Consolidated Operations Management Software

Automating your internal operations can help you control costs and concentrate on your core business.

Why is automating your internal operations part of a good Sales Force Automation? It allows you not only to control costs, but concentrate on your core business activities, according to a white paper prepared by Boston-based research consultants Aberdeen Group, Inc. [http://www.remedy.com/enterprise/abdwp/index.htm].

With well-done internal automation, Aberdeen says, “employees devote less time and energy to such activities as learning how to install and use a new software application, complying with human resource and benefit procedures, and requesting resources — such as reserving conference rooms or obtaining new office equipment. Relieved of these burdens, workers are more productive and recognize an improvement in their ability to sell to and support customers as well as design and develop new products. The result is a direct impact on profitability.”

Many organizations are deploying a suite of related applications, based on a common technology, to automate internal operations. An increasingly popular term for this type of software is “consolidated operations management.” Where does one start with COM? Aberdeen has identified nine areas usually included in COM:

  • IT support. Information systems are too complex for the average end-user to fully understand and maintain. Automated IT help desks serve a valuable role by answering questions users may have with regards to using a new or complicated software application and resolving the problems that arise when a particular hardware, software or networking component fails to function properly.
  • Facilities management and equipment allocation. Organizations spend an enormous amount of time and money managing their physical plant, maintaining supplies and ensuring that employees have the equipment they need to perform their jobs.
  • Service level agreement tracking. Organizations need to know whether their equipment is under service contract and what are the terms and conditions of those contracts. Employees are able to instantly know who is responsible for servicing and repairing a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Additionally, tracking SLAs enables management to understand what service contracts are returning a positive return on investment so that they can quickly reallocate resource dollars to the most economical and beneficial support projects.
  • Asset management. Capital equipment, from PCs to industrial machinery, needs to be tracked and amortized so that organizations know where a particular physical asset is and when it is time to upgrade or purchase new equipment.
  • Inventory management of stock and spare parts. Companies need to track products, supplies and equipment as they are either consumed internally or sold to customers.
  • Procurement/Ordering. When a product or service needed by an individual cannot be found internally, there needs to be a mechanism for creating a purchase request, forwarding that request to the purchasing department or directly to the vendor for fulfillment, and tracking the request until the item requested is delivered.
  • Defect Tracking. When a fault is found with a product or service that is sold by a company, or a way to improve an internal practice has been identified, there needs to be a way to record the defect or suggested improvement and follow it through to its resolution or implementation.
  • Personnel resource management. Just as physical goods are assets, so too are employees and their skill sets. Several companies have recorded worker skills in a database and used advanced applications to dynamically match and schedule the right personnel to specific jobs or tasks that must be performed.
  • Notification of policies and procedures. Organizations are able to improve the satisfaction of their employees by providing them with immediate access and proactive notification of changes to internal personnel policies, such as vacation allotment, as well as benefits information, such as 401k balances and profit sharing distributions.

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