Nearly every small business grapples with the challenge of achieving profitability.

It is not just a matter of increasing sales. In order to improve bottom-line results, companies must also find ways to improve productivity, boost efficiency, and keep costs in check – all achievable with efficient business solutions.

At the same time they are working to boost profitability, companies must establish the kind of internal controls that ensure accountability and help them complying with a growing number of government rules, vendor mandates, and industry standards and best practices. Accountability is an increasingly important component of overall business management.

Fortunately, the profitability outlook is not completely clouded by competition, cost and compliance issues. Today, even small companies can take advantage of integrated and efficient business solutions that simultaneously boost profitability and improve internal accountability.


Profitability – Assessing the obstacles

Every business, regardless of size, is concerned with a wide range of issues that can impact its bottom-line profitability. The first and most essential step toward profitability is to get a clear picture of your company’s performance. This picture extends beyond finances to include all aspects of your business. Having an integrated view of your company enables you to make smarter decisions – the kind of decisions that ensure profitable performance. The accuracy of your decisions depend on the quality of data you have available. By operating more efficiently and having the information you need to make smart decisions, you position yourself to grow sales and maximize profit.


Cost Control – Achieving efficient operations

A key component of profit, of course, is your ability to keep costs in check. To be profitable in today’s global business climate may require you to change your operations radically for greater efficiency – for example, by going off-shore to lower your manufacturing costs. Constant competitive pressures and increasing customer demands are forcing you to hammer away at waste and control costs. This is the only way you can give customers what they want at the price they demand while maintaining the quality they expect.

Small businesses like yours face a bewildering variety of costs, including:

  • Purchasing – are you getting the best prices from your suppliers by giving them the most effective specifications, order quantities, and delivery schedules?
  • Labor – is your team operating as productively as possible? Do your employees have access to all the information they need to do their jobs right the first time?
  • Inventory – are you optimizing inventory in a way that maximizes carrying costs and out-of-stock situations simultaneously?
  • Customer Service – do you know the costs of the services you provide to each customer? Are all of your customers profitable, even after the sale has been made?

Efficient operations help you better control costs and enable you to offer more competitive pricing and terms to your customers.

SAP Business One, a single, affordable solution designed for small businesses, lets you streamline operations, access accurate information quickly, and get a 360-degree view of key business areas. These advantages help you improve performance, increase profitability, and accelerate growth.


Accountability – Ensuring quality and compliance

In addition to cost and efficiency pressures, businesses face increasingly burdensome regulations concerning quality, service, safety, and financial reporting. Regardless of your industry, you are pressured to comply with practices, rules, and standards from a variety of sources.

As your business grows, you may begin to work with new suppliers or customers with different sets of competing standards. Or you may find yourself competing in a new marketplace with different regulatory requirements. Such changes can put additional pressure on your ability to generate acceptable profits.

A technology solution that provides a clear, integrated view of your business data is essential to attaining consistent quality standards. It results in multiple benefits including lower costs in areas such as returns or rework and increased customer satisfaction, which leads to increased sales, a better competitive position, and a stronger bottom line.


SAP Business One – Improving profitability and accountability

One software offering that meets these requirements for integrated business management is SAP Business One and the SAP Business One Starter Package. Designed specifically for small businesses, it enables you to manage customer-related business processes efficiently. With this single, affordable application you can streamline operations, quickly obtain accurate information on business processes, and accelerate profitable growth. SAP Business One delivers a 360-degree view of sales, finance, purchasing, warehouse management, manufacturing, and other key areas to help you improve performance and increase profitability.

The SAP Business One reporting function lets you analyse opportunities by lead source, territory, industry, customer, and item. The reports allow users to view the distribution of leads by source over time to identify the most profitable lead-generation activities.

SAP Business One provides business document development and tracking, including quotes. You can use this functionality to calculate gross profit for each quote and easily review sales price history. And the application’s customer relationship management functionality gives you complete information on customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.

The integrated solution also helps businesses achieve greater internal control and accountability. By tying together different business functions and processes, SAP Business One helps you comply with regulatory, financial and other requirements, using reporting functions to reduce the risk on noncompliance. And it gives your managers a clearer view of processes in finance, manufacturing, and customer service to ensure accountability standards are being met throughout the organisation.

Your profitability depends, to a large extent, on your ability to keep costs in check. To be profitable in today’s global climate, you may need to change your operations radically for greater efficiency.


About Bluekey

Bluekey specialises in making SME’s best-run businesses through the sales, implementation, and support of SAP Business One throughout Africa. Bluekey is headquartered in Johannesburg and has branches in Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Bluekey is Africa’s largest and most awarded SAP Business One partner, a SAP-certified Gold Partner and SAP Business One partner of the year 7 years in a row (2005-2011), and SAP EMEA Pinnacle Award winner.

For more information about Bluekey Software Solutions contact:

Craig Johnston | 021 685 7000 |


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