It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business. You will never get to a point where you have all the equipment, software, or services that you need. This is because as your business grows, your needs will change. This often means eliminating, adding, or upgrading your tools.
Even if you are not currently looking for a tech upgrade, just knowing what’s available can be a great benefit. Here are 3 ideas on how to improve your software, hardware, and services when the time is right:
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a system that uses a company-wide database. In other words, the same database is used throughout your organization for a broad range of computer functions. Initially, these systems were only used by large-scale manufacturers, but now it is used in numerous industries.
ERP systems are used in:
- product lifecycle management
- supply chain management
- warehouse management
- customer relationship management (CRM)
- financial management
When you compare ERP, you have to be aware of the vendor’s reputation, what ERP solutions are offered, and what the total cost will be.
Functionality, ease of installation, its learning curve, and availability of support and training are all important details as well.
2. Payment processors
Your business is probably already using a payment processing system to accept debit and credit cards and handle a variety of other transactions. Still, it is essential that you remain flexible when deciding to upgrade your POS system.
You will know when it’s the right time when your current system is unable to keep pace with your increase in business growth. You’ll notice hiccups like difficulty in processing certain types of payments, an increase in abandoned virtual shopping carts, or frustratingly slow processing. In order to keep improving revenues, you must make it quick, easy, and convenient for customers to get your products.
When planning an upgrade, you will need to look at two factors: the equipment and the merchant service providers.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Does your business just need a credit and debit card terminal or could it also benefit from a wireless POS system?
- Does the merchant service provider offer good customer service when things go wrong?
- How transparent are they when it comes to informing you about their transaction fees?
3. Cloud computing
If you are using an on-premise computer system, you may at some point want to consider cloud computing. While you may be quite comfortable relying on local storage for all your computing needs in the initial stages of your business, there may come a point where you will need a major upgrade of your infrastructure in order to handle the growing needs of your business.
At some point in your business, it may not be cost-effective to buy or upgrade your equipment. Or maybe you don’t have the staff to manage your growing operations. By migrating to the cloud, your business will enjoy a wide variety of computing benefits.
Here are three reasons why your growing business might decide to adopt cloud computing:
- Your business will save money. When you use cloud computing, you will not need to hire people to manage and maintain your computer systems and network.
- Your business will enjoy the flexibility of increasing or decreasing the scale of the services you need depending on a number of factors like storage requirements, production increases and decreases, etc. Scaling is much easier with cloud computing than it is when you try to do everything on-site.
- Your business will be able to manage any credible threats. While you may have made your computer systems as hacker-proof as possible, your servers are still vulnerable. Fires, floods, or natural disasters do happen. By using the cloud, all your data will be safely stored on remote servers.
The business environment is never static. In order for your business to stay profitable, it has to be willing to upgrade its technology when its previous technology is slipping toward obsolescence. You will always require new tools to stay ahead of the competition. Moreover, these tools themselves are constantly evolving, either improving in small ways or changing in revolutionary ways.