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Are Internal Systems Damaging Your Business?

Are_Your_Company_s_Intern_62950_117560One of the most common complaints you will hear from employees is that the internal systems of the business restrict their ability to serve the customer. These complaints can happen regardless of the type of systems you use in your business and include those made against CRM – customer relationship management – systems all the way through to procurement. These frustrations will only be made worse as millennials enter the workforce. They were raised on technology and expect it to adapt to them, not the other way around.

The end result is that many people in your workforce will simply abandon cumbersome systems, opting instead to use easily available tools such as email and even Dropbox for their document sharing. This leads to your internal systems becoming irrelevant and can prevent your business from properly tracking and maintaining control of your data.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The problem with senior management is that once a new software package is purchased, they believe the problem is solved. However, these software packages will rarely work out of the box for every business. No two businesses are alike, and they all operate a little differently. Chances are these systems could be customized to meet the needs of your organization, but often this simply doesn’t happen, resulting in yet another piece of software that won’t be utilized as it should be. As a business, how can you find a better way and incorporate systems that give the users what they want while also providing the control you need?

Begin With Your Users
Before you make any more systems purchases for your company, sit down and talk with your employees. They will be the people using the software each day and they know what they need to get the job done. Talk about the features they would like to see in the software used at your company and map out exactly what you need, with their help, to get the job done both effectively and efficiently.

Create a Prototype
You don’t have to go out of your way and develop your own custom software, but create on paper exactly what your want your new systems to be able to do and how they will do it. Continue to enlist the help of your employees in creating this prototype so you be sure you cover every aspect of the software needs for your business.

Make Informed Compromises
Now that you know exactly what you would want in a perfect world, it is time to shop around for the available options. Examine each package carefully for its benefits and drawbacks and see how it lines up with your prototype. Not every package will do everything you need it to exactly how you want it, but find the options that fit best to your organization’s needs.

Once you have found the best options, sit down with your employees and show them the good and the bad of each package. Give them time to realize and understand the compromises that will have to be made and demonstrate the benefits of the packages that maybe you hadn’t considered when creating your prototype. This will help you and your employees come to a consensus on what system is right for your business, and because you included your people in the selection process your chances of a successful implementation will be greater.

Implement the System
Once you and your employees have reached a consensus on what internal system will best serve the needs of the business, it is now time to implement that system. During the roll out, schedule plenty of time for all of your employees to train on the new system so they all know how to use it once the final switch has been flipped. A well-trained staff will be able to cope much better with the change in systems and will be prepared to use it effectively as part of their daily work routine if they have the proper training.

Internal systems can have a great impact on the performance of your employees and they can also alter the experience of your customers. These systems ensure timely delivery of responses and even products, making them the next big advantage or disadvantage your company has as you compete in the market.

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