How technology can help improve business efficiency
There's a saying that goes, "A penny saved is a penny earned." In other words, the key to success is making businesses more efficient. Every business dreams of becoming a well-oiled machine, with zero wastage of time and money. While that may seem far-fetched, we are closer to the dream now more than ever. Technology is constantly evolving, and its use has been radically redefined in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as it has become the touchpoint in learning and adapting new skills.
According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, responses to Covid-19 have accelerated digitalisation of employee, customer, and supply chain interactions by three to four years. As a result, businesses—especially small and mid-size businesses (SMBs)—without proper digital access had to deploy practical and effective solutions at a faster rate. With remote work mandates, supply chain shortages, and consumers turning to online channels amid mobility restrictions, the past two years have been extremely difficult for businesses around the world.
The continuous improvements in technologies are offering businesses new opportunities for efficiency and guaranteed success. Numerous tools are already being made available to streamline the process, reduce waste, and make businesses more dynamic. Today, as companies prepare to recover and innovate towards the new normal, the appropriate cloud-based business management solution can help them enjoy benefits that go beyond cost-effective and remote work. Subsequently, companies can easily accelerate digital transformation and create better employee, customer, and seller experiences.
Likewise, SMBs rely heavily on business management software to automate and optimise processes across their entire organisation—from financials to sales and service to procurement and operations management. The new way of cloud-based ERP software, in particular, promises faster time to value, reduced costs, and more business management skills.
The first waves of cloud ERP systems delivered speedy implementation and cost savings. However, they continued to limit SMBs' capabilities and did not allow productivity, automation, and insights required for continuous process optimisation and business model adaptation.
Due to growing concerns and worries, several SMB leaders are now hesitant to prioritise digital transformation and cloud business management solutions. Nowadays, entrepreneurs are reluctant to fix what is not broken and opt to move their operations to the cloud. But then came the global pandemic, with the need to adapt to market conditions faster than ever before.
The current times of uncertainty have caused evolving trends that are continually fluctuating consumers' expectations. If a business fails to innovate and adapt, it will be left behind. Hence, it is crucial for businesses to ensure that they are providing the best customer experiences to succeed.
To create a smoother transition of the increasing digital transformation in Bangladesh, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a convenient cloud business management solution designed for growing SMBs. This provides a platform that allows businesses of all sizes to interconnect their teams through one cloud ecosystem for seamless and efficient business operations and accelerated growth. It is also a comprehensive business management solution that helps SMBs connect their finance, sales, service, and operations teams within a single easy-to-use application.
Integrating all these functions in one has become vital for the business-to-business (B2B) sales organisations. This means that they are indeed facing a fundamental shift in the B2B buying and selling experience. Before the pandemic, there existed a change in customer preferences from in-person to digital sales interactions. The ongoing crisis further solidified this shift.
Undoubtedly, the main reason behind this transformation is that information is readily available to customers online, just at the tip of their fingers. Research shows that 54 percent of millennial B2B customers prefer to have no interaction with sellers. Sellers must meet their customers virtually, analyse the spend patterns, and be seen as trusted advisors. They must produce personalised experiences that both add value and help them stand out.
Most importantly, sellers must have a 360-degree view of their customers, from CRM systems, across the organisation and external sources such as social media and demographic data. Moreover, sellers need to enhance their ability to collaborate in a personalised manner. For example, sellers can share contextual information with their colleagues and from an inbound and outbound perspective.
When a business operates inefficiently, it can end up absorbing an incredible amount of revenue each year. By understanding business efficiency and the strategies for improving it, we can help our businesses waste less effort and time, allowing it to run much more smoothly. The key is to work smarter and implement the right business modules to ensure utmost efficiency.
Md Yousup Faruqu is the managing director of Microsoft Bangladesh.