Bet­ter fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions

For many busi­nesses and ex­ec­u­tives, it’s so easy to fall into a data-driven rut, al­ways us­ing the same in­for­ma­tion points on which to base com­mer­cial ac­tions writes David Jack­man.

Business First - - CONTENTS - by David Jack­man

is the man­ag­ing

di­rec­tor of Pronto Soft­ware.

Anew fi­nan­cial year is a great time to re­assess the an­a­lyt­ics you are us­ing in your business for decision-mak­ing pur­poses. Of­ten, there’s a host of in­for­ma­tion right in front of your eyes, which, if you’re work­ing with the right soft­ware provider, can help make your business leaner, smarter and faster.

So this new fi­nan­cial year, why not step back and take some time to fo­cus on how you could im­prove ac­cess to crit­i­cal business in­for­ma­tion, no mat­ter where your staff is work­ing?

Fire up the sales team

Sales staff at var­i­ous lev­els of se­nior­ity in a business re­quire up-to-the-minute in­for­ma­tion to help them ac­cess cur­rent client de­tails while on-site, close deals in shorter time­frames, and as­sist in driv­ing rev­enue growth.

This new fi­nan­cial year is the time to make sure your sales team on the road can eas­ily ac­cess thor­ough client in­for­ma­tion, as well as in­sights into pre­vi­ous meet­ings. Be­ing able to ac­cess this in­for­ma­tion from wher­ever they are work­ing, us­ing a range of dif­fer­ent de­vices, prior to a client or prospect meet­ing gives sales staff a real edge over com­peti­tors that can only find this in­for­ma­tion when they are at head of­fice. Not to men­tion ac­cess to such key in­for­ma­tion at your fin­ger­tips en­er­gises sales staff with the con­fi­dence and arse­nal re­quired for almost any query or re­quest.

Ad­di­tion­ally for sales man­agers, it’s es­sen­tial they have up-to-date data about rev­enues and mar­gins for more ac­cu­rate sales pro­jec­tions and pipe­lines. For ex­am­ple, it would be of great ben­e­fit if they can be in­stantly no­ti­fied when a sales or­der has been trans­acted be­low the min­i­mum gross profit per­cent­age thresh­old or when a sales or­der has been put on hold, so cor­rec­tive mea­sures can be put in place promptly.

Fi­nan­cial in­sights at your fin­ger­tips

Hav­ing clear vis­i­bil­ity of your business, with a con­sis­tent stream of in­for­ma­tion that you can trace and drill down, across the var­i­ous de­part­ments, is crit­i­cal to in­crease your agility and sus­tain your suc­cess, es­pe­cially against the back­drop of an un­cer­tain econ­omy.

As you re­view your business, you might have started to un­der­stand the cost as­so­ci­ated with dou­ble en­try of data and poor data in­tegrity. This can ring true par­tic­u­larly if you have mul­ti­ple ware­houses with dif­fer­ent costs in each ware­house, or buy and sell in mul­ti­ple cur­ren­cies or have mul­ti­ple op­er­at­ing en­ti­ties that need to con­sol­i­date to a par­ent company.

So use this time to un­der­take an au­dit of the key data points your fi­nance ex­ec­u­tives need to en­sure it has a he­li­copter view of the fi­nan­cial per­for­mance of ev­ery unit of the business, from staff util­i­sa­tion to sales rev­enue and mar­gins. The right data can not only re­duce the time it takes to pro­duce monthly profit re­ports but also help your business con­cen­trate on ef­fi­ciency and fu­ture growth.

Support for peo­ple in the field

If your business has a team of tech­ni­cians on the road, the abil­ity to de­liver the in­for­ma­tion they need any­time, any­where is a huge com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

Ac­cess to real-time in­for­ma­tion can help them stay con­nected to the back of­fice and man­age their day-to-day work­load, par­tic­u­larly when there are un­planned events. Be­ing able to eas­ily cap­ture parts used, timesheets, pho­tos and sig­na­tures at the client site, re­duces the time be­tween do­ing the job and charg­ing it will make a big im­pact on the bot­tom line.

So now is the time of year to look at what in­for­ma­tion your tech­ni­cal staff need while they are on the road, and whether your cur­rent sys­tems are able to meet this need. If not, it’s worth re­view­ing whether your soft­ware re­ally meets the needs of your business.

A su­pe­rior En­ter­prise Re­source Plan­ning sys­tem in­te­grated with business in­tel­li­gence, mo­bile and an­a­lyt­ics that can be cus­tomised to the niche needs of the or­gan­i­sa­tion to pro­vide staff all the in­for­ma­tion they need to do their job to the best of their abil­i­ties – no mat­ter where they are in the world – is one of the most valu­able as­sets a business can have to­day.

This new fi­nan­cial year think about what in­for­ma­tion key staff don’t cur­rently have ac­cess to, and how you could pro­vide them with this data, to help en­sure your en­ter­prise is mak­ing im­por­tant de­ci­sions on the right ba­sis.

Busi­nesses that do this will be able to take ad­van­tage of new op­por­tu­ni­ties as they arise faster and fix prob­lems more rapidly. Im­por­tantly, they will be able to embed a cul­ture within the or­gan­i­sa­tion in which ac­tions are based on ac­cu­rate, up-to-date facts, which is a mark of a company at the top of its game. David has more than 30 years business and tech­nol­ogy ex­pe­ri­ence span­ning C-level roles, recog­nised as an ex­pert in gen­er­at­ing business value from IT in­vest­ments. Since join­ing Pronto Soft­ware in 2000, David has dou­bled the company’s prof­its and ex­panded the business into new, in­ter­na­tional mar­kets in­clud­ing the US, Canada and PNG. www.pronto.net.

David Jack­man

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