As a small business owner, you’re faced with quite a dilemma when it comes to your accounting system. Most small business owners start off with QuickBooks. It’s a great accounting system. Sure, it has its quirks, but overall, there just isn’t anything else out there for the price.
Along with that, business owners live and die in Microsoft Outlook (or their email system of choice). When the business consists of just them, it’s quite natural, quite easy, and possibly the best way to stay organized. If the majority of your conversations are email or you follow up phone calls with emails, then everything is right there.
Then, you hire someone.
Now, you have all this information stored in YOUR Outlook. This second person has to have access to your email, which might be okay. Until you hire a third, a fourth, a fifth person. Now, you have a problem.
Many people solve this by including everyone in the organization in the email and make judicious use of the Reply All function.
That works, to a degree.
Then one day you hire, Joe Sales. Joe is the greatest sales person of all time. He really gets after it and goes after one customer after another. Things are going great, sales are through the roof. You don’t know what Joe is doing, but he is doing it right. You never hear from Joe’s customers, so obviously they are satisfied.
Then one day Joe walks in and says he has a better offer. He’s leaving. You suddenly realize that someone has to take over all of Joe’s customers. You also realize there is no way one person can handle all of Joe’s customers. Now, you’ve got to take Joe’s emails and copy over into everyone’s mailbox.
What if there was a better way? What if instead of all that correspondence residing in Joe’s mailbox, and only Joe’s mailbox, what if there was a way everyone could have access to this correspondence? What if there was a way to drill down to each customer, each contact at that customer, and each product?
While Joe was still there, you still had issues with communication between Joe and the service department. Joe never knew what was going on with his customer’s equipment that was being serviced. Joe had to constantly ask the service department for updates. Joe’s customers were constantly asking him. No one but the service department knew the status.
What if there was a way everyone had access to this information? And what if they had historical access? What if you could easily pull up the service record of a piece of equipment?
All of this is possible with the right software. Sure, it’s a big jump. It’s a scary jump. You’re going from something your comfortable with to something that’s unknown.
The problem is that your business has to be scalable to grow.
In the IT business we talk a lot about Silos of Chaos. What we mean by this is that company data is scattered all over the place without an easy way to get to it. Customer interactions are stored in emails that only reside in that person’s mailbox. Service records are stored somewhere on the file server, they may or may not be consistent.
While we haven’t seen the perfect all-inclusive solution, what we do have available today is a central repository where we can at least link other systems in. It’s a central place to start. Quotes might be handled in a different application, but from the main application, we can link to the quote. The quotes are also retrieving customer information from the main application, so there is a central repository of customer information.
If you find yourself struggling with keeping up with where everything is, customer requests slipping through the cracks, employees not following up with customers and vendors, then it’s time you talked to us to see how our solution can help you get back on track. Over time, this system pays for itself because of what can be automated. It’s an administrative assistant that doesn’t forget, and can remind other people in your organization as well. It even has the ability to go up the organizational chart if your employees aren’t responding in a timely fashion.
Call us today to find out more.