5 investments to take your enterprise to the next level
Making big changes in your business is daunting. Especially when you’re operating at a large scale with a large workforce. But, as most business consultants will tell you, just because something has ‘got you by’ for several years, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be changed or evolved. And if the last few years have taught us anything, medium to large businesses are no safer from economic disruption than the smallest. Innovation and investment are critical.
Here are five investments worth considering this year:
1. Modern warehouse management systems
In today’s modern age, it’s not just consumers that expect a seamless and integrated experience when dealing with your business, it’s employees too. The simple reality is that younger and more physically capable warehouse workers expect a warehouse that mimics the technology they’re using at home. That means easy-to-use systems, mobile technology and smart automation.
A modern WMS should be showing your pickers what orders are ahead of them, where stock is and the shortest paths to bins – all from the palm of their hand or on smart dashboards displayed around the warehouse. For senior management, alerts on supply chain issues, problems on the warehouse floor or updates from the rest of the business should also be readily available.
2. Multichannel ecommerce solutions
Whether you’re ready for it or not, ecommerce is here to stay. And so are the growing expectations of your largest pool of future consumers – Gen Z. If your buying process between channels isn’t seamless – you can almost guarantee you have lost the business of nearly half the UK population. This is where multichannel commerce steps in.
Whether trading through one marketplace or several, investing in the right solution can provide ecommerce integrations across all your sales channels to streamline your marketplace trading and communications into one place. As a result, customers will experience the same levels of service however they choose to interact with your brand, and your team is provided with the tools to maximise sales and marketing efforts.
3. Advanced credit control
With 30% of all invoices not getting paid on time, managing credit control effectively can be one of the top financial burdens for large businesses. Late payments disrupt cash flow, slow down operations, lower profit margins and create a huge amount of work for your accounts team.
The right credit control tool will provide your business with a dedicated area to retrieve overdue or missing payments, set up automated reminders, alerts and follow-ups. Backed by the investment of proactive engagement tools, you will not only receive payment where it’s owed, but position your company as one in full control of its finances.
4. Intelligent decision-making tools
It’s a fact, data-driven businesses make more money, and senior management strategising with inaccurate information, are also destined to make poorer decisions. The tool to transform the way you use your data? Business Intelligence.
Beyond identifying your bestsellers, an investment in a quality BI tool provides your business with the ability to drill down into trends with groups of customers, staff, products, promotions and more. Identify gaps in your customer journey that need to be filled, find opportunities to be picked up by your sales team, and discover room for growth.
5. Next-generation warehouse automation
Ready to really modernise your stock control? Warehouse automation could be a game-changer of an investment for your warehouse. Whilst it might seem daunting, robotics are no longer exclusive to large factories and production lines. This kind of technology has reached a tipping point and is now incredibly profitable for businesses of all sizes.
As well as directly tackling the current labour shortage crisis, warehouse automation is an investment that provides your business with a unique and distinct advantage over most competitors.
When is the right time to invest?
The last few years have taken its toll on the global economy. There’s no getting away from that. However, the investments we have discussed above are about the time you have now, not waiting for the right timing. Nobody can control what the markets are going to do, but what you can do, is control how prepared your business is going to be for what else is to come.
Better yet, 2022 presents a unique opportunity for businesses to invest. Your business has less than a year to take advantage of the 25% super-deduction tax saving – you can find out more about that here.