6 Creative Ways to Improve Business Processes with Exact Synergy
Welcome to the “6 Creative Ways to Improve Business Process with Exact Synergy” eBook by Exceptional Software Solutions LLC. We hope you benefit from just a few of the ways in which our team of professionals uses Exact Synergy CRM to improve our SMB manufacturing and distribution customers’ business.
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After reading this eBook, if you have any questions or would like further information about Exact Synergy CRM or any other Exact Macola or Exact Globe ERP solution, feel free to visit our website at www.esoftsol.net or email us at email@example.com.
What is Exact Synergy CRM?
Exact Synergy is a web-based customer relationship management (CRM) software tool that manages all internal and external communication processes in one central location — creating interdepartmental collaboration and efficiency. The organization and automation of documents, quotes, invoices, phone call follow ups, email communications, customer history and more within Exact Synergy can be leveraged to solve a number of process issues.
- For Sales and Marketing: Exact Synergy makes lead tracking and conversion processes structured and transparent, enhancing communication between sales and marketing departments.
- For Finance and Accounting: The consolidation and automation of quoting, invoicing, accounts receivable, accounts payable and more allows easy access by your financial departments and your customers — if you so choose — reducing administration time and customer service inquiries.
For Human Resources: Capturing, consolidating and automating process such as employee contact information, salary history, performance reviews, certifications and more help reduce administration time for your HR staff, freeing them for more strategic initiatives.
The bottom line: Exact Synergy helps our customers realize significant cost savings and remove barriers to growth.
Exact Synergy: A Beauty and A Beast
The beauty of Exact Synergy lies in its capability to perform an endless number of functions, serve many different and vastly diverse purposes, and its ability to change and scale with your processes and your growth.
This can also present a challenge, as many companies that already use Exact Synergy only utilize this powerful beast to a fraction of its capacity.
How can you utilize Exact Synergy to the best of its ability? We’ll guide you every step of the way. This eBook is dedicated to providing real-life, practical, applicable, creative examples of how our team of professionals, with a combined 300+ years of experience in Exact Macola software solutions, help our customers get the most out of their investment. We analyze your business processes and work with internal teams and stakeholders to create workflows in Exact Synergy that solve your unique issues and increase your ROI.
Read on for six creative ways to improve business processes with Exact Synergy.
Sales cycles differ vastly from industry to industry. With customers that manufacture and distribute a variety of products including packaging products, bath products, healthcare products, sporting goods, food and beverage items and more, we understand that sales cycles can range from days to years. However, there are always ways to improve the cycle and achieve greater efficiency. That’s where we find opportunity with Exact Synergy.
Shorten Sales Cycles: The Quote and the Follow-Up
The quoting process can become a cumbersome one without the right system to generate quotes, track them and follow up on them to a win or a loss (and hopefully a win). Exact Synergy allows you to easily generate quotes, whether for an off-the-shelf or custom-manufactured item, and follow through on the quoting process efficiently, effectively and with transparency.
For custom items, which traditionally require much more time and effort to compile a quote, Exact Synergy eases the process by allowing collaboration among all stakeholders, departments, approving managers, etc. within one central system. We can streamline the process so that, when paired with the functionality of Exact Event Manager, each stakeholder receives an alert in their calendar when their quote activity is due. Once the quote is complete and presented to the customer, alerts are generated for the sales staff to follow up in a day, a week, etc., tracking the progress and the status after each touchpoint with the customer.
Sales staff who are on the road, or working remotely, can easily access this information with mobile devices via a summary email that alerts to the necessary follow-up tasks that need to be performed that day. Within this email, links lead to Exact Synergy where sales staff can easily update the quote project with the results of the follow-up.
Remember — with Exact Macola 10 ERP, the functionality of Exact Synergy and Exact Event Manager are already integrated into the solution. So there’s no need to purchase add-ons in order to automate the quoting process.
Shorten Sales Cycles: Reporting and Goal Setting
In addition to automating the quoting and follow-up process, and storing the information into one central location where all stakeholders have a transparent view of the sales cycle and how it is progressing, Exact Synergy also has the ability to create statistics regarding the sales cycle. This could include the average time it takes to make a sale, the percentage of quotes that result in a sale, the average number of call-backs and follow-ups that it takes to reach a decision, and much more.
This is your opportunity to use the readily-available information in order to identify problem areas, bottlenecks, and set goals for your organization. Maybe you’ll notice that call-backs and follow-ups are too infrequent, or occur too late after the quote is sent. Maybe you’ll find that the quicker a customer receives a quote, the more likely the customer is to make a purchase. Maybe you already know your issues and your goals, but you don’t know how to design the process to get you there. Herein lies the expertise of Exceptional Software Solutions LLC.
Multigenerational workforces are ubiquitous in today’s business world. Manage this workforce effectively, and the knowledge that will flow among your teams will transform your business in ways never thought possible. But mismanage this workforce and the knowledge stays hidden — or leaves your organization for good.
Manage Knowledge: The Case for Knowledge Share
While experienced employees remain in the workforce longer, the Millennial Generation emerges into the workforce, eager to make an impact. In a multigenerational business world, organizations are faced with the need to create an environment for effective collaboration among employees with a diverse set of knowledge — from proficiency in modern technologies to the expertise in the people and processes that are the foundation of the business.
This translates into a need for an effective system for knowledge share.
Manage Knowledge: The Case for Knowledge Transfer
For the small to mid-sized business owner, the complexity of the multigenerational workforce is compounded by the modern reality of job-hopping.
Employees with knowledge, ambition, ideas and passion are continuously seeking new positions and being recruited for job opportunities elsewhere. For businesses owners who are unprepared, this means that knowledge is leaving their organizations on an ongoing basis. And within industries such as manufacturing and distribution, which involve complex processes that take time and experience to learn and master, this loss comes at a great cost.
This translates into a need for an effective system for knowledge transfer.
Manage Knowledge: How?
Exceptional Software Solutions LLC has used Exact Synergy to transform our customers’ hidden knowledge into explicit knowledge. At its core, the function of Exact Synergy is to create a history of documents, transactions, events, customer information, employee information, communication and a space for collaboration. It captures the processes of your organization, embeds these processes — and the knowledge that drives them — and exposes them in one transparent system. The result: an open environment of knowledge sharing.
With Exact Synergy, when an employee leaves your organization, it doesn’t have to mean that the knowledge has to go too, as the knowledge is organized and embedded into the system. And onboarding a new employee doesn’t have to mean re-creating knowledge from scratch. It now simply means training the new employee on how to access the captured knowledge in Exact Synergy.
However, running Exact Synergy alongside your ERP system alone will not solve the issue of knowledge share and knowledge transfer. Within the organization, the expectation must be set to record knowledge into the system, and the processes and workflow must run smoothly and effectively.
This poses a challenge for many, as the capabilities for process and workflow in Exact Synergy are numerous. So numerous, in fact, that it’s often difficult to know where to start.
With over 300 combined years of experience in Exact and Exact Macola ERP and CRM products, Exceptional Software Solutions LLC guides our customers every step of the way. From diagnosing complex process and communication issues to designing workflow systems within Exact Synergy, our team of professionals loves to create solutions that help your business retain its valuable knowledge and thus flourish and grow.
So, while issues of knowledge share and knowledge transfer are inevitable in today’s business environment, getting these processes right can mean a vast savings in time, effort and resources — and an advantage over those organizations that haven’t acknowledged these issues yet.
Manufacturers and distributors are well aware of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 series of quality standards, and the detailed processes an organization must put in place and maintain to be successfully evaluated and granted ISO 9000 certification.
Meet ISO 9000 Certification Standards: Benefits
The benefits of this certification are many. According to the ISO, benefits of maintaining its high quality standards include:
- Cost savings due to efficient operations
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- Access to new markets
- Increased market share
- Environmental benefits
Meeting ISO 9000 Certification Standards: Preparation
Exceptional Software Solutions LLC’s team of professionals uses Exact Synergy CRM to help prepare our customers for a successful ISO certification review process.
The efficient management of documentation plays a significant role in achieving ISO 9000 certification, including effective document version control, document share and storage of pertinent information. In some cases, our customers require that this documentation — including detailed manuals and other paperwork — must be paperless, as well as reflect the collaborators and creators of the documentation and which employees have access to the documentation.
At its core, the function of Exact Synergy is to do exactly this — to create a history of documents, transactions, events, customer information, employee information, communication and a space for collaboration. It captures the processes of your organization and embeds these processes — and the knowledge that drives them — into your organization and exposes them in one system.
The result: an effective, organized and transparent process for document management, storage and sharing.
With Exact Synergy, and the right workflows, this process is made simple. An auditor reviewing an organization’s documentation in Exact Synergy can easily see all digital versions, collaborators, customer inquiries and more.
While there are many steps that a manufacturer or distributor must take in order for its processes to achieve ISO 9000 certification, the capabilities of Exact Synergy, along with Exceptional Software Solutions LLC’s 300+ combined years of experience in Exact and Exact Macola software, can help get you on the right path to success.
One of the most common challenges we encounter is organizations’ struggle to properly utilize the time and talent of highly-trained and educated staff. Too often, staff within small to mid-sized organizations spend significant hours during peak business time fielding customer service inquiries and the administrative tasks that go along with them. While providing excellent and timely customer service is vital to any good business, utilizing the time and talent of your staff for administrative tasks is not always the best means for providing customer service.
Customer Portals: Reclaiming Talent
Finance and accounting departments feel this pain regularly, as these departments typically hold the most up-to-date information regarding invoicing, payments and order status. However, your finance team members are also among your most highly-experienced, highly-educated group of employees whose main purpose is to maintain and improve upon the financial health of your company.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Financial Manager has at least one college degree and five years or more of experience in the financial field. Yet these highly-valued team members often find themselves fielding phone calls from customers regarding invoices and order status and focusing on your company’s finances part-time.
Customer Portals: A Win-Win Situation
A self-serve technology-based solution not only benefits your financial managers, but your customers, too. Customers often prefer to access necessary information — including invoices, payment information, order status, shipping status and more — at their fingertips, without having to pick up the phone and speak with your staff.
The solution for many of our customers has been Exact Synergy’s Customer Portal feature. Our team of professionals has helped create secure, self-service portals for our clients which allow customers to view the pertinent account information that you want them to see — including invoices, order information and more. Your customer portal can also be configured to display technical support information, product release information, company news and other information that your customers need and wish to access at their leisure — without having to contact your company.
With Exact Synergy’s Customer Portal, your finance managers no longer have to squeeze their primary job responsibilities in between calls or after normal business hours. Your customers no longer have to wait on hold to access their information. This efficient, transparent system empowers all parties to focus on what they do best.
When it comes to employee relations and employee engagement, a company’s desire to create a positive and productive company culture is nothing without a regular, transparent and predictable process of feedback and between employees, management and the organization.
HR departments are often tasked with maintaining these processes, but can easily become buried in paperwork, details and deadlines. The solution for many of our customers has been technology.
Employee Relations and Engagement: Improving the Review
At its core, the function of Exact Synergy CRM is to do exactly this — to create a history of documents, transactions, events, customer information, employee information, communication and a space for collaboration. It captures the processes of your organization and embeds these processes — and the knowledge that drives them — into your organization and exposes them in one system.
The Exceptional Software Solutions LLC team of professionals has used Exact Synergy to create HR processes for numerous organizations which provide the structure, consistency and transparency needed for successful employee engagement. For example, we’ve created processes and workflows in Synergy that make records of employee performance reviews, requests for pay raises, and other interactions between employees, managers and HR. We use Exact Synergy to store this documentation in a workflow between an employee and his or her manager, require actions by either party such as signatures, and create alerts when another review or action is coming due.
Employee Relations and Engagement: Up-to-Date Certifications
Another important function of Human Resources departments, especially within manufacturing and distribution organizations, is maintaining up-to-date company and employee certifications. For instance, we’ve worked with customers whose organizations require a variety of certifications — from welding certificates to first aid certifications — and at the same time have multiple employees, multiple certifications and multiple deadlines to manage. This is no simple task without the right technology.
With Exact Synergy, we can create a workflow that connects these certification requirements to specific vendors, employees (or groups of employees), expiration dates and more. And by utilizing Exact Event Manager with Exact Synergy, we’ve set monthly alerts for HR departments that indicate which employees and which certifications are due for recertification within the next 30 days. The ease of managing the organization’s employees and compliance initiatives for many is priceless.
A transparent and predictable environment is key to maintaining a positive company culture and employee relations — and technology is the link between good intentions and action. The Exceptional Software Solutions LLC team of professionals has implemented these proven processes for many, and we can do it for you, too.
Exact Synergy is a powerful software system that does a lot more than just customer relationship management (CRM). As we’ve highlighted above, Exact Synergy CRM is very commonly utilized for its document management, workflow management, customer portals, customer and internal relationship management capabilities and more.
But did you know that Exact Synergy also has the capability to be used as a powerful financial consolidation tool?
Financial Consolidation: Around the Globe
One of the core functions of Exact Synergy is to provide businesses with the ability to communicate and share information across departments and with customers, business partners and colleagues, even when located in separate offices.
Many of our SMB manufacturing and distribution customers have offices, employees and affiliate organizations around the globe. They not only have a need to share documentation and customer information efficiently across each of these locations, but they also have a need to share financial information and consolidate financial statements. Yet, an issue arises when these separate entities use different systems, and have different currencies and exchange rates. How does a company efficiently manage their financials when so many factors are in play?
Exact Synergy provides a very streamlined yet powerful solution to this very issue.
Financial Consolidation: One Central Location for Data
In Exact Synergy, it’s possible to set up a directory for financials, and within this directory create various divisions to represent different locations, companies, etc. within that database. Using Exact Synergy’s financial tables, a representative from each division can upload their financial information into Synergy, creating one central location where financial information is held across all divisions.
But what if different divisions use different tools for collecting financial data? Let’s say that one of your company’s divisions uses Exact Macola ERP, and the others do not. No problem. The division using Exact Macola can import that information with e.g. ASImport into Exact Synergy. The other divisions can simply create an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file with five simple data columns and upload this file into Synergy.
Financial Consolidation: One Consolidated View
Once your divisions’ financial data is uploaded into Synergy, several useful actions can be taken. For instance, if two of your company’s divisions are within the United States, you can consolidate the US divisions’ financials into one statement. Additionally, data from divisions outside of the US can be combined, exchange rates and currencies consolidated, and combined into one total view of the company’s financials.
A fairly straightforward process, Exact Synergy also has the ability to define hierarchy within the company structure, as well as assign permission levels to designated team members within the company or divisions.
For example, you can assign permissions to a controller within each of your company’s divisions to upload financial data into Exact Synergy. You can also limit the permission of this controller to only view the data within his or her own division, or allow viewing of other divisions’ data as well.
Financial Consolidation: Combining Financial and Workflow Capabilities
In addition to assigning permissions to team members within the accounting department, Exact Synergy’s workflow capabilities can be combined with its financial capabilities to assign tasks, deadlines and provide transparency into the task ownership and status. Those with the permissions to view the workflow can see when tasks are completed, who performed the task and when the next actions are expected to take place.
For companies with several divisions, especially those spread throughout the world, Exact Synergy’s financial capabilities provide a fairly straightforward, highly effective long-term solution to the common problem that different software systems, currencies, exchange rates and locations present to your company’s accounting department.
Exact Synergy is built to integrate directly with Exact Macola and Exact Globe ERP — and is included in Exact Macola 10. Exact Synergy and its financial capabilities can also be used by any organization — whether or not they use Exact Macola or Exact Globe ERP —once again proving Exact Synergy CRM to be a highly versatile solution.
So how can you utilize Exact Synergy to the best of its ability? We’ll guide you every step of the way.
With a combined 300+ years of experience in Exact Macola software solutions, Exceptional Software Solutions LLC helps our customers get the most out of their investment. We analyze your business processes and work with internal teams and stakeholders to create workflows in Exact Synergy that solve your unique issues and increase your ROI.
For more information on Exact Synergy CRM or other Exact Macola or Exact Globe ERP solutions, or to inquire about our services, visit us at:
or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2016 Exceptional Software Solutions LLC