Flooring businesses can only grow and thrive when they have the information they need to make informed decisions. You can’t analyze data that you don’t have, afterall. Investing in flooring industry specific software that delivers operational data and analytics allows flooring professionals to make informed decisions that will grow their business. When evaluating your flooring business software, there are six elements you should consider.
The Six Major Requirements
The following are six requirements to consider when selecting your flooring business software partner. Ensuring that your software ticks each of these boxes sets up your business for success and growth.
1. Continuous Flooring Industry Specific Software Development
Select a software developer with a history of success! Check all of their references, and ask around with other flooring professionals. When evaluating your choices, look for software that ties together all transactional functions of your business.
The software should offer an integration platform that enables your organization to make the most of the data you’re collecting. This includes financial data, business intelligence, analytics, and relationships. The system should have a ready-to-use API (application program interface), and deliver the real-time information necessary for timely and operationally impactful decision making.
2. Flooring Business Workflow Automation
The flooring business software you use should also support real-time business workflow automation. This ensures that data in all processes are seamlessly integrated into your accounting, inventory, job cost, business reporting, market intelligence, and analytics platforms.
The most effective way to leverage your software investment is to choose a platform whose integrated workflow automation supports industry-specific real-time pricing systems. This adds to the speed and accuracy of cost control and margin management as it assists with operational decision-making.
Once you implement an integrated system, it will become a major part of your daily operations, and you will want to utilize the information generated.
3. Integration with trading partner networks, including FCB2B networks
The flooring business software you choose must also support FCB2B transaction networks and integrate trading partner information. These integrations must be accurate, efficient, and include margin control, and transactional analysis. Integrating with trading partner networks is also used to analyze trends involving commerce, logistics, and shipping.
4. Data quality and data governance
Your software must use industry data standards, types, and definitions. This supports your ability to create business intelligence metrics based on recognizable definitions of an operation.
Your software must support the continuously evolving industry specific data quality and governance features. This will enable your business to relate and identify key elements of flooring data and ensure that information is used consistently in operations as well as analytics.
5. Support for API life-cycle management
The flooring software you use must feature APIs to deliver needed operational data. This is necessary to deliver real-time business-critical data upon request and integrate with non-industry productivity tools (i.e. maps, GPS, vendor specifications and more).
Your flooring software provider must also include API lifecycle management. This eliminates the need to invest, provision, and configure a separate platform for managing APIs. The software should also manage more traditional broadband connected point-to-point devices from a single platform, which reduces complexity.
6. An implementation plan and ongoing support
Not every flooring business is the same. Choosing a flooring business software partner that provides on-site training is critical to ongoing success with the program. When that in-person training is complete, you still shouldn’t be without the support of your software company. It’s important that they offer ongoing support with training videos, as well as online documentation and training on demand. You also should have access to a support system with a self-service client facing support portal. Your software shouldn’t be unsupported either. The program should include automatic installation of software updates to ensure you are using the most current version.
Non-Industry Databases Cause Inefficiencies
Data collected through non-industry databases such as QuickBooks, Sage, MS Dynamics, NetSuite, and SAP, originates through batch processes. This creates a disconnect between your management, sales, installation, and support teams. It means your data will never contain up-to-the-minute information about purchases, sales, installation, prospects, and key accounts.
If a flooring business has any financial or operational data stored in non-industry databases, then analyzing information will happen too late. It’s also likely that it will not be consistently organized with relevant elements.
Flooring businesses need real-time information, including data developed as events are happening on the sales floor, on the bids and jobsites, in the warehouse, and everywhere information is created.
Utilizing Business Intelligence in your Flooring Business
Business intelligence is becoming increasingly valuable to flooring enterprises. If your objective is to remain relevant and profitable in the rapidly evolving flooring product and services industry, using available digital technology combined with industry-specific software must be part of that transition.
Look for a partner and a system that is flexible enough to be used with other applications including:
- Buying group systems
- Banking systems
- Vendor partner portals
- Cutting machine interfaces
- Barcode devices
- Automation applications
- And other helpful business services.
Data integration prevents your flooring business software from becoming just another standalone data silo. Industry-specific software depends on continuous data integration with every business function. Integration is only as effective as your business system’s data flow, use, and integration capabilities.
Flooring businesses are complex operations; every sale and installation creates an opportunity to improve performance. The software selected must function to deliver efficiency and accuracy in the collection of data for analysis. Flooring-specific software creates comprehensive and accurate real-time data which is critical to impactful management analytics.
Rollmaster Software is the complete solution for managing your flooring business. Whether you provide flooring for large commercial projects or single family homes, our software is designed to help your business grow and become more profitable.