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What Software Do I Need For My Business?

Choosing the right business software can be daunting. There are so many different options available, and it can be hard to know where to start.

Here are some things to consider when choosing business software:

  • Your business needs: What are the requirements of your business? What tasks do you need the software to do?
  • Your budget: How much are you willing to spend on business software? What is the total cost of ownership of the software? Consider licencing, any support and other repeated charges
  • Your company size: How many employees do you have?
  • Your industry: What industry is your business in?
  • Your technology needs: What type of technology do you currently use? Do you need software that is compatible with your existing systems?

As your company grows, you need to centralise your data and procedures.

Business systems in their many forms will help you create a solid platform for growth. You’ll benefit from

  • Consistent procedures
  • Automation of repetitive tasks
  • Centralised store of data
  • Better communication between teams

What can software automate in my business?

These are the main areas of your business that off-the-shelf business software covers

Sales and Marketing

  • Lead management
  • Reporting
  • Collaboration between teams
  • Consistent communications
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Customer journeys

Customer Service

  • Case management
  • Knowledge management
  • Self service portals
  • Multi channel management

Finance

  • Finance
  • Reporting
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Automated and simplified financial processing
  • Compliance

Supply Chain

  • Demand planning
  • Production planning
  • Inventory management
  • Fulfilment
  • Warehouse management

HR

  • Payroll
  • Attendance tracking
  • Performance management
  • Onboarding

Operations / Manufacturing

  • Warehouse management
  • Stock management
  • Assembly management
  • Order management

Commerce

  • Web shop
  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Offline POS management
  • Security
  • Customer relationship management

Field Service

  • Customer relationship management
  • Optimise your field agents’ bookings
  • Store and retrieve information to help fix problems
  • Keep customers informed with automated follow ups
  • Inventory management
  • Proactive maintenance

What kinds of systems are available?

Off the shelf

There are specialist systems and general systems which cover a range of business areas

Specialist

  • Mailchimp – The most popular email marketing tool, now growing to include CRM also
  • Pipedrive – Sales pipeline management in a visual, easy to use way
  • Shopify – An ecommerce website builder plus POS features
  • Zendesk – Customer service, ticketing system, live chat, phone support, knowledge base
  • Docusign – Electronic signatures and document tracking
  • Xero – Invoicing, payments, bank reconciliation
  • Atlassian / Jira – Project management, software development, collaboration
  • Asana – Project management, task management, team collaboration

General systems

  • Sage –Accounts and HR
  • Oracle NetSuite – an ERP system which includes: Financial Management, Order Management, Production Management, Supply Chain Management and Warehouse and fulfilment.
  • Monday.com – a suite of apps including Sales, project management, HR and operations
  • Business Central – covers financial management, inventory management, sales and receivables, purchasing and payables, project management and CRM features
  • Zoho – another popular suite of apps including Marketing, customer support, finance, email, HR and project management
  • Hubspot – Sales marketing and customer service
  • Salesforce – Sales, marketing, customer service, commerce

And you’ll often find that specific systems have add-ons to cover other areas to make them more general

Bespoke Systems

If you have very specific requirements, you might find that a fully bespoke system is best for you.

In this case you’d approach a software company and you begin an exploration of your processes, so that the company could begin to design software around your needs.

Pros of bespoke software

  • You get exactly what you asked for
  • Licencing may be less than off the shelf equivalents

Cons

  • Likely to be more expensive
  • You are tied in to the supplier. A new supplier would most likely take a long time to fully understand the system.

Is there a compromise between bespoke and off-the-shelf?

Many off-the-shelf business software solutions allow customisations and 3rd party solutions (often called extensions, add-ons or plugins)

We install and customise Microsoft Dynamics – we think it’s the most flexible family of business software available.

Dynamics, off-the-shelf can be used in a very simplistic way without customisations. However the real power comes when a software company analyses a businesses’ needs and tailor-makes the software to fit your requirements.

This gives you the best flexibility. You’re not tied in to one supplier, but you have a system tailored for exactly how you do business.

Microsoft Dynamics comes in many flavours

All these systems can be customised, they work together and integrate with Microsoft 365 (Office 365)

Dynamics 365 Sales: Includes lead management, opportunity management, and customer relationship management.
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Dynamics 365 Customer Service: Case management, multichannel communication, knowledge management, and social media integration.
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Dynamics 365 Marketing:

Dynamics 365 Marketing: Marketing automation, it offers features such as email marketing, customer journey automation, social media marketing, and lead generation.
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Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central: Accounting, inventory management, and customer relationship management.
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Dynamics 365 Field Service:

Dynamics 365 Field Service: Scheduling, dispatching, and asset management.
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Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation:

Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation: Project planning, resource management, and time tracking.
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More Dynamics Software

Dynamics 365 Finance: Accounting, budgeting, and forecasting
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management: Inventory management, order management, and transportation management.
Dynamics 365 Human Resources: Recruiting, onboarding, and performance management.
Dynamics 365 Commerce: E-commerce, point of sale, and order management.

Please get in touch to chat with an expert (not a salesperson) about implementing Dynamics in your company

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📆 Last update: June 19, 2024

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