We’re starting a Q&A series with employees here at Systum for two reasons; to help you get to know the people that keep Systum running and to share their thoughts on topics relevant to our industry.
Our first Q&A is with Systum CEO Dean Mansfield. In this post, we’ve asked Dean to talk to us about business intelligence, a hot topic for any CEO in an SMB company today.
So, let’s dig in!
Hope: What does business intelligence mean to you?
Dean: Business intelligence is being able to see the fundamental metrics that drive your business instead of relying on gut feelings. For wholesale distributors, the most important things are your customers, your inventory, how you're servicing your customers, through sales, to shipping products, to dealing with returns, and the actual shipping the warehouse has in process as well as what’s ahead in that realm. For example, how many orders can your warehouse process in a week? Compare this to the same time of year last year. If you’ve added three new employees in your warehouse that can handle moving $100,000 in inventory in a week, should they be moving more each week? How much more are they moving per week? Is your additional investment in headcount paying off in terms of how much more you are shipping in a week? If you still have a backlog of orders, something isn’t right. Your business management platform should help you run such reports. This is an easy report to run and view daily in Systum.
Hope: What about business intelligence for marketers? What does that look like?
Dean: Naturally, you want to know which campaigns are working and which aren’t. You’ll want to track campaign costs, how much sales was generated from the campaign and finally, the cost per lead. These are important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to help you determine which campaigns are the most successful so that in the future, you can run more of those versus the costly ones that netted few new customers, for example.
Hope: What makes business intelligence so challenging?
Dean: Many companies today, even SMBs, have multiple databases, or sources of truth. Typically, companies have to work with siloed data that requires someone to extract the data and combine it as a single source of data that’s viewed as the truth. However, this is a struggle for organizations because once the data is pulled together and reviewed, there is doubt in the data. If an inference is made about a person, team or leader, then there’s doubt by the same that it’s correct. If your team doubts the data, the process is broken. The good news is that as cloud-based applications have advanced and verticalized through the years, the solutions today are smarter. They are better in the sense that they help companies reduce the number of cloud-based solutions, or apps, while increasing integrations. This helps to create a single source of truth, instead of multiple, large data silos. Of course, Systum helps to solve this problem by making it’s built-in CRM as the record of truth. Best-in-class integrations help plug-in business applications in multiple categories in instances when Systum doesn’t do it all—like Quickbooks or Shipstation.
If you’d like to learn more how you can use the Systum platform as your business analytics software to get started on your own business intelligence, fill out the form below. We’ll walk you through how we use the platform and customize a presentation based on your industry.