In today’s ever changing world it is important a business has the correct tools to improve efficiency. If you are a small to medium sized business you may find you are not being as productive in some areas as you would like. There are many aspects of a business that can be automated…..it could be that you do not have the time, know how or resources to do this.
It’s possible you could go to a local computer company and get this work done or buy an off the shelf package. However you may find the product you got is stuffed full of features you did not ask for or does not fully meet the needs of the initial requirement. Can you correct the mistakes yourself?…..not if you do not have access to the source code. This may be locked down by the person who created the product and the only way you can get an amendment done is by going back to him/her and possibly even paying a fee.
What type of software should you be using? There are no hard and fast rules here, but it is safe to say that Microsoft Office is running on millions of computers in business’s world-wide. Why can this be a good thing? Well for one all the applications in the Office suite can communicate with each other…for example you can have a Microsoft Access database talk to a Microsoft Word application to product an invoice. The data will be pulled from the Access database and displayed on the Word invoice. This is just one example – there are countless others, but as you can gather the possibilities are interesting. If you are using tools from different companies it can be difficult for applications to communicate with each other. With the Microsoft Office suite of programs you have a set of related components which can certainly improve business efficiency.
There is nothing wrong with a stand alone database which does nothing other than store and display records. However, it would be so much better if that database could communicate with an Excel spreadsheet. The data could be scheduled to output to the spreadsheet in the early hours of the morning and the information would be available to managers first thing in the morning. How about the spreadsheet then being automatically emailed via MS Outlook to other people inside and outside the organisation…..the possibilities are endless with this approach.
It is not always necessary to keep up to date with the latest trends. If you find the version of your software meets your current needs then it is better to stick with it, while keeping an eye on the latest developments in the software world.