As a business owner, your time is precious. You don’t want it wasted on monotonous admin tasks, you want to spend your time on things that matter to you and that are going to help your business to flourish. This is why maximising efficiency is a top priority and is crucial given the current market conditions. Utilising a software system will allow you to maximise the time you spend on tasks, grow more efficiently and delight your customers at every step of their buying journey.
Why do we need a software system?
You maybe be asking yourself or your colleagues, why do we need a software system to run our business? Along with the benefits outlined below, a software system will provide the structure you need to grow and expand. When you put your business’ data like stock, sales orders, customers and promotions directly into a software system, you are opening your business up to a whole host of opportunities for advanced control and improved customer service.
Choosing a system comes down to weighing up the pros and cons of different system types. The most common system business owners go for is a stock control system, or business management system, which allows you to control your stock alongside each of your core business processes, like your sales and promotions.
What is stock control software?
Stock control software does exactly what it says on the tin. It is software that allows you to maintain accurate records of what stock you have available and updates in real time, meaning your stock levels will always be accurate. Previously, businesses would rely on excel spreadsheets to manage their stock, however this method is highly inefficient and can lead to errors. If stock levels are not accurate and your customers try to order something that isn’t in stock, they’ll likely be left frustrated and disappointed.
What are the benefits of using a software system?
For businesses, data is crucial. You need to have data on your customers, their buying habits and how much they are spending with your business. You also need accurate data on your stock in order to see what is selling and what isn’t to allow you to improve your reordering processes. Implementing a software system will allow you to pull reports on various areas of your business, so you can analyse and compare business performance and make necessary adjustments to improve this.
Having the ability to set up price lists for your products can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. A software system will give you the functionality to create and amend price lists and have them automatically apply to orders. Setting up price lists allows you to apply quantity breaks when orders hit a certain amount. This means if a customer orders so many of a product they will receive a discount on the price. This is incredibly effective when looking to build long term relationships with customers, if you sell to wholesalers and they know they will receive a discount if they order over a certain amount, the chance of them reordering from you will increase.
When selling goods, returns are a natural part of the process. Ultimately some customers may be dissatisfied with a product for whatever reason and at some point, you are going to have to process returns. For many businesses, this is where a lot of money is lost, through inefficient processing of returns. By having a system in place that can process your returns you can keep a close eye on your returns process as a whole, preventing unnecessary profit loss and ensuring every customer leaves happy. A system will allow you to compare returns against products and customers, so you can see if certain customers are developing a habit of returning products, or if a specific product is causing a lot of returns. All this information will allow you to fine-tune your returns process to make it as streamlined as possible.
Without having a system in place to manage your stock, you will have to rely on data that has been collected manually. This means that someone in the business will have to manually count stock and then send this information across. This poses two problems. Firstly, this process leaves a high margin of error. Secondly this is a very time-consuming process. Application software, like stock control software, automatically updates your stock levels when a sale is made, saving you time and money and giving you the peace of mind that information is accurate.