For many, “the cloud” is still a vague and confusing concept. However, it has extensive applications in business which could help you to streamline your operations, saving both time and money. If you are still wrapping your head around the cloud, here are six smart solutions to get you started.
Freight Management Systems
In today’s competitive marketplace, customers expect high-quality service from order placement to delivery. Using a comprehensive cloud-based freight management system can deliver greater control, efficiency, and transparency in the end-to-end process. Finding the best shipping software can give you an edge over your competition. If you run a wholesale, distribution or e-commerce business, then a cloud-based FMS can reduce your costs, give you remote access, offer technical support and secure your data, as well as increasing customer satisfaction through transparency.
Computer data is similar to kitchen gadgets in one fundamental way – the more you have, the more storage space you need. For this reason, many businesses are choosing to switch to cloud storage. Not only is it scalable, so you can get more space when you run out, the information is also accessible anywhere you have internet access. Information availability is a critical consideration as more businesses offer flexible positions and employ remote workers. The other advantage is that you only pay for what you need, so it is often a more cost-effective option.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Cloud storage backup allows you to create a fully encrypted and secure duplicate system stored offsite on a remote, cloud-based server. It protects the business’ intellectual property against local disasters such as fires or floods, and also ensures hacker threats and employee theft do not compromise the data. Backups are automated, so the data remains up-to-date without you having to think about it. Cloud-based backups simplify and speed up disaster recovery to avoid downtime for businesses.
Software as a Service
In essence, software as a service involves renting computers and software programs every month. The software is automatically updated when new versions or features are released, and you only pay for the number of users you require. These two features make SaaS much more cost effective than traditional software purchases. Perhaps one of the best-known examples of SaaS is Office 365, which is deployed in so many companies because It is secure and convenient.
Tracking inventory in and out of the business has traditionally been time-consuming and prone to human error. Thankfully, businesses can now invest in cloud-based inventory management systems. Automating this function allows seamless and real-time monitoring and maintenance of the stock levels in your company. A reorder point can be inbuilt into the system to trigger a supplier order. As well as improving accuracy and efficiency, this offers insights, analytics, and tracking of historical data. The additional information can also help your firm be more agile and avoid lost revenue and customer frustration due to unfilled orders and lengthy out-of-stock periods.
Customer Relationship Management Systems
The advantages of a cloud-based CRM are similar to those covered above – affordability, efficiency, automatic updates, and security. When it comes to customer information, security is a top consideration, and the negative backlash of inadvertently sharing this data has far-reaching consequences. As companies such as Yahoo and eBay have discovered, insurance costs and poor public relations are just the beginning.
Cloud software systems offer significant efficiency gains, so if you are looking to streamline your business, it is worth investigating the cloud as an option.