3 phase approach to optimising your operations

Knowing where to begin when it comes to optimising your operations can be challenging. That’s why we’ve put together this article, detailing a 3 phase approach for what you need to assess, and consider, when it comes to changing your processes and/or software to achieve your growth aspirations.

1. Assessment

The first thing you need to do when looking at the suitability of your existing systems is to see how well they are working for you, and if they are still helping you to achieve your business goals. A system that did the job 10 years ago may still be in working order, but is it providing you with the capabilities needed to meet new demands?

Your business is in a different place now than it was a few years ago and your internal processes, and the technology used across your organisation, should reflect this. Who knows the effectiveness of these processes and technology best… your team of people that use them every day. Their feedback and buy-in to a new way of working is crucial.

In the ‘Future of Business Survey’ conducted in Jan 2018 by Factworks, 59% of UK SMEs said that increasing revenue was their biggest challenge, with 51% saying maintaining profitability was theirs. A way to solve these challenges is to empower your people with new technologies, helping them to work more efficiently and drive profitability.

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding, wanting more choice and a faster turnaround on their order. Failure to provide this can mean you lose customers to another supplier – Can you handle these demands or are your systems holding you back and, if anything, causing more work for you? Technology should help your people to do what they do best, not hinder them.

A study conducted by Celonis in March 2019, found that almost half of C-Suite executives admit to launching transformation initiatives without a clear strategy. They stated that they do not review internal processes before setting new goals associated with digital transformation.

Looking at your business plan and assessing if your current systems are still fit for purpose is your first step when it comes to optimising your wholesale and distribution operations. Everything should align to a business objective and have a clear business case for how it is helping to deliver that objective. This can only be achieved by using data and insights from existing processes, something which is hard to get without the right technology, skills and guidance.

2. Your requirements

The discovery stage is essential when it comes to optimising your operations. For a system to be successful you need to know exactly what it is that you require from it.

Although this sounds like common sense, without a true picture of how your business is running (discovered in the assessment stage) you won’t know what areas need improvement, how you are going to meet your growth aspirations, or what processes are holding your business back.

Understanding your current pains and business goals are two of the main points needed in order to shape a solution to specifically work for you. The range of additional modules that are available for most ERP systems are extensive, and they all address different challenges that are of varying importance to fix for different organisations.

Once your requirements have been defined it is important that a plan is produced to determine the levels of risk, downtime and training required for your individual system requirements. Thinc will work with you to ensure that these are within your project constraints.

3. Choosing a software consultant

Implementing an ERP system is a big investment, and one that you will stick with for many years to come. You need to be sure that your chosen partner will support you with:

  • Training – both initial and ongoing
  • Support with legislative updates that affect you
  • Changing business requirements that require you to add/change elements of your system

SAP Business One is an affordable way to manage lowering the costs of your business, from financials, purchasing and inventory, to sales, HR and project management. You can gain clear visibility of costs and efficiencies across your entire organisation, by having a view of critical information from all departments in a single platform.

By utilising the set of tools available within the platform, you’re able to gain complete control over your operations – improving margins, reducing errors and driving more profitable decision making.

At Thinc we take a unique consultative approach to understand your exact requirements. We work closely with you to learn how your business operates, what your goals are and what your current pain points are. Our team of consultants have the technical and commercial know how and experience to ensure that your ERP implementation is a success and causes a minimal amount of disruption to your day-to-day business.

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