
ERP systems include
- Oracle Net Suite
- SAP Business One
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
- Sage 300
What parts of business can ERP cover?
Most ERP systems cover these areas of business
- Sales and service management
- Project management
- Human resources
- Supply chain
Why Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
If you’ve made the decision to integrate your disparate systems into one ERP solution, Business Central is a great choice. What often gives this solution the edge over its competitors is the tight integration with Microsoft Office and in particular, Outlook. The Outlook integration massively simplifies tasks like responding to product queries and sending quotes
What can Business Central do for my business?
- Financial Management
- Account Receivables Payables
- Bank reconciliation
- Fixed asset management
- Month/year end closing
- Sales & Service Management
- Quote generation
- Contact management
- Sales invoicing
- Payment processing
- Project Management
- Capacity planning
- Budgets and estimates
- Job and process costing
- Resource management
- Supply Chain Management
- Inventory and Purchasing control
- Shipment and distribution
- Returns and cancellations
- Procurement and vendor management
- Operations Management
- Production planning
- Manufacturing capacity
- Warehouse management
- Reporting & Analytics
- Customer insights
- Self-serve reports
- Interactive dashboards
- Built-in intelligence
Read more about the benefits of Business Central
Read how 5 Business Central customers saved costs, increased efficiency and grew their business.