The Australian economy is improving. Economic growth is at 2.5%, inflation is at 1.7%. Housing is booming along, and it looking like there might be more good times ahead. This is good news, things will start to get busier for you and your business keeping busy with customer enquiries, sales and deliveries.
When it comes to your business processes its always easy to keep pushing things off. You do have this nagging feeling that things will never be exactly the way you want them, but now is not the right time to make a change. It’s easy to keep pushing things off, thinking that “I’ll look at it tomorrow”.
The best time to investigate and implement new systems is during the slow times. For many businesses, that time has passed. If work has picked up to the point that your processes are bogging down, is there anything you can do now to solve your problems?
When businesses get busy, the first instinct of many leaders is to throw bodies at the problem. They don’t consider adding new technology as a way to solve things because getting over the hump of an implementation can appear too overwhelming.
True leadership enables a business to get over that hump. Yes, its going to be a short-term pain for long-term gain. Yes, it can be difficult, but the longer you put it off, the worse your problems become. You might start to miss out on business because you weren’t fast enough with that quote. Or you quoted incorrectly and that order is now costing you money.
When making the decision about the best time to implement a new system, the general rule is the earlier the better. So what can companies do when you are at this point?
- For many this means getting a new financials or service management system.
- For others a new crm system integrated with your finance system will help you keep track of your key customers and keep them happy.
- For the rest this might mean having a new business intelligence system that can enable you to drill down on your finance and crm systems.
Whatever it is that you decide makes up your “core”, make sure that the system you choose will allow you to add to it as your business grows. Too many companies make the mistake of implementing a system that won’t grow, and as the needs of their businesses change, they wind up having to install a whole new solution.
Once your new system is fully implemented and running smoothly, then it’s time to start looking at the add-ons that could streamline and improve your processes even more. I’m talking about things like mobile solutions and customer portals, which in addition to making your processes work better can also help differentiate your business from the competition.
By taking that first step of getting a new core system, you’ll be putting your company in a position to not only handle the busy times for right now but also the ones to come.
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