By Emma Stewart, Sales and Marketing Director at Cofficient
Here is a list of the 9 most common pain points which typically indicate you need new business software.
Someone recently asked me how they would know when it was time to change their business software. It is a legitimate question, because sometimes it is hard to tell. So, I thought I would compile a handy reference of the most common pain points. If your business is experiencing 2 or more of these, I would suggest it is definitely time for a rethink:
• Your IT is restrictive and ends up controlling your business rather than you controlling it. - A typical example of this is when you create a business process around your current system capability rather than creating the most efficient process possible.
• You have determined your strategy based on the limited information you have been able to get out of a restrictive system. – For example, if you can’t tell which of your clients are the most profitable, how can you determine which customer care strategy to apply to each? Or perhaps you can’t properly interrogate your customers’ buying habits so you send them inappropriate messages at the wrong time.
• Your software doesn’t integrate so it becomes someone’s role to get the systems “talking” to each other – This comes up a lot. “It’s Jonathan’s job to put all sales orders into Sage manually and it’s Sarah’s job to go through Sage and correct the input errors”
• Your systems are too complex and staff struggle to operate them effectively. Each member of staff uses the system differently and with differing levels of competency – Sometimes under these circumstances it is even difficult to get staff engaged at all. I used to have a member of staff who used a spreadsheet as an alternative because extracting information from that was easier than getting it back out the system.
• Your software is becoming obsolete and no longer integrates with updated versions of other software –
Computer says “no”
• It’s all starting to cost too much money. Maybe your business is growing and you need new licenses but it’s starting to get really expensive as a result – In a previous life, I walked away from a bespoke system which had cost tens of thousands to build because the cost to change it, in line with our business needs, became insurmountable.
• You are not sure of the security of your current systems. A member of staff could easily delete some sensitive company information for example. Not just someone leaving under “difficult” circumstances whose only will is to sabotage your business, but also your absolute best sales person whose value to a new employer is improved greatly by the size of “his/her” existing database.
• There is change round the corner but you don’t feel adequately prepared for it. You might even lose your ambition because dealing with the change becomes so arduous that it’s better to just stand still – Maybe you want to launch that new product range or start trading abroad but the thought of setting yourself up to do it under your current systems is just too much to bear.
• Something has slipped through the net - Manual processes and reconciliation leaves room for unnecessary duplication which carries a large margin of human error. Perhaps you missed a big invoice? Or a sales order wasn’t processed? Time to do something about it.