Making your operations slick can be the key to beating the competition...
Online Process and Workflow Streamlining
One of the amazing things about the Internet is how it puts everything at the consumer's fingertips, including all the competition. This can be great for consumers but for the businesses delivering products and services it puts all the competitors on stage right next to each other. This forces competition and eventually, consolidation.
For businesses to survive this competitive gauntlet you have to compete not just by product and price, but by how easily and efficiently you can deliver it to its customer base. This area of competition covers the whole of the supply chain, but particularly how well you can deliver:
Product and related supporting information quickly, efficiently and sufficiently to facilitate the customer's 'buy decision' in your favour
Receiving and storing the customer's order and other details accurately and with sufficient detail to minimise the level of pre- and post-order communications required
Transmitting and distributing order requirements to the staff, manufacturing and assembly processes and supply chains that will be involved in bringing the product to the point of delivery
Dispatch and logistics to fulfil the customer's order as per their expectations
Customer service, support and warranty services post delivery
A customer experience throughout that enhances your brand's value and promotes a long term relation with customers likely to result in additional sales and a viral spreading of the message by customers to their contacts
Website AND Business Management System
We at Freetimers recognise and understand the importance of all these elements of a business, so we seek to help our clients develop and continuously improve their business processes to maximise their advantage over their competitors. In other words we fight with you to ensure that your business is one of the survivors of the Internet-driven consolidation process. Our website management systems therefore are not just content management, they are part of your business management system, and potentially a hub bringing together in one place a number of systems, all working together to make your business work better and better at doing what it does.
Unlike most digital agencies, our directors have real experience of business operations, including quality, manufacturing, process, assembly and manufacturing and accounting systems, as well as retail and sales. Can your current digital agency say that? To find out more about our business management knowledge, and how we can help you with MRP, ERP or multi-site inventory management system integrations or development (to name a few), click here or contact us for an informal chat.
Developing as You Develop
A very important fact is that the systems a business needs changes with the size, nature and longevity of each business. For example, when you're just starting out and you've just purchased some initial inventory, you don't need a £500k pa integrated MIS (Management Information System) such as SAP. Instead you might control your stock by simply using a spreadsheet. It's cheap and effective when your small, but later on it will hold you back.
Make or Buy
As your business develops so will your system and process needs, and we can help you to determine how to best fulfil these needs on an on-going basis. Sometimes this may simply require a new admin module be added; another time it might be to buy a 3rd party product like an ecommerce shop or CRM system. In other instances however it may not be the right choice to buy a CRM system when actually all you need is a 10th of the functionality. You'd be paying over the odds for functionality that you don't need, or that smothers your business in bloatware, or that, frankly, forces you to work in ways that are not right for your buisness. In those situations sometiimes it may be better to develop something that is right for you and your business, and potentially developing a bespoke solution. 'Bespoke' does not necessarily mean 'expensive', in fact it can be cheaper both in the short term and especially in the longterm. If your business is at one of these crossroads, talk to us. You may be surprised at the solutions available.
If your business is already established, you may find yourself in a situation with multiple systems which require duplication of effort or don't talk well with each other. We can help you sort it out. We can help you to determine more optimum ways of working to streamline processes, reduce duplication and increase efficiency and quality. We can also help you to better integrate your existing systems, linking your website to logistics, inventory or accounting systems, or orders and enquiries with CRM or quoting systems. How systems are integrating is also just as important as having them work together. Accounting systems for instance can include a products and inventory module, however these may not be the best to act as the 'controlling' system for how products are displayed and presented to customers on your websites. We can help you negotiate this minefield and then carry out integrations with other 3rd party systems that work best for your business.
Managing Multiple Websites, Trading Channels and Online Businesses
If your business has evolved to be trading via multiple websites, trading entities or other channels such as Ebay or Amazon, then our multi-channel and business ecommerce management system may be just what you need to help streamline operations. Customer orders, products, inventory and logistics can all be managed in one shared environment whilst still providing channel-specific presentation and pricing. Our clients who use it swear by it, and it saves them a huge amount of time and money, and facilitates must faster and more extensive product delivery to each channel than any other systems we know of. Click on the link above to find out more, or contact us to find out how it can work for you.