In today’s competitive environment, businesses would not exist without advancements in technology. From innovative payment and accounting systems to robust, integrated inventory solutions, businesses require technology in order to keep pace with their counterparts in the industry.
One of First Bank’s trusted partners, Bond Consulting Services, a national consulting firm, empowers organizations to thrive in a digitally-transformed world. With over 18 years of software integration experience, Bond Consulting Services is a proud Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and was just awarded Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner of the Year Finalist by Microsoft in June 2019. Bob Bond, President of Bond Consulting Services, said, “As businesses grow in volume, data, and reporting needs, they need to scale up their technology rapidly. It truly doesn’t matter the size of the company you own or manage, you can always leverage technology to help streamline your services.”
Although system enhancements have been financially out of reach for smaller organizations in the past, features like BI (Business Intelligence) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) are now more accessible to companies of all sizes. According to Bond, system enhancements and upgrades are no longer a “nice-to-have” but rather a necessity for growth and relevancy. In fact, a recent survey indicated organizations that are data-driven are 23-times more likely to acquire new customers and 19-times more likely to improve their ROI (Return on Investment).*
When is an Ideal Time to Upgrade
Bond commented that you should periodically review your software and systems. “If a system is over 10 years old, it undoubtedly needs to be updated. Most vendors are not even supporting these aged products anymore.” What’s more, Bond commented that you’ll want your business to have access to the latest security enhancements, improved workflow capabilities, and enriched data reporting that these newer systems have to offer. He suggested that a company should review their systems approximately every three to five years. During this review, they need to determine if the company has changed or grown significantly over that time.
“If your board or executive team is requiring more detailed reports than you are able to provide with your existing systems, then it’s time to start the evaluation process,” he explained. “If a new system or upgrade helps you make better business decisions or reduces your cost through improved efficiencies, then the investment in technology certainly pays off.”
Maria Hunter, Vice President and Commercial Banking Officer with First Bank, added, “With better financial information and access to improved reporting, a bank is better positioned to make an informed credit decision regarding a potential client.” She recalled a potential client of hers that wanted to expand their warehouse facilities but was unable to have access to the lending it needed because of their antiquated technology. “As an organization poised for growth, you need to have access to top-quality resources, data, and real-time reporting to help your potential lender move quickly.”
She added that with newer systems and an improved probability that your company will have access to the capital it needs, the better your organization will be positioned for long-term growth.
To find out more about credit, read Navigating a Business Loan: Know the Five C’s of Credit.
Bond recalled a client, a manufacturer of novelty and gift products, had been in business for over 100 years. They had put in a business, inventory, and accounting system back in the 90’s and acquired a new company along the way. Over the years, they pieced systems together to help band-aid the outdated systems. “We worked with this company recently to help them implement and transition to Microsoft Dynamics 365, a comprehensive, integrated ERP and CRM solution. Within six months, their processes were streamlined, product shipments were synced with inventory levels, and their logoed artwork was cohesively managed across the enterprise. With the business investment, they now had business intelligence, artificial intelligence, and cross-application workflow functionality at their fingertips,” he explained. “We eliminated the silos that once existed within their organization, allowing management to have access to a 360-view of their business and processes.”
The Upgrade Process: Next Steps
It’s important to get guidance through the process of evaluation and implementation of new technology. “On average, a business professional goes through two to three system conversions in their lifetime, so it isn’t something that everyone is an expert in,” he expounded.
With a consultative partner, such as Bond Consulting Services, they’ll help you identify your short and long-term needs, sort through the myriad of products out there, and collaboratively determine what is truly the best product, software, or system for your business or organization. “As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner,” he said, “We can delve deep into the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 with you.” Such partners can also help companies look for potential challenges on the horizon and solutions for growth that they may not have even considered.