Written by: Rob Barr
One of the difficulties for organisations is managing growth and still keeping that personal touch. The last thing you want to worry about, on top of that, is hidden costs as you watch the fruits of your labour grow. In our post-recession world not for profits are still feeling the pinch, and once you’ve budgeted for a project you want to be safe in the knowledge that it’s a done deal. There’s no bigger thorn in the side of a development plan than hidden extras.
Growth will always have pain points, but should it really have penalties points too? Take for instance a school, who wants to maintain contact with their potential students, graduates, parents, fundraisers, school governors, teachers and whole host of other stakeholders. Year on year as prospects become students and students become alumni their database is only going to grow and grow. Adding, keeping track and updating records regularly means you can nurture and segment your data, messages can be targeted and kept relevant; leading to more compelling communications and therefore a much higher probability of getting the required response.
Growing the contact database is something that applies to all organisations, whether that’s charities, hospices, memberships, government bodies, it doesn’t matter which. Being able to understand your audience and connect with them on a deeper level can only happen if you have the technology to enhance your data, to capture all the conversations and interactions as you build up relationships.
If a supporter makes a donation and then never hears from you again – or you send out communications that are not relevant – then they’re less likely to want to donate in the future. The same applies to membership bodies; the communication needs to be effortless and have the flow of a natural conversation to engage them – and more importantly, keep them engaged. The cost, time and energy of gaining new supporters is high enough without having to pay a software vendor for each one that is added to the database.
Coupled with this is, it’s one thing to add new contacts to the database, it’s another to be able to effectively market from that database or generate the reports where you’re able to drill down into the detail, organise events and projects where you can truly monitor your ROI. At the end of the day not all CRM systems are made equal and many are just glorified address books.
With Access thankQ CRM organisations are never penalised for growing their database as we allow for unlimited contacts. So much so, it’s the first pledge in our “2015 Manifesto: Time To Change”. We also believe that a CRM should be just that, a relationship tool, which empowers you to interact with your supporters and send them timely marketing and communications that are specific to their needs. That’s why we’ve developed a system exclusively for the not for profit sector, where you can add new contacts and segment groups without increasing your costs. With Access thankQ CRM your database may grow, but your costs never will as a result.
This article is the first in a series of seven blogs relating to our 2015 Manifesto.
Written by: Daniel Chapman
Research by Access Group based on a survey of more than 2,000 UK workers in the professional services sector has revealed internal inefficiencies are not only costing businesses time and money, but also talented employees, who are exasperated with wasting their time due to inefficient systems and processes.
The key findings of the study
66% of UK workers believe they waste time in their day-to-day role at work due to insufficient business systems.
51% of respondents are not completely confident with the data within their companies’ internal systems due to inefficiency business processes.
32% of workers waste two to three hours a day because of inefficient systems at work
32% of workers have felt so frustrated with the time spend completing tasks due to insufficient systems, that they have considered changing job or career.
Access Group commissioned OnePoll to survey 2,000 workers aged 18-55+ online. Each of the 2,000 respondents work in one of the following industries:
Construction and Engineering
Field services and hire
Respondents were asked about the time wasted and frustrations they have experienced whilst carrying out administration duties in their place of work. To find out more about how your peers felt towards inefficient systems, read Access’ recent whitepaper: ‘Time, Money and Talent: The professional services blackhole.’
Written by: Kate Upcraft
After the shock redefinition of the political landscape in Scotland, the talk this weekend is about full fiscal autonomy as the price for the Union remaining intact. As far as payroll and HR are concerned we are already preparing for operating two separate tax regimes within the UK from April 2016. With the Scotland Act 2012 sweeping away the Scottish Variable Rate, which was never enacted, this time things look very different. Under current plans the Scottish Parliament must announce the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT) this autumn. At the same time HMRC will write to taxpayers it has identified as ‘Scottish’ based on complex residency rules. During the annual coding run next February/March employers will be provided with tax codes that begin with an S prefix for example S1234L or SK123.
The legislation requires Westminster to deduct 10 percentage points from each tax rate that will operate in the rest of the UK (we will be known by the new acronym rUK). The SRIT will then be added on to the rUK rate. For example if the Scottish parliament announced a rate of 9% the Scottish rates would be 19%, 39% and 44%. They could of course announce a rate of 10% which would keep the rates the same across both regimes but they would still be operated separately in order for the monies raised from Scottish taxpayers to be handed over to Revenue Scotland by HMRC each month. Fortunately employers will make one bulk remittance even though they will have two groups of taxpayers identified within payroll systems. But at year end 2017, P60s will have to display both types of tax.
There has also been talk this weekend of the Smith Commission not going far enough. This was put in place to consider additional powers for the Scottish parliament after the referendum. As it stands the Commission proposals, which were accepted in full by the coalition government, would provide for Scotland also to have authority to set tax bands as well as rates although it did confirm that national insurance, the national minimum wage and statutory payments would remain UK-wide.
For HR teams the introduction of a different rate of tax for one country within the UK presents the possibility of ‘internal expatriates’. If the tax rates in Scotland diverge from the rest of the UK, employees who are being asked to move north or south will expect to be compensated in the same way as anyone would moving offshore. HMRC estimate that in any year there will be around 80,000 changes of addresses that will need reflecting in a change of tax regime.
Written by: Daniel Chapman
Patterns and volumes of demand are increasingly unpredictable and no longer necessarily respond to marketing. While ERP is fine for the higher-level discussions, it is essentially unaware of events and consequences at a daily or weekly level.
A fit-for-purpose Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) system will have the following key capabilities:
• Use the same assumptions and constraints that the process or manufacturing engineer has used to design the production route.
• Download the high-level requirement from ERP or Sales & Order Processing (S&OP) systems, but convert this into useable detailed schedules at much higher levels of granularity.
• Continues or continual updating and rescheduling in something close to real time.
• Plan or schedule products across multiple lines or facilities, or through alternative routes, and different products and batches through the same line.
• Recommend plans taking into account commercial and financial considerations.
• It will be affordable readily supported, easily learned and managed by the production and planning staff, not by IT specialists, and scalable and configurable to the current and future needs of the company.
Access’ whitepaper, A New Age for Machine and Materials Management, goes on to provide examples showing that it is possible to plan, schedule and reschedule in a timely, accurate, and trusted manner despite the increased complexity of the business environment, meeting objectives and KPIs far beyond mere machine utilisation: optimising labour, materials and even suppliers and subcontractors to meet and exceed commercial and customer goals.
Written by: Daniel Chapman
One of the most exciting things about this ever expanding digital age is the constant reach for innovation, inspiration and new ways of achieving success. In the world of business management, many still rely on previous processes and legacy systems to deliver crucial information. However, much like consumer-based technology, your old processes might be reaching end of life and holding you back.
As technology constantly evolves there are more and more ways to achieve your goals. For example; finance, project management, HR, sales and marketing etc. all have one thing in common in this digital age – they rely on management information to be inputted and integrated into a system, then processed intelligently, efficiently and productively to deliver the data you rely on in a format that best suits your needs. As reporting becomes less of an oversight and more of an insight, real-time business intelligence makes it clear that the ground of business management is changing.
Therefore it is important to recognise any short-comings, where departments fail to communicate. Core areas of a business are reliant on each other for growth. These systems can become fragmented over time, but by integrating management information regardless of function can be critical for leaders to remain agile, informed and ahead of the competition. Painting a business-wide picture of contextualised data is fundamental for any business to reach their goals, potential and succeed.
Written by: Ian Roper
As we transition into an environment heavily influenced by automated information, more and more areas of the supply chain are adopting business management technology to ensure that core areas remain productive, efficient and visible throughout. This can translate into greater management and control over the areas that benefit your business the most, offering the ability to adapt rapidly in an ever evolving environment.
Access’ recent video outlines the core areas where their supply chain focused division can help. This has been reiterated in a 2014/15 CBI report where businesses are seeing a 27% increase in process innovation as decision makers are becoming increasingly aggressive with their investment plans.
The trend is set to continue and increase through 2015 with businesses looking to increase their investments into IT technology, alongside employment to cater for the new rise and influence in growth technology. From award winning finance, planning and scheduling to business intelligence, MRP and supply chain management, HR and payroll. Access has a dedicated supply chain division to deliver the solutions for your needs.
Find out how you can improve your supply chain, end to end, with Access’ solutions in a new video, where connecting your processes can become a reality.
Written by: Ian Roper
Exceeding customer expectations is an obvious business imperative. But with large elements of satisfaction lying in the processes that deliver the product: i.e. in the supply chain, satisfaction is far from guaranteed if those processes – and their underlying IT systems – are fragmented, isolated and inefficient.
Factors that directly affect customer satisfaction are at the top of the priority list for improvement in the supply chain yet solutions are less well understood than the problem.
Fragmented systems are often, at least in part, still based on manual or spreadsheet processes. Where S&OP, Warehouse Management, Supply Chain Management, Transport Management, Planning and Scheduling and the related financials exist in some modern form, they are typically islands of IT and automation, confined to their individual functional siloes.
Among the many factors contributing to customer satisfaction. The key is availability of inventory, which makes it even clearer why silo-defined systems don’t work.
To supply the customer, all the relevant systems need the same detailed, item by item, visibility of all stock locations, what they contain and in what condition, whether they are available for sale and what timescales attach to fulfilling an order from that location or pool of stock.
Satisfied customers will have been served by companies whose software authors understand not just the requirements of the particular application, but can work at the interfaces between systems (their own and others) and between companies.
True customer satisfaction needs a system that gives a firm, its partners and its customers a fine-grained, real-time, synchronous and synoptic view of total inventory. Find out how an integrated supply chain management solution can allow you to make intelligent decisions to deliver greater customer satisfaction in Access’ latest whitepaper:
Written by: Kate Upcraft
After the longest run up to an election we’ve ever had (as parliament was dissolved earlier than it has ever been before an election) we’re nearly there. So as we brace ourselves for the horse-trading after the big day what might payroll and HR professionals have to face over the next year?
Whatever the makeup of a new administration there are some policies that are simply too important or too far advanced to unwind. For example all parties agree on the need for increased workplace pensions saving so there will be no turning back from auto-enrolment for the SMEs yet to stage. It wouldn’t be fair for those working at employers with less than 30 employees not to have the same opportunity to receive both employer and government contributions to their pension savings as those working for the bigger guys. Equally the single tier pension will go ahead next April and with the end of contracting-out, the public sector and any private sector final salary schemes will wave goodbye to rebated NICs and they will have to pay an extra 1.4% NICs as employees and 3.4% as employers. There is also consensus that the total of 8% that is the current end game for auto-enrolment in 2018 won’t be anywhere near enough to secure the £15,000 to live on that is estimated as the minimum one needs in retirement. The view is that a total of 15% needs to be the target, so DWP may well have to legislate for ‘auto-acceleration’. That is the concept that whenever an employee receives a pay rise (yes I know they are still rare in some sectors) they are legally obliged to increase their pension saving until they reach a target. The other outcome of auto- enrolment is the number of small pension funds left behind when people move jobs – maybe up to 50m by 2050 - so from October 2016 the top 20 pension providers will start automatically putting these pots up for transfer when we move jobs so they can go with us, as one large fund is better than many little ones in terms of investment return.
Will RTI go from strength to strength (!) well it must continue warts and all as DWP now rely on it to deliver welfare reform and all parties need the savings from the move to Universal Credit and the crackdown on fraud and error to fund other policies they have in mind. It would be nice to think that the review of RTI agreed to at the autumn statement will acknowledge and address the many issues with the central systems but that’s highly unlikely as it would mean admitting things were not perfect and after all HMRC have spent the last three years telling us that all the problems with RTI are to do with poor administration by employers and agents.
I can’t see that any party would want to dispense with Tax-Free Childcare that is due to go live in the autumn as it is important to remove employers from the provision of childcare and so stop the drain of employer NICs due to the use of salary sacrifice to provide childcare support, after all the increased use of sacrifice to deliver auto-enrolment means that both policies can’t be supported as the drain on NICs is too significant. And that’s my last thought, despite all their promises pre-election can a new government avoid putting up NICs over the next few years given the deficit of NI contributions versus the demand for state pensions from an ageing population. It’s going to be a busy year….
Written by: Daisy Rhodes
Hear guest speakers talk about how you can gear your business for the increased levels of transactions anticipated as growth re-emerges post-recession.
- Fund the growth through initiatives that are supported by the government and the banking community, specifically in terms of stock management and systems investment.
- Reduce your costs of production, storage and delivery in order to reduce the total cost of supply.
- Introduce systems that will make the management of your business more efficient and ease the pressure to hire additional staff and deploy additional resource
Written by: The Loss Foundation
Here at The Loss Foundation we are delighted to have won the £250 donation from Access, and will be using it to fund our charitable services. Our charity was born out of personal loss; our Founder Erin Hope Thompson witnessed and experienced the lack of bereavement support available when her father passed away in 2008.
Five years later and The Loss Foundation is now the only registered charity specialising in bereavement support for people who lose their loved ones to cancer. We provide free support groups and social events across London and Oxford, as well as running supportive weekend retreats and providing a portal of information on grief on our website. We believe that everyone who has lost a loved one to cancer should be able to talk freely and openly about their experiences of grief. In acknowledging the scale and impact of loss to cancer, we aim to encourage discussion, provide information and raise awareness through our bereavement support services across the UK. Being a very grass-roots charity we are grateful for every penny of support. Thank you Access!
For more information see www.thelossfoundation.org