As we enter the last month of the financial year in Australia, many businesses are considering a business system change so that they are ready for the new financial year on July 1st. We thought we would share some of our key tips for getting your business ready for a system change.
In Part 1 of our series “Getting your business ready for a system change”, we will cover our tips around selection of the best system for your business and data cleanse – getting your data clean for the new system.
A key requirement during your planning process for a new business system is selecting the correct system or suite of systems which are going to address the pain points in your business. You may be selecting the first business system for your business and transitioning from a series of manual processes or you may be wishing to change your existing business system due to a limitation with your existing system. It is very important that you consider both your immediate requirements and future requirements when going through the selection of your new business system. Business owners are spoilt for choice in terms of the number of options which are available to them which can create its own set of challenges. With such a wide variety of choice available matching the system with your business requirements can be quite an exercise. Unless you are getting a custom system built for your business from the ground up there will be some functional gaps between the system or systems selected and your existing processes. The goal is to get a system or set of systems with the smallest amount of functional gaps which will limit the number of process workarounds which you have to implement.
Your options for selecting your ideal system or systems is to do it yourself or to engage a consultant to assist you with this process. To effectively do it yourself requires a considerable time investment to fully understand each system option and match these to your existing business processes. For example, Xero’s App Marketplace has 31 different inventory add-on systems listed which for a business looking for an inventory system would each need to be considered. The second option would be to engage a consultant to assist you with the selection process. The advantage of working with a consultant is that they have experience in a range of different systems which they are accredited and partner with. The consultant will also be able to provide you with insight into what they have seen working with other clients and will only recommend the best of breed systems in each category.
To book your initial free consultation with a systems consultant, click here
Cleansing data is a critical aspect of any business system change. Whether you are coming from an existing system or are looking to implement the first system for your business, getting your data into an organised format which is as complete and accurate as possible is a critical step in any project. It is also the aspect which is underestimated by clients in terms of the time to get their data clean and complete in every implementation project which we have run.
Regardless of whether you are implementing an inventory management system, a job management system or a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you will need to put your data into a series of data templates which will generally be in Excel format. It is very likely that the data which has come from your previous system will not match these templates. It is also an excellent opportunity to cleanse the data which will involve reviewing whether you want old customers, suppliers, products to be brought into the new system. Updating details which are now outdated and were not updated in your previous system as well as enhancing your existing data. Often your new system will include more detail than you have been storing in your existing system so it is an opportunity to add this extra detail at this stage of the project so that you have a full and complete database to start. This whole process can take considerable time and needs to be factored into your planning for the new system implementation.
If you are looking at getting your business ready for a system change look out for Part 2 of our blog. If you are already in the planning stage for a new system, book your free initial consultation with a systems consultant here.