One of the biggest challenges SMB organizations face is siloed data in disparate systems.
Often, SMB organizations will select a business system that fills one gap or solves one problem, without regard to the entirety of the business environment. For example, a Not-For-Profit organization may use Dynamics GP for their ERP system, Blackbaud for their member/donor management needs, excel spreadsheets for budgeting and reporting, and a separate digital email marketing engine.
These systems may work well individually; but, if they aren’t connected, there is no way to get a full view of the business.
Solutions to Break Down Silos
You may be thinking, “Okay, just use an ETL tool and integrate the systems together.” This is absolutely an option; however, integrations must be maintained and updated, and they often make upgrades or migration more complex and time consuming.
If you are an SMB that does not have the time, money, or bandwidth to accommodate this, you are in quite a bind.
I also recommend that customers look at systems that will grow with their businesses. For instance, you may start out thinking that all you need in an ERP system is the ability to manage your accounting – but soon enough, you may have several customers and lots of communication flowing back and forth. You need a system to manage that.
Here is where it gets a little tricky. You should not just be looking for a customer management system. You should be looking for a system that will track customer communication, streamline customer marketing efforts, easily connect to your ERP system, give you the ability to track customer quotes, orders, cases, projects, track delivers, installations, etc.
The Benefits of an All-In-One Platform
That may sound like a lot off the bat; admittedly, that’s a lot of activity. However, as your business evolves, you’ll need a system that will evolve with you, or you’ll be left purchasing other systems to do these functions – and, of course, none of them will talk to each other.
Let’s say you are a service-based organization. As an owner or CEO, you would, ideally, want to be able to pull up a report of your customers and see all of their projects, the spend against them, resource utilization, the amounts billed, the invoices paid, etc.
Can you do that out of one system or one report now?
If you must spend time going to several systems, pulling the data, and combining it together in an excel spreadsheet, there’s no getting around it: you are wasting time.
Let’s take it one step further. Say you would like to see a dashboard with all your projects in progress and their profitability, projects in your sales teams’ pipeline and their estimated profitability, and also all your employees and their utilization. What steps would you have to take to do that today?
All-in-one systems solve these problems for SMBs.
A line of business system – like Dynamics 365 – gives SMBs the ability to see all of their data, for almost every facet of the business, in real time.
Dynamics 365 includes apps for Sales, Customer Services, Field Service, Project Service Automation, Retail, Talents, etc. An easy-to-use, cloud-based system makes it easily scalable, and it can meet the functionality that most SMBs need.
If you can find one system that meets 90% of your business needs, and then create a small connection/integration to your accounting system, you are lightyears ahead of other SMBs and your competitors.
Ready to take the first step? Get in touch with us. It’s time to break down silos. It’s time to make managing your business easier.