What is a Business Management System?

Have you ever lost your hammer when you really needed to drive a nail into something? What did you use instead? A wrench? Maybe a brick? You probably got something to work out for one nail, but if you had to drive a hundred nails you aren’t going to settle for the back end of a screwdriver. You will either put more time into finding your hammer or make a trip to the hardware store. What if you had to build an entire house? Now you need a nail gun.

It’s seems obvious when it comes to driving nails, but most companies are trying to run their business with the equivalent of a wrench, when they need a hammer, or maybe a hammer when they need a nail gun. Excel spreadsheets to manage business processes are not going to allow your company to scale! Using Quickbooks is great for small business accounting, but it was never meant to manage all your client data, inventory, or business workflow.

This is where a Business Management System comes in like a nail gun to save the day. 

What is a Business Management System? 

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A Business Management System is software that is used to run the details of your business, automate processes, simplify tracking and communication, consolidate data, and much more. It can track tickets, tasks, inventory, time, shipments. It can manage client data, communications, auto notifications and reminders. It creates a centralized One-System-Of-Record that all employees can leverage, rather than the one person who has “the spreadsheet”.

You may already know general Business Management Software by other names, like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, but there are thousands of specialized business situations that may require something more customized than what an off-the-shelf ERP or CRM system can provide.

For example:

  • Patient Management Systems for health care providers
  • Case Management Systems for law firms
  • Quality Management Systems for manufacturers
  • Data Management Systems for state agencies
  • Call Management Systems for insurance providers
  • Check-in Management Systems for counseling services

…You get the point. In the last few years High Touch Technologies has created custom software solutions for each of the above Business Management Systems to meet specific and unique business needs that off-the-shelf software either couldn’t provide, or were cost prohibitive with expensive long term contracts.

These systems make business more efficient, productive, and profitable. Custom software development isn’t cheap, but we have seen the systems quickly pay for themselves, usually within 1 to 3 years.

One small business client saves over 180 hours per month, which is the equivalent of one full time employee. This allows them to grow their business without having to grow their payroll. Another client cut 20 minutes off each support call. Multiply that by dozens of calls per day multiplied again by dozens of call reps and they are saving nearly 1000 hours each month.

Off-the-shelf software, by definition, has to be broad so that it can accommodate as many different organizations as possible. This can make it overly complicated by trying to be all things to all people, or it can be too generic and not meet your specific needs.

In our construction analogy, overly complicated might be a tool chest that was so big and full of every possible tool that you can never find the actual tool you need when you need it and it isn’t portable. Too generic might be a multi-tool that you can take anywhere and it does a lot of things, but it doesn’t do any of them well.

The case for a Business Management System for your organization seems like a slam dunk, but how do you know if you need a custom system or if off-the-shelf software will work?

There are two main factors in determining if you should go with custom software or something generic.

First, how new is your industry? Does it already have a set of Standard Operating Procedures that are well established? If you are in a mature industry then off-the-shelf software that is geared toward you might be perfect. If you are in a new industry that doesn’t have many set standards yet, then creating a custom system could help you establish those Standard Operating Procedures that will make your business efficient and scalable.

Second, how unique is your business model? Even if you are in a mature industry, if you are serving your clients in a novel way, then standard practices ingrained in off-the-shelf software still may not work for you; in fact, they could hold you back and keep you from reaching your full potential. In this case, custom software should be strongly considered.

Your custom business needs custom software and nothing else will do.

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