So how do you increase control, reduce the costs and avoid the unexpected?
Many people are turning to “pre-purchase” approval solutions, where previously only once an invoice was received would an approval process, be that electronic or paper-based be employed.
Pre-purchase approval processing allows organisations to stop the purchase being made in the first place if the items/services aren’t correct, deemed unnecessary, too expensive or would take you over budget.
Approvers can ensure that the organisation is placing orders with the right suppliers for the right products/services, those that offer the best value for money, rather than employees purchasing from the first supplier that comes to mind, this in itself can create substantial savings.
Once the approval is confirmed the organisation can place the order with the supplier and have visibility of upcoming liabilities that will be incurred, and assuming the invoice matches the order the “post purchase” approval that previously was required, may no longer be necessary.
Adding processes to control spending is beneficial, and no doubt your costs will decrease through the use of the new approval process and rejection of unnecessary/ unjustified spend, but what you don’t want to do is implement a process that becomes so paper-intensive, disjointed or time-consuming that your spending more man-hours and hence money on the process than you are saving.
There are multiple options with Microsoft Dynamics GP that can help you to take control of your purchase process and drive down your spend, from functionality provided within GP for basic payables transaction batch or purchase order approval, through to enterprise procurement solutions that are finance system agnostic and go beyond just managing your approval process for purchase orders and invoices, to include expense claim approval, supplier onboarding and contract management, so there is a solution suitable for all requirements to help automate the process you wish to put in place.
Take a closer look at the options in our webinar on Purchase to Pay (P2P) at www.advantage.co.uk/events.
More than ever we need to look at how we can better generate profitability both from our customers and prospects through sales but also (and probably easier) from within the business by reducing costs through buying smarter and reducing costs, and increasing efficiency. Small business changes that will change your business will increase your efficiency, reduce costs and errors, and possibly increase your quality.
So how do you increase efficiency through technology? Here’re my quick win areas.
Take a long hard look at your business processes and as far as possible automate. Look for efficiencies across the business, they don’t have to be major but they could create a major impact on overall efficiency and your bottom line. Then look for software that can be used to automate through workflow or email communication.
Cleanse your data
From the moment contact data enters your database, it starts to decay. Within a couple of years more than 30% of your data could be out-of-date. The cost of mailing to inaccurate addresses and redirecting mail can be significant. Regular cleansing of your contact database will bring dividends and save you time and money.
A CRM system linked to an email platform allow you to manage your customer communications and relationships from a central point with much greater efficiency. The analytics contained in these systems can tell you how effective and efficient your marketing campaigns have been.
Digitise your documents so they are easier to send, share, store, search and they won’t get damaged or lost. WWF recently carried out a study that suggested a typical company could reduce its paper usage by 20% by simply highlighting to staff how much paper they use in a month.
Improving collaboration between employees, partners, suppliers, and customers is another way to boost efficiency. Take advantage of new collaboration technologies like interactive calendaring, videoconferencing and webcasting.
Is managing IT infrastructure the best use of your time? It may be advantageous to outsource your infrastructure and support to a managed services provider. It can free your time to focus on running your business rather than your IT.
Often once the excitement around a new implementation has died down and the original product champions have moved on, it’s easy to forget that there is still huge potential in the business software you have invested to reduce costs, increase efficiency and make your business more profitable. So how do you continue to benefit from your software investment after the initial implementation? Here are my tips for avoiding stagnation.
Find somebody within the business to take ownership of the product and not allow it to stagnate. An internal product champion who sees value in the product, and creates and develops it in a systematic fashion.
Make sure your staff are 100% familiar with the functionality, “I didn’t know it could do that” is a statement I hear all too often on customer sites but is not an excuse when time is money. Attend events and webinars, read the free advice blogs and news bulletin provided by your supplier to understand what new features and functionality are available now and in the future.
Find a supplier who is as interested in the success of your business as you are: An IT partner who is willing to really engage with you and keen to help, not one who judges and classifies you by your IT spend per annum. Call your supplier and ask for a system review. Do it now rather than later.
Discussion and review
Talk to your account manager about what you want to achieve, and if you haven’t got an account manager, get one with your supplier. Undertake a system review with your staff and your partner.
Walk the floor and spend a day meeting the users, understanding their views of what the system does well, what it could better and what it doesn’t do at all. Establish the problems that need addressing and new features you may be able to use, collate them a prioritise them. Then plan how you move forward.
If you would like to discuss your Dynamics software needs, call Advantage Business Systems on 020 3004 4600 or email email@example.com.
London-based Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner, Advantage Business Systems, celebrates 15 years of successful business trading
CEO, Ed Vorwerk, comments, “We’re delighted to be celebrating 15 years of successful business at Advantage Business Systems. We’re based within central London and this year we’ve added a new exciting Dynamics CRM and Business Intelligence division to our ever expanding Dynamics business”.
Vorwerk adds, “I’d also like to thank all the customers who have supported us over the years and the hard-working staff at Advantage. The Advantage staff are a top bunch – I’m always impressed by their dedication and commitment to serving customers. They’re constantly upping their game by updating their knowledge, skillsets and Microsoft Dynamics qualifications”.
About Advantage Business Systems:
- Founded on August 19, 1999 when it was purchased from Mazars Neville Russell Systems Limited.
- Employs over 35 full-time staff.
- Specialists in Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV and CRM business solutions (including consultancy, implementation, development and support).
- Offers a Managed IT Services division to help small and midsized businesses manage their IT systems and infrastructure.
- Specialists in a number of vertical industries including Financial Services, Consultancy Services, TV Media and Film Production, Distribution and Warehousing, Social Enterprises, and Charities/Non Profits.
- UK Microsoft Dynamics Gold partner for over 11 years.
- International InterDyn partner helping to support international companies with UK offices.
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SEPA End Date Regulation: 1 February 2014
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[Video] Way Beyond Basic Finance and Accounting Software
When it comes to choosing the right finance and accounting software for your business, there are a few considerations that should be observed. The most important one is that finance and accounting software is more than just numbers. It’s about people, processes and your business.
In an earlier blog post, I covered a popular topic; 10 signs you’ve outgrown your finance and accounting software, and in this post I covered everything from the limited amount of users to getting the information out of your accounting software with ease of reporting, and providing scalability, flexibility and functionality. Continue reading →