How to Set Up Your Business For Success in 2023
The global business environment has become more difficult to navigate over the last few years. The ongoing impacts of the pandemic, a persistent labour shortage, supply chain disruptions and a volatile geopolitical climate have all made things more challenging for growing enterprises. Add evolving customer preferences and the remote work movement to the list of issues thwarting even the best laid business plans.
Focused on developing healthy revenue streams and building organizations that endure the test of time, corporate leaders are looking for ways to do more with less in an environment where costs are increasing, labor is scarce and new customer demands arise almost daily. The good news is that technology can serve as a valuable “helping hand” for companies as they work through the challenges, leverage new opportunities and plan for future success.
Here are five ways your company can leverage technology as a business success tool in 2023 and beyond:
1) Tap into the power of ERP. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms help organizations manage their day-to-day business activities like accounting, finance, procurement, risk management, supply chain, project management and compliance. Once integrated with third-party applications, these comprehensive platforms give companies a single source of truth to work from across their global operations.
Companies can use ERP to maintain high levels of resilience, react quickly in changing market conditions and repeatedly outshine their competitors. The platforms also automate business processes; provide insights and internal controls; and support accounting, manufacturing, supply chain management, sales, marketing and human resources (HR) departments.
2) Automate more of your processes. If you’re still using Excel spreadsheets and email to share data across systems, or if your associates are spending too much time trying to close the books at the end of an accounting period, then your organization is ripe for more automation. Automation frees up employees’ time and allows them to focus on more important projects. It also improves efficiency, reduces errors and gets work done faster. For example, automating steps like creating and sending invoices—and then automatically following up on unpaid bills—can save accounting team members a considerable amount of time and effort while also speeding up the payables process.
One online-based mortgage and property management company needed to reduce the amount of time its employees were spending on tasks like accounting, payment methods and banking. The company needed an accounting finance system that could automate those often more tedious and time-consuming tasks. Using application programming interfaces (APIs), the company automated its Stripe payment platform management, bringing the total time spent on that task from 1-1/2 days to just a few minutes. The company is also using NetSuite for accounts payable (AP) automation and to ensure that each bank fee is pulled correctly and accurately.
3) Establish, track and use your KPIs. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you compare against your company’s current performance and tell you whether or not you are achieving your goals. Regular KPI-tracking also helps you make quick shifts based on current data, versus waiting until the end of the month or the quarter to make those important decisions. Benchmarks of improvement and performance, KPIs can be financial (net profit, liquidity), customer-focused (satisfaction, retention) or process-focused (measuring and monitoring operational performance).
Strategic KPIs indicate how a company is doing on a larger scale, functional KPIs drill down into specific departments and operational KPIs measure how a company is doing month-over-month (or even day-over-day) by analyzing different processes, segments or geographical locations. “These operational KPIs are often used by managing staff and are often used to analyze questions that are derived from analyzing strategic KPIs,” Investopedia explains. “For example, if an executive notices company-wide revenue has decreased, they may inquire as to which product lines are struggling.”
4) Use analytics for better decision making and reporting. The discovery, interpretation and communication of significant data patterns, analytics help organizations gain insights and meaningful data that the human eye might not necessarily detect. Companies can then use those insights to make better decisions related to growing sales revenues, reducing costs or improving business processes. Using business analytics software embedded in ERPs like NetSuite, for example, you can draw on a central database that collects inputs from departments including finance, manufacturing, operations, sales and marketing and human resources (HR).
“Thanks to that central database,” NetSuite points out, “stakeholders gain cross-departmental insights that they can use to analyze various scenarios, perform financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and tease out process improvements that can translate to major efficiency gains, cost savings and better productivity as people spend less time searching for needed data.”
5) Put the cloud to work for you. More than 94% of global businesses are already using cloud computing services and 67% of all enterprise infrastructure is situated in the cloud. In most cases, the cloud offers low-to-no licensing, maintenance and upgrade costs (compared to on-premises ERPs). For example, most traditional ERP users must pay to have their systems upgraded every 2-3 years in order to stay on the most recent version and get the latest features and capabilities.
With NetSuite, those updates happen twice a year in the background, with no disruption to your operations. As an added bonus, using cloud-based technology also allows companies to reduce their carbon footprints in that it enables easy scaling up and down based on specific business requirements. Organizations only use the resources they need.
As we move further into 2023, consider using some of all of these best practices to advance your own organization’s goals this year. By adopting more automation, using an ERP, leveraging analytics, and working in the cloud, you’ll be able to streamline your operations as efficiently as possible and in any market conditions.