That’s a comprehensive umbrella term that often includes human resource management platforms, sales integrations, customer relationship management (CRM) programs, financial reporting programs, and a whole host of other potential software solutions. Despite the variance, all business management software share one common goal: assisting you in solving your business’s biggest problems.
For America’s businesses, “problems” often boil down to the same few root causes:
- Issues with efficiency.
- Issues with task speed.
- Information accessibility struggles.
- Poorly maintained customer relationships.
- Skyrocketing overhead and/or operating costs.
- Difficulty recruiting, maintaining, and tracking human resources.
These issues can crop up for any business, and often, they’re tough to crack without outside help. Today, we’ll talk a little bit about why business management software options just might help you resolve difficult business issues like these once and for all.
Efficiency & Speed
Low efficiency and speed of operation are intimately connected; the faster you work, the faster you’ll produce results. That’s true whether the task at hand is hiring new workers or sending out mass email marketing campaigns. The ideal goal is to create a system where you gain the most output from what you put in; this is essentially the foundation of successful Return On Investment (ROI).
When business processes (or the people who handle them) falter, efficiency begins to break down. Reduced efficiency in just one area of your business can begin to impact other areas, causing further efficiency issues along the way.
It’s a domino effect.
This is especially true when it comes to managing people-led projects and tasks. Humans, unfortunately, are susceptible to productivity issues under the influence of everything from stress to the common cold. One person misses a memo, someone neglects to set an appointment, and suddenly, the entire project’s going off the rails.
The good news is: it doesn’t have to be that way.
How business management software suites can help to improve efficiency is through a series of adjustments that make it easier for your employees to focus on what really matters. First, automation: getting rid of those pesky little tasks (like sending out mass emails) that take time and effort away from everyone’s day. Then, through easier communication; because business management software makes it easier for employees to find each other and connect, communication improves. That also means fewer “last-minute” meetings that wind up sucking time away from real work.
Business management software with task and time management also empowers your employees to reduce lost time, distractions and missed deadlines. Because the software handles the scheduling and project details, they’re free to focus on the job and not “now just where did I put that thumb drive full of files?”
Easier Access to Information
Access to information is an ongoing problem in workplaces all across America, especially in today’s gig economy and smartphone-soaked world. More people than ever are breaking free from the cubicle to work outside, at home, on adventures, or just anywhere else but the office.
It’s no secret that having the freedom to work where you work best improves efficiency. But decentralized workplaces are also creating new challenges to IT specialists who provide staff with access to the information they need.
Often, businesses wind up in a situation where Jill from Accounts Payable has to email Susan from Operations to get the information required to move forward. If Susan happens to be out, it may become impossible to deal with the problem until she’s back.
That’s an oversimplification, of course; realistically, business is much more complicated, and communication challenges extend into both centralized and mobile offices.
Either way, cloud-based business management software makes it easier to give the right people the proper permissions to access, download, print, or interact with the data they need — all from just about anywhere with an internet connection.
As nearly all systems support multi-user logins with individualized permissions, it’s possible to give each employee only the level of access needed at any given time. It’s secure, scalable, easy to adjust as employees move around the business, and most importantly, built perfectly to serve the needs of a quickly-growing millennial workforce.
Improved Client Relationships
There’s a common misconception that BMS dehumanizes customer-staff interactions. Although this may seem like a logical conclusion at first, the reality (if you’re using the right software) is generally the exact opposite.
A good CRM platform with social media, email, and marketing integration gives you the power to treat each client individually, rather than seeing them as yet another number. Because each person can instantly see a snapshot of who the client is, any preferences they have, and what’s gone right or wrong in the past, it’s easier to make them feel like they’re understood.
This, by the way, is true not just for B2C businesses, but also for B2B companies and even working professionals. It’s impossible to keep track all of your clients on an individual level relying on only brain power alone. The only saving grace is account files, e.g. notes.
Really well-organized notes.
Enter business management software. Account info, identification, and notes stay neatly organized and accessible to all who interact with the client, while the system automatically handles micro-tasks like sending forms, emailing reminders, or processing contact requests. The customer or client never falls through the cracks because the system itself will warn you if they do.
BMS with CRM integration monitors and/or tracks communication across every possible interaction point — including email, social media, telephone, text messages, or in-person meetings. It then creates easy-to-review visual reports that tell you what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what’s getting the best results.
Clients love to feel recognized, appreciated and remembered. CRM’s tracking and information handling benefit you in two main ways: by ensuring that every interaction reminds the client that they’re more than just a number, and by guaranteeing that you never overlook a client again.
Lowered Overhead/Operating Costs
If you’re scratching your head at the subheading, hang in there! Suspend belief for just a moment, and we’ll explain why it’s possible that spending money for software can save you money in the long run.
Using BMS can (and often does) indeed produce lowered overhead and/or operating costs, especially for large-scale corporations and big business.
The first and most obvious reason for the savings is the fact that using software largely eliminates the need for paper, printing, and physical distribution of memos or vital data. Depending on the nature of your business, that alone can be a savings of thousands of dollars per year.
There’s electric, printer ink, physical equipment, paper, and perhaps most expensively, IT specialists to network and handle all of those printing needs.
Now, add in the time saved due to improving business efficiency. Improved organization and automation of menial tasks reduces demand on your workforce. Fewer hours worked to achieve (or improve upon) your goals means that you’re improving ROI.
“But wait,” you’re still thinking. “Doesn’t software cost money?”
But it’s a good investment!
Despite the fact that the initial investment and occasional maintenance fees will slightly increase your overhead, it’s a temporary or occasional increase at best. That investment usually pays off when you’re matched well with the right system. This is achieved either through direct savings or via the secondary side effects of improved efficiency, relationships, and overall business organization.
Better Financial Decisions
Think BMS can only save you money by improving efficiency?
The financial benefits don’t stop there.
Add on financial monitoring and reporting software and you could multiply the benefits to your bottom line. Having quick and easy access to visual financial data graphs vastly improves your ability to manage your business finances from the top down. In fact, having the financial intelligence needed to make the right decisions is just about the most important step you can take to balance your budget.
Business management software does that!
Check results in real-time for money-making projects, and stop bad projects that aren’t making money. Bill for services, print off invoices and handle payment requests, all from a single piece of software. Integrate with local bank accounts and credit cards to monitor and track spending by employees. Your business management software will give you an instant real-time snapshot of just how healthy your finances are at any given time, so you can take action faster when there’s an issue at hand.
Easier and Simpler Human Resource Management
Hiring. Firing. Payroll. Recruiting. All of these take up an immense amount of time, and often, candidates wind up lost the shuffle if the process isn’t well-organized. Business management software that’s capable of handling human resources improves recruiting results in the same way CRM improves client relationships: through better organization and insight.
HR software doesn’t just organize; it can handle and keep track of everything from initial applications to 10-year assessments, too. Think of it like employee life-cycle management; because the software tracks everything, you’re able to make the best decisions for your business with the most up-to-date information at the drop of a hat.
Maintaining employee records. Automating job description posts on popular job banks or social media sites. Tracking who responds, how fast they respond, and when they’re scheduled for an interview. That’s where it starts.
Once they’re hired, your business management software tracks performance info, assessments, reports, payroll details, and other critical decision details. With the right system, you can even analyze each employee’s strengths and weaknesses to ensure that they’re achieving the best possible results for you at all times.