Even within the same industry, every company is different. Selecting the systems that you will use within your company can often be difficult because the programs that are available for managing companies are not always customizable. Certain solutions are more adaptable than others, depending on their price.
Modifications are sometimes not enough; you may need to add more systems to arrive at a comprehensive result or implement further add-ons to the system you already have. It all depends on what works for you. Nevertheless, the solution you arrive at will probably never be 100% perfect. A workflow may not be as smooth as you would like, or the system may have quirks that you cannot eliminate.
The right overall solution is the one that gives your company the results it needs. The key is to fill in the necessary gaps and to implement the required improvements to arrive at the best complete solution available to you.
Consider Your Budget
Small to medium-sized companies will usually not have the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in their budget to afford the most sophisticated platforms. These advanced solutions may provide the type of results your company is seeking, but they may be above anything your company can afford. When I was searching for a system to manage our processes, I found some great solutions, but the most sophisticated options cost tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. My budget was much lower.
In that case, the only option is to seek the best system possible within your budget. A smaller budget doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of all the technological solutions that are available today. There are new systems at different price points that will help you reach the company’s objectives. It’s simply a matter of adapting your needs to the systems that are available.
Iterate and Improve
Try to make your current solution work as well as possible for you. There are always improvements you can implement to ensure the system you are already using provides what you need.
Some improvements that you can take into consideration are:
Creating new and better reports to aggregate the information you need for decision-making.
Add new fields that will help you collect the data you need to create your reports. Most systems allow you to add fields to the screens you use to gather data.
Improve the system’s workflows: You may be able to adjust the way the data flows within the system to more closely mirror how you work in your firm.
Create dashboards you can check for a quick snapshot of your department or company.
Add Systems to Fill in the Gaps
Sometimes your current system is as good as you can obtain within your budget, but it leaves a couple of critical spaces for improvement. In that case, you can find smaller solutions to fill in the gaps. You may also wish to program add-ons to the system you currently have.
For instance, we are implementing a business intelligence solution to improve the reporting capabilities that our Enterprise Resource Planning solution has. Our goal is to be able to visualize our data and to aggregate the reports already produced by the system. We are solving this issue by adding a data visualization tool, which will take the reports we already have and others we will create to provide us the information we need.
When designing the systems in your company, make sure you do all your research. Because the technological landscape is constantly evolving, the solution that will fulfill your company’s need may already be there waiting for you. Sometimes it takes creativity to discover how to pull together new and disparate elements.
These additional systems, which are usually inexpensive, can help you arrive at a less expensive comprehensive solution. If well-designed, these solutions together will give your business the results you need.