In my experience working with small businesses and assessing their software needs, the problems small businesses encounter with their existing software tend to be quite similar and do not pertain to a particular industry within the manufacturing or distribution marketplace. Below are fifteen signs your small business software is in desperate need of a makeover.
1. You use one software package for accounting, a different software package for managing inventories and manufacturing, and a third software package for web orders.
2. You can’t track lot or serial numbers for raw ingredients and materials through production and shipment to customers in your existing software.
3. You are frequently out of stock of the products your customers order most frequently and have excess inventory supply of the items your customers never order.
4. Your accounting software limits you to one costing method for all products.
5. You enter the same data multiple times due to your use of multiple software packages.
6. Closing an accounting period is a week-long procedure.
7. You are forced to cease warehouse, shipping, and receiving operations for several days every three to six months to conduct a complete physical inventory count to try to capture accurate inventory information.
8. Your physical inventory count consists of somebody hand-counting items in inventory, writing recorded values on a piece of paper, and then entering the information into an Excel spreadsheet.
9. You don’t know what a cycle count is.
10. Your existing software limits the maximum number of products you can enter into the system.
11. Your reporting capabilities are limited to the standard reports in the software you purchased.
12. You do not have an automated Request for Quote process for your suppliers.
13. You have no means to track the true profitability of your customers and products.
14. You have no means of tracking potential new customers.
15. Your existing software is not capable of telling you the products an individual customer orders most frequently.