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How Business Owners Can Benefit from ERP Software

Business owners are always looking for ways to manage their daily operations more efficiently. You want to provide the right resources for patients to make their visits easier. If you’re searching for new tools to implement, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an excellent investment.

This article will cover:

  • What ERP software is
  • How it benefits growing businesses
  • Examples of how to utilize ERP software
  • Resources that can help provide a better customer experience

There’s quite a bit to cover here with each of these topics. If you’re wondering if ERP software is right for your business, you’ll have all the answers you need to decide by the end of this article. Read on to get all the information.

What Is ERP Software?

ERP software is a resource to help your business manage everyday tasks. It integrates your main business practices into one streamlined system. Any modern organization will use several digital tools to track data and improve the customer experience. Common tools include:

  • Accounting software
  • Data-tracking software
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Scheduling systems

All of these and more are critical aspects of an organization’s system. However, they are often accessed through separate software and systems. You may use QuickBooks for accounting, Salesforce for CRM, Microsoft Excel for manually tracking key data, and so on.

Managing all of these different programs in different places can create disorganization and frustration. An ERP helps by eliminating the need for separate software to manage certain everyday tasks. Instead, you can manage all these functions through one system that tracks everything. In doing so, your employees, patients, and bottom line will all benefit.

How Can ERP Software Benefit Your Business?

If you still aren’t convinced, there are several other ways ERP software benefits businesses. Here are some of the main benefits:

1. Track key performance indicators (KPIs)

Every organization wants to get the best results for patients. Valuable key performance indicators like customer lifetime value, revenue growth, and employee productivity can show you how you’re performing. ERP software can track all that data in an organized system.

2. More efficient customer service

If ever an organization needed to offer quick, efficient service, it’s small and growing businesses. Emergencies are frequent, and you need to be able to process information through your systems fast to get patients the care they need. An ERP will provide you with information in a single place to speed up systems drastically.

3. Increase information security

Cybersecurity is a major concern for every business. It’s especially important for every business that handles transactions, where sensitive information can be vulnerable to malicious actors. If you store information across numerous software programs, this increases the chances of a data breach—intentional or otherwise. Putting everything on an ERP makes storage more efficient and helps you focus security measures in one place.

4. Reduce physical and digital storage needs

Having a vast amount of information spread across paper hard copies and digital files creates a storage nightmare. That’s a big problem for businesses that have to be timely and organized. You can reduce your storage and free up physical and digital space by using ERP software for everything.

As you can tell, an ERP can be a valuable resource. The next section will provide some additional examples to show how these benefits can come into play.

How ERP Software Can Help Streamline Processes

If you’re looking for an ERP to help manage your growing business, here are some key results to look for in the software that you choose:

  1. Streamline the customer experience while keeping everything organized and secure
  2. Manage billing, documents, scheduling, and more all in one place
  3. Create digital customer and vendor portals that make setting appointments and organizing schedules easy
  4. Use tried and true accounting practices to manage your financials appropriately

All these features and more will help your business provide better and more efficient service.

Conclusion

There you have it. You should now have the information you need to decide if implementing an ERP will be right for your organization.

Using one will benefit your bottom line by organizing your financials, customer portals, document management, and more all in one place.

Manufacturing Software for Small Businesses: A New Kind Of Solution

When it comes to manufacturing, efficiency and speed are the top requirements to meet demands. The best way to increase the speed and efficiency of your operations is a cloud based manufacturing software that has individualized solutions based on the size of the business. A common misconception when it comes to an ERP for manufacturing is that it’s only useful and suitable for big businesses. On the contrary, due to the rise in business manufacturing software platforms in the recent decade, it is easy to find one suitable for any business size. The main caveat is to find a small business manufacturing software that is adjustable and flexible to accommodate the size of your business.

Benefits of a Small Business Manufacturing Software

According to Netsuite, “Manufacturing companies are the most likely adopters of ERP,” and the number one out of any other user. Additionally, “Manufacturers represented the largest portion at 47% of companies looking to purchase ERP software.” There’s no doubt that manufacturing companies benefit from the use of business manufacturing software. The tools used to achieve  success and efficiency are compiled in a single cloud-based system that all employees have easy access to, including through multiple devices at once.. This reduces human error, organizes important information that could otherwise be easily misplaced or lost, and creates an easier way to connect with clients. Here are more ways business management software for manufacturers can benefit your small business:

Better Organization

One easily recognizable benefit of using a small business manufacturing software is better organization of documents, data, and other information. Previously, it was manageable for smaller businesses to withstand information being placed in several different places. Now, by effectively usingERP software, businesses don’t have to ‘get by’ with disjointed data organization. On top of this new trend, it is difficult to grow your small manufacturing business by only using things such as a paper-based system, Excel, or having too many folders to keep track of. Employees are more likely to learn fast and be more efficient when the technological environment they’re surrounded in is up to date.

Imagine this: a new employee starts their first day of training only to be bombarded with information they need to memorize on the placement of important documents that are located in several places. One is in an overstocked file cabinet on the bottom drawer, one is in a folder on the computer amongst dozens of others, and the other is sent through multiple emails. Additionally, it is more difficult to communicate with clients through email that might be sent to spam, lost in the inbox, or on the phone when they assume your call is one of the spam calls we’re all too familiar with. . With a small business manufacturing software, it is easier to keep track of information and stay more organized.

Save Time

By using a small business manufacturing software, you are eliminating extra time spent training employees who are less likely to retain too much information in a short period of time. This extra training costs money (both directly and indirectly) over time, so it’s difficult to handle the long term strain that puts on a small business’s budget. Instead, training employees through a single, unified manufacturing software enables better retention as a result of the easy-to-follow structure and the nature of everything always being in one place.

Efficient Communication

People underestimate the necessity of what a seamless, integrated manufacturing system can do for communication. For both clients and employees, it is an integral part of growing a business to scale. When many manufacturers produce similar products for a similar target audience, it becomes difficult to differentiate yourself in the free market. By using a small business manufacturing software, it becomes easier for your business to stand out when you have a better system of communication with clients. Additionally, a seamless system and ease of usability can increase productivity and create more positive experiences across the board.

Accuracy

When too much trust is placed in human ability, it is easy to lose information or ignore tools necessary for growth. Without the right tools, a business can stagnate, or worse, deteriorate. Inaccuracy when counting inventory, managing logistics, or just the general flow of information can occur when the right systems are not in place. To avoid debilitating errors, tools such as inventory control, operations dashboards, integrated accounting tools, and document storage interfaces are all tools found within a small business manufacturing software that will help with accuracy and placement of information. 

The Takeaway

The best small business manufacturing software will be customizable to meet your business needs and size. Important features that include aiding in inventory management, reporting, logistics, and distribution to grow your small business. 

Striven Named #2 Small Business Manufacturing Software of 2022 – SoftwareAdvice

Lumberton, NJ (December 6th, 2022)-  SoftwareAdvice, a leading provider of business software reviews, has named Striven as the 2nd best small business manufacturing software of 2022.

Striven’s placement above the majority of manufacturing software options showcases the increased emphasis that manufacturers place on incorporating business management technology into their daily operations. For small manufacturers, the need for modern, powerful technological solutions is especially relevant.

While many manufacturers have traditionally relied on outdated, disconnected, and occasionally analog software systems, the need for updated technology in the manufacturing sector has become increasingly prevalent. And for small businesses that have previously had to work with bloated, expensive ERP systems, Striven provides an easy-to-use, affordable alternative that includes everything small manufacturers need to grow and thrive.

An all in one business management software like Striven allows businesses to connect their financial data directly into other silos of their company including project management, CRM, inventory management, and more.

Striven ranks #2 in the ‘Small Business Manufacturing Software’ category ahead of other notable software solutions including Acumatica, MRPEasy, Katana, Netsuite, and Fishbowl.

Orion H, a small business decision maker who uses Striven to manage his company’s daily operations, added this about his experience with the system:

“This software has everything a business would need all in one place. Too many times do companies find themselves needing a handful of different software programs to organize their different departments.

Striven takes all those major departments and stores it in one place, which makes it significantly easier to track, organize, and provide the information needed.”

To learn more about Striven and read about customer experiences using the platform, visit the company’s ratings and review page.

About Striven
Striven is an ERP software for small and growing businesses that want to expand, simplify, and reduce costs. Striven combines all of the features for accounting, projects, sales, inventory, management, reporting, and more into a single streamlined system.

Contractor Management Software: Benefits and Advantages

The world of construction and contracting contains a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively. Tools, materials, and machines need to be transported, assembled, and installed at every job site. 

Beyond the physical labor lies the real headache of contracting—legal documents, compliance measures, appraisals, estimates, budget reports…the list is seemingly endless.

Every business that handles construction and contractor management does things a bit differently. Some have completely integrated business management software solutions while others still rely on manual, analog business practices. 

The reality is that most businesses find themselves somewhere in between when it comes to technological integration.

Benefits Of Contractor Management Software

Construction and contracting companies (and businesses in other industries that rely on various types of contract work) share a common goal, no matter the specifics of the project, customer, or client—that common goal is creating value and increasing revenue.

construction and contractor management software

Experts on construction and contracting productivity estimate that 35% of construction time is spent on non-productive activities. It’s not necessarily the activities, objectives, or the people themselves that are inefficient—it’s the methods and processes that cause stagnation. 

Contractor management software helps businesses streamline the processes that their business already accomplishes on a daily basis. Job costing, equipment tracking, and estimating are just some of the processes that contractor management software helps your business improve upon.

Have you experienced the pitfalls of tracking equipment with pencil and paper? Have you had to repeatedly run the same numbers to make sure you’re still under budget? Have you had to pause your labor to call your office staff numerous times from the same job site on the same day to acquire crucial information?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to consider exploring the use of contractor management software within your organization.

On the other hand, if you haven’t experienced any of these headaches yet, consider yourself lucky. You have the chance to proactively build better processes before any of these hurdles arise.

Better Communication, Better Bottom Line

Communication is important in every line of work. However, when it comes to working with a variety of subcontractors and contracted parties, communication takes on an increased importance.

Quality communication—or lack thereof—has a tangible impact on job sites. In construction and engineering projects, 52% of rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication. This translates to nearly $31.3 billion in rework in the U.S. alone in 2022.

construction professionals communicating over blueprint

By utilizing the tools that contractor management software offers, you won’t have any ambiguity about budgets, schedules, or the status of work. 

Imagine this: many businesses use emails to send documents, isolated hard drives to store files, text messages to share images and status updates, paper and pencil to sign out equipment and materials, and expensive third parties to craft contracts. 

Using so many disconnected software systems (not to mention some entirely paper-based systems) leaves the door open for errors, delays, and miscommunication of all kinds. Contractor management software puts everything you need in one place, able to be accessed anywhere, anytime, without the high risk of errors and faulty data.

Reduced Risk Exposure

The task of maintaining full legal and regulatory compliance is a multifaceted, challenging endeavor. Businesses deal with complex and oft-changing tax codes, strict OSHA regulations, and countless types of insurance guidelines. 

It’s easy for disorganization to run rampant if your systems and processes are not efficient and in unison. Though it may be tempting to safe keep all pertinent company documents in your private, isolated filing cabinet, it’s important to understand that there is a better, safer, more effective way. 

One of the biggest benefits of contractor management software is that you’ll be able to set parameters for your organization’s specific compliance requirements. From there, you can upload documents and let automation handle the rest.

With a quick search query you’ll be able to:

  • Make sure that all of your contingency workers have their certifications up to date
  • Verify specific tax considerations for each job site
  • Manage documents relating to incident reports and insurance claims

Beyond the increased level of organization and speed of access, your documents will be safer, too—a cloud-based, cryptographically protected, backed-up document storage solution will make sure that your data is never lost or damaged. 

Compared to the single, lock-and-key filing cabinet, contractor management software is a much better solution for making sure that you and your employees are fully protected, both physically and legally.

Better Talent Acquisition and Onboarding

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business—making sure that your pool of prospective talent stays warm should be of the utmost priority. 

The hiring and onboarding processes are never without hiccups and a substantial time commitment. This becomes even more true when your business relies on the services of subcontractors and freelancers. 

Hr Manager Hand Hold Cv Resume Of Construction Worker Over Group Of People Different Professions Choose Candidate

Building a better and more efficient hiring process takes time, energy, and yes, money. Investing in your employees and their well-being begins before they officially sign on—it starts with the hiring process itself.

The good news is that your talent acquisition solution doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of relying on costly sites such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn to manage your hiring processes, you can (easily and cost-efficiently) handle it internally. Better yet—most of the process can be automated.

Beyond cost savings, you’ll be able to find candidates that truly match your organization’s needs.

The best contractor management software solutions offer an integrated HR portal that handles everything you need to attract, hire, onboard, and retain top talent. Create job postings, store background checks, resumes, and other documents, and automate recruiting workflows by position. 

Operational Overview

While delegation and trust are important qualities of being a business leader, it’s still just as important to maintain an accurate, informed overview of all of your business operations.

Though you may not be directly involved in certain aspects of a project lifecycle, it’s still crucial to be able to access all of that information at a glance. 

Let’s take a look at this example:

A customer drastically changes their mind about the direction of a project. In the beginning, they were looking for something “simplistic”, but things have changed—new decision-makers have been appointed, and they have their own vision of how things should look. They’re signing the checks, after all, so you do your best to accommodate.

Your project manager comes to you for input about the client’s requested changes. 

“We’re going to need a bigger daily budget, more highly-specialized contractors, new materials that need to be shipped from halfway across the world…”

As you’ve probably witnessed firsthand, the list of variables that change during the lifecycle of a project is seldom only three items long. If your processes are disconnected and disorganized, the logistics of making these changes a reality will be a major headache.

Double-checking figures, searching for missing documents, scouring through old text messages and emails, manually taking inventory—in all reality, these few hang-ups only scratch the surface of what you’ll need to account for.  

Project managers, and employees in helmets

Contractor management software keeps the small details neatly organized while never losing sight of the big picture. Create interactive workflows, organize tasks for each employee with smart labeling technology, and easily adjust job scopes and timelines.

Not only will this make you and your workers’ lives easier, but it’ll also provide your client with up-to-the-minute, fully transparent information. 

Even after the contractors are done, it’s important to remember that they’re not the only people involved in the business surrounding buying, selling, and maintaining it. It’s important to make sure that the software you choose to help increase efficiency and boost profits also acts as software for real estate development teams that are affiliated with this property.

Contractor Management Software Keeps Your Business Moving

Contracting is never a one-size-fits-all industry. No matter the project, there will always be changes, updates, and hurdles. This will never change. As a leader, your job is to navigate these choppy waters with planned precision and professionalism. 

Contractor management software helps immensely—it allows you to plan ahead while being able to make adjustments with ease. It allows you to intuitively remove inefficiencies in order to cut costs. It also allows you to plan for the future by ensuring that your pipeline of contractors and subcontractors is skilled and plentiful. 

all in one contractor and construction management software

If you find yourself consistently looking for a better, less stressful path to completed jobs and sustained success, contractor management software will allow you to accomplish just that.

How Partnerships Can Impact Sales

In the manufacturing sector, we all are reliant on strategic partnerships with our suppliers, dealers, distributors, freight and rail vendors, and customers. Success is dependent on the entire network. If one link in the chain fails, we all fail.

As a distributor in the middle of the funnel, we rely on our international suppliers for their subject-matter expertise, product inventory, training, and marketing materials. They rely on us for our sales and marketing expertise, technical support, and local customer relationships. The customer relies on us to provide an accurate and on-time order to supply their manufacturing process so they can manufacture and deliver to their customer. There are so many interdependencies in a distribution channel. 

crm manufacturing software

How can manufacturers or distributors develop these customer relationships? Well, first we need to generate leads to nurture and, eventually, convert into customer relationships and sales.

7 Ways Manufacturers (Or Almost Any Industry) Can Build Partnerships

1. Phone Calls

Yes, cold calling still is a thing. And as people tend to ignore email messages and social messages, sometimes picking up the phone and having an old-fashioned chat is the best method. In the past year, phone calls often have become video calls via Zoom, Teams, and other digital platforms that allow us to replicate face-to-face meetings à la The Jetsons.

2. In-Person Meetings

One of the best ways to build a partnership is a handshake and sit down. We tend to buy from people we like. If someone can see your body language and hear your tone of voice, he or she is more likely to develop a relationship with you as a person. The email can be the introduction or open the door, but the personality usually closes the sale. The inability to do so in the COVID-era has spawned the advent of video meetings that tend to be more cost- and time-effective, as well as sanitary. No hand gel required. That leads us to…

3. Tradeshows

This tried-and-true method of collecting leads went away in March 2020, and most people in the industry found that virtual tradeshows just weren’t as effective. By now, organizations have returned to in-person tradeshows.

4. Email Marketing

Email and messaging,Email marketing campaign,Working process, New email message

This tried-and-true method of collecting leads went away in March 2020, and most people in the industry found that virtual tradeshows just weren’t as effective. Happily, organizations have since returned to in-person tradeshows.

You can email your existing customers or qualified leads who have opted in from your website or a tradeshow, but don’t purchase lists! These people have not opted in. You can get shut down for spam. So, how do you get new leads? Read on!

5. Social Media

Posting on social media is a good way to develop brand recognition and get to know people who become your advocates. Join groups that are specific to your industry. Then you can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator or paid ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google and do pay-per-click campaigns to further identify interested leads.

6. Trade Publications

If you have the budget (that you’ve saved from tradeshows and salespeople out on the road), you always can go the route of placing digital and print ads or even a low-cost spend of a listing in directories or guides. A more expensive, but effective, option is to deliver a webinar that the publication promotes. This will give you a list of new leads that you CAN add to your CRM and email marketing campaigns. Another route is contributed content. This means looking at the journal’s editorial calendar and pitching the editor with a thought-leadership article. If accepted, it costs you nothing but the time to write it. It gets your name in front of potential customers and positions you as an industry leader while familiarizing people with your brand. Also, a free listing (yes, FREE) with Thomasnet will drive some traffic to your site.

7. Trade Associations and Online Forums

One organization that can help with resources for small- to mid-sized manufacturers is your local Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). On a larger scale, there’s the National Association for Manufacturers (NAM). Additionally, industry-specific and regional trade associations can get you in front of customers. Think about pitching a technical talk or webinar and presenting to the organization’s membership rather than just attending meetings and handing out cards. This can show your value and expertise. Join some online forums where people are looking for information, for instance, Reddit, Quora, or industry-specific forums. It’s all about positioning the brand as an industry leader.

Next Steps

Some of these methods require content. Content is necessary for marketing. You can take that article you wrote for the trade pub, host it on your website, gate it behind a sign-in, then promote it on social media or with a PPC campaign. This will allow you to capture leads. We’ve all entered our name, company, title, and email in those fields on a website to download some content that we thought would be useful. 

It’s time for manufacturers to ramp up their digital games and jump on technology in order to build partnerships to generate leads that turn into sales. Technology can be your partner.

all in one manufacturing software

The future is here and is only going to get more complex. If you didn’t notice it before, you saw it in 2020 during COVID when in-person meetings ground to a halt and lead generation tapered off or plummeted. We need to embrace it to grow our businesses and remain viable in the digital age. If we don’t, we will go the way of the dinosaurs, or our business will plateau. If you want growth, then things need to change.

Automation: Linking Manufacturers and Localization

For a long time, manufacturers have operated within the parameters of globalization as a necessary strategy for success in a worldwide marketplace.

What is the definition of globalization? According to the World Economic Forum, globalization can be defined in simple terms as “the process by which people and goods move easily across borders. Principally, it’s an economic concept – the integration of markets, trade, and investments with few barriers to slow the flow of products and services between nations.”

manufacturing management software

In manufacturing, globalization has long been a strategy. Because of this strategy, products produced in large factories in low-cost areas such as Asia have benefited consumers. Low costs for doing business have generated operational cost savings that have been transferred to end users. The volume of available products has also been a benefit to consumers.

Yet globalization may be moving past its prime in terms of effectiveness in the world of manufacturing. Labor pools are dwindling and costs of doing business continue to rise. There is a shift towards localization happening in manufacturing.

This shift provides economic opportunities for companies of all sizes and it’s changing how manufacturers are doing business. When you add automation into this shifting paradigm, it becomes even more effective.

What is localization?

In manufacturing, localization is having a network of smaller manufacturing facilities around the world rather than a few large production centers. Why is localization important in manufacturing? It allows manufacturers to be closer to where their customers are. With a localization strategy, large companies can still think globally but build locally. This is efficiently achieved through automation in the form of micro factories.

What is a microfactory?

Microfactories are smaller factories that utilize automation rather than human labor, saving money while increasing the quality of production and consistency of output.

Normally, smaller factories serving regional markets would seem at odds with the goals of large companies with production centers. Through automation in the form of microfactories, however, large companies can effectively achieve localization strategies. This opens the door to lower costs, more efficient operations, and greater scope of use for manufacturers. It gives large companies the best of both worlds.

Microfactories have another added benefit in the world marketplace. They even the playing field because they make manufacturing more accessible to businesses that can’t afford massive manufacturing overhead but still have products to produce.

Small businesses looking to better utilize automation can now utilize the scale of manufacturing for their products without the overhead costs that exist in a global strategy. With machine automation and localization, and the cost efficiencies that accompany them, manufacturing becomes accessible to just about anyone.

There are many cost benefits to automation as it affects localization. But there are other benefits for manufacturers as well. Proximity to customers means businesses can be more in tune with customer wants and needs. Marketing plans can be geared towards a specific regional audience and campaigns can be responsive to what customers respond to.

manufacturing management software profit

Globalization is losing the impact it once had in a world where consumer demand for authenticity and affinity is steadily increasing. Automation, as a bridge for manufacturers, increases the ability for companies of all sizes to embrace localization and succeed in a rapidly changing marketplace.