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Author Archive Michael Pendred

Tips to Increase Profits without Increasing Prices

We hear it all time – “work smarter, not harder”, but what does it really mean? With more competition than ever, businesses are finding smarter ways to grow their profits, without increasing their prices. The smartest way to increase profits is to look at your bottom line and find a way to cut costs, but before you start streamlining your business you need to know exactly where to start.

Having an accurate and transparent way to assess and report on exactly where your business is now, will help you find those essential (and sometimes hidden) cost savings. Here are few tips on places you can begin, when assessing the best ways to grow your business, without increasing prices.

close up of employees sitting around desk

Manage Your Costs Accurately

Start by looking at your profit margins to see what works and what doesn’t. Focus on the products or activities that are the most profitable, and minimise the ones that aren’t.

Try to cut any expenses that don’t add value to your company or customers. Consider what can be done without, for example selling off old inventory that’s just taking up space.

Stabilising your production system can help you to reduce your amount of surplus stock. Often there are cost savings to purchasing stock in bulk, so look at where and how you can make long term savings with your stock control. This will then free up your cash flow and profit margins. There may also be benefits to ordering more frequently, so make sure you do your research with suppliers. Having an accurate stock control will also help to avoid losses from expired or discontinued inventory.

Grow Existing Customers

Focus on supporting existing customers, and set yourself apart by competing in areas other than price. Maybe your business can beat the competition by speeding up its processes, or offering an additional value add service. If you identify your customer’s pain points, you may find a way to offer value beyond the product and price.

Helping customers to learn about your products or services, and what sets them apart, will improve their experience and ensure they’re getting the best value possible from their purchase. There is nothing worse than losing a customer to a competitor, for a product or service you offer, but they didn’t know about.

Standardise Your Procedures

Standardising your procedures across multiple business sites or teams helps to ensure there is no wastage or inconsistent procedures followed, be it anything from stock control to sales. For example, using less energy when not required, or helping to improve staff productivity by omitting redundant procedures or upgrading technology.

Business management software such as MYOB helps give you a holistic view of all aspects of your business to ensure correct procedures are in place and omits costly errors.

Empower Your Team

Utilise your workforce’s full potential by creating channels for feedback and suggestions. If your whole team understand the company goals and aims, they can all contribute to ways to increase profits.

Reduce your operating costs by ensuring your team is equipped with accurate, up-to-date information. Streamlining the decision-making process will encourage efficient and informed business decisions, saving you time and money in the long run.

Renegotiate Contracts Regularly

Lock in long term contracts which are to your advantage, but regularly renegotiate where possible. Looking at high expenditures, such as your lease or technology provider, can uncover some amazing cost savings. With new competitors or changes in the market place, you might find your existing contract is well above the industry standard.

Keep a close eye on all outgoings, including power and water bills. You might be surprised to find you’ve been overcharged or even incorrectly billed for products or services not received. Have a process in place to regularly review all contracts.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

A well-run business generates higher profits, without having to sacrifice competitive advantage on price. Cut your own time in half, as well as the stress and anxiety of managing your business by implementing business management software.

Horizon Business Systems have been helping businesses perform better for over a decade. Contact us today to see how you can improve your profits, without increasing prices.

Why your Not for Profit needs a smarter business solution

Purchasing an ERP software solution, to streamline your Not for Profit organisation, is a crucial business decision. It offers a tangible return on investment, with time saved and increased accuracy within your business.

For Not for Profit organisations an effective and accountable management system is essential – influencing everything from public confidence in your organisation; to being able to easily manage the requirements for accurate reporting for tax reporting and/or funding with small teams of administrative staff; to managing multiple locations or varied service offerings.

With the NDIS system expanding, your NFP team are supported in streamlining current processes to ensure compliance, with an end to end business management solution, such as MYOB Advanced, to focus on the important work that you are doing, rather than just on your finances.

Not for Profit Volunteers

Our team at Horizon Business Systems are specialists in the Not for Profit space and we have put together some top reasons why other Not for Profits in Western Australia have chosen MYOB Advanced:

It saves time:

Having access to precise, thorough reporting will not only save time, but also allow you to plan ahead to grow your organisation. Having better insight into your business processes, will ultimately save you time, money and headaches going forward.

Manage costs accurately:

Smaller systems often don’t manage purchasing well and have no approval processes which is often needed in Not for Profit. MYOB Advanced allows Management to approve purchase orders prior to committing to the spend against budgets in order to better manage costs.  Not for Profits can need to manage projects with time and cost tracking which can run over many years and that smaller systems (with limitations to one financial year) cannot manage.

A system that can grow with you:

We want your ERP solution to grow with you. MYOB Advanced offers a fully scalable platform, meaning it’s easy to add features that you don’t need now but may do in the future when your organisation or its service offerings expands.

Helps Manage Your Diverse Workforce:

Not for Profits often have a dispersed workforce, perhaps with varied shifts and work hours, week to week or multiple locations. Managing payroll for staff can be quite labour intensive and inaccurate. Having a streamlined software solution, can take the pain out of this process, while ensuring accurate payroll processes.

Allows for Simple Reporting to the Tax Office and other stakeholders:

Not for Profits have a heightened need to report accurately and transparently to the Tax Office and other stakeholders. The MYOB Advanced ERP system allows you to do just that with efficient reporting and customisable templates making it easy to manage your books and report effectively.  Horizon and MYOB Advanced allows your company to build their own Chart of Accounts, cost centres, sub accounts and branches and gives flexibility in reporting for different stakeholders.  Often integration to Government agencies, such as NDIA, is a requirement and, with MYOB Advanced, we can automate these transactions so time is not wasted with keying in or preparing lengthy spreadsheets to upload.

Cloud Technology:

Moving your business to the cloud is not a matter of if, but when. This technology removes the need for expensive servers and allows your staff access to real time information, from anywhere with an internet connection. You can also “Mobile enable” your workforce, giving access to information via their smart phones.   MYOB has an extensive history as an innovator and market leader in management software solutions and Cloud technology.

Customisable to Suit Your Organisation:

The right ERP software can be customised to suit the unique needs of your organisation. Each organisation is different, and you need the flexibility to add in features that suit your unique requirements.  Horizon Business Systems have worked with hundreds of businesses, including many Not for Profit organisations, and we take the time to understand your business needs and aims.

Ongoing, Local Support:

Ongoing training and support is important to ensure a smooth transition and adoption by all staff. It’s important to have a local provider who is there not only for the initial set up, but also for any ongoing training and support you require.

Horizon Business Systems are a locally based Perth business and have provided consultancy, implementation, ongoing support and professional service partnership for over a decade. Horizon are ERP business system experts and have provided a software management solutions for many West Australian based Not for Profit organisations. Contact us today, to see how Horizon can help your Not for Profit achieve it’s business aims into the future.

Why You Need to Invest in a Business Management System in FY18

What Not to do When Choosing an ERP | Horizon Business Systems

The start of a new financial year is a great time for you to reflect on the past year, and look over what went well and what could have gone better. Every business owner should take the time to map out what they are going to do in the next 12 months to further grow their business. This, of course, is a much easier process if you have a well-designed business management system (BMS). With the right tools, you should be able to benchmark your performance, access critical information, and ultimately make better business decisions.

Are you wasting valuable time trying to track down data about your business? A good BMS will allow you to take key data and turn this into actionable insights – giving you the freedom to focus on your business. You should be able to see at a glance, sales, stock, accounts receivable, work in progress and other key performance indicators. You can also prepare customised dashboards for staff in various departments to keep them accountable and on track.

Tailored for Your Business

Every business is different, so you need a BMS which can be customised to suit your unique requirements. You should have the ability to view all the relative information that is important to your business in real time. This includes the ability to gather reports and information at ease to help your teams forecast accurately and lead to better informed decisions in the future.

Flexibility

Your BMS needs to be flexible. As your business grows and develops, you should have the ablility to customise your system to suit. This could include adding new reporting tools to track new product lines or developing new dashboards to get greater visability in new market areas.

Accountability

Vital business data is often locked away in different divisions and the information may not flow through to the people who need it. A good BMS helps you leverage your database resources, giving access to those who require it to perform in their role. It will also help you standardise your business processes ensuring business rules are adhered to.

Actionable Insight

Don’t spend your time trying to track down information when your focus should be on your business! You need a single vision of truth, with the ability to oversee every aspect of your operation, including CRM, Payroll, Sales, Stock and more. This will give you a more accurate and detailed holistic view of your business so you can make decisions on what is working and what is not. More accurate reporting and insights lead to better quality decisions.

Grow The Bottom Line

That’s what we are all here to do – grow! With better organisation of information and a timely and accurate understanding of what is happening in your business, you are going to make decisions that result in both savings and growth. Most small to medium-sized businesses can implement a BMS solution at a cost that is not only affordable, but also justifiable. There are solutions on the market and there are plenty of specialist firms who can help you implement a comprehensive system to suit your requirements.

If you’re serious about organising your business and preparing for a big FY18, you need to consider MYOB EXO Business and MYOB Advanced. These market leading proven systems are customisable, and will help give you the insights you need, to make smarter business decisions.

As a MYOB Advanced and MYOB EXO Platinum Partner, Horizon Business Systems is highly accredited ERP solution specialist and provide ongoing support to help your business achieve growth, stability and success. To find out more information about how MYOB EXO and MYOB Advanced can work in your business, speak to one of our staff today.

What Not to do When Choosing an ERP

What NOT to do, When Choosing an ERP

So, you’ve finally made the decision to switch to a smarter system for your corporate needs. Maybe the business has outgrown what’s currently in place, or you’ve simply decided enough is enough and change is in order. Whichever the reason, every business needs a solid and streamlined structure to improve business processes (and ultimately reduce the stress and hair pulling). And a reliable Enterprise Resource Planning software is the best place to start.

If it’s taking longer to reconcile finances and tedious paperwork at the end of the month, you’re lacking access to real-time information or small inefficiencies are adding up, then it’s time to make a change. Workplace dynamics are constantly evolving, and you need something that will grow with your business in an easy, capable and practical way.

For many business owners though, making the switch can be a headache within itself. ERP systems are huge investments of time, resources and money – thus, it pays to get it right. To help ensure your ERP implementation is going to benefit your business, minimise potential problems and drive success, it’s vital you know what to look out for. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when choosing an ERP system:

Over-Investing Too Soon

It’s a big pitfall. You get excited and distracted by all the glitzy features and ‘must haves’. You throw as many funds into it as you can to get everything you think you need. Unfortunately, this mentality almost always fails. Avoid getting too big for your boots and be smart about what your business needs. It’s much more effective to choose scalability over capability. Finding a system that grows as you do is key to ERP success. Keep in line with your business objectives and ask yourself what is essential.

Not Thinking Long Term

Short-sighted thinking and ERP systems don’t work together. Some of the biggest benefits of making the switch are increased performance and return on investment in the long run. Businesses can achieve increased profitability when using an ERP software that fits with their needs, but you need to give it time to reap the full rewards. Whilst there will be an increase in performance on a day-to-day basis, the big benefits from the initial investment are compensated in the long run. Consider where your business will be in a year to five years ahead and make sure the ERP software you choose can nurture accordingly.

Ignoring Stakeholders

Before investing in anything, it’s important to discuss the options with stakeholders. This is a must-have conversation that will help drive the success of the new system. You want to make sure key players can utilise the ERP in the best way for business. Talk to those who will be using the software to weigh up what features are important, whether or not they can easily use it and what will work for them. Allow all stakeholders to offer their thoughts on the decision before you commit to buying. Happy and satisfied staff is essential for business productivity an employment satisfaction! Communicate early and frequently throughout the implementation to ensure the new system accommodates the overall strategy of the business.

Not Understanding or Using Key Features

There is no use having key features if relevant staff don’t understand how to use them, or they’re not being utilised. Not only is it a waste of money and resources, but it won’t give your business the best benefits from the software. To implement ERP solutions, you need to do your research into the features and capabilities. Some of the most important are financial management, CRM, human resources management, supply chain management and third-party interoperability.

Without knowing which features are in the ERP system, opportunities to take full advantage of the software are missed. Business processes cannot be automated if key features aren’t being understood or utilised, as with the ability to complete functions faster and meet business objectives. To combat this, initial research is paramount. Once the ERP system is in place, track usage of the features and review periodically to determine which ones are most helpful and being taken advantage of.

Skimping on Training

It goes without saying then, that skimping on training is a danger to avoid. Induction and support is the best way for your business to make the most of the investment. Without it, human errors are all too common and bad habits and processes can eventuate. Allow staff enough time to get their head wrapped around the new system. Training and support will help everyone get comfortable with the ERP software before it goes live and learn how to best take advantage of everything it has to offer.  The more training you invest in, the better chance at ERP success you’ll have.

Not Choosing the Right ERP Software Vendor

Choose a ERP software vendor that knows your business and understands (and listens) to your needs. This can be all the difference between a implementation that’s effective, to one that that falls short on satisfying your business goals. The right vendor should be in sync with your industry and where its future is heading. You want to work with someone who is knowledgeable about industry growth and standards, and is accustomed with related processes to fuel them. Ask your chosen software vendor how they can customise the solution to fit these requirements and adapt with your corporation.

Compare quotes and use good business judgement to find an ERP system that works within your budget. Cost, availability, features and quality of support are all essential factors to take into consideration. Functionality and ease-of-use is also critical. By avoiding the biggest pitfalls and doing your research, you’ll be able to find a business process that is right for you. For more information about how Horizon Business Systems can help with your ERP implementation, speak to one of our staff today.

Intro Guide to Business Benchmarking to Help Your Business Grow

 

 

business benchmarking, ERP

Intro Guide to Business Benchmarking to help your business grow:

Benchmarking is a vital part of any successful business. No doubt you’ve questioned many times how well your company is performing compared to your competitors? But without a way of tracking the business’ performance, it’s nearly impossible to maintain its success and profitability. Your business is a valuable investment – and without a way to measure the way it functions; sales revenues can decrease and your internal costs will significantly rise. Here’s what you need to know about business benchmarking and how it can help your business grow:

Getting Your Head Around Business Benchmarking

Business benchmarking offers detailed insights into where improvements can be made within your company to increase profits. While you may do your usual month-to-month financial reporting, business benchmarking goes more in-depth. It provides you with a means to compare your business to competitors in the industry and offers an effective way to see exactly how you’re performing and lift your potential.

This tool is ideal for small to medium businesses predominately, but something every company can – and should – benefit from. To evaluate opportunities for improvement, you need access to all the information. From here, a plan can be developed to help achieve your business goals and push the company ahead of its competitors.

How Business Benchmarking Boosts Your Business

Through detailed insights customer’s needs are identified, the company’s strengths and weaknesses are highlighted and performance expectations can be prioritised for specific areas of opportunity. This boosts your business by encouraging and meeting set goals and allows you to understand your competitors better. Without this knowledge, how can you become more competitive and effectively manage change?

The Vital Correlation Between Business Benchmarking and ERP

Business benchmarking and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) work together to collect the information and help report your growth data. Benchmarking is paramount to understanding your industry and customer’s needs to create niche goals for your industry. These strategies become better established through the adoption of systems like ERP, which allow you to utilise process management software to manage the business and automate data relating to human resources, technology and services.

Without a process management software like ERP, effective management to boost your business’ performance is hard. Business benchmarking involves a variety of tools, software applications and indexes to collect relevant data and provide reports to give you the information you need to work with to grow.

6 Essentials to Implement

To benchmark your business through ERP, you need access to these detailed reports. But exactly what information should you be looking at?

  1. What You’re Benchmarking: Be specific! Client satisfaction is the most common driver for small businesses. Review your business goals and focus on something special and targeted for your niche.
  2. Your Competitors: Who are you benchmarking against? Define your competitors and work out what they’re doing differently to you that’s working for them. Consider both current and future competitors and how they’re operating within your industry.
  3. Review Objectives and Trends: What strategies are your competitors using that give them a competitive edge? Leverage benchmarking tools and the date compiled from ERP to put together a competitive analysis, see what direction your industry is heading in and how to keep your business aligned with the latest trends and customer needs.
  4. Look at the Efficiency of Your Business: Benchmarking and ERP will give you a good indication of how streamlined your processes are. Review whether they’re bringing in new leads and converting to sales and what gaps there are here. Make sure your business is moving forward with the latest trends rather than being stuck in old habits and getting left behind.
  5. Expenses and Sales: Benchmarking helps to determine whether you’re spending too much on rent, inventory costs and employee income. By using tools like ERP to collect data, you’ll be able to make some cut backs.
  6. Develop an Actionable Plan: Benchmarking and ERP are useless if you don’t devise a plan to put the work into action! Use your research and data to create a tactical plan for your objectives. Define actionable, realistic steps with timeframes and specific tasks to make it happen. Track the progress of each goal on a weekly basis to ensure you’re meeting set milestones.

Benchmarking is the ultimate way to understand where your business can make improvements. Once the above essentials have been implemented, it’s important to continuously monitor the results. Through this, you’ll gain a better understanding of your business, competitors and the industry. Business benchmarking and software management tools like ERP will ensure your finger is on the pulse when it comes to industry trends and internal and external data.

For more information about how Horizon Business can offer tools for your benchmarking, contact us today.