When it comes to choosing a software solution, it can be difficult for businesses to know the key things they need to be on the lookout for and what it is they’re going to need. With this decision often representing a significant financial outlay as well as an important crossroads for businesses looking to support their growth moving forward, companies want to make sure they will get a fast return on their investment and partner up with the right supplier. However with a lot of software jargon getting banded about by suppliers, businesses can often struggle to see what exactly is being proposed and ultimately understand the benefits that are on offer.
One of the expressions guilty of causing this effect in recent months is “end-to-end solution”. End-to-end solution is quickly becoming a buzz term in the world of software, however it is one phrase that can mean different things to different businesses. Therefore we thought we’d take the time this month to dissect the meaning of “end-to-end solution” and find out what the actual benefits of such a solution really offers businesses.
What Is An End-To-End Solution?
If you were to look up the phrase end-to-end solution in the dictionary, you would see that commonly the term is used to describe a supplier or application system that will provide all the software components and resources to meet the customer’s requirement and no other supplier need to be involved. When it comes to software solutions, this method of end-to-end processing is widely used by businesses trading through eCommerce sales channels or manufacturing their own goods, as they often prefer one service provider being responsible for managing all support, installation, implementation and ongoing maintenance of their software system. There are a number of reasons for this being the case, however here are the five key reasons why a lot of businesses believe in an end-to-end philosophy for achieving effective everyday business management.
- Better Operational Efficiency
Possibly the main reason that a lot of businesses will sway towards an end-to-end solution is the higher productivity that it is able to generate. This is because an end-to-end solution is often a fully integrated system from a single supplier, meaning that manual input is reduced and the middle-man effect of jumping between systems and providers is eliminated. This helps to drive accuracy, efficiency and more streamlined processes through greater automation, allowing company performance to be much better optimised as a result. By using an end-to-end solution to manage everything from order acquisition through to product distribution, businesses are able to increase data security and generally simplify their day-to-day workflow.
- Reduced Costs
It may sound fairly obvious but another key selling point of the end-to-end solution is the fact that it is simply more cost-effective. Instead of paying for multiple software systems, support packages, ongoing licences and more, having one provider deliver everything means businesses only need to pay for one lot of services. This means smaller outlays, less hassle at renewal time and massively decreased costs moving forward. What’s more with data seamlessly shared between departments, greater accuracy also means less mis-picks and resulting customer returns. Therefore investing in an end-to-end solution will not only help minimise software costs but also operational costs too.
- Faster Resolutions
Encountering issues is something that all businesses will experience from time to time, what matters most is how quickly these issues can be resolved so as to minimise disruption. When working with multiple disconnected systems, it can often be difficult for businesses to easily determine the cause of problems that arise. What’s worse is that staff reporting and chasing up these issues can then get caught in the middle of a supplier “blame game” that means easily resolvable issues are dragged out longer than necessary. However for businesses using an end-to-end solution from a single supplier, if an issue does occur then staff know exactly where to go and who to call to get it resolved.
- One System For Staff To Learn
When any business invests in a software solution, they want to see the fastest possible return on their initial investment. One of the key factors affecting the speed at which companies can start seeing the benefits of their new software is how quickly their staff can get used to the new system. If departments are using different solutions to manage their daily operations, it means multiple systems for staff to learn. By implementing a user-friendly end-to-end solution, staff only have one piece of software that they need to learn how to use. This allows them to get up-and-running faster and also means that moving forward new staff arriving into the business can settle in quicker as well.
- Unrivalled Companywide Visibility
Then last but not least, an end-to-end solution is able to provide the complete operational visibility that is simply not achievable with multiple disconnected systems. As data is shared seamlessly across departments, businesses are able to gain accurate insight into company performance and pinpoint the exact areas where improvements need to be made. This information can then be turned into a powerful sales tool, used in reports to help drive forward performance and increase profitability. However the companywide visibility isn’t limited to just software functionality but also extends to the supplier too. By having one supplier that understands the entirety of your business processes from end-to-end, companies can be more effectively supported as they continue to grow.
So in conclusion, it is clear that there is an awful lot for businesses to gain from using an end-to-end solution to manage their daily operations. By choosing the right software from the right supplier to support their business from their front to back end processes, companies will be able to arm themselves with the streamlined processes and accurate insight they need to expand further.