Custom Software Development in South Africa and How it’s Improving Business.
There are four major functions that come into play when running a business, whether it be small or large. These functions are critical functions that should be managed properly in order to have a successful business. These four functions are; content management, inventory management, customer relations management, and human resources management. In the age of technology, we are seeing that there are many new and improved ways to oversee important functions within a business and many South African companies are seeing the benefits of using custom software tailored to their business needs as opposed to out-of-the box software.
In South Africa, there has been an increasing amount of momentum towards custom software development as a means of implementing solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the business. These developments are making it much easier to manage the necessary functions that help a business thrive. This article looks into the four main functions in business that have become more efficient due to custom software allowing them to become suited to the business’s specific needs.
Content Management System
All businesses have an abundance of content that needs to be managed. If you aren’t sure the term content management applies to your business, here is a breakdown of what this looks like. Content is data collected through sales revenue, marketing content, any information that needs to be saved in a document. Most businesses try to find ways to keep all of this content together and in one place, but have a hard time with the organisation of it all. It may be scattered around on a desktop in many different folders, or insufficiently named. This can make it hard to go back to certain files quickly and find important information. Important information can often get lost in emails, and take the time to search through. Time is money, and any time wasted looking to find content is inefficient.
So, how are companies looking to add ease to this aspect of the business? By using a CMS you can manage content in the backend of the site, allowing you to write, edit and save articles as a draft with all the added features of bold, italics and bullet points, There is no crucial need to understand HTML. More than just editing text, if you have images on your site such as a photo gallery or sidebar images, you will often have control over what those are, or how many in a series, etc. The possibilities are vast. Additionally, there is also the potential to add in multimedia content such as video clips, audio, attach documents to pages, and more. The whole idea is that you have control over the content. More than just content, you can have features of menu handling, showing certain menus for certain users, or have content saved in a draft state, until you are ready to publish it. Most sophisticated CMS websites come with tools to help you search, organise and categorise content through the use of advanced searching tools, taxonomy applications, custom lists, linked content and more. User management of a CMS is also a great added benefit, as you can limit the permissions of users so that they can only perform their required tasks.
A CMS can be customised to your businesses needs through adding a variety of plugins/modules that will allow you to perform certain functions. Plugins/modules are libraries of code developed to fill a certain niche and perform certain tasks. The CMS platforms that are available contain a wide variety of plugins/modules that are either free or can be purchased. How will this improve your business? It frees up time spent on redundant tasks. These module’s do not require the use of custom coding which will save your business the money that may otherwise be spent on coding services. Need to know about the different CMS platforms available, read this article.
There are many ways inventory management shows up in a business. Most brick and mortar businesses require a point of sales system to complete transactions smoothly. A Larger business may store their inventory in a warehouse our sometimes multiple warehouses. A business may also have multiple locations to keep track of. Then, of course, there is the management of the inventory itself through stock take and tracking supplier codes, supplier pricing and much more.
Through enterprise resource management businesses can use an integrated system of applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions. The benefits of an ERP system allows for complete visibility into all the important processes, across various departments of an organisation (especially for senior management personnel), automatic and coherent workflow from one department to another and a unified and single reporting system to analyze the statistics/status etc. in real-time, across all functions/departments, among many other benefits.
How can one customise a system that incorporates so many functions, well an ERP system is modular, therefore a business can incorporate various modules into the system such as Finance/Accounts, Human Resource Management, Manufacturing, Marketing/Sales, Supply Chain/Warehouse Management, CRM, Project Management. Since the system is modular a business can incorporate as few modules or as many modules as possible depending on their particular requirements. since a Database system is implemented on the backend to store all the information required by the ERP system, it enables centralised storage/back-up of all enterprise data. An ERP system creates efficiency of workflow and integrates each department within an organisation, the specific needs of the company will determine the complexity of the system.
Customer Relations Management
Customer management may be one of the most important aspects of running a business. Without customers, there is no income, and without income, there is no business. Many businesses pride themselves on the ability to create a positive rapport with their customers and even include in their mission statements the importance of these customer interactions. If you want your business to be successful, the way you handle customer relations has to be held in high regard.
However, interaction is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to customer relations. There are layers of the management of customer relations. Some examples would be; keeping track of emails, customer history, discounts, follow-ups, reward points and loyalty programmes. When you really dive into it, this can seem like an extensive list of things to keep track of and if not done properly can result in a decrease in satisfied customers. South Africa is improving this aspect of business through the development of software that allows you to keep track of all of this important data in one place. The key to giving customers what they want is to understand them and a CRM system is what you need.
The benefits of using a CRM system is improved information organisation, thus, storing your contacts from the time you obtain them, for instance, you can store a contact as a lead and as you progress with that client down the sales funnel you can transfer them on the system to the appropriate category if they are purchasing from you or not. Therefore, you will know which clients are just leads and which clients have shown more interest in making a purchase and thus, become an opportunity. A CRM system is also useful in allowing all employees to have access to customer information, although most customers have a single point of contact, it is a great comfort knowing that anyone can contact that customer if need be. Your time is valuable, but so is your customers, with a CRM system, as soon as a customer contacts your company, your representatives will be able to retrieve all available activity concerning past purchases, preferences, and anything else that might assist them in finding a solution. In many cases, your more experienced representatives, armed with past information and history, will be able to locate a solution within the first few minutes, thanks to an accessible database of potential issues. A CRM allows a greater automation of tasks, completing a sale is never as easy as just getting a customer to agree to commit. Along with the surface details of any sale, there are hundreds of smaller tasks that must be completed in order for everything to function properly. A CRM system allows for greater efficiency and team collaboration, it stores all documents relating to clients that can be easily sourced by any team member, such as legal documents, document templates etc. A CRM system allows for tasks to be assigned to individuals.
Along with the surface details of any sale, there are hundreds of smaller tasks that must be completed in order for everything to function properly. A CRM system allows for greater efficiency and team collaboration, it stores all documents relating to clients that can be easily sourced by any team member, such as legal documents, document templates etc. A CRM system allows for tasks to be assigned to individuals.
Human Resource Management
Human resource management is the backbone of any company. Through human resource management, a company is able to manage their employees efficiently and keep track on the details of employees. This also includes the ability to keep track of important aspects such as employee information, performance management, time management and the all-important payroll. When you have systems in place to ensure proper management of theses aspects, it will result in happy employees.
In order to efficiently manage your employees, you need an adequate system in place. Thanks to technology and a more flexible work structure, gone are the days of managing employees through them ‘clocking in’ an HRMS is a system that is designed to manage employees. Functions of the system include benefits administration, payroll, recruiting and training, and performance analysis and review into one package. An HRMS is a system that automates all the time-consuming tasks relating to employees. An HRMS is a trademark of the modern company, spending hours managing your employees is seen as mundane and outdated in the modern business world where micro-management is diminishing and self-accountability is promoted. However, businesses need to have some management of the administrative details of employees. An HRMS will depend on the size of a business and the number of employees in that business, as well as what the goals of the business are.
Custom software in South Africa is increasing as businesses realise that software is not a one-size fits all function, depending on the size of the business, the industry and the particular needs of a business, different systems will fulfil different needs of each business. The four functions that we have discussed generally relate to every business no matter how small or large. However, each will serve a different role in alleviating mundane tasks for businesses. We have seen that each system should be customised according to the needs of the business. Make sure your business has these systems or variations of these systems in place and customised to your business needs. All of these aspects are critical to running a business and having these systems in place will create efficiency and reduce time spent on mundane tasks.
For more on custom software development, contact SovTech, the leading software development company in South Africa.