Jesse is our marketing manager, keeping an eye on the latest news in the market as well as having worked on the GDPR legislation.
Choosing the right IT Solutions Company and Software for your Business
Today, businesses are more diverse than ever before; and there are plenty of them. Whatever product or service you need, there will be a company to supply it.
As customers, we have choices. Therefore, as business owners, we must work hard to ensure we meet our customers’ needs. Customer service needs to be exemplary and provide a seamless transaction. A first-class customer facing team is essential, of course. However, the right IT solutions and software are the lynch pins to success.
Here’s a checklist of what to consider when sourcing the IT tools to take your customer service above and beyond your customers’ expectations.
Identifying the IT ‘pain points’ when running a successful business
Running a business requires commercial focus and is paramount both to business growth success and achieving a competitive edge. It’s not enough to be creative or a brilliant salesman.
Ideally, you need to be fully conversant with the latest technology and how it can support you to meet your individual business goals. However, if you’re not, what will identify the winners in this situation is the ability to recognise where the weaknesses are, and engage the right support in those areas.
What’s more important is understanding your strengths and potential areas for improvement and identifying the perfect business solution to fill those knowledge gaps. This area may well be finding a company who can supply the services you require, or, if you already feel comfortable and confident, then the right software solutions could be all you need.
Find a partner company to advise and support your growth
When looking for business services including scoping, support, development and training or third-party services, ensure you do your homework first. Consider if you fall into either of these categories:
- Your company is about to start a ‘passion project’ or is a fast-growing business
- You are a well-established business and/or need support to burst through your current glass ceiling and move to the next level of your business growth
Depending on your unique situation, the approach will be different. So you need to find an IT company that can address each of your needs as you move through the process of developing your business.
The right partnership approach can make or break that potential growth. Look for the company that best meets your criteria. Is working with an open, honest, reliable team who’s advice recognises your best interests – even if it means less money for them – the better way to go? Definitely!
So by doing your homework; by getting referrals, engaging with the company directly to ask questions and see a demo of the proposed software, as well as reading testimonials and case studies from several different companies, you will be much better equipped to identify the best fit for your business.
Should I rent or buy the license for my software?
Some IT Solution packages will come with a choice to purchase or rent. Each situation will be different according to your current business needs. It’s important to understand those before committing to either. A good IT company should be able to advise on the best option for you, based on your specific requirements. Sometimes it comes down to understanding the license details.
Do I need to upgrade IT software as I grow my business?
Happily, many businesses follow their ambitions and reap the rewards of hard work. And they grow. With growth comes a greater need for a stronger support network. More customers, more staff, more overheads, resources…the list goes on.
So alongside the many positives that come with growth, be mindful of the associated strain. As you expand, remember to keep a watchful eye on your IT systems. Are they growing with you? Can they still perform in a way that provides that all-important seamless customer journey? It’s also vital not to forget to plan and be proactive when it comes to handling projects — or find software that can achieve this for you. If you have growth firmly set as a goal, ensure you future prepare your IT.
For some, the answer will be "yes, I’ve got that covered". If you think you may need advice, then seek it from a professional company who can explain the best route to take. It could be an upgrade or a more cost-effective solution. If you have plans to grow further, you’ll want software that can adapt and develop with you: a solution that will grow exponentially alongside your business.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
One of the better (some say best!) products for growing businesses is the updated Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. The new app arrived on the market in April 2018 and is an all in one solution to support your business and make informed strategic decisions.
From this one tool you can cover off the following functionalities:
Manage your finances
Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a full range of accounting tools to help you manage your business. Either as a business owner managing your accounts alone, or if you employ a team or an external resource.
It has a centralised chart of accounts, with transactions automatically updating to the financial system. It will even balance the books and keep records for reporting. Some of the best elements for many are the Chart of Accounts and Journals; Ordering and Invoicing, and Double Entry Accounting functions.
The Dimensional Analysis function enables you to analyse business transactions. It can show how to track sales revenue per geographical area or customer segment, or track expenses per department, for example.
Posting Groups helps ensure that transactions post to the correct accounts in the general ledger.
Business Central Excel Integration will analyse your business data. It can connect Excel and refresh data as you require, create charts, pivot tables, and update records in Excel before publishing back to Business Central.
Manage your supply chain
The Cortana intelligence reports help you predict stock requirements, ensuring you meet your customers’ expectations. Data can be used to create purchase orders (PO) and send them to your suppliers. In turn, this will lower working capital, reduce the possibility of missed sales, reduce the time needed to analyse sales and inventory, along with the time required to make purchases.
The system will help maximise your cash flow by using budgets, stock levels, lead times and reorder points. As it provides recommendations, you can determine which suppliers to pay and when. Use this, and you’ll never receive an overdue penalty notice again.
Reduce the workload required for selling with integrated quoting with your contact database, inventory and complete Outlook integration.
- Create and send quotes within seconds
- Easy pricing with price breaks and customer pricing
- Add contact details based on email messages
Sales leads can be prioritised based on revenue potential and deliver value at every touch point. It also enables you to act quickly by managing quote requests and processing payments, all within Outlook.
Streamline your operations
By utilising the forecasting tools, you can ensure order fulfillment by automatically generating production plans and purchase orders. You can then track every item transaction and movement using warehousing tools such as bins, layouts and storage unit dimensions.
Essentially, this allows you to meet customer demands and to improve production schedules.
Manage your projects
Project management will allow you to keep track of tasks and planning dates with budget and actual costs recorded against the lines.
By creating and managing projects using job costing and time sheets, you will be able to plan and manage resources based on capacity by utilising data from orders and quotes.
Choose the right (IT) support to think and grow BIG!
As you can see, Dynamics 365 Business Central provides an all-in-one, end-to-end software solution for companies who need the right tools in place.
Some of the best and most successful companies use Dynamics 365 Business Central as a solution to their IT requirements.
So if you’re starting as a solopreneur or looking to expand your empire, this all-encompassing software can take you through to the big leagues in easy strides. You too can be a future ‘pedestal’ company!
The current size of a business bears no relation to their future potential. What makes the difference is ambition, support, and choosing the right partners and tools to work alongside to enable your growth.
With the right IT solutions partners in place, you have the potential to grow seamlessly from a small company to a business that inspires others to follow.
To find out more about the Dynamics Consultants team, our ethos, and the technology we can offer, join us at Business NEXT event, run by The365Crowd partnership. We can make your business what you want it to be.
About Dynamics Consultants
With over 250 years of combined experience in Microsoft Dynamics business software solutions, we work in partnership with our clients. Our team is open, honest and commercially focused. We boast a full product landscape, which includes Office 365, Web apps, e-Commerce and portals, and can also support Fast Financials or Engineered to Order solutions.
Our project management is well structured, with scheduled and specific milestones to support your individual goals.
We encourage long term relationship partnerships that will be instrumental to your growth, from any starting point.
I find their approach to our relationship very professional whilst being refreshingly realistic. We now consider them to be part of our teamLee Crowhurst, Technical Director