Digital signatures, accounting software, surveillance cameras, big data; these are but a few examples of digital services that businesses can use to streamline or boost their work processes. You probably already use quite a few digital services, like email, an automated hrm administration system, barcoding for your inventory, or digital invoices. What are your options, what are the benefits, and which regulations are in place to avoid misuse (or even abuse)? And who can you turn to for support and help?
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Find the right supplier
Over the past 10 to 15 years, there has been a big increase in the number of companies specializing in software to help you with any given business process. Many of the players in any given field, be it CRM, bookkeeping or barcode warehousing, are experienced specialists, who can improve your business processes. But there are also still cowboy companies out there, that will promise mountains, but fail to deliver. To find out who to trust and whom to give a wide berth, gather data:
- Ask around in your network: professional acquaintances, friends and relatives may have experiences with the company you’re looking at;
- Check the Commercial Register to find out how long the company has been in business, and how well it is doing;
- Go to trade shows where several suppliers of the service you are looking for are present; speak to the salespeople, attend presentations, and don’t be afraid to ask exactly what you need to know;
- Use search engines to find out as much as you can about the company and the product you’re considering, to find out if it suits your needs;
- Don’t just ask one company for an offer, ask several. Compare the offers, list the main pluses and minuses of every supplier, and ask any questions you have.
Adjust your business processes
Digitizing your business processes can be a step forward in your business management, but only if you have got your business processes in order. Especially if you want to buy an ERP system, your departments will have to be ready for changes. ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning software, incorporates several of your business processes, for instance your warehouse, purchase and sales. Before you decide to start using ERP software, you should think carefully about how it affects your operations. What does the new method of working mean for the several departments on which it will be used? Which departments, that were ‘independent’ up till now, will have to collaborate (more) closely? Don’t underestimate this – be sure to have a plan that involves testing and training for your employees.
There are several trends in the digitalization process, such as cyber security and smart industry. It helps to know what these terms mean, and how they might relate to your business process.
Privacy and digital services
If you automate (one of your) business processes that involve personal (customer or employee) data, you must make sure that you comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way. Rules and regulations also apply to the use of camera devices, such as drones and cctv cameras.