Casestudy of Software Implementation
It was a Wednesday morning and We were sitting at the board meeting of a small listed company at Andheri, Mumbai. Mr. Suratkal, The owner was in lot of tention was walking back and forth in the conference room. The company was started by him as a self employed person 15 years back and now it was a 70 people company. Operations were growing rapidly and things were getting out of control. Suratkal keeps travelling frequently and once not in office he used to lose control and operations would be haywire. Competitors were taking lead against the company and once a market leader now was lagging behind.
He had called me and one more professional for finding the solution to this problem. The professional suggested him to keep a general manager. Being internal auditor after understanding his issue, We suggested him that he should go for a ERP system as general manager would not solve the problem. Since being a old generation businessman Suratkal decided to go as per other professionals advice and appointed the manager.
After 6 months they again approached us and informed us that all was in vain. The idea of general manager had failed and things were as before, out of control.
This time Suratkal accepted our suggestion and organization wide ERP system was set up buy us. Within 3 months results started showing and we were made internal auditors for the listed company. Suratkal was tension free. Profits were increased and employees also relaxed as work load was reduced.
Why this happened lets see.
For controlling any organisation and to take fast and correct decisions, owners need right data at right time. Suratkal was not getting the data when he needed. He was not getting the data in right format. He was not able to delegate properly and all things were getting stuck for him. Data was not reliable. KPIs were not defined and hence could not be monitored. There were human errors. Lot of opportunities being lost due to slower or wrong decision making. As against this competition had adopted the right softwares.
The business sphere has changed a lot. Lot of data is being generated on daily basis and it is not possible to capture it and analyse it by humans. Internet of things is already here. Internal Audit has changed a lot with advent of software industry. Sample checking is not needed anymore and whole data can be analysed. Data can be made more sense with softwares. It helps in decision making, fast and more accurate.
As against statutory audit, internal audit is current and real time. It helps in preventive and fast corrective actions by finding abnormalities quickly. As internal auditors we knew that software has all the solutions to the issues faced by Suratkal.
Convincing the mnangement for investment in software is a big task which we always face. People still don’t know the power of softwares and what wonders it can make in business. Businesses need to make investments in right softwares. There is multifold return on investments on softwares. Old business fail to understand the power of software and rely heavily on human resources. Work which can be done by humans in days and months, can be done by softwares in minutes and with greater accuracy. Also the presentation power of softwares is way better than human resources.
Internal auditors can help businesses in selection of right software and half of the work is done. KPIs can be set and monitored. Better services can be given to customers. Employees routine work can be reduced and they can be used for higher analytical work. Trends, human behaviors can be studied from softwares.
Suratkal was apprehensive about committing a cost to a software but I explained him that many basic versions of the softwares are free or very cheap. Excel for example is a simple but a very power tool for internal audits. Accounting sofwares are coming with lot of reports, customisations, etc nowadays. Selection of software is a big step as once you commit to a software to shift to another one is big task. All the requirements, current and future, budget, security, simplicity, profile of users, running cost of the software, hardware need to be studied in details before a software a selected.
There are softwares for each function, department and also softwares like ERP which runs through all departments of an organisation. One can have softwares for finance, sales, human resource, customer relationship management, project management, etc. These softwares can give you lot of control on your operations. Simple dashboard can give you birds eye view of entire operations. If you are using different softwares in different departments, nowadays these softwares can talk to each other and data can flow seamlessly.
Basically softwares collect data at various points and present the reports in various formats. This can be done in real time. These Reports can be customised.
In past, softwares were on desktop, at the most in premise but Softwares are now in cloud and can be accessed from your mobiles. You can start off on mobile from where u left on your desktop. Softwares are available on SAAS model. Many a softwares are free in the first month which means they can be tried before one commits to a software.
Reports can be scheduled. MIS can be constructed and sent to relevant people on periodical basis to know the abnormal variations in time.
Collaboration is a new feature where many users can work on a single document at a time and everyone is working on the latest version. One need not send emails back and forth. Sharing of reports is made easy and one can share on various formats and various platforms in seconds.
Suratkals business is a complex one so we suggested him that he can get softwares tailored made for his peculiar requirements
Data analytics and business intelligence is going to be big and will be big differentiator in competition in near future.
There are general softwares like excel and specialise softwares for specific industries.
We also suggested Suratkal that Business is fast changing and consequently changes are required in reports, formats and software system needs to be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it is effective and noting is missed.
After successful implementation of ERP at Suratkals company, he referred us to few of his other business friends and we are handling their specific requirements and will share our experience soon.