By Becca Goren, Senior Principal Marketing Director, Modern Best Practice, Oracle
We all want our businesses to grow, and grow fast. But our businesses may not have been set up to scale. If your business jumps from $5 million to $100 million, you not only need to hire more people, you also need to ensure your processes and technology are designed for growth and scale.
Similarly, if your business has undergone mergers and acquisitions, you are likely dealing with multiple systems that do not communicate with each other. You simply can’t operate as one united business in that environment.
Either way, you’ll need to adopt the right processes, standards and technology to grow and innovate to avoid the chaos and inefficiency that burdens many fast-growing companies. It’s all about maintaining balance—managing momentum and setting a solid foundation for growth.
To grow your business with confidence and agility, it will take more than technology. To get it right, all business functions need to adopt best practices and synchronize activities.
If you’re using sales, HR, or finance software designed for “mom and pop” companies—especially if they’re all from different vendors—you may be using many manual steps in order to accomplish each of these tasks. This slows the business down, while stifling growth and innovation—definitely not a best practice approach.
A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved by other means. Companies that don’t follow best practices usually lack connectivity and visibility. They don’t have a traceable audit trail—which not only creates compliance issues, but makes it harder to spot potential business problems such as revenue leakage, employee turnover, or any number of challenges that could be addressed with clearer insight.
Best practice processes help business leaders answer the question, “What is the best approach to managing my job responsibilities every day?” For example, how would you turn a lead into a sales opportunity, or pay your employees on time?
There are hundreds of such processes in every business, and nearly all of them have interdependencies. For example, closing a sale entails invoicing the customer and processing payments. And every transaction you process impacts your bank account, which entails reconciling your bank statements.
Modern best practice makes effective use of the latest enabling technologies: cloud, mobile, social, analytics, the Internet of Things, and big data. Let’s look at each in turn:
A complete, data-driven, personalized, connected and secure cloud allows you to scale and grow faster. It offers visibility across the enterprise and gives you the ability to adjust as needed—easily, swiftly and safely.
A mobile-first strategy gives your SMB access to applications from mobile devices on the road. This gives you ready access to powerful analytics and forecasting tools, customer and supplier insights, and real-time information for sales, marketing and finance.
Easy-to-use social tools create visible, open communication across the organization and beyond, enabling collaboration with multiple stakeholders while tracking important opportunities and conversations. Your team can share information about customers across business units, or have a conversation around finance that can later be referenced during audits.
Dashboards for every user, at every level, provide each individual with access to the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Analytics leveraging best practice processes ensure that everyone is working from a shared, single source of data. A single data source ensures that you are running all your reports using accurate information, helping to improve decision-making across all business processes—for example, you can understand the performance of your latest project, identify the best way to reduce procurement costs, or analyze customer purchasing and renewal patterns to seize on an untapped market opportunity.
Culled from both inside and outside your organization, big data offers opportunities to gain insight, quickly test ideas and take advantage of new opportunities. For example, companies can analyze unstructured data from social conversations for buying cues and requests for recommendations. You can then research, nurture, and engage those prospects, turning them into leads using mobile and social media.
IoT gives you significant opportunities to generate value from the data collected by devices and things, such as smart meters that manage energy bills or telemetry for car safety. To give just one example: in the digital field service process, data collected from device sensors can be used to remotely monitor, upgrade, repair, and control assets (such as oil sensors, HVAC units, and home medical devices). This real-time data can be used to predict and prevent breakdowns—cutting downtime nearly in half. To date, such data has been extremely under-utilized, providing ample opportunity for first-movers to get ahead of the competition.
Oracle Modern Best Practice is “modern” because it is built on modern technology enablers, and “best” because it achieves radically superior results compared to other methods. The processes in Oracle Modern Best Practice not only provide guidelines for doing everything better, they offer an adaptive, scalable framework for growth.
Oracle distinguishes itself from common or “industry standard” practice because it details the ideal process, not the common one. We hear a lot about what most companies do, or even what leading companies do, as far as business processes. While that’s informative to some degree, what we want to know is which processes provide the best results.
Oracle Modern Best Practice is:
All of this might sound like a lot, especially if your biggest problem right now has nothing to do with big data and everything to do with filling an open sales position with the right candidate. The good news is, Oracle Modern Best Practice is modular.
You can start with the functional area of the business that’s giving you the most trouble—such as identifying and developing top talent—and implement modern best practice in that area. Then you can move onto the next. You might not achieve modern best practice everywhere, but even an 80 percent success rate would deliver radically superior results to your business. By taking incremental steps, you can gradually move your business to the level of the most successful companies—even if you’re only a fraction of the size.
The strongest companies don’t leave their growth to chance. Instead, they build a solid foundation of best practices that support growth, innovation, and transformation well into the future. If you have questions about modern best practice, please visit our SMB resource center to chat with a representative, or visit the Oracle Modern Best Practice pages on Oracle.com.