Many fields in business depend on the convenience, speed, accuracy,and reliability that computers have become known for. However all companiessmall and large benefit from the use of computers. First a company must researchthe impact computers will have on keeping track of there accounts. Then theymust choose the correct hardware and software to best suit their particularneeds, while at the same time making themselves familiar with the newenhancements that increase productivity.
Finally, the company must allow timefor installation and training. When evaluating the need for a computerizedsystem in a company one will also need to forecast the future demands of thecompany. After all to survive in the business world one must anticipate thefuture and not react to the past. How does one know when it is time to make thecritical transition? It is when management finds itself unable to keep track ofits business? Which products are profitable? Which are not? Which customers payon time? Which are delinquent? Having easy access to this data is essential torunning a healthy and competitive business. When the company has grown enoughthat management no longer has access to the data used to make informeddecisions, then it is time to switch to a computerized data management system.
These computerized data management systems are often called information systems. The company now has two choices. It can either hire a professional consultingfirm to help select and install the computer system, or venture out on its ownto make these important decisions. Adequate planning is the most important stepin assuring the successful use of computer technology. Most companies would bebetter off seeking the aid of a consulting firm.
They are better informed on thedifferent types of hardware and software that would best suit the computingneeds. An outside firm is a better choice because they are less likely to make acostly mistake when choosing the new system. Another benefit to using aconsulting firm would be there help in setting-up the procedures for using thenew computer system and the necessary training to implement those procedures. Once the company has decided that they will benefit from computer enhancementsit is then a matter of choosing which software and hardware at would be mostuseful. Software is just another name for the programming that computers run on.
It is the language that tells computers what to do. When choosing software it isimportant to, make sure to select the right number and combination of software”modules” to meet a company’s needs. The objective is to come up with anintegrated system by selecting the modules important to the company. Here is anexample of an integrated system. Say your employee sends a bill to customer. With manual systems one would have to post it three times to the sales journal,to a customer receivable account and to the general ledger.
But with anintegrated computer system one entry and the data will be posted automaticallyto all the appropriate files. There is an alternative to buying packagedsoftware. A Company can have a custom program written. Custom programs are veryexpensive.
Costing, up to $25,000 more, depending on the number of modules onewill buy. They are generally uneconomical and unnecessary. In most cases peopleare able to purchase pre-packaged software at a fraction of the cost of customsoftware. The software will then be able to handle up to 80% of the needs. Priceis not the only consideration. Before one buys, find out what comes in asoftware package.
Read the manuals and determine if the features satisfyeverything that the company requires. A good word to describe computers is everchanging. One should always be on the lookout for new computer technology tohelp the company. Very often the company can increase productivity with just afew enhancements. For example, multilingual programs have grown important overthe years. As trade barriers in the world crumble and new opportunities continueto grow.
Mid-sized and even small businesses expand their market beyond U. S. boarders; they are then faced with using multilingual computer systems. Thebasic tools that do these jobs constitute a unique class of software especiallydesigned for the international arena. Technology does not have to be new inorder to be useful. The need for it is what is important to the company.
So donot over look anything when searching for new tools. The next step is selectingthe appropriate hardware to handle the computing needs. Hardware comprises allthe physical items that allow a computer to run programs, such as a printer, amonitor, a mouse, a keyboard, and a modem among other things. The memory whereinformation is stored on a computer is also considered hardware.
When choosingthe proper hardware one should not base all the decisions on price alone. Compare several vendors, selecting the one with the best combination of service,training, and warranties. The company will start to rely on the computers, somake certain that it can get serviced. Try and look for a vendor with a strongservice outlet near the company. Also steer clear of systems that have justentered the market, considering the high mortality rate in the computerindustry.
The company may not be around when it comes time to get service. Thereare many things to consider when purchasing hardware as well as software, so besure to give proper consideration to using a consulting firm. They could end-upsaving money. When the company finally makes the decision to computerize and hasselected the suitable hardware and software.
The company must then allow anappropriate amount of time to install the system and also train their employees. The new system may take several months before it is thoroughly up and running,so be patient. When training employees, they can sometimes be hesitant towardcomputerization. So extend assurances that the computer is a tool to help them,not to replace them. The rule of thumb, as with anything, is to be patient. Thiswhole process of computerizing may at first leave a person totally confused.
Onemust remember that being confused is only a part of success. Make sure it istime to change from a manual system. These new changes may only confuse peoplewith a new system. Second, make informed choices when choosing hardware andsoftware. Perhaps a consulting firm would be the smart way to go.
Also rememberto keep track of new technology, it will make a company more productive. Finally, allow plenty time for installing and training. Taking time may helpprevent costly delays. The most important thing to remember is taking time andmaking informed decisions.