A lack of business productivity and what to do about it

A lack of business productivity and what to do about it

Written By: Ken Jacobsen, Jr.

from June 10, 2015

Businesses doing well in their fields tend to expand. As more sales are made, more clients are found or more goods or services are provided, a company increases revenue and profit. That money then goes toward building the company further so it can capture more of the market it’s involved in. Without getting too involved in the theory of capitalism or describing a process happening constantly in the business world, it’s safe to say that organizations that achieve a high level of performance tend to expand and grow.

The issue at hand is that, while it makes sense for companies that take in progressively larger revenues to grow inside their own industry and even expand into others, that same development can be very difficult if certain aspects aren’t addressed. In terms of business software, scalability is a major consideration. A small business can likely get by and even thrive when using more manual, labor-intensive or paper-based systems. When there’s just a handful of staff members in the same office and everyone working close by, it’s easy to catch and fix any mistakes that are noticed. That flexibility doesn’t translate to efficient operations as a company scales, however.

The reality of getting larger as an organization
More work, whether it’s an additional shop floor for a manufacturer or additional locations for a business involved in the retail or hospitality industries, means physical growth. When organizations expand to multiple locations, the inefficiencies and potential for error inherent in systems based on paper or reliant on data entry, such as spreadsheets, become more apparent. Errors that were once confined to a single system and able to be located are now spread across many spreadsheets or checklists, causing problems with finances, recordkeeping, employee management and other areas of operation. This type of error will become more apparent throughout a business as it grows, appearing both in company-specific processes such as manufacturing and common functions including backoffice financial management and human resources. Eventually, these problems will start dragging down productivity and profitability and negate the original advantages of expansion.

This is just one of the many issues faced by growing businesses. Managing supply chains, client communication, resource procurement and internal metrics, just to name a few, all become more difficult to deal with as a business grows if the same systems remain in place. Increasing inefficiency in all of these areas makes it difficult, if not impossible, for businesses to succeed as a larger entity.

What can companies do?
The good news, at least as it relates to issues with managing operational productivity and reducing errors related to various measurements, is that business software offers readily available solutions. Enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management software have the tools necessary to better collect, store, manage and analyze relevant business data. This means information is no longer inputted disparately and potentially with errors related to data entry. Instead, the same information is entered once and that same data is drawn on whenever it’s needed to complete a report or to analyze progress.

Every company is different, industries have wide-ranging requirements and individual preferences also play a role. The good news for companies is that they can find a top-notch ERP or CRM partner to help them navigate the waters and find the best possible solution, including both a base software system and the specific add-ons that help organizations better manage their specific business structures and navigate the demands of their industry. While the problems business software fixes are many, the solution itself is relatively easy to find.