As the world continues to figure out how to settle into a “new normal” during the Covid-19 Pandemic, businesses around the world struggle to determine next steps for business operations. With any unprecedented business disruption, small businesses must have the right software in place to continue business activities with minimal interruption for the end consumer. ERP software helps companies manage business processes with automation and functions including inventory and warehouse management, contact management, reporting and analytics and more. The right Cloud-Based ERP system can help businesses automate processes, maintain contact with suppliers, partners and customers and assists a business with successfully thriving during and after the Pandemic.
Remote Access & The Cloud
Let’s start with the backbone of the business – the employees. The Covid-19 Pandemic forces people to keep a physical distance from each other and has encouraged businesses around the world to allow employees to work remotely full time. Turns out, a lot of employees enjoy working from home. According to a survey conducted by Buffer, when asked “Would you like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of your career?” 99% voted yes. Working from home has proven that people can still be productive, and has improved work-life balance.
Companies who have implemented a cloud-based ERP system, have the ability to connect to the software anywhere from around the world since it is accessed through the internet. With cloud-based software, servers are managed by an in-house team of experts (the software vendor or it's partners) meaning the user, uses RDP (Remote Desktop Connection) and for added security, a VPN (virtual private network) to access the software. All that your employees require to access the software is a strong internet connection.
With the ability to access the software from home, Blue Link users have real-time access to individualized reporting and analytic dashboards for their homepage. A great productivity tool, salespeople for example, can set their dashboard to display daily sales reports as the first thing they see in the morning when they log into the Blue Link environment.
To say that the Covid-19 Pandemic affects the retail and eCommerce industry would be an understatement. The Pandemic fast-tracked the use of online shopping, causing a struggle for retailers to continue the experience aspect of “shopping experience”. When we are in-store shopping, we are able to touch, feel and see related items. We can speak to people, often right away, about questions and get honest opinions. Shopping online is different, to say the least. You can scroll for hours on some websites and on others when you know what you’re looking for, the convenience and ease of online shopping doesn't compare to the time commitment of driving to a brick-and-mortar store and manually checking out. Corporate giants such as Amazon have conditioned consumers to expect correct inventory levels online and speedy delivery.
It’s doubtful that we will see much of a decline in online shopping when the Pandemic is less of a concern. If anything, people enjoy purchasing online because of the convenience. Social Media shopping, touchless payments, Covid-friendly delivery, are all great aspects of the world of eCommerce that businesses can take advantage of. But, prepare and expect decreasing loyalty. Online shopping can be done globally meaning competition is a lot heavier than before eCommerce took off, so companies need to plan for an exceptional online customer experience... which means eCommerce integration.
If you haven’t already integrated your eCommerce website to the backend of your software, you’re missing out. With integration, sales orders are automatically generated without the need for human intervention and a robust and eCommerce integrated ERP system can automate and store all your information in one place making data transfer to your website as seamless as possible... thus making the customer experience seamless. Shipping integration with common couriers (FedEx, Purolator, and UPS) minimizes duplicate data entry and provides customers with tracking information reducing status update inquiries.
Having mobile access capabilities ensures your employees’ service doesn’t waiver for the customer. Blue Link’s Cloud-Based ERP has functionality for contact management that can be utilized by your employees to offer the best service possible. Functionality for contact management isn’t the only upside for your customers when your business implements ERP. By implementing the right ERP system, all your business activities are seamless. Our Mobile Scanning App streamlines the picking and packing process so your warehouse team minimizes errors, eCommerce integration ensures inventory levels are up to date and in real-time, meaning the customer can expect that what they see is correct and shipping integration allows for accurate information to flow automatically to the customer.
Change is difficult for everyone and while your business continues to face the everyday struggles of the Covid-19 Pandemic, download our Change Management Guide to help you out!