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Structured Internal Communications Flow

The challenge to many organisations, particularly SMEs with stretched resources, is to ensure that there is a dovetailing of accounts and finance with operations. All too often organisations find that different units or departments are evaluating third party firms on the basis of conflicting areas of performance.

A basic yet common example would be the following. In one company the Accounting & Finance Dept may rate Company X highly because they offer discounts and delayed payment terms. On the other hand, the Stores Dept. rate the same Company X very poorly because there are always discrepancies in their delivery notes and quality of product is inconsistent. From an accounts perspective Company X has delivered extra value, they offered better prices and easier terms of payment, both of which could be critically important to a firm struggling with cash flow difficulties. Yet, from an operations point of view there are significant hidden costs of doing business with company X. Discrepancies in delivery notes means additional time and resources in receiving goods and following up to get any missing items to ensure that the company’s own operations are not disrupted by the discrepancies. Inevitably, this involves additional costs, costs of labour and expenses in getting any missing items or in returning or retaining the extra items. The greater challenge of inconsistent quality may be even more significant to the company as this could impact the overall quality of its own deliverable, be it a finished product to the end consumer or a semi-processed product or service to a B2B client.

A similar example is one in which the Sales Department ranks Company Y very highly as they are repeat customers but Customer Support rank the same company very poorly because that company has a very high turnover of staff and the staff using the product or service are very poorly trained. From the Sales Dept’s point of view, Company Y is a regular client, they are easily accessible and loyal to the company’s products. From Customer Support, Company Y is a major challenge as they have very little internal support for their staff and rely entirely on the resources of the Supplier’s Customer Support. This presents major difficulties both in terms of scheduling support as well as in the on-going debates regarding what is billable support and what is include in Systems Maintenance & Support.

Tracking such inconsistencies need to be managed within each department. Even more importantly, the most pertinent information needs to be shared across operational departments. This will ensure that decision makers get to see the different perspectives and are able to weigh conflicting  evaluations by different departments. Sharing the relevant information in the appropriate format to allow for effective correlation and evaluation by the decision makers will provide the focus to e made on the basis of the company’s overall interests and not on the basis of a single department’s limited perspective.

To address these issues and other far more complicated issues related to the collection and sharing of internal data, companies need to establish Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ERP systems come in all shapes and sizes and each company needs to be careful to establish a system that is suitable for its own requirements. Typically, a company would want to install a system that can be upgraded and upscaled as its own requirements change over time.  An effective ERP system should allow for the capture of critical information by one department and its storage and sharing in a manner that is relevant to other departments and decision makers in the organisation.  The return on investment is a critical factor to be taken into account when setting up such a system as this involves not only the upfront and ongoing costs of the system, but the often more significant costs of business re-structuring and operations development to allow for the collection and sharing of the relevant data.

eB-ISP (Integrated Systems Platform) is the basic ERP solution provided by eBusiness Systems designed for SMEs. It allows for the integration of different operational platforms and the sharing of data between the platforms and users on the different platforms. As more organisations turn to remote working as the new norm, the provision of reliable and effective online platforms through which the company’s staff can access and deploy resources in a secure manner is more critical than ever. eB-ISP allows for relatively quick customisations to enable organisations to make early gains with the introduction of such an ERP system.

For more details contact us on info@ebizmalta.com and we will be pleased to discuss your requirements to identify how eB-ISP can best meet those needs.