We use software systems in our daily lives, with the software systems on our smartphones being one of them. Software systems, whether used on smartphones or computers, are a set of computer networks that allow machines to perform certain tasks. When it comes to businesses, software systems are used to help businesses accomplish a variety of tasks that would otherwise be too time-consuming if done by human hands.
As mentioned above, utilizing business software can help you save time on tasks that would take twice as long— or longer— without the software. Certain tasks are automated, meaning that the software automatically performs the tasks with little to no human intervention. Investing in software for your business will also help you save money. Instead of hiring people to do these tasks (which means they’re added to your payroll), you’ll have a machine (i.e., computer, smart device, etc.) to do it for you.
Here’s a look at three categories of the most common functions found in most types of business software, and a few subcategories of what is also helpful to have.
#1: Consumer Management
One of the most helpful functions that your software system should have is a customer relationship management (CRM) function. A CRM software solution will allow you to get a view full of the relationship you have with your customers— including how they’re interacting with your business and how you’re interacting with them. This will give you insight into how you can use better marketing strategies (toward both current and potential customers), and how you can retain customers.
Another helpful feature to have embedded in your business software is a feature that allows you to create an eCommerce (online) store for your customers. This is most helpful if you’re planning to start an eCommerce business, but those looking more toward a hybrid version will benefit too— not so much if your focus is on a physical location only. This function will also allow you to set up and manage multiple eCommerce storefronts.
Your finances are the most important part of your business, so a software program that can automate all or most of your finance-related tasks is going to save you a lot of time. Some of the most basic features to look for include:
You’ll also benefit from having a planning and budgeting feature since this is an important part of owning a business. If you have multiple business locations across the globe, you’ll also want a global business management solution that can convert different currencies and translate different languages.
Automating basic business operations is a must for all business owners, as these can be some of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks. For example, all businesses that sell products must keep track of their inventory, and it’s safe to say that everyone dreads doing this manually. An inventory management solution keeps track of your inventory in real-time, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business. It’s also helpful to have a warehouse management solution as well, particularly if you own your warehouse.
An order management function is also good to have, especially if your customers can place orders with your company online. This solution will handle your customers’ orders from the time they’re placed until the moment they’re delivered to the customer, leading to faster order fulfillment and more satisfied customers. NetSuite managed services from GSI will help you automate several of these tasks so that you can keep your focus on growing your business.
As mentioned earlier, even businesses can benefit from software applications that can be downloaded on a mobile smart device, such as a phone or tablet. There are many apps available that allow teams to collaborate on a project, as well as break down large projects into smaller segments. These apps also allow for better communication among everyone involved in the project.
Businesses will also benefit from time-tracking software, which allows you to see where everyone is putting most of their time. Some software systems will even suggest where your time could be better spent. This will help you run your business as efficiently as possible.
The Bottom Line
You’ll want to invest in business software that is going to help your business the most. Keep in mind that some software service providers may include features that you think you have no use for— at the moment. As your business grows, your needs will change. It’s always better to have more solutions than what you think you need than to have to purchase additional solutions later.