There are many recognised advantages of managing your business by utilising modern technology, which is why most modern companies take advantage of computing to some degree. Your company may utilise technology such as email and chat applications, filing document digitally and having meeting via video conferencing, but this doesn’t mean you are fully utilising new technology to manage your business efficiently and effectively.
To take full advantage of new technology a comprehensive business management system could be the technology you need to utilise to give you the edge over your competitors.
“Business Management System (acronym “BMS”, also known as BM System) is a set of tools for strategic planning and tactical implementation of policies, practices, guidelines, processes and procedures that are used in the development, deployment and execution of business plans and strategies and all associated management activities. Business Management System provides a foundation for successful implementation of both strategic and tactical business decisions regarding current activities, processes, procedures and tasks for the purpose of meeting existing goals and objectives of a profit organization and satisfying customer needs and expectations.”
As with any system there will be limitations as the system will only do what the developers have programmed it to do. This means it is important to look at the tools and features of any system before you consider it as a viable option for your organisation. It will also only work the way it has been configured to operate and will only use the information provided to it. So there may be some manual configuration involved in the process and possibly some manual data entry. In most cases it is advised to seek out a way to instead import manually data on an ad hoc basis or ideally automatically import large volumes of data to avoid manual data entry. There are normally a few ways to do this either by importing from existing databases directly or from file, such as CSV. With Databases it is best to check that it can be accessed directly and that the new Business Management System is able to import from it. Similarly when considering importing from file check the options available for importing files and which file types are supported. Then consider the data files you have and if they cannot be imported consider converting them into another type your Business Management System supports. This will help you get up and running quicker and will also help you understand the processes involved in keeping information up to date.
Even in this modern business age we still see a lot of manual work particularly in small to medium businesses, but also surprisingly in larger organisations as well. This is often apparent as information and communications move across a company from one department to another. Building streamlined bridges to pass this information and communications using modern technology and computer systems can help streamline this process. Doing so allows your employees to concentrate on tasks that are at the core to their roles, rather than concerning themselves with the more administrative orientated task of record keeping and the passing of information to colleagues.
There is an opportunity when adopting a Business Management System, to re-engineer the processes within the company. This should be seized as it will give your organisation the opportunity to push down some of the barriers which may have allowed inefficient processes to stagnate. A Business Management System should not be introduced to mimic existing processes with the assumption that they are the most efficient way to operate but instead ask the question, can this new technology be utilised work in a new better way which reduced costs and speeds up business processes. It is usually best to bring in a consultant who knows the Business Management System software in depth as they can work with your staff who are experts in how your business operates to find the best way to implement it effectively for your company.
Some business decision are simple ones that can be decided based on the information presented to an IT system. In such cases having a Business Management System help work flow by dictating these decisions correctly can elevate the amount of human thinking and calculating required which may take time and leaves room for human error. That’s not to say that the business management decision making will be extracted from staff completely, and there should always be a way to override the system to cover for unforeseen circumstances. Really the strength of a Business Management Systems is its ability to process large volumes of data and rapidly performed complex calculations which a person would struggle to do. Its weakness is it can only consider the information provided to it and there may be other considerations which are important to know when making decisions. Always remember your Business Management System is only as intelligent as you make it, the more information you supply to it the better informed decisions can be taken.
Implementation of policy
There is an advantage in that you can enforce business policy more firmly through technology, and using a business managements system, which operates at all levels in the company is a good way to achieve this. It will also enforce consistency as a computer system will only do what it is told to do, reducing the chance of human errors. That being said your system should always have the ability to be overridden should unusual cases arise, as in these types of circumstance the factors may be more complex and you do not necessarily want a computer to make decision for you. When implementing business policy and talking about the system operating at all levels within the company, it does most likely means that your system will need to allow for different levels of user within the organisation, and that staff will most likely only get access to what they need, in line with their job role.
Practices and guideline
There may be certain practices and guidelines within your organisation which dictate the rules by which your company operates. Using a Business Management System you can apply these in a strict and enforced way. However also be aware that there are many practices and guidelines which also fall outside of the remit of Business Management System. These include the use of the Business Management System itself, as only through the manual implementation of practices and guidelines for its correct use will your business fully capitalise on the advantages it can offer.
Processes and procedure improvement
Allowing your Business Management System to assist with the processes and procedure not only helps enforce management objectives, but also can help increase efficiently by building the bridge through which work can flow. This can help a business operate in a number of ways as it assists with the passing of information from one department to another, as well as allowing managers to track work progress as and when required. It can help make sure that jobs are not forgotten and that there is a record of work completed. This can be useful to managers who want to understand the work that has been completed and the performance of their departments, or could be used to build a more holistic picture of the performance of the business in general. Understanding work being completed can also be useful when producing statement for clients if you are a service company for example. If you are a more product orientated company this could help to analyse the processes which are needed to produce a particular product. This in turn allows you to analyse your progress, performance, costs and profit, all of which incredibly important to understand when running a business.
Through the use of Business Management System software comes the ability to share information across different levels of the company increased. Once the information is on the system it is then instantly available to all who have access to it. This can be particularly useful for critical updates to client circumstances or for rapidly evolving business who manage change on a regular basis. It is always important to consider when implementing a Business Management System which staff should have access to what information and to setup permissions to strictly accommodate this.
Though the Business Management System can make some decision they should never extract good management decision process form an organisation completely. The system does not know the real world and may not be informed about all the factors required to make the correct decision. So a good Business Management System should have management reporting functionality built-in, which the company’s management will be able to use to make sound management decisions, while also factoring in their own knowledge and experience. This reporting should present all information in a well formatted layout so that managers can quickly take an overview of the key information presented. Also an understanding of trends and forecasting can be useful for managers and should be factored in to reports where possible. One of the best advantages of a reporting from a Business Management System it should if well maintained be able to produce accurate up to date information at critical times when it is imperative that managers have it.
Development, deployment and execution of business plans and strategies
Once the system is in place and has adequate data, it can be used to help develop management planning as you can extract from it such information as the current status of job, company performances, costs, profitability, resource etc. You can then use the system to deploy new business plans and strategies rapidly as all staff who have access and are involved can be presented with information quickly. With rapid deployment also comes the ability to take action and execute quickly by mobilising staff through the use of your Business Management System, which all staff in the company should be using simultaneously to dictate their current business activities.
Adding the edge you need to your organisation
Business Management Systems software can be utilised in small, medium or large businesses to give them the edge they need to be more efficient and effective. It will help companies who use such software benefit from increased organisation and communication to help meet and exceed their client’s expectations. It can be used to help track and meet company objectives and goals, while helping to push for any organisations ultimate aim, which is that of increase profitability.
For help and advice on the above or any other IT topic please contact us.