To run and manage a business efficiently, it is necessary to have the right tools for the job. As an entrepreneur or business manager, it’s paramount to know the different business software systems in the market, so as to identify a solution as soon as a need arises.
Business software systems – from resource planning systems to customer relationship management and everything in between – are solutions that help businesses improve, support and automate their processes. However, it’s important to note that different types of businesses require different software solutions. Consider the size of the business, the specific industry needs, and the features of the system to pick the most effective business software.
An online business analytics degree will go a long way in helping you to make smart executive decisions when selecting business software that will add the most value to your business practices. It will also help you to acquire analytical expertise and gain competence in analytical tools and techniques to get the most out of these platforms.
Here is our list of essential business software systems.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is critical to every aspect of business operations, from accounting to supply chain management and human resources. ERP systems have made it possible for companies to run their entire business under one platform, empowering them to make better decisions than ever before. Companies have access to enhanced business reporting thanks to real-time information and data. There is better customer service, improved inventory planning, boosted cash flow, improved business processes, and better data and cloud security.
Here are some ERP suggestions.
· Best ERP software: Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based system that focuses on ease of use. It offers a fully customisable platform, and businesses can add functionality and resources as they grow. Oracle NetSuite is a powerful accounting platform, inventory management platform and customer relationship management (CRM) software. It is best suited for mid-sized companies and businesses that are expecting to scale in the near future.
· ERP for small businesses: SAP Business One
SAP Business One is a fantastic accounting, analytics and inventory/supply chain management software. It also comes with industry-specific solutions that help you customise the platform based on your business type and needs.
CRM software helps companies build customer relationships and maximise sales. As competition for leads and closing sales increases, businesses need to be able to track their customers as they go through the buyer’s journey. This way, they are able to nurture them, make sure that they get an excellent customer experience, and guide them down the sales funnel to eventually make a purchase.
CRM applications can be used for lead management, workflow automation, bulk emailing, lead generation, call and email logs, reporting and analytics, and creating sales pipelines. Having some analytics knowledge will come in handy to interpret all the data gathered on a CRM platform.
Here are some CRM picks to help you build lasting customer relationships and track interactions.
· CRM for enterprises: Salesforce
Salesforce is a pioneering platform and market leader when it comes to getting leads and closing sales. It offers unrivalled customer relationship tools with excellent customisation and integration options.
· CRM for small and medium-sized businesses: HubSpot
If you’re just starting your business and looking for a free yet powerful CRM plan, HubSpot is ideal. You get all the basics covered, including sales pipelines, contact management, and call and email logs. The paid version offers more advanced CRM features.
Content management system (CMS)
CMS platforms provide an easier way to create websites, blogs and even landing pages. Today, you don’t have to call a developer for a quick website update. There are ultra-intuitive CMS platforms that make it so easy that even beginners can create professional-looking websites.
When looking for CMS software, get one that is easy to use, has customisable templates, is secure, integrates well with your existing tech, and has reliable customer support. There are even niche-based CMS platforms.
Here are some recommendations.
· Most popular CMS: WordPress
WordPress has been a market leader since its inception in 2003. Powering 42% of the internet, it has an easy-to-use block editor, lots of plug-ins, and the business plan is quite affordable.
· For beginners: Wix
Wix has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that allows you to create slick websites in no time. It is very simple with numerous responsive templates.
Project management software
The COVID-19 pandemic made us all realise how important project management software is given that a large percentage of employees work remotely. Businesses had to get project management platforms so as to give employees the right task at the right time based on their availability. A great project management software makes it easy for teams to organise tasks and projects, allow communication, set deadlines and goals, and have progress reports and interactive calendars.
Here are some easy-to-use platforms.
· For teams tracking: Asana
With Asana, businesses can create to-do lists for teams, set deadlines and reminders, issue instructions, and comment on items. This way, colleagues can track what they’re doing, ensuring that projects run smoothly.
· Most popular platform: Trello
Trello is used by giants such as Google, Fender and Kickstarter for a good reason. It allows businesses to manage all aspects of a project whether they are team-based or individual assignments.
· Communication software
For any business to succeed, there has to be effective and efficient communication within the business and with the customers. Good communication software allows teams to not only communicate but also collaborate more effectively. When used together with the platforms mentioned above, even the simplest communication platform will make your business highly organised and efficient.
· Voice and video conferencing: Zoom
Zoom is one of the most popular live/video conferencing platforms and it’s also used to chat, email invitations, manage meetings, share files, and so much more.
· Internal communication: Jive
Jive offers businesses a shared communication portal, private messaging, real-time chat, enterprise social networking, task management, and a great deal more.