GOLDILOCKS AND ERP DECISIONS

ERP Decisions

Goldilocks, SMEs and the quest for ‘Just Right!’

“Goldilocks was wandering through the forest when she chanced upon a house. Famished and tired, she entered and was delighted to see three bowls of porridge to quell her hunger pangs. She tasted the first bowl and exclaimed that it was too hot. The second bowl’s porridge was far too cold. The third bowl however was just right for her and she soon gobbled it all up”

Small and medium sized enterprises are the proverbial Goldilocks of the business world. While Goldilocks strolled aimlessly through the woods in need of food and nourishment, these firms wander through the business world, in need of a solution to help them cope and compete in their industry.Goldilocks had to taste all the bowls of porridge to find the one that was ‘just right’ for her. Much in the same way as Goldilocks, firms also have to go through all the available options to determine which solution is ‘just right’ for their needs.

Just as Goldilocks was famished and in need of nourishment, a firm in today’s hyper competitive environment requires enterprise resource planning solutions to address its needs and hunger for growth. The solutions offered may be ‘too hot’ with far too many components, complexities and costs that would burn the firm. A ‘too cold’ ERP system without the necessary modules to meet the requirements of the firm is not a desirable solution either. An SME can neither have a ‘too hot’ solution or a ‘too cold’ one as both would hurt them and their prospects for growth.

So what is the ‘Just Right!’ solution?

1)The porridge that is ‘just right’ is sufficient in quantity to alleviate Goldilocks’ hunger, nourishing enough to help her grow and at a temperature that renders the meal palatable.

2) Similarly the ERP that is ‘just right’ has all the modules and programs necessary to meet the firm’s current and more pressing business needs, while the system aids the company’s future growth plans – all at an affordable cost. The ‘just right’ ERP should meet the firm’s current pressing needs and the future more complex needs for growth.

3) Most SMEs would find that their Goldilocks solution is a mostly standard ERP system with minimal to moderate customization and costs. Cloud-based enterprise resource planning programs are suitable for these firms as they are affordable and have the scope to be easily modified to meet the firm’s growing needs in the future.

“After finishing the porridge, Goldilocks felt tired and went over to the living room and found three chairs. She sat in the first one and exclaimed “this chair is too big!” The second chair was too big for Goldilocks as well. The third chair appeared to be just right in size for Goldilocks but as soon as she settled in, it broke apart completely!”

When Goldilocks is tired she goes over to a chair, settles into one that appears just right in size. The chair and Goldilocks both come crashing down. Firms with an enterprise resource planning system that opt for the bare minimal support get the same experience. Much like how the ‘just right’ chair was anything but, firms need to be wary of ERP solutions that provide the bare minimum and provide no flexibility or scope for adapting to a growing business.

     As a firm implements the system and starts reaping benefits from the ERP, it starts to increase its efficiency, productivity and growth. The ERP system and vendor should provide adequate support to aid the firm with any troubles it meets along the way. Programs that update automatically and keep the system running on the latest, most efficient system would be ideal for SMEs. A vendor that provides regular support services and is specialized in providing industry-specific solutions would be suitable as they can anticipate the firm’s needs effectively and intuitively as a result of their experience. It is essential that the ERP system and vendor must be capable of increasing the number of modules and services when the scope of the business changes – otherwise the firm may suffer the same fate as Goldilocks.

“Goldilocks feeling sleepy, proceeded upstairs and found three bed. She lay on the first and found it far too hard. The second was far too soft. She tried the third bed, and it was ‘just right’ and she promptly fell asleep.”
   
   Just like Papa Bear’s bed, which was too hard for Goldilocks, a large vendor’s solutions may not be suitable for small and medium enterprises. The big names of the ERP industry are more experienced in addressing the needs of large conglomerates. Their programs, modules and systems are all designed meet to the needs of the Fortune 500s and SMEs often find their solutions uncomfortable. Mama Bear’s bed, being far too soft, was also not right for Goldilocks. Similarly, ERP vendors that are too inexperienced or just offer a few individual modules may not be able to provide quality solutions for the firm.

 Vendors that are specifically focused on providing solutions for SMEs would be more suitable for compared to the ‘big players’ like SAP and Oracle. An out-the-box solution with minimal modifications is enough to meet all the current and future needs of most SMEs at a fraction of the cost of the big firms.

   Much like Goldilocks, firms can experiment with their ERP programs and vendors before settling into their ‘just right’ systems. Firms can draw some wisdom from Goldilocks as well – that is to not settle for anything that is not ‘just right’. When choosing an ERP system firms must keep in mind that it is a long term decision. Unlike Goldilocks, once they choose their bed, they will be lying in it for quite a while.

Contributor : Vidushi

CRM IS ESSENTIAL FOR SURVIVAL

In the age of the hyper-competitive, businesses that fail to provide exceptional services each and every time risk losing out to competitors

That is one of the reasons why CRM program sales have grown exponentially in the past few years. Even small and mid-sized enterprises will now splurge to ensure that they remain ahead of their competition. For companies that are still in two minds, the following benefits of CRM should quell their doubts, knowing a great CRM system is worth the investment.

Improved Customer Service
Customers today expect nothing less than the best when it comes to service. Companies are at greater risk, as one bad customer experience can unleash social media mockery from all corners of the world. Customers today expect a customized experience – long holds, several call transfers and unsatisfactory resolutions to problems are a surefire way to lose both current and potential clients.

A customer relationship management system enables you to identify your customer, know their past purchase history and experience and quickly address their questions and concerns. It allows the service team to recommend products and services that match each individuals’ profile. Customers enjoy better service with fewer hassles and the company benefits from more happy and loyal customers.

Increased Interdepartmental Integration
With a CRM system the sales, marketing and customer service department are able to freely and easily exchange important information about business strategies and processes. The increased collaboration leads to better interdepartmental coordination and creates synergy within the company. This helps achieve organizational goals faster and more efficiently. With a CRM system, all the departments are able to function as a cohesive unit. The three way approach helps to give customers a better experience, convert more leads into sales, and increase company revenues.

Streamlines Functions
In sales, marketing and customer service areas, there are often many formalities that need to be done and recorded. Keeping customer records up to date, scheduling and tracking follow ups to clients, general record keeping about customer inquiries, complaints and resolutions are some of the critical, but often mundane tasks that employees need to complete. A CRM system enables the staff to quickly record data, and automates the follow ups, and customer records. With all the mundane tasks out of the way, the marketing team can focus their energy and efforts on creating impactful campaigns and the sales team can focus their efforts on converting prospects into loyal customers.

Aids in Marketing Campaigns
A CRM system can quickly analyze available data about individuals and identify the most promising prospects among them. The marketing team can identify their target market and design a campaign to convert them. The CRM program enables employees to plan and monitor their campaigns and analyses the effectiveness of their efforts. By allowing businesses to focus on their most promising segments, and fine tune their marketing strategies accordingly, a CRM system generates greater returns and reduces costs. Time, effort and money that would otherwise have been spent on marketing to individuals who would not become customers is thus saved.

Analysis and Reporting
The CRM program integrates customer and sales data and houses it in one place. This reduces data redundancy and allows the program to track and analyze the buying behavior of each customer. Thus when time comes around for a new product purchase, the CRM system enables the sales team to swiftly swoop in and ensure the customer remains loyal to the company. Additionally, companies have an automatic view of which products and services are selling well and which ones are not. Managers have a clear view of the overall sales and services performance of the company. It also allows them to identify the most and least efficient staff members and helps the HR department when time comes around for bonuses and pink slips.

To rule the market, it is essential that you treat your customer like a king. A customer relationship management system enables companies to focus on their customers and provide the best service to them. The data analytics gives staff an overview of each customer and help them to deliver personalized and customized experience to each and every client. The automation and efficiency afforded by the program gives the marketing and sales departments the ability to create and execute impactful campaigns that will ultimately increase the bottom line of the business.

Contributor : Vidushi

 

BAD CRM CAN KILL (COMPANIES)

With the advent of the social customer, businesses nowadays have to be far more careful in their interactions with buyers. One miffed customer can spell a PR disaster for companies.

Socila media Expand ERP

When Jeff Jarvis bought a Dell computer which soon malfunctioned, his repeated calls and mails to the customer service were met with either stony silence or unhelpful automated responses. Becoming disgruntled with the service, he wrote a scathing review on his blog, entitled “Dell Hell” that was shared widely across the internet. Around 10,000 people saw the post each day and shared their equally negative experience with the company. The top management only took notice when the story was shared in the mainstream media – almost too late. The company quickly jumped into action to assure Jarvis and the other bloggers that the matter would be fixed as soon as possible; however, the PR damage was done. In 2006 the company announced that it would be spending $100 million and ‘a lot of blood, sweat and tears’ to fix the issue. A costly disaster to say the least.

In today’s world, where each and every disgruntled customer may lead to a public relations disaster for a company, it becomes essential for businesses to deploy a smooth customer relation management program. To survive in this social setting, a solid CRM system is vital.

A good CRM system gives companies the following key advantages:

  • Allows customers to have seamless interactions with relevant persons in the organization to answer their queries and issues
  •  Gives greater automation to routine processes saving valuable time and resources for the company
  • With data analytics, it enables companies to predict their most valuable potential customers – and ensure optimal contact to secure their loyalty
  •  Creates a faster, more efficient customer relationship system
  •  Increases word of mouth publicity and sales

Had Dell employed a more thoughtful approach to their CRM strategy, perhaps it may have been able to save its blood, sweat, tears and money.

Contributor : Vidushi

BENEFITS OF CRM – Can a CRM system provide your business the boost…

Can a CRM system provide your business the boost that it needs to deliver the best to your clients?

Customer Relationship Management is essential. Companies are now subject to scrutiny from various governmental bodies. However, the most important scrutiny does not come from these institutions – it comes from potential and prospective clients. Here how to get these benefits of CRM.

What can a company do to alleviate a client’s doubts and suspicions? Ensure efficiency and expectation fulfillment of
every single consumer. A CRM system helps you manage your customers so you can provide world class service and have happy and satisfied clients.

A CRM system automates the ordering process, giving the buyers a smooth, hassle-free experience with the company. It saves time, both the customers’ and the employees’ and money by having a fast paperless order trial. All the business functions that are involved in the ordering, tracking, delivering, customer service and accounting process are made seamless with the implementation of this efficient system.
 
With an efficient CRM system, your business can look forward to the future:
 
1. Faster ordering process
2. Automated communication system
3. Real time order tracking
4. Seamless data integration
5. Significant time saving
6. Greater efficiency
7. Increased customer satisfaction
8. Faster company growth
 
Expand your business, generate greater leads, fulfill more orders and ultimately increase your revenue and profits. A CRM system ensures happy customers and happy shareholders. 
Contributor – Vidushi 
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