Harnessing the power of technology

A report prepared by Plum Consulting for Sage Ireland revealed that Irish SMEs could save up to €2.2 billion annually in administrative costs by harnessing the power of technology.

The report, titled “Sweating the Small Stuff: the impact of the bureaucracy burden” examined the impact of administrative tasks on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and found that Irish companies have fallen behind their international competition in the uptake  of digitalisation to address burdensome tasks. For instance, more than 55% do not make use of digital aids to relieve the administration burden on their staff.

Administration accounts for 3.5% of the total manpower of the average business and, according to Sage Ireland’s live productivity tracker, the cost of lost productivity so far in 2018 amounts to over €309m.

The report’s findings highlight the largest administrative task for small and medium sized businesses in Ireland is accounting. Operational tasks, such as recruitment and HR, represents a smaller burden for entrepreneurs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, accountancy-type tasks are the most likely to be digitalised, with accounts, tax and payroll benefiting. Other HR administration, along with talent acquisition, are less likely to have any digital processes in place, with less than 40% of companies reporting a degree of digitalisation.
Given the general lack of digitisation, there is a clear opportunity here for SMEs to improve their processes for dealing with administration.

The Foundation for Building Excellence

Mark McArdle of Intact discusses the interdependence of technology, operational excellence and competitive advantage for the building supplies industry.

The number one reason why our customers invest in a new business software platform is that they see it as a platform for growth. Ambitious merchants and building supplies distributors are recognising that business software is not simply a tool there to process transactions, manage finances and record interactions. Modern business software platforms deliver so much more.

In a recent customer survey (Dec 2018) over 90% of our customers stated that our next-generation business software solution for merchants, Intact iQ, provided them with a strong platform for growth. They also noted that is has driven automation in their business making them more efficient and given them the controls they needed to run their business optimally. Think back to when you invested in your current system.

If it was longer than 10 years ago, is your solution now fit for today’s digital age? Think about how much technology has changed in that period. Think about how customer (b2b
and b2c) expectations have also changed in this period. The landscape we live in is now very different but with that brings great opportunities for those businesses who wish to embrace the power of technology in a real and practical way to future-proof their business and enable their business to be at its best.

Modern business software platforms, like Intact iQ, are engineered to deliver transformative benefits for your business:

  • Maximise efficiency with personalised workspaces
  • Real time visibility and control with a fully integrated business wide solution
  • Mobilise your workforce with role based apps
  • Boost productivity with workflow automation
  • Enhance decision making with integrated business intelligence
  • Enhance margin and better serve your customers with a merchant focused, fully integrated trade counter
  • Remove barriers to growth with a system that can expand and scale with ease
  • Sell online seamlessly with a fully integrated e-commerce solution

Merchant Software for Merchant Challenges

At Intact the benefits noted above apply for all of our customers but given our focus on the merchant market our solutions have been designed and are constantly being enhanced to help best address the challenges you face in your industry. We do this because we believe technology designed for your business drives your business.

  1. Rebates

Rebates are a huge part of your business and rebate management has always been a challenge. The flexibility in our solution, Intact iQ, allows you to cope with complex rules or even bring in group results to give a more realistic rebate value. But once you have traceability of this key data then rebate management comes into play. This involves easy tracking of progress, pro-active notification of rebates due and where threshold boundaries are close. The administrative savings here are huge.

2. Negotiation

Linked to this is negotiation. Your customers will still want ‘their price’ so you have to negotiate but the trick here is to minimise and monitor this using some flexible rules. Minimum margin within a product group is unacceptable as products vary so much within that group. Inline overriding of margin exceptions by senior staff aids transaction flow here.

3. Ease of Use

Nearly every ITT (invitation to tender) we get talks about ‘ease of use’ and ’simplification of processes’. This is where the flexibility of Intact iQ shines and allows our users to tailor each screen and process to exactly what they need to see. Keep things simple and drill into the infrequent detail when needed.

4. Integration

Integration is essential for a modern merchant as there are so many best of breed systems out there. The framework within Intact iQ allows us to import or export pretty much anything using classic formats like CSV or Excel. But our RESTful API takes things to another level. You can allow read or update access to any object in Intact iQ without any development effort. You can control the whole thing via a visual designer. This is a dream come true for web developers who have traditionally struggled with integrating with ‘hard
coded’ web service APIs.

It’s time to stop thinking about business software as a piece of technology that simply assists you in performing your key business operations. Your business software is critical to your business success.

Visit intactsoftware.com to find out more about Intact and how they are empowering merchant businesses to operate at their best.

Have you been digitally transformed?

You process sales transactions on your ERP system. You have a website. You market your business via social media. Does this mean you have ‘digitally transformed’ your business? Unfortunately not. Tony Pey – Kerridge Commercial Systems says “‘Digital transformation’ is all about implementing technology to change the culture and behaviours within a  business – rather than just using it to streamline existing processes. It’s also about the ability to meet the levels of today’s customer expectation – and the instant gratification we all expect from being constantly connected through apps and mobile devices”.

There are two approaches to defining your IT strategy. The first is simply to extend the digital reach within your existing business model. Maybe you began with automated accounting and ERP and are now digitising further areas of the business such as payroll. The second approach involves using IT to transform the business model itself to substantially improve efficiencies – and customer service. Software providers are developing apps for use on iOS and Android devices to help facilitate the transformation, and to enable operatives to undertake tasks in a showroom or warehouse that were previously done behind a desk or counter.

For example there are delivery apps that deliver autonomy to drivers by enabling them to access and manage a branch generated electronic manifest with signature capture. Counter
staff and customers planning purchases are now using shopping apps with rich visual content. Staff can approach customers and use these to discuss and build an order that is fed back to the core system.

Adopting a digital strategy means driving new behavior among your teams and empowering them to work in ways that will enhance customer service – as well as driving efficiencies throughout your business!

Find out more information on how Kerridge Commercial Systems can help your business digitally transform. Call +353 (0)15457100 or email hello@kerridgecs.com

The Future of Business Starts with Profile

Profile has always been at the forefront of business management technology since 1980 and 2019 is no exception. They have recently developed a cross platform application to
run on a wireless scanning device alongside their accounting software, suitable for any business to seamlessly add to their existing Profile system.

The application will run on any modern touchscreen scanning device which can be supplied by Profile if required and has an extensive list of features all designed to make the running of a modern store as efficient as possible.

Stock taking can be carried out throughout the year by section by simply scanning or picking an item and entering the quantity. Stock checks can be swiftly completed by simply scanning your shelf edge label or item barcode and you can then print labels or proceed to order for either purchasing or for a sale. When goods are received in, the device can then be used to scan items into stock.

As with the rest of the Profile accounting system, the app will be continuously developed with new features always being added and updated. Support as always is second to none with the manufacturing, development, support and marketing of the software all done from one team.

If you feel like your system is standing still or not giving you the results you want to see, just look to Profile. To see a demonstration of how the Profile system can bring your
business into the next level, just give them a call or email on www.profteck.ie