4 industries that can benefit from business management software

4th November 2017

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Sometimes it's the most costly digital solutions that dominate the headlines as must-have technologies for businesses.

In reality, not every industry benefits greatly from robotics or augmented reality. While they can certainly be valuable, it's often the tools that aren't as trendy that can have the most visible impact on an organisation. Business management software is ideal for streamlining various tasks and making cross-departmental collaboration a breeze; two problems that small businesses can have big trouble with.

Here are four industries that could benefit from a change of pace:

1. Construction

Building is on the rise in most parts of the world as the recent run of strong international markets has instilled confidence in both consumers and companies alike. This can lead to an increase in work for businesses in construction, but it's also having a negative side-effect. A lack of productivity is leading to slimmer profit margins for many organisations, according to Digitalist magazine.

Construction companies can streamline administrative tasks to improve profitability.Construction companies can streamline administrative tasks to improve profitability.

Roughly 63 per cent of the time workers are on-site is spent waiting for materials or handling other administrative tasks, the source reported. By leveraging a customised business management software platform, companies can significantly cut into this issue through applications like:

  • Jobs and time sheets: Quickly pull data and complete reports with ease.
  • Subcontractor claims: Create a digital ecosystem for subcontractors to receive and claim work.
  • Project invoicing: Shed the pen and paper for automated invoicing.

By streamlining these tasks, management is allotted more time to get the job done, rather than focusing on the infrastructure behind it all.

2. Wholesale and distribution

The popularity of e-commerce has created more complexity in regards to stock management and supply chain effectiveness than most other innovations in the industry. It's essential that companies have acute oversight across the entire operation, which can be difficult if the organisation is still utilising legacy systems.

Asset management can be difficult on legacy systems.

Take for instance asset management - it's crucial to ensure stock levels can meet expected demand, especially during holidays. Expanding small businesses can struggle to implement effective strategies that continuously track inventory levels, and can sometimes revert to spreadsheets or even pen and paper.

Integrating structured stock software makes it easy to streamline asset management to provide real-time updates without having to dedicate employees to the task. This can also lead to the incorporation of big data; once your company has gained a sizable trove of analytics on peak shopping seasons, you'll have a better idea of the volume of expected purchases. This is essentially in growing profit margins and avoiding being heavy on slow-moving inventory.

3. Importing

Fluid international trade is essential to every country's economy, but it can only be as efficient as the companies undertaking the business. Australia's import and export sectors reached a value of $673 billion in 2016, according to its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Importing plays a crucial role in Australia's economy, but customs can make it difficult on small businesses.Importing plays a crucial role in Australia's economy, but customs can make it difficult on small businesses.

As activity continues to grow, organisations will also have to deal with volatile fluctuations in currency exchange rates. This can hinder productivity and become a huge source of concern for businesses that don't necessarily have the right staff in place to consistently monitor the market.

Leveraging a tool like import costing software can take away the burden of calculating costs and expenses by automating it with precision. This is more important now than ever as the Australian Customs Service (ACS) has begun to place the liability of underpaid duties such as VAT and GST at the feet of the buyers, The Conversation reported. Previously, sellers would be responsible for meeting these payments, as covered by the Delivery Duty Paid law.

What this means is that while in the past smaller organisations could put the responsibility of unpaid duties on the seller, in Australia it's now on the buyer. This makes calculating currency changes and the overall cost owed across multiple shipments all the more important, and something that should be digitised moving forward.

4. Manufacturing

After sustaining nearly a year of solid growth the Australian manufacturing industry lost 3.1 points on the Ai Group economic index and now sits at 51.1. Any score over 50 is correlated with growth. While it was thought that the success the market was experiencing with international trade could sustain, there seems to be other forces in play that could hinder its development.

Wholesale energy costs are expected to rise 200 per cent over the next three years, making it difficult for companies to cope with financially no matter how many clients or orders they have, Ferret reported. This can be particularly troublesome for food manufacturing, the nation's largest sector.

Rising energy prices mean manufacturers need to improve margins.

"There is no doubt Australia's largest manufacturing sector is facing an environment where input costs are rising on everything from commodities to labour to energy, and six years of retail price deflation continues to cut margins, placing the sector under increasing pressure," Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO Tanya Barden told the source. "We are expecting these pressures to only increase as energy, especially gas, has seen a doubling and in some cases a tripling of price..."

Organisations looking to improve margins to make up for rising energy costs could benefit by streamlining other labour intensive tasks. This includes everything from accounting, which can be expensive to outsource, to stock control, which frees up valuable time for the company to focus productivity on other key areas of the business.

In this sense, incorporating business management software as a platform for an interconnected digital ecosystem can derive the most value. Rather than employees logging in and out of various applications to get the same job done, staff will be able to move through different features seamlessly. This type of solution also supports a company that wants to leverage business intelligence analytics more often, as data will be easy to capture.

Regardless of the industry your organisation is currently operating out of, customisation will be crucial moving forward. Each market offers its own challenges and obstacles - issues that inflexible software can't help with. Contact an Advanced Business Manager representative today to learn more about how business management software can help your company.