By Mark Porter
As business picks up many companies, whether in the short term or permanently, need to be able to handle the increased workload with their reduced staffs.
A solid estimating and Management Information Software System can be of tremendous help with this.
There are many ways that each individual software module can bring benefits to your company but lets look at the major benefits of having an integrated system that can help you cope with the increased pressure of servicing your customers needs with reduced staffing.
An Integrated System
A software system is an integrated system. This means that data is entered once. Unlike manual systems where data is constantly re written from document to document. An integrated system transfers information automatically through the job processing routine.
This means that as you do the estimate you are creating the information for order entry, costing, shipping, invoicing and accounting.
Estimates that become jobs are simply retrieved at the Order entry stage and automatically converted into the Job Specifications. Some additions maybe required but the majority of the information is immediately prepared.
Special instructions or needs this customer has can be accessed from the customer profile and are placed on the order. Addresses can be selected directly from the customer file to ready the shipping documents. Estimated costs are transfered to the Invoice.
As the job proceeds through production job changes and additional charges are automatically appended to the invoice.
One time entry from Estimating to Accounting leads to efficiency and less mistakes both necesarry requirements during busy times.
Information at Your Finger Tips
Just think how much of your day is spent looking up information and getting back to customers. Probably several hours a day. An integrated Software system ensures that all the data you need to answer customer's questions has been entered and is easily accessible by you and your staff.
If a Customer calls and wants to know if their job is shipped simply click on the Packing Slip button and get a complete listing of all Packing Slips issued for that job. Was he Invoiced - Click on the Invoice Button and get a list of Invoices. Have you received his printed goods to start working on his job - click on the receipts button and see if his goods have arrived. The customer has a question about the job - click on the Electronic Order and see a copy of the Ticket on the Screen. Don't waste time finding documents, calling customers back and getting voice mail. Answer your customers questions immediately and save many hours each day.
An integrated Management Information System provides instant communications with automatic email notification when events happen such as openning orders, changing orders, receiving customer goods, creating shipping documents, creating invoices, problems encountered and dies needing sharpening.
Instant communications with both your customers and your own staff decrease mistakes and make operations more efficient.
This can be carried as far as the internet by allowing your customers to check job status and even open their own orders via your web site 24/7. This further frees up your time to focus on job production.
There are many benefits to Management Information Systems but these 3 alone will allow you to service your increased workload with your existing staff.