How to Future-proof Your Growing SME with an Operational Management System.

Author:May, Chris
Position:DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: OPINION
 
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The UK has a great reputation for supporting start-ups, but has struggled to facilitate them scalingup. We are third in the OECD's start-up index but fall to 13th when it comes to helping new businesses grow to the next level.

In order to accommodate expanding workforces, growing organisations require internal processes that can evolve with them. Some organisations may choose a mix of software. However, using multiple solutions can often prevent a holistic view of an organisation's operations, and 95% of SMEs agree that a single, integrated solution would be more beneficial.*

A key challenge faced by many small businesses looking to scale-up, is choosing and implementing standardised processes. For many small businesses the process of assessing, implementing and activating a seamless software solution can be a costly and complicated one, yet it doesn't need to be.

To ensure small businesses have the right operational management procedures in place, it is important to understand the key components that are required for success and where operational management systems can give tangible benefits.

Assessing your needs

Identifying your company's current and future needs by understanding each and every internal role--as well as the business' aims--is crucial. Gather detailed information on how individuals work both alone and together, to discover what tools they need to deliver the best result for the company.

Spending time on research means choosing the system most suited to the way that your company works and therefore really seeing the benefits once it's implemented. Using one piece of software to run your SME is easier and more time efficient for the whole company. Most importantly however, it means the system allows for an overview and insight into every area of the business meaning greater opportunity for growth. Ensure that whichever system you choose includes an analysis suite.

Making the most of your company data

Real-time reports allow organisations to immediately identify where time is being spent, assessing the needs of the business and how projects are progressing and where any issues are arising. This data can range from time spent on a project, to the amount invoiced in a month.

A good operational management system provides detailed breakdowns of information set out in simple, clear, predefined reports to provide an understanding of where small businesses need to invest more, or where they have a surplus. Having data is one thing...

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