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Why a New Website Can Give You So Much More Than a New Online Look (and What the Difference Can Mean for Your Bottom Line)

Posted Wed, December 31, 2014 by Julie Short

For a lot of companies, the time for a new business website comes around at the exact moment that management decides the old site "looks old." While that's not a bad way to judge the aesthetics of your web presence, it's not a great measuring stick for trying to decide whether a new site can help your company be more profitable and efficient, either.

That's because a new business website can give you so much more than a fresh online look… and the difference in functionality can actually make a huge bottom-line difference in your company's future.

To give you a sense of why this is, and why the real value of the new site is in programming and business power, here are a few things a modern web presence can help you with:

Improve your marketing (even if it's business-to-business). Although Internet marketing is something nearly every business owner or executive already knows a bit about, most don't realize how effective it can be in building business-to-business relationships. At the very least, your site should add to your company's credibility and support your other offline sales and marketing efforts.

Make inventory control and logistics more accurate and efficient. With customized databases, real-time information entry, and even the integration of mobile devices, you can keep better track of what's going on at your production facilities and warehouses through your business website.

Help with routine customer service and account management tasks. Why make customers call you on the phone when they could place recurring orders or update their account information online, or through a mobile app? That reduces the burden of time and expense for you and your clients or customers. 

Move potential buyers along with lead automation. Do you or your sales teams spend a lot of time following up with individual leads? An automated response system can distribute marketing literature, steer them towards answers to common questions, and even perform lead nurturing tasks on your behalf, so your time is freed up to finalize concrete sales opportunities.

Help you manage employees, vendors, and projects. There are a variety of tools you can use and install to make your business website support collaborative, real-time project management, even if you have employees or vendors in other locations around the world.

If your business website isn't doing all for your company that it could be, we encourage you to get in touch with the WebRevelation team today and let us show you how we've been able to help other businesses accomplish more online.

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : web applications , websites


Is your accounting software system costing you money?

Posted Wed, April 16, 2014 by Julie Short

Computerized accounting isn’t inherently efficient.


At this point, nearly every business uses computers for its accounting. Software for the everyman – like Excel – makes the process extremely accessible to organizations of all sizes. So, as long as you are more advanced than pen and paper scribbling, you’re up to date – right? Everything seems to be running smoothly so, if it's not broken, why fix it? We have some answers to that question : some businesses have broken accounting systems and they don't even know it. Worse still, it's costing them time, money and customers.


Is it time to customize your accounting?


Every business is unique and has different needs and goals. Even two businesses in the same field offering the same products and services will each have their own set of priorities. Maybe it's customer retention, or maybe it’s market expansion. Perhaps cutting costs is a crucial goal; maybe you want to focus on adding new product lines. Whatever priorities a business sets for itself, accurate accounting systems are crucial to reaching those goals successfully.


Consider a recent article by Forbes writer Bill Conerly. Conerly posits that a business can be hemorrhaging cash, but without a clear, succinct vision of its cash flow, there is no way to correct the problem. Almost any accounting system can tell whether a business is generally profitable from month to month, but what happens when it shows a loss? Does the system show exactly where that loss has occurred? Without knowing precisely what's going on, Conerly explains, and being able to identify the exact dollar amount a project is costing or making your company, there is no way for a business to choose a clear solution to the problem.


This is where a customized accounting software system or custom-built application becomes invaluable. To succeed, every business needs an accounting system that can help it accurately track its income streams, overhead and costs. With that information in hand, all of those crucial business decisions about marketing, expansion, investments and project bids can be made with confidence and accuracy.


These signs point to an outdated accounting system!


Still on the fence? Not sure you need a new accounting software system? There are other telltale signs that it's time to give your accounting system an overhaul. Here are a few of them.

  • It's hard to find the data you need in time to make important, time-sensitive business decisions.
  • The data bases crucial to the running of your business have outdated or inaccurate information.
  • You've outgrown your data storage capacity.
  • An unexplained expense creep is cutting into your profit margins.
  • Security breaches are a growing concern -- for either you or your customers.
  • It's become difficult to anticipate cash-flow needs.
  • Reports and records have mathematical errors.
  • Your sales staff can't close deals because they can’t access necessary data.
  • Sloppy record keeping has triggered financial audits.
  • You need to do extensive research to find out if a given project, employee or department is showing a profit.

If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to look at your accounting system. After all, it's not just a record of your business activities – it's a vital business tool driving growth, sales and profits. Don't let an antiquated -- or nonexistent -- accounting software system keep your business in the Stone Age.

 

Posted in : e-commerce , CRM | 
Tags : accounting , web applications


(ERP) Enterprise Resource Planning and Your Business: Learn the Basics

Posted Wed, March 19, 2014 by Julie Short

"Our business doesn't need something as complicated as ERP."
It isn't a surprise to hear such a statement from a company. Many business owners believe that ERP (enterprise resource planning) is a very technical and complicated process that will only result in a clunky computing environment and extra costs that strain limited budgets. But the truth is that ERP isn't that complicated once you understand it for what it is: a back office management software strategy that can help consolidate business functions into a unified process.


ERP 101: What is enterprise resource planning?
ERP is an integrated software system that has been used by businesses for over a generation. The term itself was introduced in the 1990s by the Gartner Group. But it was actually a software suite strategy developed in the 1950s for inventory management and to create plans for materials requirements.


The manufacturing industry benefited from ERP as a replacement from the past MRP (manufacturing resource planning) software. ERP was more robust, even during the 1990s, as it streamlined the entire production process from the design phase to the financial costs calculation stage. As technology evolved, so too did ERP software. Businesses from every industry saw a way to incorporate ERP into their business software strategies to help manage their human resources and accounting processes.


How does ERP work?
ERP consists of individual software modules featuring technical capabilities to handle automated back office tasks. These modules have integrated application functions suited for the activities that you want it to perform. The common ERP modules used in most small and large businesses today are:
•    Material purchasing
•    Human resource management
•    Distribution services
•    Inventory control
•    Manufacturing processes
•    Accounting services
•    Marketing and sales


Each module works from one relational database system. This database management system has a dashboard, analysis tools, user interface, and access and security features. It can easily integrate with other computing features like web-based applications, word processing and email clients.


The main function of ERP is to allow for real-time data collection and sharing throughout every department of your operations. All of the data is placed within this central database management system and can be accessed through the different ERP modules used in the other departments of your business: accounting, customer services, sales, and warehousing.


Benefits of ERP
What makes ERP so ideal for businesses is that you don't have to purchase every module. You can pick and choose the module you want based on your business needs.


Let’s say you are looking to automate your accounting tasks. An ERP accounting module can give you some of the following functions:
•    configure pricing for products
•    gather more complete and accurate accounting data
•    manage employee payrolls


Other departments of your business will be allowed to access this information for their operations. Your warehousing department can go through their ERP system and ensure customers paid orders through accounting before shipments are sent out. Customer service can change customer payment information with accounting in moments as the sales department ensures that product pricing corresponds with any special deals currently being offered.


Software vendors offer ERP software module applications based on the size of your business. The ERP software market is divided by tiers: ERP Tier I is suited for large corporations, ERP Tier II is for mid-size companies, and ERP Tier III is for small businesses. Compare software vendors from each tier to see what ERP solutions match your business needs and fit into the company budget.

 

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : erp , web applications


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