A Directors’ Guide to Fine Tuning Your Business

 

Annaliese Kloé, CEO of Klugo and Managing Director of Headland Machinery, has released her first E-book discussing how she manages two successful businesses and diversified to compete in a challenging market.

In this E-book, she highlights a few tips and tricks every Director should keep in mind.

She covers:

  • Why you should position yourself as a leader.
  • Why you should take time out for yourself.
  • How to work on your leadership mindset.
  • Why you should motivate your employees to drive your vision.
  • Be open to communication.
  • Ensuring technology can grow your business.
  • Diversification.

Download a copy of The Directors’ Guide to Fine Tuning Your Business.

Monthly In-house Expert Files: Tania Large

 

Decade of Experience Providing Advice and the Right Solution to Retailers

Technology plays a big part in the way customers purchase from your store.  Undoubtedly, there has been a shift worldwide for retailers as consumers are turning to online shopping, but successful retailers have the right mix of online and stores. Keeping up with these ongoing changes to the industry, our in-house retail expert understands the challenges retailers and franchise systems face on a daily basis and the tools to gain a competitive advantage.

Tania Large has had over a decade of experience working in IT, ERP/CRM and Omni-channel systems within the retail sector. She understands the pain points businesses go through and is able to provide advice and a solution to mitigate risk whilst providing a competitive edge.

“Retail has changed dramatically – consumers now want personalised experiences tailored to their needs,” Tania says.

“When I go to meet retailers, they usually tell me the same story: ‘we don’t have continuity across our channels’ or we have multiple systems in place so we are duplicating our processes’.

“For businesses that want to succeed in a modern consumer environment, it’s fundamental that they assess their systems and processes currently in place.

“It’s starting to become more difficult for retailers to keep up with new trends and customer insights because they have antiquated systems resulting in static information instead of real-time visibility,” she says.

There are some retail organisations that have been in the industry for decades and most of them believe that their existing systems will stand the test of time, afraid of investing in systems to innovate their customer experience. What they don’t understand is that technology is continually evolving and those who don’t embrace technology change will be left behind.

“Technology has come a long way and retailers need to plan for the future, they need to be questioning themselves:

  • Is my system going to grow with my business?

  • Can I make business decisions in real time?

  • Do I have visibility over all financial entities and channel performance in one central place?

  • Are their better tools out there to improve my customer’s shopping experience?

  • What value could I put back into the business if all my business systems were in one system?

“As a consumer and retail expert, I’m acutely aware of what products are available to Australian retailers. There is only one business management system out there that ticks all the boxes for retailers, and that’s NetSuite,” Tania says.

To get in touch with Tania email her at [email protected] or connect with her on LinkedIn here.

In-house Expert Series: Customer Satisfaction

 

 

Taking Control of Customer Experience through NetSuite

We sat down with our resident industry expert Tania Large to discuss how to ensure you are meeting customer expectations and how NetSuite can help you achieve this.

What does customer satisfaction mean to you?

We have all been there, walking into a store, being greeted by the staff and being made to feel special. To me that is what customer satisfaction is. Making me want to shop time and time again with a particular brand because they have gone above and beyond to make my experience with them unique.

Customer satisfaction is about having a good customer experience and meeting their expectations.

How does NetSuite help businesses improve customer satisfaction/expectations?

There are a number of business systems out there that can aid a business with improving customer service. But, for me NetSuite has something that no other has.

The value proposition that we talk to clients about is having one system. It doesn’t matter if it’s marketing, sales, your finance team, your customer service team, your technicians in the field, the customer is interacting with the entire business over time. So, having one system, will allow you to capture all of those touch points and service them better.

So, how does that affect customer service? Well, by having visibility on what’s going on with that customer at any one point of time, you can better service that customers needs. If you didn’t have that one system you potentially have a scenario where finance is going “Mr customer why aren’t you paying your bill? It’s 60 days overdue.” All the while there is a service issue going on and the customer isn’t paying because they are annoyed about that.

Not having the knowledge of what’s going on in the customer’s world creates an unsatisfying customer experience. The client will expect you to know, so it’s best to have your facts straight before interacting with your customers.

Good business management solutions actually give you that visibility – you are able to see the customer from every angle in real-time.

How can retailers benefit from NetSuite?

Customers are the number one priority no matter the industry or business. For retailers, creating a unique and customised buying journey is essential if they want to keep consumers and keep them loyal. Importantly, you need this experience to be fluid across all channels.

The retail solution is what we call an omni-channel solution, so again one system regardless of how the customer is interacting with you.

NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Advanced is the premium website module (eCommerce platform). Customers can shop online if it’s B2C and B2B environment, and they can login via a portal with information about past purchases, invoices and delivery address already saved, so the experience is unique to you.

SuiteCommerce In-Store takes it to the next level for a retail environment. It’s essentially a Point of Sale but we like to call it ‘Point of Commerce’ because it operates on the same platform, completely integrated with all other aspects of the business.

You have the ability to see  information about the customer on the shop floor – it might be  their wish lists or their shopping history (what they are interested in, what they have previously purchased, returned etc). For most retailers this information is gold. It’s really useful because when the customer walks in the door you know what they have bought before and you can see what they are interested in looking at. It makes for a more meaningful conversation on the shop floor.

The most exciting part about SuiteCommerce In-store is that you are walking around with an iPad. The sales assistant can actually go to the customer and serve them then and there, and serve up everything the customer was interested in online.

Retailers who have high-value goods have to make tough choice about what products to stock and display, which presents a considerable investment, potentially just on one product line. Having a visual mobile tool with all the options means you may only need to stock the best sellers but be able to showcase that item in every colour. Sales assistants can check stock across the network or make a sale knowing the supplier can drop ship directly to the customer within an acceptable lead time.

This type of sales tool is the modern shopping experience all of us desire and it’s personalised shopping at it’s best. It’s also very accessible for Aussie Retailers.

NetSuite Benefits for Retailers:

There are choices for retailers out there but nothing that compares to the NetSuite product. NetSuite is a renowned ERP platform that has a great POS system. There’s nothing on the market that’s connected to the back office like NetSuite is.

NetSuite’s key features for managing customer satisfaction:

  • Inventory visibility.

  • Business intelligence.

  • System consolidation.

  • Global scalability

  • Streamlined shipping and order fulfillment.

  • Real-time data.

If you would like to hear more from Tania, connect with her on LinkedIn or email [email protected]

Monthly In-house Expert Files: Andrew Sleath

 

As a company, Klugo is backed by industry expertise. With industry ties to the manufacturing, wholesale distribution and field service sectors, Klugo understands the challenges businesses face.

Klugo has also experienced these challenges first hand, which places us in the best position to provide other organisations with advice and solutions to help overcome these problems.

Andrew Sleath has more than 15 years experience working with SME and  large, high profile organisations. He understands the pitfalls and obstacles companies face and is able to assist with providing the right solution for their needs. He’s passionate about helping businesses grow and seeing them live out their business vision.

Before joining Klugo, Andrew was Service Delivery and Support Manager for a cloud software developer. Over a decade managing software development of critical business systems for multinational organisations. Strategising support activities to improve customer value, including, service delivery, reporting, and delivery of quality assurance and test management plans.

To get in touch with Andrew email him at [email protected] or connect with him on LinkedIn here.

In-house Expert Series: Going Global

 

How NetSuite can help businesses go global

We sat down with our resident industry expert Andrew Sleath to discuss barriers business face when expanding and how NetSuite can help businesses achieve this.

What does Globalisation mean to you?
Globalisation means you can transact and trade on a global market. You are able to operate your business anywhere in the world but it also means you can sell to anywhere in the world. Your customers can be located anywhere and they can buy products and services. Additionally, you have the ability to accumulate suppliers around the world.

Most organisations want to grow their businesses to increase profits and grapple with expanding their channels to market. It’s about being able to diversify your business and look at the market to explore opportunities out there. Some companies have a product that they believe is so good that they can take it around the world. Klugo did this. We built a Field Service solution, NextService and believed there was a market in the United States. By selling NextService into the US market, we expanded our business globally.

Globalisation is not just about selling products into different countries – there is also an import supply perspective. I think there is that notion that “if I can import my supplies somewhere cheaper, that in itself is globalisation, because I am importing from other countries and I might want to do it from many countries.” Many Managing Directors think about importing, but how many think about importing from multiple countries?
If you only use one international supplier, there is a lot more risk associated than having a supplier from say Italy, and another from China.

If you were a Managing Director, how would you prepare your business for Globalisation?
Having conversations with business executives about where their business is going, where they’re at today and where they would like to be is an important first step. They need to stop and think about that from their customer perspective.

Industries are becoming so competitive that businesses are now considering what they should do – If they cannot provide an interface like eCommerce to their customers that’s multilingual then they will not survive international markets.

Businesses think that their systems are the least of their worries. They often oversee that technology can be the key driver for success.

Companies tend to implement system after system thinking that it will help their business run more efficiently – they then have multiple disparate systems operating. They get to a point in the cycle where they don’t know what to do and it’s often too late to make the change. They need to think about the technology that can consolidate their systems and improve their overall business efficiency.

How can NetSuite help businesses achieve Globalisation?
Globalisation allows organisations to extend their products and services worldwide. NetSuite being a cloud-based solution allows people to then use it from anywhere they are. A company I am working with has customers in China who want to order their goods online and they can do that without having to set anything up – no servers, no IT infrastructure etc.

Using NetSuite daily in my role has allowed me to see for myself the true benefits that the system has. Even if you’re not in the position to go global, NetSuite is a system which will grow with you as you expand. Whether you offices in Australia or all around the world, NetSuite’s cloud-based functionality means there’s no barrier to opening up really quickly in any country. It is quick to do, and you have your entire business in one system.

NetSuite’s key features to help people go global are:

  • Cloud based
  • Reduction of IT infrastructure
  • Multi-lingual
  • Multi-currency
  • Multi-entity out of the box
  • Consolidated reporting, increases efficiency
  • One view of the customer

If you would like to hear more from Kim, connect with her on LinkedIn or email [email protected]

A Fail-Safe Way to Sell a New Idea to the Board of Directors

 

So you have a great idea for a new product, merger or acquisition or site relocation and you need the board to endorse it… where do you start?

The best starting point is your audience.  What do you know about the board members? What is their background? What matters to them – bottom line, environmental sustainability, reputation, brand or customer experience can be few of many.

If you don’t know, don’t panic – all is not lost. There are some generic strategies that you can use to help get their buy-in.

When presenting to key stakeholders who think in high-pressured situations, presenting your information clearly is key to their understanding, making it easier for them to say YES.

Get the job done FAST

In my experience the fail-safe tool is FAST. FAST is a structured approach that helps you cover all of the decision making and communication preferences of your audience – detailing facts, showing previous successes and telling or defining the standards.

If you incorporate at least one element from each of the categories into your communication it builds a compelling case for change.  It answers the “prove it” challenge before it’s been posed.

It also makes the sense of urgency more concrete and objective.

FActs/Data

·   Internal sources

·   Competitive Info

·   Benchmark data

Show/Demonstrate

·   Lead by example

·   Best Practice site visits

·   Testimonials

Tell/Demand

·   Dynamic leadership

·   High Standards

·   Customer or Regulatory

Advice from the Klugo Board – Annaliese Kloe, Director

“Obtaining board approval is often challenging given the competing priorities and time pressures placed on directors and the management team.  In order to successfully engage and sell a new idea to the board you need to be completely prepared with a solid business case.

Prior to the board meeting, distribute your business report with your idea to the board members so that they have time to digest the new initiative; boards typically have pre reading to undertake anyway. You will need to clearly articulate the benefits for the business in tangible and intangible ways.  

Executive summaries are key with background detail as required.  Make the analysis clear and easy to digest and ensure that the financial benefit is well thought out.  Seek out some of the board members and ask for feedback and establish buyin and your advocates.

By the time the actual board meeting takes place you should be ready to go.  Clearly present your new idea in easy to digest visuals and outline bottom line benefit for the business.”

Remember, the Board will make a decision based on the information you deliver but also the way in which you deliver it – be passionate, authentic and committed and you are well on the road to success.