As businesses have grown and changed over the years, so too have the tools and solutions utilized to help manage financial and operational needs. The evolution of business and financial management solutions now enables businesses to capitalize on data insights from a wide variety of sources.
For companies in the security sector especially, modern financial management solutions can be essential for running a successful operation. In this blog post we’ll explore the evolution of business and financial management solutions, along with the implications for today’s security companies.
What Business Management Software Solution Should I Use?
When it comes to business management, a configurable, purpose-built solution is more likely to meet the needs of your business. This is something you won’t get from a generic solution. By design, out-of-the box solutions must cater to the needs of a wide variety of business types.
If your business has unique processes or workflow features, an out-of-the box software will have functionality gaps. What’s more, many business and financial management solutions don’t allow for specific configurations. If it does, then you may incur extra fees that you won’t see until later. This means your total cost of ownership (TCO) may be higher than estimated.
A security business management solution like Managely lets you configure it to your business. Because Managely is API-driven, customers can configure the software to their needs. Also, if you already use a platform you like, it can integrate with Managely. There is no need to choose one software over the other.
Managely is a turnkey solution that helps you manage all aspects of your security business:
- Field service management
- Work orders
- Project management
- Invoice generation/automation
- Inventory Management
- Business intelligence
Since you manage key business functions in one platform, you avoid the problem of “app sprawl.”
From an operational perspective, a purpose-built solution reduces cybersecurity risk. With Managely, the footprint of accessible data is smaller. This is by design. It’s hosted on the cloud by AWS, and has specific functionality. You only have what you use, nothing else. As you scale your business, you will continue to add only what you need.
One overlooked issue with out-of-the-box software is who owns the data in your system. Many out-of-the-box solutions don’t give you full ownership of the data. When you use Managely, you own your data. It’s the complete business management software for a security company.
Use Business Intelligence to Set KPIs
Today’s businesses are getting better at using data to make decisions. In fact, it’s become critical.
Collecting data and making it visible can help you to run a more successful company. With features such as intuitive dashboards, business analytics tools and data mining, businesses have access to more insight for smarter decision making. The best business and financial management solutions keep data housed in one platform, allowing you to see the broad picture each time.
By using Microsoft Power BI, Managely elevates your data analysis from descriptive to prescriptive and eventually predictive.
Many businesses miss opportunities (and threats) because of obscured line of sight. Thorough data that’s compiled in a smart way gives companies valuable insight.
Strategic Planning and Project Management
When planning the future of your business, you benefit from having clear access to your data. But this can be challenging if the data is spread out and disparate. Poor data visibility leads to ignoring the data, or seeing an incomplete picture. Both scenarios are dangerous when making strategic choices.
Another common cause of data obscurity is not collecting data. Unifying your financial and business operations into one platform allows for a more holistic view of your business. That leads to better data-based decisions.
Identify Issues Contributing to Dissatisfaction and Attrition
Customer and operations data can assist in identifying issues that may be affecting your business. By being able to see the health of your business in real-time, you can course-correct before it’s too late. Changes happen the same day, not 30 days later when you run a report.
For example, these might include reasons customers aren’t as satisfied as they could be. They may even include reasons customers are looking elsewhere for security services.
Having the right business and financial management solution helps you find and correct these problems early on, improving customer loyalty and growth.
Find Opportunities for Innovation and Upselling
Those same data-based insights may help you to find paths forward for your business. You may be able to identify a class of customers primed for an upsell. Or, you may discover a way to streamline your processes and cut costs.
With clear visibility to both your customers and your business operations, you make better choices.
Moving the Business Software to the Cloud
The move to SaaS applications marks one of the biggest steps in the evolution of business and financial management systems. This trend is seeing an uptick for several reasons.
Expense and Safety Benefits
SaaS solutions offer a larger return on investment and come with a smaller TCO than on-premise solutions. Using a SaaS product is also more secure than an on-premise solution.
With an on-site solution, once attackers are in your network, they’re in your network. From there, they can access many systems and layers of sensitive data.
The cost of a breach is high. Sometimes that’s due to the ransom demands of cybercriminals. But there’s also reputation management to consider. Being hosted in the cloud mitigates much of this risk.
Bold Group saw more than 10 of its customers attacked with ransomware in the last year. As a result, we transferred these clients to a cloud solution.
What Do You Need From a Business Management Solution?
Short answer: ROI.
When evaluating options for a business management solution, there are a few other issues to consider.
Industry-specific solutions for the best business management software
First, look for solutions that are unique to your industry or company function.
It’s important to understand and acknowledge your requirements, as well as your “nice to haves.” Don’t skimp on this step. Due diligence is critical for identifying your processes and potential gaps.
For example, consider reporting and regulatory compliance needs. Identify the requirements from each department and talk to the teams in the trenches. Then put together a list of metrics-driven requirements.
If it will save X hours of time that you’re paying X dollars for, how can the solution help address and reduce those costs? It’s this kind of task management that enables business owners the expense tracking solutions needed to run their small and medium enterprises.
Companies should also look at what the solution can do for them. What does the solution help increase, decrease, improve, or add?
All these aspects relate to ROI.
What will the solution increase?
- Efficiencies and effectiveness?
- Will it keep customers?
- Increase profitability?
What will the solution decrease?
- Repetitive processes?
- Will it result in fewer bugs?
- Does it reduce touchpoints?
There are so many places the same data is used across your different partners. Reducing data entry lowers costs, saves hours, and reduces errors, which reduces risk.
How about improvements to the business processes?
- Will it improve processes?
- Will field service management be able to talk to your CRM system?
- Are processes, reporting and compliance improved?
Ensure the solution offers easy connection and integration points across many systems for the best improvements.
What does it add to your business?
- Is it creating new business?
- Are new features resulting in new benefits, even on issues like morale?
Look at the difference between the costs of an on-site solution and the licensing cost of a SaaS solution.
Purchasing software may result in a higher up-front fee, but the cost is usually less over time.
It’s important to go through the process of reviewing ROI and TCO to see what the true benefit to the company will be. You may go through this process and find that it’s not worth it to make a change.
However, it’s likely you’ll see the added value of a SaaS solution for your organization.
When you’re ready to move ahead, it’s critical to get buy-in on the solution from the top down. If one person on the leadership team can drive the “why” behind making this change, others will come on board.
The message needs to be consistent and focused on improving efficiencies, increasing scale, and driving other ROI-related value. If you don’t have complete buy-in, you may get push-back.
A lot of upfront work happens when moving to a new security business management solution. Don’t focus on the amount of work needed to get the new solution up and running. It can be a big undertaking to move to a new solution, but it’s worth the effort. The customer service you receive from the Managely team will make it easier for you, as well.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to run your new system side-by-side your old system for a period of time. This is a safety net approach to ensure everything is running smoothly. If there’s an issue, you can fall back on the old system.
Make sure you have a dedicated point of contact and system admin to lead the transition. A project manager is also needed to onboard the application with employees, as is someone to own the administration functionality moving forward.
The Value of Integration
Finally, integration is a key factor in implementing new solutions.
Back-office processes can be the source of serious inefficiency and resource waste.
It’s common for organizations to have separate systems for:
- Management and billing software
- Job scheduling
- Invoicing and accounts payable
- Customer relationship management tools
- Alarm monitoring
- Workflow management
Managely handles all these functions, in one system.
Research indicates companies lose as much as 30% of their revenue every year to inefficiencies. Even modest improvements in operations can boost the bottom line:
- Effectively add RMR items;
- Automate recurring billing; and
- Add line-item dates of service.
Integrating your core functions into a single system like Managely improves efficiency and your bottom line. Remember, top business management software solutions should be able to integrate in order to provide all the features needed to optimize your team collaboration.
Businesses and financial management solutions have evolved over the years to improve your security company’s organization, performance, and profitability. The challenges posed by new technology, increased competition and ever-changing markets can be overwhelming, but they can also motivate organizations to find better business and financial management solutions.
Business agility is a key element in success – the ability to react quickly and efficiently to changing market needs. A security business management software like Managely provides real-time data along with the tools you need to manage and streamline your financial functions, keeping you ahead of the curve.
Small business owners need to do the work to find the best business management solutions for their needs. It’s important to find the right business management software because small businesses need to strategically optimize their resource management.
Change must come from within however, so take steps today to alter your approach with better insights into operations that will drive sustainable growth into the future.