In the sections below, I've listed some common ways that I help businesses to streamline. If you'd like more info, click here.
In the sections below, I've listed some of the common ways that I help businesses to streamline their operations. Have a read, and let me know if you'd like more information on any of them.
If there's a particular business problem you're struggling with, I'd be happy to walk through it with you and suggest some possible solutions. You can give me a call on 07 5415 0465, or send me an enquiry.
Setting up a way for your customers, staff, and stores to communicate is a basic part of running a business, but also an area that is often underdeveloped. Great communication can set you apart from your competitors and make your team more effective, while poor communication can create frustration and lost sales.
If your business handles a lot of enquiries, customer support software can help to manage them effectively. It provides a central location where the details of each enquiry can be stored, assigned to staff, and responded to.
By centralising all the back-and-forth communication between your customer and staff, anybody can jump in and have the full picture of what's happened. The software can also alert you to issues, such as when a customer hasn't received a response in a certain timeframe.
When you call a business and hear a welcome message, closed message, or "press 1 for sales", that is a phone system in use. At a basic level, phone systems allow multiple staff to answer and receive calls at the same time, and redirect incoming calls to the right location without needing to go through reception.
However, they also provide you with the flexibility to answer calls from any device (e.g. desk phones, mobile phone, or computer) as though you were right there in the office. Other features like automatic call recording can help with training or verification.
Using chat messengers in a business setting has become popular in recent years. On the customer facing end, having chat software on your website allows customers to quickly ask questions and receive answers, while your staff can respond to multiple channels (e.g. email, facebook, website) from one platform.
Chat for internal teams has also made communication between staff more efficient. Staff can communicate quickly between each other, and long discussions remain readable unlike confusing email chains. Setting up centralised chat channels for each team allows knowledge sharing to happen naturally.
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With many businesses now selling across multiple channels like in-store and online, technology can play a big role in making this efficient. It can help you process large volumes of orders in bulk, and keep product information synced between channels.
An online storefront can be an important tool if you sell products. Even if you aren't aiming to be a competitive online player, it can provide convenience and flexibility for local customers too, allowing them to view your range and organise pickups or local delivery.
Wholesale businesses are also well served by online stores. They streamline the process of updating your catalogue (no more printing huge books) by giving customers the ability to simply log in, view current stock, and place an order. Pricing is also flexible, allowing you to incorporate multiple price tiers or volume discounts.
If you're selling products in-store, your point of sale system contains all of the product information, pricing, and stock levels of what's available. As you grow across multiple stores or online stores, making sure that this information is up to date in all locations is important.
Modern POS systems allow you to sync product information from multiple sources, making sure that your products, pricing, and stock levels remain consistent and accurate. They also allow you to utilise features such as buy now pay later, apple pay, customer loyalty programs, or gift cards.
For every business that sells products, proper inventory management is critical to get right - it's one of the primary factors in profitability. Maintaining accurate and reliable numbers for stock improves your cashflow, prevents you from running out of stock, and helps you keep track of items between locations.
Maintaining control over your products or materials is what inventory management software is all about. On the front end, it helps you track stock levels of products or materials, and where they are physically located. This information can be synchronised to websites or point of sale.
On the back end, inventory software can also manage many other aspects of the product purchasing and selling cycle. Examples include storing supplier information and lead times, generating purchase orders, and calculating true costs that include shipping or insurance.
One of the most difficult inventory challenges is knowing when to reorder, and in what quantity. Previously only available to large enterprises, there are now intelligent stock forecasting and reordering tools that every business can take advantage of.
Stock forecasting tools utilise a range of data to make predictions, such as supplier lead times, SKU sales over time, and stock movements. By using real data from your business, they can generate alerts or recommended dates to reorder, allowing you to better plan purchase cycles and cashflow.
If your business assembles or delivers products to customers, fulfilment is the process of making that happen. When you're working to scale your business, this is often one of the main areas where efficiency can be found, allowing you to reduce labour costs and timeframes for customers.
What processes need to occur between the time that a customer places an order, and when then receive it? If you can structure the different order stages effectively, you'll be able to build your business into a well-oiled machine that can operate at scale.
At each stage during order processing, there are usually opportunities to utilise technology. Consider things like improving accuracy (e.g. barcode scanners), reducing labour time (e.g. picking multiple orders at a time), or automating processes (e.g. automatically selecting cheapest courier).
If your business ships a large volume of products, any inefficiency in this process can create significant labour costs or order delays. Manually entering consignment details is time consuming, and there is no opportunity to 'shop around' for the cheapest freight.
Courier integrated software can solve these problems. Order information automatically flows into the system, where it can be used to quickly generate and compare rates from multiple couriers. Once you're ready to dispatch, you can book in the job and print the shipping label with a couple clicks.
Scaling fulfilment beyond one location can be difficult - you need to hire additional staff, lease additional premises, and set up core business infrastructure like internet and phones. 3PL solves this by offering warehousing and shipping as a service.
When you send your products to 3PL, they act as an extra warehouse for your business. You can integrate your order processing tools with their systems, giving you the ability to re-route orders to ship from their warehouse. This allows you to quickly scale your order processing capability as your business grows.
No matter what type of business you're running, there's a wide variety of tasks involved in keeping your operations going. A procedure management system allows you to document how work should be done (e.g. new client setup process), and turn it into an interactive checklist.
Using interactive procedures allows you to schedule when things need to happen, assign them to your staff, and make sure that everything is being done correctly. They also help you to protect important knowledge of how things are done, so it's never lost if an employee leaves.
Knowing your numbers is important to make informed decisions in your business. You can gain useful insights from key information like most popular products, stock arrival dates, and sales figures, but it can sometimes be difficult to get this data from the various systems it exists in.
Business dashboards automate the process of collecting, collating, and reformatting the data you need. The information is turned into an easy visual format of graphs and summaries, and automatically updated as new data flows in.
As a business grows, manual procedures that initially worked well can often become bottlenecks. Maybe you need to copy information from one system to another, or regularly enter data into a spreadsheet. Automation and integration lets computers take care of those repetitive tasks.
Not having to do these manual jobs will free you and your staff up to focus on more important work, like helping customers, generating revenue, and building your business.