The Power of Integrated Tech for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Digitization can offer a multitude of benefits such as streamlined operations, better visibility for planning and forecasting, and scalability.

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Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to find unique ways to get their products to customers that go beyond good sales or marketing tactics. In fact, the secret sauce for many businesses is in the work done behind-the-scenes. For many, there’s a method to the madness that involves an assortment of physical recordkeeping, Excel spreadsheets and applications for point of sale, shipping and customer relationship management. Not only is there a higher chance of human error with significant pieces of the operational puzzle strewn across the proverbial floor, but it’s time and energy consuming to keep track of the critical components that keep products moving and customers happy. Embracing digital, integrated technologies can help.

According to Accenture, SMBs have various degrees of technology utilization with business planning software ranking the lowest at just 35 percent. Employee technology, such as computers and mobile devices, ranks the highest at 66 percent and sits at the entry point for SMBs to go digital. For many SMBs, getting started on the digital journey is the biggest step, and there may be fear of change or the unknown contributing to the decision to stall tech adoption. But with benefits from streamlined operations to revenue growth, integrated technologies should not be ignored.

Seamless Cloud Migration

The first step in the digital journey is choosing a software provider with cloud-based hosting. Not only do cloud-based systems allow SMBs to access data from anywhere they have internet access, but the systems can be easily integrated with both customer-facing and backend tech stacks for centralized data storage that allows for real-time updates and high-level visibility from across the business.

As more businesses move to hybrid models, an integrated system can help by automating tasks and streamlining workflows, so that SMBs owners are empowered to focus on strategic business goals rather than wrestling with spreadsheet complexities and crunching numbers. This easily accessible and up-to-date data can help businesses make informed decisions quickly, which leads to improved productivity and operational efficiency. Cloud migration allows businesses to lean on technology to manage operations across channels so that they can scale, grow and thrive.

Integrated Inventory Management for Better Visibility

For many businesses, inventory tracking can be difficult to accurately carry out manually, but there are inventory management software systems that are designed to help SMBs monitor inventory and avoid the pitfalls of overstocking or stockouts. An integrated system can lead to smoother overall operations by helping businesses to forecast and plan for peaks or dips in demand, monitor stock levels and track inventory movements more accurately. Data-driven forecasting capabilities allow SMBs to meet customer demand through peak sales seasons or unexpected slumps and stay competitive in their market.

In addition to growing the businesses and streamlining operations, the enhanced visibility allows businesses to track key metrics, identify trends and spot potential errors before they escalate. SMBs have collectively experienced the hardship that external factors, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can have on their businesses, so having an integrated system in place can help businesses prepare for unforeseen events and be nimble in response when crises strike.

Digitization: Your Crystal Ball and Secret Weapon

For businesses eager to elevate their success, integrated, cloud-based technological solutions are the answer. These solutions allow for real-time reporting and analytics, enhanced visibility and control and streamlined processes and workflows that translate into cost savings, operational efficiencies and revenue growth. By leveraging these integrated technologies, SMBs can future-proof their businesses while looking for opportunities to grow and scale.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 99.9 percent of US businesses as of 2023. It is a highly competitive Main Street and businesses need to leverage the benefits of integrated technology to keep pace and prosper. Digitization can offer a multitude of benefits such as streamlined operations, better visibility for planning and forecasting, and scalability, and it is imperative that businesses adopt integrated technologies to survive in today’s modern marketplace.