Brightpearl, the commerce acceleration platform, has highlighted the growing risk of smaller businesses relying on technologies to manage their back office that are often not fit for purpose or duplicate tasks. In speaking to its customers and prospects, Brightpearl uncovered an alarming trend of either outdated technologies or ones that are being asked to perform tasks beyond their design.
Another particularly common trend pointed to entry level accounting systems being used for inventory control and even CRM, leading to frequently poor visibility of stock and very poor, untimely or misdirected customer communications. Too often businesses are relying on spreadsheets and other non-automated tools to perform business critical tasks, which can have a severe impact on the business either in terms of time or lost sales.
"A modern economy relies on the productivity of its people and businesses to thrive, especially in constrained times," said Chris Tanner, co-founder of Brightpearl. "Yet we find numerous businesses wasting valuable resources and man-hours on admin related tasks due to a lack of modest investments in IT to replace outmoded or miss-used applications. This type of approach will ultimately put businesses at risk, as they buckle under the work load and pressure."
As a result of its extensive interviews with customers in the US and UK, the following common themes emerged:
- a reliance on single function accounting systems to manage all contacts records
- no connection between systems involved in the order fulfilment process
- no central repository of data for products, customers or suppliers
- non-integrated ecommerce sites causing frequent double selling of items
- hours of manual data entry to key in order, customer details or the production of invoices
- spreadsheets used in lieu of any integrated customer management system
- contact databases relying on discontinued operating systems with no migration plan
Brightpearl will launch an education programme in November aimed at helping retailers to uncover where a consolidated IT approach can help them to achieve efficiencies in their businesses based on the real world experiences in its customer base.
Brightpearl is available from $99/£69 per user per month.