Times are hard for most businesses at the moment. And even in times of plenty, businesses can find themselves struggling due to a variety of reasons.
Smaller companies must be wondering what the big players are doing to survive.
Business Intelligence is the secret weapon employed by these large corporations and it has a myriad of using for guiding company decisions.
At the purest level, Business Intelligence is the extraction and manipulation of data held by a company and using it to make informed decisions.
The theory is simple, but the applications are huge.
There are three of the more popular of its applications.
Fine Tune Marketing
Marketing is more important than ever with every customer having the potential to be the difference between survival and bankruptcy.
Identifying the correct leads which are most likely to transfer into sales is of paramount importance in lean times as the cost of distributing your latest offer to those it is not suitable for is a waste.
Business Intelligence will help identify seasonal trends, geographic trends and especially purchasing trends (one of the easiest ways of increasing sales revenue can be identifying what to upsell to whom.
When profits are low, or non-existent, every penny should be squeezed. Unfortunately, this often leads to redundancies, but this should be the last resort. Ignoring the human aspect for the moment, each employee is a resource, an expert in their job at your company.
Redundancies are never done lightly, but in many cases other measures can be just as effective.
Workflow is the one of the most important things to consider. What work is being done when?
If your call centre receives no enquiries before 09:30 nor after 17:30, yet twenty staff working 09:00 until 18:00 is twenty hours a day of wasted resource.
This small cutback saves two jobs and will not really impact the employee’s income or the service provided.
Any approach like this needs constant monitoring. In the above scenario, if calls started to come in from 08:30 until 09:30 you need to know.
This way of thinking can be applied to many variables and most businesses do not have a consistent need for full resources. With careful investigation some real benefits can be gained.
Identifying Weak Links
This covers a variety of areas, with each being enough to have a huge impact on a company’s future.
Staff should know exactly what is required of them and their work. Any lapses in work quality or more general issues (like timekeeping or attendance) need to be quickly addressed.
Suppliers late with deliveries or customers late with payments cannot be allowed to go unchecked. Of course, everything should be done as tactfully as possible, but whichever approach you take the first stage to be fully aware of what transactions are happening and when.
Currently these measures account for ninety percent of the work currently undertaken by Scry Business Intelligence. Time and again I personally have seen the benefits the above methods can provide.
The tools exist to elevate your business to new heights, all that remains is to use them.