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When it comes to choosing a software solution, it can be difficult for businesses to know the key things they need to be on the lookout for and what it is they’re going to need.
With this decision often representing a significant financial outlay as well as an important crossroads for businesses looking to support their growth moving forward, companies want to make sure they will get a fast return on their investment and partner up with the right supplier. However, with a lot of software jargon getting banded about by suppliers, businesses can often struggle to see what exactly is being proposed and ultimately understand the benefits that are on offer.
A buzz term in the world of software, an ‘end-to-end solution’ can mean different things to different businesses. Therefore we thought we’d take the time to dissect the meaning of an end-to-end solution and the benefits of this way of working.
When it comes to software, an end-to-end solution is used to describe a system that addresses all of your business needs and processes in one centralised hub. For retailers, wholesalers, online traders or those manufacturing their own goods, end-to-end software usually incorporates tools for managing eCommerce, order processing, stock control, warehouse management and accounts.
A supplier will provide all of the software components and manage the installation, integration and maintenance to ensure you’ve got everything you need to work effectively. A supplier who isn’t providing an end-to-end solution may just sell you a piece of software to manage one small aspect of your operations, that you will also need to install yourself.
In simple terms, an end-to-end process should take you through a process from beginning to end.
Possibly the main reason that a lot of businesses will sway towards an end-to-end solution is the higher productivity that it is able to generate. By using an integrated system from a single supplier, you’ll be able to experience greater automation to drive accuracy, efficiency and more streamlined processes.
This simplified workflow not only reduces time spent and risk of human error, it can also increase data security too. By using an end-to-end solution to manage everything from order acquisition through to product distribution, businesses can optimise processes to drive better performance.
Having one provider means you only have to pay one provider. Multiple software systems, support packages, ongoing licences etc. can all drive up costs, so having one provider means you only need to pay for one lot of services. This means smaller outlays, less hassle at renewal time and massively decreased costs moving forward.
What’s more, with data seamlessly shared between departments, you’ll ensure greater accuracy – resulting in fewer miss-picks and customer returns. Therefore, investing in an end-to-end solution will not only help minimise software costs but also operational costs too.
Issues can occur from time to time, but what matters most is how quickly these issues can be resolved. Working with multiple disconnected systems can make it difficult to determine the cause of an issue, and worse still, cause staff to be caught up in the middle of a supplier ‘blame game’. For businesses using an end-to-end solution from a single supplier, staff know exactly who to call to report an issue and get it quickly resolved.
When investing in a new solution, you want to be up and running as quickly as possible to minimise disruption and see the fastest possible return. One of the key factors in this is how long you have to put aside for staff training. If your business is running off different systems, it means multiple systems for staff to learn.
By implementing a single, user-friendly end-to-end solution, your staff will only have to get used to one system. Moving forward, new staff arriving into the business can also get up-and-running faster.
As data is shared seamlessly across all departments, an end-to-end solution allows you to gather accurate insight into company performance and pinpoint any areas needing improvement. This complete operational visibility not only helps you drive performance and increase profitability, it also allows your supplier to effectively support you as your company continues to grow.
Disconnected systems can cause a range of issues when it comes to costs, processes and productivity. Therefore by choosing an end-to-end software solution, businesses can become more cost-effective, keep their operations streamlined and drive forward growth.
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