Purchase Order Planner Portal

The PO Planner Portal allows you to make PO buying decisions with integrated access to all the related info available in the system. You may review inventory items that need to be purchased and interactively edit the suggested quantities in the PO work file. As you work you see the estimated total cost amount for items purchased and you may zoom to the details of past purchases, sales trends, and other info to help you make good buying decisions. po_planning_portal

New Remote Technician Portal for SouthWare

New Remote Technician portal is designed for a mobile service technician who will access and update SouthWare Service Orders over an internet connection. The layout and functionality of this portal are optimized for tablet and touch screen use.

New QuickScreens for Service Orders for SouthWare

New QuickScreens portal for Service Orders provides fast and efficient entry and editing of Service Orders.  The web-page portal covers the most commonly-used functions, and the standard service order entry program is just a click away if you need other advanced SouthWare functions.

Improving Promise Management — Back to Basics

If your company has been an involuntary participant in the “Great Recession”, then you’ve probably experienced changes in your Accounts Receivable position over the past few years. Assuming your business sells to other businesses (B2B), it’s likely that you’ve lost some marginal customers and noticed your best clients paying even more slowly than in the past.

Your credit policies can affect your company sales as well as bad debt.  If your credit policies are too loose, then your sales will likely increase — but typically be accompanied by a corresponding increase in bad debt.  If your credit policies are too tight, then your bad debt may be reduced, but your overall sales may be lower as a result of your restrictive credit limits.

Going back to basics begins by assessing where you are and determining where you want to be with regard to your overall credit policies and collection efforts.  You must determine how proactive you can afford to become.  For many businesses, this is a crucial time to become much more proactive in credit and collections processes.

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Penetrate New Markets & Find New Customers

During a slow economic time, perceptive companies look for ways to enter new markets and expand their business. Here are some ways to grow today, and ensure that you emerge positioned for the inevitable boom that will come.

  • Introduce or expand your e-business services. This is a great time to enhance your web site and your professional image.
  • Look for ways to attract new customers with your web site. Think of this as adding another sales person without the overhead of hiring an additional employee.
  • You may want to offer existing customers an option to enter their own orders on-line. The benefit to your customer is that they can place orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The benefit to you is a reduction in the amount of time your sales staff spends each day answering phone calls and entering orders. The cost savings to you can be substantial.
  • Look for additional products or services to offer your existing customers. If your products have warranties, this might be a great time to offer preventive maintenance contracts or other types of services that can add to your revenues.

As you can see, this is a great time to consider business opportunities and additional services to improve efficiencies and grow your business.

A Masters Course in Competitive Advantage Through Technology

Many of you may have already used Redbox to rent a movie.  If you have not yet, you should try it at least once to open your eyes to the potential advantage that process simplification and a little technology can provide for your business.

I had an opportunity to use a Redbox this past week a few times.

The process is simple.  You need a credit card.  If you want a receipt you need an email address.

That is all you need.  You do not give them your name, address, phone number or any other information.  No contracts to sign.

Rental is $1 per day.  After 25 days you own the DVD.

It is a process that could not be made any simpler.  It is less steps than video on demand via your cable provider.

What processes in your business could use a rethink, some simplification and a little technology?

Improve Customer Retention & Keep Them Satisfied

As business becomes more competitive, your customers are also looking to reduce their costs. Your competitors are seeking to gain business from your customers. Too many times a company will not know they are losing customers until months later when sales trends show a decline.

Serious businesses use predictive analytics to identify the most profitable customers and customers most likely to cancel maintenance agreements. You can be proactive during this time to retain your existing customers. Here are a few examples of how you can retain your existing customers.

  • Set up a daily Alert that is sent to your sales staff notifying them of all their customers who have not purchased within a specified number of days. Sales people can quickly follow up with these customers to ensure their satisfaction with your performance and pricing.
  • Use a technology that provides built-in CRM. This will help your sales staff provide higher levels of service to your customers to maintain their loyalty. Having the right information about each customer, their buying trends, and a 360° view of their current and past activity can enable your sales staff to achieve the highest level of service to keep your customers happy.

Sharpen Your Ax and Improve Your Management Tools

Management spends a great deal of time manually reviewing documents, such as sales orders, to make sure there are no errors or price discounting. Purchase orders are often delayed waiting for a manager to find the time to approve them.

Because of these delays, products may not be purchased in time and customer orders may not ship in time. These manual processes slow down your business operation and lower your customer service levels, both of which incur costs to your company.

A solution that offers tools for management by exception and a comprehensive look at the business can help improve your processes and reduce your costs. Here are some examples of how management tools may help you control costs.

Business Workflow Rules: Set up rules for your sales orders, purchase orders or other transactions, such as an acceptable range for gross margins and an acceptable percentage for manually changing prices. Then structure an automated Approval to allow all sales orders that fall within the rules to immediately be processed without intervention. Management receives an alert only for those exceptions that pose a potential problem and require management approval. This will greatly improve your order processing time and free management for more important tasks.

Data Driven Alerts: You can use data driven alerts to remind you of an important event or data exception. For example, on a daily basis the system can send you an e-mail alert of all products that have reached their minimum stocking quantity and require purchasing or a reminder of an important event, such as a scheduled meeting, customer return call, etc. You can receive an alert reminder so that nothing falls through the cracks.

Key Performance Metrics: Establish summary performance metrics that provide easy drill down and benchmark reporting so your business decisions are made on facts not conjecture. A strong reporting function measures via roles based portals, including profit per technician, machine or customer and other related departmental metrics and assessed your company’s performance in comparison to the competition.