As anyone who has travelled pretty much anywhere from Australia knows, the interminably long flights can be excruciating to sit through, especially if you’re stuck in cattle class, which is where our tickets were booked on a recent overseas trip. At check-in, the agent stared unnervingly at her screen. I’m a nervous traveller at the best of times, and my mind immediately began dreaming up doomsday scenarios. Eventually, the friendly agent at the counter addressed us: “I’m terribly sorry. Today’s flight is overbooked, and we have only one more economy seat left,” she announced apologetically. “I TOLD you we should have left the house half an hour earlier!” I began to grumble but was stopped in my tracks. “Not to worry, we have an unreserved seat free in business, so if you guys don’t mind sitting separately, I’ll be happy to upgrade one of you so you can both make the same flight.” We both blinked disbelievingly at the agent before enthusiastically accepting her offer. I instinctively did a quick calculation of the enormous number of brownie points I would be acquiring along with my frequent flyer miles. Deciding it would be an excellent trade-off, I chivalrously offered my partner the upgrade. When the time came to board, off she sauntered to Business Class, while I trudged to the back of the plane, wedged between the galley and an oversized neighbour with questionable personal hygiene and a snoring problem. Needless to say, the flight was exceptionally painful, the food inedible and sleep consisted of nothing more than four or five short, unsatisfying stints of about 15 minutes each before being woken by the buzz-saw to my immediate left. Upon arrival, my fellow passengers did the traditional March of the Living Dead down the concourse and to the gate where I met my beloved. She looked as if she had just emerged from a half-day spa treatment. A great night’s sleep, gourmet delicacies and all the perks of business class apparently agreed with her. By the time our taxi arrived at the hotel, I could barely drag my bedraggled self to the shower and bed, while Her Majesty chirpily popped out to see some sites.
Getting There is Half the Fun
This experience taught me something rather crucial: reaching your destination is important, but how you get there can make an enormous difference to your experience, and you’re your condition when you get there. In business, we’re all striving hard to reach the same destination: efficiency, excellence, success, profitability. Many companies will reach this goal. However, what was the journey like and what kind of shape are you in at journey’s end? Many struggle with internal processes that are inefficient, outdated, or simply not meeting the rigorous demands of today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive economy. Ultimately, this can result in high stress for staff and management, and a huge dent in your bottom line. If your processes are not optimised and streamlined, you might finish the year in the black but, metaphorically speaking, arrive feeling like I did walking off that plane. So, what does your business need to look out for to ensure you get the Business Class experience on its commercial journey?
1. Improved Cost Control
Without an accurate handle on your cost-structures, it’s impossible to understand your true financial position. Business is filled with hidden costs that you need to account for. The firmer grasp you have on your detailed cost structures, the better able you will be to identify areas for improvement and take appropriate action that will deliver improved efficiency and profitability.
2. Understand Your Landed Costs
Far too many importers or manufacturers make the mistake of ignoring items like duties, insurance, freight, brokers fees, storage and a host of other charges when calculating their landed costs. Underestimating your true landed costs can lead businesses to lose money on products that they believe are profitable, impacting their bottom line.
3. Efficiently Manage Your Warehouse & Inventory
A poorly organized, inefficient warehouse can be a monumental drain on a company’s resources. Confusing, substandard systems lead to lost time and errors, the cost of which can cripple your company if left unchecked. Streamlining your warehousing processes can be one of the more important contributors to a smooth running, viable operation.
4. Integrate Your Systems Today’s business world is complex.
Most businesses employ a range of IT systems to manage their operations. In most cases, these systems are generating a wealth of critical data that can be used to drive continuous improvement and strategic direction on micro and macro levels. If those systems can’t speak to each other, you’re likely to be missing out on this information and paying the price in lost opportunity.
5. Support Effective Project Management Systems
Having project management systems and protocols in place is half the battle. Ensuring they function effectively is a far sterner challenge. With so many moving parts, you need the ability to plan, monitor, measure and analyse every aspect of each project to keep things on track and avoid costly delays and cost overruns. Access to accurate data will also provide you with the capacity to make fast, effective decisions in real-time. A sophisticated ERP Solution such as MYOB Greentree ERP can deliver all these efficiencies and much more. To reap the full benefits, you need a partner that understands the solution inside-out and will take the time to do the same with your business. Endeavour Solutions has been helping companies like yours to radically improve their internal processes with tailored ERP systems that address their unique challenges and concerns. If you want to know what it feels like to arrive at your destination feeling like a million bucks, you could book a Business Class ticket to Europe, or, you could contact Endeavour Solutions today for an obligation free consultation. Happy Travels!