Information Technology Systems
Twenty years of experience with a diverse range of ERP systems including JD Edwards, SAP, and NetSuite.
Practical hands-on experience with globally recognized information technology systems dating from the hysteria of the Y2K era to the software as a service (SaaS) platforms of the modern era, we have seen it all. Having an integrated information technology platform allowed us to achieve $125MM of growth in the early 2000s. It facilitated our core recovery program, taking volumes from one-million units to 15 million units over a two-year period. And it enabled us to reduced working capital from $40MM+ to $24MM over a six-month period. Leveraging the internet, SaaS, and utilizing business intelligence for business development is the new path to success.
What does IT mean for a small business?
It means the deployment of an integrated suite of applications that enable a business to run its operations, financials, communications, marketing, customer service and e-commerce activities while simultaneously enhancing the customer experience and improving decision-making capabilities and efficiency.
Large companies with access to significant human and financial resources have deployed fully integrated systems that accomplish these goals. They spent millions of dollars to achieve these objectives and have taken the better part of a decade to do so. Because of the costs incurred and the complexity involved, accomplishing these objectives used to be the exclusive realm of these large companies. These investments enabled them to extend already significant competitive advantages over small to medium-sized businesses.
Smaller office products and equipment dealers generally have inadequate technology platforms and insufficient resources to seek out and qualify alternatives that may meet their requirements.
IT and Business Transformation
In order to compete in the 21st-century business environment, it is necessary to implement and deploy information technology. This must be in the form of an integrated suite of software applications that simultaneously improves the customer experience and the decision-making capability and efficiency of the business.
Fortunately, achieving this task is no longer outside the scope of small to medium size businesses. World-class software solutions are available at a modest cost that can be deployed and integrated into a matter of weeks as compared to the years it took for large companies to implement their SAP, Oracle, and other large scale Enterprise systems. Not only can the new era software be deployed quickly, it can be done within an architecture that permits flexibility not usually available to the large competitors now tied to their legacy systems.
The Path Forward
The key is not so much which individual software solutions are chosen. Instead, the key is that a complete integrated suite of software applications is deployed. This can be achieved with different individual software applications so long as they “speak” to each other. A large organization may deploy SAP as its enterprise system. A small organization may deploy QuickBooks for financials, PayPal for online payment processing, a GoDaddy hosted managed website built on WordPress, HubSpot CRM, HubSpot Digital Marketing and Power E-commerce for the shopping cart and product catalog management. These six individual software applications, when integrated, are more than a match for an unwieldy SAP or Oracle based enterprise system.
Small and Medium Business Enterprises
We are in a period of information overload with the volume of information continuing to increase at an exponential rate. It’s simply not possible to make any sense of all this information without the use of information technology and business intelligence tools. Once business intelligence is layered on top of the massive amounts of information, then a competitive advantage can start to be developed. The availability of sophisticated software at low cost is transforming the playing field and eliminating barriers to entering new sales channels for small and medium size business enterprises.