The Benefits of a Complete Software System
By: Erin Mahan
Ask any business owner and they will tell you that running a business is tough. It’s no small task to stay afloat in today’s competitive business world where you’re either growing or you’re dying, as they say. Those in the paper industry know the competitive nature of the industry and the need to compete effectively. This is obviously easier said than done, but possible if you have the right tools.
The conventional tool
All companies use some sort of tool, or system to run their business. Paper companies, in particular, use a system that keeps track of inventory, production, accounting, etc. Ideally, all of those functions should be integrated into one system. However, many paper companies do not use a fully integrated system, but rely on individual programs to perform the necessary functions of a paper business. The most common system that paper companies use is a spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel. Unfortunately, a simple spreadsheet is not sufficient. It creates problems that it cannot fix, such as wasted clerical labor, and an inability to easily track inventory.
Buying a single part
When the software that a company is using creates more problems than it is solving, it is time to look into buying a new system. To many companies the idea of buying and implementing a whole new system is a daunting task. It may seem like too big of a transition or too much expense. As a result, companies generally decide to either stick with their current system, or they opt to purchase a single part of a system in hopes that it will solve their particular problem. When problems arise with inventory tracking, for example, they look for a stand-alone system that solves that particular problem. Unfortunately, buying just a stand-alone module will not solve their inventory problems. Stand-alone systems many times do not easily integrate technically with current software systems, and they are often too costly to implement. As a result, companies generally choose not to buy the part because of the price, or they buy it and it fails to solve their inventory problems.
Reinventing the wheel
Paper companies may also choose to design their own software system, or pay a consultant to design a system for them. This is a large expense for any company. However, even if a company can afford to invest in their own software system, what is the point? There is no need to reinvent the wheel when there are already fully integrated systems out there that will meet a company’s needs and solve any problems they are experiencing. Designing new software is also costly because of the time needed to implement it, and even then it often has internal problems that need to be worked out. Companies looking for a way to solve their business problems should explore the systems that are already out there, especially when many companies have taken advantage of fully integrated software systems that work well for them and give them a large return on investment.
The best decision
Simply buying a stand-alone part instead of a whole system will not solve a company’s problems, and it will often create new problems. The only way to really solve a problem is to buy a system with all of the right components. For example, the body has many different parts. Each part performs a task, and if any part of the body is missing or impaired, it will not function as well as it should. The same is true for software systems. All of the right components must be there in order to adequately perform all of the necessary functions. Buying a stand-alone part creates an incomplete system. Therefore, it is best to buy the whole system in order to ensure that every part is completely integrated together and working to give you the best return on your investment. Investing in a complete system instead of replacing an individual part, or paying a consultant to write a new program is the only way to guarantee that all of the functions of the system will be fully integrated, and in the end will be the most cost effective.