Chan­nels to real growth

Plan for to­mor­row by in­tro­duc­ing the best sys­tems we have at our fin­ger­tips to­day, writes Ken Mann

The Herald Business - - Commercial Feature: Digital Marketing -

IT’S good to talk – but in the dig­i­tal busi­ness era it’s bet­ter to max­imise multi-chan­nel dia­logue to grow ef­fi­ciency and profit. Com­pa­nies, par­tic­u­larly SMEs, fre­quently wres­tle with com­mer­cial co­nun­drums that in­clude in­ter­nal sys­tems that don’t com­mu­ni­cate with each other, far less cus­tomers and sup­pli­ers. It’s a lost op­por­tu­nity in a fierce mar­ket.

Typ­i­cally, an or­gan­i­sa­tion will have dif­fer­ent sys­tems to deal with dif­fer­ent parts of the busi­ness. That can be an ex­pen­sive sit­u­a­tion, in both cost and staff head­count to man­age them.

The an­swer, ac­cord­ing to Glas­gow-based e-com­merce and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ists Etel­lect, is an in­te­grated man­age­ment so­lu­tion – pro­vid­ing real-time stock con­trol, or­der pro­cess­ing, pay­ment and di­rect debit in­te­gra­tion, elec­tronic in­voic­ing, re­turn man­age­ment, cus­tomer and sup­plier man­age­ment, and busi­ness in­tel­li­gence.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the 13-year- old firm, Greg Lavelle ex­plains: “It’s very dif­fi­cult for any­one to wholly ap­pre­ci­ate the im­pact a fully in­te­grated sys­tem can have on a busi­ness un­til they ac­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence it, but the rea­son peo­ple come to us in the first place is usu­ally borne out of frus­tra­tion or a re­al­i­sa­tion they can make their busi­ness in­for­ma­tion bet­ter, faster, and more ef­fi­cient and hence make the busi­ness more prof­itable.

“We work with our clients to un­der­stand what is pos­si­ble as well as the im­me­di­ate busi­ness re­quire­ments,” says Lavelle. “We first en­sure there is no dis­rup­tion to the busi­ness but we also en­sure the sys­tems we put in place are scale-able and ver­sa­tile to ac­com- mo­date fu­ture re­quire­ments.” ERP – the acro­nym for En­ter­prise Re­source Plan­ning – as it was re­ferred to in the 1990s – is at the root of im­proved ef­fi­ciency but to­day it has be­come both a sim­pler and less ex­pen­sive route to bet­ter per­for­mance. It is also af­ford­able

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