We’ve recently had the pleasure of finding out all about the great work our partner, Business Continuum, has been doing.
Could you tell us a bit about Business Continuum?
At Business Continuum our aim is to help businesses grow by implementing the right cloud based solutions that will help them increase their efficiency and enhance visibility and control over what’s happening in the business so business owners can make better decisions.
Our team is located in Melbourne and Sydney and have decades of combined experience in business, IT, and project management. We work alongside our clients to understand their business needs, processes, and pain points to ensure the solutions that we implement achieve real business outcomes that improve the business operations (and lives) of our customers.
Tell us a bit about your customers! What industries and part of the supply chain are they in?
Our customers are generally growing businesses who need better ways of doing things. They come from a wide range of industries such as trades, consulting, wholesalers, retailers etc. with a broad range of problems such as the need to review project profitability; not having accurate data on their product margins; frequently finding they’re out of stock; or lacking control over their purchasing and expenses.
Why do you think inventory management is important?
Inventory management is critical for a business that sells goods. Without adequate inventory management software a business simply won’t have visibility or control over their stock. This means they won’t have an accurate view of the amount of stock they have on hand. This leads to missed sales opportunities, poor customer satisfaction, frustrated and unproductive staff, suboptimal financial outcomes just to name a few issues.
What are some of the challenges your clients are experiencing with inventory management?
Many businesses have outgrown their current inventory management system. In many cases we see customers who are managing inventory in an Excel spreadsheet, in their accounting package (eg. MYOB or Xero), or by eyeballing their warehouse! This may have been adequate when the business was starting out but as the business grows and becomes more complex the shortcomings quickly become big issues as business owners struggle to stay on top of their inventory and lose control.
Similarly, as staff are hired and different people are fulfilling different roles it’s important to have a solution that is the central source of truth that everyone can work from to ensure real time visibility, data accuracy, and elimination of double handling of data.
How does the future look for your business? Anything exciting coming up that you can share with us?
We’re really excited to see more businesses becoming aware of what cloud software can do for their business and the growing number of solutions out there. Cloud software has allowed businesses to pick and choose a number of solutions that best meet their needs. For example, customers can now choose an accounting package like Xero and connect it to an add-on like Unleashed for powerful inventory management, or to WorkflowMax for timesheets and time-billing. We’ve seen this modular approach allow businesses put in place software with features that not so long ago were only available to big businesses with big IT budgets.
What benefits does Unleashed bring your clients? What problems does it solve?
Unleashed provides our clients with a strong, flexible inventory management solution that is easy to cater to for many different industries and business requirements. Unleashed offers the functionality that most businesses handling stock require such as capturing landed costs, split invoicing and dispatching and viewing stock on hand. We also find Unleashed intuitive for our customers to use meaning they’re able to start get the most out of Unleashed.
How has Unleashed helped your customers grow?
By providing clients with greater visibility over their stock on hand, sales and purchasing data our clients are able to make better decisions and have more control over their operations. Management can see which products are selling well and accurately report on margins; sales staff can check real time stock levels on the road; and warehouse staff can see all outstanding orders and easily order items out of stock or on backorder. This also translates to clients having a better experience – more deliveries on time with acceptable lead-times. No one wants to wait too long for their goods and customer satisfaction is one of the primary levers of business growth!
How do you find the implementation and integration between Unleashed and other software?
Unleashed have been selective regarding the software they integrate with, ensuring integration with apps that complement the core functionality of Unleashed. This allows Unleashed to focus on their core inventory management functionality while giving customers the flexibility to connect great add-ons for accounting, eCommerce, POS etc.
The most popular integration for our customers is with Xero and Unleashed offer a great integration that automatically syncs sales, purchases and stock on hand values with Xero.
Some customers avoid change but they may be missing out on getting more efficiency in the business. What do you have to say about that?
Changing systems is difficult and can be fraught with problems if there are not clear business objectives established up front and if the process is not managed well. We work alongside our clients to understand their business needs and their reasons for wanting to change as well as their apprehensions about change. By understanding the needs of the business and its’ stakeholders we ensure all needs and concerns are addressed.
We find that customers that are looking at inventory management solutions such as Unleashed are experiencing pain with their current systems or processes. So it is vital to be precise about the exact issues involved, so a little digging is often required. Broad team involvement is often beneficial. Some firms try to avoid doing some of this hard work, but it always pays off!
Why do you recommend Unleashed?
We implement various cloud based business software solutions, when we’re approached by a new client we make sure we understand their business needs and key requirements before recommending a solution like Unleashed to ensure what we recommend is a good fit. When recommending Unleashed we will assess a number of factors such as how the business handles purchasing, stock management, and sales together with assessing their current pain points.
We will also consider the needs of the client as they grow so that the solution we recommend today will scale with the business’ growth. This might include ensuring features that may be required in future are either available now, or are on the product roadmap.
We also recommend Unleashed based on qualitative factors not found on a feature checklist such as ease of use and Unleashed’s knowledgeable and responsive support team.
What are some of the things that you enjoy about your partnership with Unleashed?
We have a close relationship with Unleashed and are enjoying working together to help more businesses reap the benefits of cloud software. We love that by working with great software companies like Unleashed we get to work with business owners to transform their businesses and reclaim their weekends! and we find it a real privilege that businesses entrust their operations to us. At the end of the day, the things we find the most rewarding are when an owner tells us how happy they are with the outcomes and how much impact the application has (usually giving them back time and cash-flow).