ON THE HOTSEAT ON THE HOTSEAT

How your peers are tackling the questions that matter now

Fortune Business Leader Council Research conducted by Time Inc. Research & Insights
Brought to you by Sage

PAGES

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 1: Introduction

LET’S FACE IT.

It’s a scary climate out there for small and mid-size businesses. There are more than enough uncertainties to keep you tossing and turning late at night.
TABLE OF CONTENTS JUST A FEW UNCERTAINTIES INCLUDE:

I. Introduction II. Common software problems III. Software integration IV. Why integrate? V. Lack of IT support VI. Conclusion

• Is customer information as current as it needs to be? • How can I eliminate data entry in multiple locations? • How do I make software updates less traumatic? • Can I afford customized software? • Can my IT infrastructure be streamlined?

YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Time Inc. Research & Insights division conducted 306 online interviews among small and mid-size business owners and decision makers on the Fortune Business Leader Council between January 30 and February 4, 2009. Our goal was to learn more about the pressing business and operational concerns of today’s small and mid-size businesses. The study had a response rate of 18%, and as it turns out, we discovered most growing businesses are experiencing a lot of frustration and inefficiency when it comes to data management and business software integration.

SO WHERE DO YOU FIND THE ANSWERS?
We’ll start by exploring some of the general software issues many small and mid-size businesses encounter. We’ll look at the direct impact on the businesses surveyed. Then we’ll examine the solutions businesses like yours can put in place to improve operations, simplify processes, and increase profits. 1 1 2 2

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 2: Common Software Problems

What are the greatest software challenges facing small and mid-size businesses?
OVERWHELMINGLY, CUSTOMIZING APPLICATIONS RANKS AS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERN.
Customizing applications for your particular needss 63%

Duplicate data entry points

32%

Coordinating software updates

32% 26%

Managing data imports

Knowing how/where to get support

23% Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights

Reliance on Excel

21%

Access to or finding information

20%

Difficulty with network installation

8%

Other

11%

Customizing applications is obviously on many people’s minds given the overwhelming response. But eliminating multiple points of data entry is also a major issue. When you combine the responses in related data categories — duplicate data entry, managing data imports, and access to or finding information — most survey respondents consider these issues major software challenges as well.

What’s the best way to overcome these challenges?
START WITH A COMPLETE SOLUTION THAT MEETS CURRENT NEEDS BUT CAN GROW WITH YOUR BUSINESS.
Many small and mid-size businesses are utilizing contact management and accounting software, but most don’t have a solution that provides visibility and insights from data. And they’re finding that customization and data management across different systems can be very challenging.

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4

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 2: Common Software Problems

A WORD OR TWO ON APPLICATION CUSTOMIZATION.
Before you analyze custom applications, make sure you have the basics covered in key areas like customer relationship management, sales management, and operations management. Demand flexibility in your solutions. Gravitate toward applications that give you options you can build on, resulting in immediate benefits and long-term ROI. Being able to personalize your solution to your unique processes and user needs is critical. Choose solutions that let you add on specialized functionality or take advantage of the newest product release with minimal changes to your unique business processes. Your best bets? Software that lets you tailor individual desktop views to meet specific needs and roles within the organization. In most cases, solutions should be adaptable to manage information and processes in every part of your business.

KNOW YOUR SUPPORT OPTIONS.
As 23% of respondents mentioned support as a major software issue, it’s important to make sure any software implementation comes with comprehensive support options. Consider companies with a strong local presence, including an ecosystem of experienced and proven solutions providers. It’s important that solutions are backed by an extensive online support system as well — a reference knowledgebase and an online community for peers to share experiences and get answers 24/7. Consider solutions that offer support that scales, so you can get tech support for your entire suite through a single phone number and connect with a staff of helpful, knowledgeable analysts. And don’t forget the importance of training, both online and onsite, to help increase your staff ’s efficiency with implementation and use of new software tools.

REDUCE TIME-WASTING DATA MANAGEMENT.
Multiple solutions within workgroups or between departments often lead to multiple versions of customer information within your company, creating mistakes. By unifying finance, sales, and operations information in a single system, you can eliminate duplicate data entry and time wasted manually synchronizing departments. Your staff is assured that they are accessing and working with the same and most accurate data. Teams save time by not having to enter the same data in multiple places. Accurate, up-to-the-minute reports keep everyone on top of the latest customer requirements so they can fulfill them quickly and accurately — always good for the bottom line.

STRIVE FOR SMOOTHER SOFTWARE UPDATES.
Updating software was raised as a red flag by 32% of survey respondents. More than likely, this can be tied back to managing versions of software performing similar tasks. You can avoid this issue altogether by unifying on a single software platform. Look for applications that can be quickly deployed and efficiently mapped to specific business requirements. You’ll be up and running quickly with software that’s right for your business right from the start. Your organization will benefit from simplified accountability and a single point of contact — whether you start with a complete suite or start small and add on functionality as you grow.

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6

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 3: Software Integration

What type of software are small and mid-size businesses using?
EIGHT IN TEN BUSINESSES ARE UTILIZING ERP SOFTWARE.
80%

THE CASE FOR CRM.
In practice, CRM solutions should provide a snapshot of the customer, from first contact and closing of a sale to product delivery and customer service. By offering a complete view of your customer data, a viable CRM solution helps: • Customer-facing teams effectively analyze and anticipate customer needs based on historic trends • Finance and operations access relevant customer data, including purchase and sale patterns Done correctly, CRM can quickly drive additional revenue by helping you recognize your most profitable customers. Customer-facing teams will have the right tools and information so they can respond quickly and accurately to requests. When you improve the efficiency of your service and begin to see a reduction in total cost of sales, you know your CRM solution is working.

79%

60%

40%

21%
20%

Use ERP software

Don’t use ERP software

FOUR IN TEN GROWING BUSINESSES ARE EMBRACING CRM SOFTWARE TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS.
80%

62%
60%

40%

38%

20%

Use CRM software

Don’t use CRM software

Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights

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8

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 3: Software Integration

How effective are businesses at sharing data between the departments that use CRM and ERP software?
MOST SMALL AND MID-SIZE BUSINESSES FEEL THEY HAVE SOME ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT WHEN IT COMES TO DATA SHARING. HERE’S HOW THEY RATED THEIR SHARING EFFECTIVENESS:
80%

THIS LACK OF INTEGRATION LEADS TO ALL KINDS OF INCONSISTENCIES AND INEFFICIENCIES, SUCH AS:

Multiple user interfacess

44%

Data integration difficulties

36%

60%

Separate support services

30% 29%

40%

34%

40%
Managing multiple software vendors

20%

10%

13% 3%

Limited (or no) IT resources

23%

Very effective

Somewhat effective

Neither effective nor ineffective

Somewhat ineffective

Not at all effective

Separate contracts Inability for sales to answer customer inquiries quickly

19% 17%

How many growing businesses have an integrated CRM/ERP solution? And do they consider it to be seamlessly integrated?
FEWER THAN ONE IN TEN SMALL AND MID-SIZE BUSINESSES BELIEVE THEIR CRM AND ERP SOFTWARE ARE “SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATED.”
80%

Sales have limited (or no) access to inventory and pricing Sacrificing service in order to limit the number of software applications Other

10%

4% 13%

60%

41%
40%

Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights

28% 22% 9%

20%

Seamlessly integrated

Somewhat integrated

Not well integrated

Not at all integrated

Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights

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10

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 3: Software Integration

What can seamless CRM and ERP integration do for my business?
DRIVE EFFICIENCY AND COST SAVINGS TO CREATE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
Many businesses lack an integrated CRM and ERP solution. Making it happen now can give your business a huge advantage over the competition.

But How?
SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING.
Bridge your ERP and CRM software into one unified solution that can deliver a consistent user experience. By providing company-wide access to vital customer information, you can manage your business with a comprehensive approach to inside and field sales automation, customer care, and marketing. Combining your CRM and ERP into one solution will help maximize relationships with existing customers, as teams can provide more effective service centered on common business goals. Look for solutions that help you: • Improve sales performance with tools that help sales staff retrieve vital information quickly and easily • Manage and track every element of marketing campaigns like objectives, leads generated, and lead follow-up to determine how effectively campaigns deliver ROI • Resolve customer issues efficiently with user-friendly tools that streamline access to relevant customer data A unified software solution is a single system that provides your sales, financial, and operations departments a holistic view of all customer interactions, allowing every team member the chance to make more insightful and profitable business decisions.

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Introduction 1-2

6. Conclusion Common software problems

3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 4: Why Integrate?

Innovative businesses are eager for a unified solution.
38% OF RESPONDENTS SURVEYED EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN THE BUSINESS EFFICIENCIES THAT AN INTEGRATED CRM AND ERP SOLUTION CAN PROVIDE. GIVEN CURRENT ECONOMIC REALITIES, ANY SOFTWARE INVESTMENT MUST IMPROVE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, OPTIMIZE OPERATIONS, AND INVIGORATE SALES AND MARKETING WITH REAL-TIME DATA.
80% 60%

The reason for the shift?
MOST RESPONDENTS ANSWERED SIMPLIFIED MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVED DATA SHARING.

Business cycle management from a single user interface Improved data sharing between customer-facing and operations departments

60% 33% 4% 3%

A single maintenance agreement, support contract, and resource website

40%

25%
20%

Other

28% 7%

27%

13%

Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights Very interested Somewhat interested Neither interested nor uninterested Somewhat uninterested Not at all interested

Are growing businesses looking to move to an integrated solution any time soon?
MOST RESPONDENTS REPORT THEY PLAN TO SHIFT TO AN INTEGRATED SOFTWARE WITHIN THE NEXT THREE YEARS.
80% 60%
In the next 3 years = 70%

40%

}
36% 34% 21% 6%
In the next 1-2 years In the next 2-3 years In the next 4-5 years In more than than 5 years

20%

3%
Never consider moving to an integrated solution

Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights

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Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 5-6

Software integration 7-8 9-10 11-12

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 4: Why Integrate?

How can an integrated software solution help businesses improve customer service?
IT’S SIMPLE. SMARTER DATA ENTRY AND MANAGEMENT LEAD TO MORE SATISFIED CUSTOMERS. Better communication between departments results in enhanced customer satisfaction and retention, helping you strengthen your reputation in the marketplace. Look at solutions that offer a powerful set of tools to streamline the sharing of data between departments. You’ll have a more holistic view of the customer throughout every touch point — from initial contact through delivery and beyond. When you have the confidence in your ability to streamline time-consuming processes, manage your business’ complex finances, and focus your sales, marketing, and operational functions on the customer, good things happen to your bottom line. HAPPIER CUSTOMERS. Make sure your staff has secure, instant access to relevant customer information such as orders, call and transaction history, e-mail, and sent documents — resulting in fast resolution of customer inquiries. BETTER BUSINESS. Your teams need access to vital customer account and inventory information as well. For example, sales should be able to check the credit status of a customer before placing an order, ascertain how much inventory is in the warehouse, and determine the buying patterns of your customer base at a glance. Unified solutions are becoming more and more desirable. If you want to keep your edge, a unified approach to your software will be a necessity to meet tomorrow’s challenges. DATA MADE EASY. By using one system for your business processes, your staff can access and work with consistent data. Time previously spent entering data in multiple places is invested productively elsewhere, resulting in improved accuracy, quicker identification of customer needs, and efficient fulfillment.

RESPONDENTS FEEL THAT SOFTWARE INTEGRATION COULD GENERATE GREATER BUSINESS EFFICIENCY, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DATA ENTRY. HERE’S WHAT THEY’RE FEELING RIGHT NOW:
IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE
• “Account managers could answer customer queries more swiftly.” • “Easier for everyone to support the customers better.” • “Improved customer service and employee efficiency.”

SINGLE POINT OF DATA ENTRY
• “Improved access to information, less duplication of data entry, and better information for decision making.” • “Reduce or eliminate duplicate data entry and storage.” • “Single point of data entry. Single user interface/access. Reporting should be easier.”

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Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 7-8 3-4 5-6 5-6

9-10 11-12 11-12 PRINT 7-8 9-10

Software integration

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support BROUGHT TO YOU BY 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 5: Lack of IT Support

Do I need a dedicated IT support staff to stay competitive?
A MAJORITY OF BUSINESSES SURVEYED DO NOT HAVE A DEDICATED IT DEPARTMENT. TO OVERCOME THIS OBSTACLE, BUSINESSES NEED ROBUST SOFTWARE THAT CAN BE CUSTOMIZED AND SUPPORTED WITH TRAINING THAT QUICKLY IMPROVES PRODUCTIVITY.

80%

66%
60%

40%

34%

20%

Fully dedicated IT support staff

No fully dedicated IT support staff

Source: 2009 Fortune Business Leader Council Research/Time Inc. Research & Insights

No IT? No problem.
Look for a solution supported by trained, local experts with multiple deployment options that fit your organization today and can grow with your business. For a more immediate spike in efficiency, look for combined hardware and software available in a more hands-off configuration, requiring minimal IT infrastructure, data back-ups, and offering support for your remote offices without IT staff. While you’re in the consideration phase, insist on an award-winning level of support with a partner vetted in hardware and software installations. Remember, regardless of your company’s level of IT sophistication, there is a solution that can solve your problems today and tomorrow. Stay focused on solutions that will help you streamline and simplify business management, helping you improve customer experience and business growth. 17 18

Introduction 1-2

Common software problems 3-4 7-8 3-4 5-6 5-6

9-10 11-12 11-12 PRINT 7-8 9-10

Software integration

Why integrate? 13-14 15-16

Lack of IT support BROUGHT TO YOU BY 17-18

Conclusion 19-20

Section 6: Conclusion

I want to realize all the benefits of a unified ERP and CRM suite. Where do I start?
LET THE SAGE EXPERIENCE GUIDE YOUR WAY. If you’re like the hundreds of small and mid-size businesses Fortune and Sage surveyed, you’re looking for a unified software solution that can improve the accuracy of company data, increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and streamline your business from top to bottom. ALL-STAR SOFTWARE SUITE. Sage has recently won a number of prestigious industry awards, including the CRN “SMB Software Suites Channel Champion,” and has been identified as a key vendor for both “Software as a Service” and “Business Applications.” Solutions from Sage give you the peace of mind of knowing you’ve got award-winning solutions managing your business. EXPERIENCE A BETTER WAY. Sage Extended Enterprise Suite offers a truly unified solution that provides a powerful set of tools to help you streamline time-consuming accounting and other processes, effectively manage your finances, and tie together your sales, marketing, and operational functions. It’s an effective means to link business processes with strategic objectives. With Sage Extended Enterprise Suite, you’ll benefit from comprehensive business intelligence, simplified data entry and reduced duplicate data. EXTRAORDINARY CUSTOMER SERVICE. Sage offers an entire ecosystem of responsive and resourceful customer service teams on both a local and national scale. We offer multiple service plans and provide a 24/7 online knowledgebase for proven advice and troubleshooting. If you require an expert, no problem. We offer support for your entire suite through a single contact — support analysts who have the tools at their disposal to quickly and thoroughly address your situation. EXPERIENCE A NEW BEGINNING. Contact a Sage representative now. They’ll show you just how easy it is to increase the efficiency and profitability of your business with Sage Extended Enterprise Suite.

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