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22 Mar

Reframe Your Company's Software to Organize Business Insights

Departments have always operated in silos as businesses grow, even though companies spend a lot of time, money, and cultural efforts trying to knock down departmental barriers. But the separation isn't just due to your employees' focus on their primary business tasks or an 'us versus them' mentality that can form when departments create extra work or inconveniences for each other. In fact, a large part of it might be the individualized software tools your business uses.

How do separate automation tools pigeonhole communication?

Only the finance team might be using that invoicing tool you have. The IT department has a help ticket queue with task organization features, timelines, and projected goals. Every department has programs that they use that other departments either use differently or don't use at all. This relative isolation means other teams don't see how all of the pieces fit together. Not only does that cause a great deal of misinformation because employees aren't using the same terms or paradigms, it means a lot of knowledge is getting lost across the different programs.

With more integrated business systems, workflows become more transparent and employees better understand how leads transform to contracted, paying customers. All of the documents and updates are loaded in one place instead of information staying only in the customer-facing departments. 

That's why so many businesses have switched to ERP, or enterprise resource planning, systems that provide insight into the business as a whole. ERPs are business management tools that handle the back-end work functions such as humans resources, procurement, and accounting, as well as the more visible customer services (CRM) and sales.

But automated business tools for small businesses can sometimes interfere with the transparency ERPs create. As your business starts to grow and develop clearly defined departments, make sure your automation tools integrate into a central ERP. Only then can true automation and transparency start to occur.

Browse our selection and tips to find the tools for your business that promise both automation and integration.

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