Having established the benefit of integrated software in promoting workplace enrichment, there are benefits in software modules communicating with each other and sharing a common database in real time.
An unfortunate but all too common example is the customer who wants service but does not pay their bills. In a pieced together set of software packages, the accounting program identifies the past due customer and the AR manager takes appropriate action to collect. At the same time the service department cannot efficiently be made aware of every past due situation. These collection situations change daily, hourly and even minute by minute. The likelihood of servicing a past due account is increased by difficulty in communication. Charges for making the service call are just added to the potential bad debt already on the books. In an integrated software package, the system alerts the service department of the past due situation immediately when the customer calls for service. An informed decision will be made and action can be coordinated between departments.
Proposals for new business will be more accurate in an integrated software environment. Purchasing, inventory, accounts payable and job management are all tied together. The result is that costs of parts used in preparing quotes are current. Salespeople do not have to keep abreast of changes in availability. Quoting software will advise when a selected item has been superseded by a new part. The existing inventory of superseded parts can be used up before the part becomes officially discontinued. The same costs associated with the quote will eventually find their way onto the general ledger. Variances are minimized.
Purchasing is made easier and more exact when the inventory module and job management module seamlessly provide parts warehouse availability, on order amounts and job commitment quantities. Min-Max ordering levels established for each item can be used to enhance the purchasing process. In this manner real time order entry can translate into ordering decisions without need for the purchasing agent to ask around the office and without need to physically examine stocking levels in the warehouse. More time can be devoted to getting better pricing than counting stock.
In larger operations having more than one warehouse, shortages in one area may be easily relieved through inventory transfers, thereby eliminating the need for unnecessary purchasing. These are facilitated by real time information of stocking levels. Service vans become rolling mini-warehouses. Integrated software that includes mobile applications can be used to replenish parts used from the van. Purchasing literally can have up to the minute notice of parts requirements for the next order to be placed with the appropriate vendor.
Mobile job management applications communicate with the office and warehouse in real time. Progress and delays are understood by the office at the earliest possible time. Using integrated graphic scheduling software, rerouting and rescheduling potential is efficiently realized to get more done during the day. That makes for more satisfied customers and greater service revenue.
Cash outflows are more effectively controlled when the warehouse, purchasing and accounts payable modules are integrated with an audit trail. The purchase order provides the authorization for the warehouse to receive a specified quantity of selected items. There is no guesswork and no uncertainty. Any shortage or over shipment is apparent on a timely basis and an accurate receiving of goods is entered into the computer system.
When the vendor invoice is received by accounts payable, a three-way match is performed. First, the items on the invoice are matched to the purchase order, which serves as the authorization to substantiate the validity of the invoice. Second, the quantity of each item on the invoice is matched to the quantity recorded as received in the warehouse. Third, the unit prices on the invoice are compared to those on the purchase order. The rest is easy. If the quantities and prices match for the listed items, then the invoice is paid. If anything is out of line, the accounts payable department refers the problem to others for resolution according to established protocol. Partial shipments and payments are recorded against the purchase order to prevent over payments of future invoices.
These are just a few of the benefits realized by integrators, who wisely use integrated software. Security of the database is perhaps the least considered and maybe the most important feature. The database in a unified system requires only a singular solution for security.
Frequently, companies choose to have their integrated database stored in the cloud. Technology professionals will provide backup services while protecting the integrity from hackers and malware. This can be a perfect solution for a company with limited IT personnel. More often than not, a cloud-based database is much less expensive to maintain than unsecured hardware stored in a back room.
AMS Pro is an integrated system with a relational database. We can host your database in our secure facility. Call us at Alarm Management Software to learn how we can help you grow your business, safely and with confidence.