• Michael Intravartolo

Take Your Business Forward with Confidence



Choose a flexible business management solution from a vendor that minimizes your risk

Choosing new business management software for your organization can be a complicated process, and the outcome will have important long-term consequences. Choose correctly, and your new ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution can help you achieve the control, productivity, and insight you need to take your business forward with confidence. Choose incorrectly, and you risk diverting time, money, and management focus to making the solution work instead of making your business succeed.

We’ve created a 10-point checklist to help you conduct your search process methodically, and we’ve discussed one point from the checklist every week for the past nine weeks, Catch up on the series by clicking on the link for each individual post:

1. __ Goes beyond traditional ERP

2. __ Offers deployment flexibility and choice

3. __ Features strong customer-vendor relationships

4. __ Integrates easily with other LOB applications

5. __ Delivers ease of use

6. __ Provides cost predictability

7. __ Enables forward-looking insight

8. __ Delivers ongoing innovation

9. __ Supports and drives growth

This week, we look at how the right business management solution can help reduce your overall risk.

Business involves risk… the right solution can help you reduce it

Let’s start by considering three kinds of risk:

Core business risk. Operating a business—managing people, manufacturing or procuring your product, warehousing and distributing it, setting your pricing strategy, engaging customers, competing against other organizations as eager to succeed as you are—all of this creates business risk. Lots of things can go wrong. Lots of details need attention. The right solution helps you tend to business by providing integrated, end-to-end visibility across your operation; delivering timely, relevant information that keeps you on top of the details; and streamlining your business processes for peak performance. The result: reduced core business risk.

The risk of the unexpected. Unexpected developments—economic downturns, disruptive new technologies, changing customer preferences, or new competitors, for example—can also put your business at risk. You need to spot these risks and counter them before they cause trouble. The right business solution delivers critical information and provides built-in business intelligence tools to help your team minimize the risks created by unanticipated events.

Change-related risks. Sticking with your underperforming, entry-level accounting software or outdated legacy systems limits your growth and business potential. But moving to a new business management solution may involve risks of its own. How stable is the vendor? Will they be around for the long term? Are they, or their technology partners, locally available to provide assistance when you want it? How user-friendly is their solution? Will your people need a lot of training to use it? How easy—and affordable—will it be to deploy, maintain, upgrade, modify, and extend? Does the vendor have a track record of technology innovation, and a documented plan for integrating new technology into their products? You can avoid the risks underlying these questions by choosing a stable vendor known for innovation, one that delivers easy-to-use solutions supported by local technology professionals who understand your business.

A business solution from Microsoft can help you reduce risk

Count on a business solution designed for small and midsize businesses to help you reduce:

  • Core business risk—A business solution from Microsoft goes beyond stand-alone accounting or ERP software to create an integrated, end-to-end view of your entire business. This helps you reduce business risk by proactively managing all of your business processes, including production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, marketing, and sales. In addition, a unique combination of business intelligence, collaboration, and communication tools are embedded throughout our business management solution, providing an intuitive and familiar user experience that increases user adoption and inspires productivity.

  • The risk of the unexpected—On-demand access to critical information and integrated business intelligence tools help you and your people spot potential problems before they occur and quickly address those that arise before they can impact customer satisfaction and sales.

  • Change-related risks—Microsoft is a stable organization with a demonstrated history of innovation and a solid reputation for service after the sale. Our global network of locally based technology partners are available to help you take the risk out of deployment, integration with other business applications you use, upgrading, and extending our solutions. Flexible on-premises or subscription-based licensing options let you decide how best to purchase and deploy your software.

Customer success story

Small and midsize businesses around the world trust business management solutions from Microsoft to help them reduce risk, so they can move forward with confidence. Check out the experience of one UK print firm, highlighted below.

Stephens & George Print Group

“The system has given us clarity in our thinking, turning decisions that traditionally could have been seen as risky into actions based on solid facts.” Andrew Jones, Group Managing Director

Needs

  • Improved productivity

  • Streamlined business processes

  • One system that integrates all business processes

  • Seamless dataflow

Benefits

  • Business growth accommodated by same staff: cost savings

  • Four-day stock management process reduced to one hour

  • Ten-day monthly invoicing workload reduced to three days

  • Improved customer service

  • Improved factory throughout and sales planning

  • Integrated business solution reduces risk

Join us next week as we pull all the elements of our checklist together and offer some conclusions about how you can take your business forward with confidence.

Learn more about a business solution from Microsoft, take a product test drive, register for an upcoming webcast, or just read more about our solutions.


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