The importance of leveraging technology and aligning systems closely with business goals cannot be underestimated, says Martin Robinson, from Bluekey Software Solutions.
Just as millions of South Africans make lists of New Year’s resolutions, companies, too, use the start of the year to define business goals and plan for the year ahead. Growing the bottom line is almost always the top resolve. But like the vast majority of people who lose focus and ditch New Year’s resolve within a few short months, a lot of businesses don’t manage to achieve their resolutions either.
Martin Robinson, from Bluekey Software Solutions, a technology company that helps South African businesses run optimally through the implementation of better systems and processes, has an opinion on why.
“One of the tricks to sticking to resolutions and achieving business goals is to ensure that you’re setting attainable ideals and that you’re being specific about what you want to achieve. Setting a goal to improve the bottom line is as broad as ‘lose weight’, another very popular New Year’s resolution.
“Companies have to be more specific about what they want to achieve, and importantly, just as individuals need to have an action plan for accomplishing what they’ve ‘resolved’ to achieve, so companies must have the strategy, resources and processes in place to support the business objectives.
“For years, experts have touted the importance of setting and aligning each employee’s goals with the company’s overall strategy. If employees understand the impact their role and performance have on the company’s overall performance, they are motivated to work toward a common goal, and look for ways to work more efficiently so they can make a contribution to the business’s success.
“So, getting employees in on the act and encouraging their buy-in is certainly one of the keys to accomplishing business objectives. However, without the right tools in place to help them do their jobs optimally, they are disempowered, unmotivated and frustrated, making them unlikely to muster up any energy or enthusiasm to contributing to the business objectives. It’s like telling a sales team to increase sales by 50% and expecting them to achieve that when there’s never the right stock in place, administrative processes are sluggish, and customers are unsatisfied because their orders are delayed.
“The importance of leveraging technology and aligning systems closely with the organisation’s goals cannot be underestimated if those goals are to be accomplished. In a lot of businesses, achieving strategic business goals is difficult, if not impossible, without the smart and extensive use of technology.
“As clichéd as it may sound, it is true that automated systems and processes streamline operations, drive productivity and reduce the margins for error and delays. This propels the company toward its goals through the achievement of higher levels of efficiency and productivity.”
Robinson says a customisable, integrated business management tool like SAP Business One can automate most of the processes that many smaller and medium-sized businesses still do manually. The solution can be used to plan, control and streamline all aspects of the business in real-time, integrating the various divisions, from production and warehouse, to sales and service, and enabling the enterprise to operate more efficiently.
It is designed with the small to medium-size business in mind and is highly customisable, bringing the power of enterprise resource planning (ERP) within reach of smaller companies and giving them the tools to work optimally, reduce costs, be more competitive and increase profitability.