Four ways to improve your business systems during lockdown

29 April 2020 | Blog

This is a difficult period for everyone and we recognise the unprecedented challenges for many small and medium sized businesses. The changes that we have all had to cope with will probably have exposed the strengths and weaknesses of your processes along with the information systems that underpin them.

Now more than ever, you need your systems to transact as much business as possible with maximum efficiency. Alternatively, if you have had to close your business temporarily, perhaps you are using this time positively, to ensure everything is fully optimised for when you are able to re-open.

We have identified four key ways in which you can optimise your business systems during the Coronavirus crisis. Below is a brief overview of all these but if you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. Expand e-business capabilities
    With people unable to transact face-to-face, or if your customer service team is running below capacity and working from home, it could be worth looking at how e-business could benefit you. If this is a new area for you, it could be an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform to incorporate into your website, or an online portal where customers and suppliers can serve themselves. There are many options, including straightforward product catalogues and checkouts, bespoke quote generators, distribution of customer-specific reports, case management and CRM integration. There is more information about our bespoke e-commerce services here but there is so much more that we can do to help you transact online.
  1. Replace old technology
    Many businesses find themselves reliant on legacy software like Microsoft Access, Filemaker or even Foxpro to manage key processes. These solutions typically present challenges for mobile workforces or e-business scenarios due to their LAN-based nature. Businesses with these types of legacy systems have discovered their limitations during these challenging times. A new solution, built on the latest web technologies, can overcome these and provide more flexible access and new integration possibilities, while also overcoming many traditional hurdles such as client software distribution and compatibility.
  1. Enhance existing systems
    Your existing systems may not need replacing but may be in need of some improvements to meet your current requirements more completely. Many systems evolve to have gaps or branches to offline systems that might have been exposed by the recent changes, for example a paper-based process that can’t be conducted from home or some Excel spreadsheets that live on a file share in the office. Eliminating these can enable seamless processing for remote workers, reduce the risk of data loss or corruption, increase efficiency and help you gain competitive advantage.
  1. Mobile technology solutions
    Do you have field-based staff such as salespeople and service engineers that are receiving data from HQ or capturing data in the field? Are they benefiting from integrated devices to interact seamlessly with your central data repositories or is data being manually collected or distributed? A new mobile application connected to your business-critical systems can improve communication with your workforce and allow them to seamlessly access data remotely and capture transactions from any location. A bespoke mobile app offers so many possibilities and can be tailored to meet your unique business needs while being fully integrated with your back-office databases.

This may be a one-off project or it could be the starting point for your digital transformation. Either way, if you need help or guidance please feel free to get in touch with us for a no obligation conversation. KLOC is a bespoke solution development company based in Berkshire, specialising in solving business challenges with software solutions. We have years of experience designing, building and delivering high-quality solutions backed by expert support for a wide range of companies. We want to use our expertise to help other businesses grow and develop during this time.