Cloud-based business systems help growing companies “take control” of so many elements including (but definitely not limited to) data, processes, budgets, and workflows. In fact, workflow control is what might make the biggest difference to many organizations—for the employees managing the processes, anyway. When their workflows are streamlined and enhanced with automation, they can typically work smarter and with more confidence in their accuracy and timeliness. And who are the real winners? The vendors and customers who benefit from a smoother, more optimized experience.
Whether you’re considering implementing a cloud-based ERP, CRM, or BI system, you can rest assured that your organizations workflows will be positively impacted. Here, we take a closer look.
Cloud-Based ERP Systems
Let’s consider the example of a manufacturing company. Their pre-ERP, or “legacy,” workflow of processing a customer order may have involved a user entering the customer’s data into one system, checking another system to confirm the customer’s payment information is up-to-date, and checking yet another system for the availability of items. There’s probably one more place to check to confirm pricing. Then, there would be a separate process for initiating the order and communicating next steps to workers in the order fulfillment and shipping areas. All in all, there are multiple places for human error and miscommunication.
Once an automated ERP workflow is set up to replace their disjointed manual workflow, the order and fulfillment processes look very different. The employee interfaces with just one system—their various systems are now integrated—so customer contact and payment information can be accessed alongside inventory, pricing, and shipping information. From the customer’s point of view, they may have fewer questions to answer on the front-end and they can expect prompt delivery of their items.
Cloud-Based CRM Systems
While early CRMs stored customer contact information and helped sales and marketing teams follow-up with opportunities, setting reminders and tracking interactions, modern CRMs connect the dots between various business systems—yes, even ERP systems. This means everyone in the company, from sales to accounting, can use the same software to run their customer-centered workflows, enhancing the customer experience end-to-end.
So, let’s take this example into the field—out to a customer’s location. Today, a cloud-based CRM empowers sales people (and operations employees back at the office, for that matter) with everything they need to independently manage customer relationships from anywhere, at any time, without having to call the office or “remote into” in-house servers for details pertaining to sales and service. As such, the customer relationship management workflow—making a sale or handling a service issue—is completely mobile, streamlined, and seamless. This makes it easier for everyone, from the sales rep to the operations employee to the customer.
If this sounds great to you, don’t miss Why Technology is the Secret to Bridging the Marketing and Sales Gap.
Cloud-Based BI Systems
For this example, we’re taking a trip to the C-Suite, where BI dashboarding tools are changing workflows for company decision-makers. Before there were dashboards for anyone to consult, executives had to order reports for which relevant data (from disparate systems, of course) had to be collected, combined, crunched, and crafted into an intelligible format. This workflow of turning data into actionable insight was performed by the IT department, of course, while the decision-maker patiently waited with high hopes that by the time their reports were delivered, they were still relevant.
Today, with modern, cloud-based BI dashboarding software, decision-makers take a more direct route to finding insights. They log into their dashboard—possibly from a smartphone or tablet, if not their desktop or laptop—and view all the data points they need. With a few additional clicks, they can pull a new report or drill-down into an existing report (all with real-time data, naturally). They have the power to “play with their data” to their heart’s content. And the IT department? Their reporting workflow, as it pertains to C-level support, is virtually non-existent.
Take A Look Inside the Evolution of the Self-Service BI Trend for more on what workflows were like before the availability of C-level-friendly cloud-based tools—and what they’re like today.
Do Your Workflows Need a Cloud-Driven Transformation?
Contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can help your organization transform your workflows with cloud-based ERP, CRM, and/or BI solutions.