Inflation is a game of rising costs and knowing your bottom line. The knowledge aspect is crucial to be working off the correct and up-to-date data. An important question to ask as we see the costs of business rising due to inflation is whether your technology provides you with the right information to make timely decisions?
In our previous article we discussed business strategies to help protect your business against inflation, but today we will discuss how your technology can help you.
Automate What You Can
When trimming is just as common as raising prices, during periods of inflation, you may need to learn how to handle operations with a shifted workforce. Streamline processes via automation will allow the teams to focus efforts on high-value work and increase productivity. A few ways you can achieve this are by:
Customer and Vendor Portal
Want to save your customers and vendors from calling, emailing, and tying up support resources to get information? Provide them with a 24/7 self-service portal. Automate time-consuming business processes such as contract renewal, vendor onboarding, and more.
AP Invoice or Expense Automation
Are you manually entering invoices, obtaining approvals via phone or email, and hand typing all this data into your ERP or accounting system for payment? A modern cloud-based ERP software can be used to automate the processing and review of invoices.
Access to Real-Time Data
Your financial, customer and corporate data is a treasure trove for you in a time of inflation. Being able to mine and analyze customer purchases, transaction data, and project data can provide valuable insights and knowledge to decision-makers. With this data, you can have a clear picture of the current status of your cash flow and make better predictions.
One area to focus on to combat inflation is Cross-selling. It is more cost-effective to continue to sell to an existing customer than to have to secure a new one. Predictive modeling can shed light on current customers who could be an ideal prospect for cross-selling. It can also be used to develop effective and profitable cross-selling strategies. A marketing campaign for those customers who are more likely to respond to a targeted offer is an efficient use of marketing dollars.
Know Your Customers
Assuming your CRM system is integrated with your ERP and business intelligence (BI) tools, and you’ve determined which customers and which product lines will be affected by a price increase and how much those increases will specifically be then the hard job begins: telling your customers.
Communicating any changes is necessary and with the variety of communication methods, your CRM will be a great asset. The CRM is also your source of truth for your sales and customer service teams should your clients call in asking for additional information or greater clarification. You will be able to capture and analyze their responses and perhaps adjust your plans if it means a loss of revenue. But if done the right way and with the right data, you probably won’t lose revenue.
If you don’t have access to real-time data or if you need more visibility into your financial information, it may be time to upgrade. Consider implementing a digital platform such as a cloud accounting system, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a warehouse management system (WMS), or a customer relationship management (CRM) system to empower your decision-making and help you grow your business. You can connect with us today to see how you can improve the utilization of your financial software.