It’s hard to pinpoint what’s new as things change so fast, everything seems to be new and leaves you wondering what’s next?
A bit of history. PC-based accounting/ERP software has existed since the early 1980’s when the first IBM PC entered the market. So, in 30 years, what’s new and why is it relevant today?
First we started with DOS based accounting software that took over transactional processing to improve upon manual ledger based systems. Upgrading to the Windows platform and the additional functionality it provided was a big jump in the 90’s. Of course, Y2K (remember 1999 to 2000?) was a big deal in the technology industry that turned out to be not such a big deal. Don’t forget about the world wide web (Internet) and its impact on ability to buy anything, anywhere, anytime and the impact on companies sales strategy.
Transactional based systems (ie accounting software) became enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that shifted the focus from the back office (accounting) to the shop floor, warehouse, etc to focus on the main focus of the systems to manage orders, inventory, purchasing, manufacturing, etc.
Many strides have come in just the last 10 years in software to provide all encompassing systems that could meet the needs of a company instead of many non-integrated systems meeting the needs of a department. EDI, hand held bar code devices, shipping integration, internet ordering and tremendous other functionality has become common and available to smaller and smaller companies than ever before.
So, what’s new? In recent years, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has become a key focus of companies improving their sales, marketing and customer service departments. SAAS (Software as a Service) or Cloud Computing has been a hot topic as companies look to reduce infrastructure costs in an every growing remote access, anytime anywhere world. Mobile via the explosion of smart devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, etc has also been important to give customers and employees information on the go. Sales Tax is an important issue for companies in multiple states and may become really important to those that sell over the internet with legislation currently being debated.
Why is this relevant? With many companies becoming lean in 2008/2009/2010, implementing new technology was on the back burner in order to survive. Many companies have fallen behind on upgrading and implementing technology to improve sales, customer service, profitability and reduce expenses to the point that they are in jeopardy of not taking advantage of the economic turnaround we are currently in.
What’s Next? Much like SAAS/Cloud that started five years before it became more mainstream, many new technologies today are being implemented in larger companies that will become available in small and medium sized companies in the next few years as they become proven and can show they can add value. We don’t like talking about what could be coming but instead talk about what you should be doing and can do today.
Contact us to review the current state of your business systems with recommendations to improve your company in the area’s it needs most to survive and thrive.