In online trading, high growth rates of up to 30 percent are the order of the day. However, this can also create a need to adapt internal company work processes. And often, rather than simply hiring more employees, it can be a matter of reviewing the basic structures. After all, growth pressures make it necessary to network different areas more and more effectively. If this doesn’t happen, it not only leads to an inefficient way of working, a lack of meaningful structures to facilitate collaboration also increases the susceptibility to errors.

Manual workarounds: expensive and not especially customer-friendly

While a company is still small, cooperation between the different departments is quite a simple matter. Individual employees still sit side by side in the office, so it is always possible to communicate directly with each other. This makes all company data very accessible, even if it is just maintained by a single employee using an Excel spreadsheet on a desktop computer. However, as the business grows and the individual departments differentiate, there is often a greater physical separation between these elements. So when an employee now wants to access data from another department, it’s then necessary to send an e-mail inquiry. This creates longer processing times and not only drives up costs, but also impacts upon the quality of customer service.

Handle more sales with the same number of employees through backend modernisation

Unless a fundamental revision of the internal structures occurs, after a certain amount of time, the problem just described soon caps the amount of growth which is possible. The goal is not simply to counter rising sales by increasing the number of employees, because this would not only result in high additional costs, but would also affect service. Instead, it makes more sense to increase sales with the same team, which requires a backend adjustment. Practices such as the use of Excel files which don’t have multi-user capability should be replaced as soon as possible with new software.

Efficient order processing

In order to keep pace with growth, it is important to make the processing of orders more efficient. In conventional approaches, it is common for employees to manually adjust data several times between capture and final completion. This practice is very unproductive. It makes more sense to set up a system which already enters all the requisite data as soon as it is collected. In addition, it is necessary to precisely regulate access rights to the data. Employees then spend less time doing burdensome administrative tasks and instead devote themselves to value-adding activities, which often simultaneously increases motivation and contributes to a pleasant atmosphere within the company.

Uniform recording of customer data

Many companies also use different systems to capture data: the website, a CRM system and software for inventory management as well as other programs. This not only makes administration very expensive, it often creates a non-uniform data set. That’s why it is recommended to collect data centrally and make it available to all systems. This increases efficiency and considerably reduces the margin for errors.

Current and consistent product data

Uniform collection of product data is also very important. If a website and customer service department use different systems for data storage, this significantly increases the task of data maintenance. In addition, it often happens that one record has already been updated while another is still using obsolete data values. This can lead to contradictory statements which confuse customers. So it’s important to design a system in which every employee has access to the latest product data at all times. Companies should also integrate departments which operate largely independently, such as a maintenance or repair service.

Conclusion: new data management software offers the potential for further growth

Manual workarounds limit growth in many companies. Once a certain level of business activity is reached, internal communication then becomes so difficult that it is almost impossible to maintain separate systems. In such circumstances, a central data management facility which is accessible to all employees has many advantages. So it’s really a matter of adapting the backend. This not only reduces the number of employees required – and therefore increases profit margins – a well-designed backend also speeds up processing while also reducing the likelihood of errors. This contributes to increased customer satisfaction and at the same time offers significant potential for further growth.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn.