Craig Johnston, the Marketing Manager to Bluekey Seidor. Photo: Supplied
DURBAN - Time is money, the saying goes. To keep up and stay competitive in the fast-paced and demanding business world, you need to make sure you act timeously to give your customers what they need, when they need it and spend your time effectively to ensure the sustainability of your business.

Owners and managers of small to medium sized businesses (SME’s) will no doubt acknowledge the importance of having a good accounting system, but effectively running a growing business today requires setting up systems that goes beyond what accounting packages have to offer. Luckily, modern technology makes it possible to gather, store, integrate and analyse information for increased productivity and profit.

Think of all the time that can be saved if employees did not have to complete manual job cards, which in turn have to be manually collated to calculate cost of sales, parts to be ordered and invoices to be generated. Automating and integrating business functions with the right business management software can reduce time spent on manual capturing and seamlessly integrate data across multiple platforms. This dramatically increases customer service and employee efficiency.

Think of a business where field service technicians visit clients to service air conditioners. With an integrated business management system, a job can be logged, parts ordered and invoiced before the technician leaves the client’s premises.

With the right business management system, a retail business can have better stock control, reduce the time spent on stock counting and have alerts set up to order new stock before the store runs out. For manufacturers or production facilities, knowing the output of each workstation can help to quickly address delays or appropriately assign resources to handle increased demand in specific departments.

Having worked with SME’s from various fields, we have been fortunate to see the substantial difference real-time insights and reporting have had on the day-to-day running and planning of businesses. One of the best testaments to this, recently came from one of our clients who described the benefit they had seen for their business as better control, leading to improved productivity and increased sales.

The key to success is finding the right solutions to suit your business and having service providers who understand and can help your business implement it properly. If done professionally your teams will become empowered to use this technology as an enabler for growth and increased productivity. Rather than being overwhelmed by the digital revolution, SME’s should recognise the opportunity to evolve and set up the right business management systems before they get left behind.

Craig Johnston is the marketing manager at Bluekey Seidor

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.