In this day and age, no matter what business you are in, you are going to have some form of digital aspect to your business, wither it is doing your books, programs you need to make your or your staffs lives easier, or that your entire business is completely dependent on the computer.
But how do you make sure you get the most from whatever system it is that you need for your business?
The obvious answer is to make sure you talk to a professional about exactly what it is that you need your business software to do for you, it could be that the package you thought you needed wouldn’t actually be suitable for your needs. For example, you could be considering Excel for your accounts, but it may be that Sage is better suited for your specific needs – unless you talk to someone who knows about each of the accounting software packages, you are unlikely to be able to make an informed choice as to what suits your needs best.
Once you have identified the package that you need, the next step is to make sure you understand its functionality inside and out; there is no point in having some high flying, complex software if you don’t know how to use it to its best potential.
To ensure you know how to get the most from your business software, consider investing in a training course on your given product, there are many companies that specialise in this kind of training, some are sector specific like AMT Training, who provide all manner of accountancy training to those in the financial sector, others may be accredited members of staff working with or for various suppliers or companies you have contact with, for instance your book-keeper or accountant may be able to provide basic training on your accounting package.
It may be that the program/system that is best suited to you can’t do all you need it to “Straight from the box” and to suit your needs best it would require a “plug in” written by a third party, using the example mentioned earlier, AMT have found this to be the case with Excel – which is a fantastic tool for Investment Bankers – however, some of the functionality that would make their jobs easier is missing from Excel, so AMT have developed their own Excel “plug-in” which can be installed to reduce some the restrictions that Excel has for investment bankers.
This doesn’t just apply to the financial sector, but the same issues can arise in any sector including Graphic Design, programming, and many others, but with the right knowledge, the right guidance and the right training, it can help make sure that you or your staff can get the very best out of the business software you need for your company.