5 New Ways Every Company to Take for 2021

NetSuite award-winning partner ONE Pacific

For 2021, fortifying new ways of doing business that many companies pioneered in 2020 means

  • Automate any function you can. Take any hastily-built systems from 2020 and fortify them, making them sustainable for the long haul to free up resources.
  • Continue piloting brand-new modes of communication with both clients and suppliers.

Subject-matter experts from Brainyard, the business research team of Oracle-NetSuite, name key areas they recommend companies take action on in 2021.

Planning and Budgeting

Create a repeatable planning process. Use scenario modeling.

Historical data wasn’t much help this year. Those fluctuations and the continued economic effects of COVID-19 have stressed finance teams’ reforecasting abilities, with some providing updates as often as twice a month or more.

IIn 2021, the first step toward improving forecasting speed while getting a piece of your life back is adopting finance automation tools and moving toward the much-discussed continuous close.

For fast-growing firms, particularly those that need to show results and projections to investors ranging from venture capitalists to private equity investors to bankers, it’s a good idea to consider planning and budgeting tools. These tools should be integral to your finance automation efforts so that your time goes into developing the needed projections and not into extracting and formatting the data required for each new forecast.

Since historical trends aren’t all that helpful, scenario modeling is a better way to go. Understanding how to navigate best-case and worst-case scenarios and a few paths in between will help guide you through any condition that emerges.

Watch more about Scenario Modelling: myths in best-in-class forecasting and budgeting and how to collaborate with the team in the new normal. https://youtu.be/I3yrTeEpUvg


Create unique experience with data.  Enhance geographical relevance and granularity.

2020 found many companies standing up ecommerce sites as an answer to challenges with face-to-face sales. Now, merchants should focus on providing more relevant and engaging brand experiences on those sites. Instead of providing the same shopping experience to all customers, leverage your data to power personalization wherever possible.

One of the most effective ecommerce personalization strategies is to provide unique product inventory and pricing to specific shoppers. Companies often do this for various types of individual consumers.

In 2011, try providing exclusive web-store catalogues to various customer segments both in B2C and in B2B, where doing so is particularly useful since customers tend to re-buy similar items. You might personalize based on factors like geographic region, previous transaction history or account type and status. This method allows users to:
#maintain functional control over their inventory however they see fit
#reduce potential order processing issues
#improving conversion rates and overall satisfaction

For wholesalers and distributors, which often have radically different types of buyers, personalized product catalogues help segment first-time buyers, repeat buyers and bulk buyers. By grouping each of these segments, merchants can provide discount pricing and incentives based on volume purchases or payment terms. First-time buyers, for example, might be limited to lower available quantities until they successfully pay for their initial purchase and graduate to the repeat buyer segment. 4 Tips for Wholesalers and Distributors to Start B2B eCommerce in 2021: https://www.onepac.net/blog/2020/11/27/4-tips-for-wholesalers-and-distributors-to-start-b2b-ecommerce-in-2021/

Retailers with VIP programs should use personalized product catalogues to showcase unique merchandise only available to VIP customers. Instead of cutting into profit margins with excessive discounts, use these catalogues to incentivize shoppers to join your VIP program. This is especially effective for fashion and health and beauty merchants that continually add new products and promote limited-run collections.

International businesses can use personalized product catalogues to promote items available in specific regions. Merchants can even get granular within their own country by applying pricing and availability rules to specific regional customer segments.

Customer Support and Post-sale Revenue

Double down on customer success offerings.

In 2021, software and other businesses with products that require lots of customer communications or trainings should refine the virtual ways of doing business that they pioneered in 2020.

This especially applies to running or launching customer success programs, which include teams of consultants who proactively help your customers fully use and get the most out of your product.

This especially applies to running or launching customer success programs, which include teams of consultants who proactively help your customers fully use and get the most out of your product.

If you do have a customer success program:
• Continue to track customer support cases, even in this virtual world.
• Take notes in regular customer check-ins
• Ensure everybody on the customer success team is on the same page about the customer: Which issues did they encounter last month? Are they satisfied with the product? Customer records are the easiest way to log this information and share it amongst the team.

You may already have a tiered service model: Perhaps your “basic” customer success offering includes, for example, initial troubleshooting of the system and advice on manoeuvring the basics, while the “premium” level involves triage of an ecommerce storefront if it glitches during the holidays. Continue building out these tiers in 2021, ensuring each offers unique incentives instead of simply “more” or “less” service for a correspondingly different price. Consider adding industry-specific packages within each tier, too.

Also consider packaging incentives, so you can sell your customer success product to larger companies. While it’s important to sell these services individually to smaller firms, a lot of larger organizations will need support for their entire workforce in the coming year, as teams continue to work from home — and inevitably face software snafus while they do.

If you don’t have a customer success program: This is a great time to launch one. Why?

  1. Many of your customers will likely make additional tweaks to their business models. Although some states introducing closures.  And they’ll look to customize their software modules to align with those changes in strategy. They might, for example, need to furlough workers and thus quickly implement a payroll tool while dropping another module. Working with a customer success team is the way to do that quickly. Customer success programs also save the customer time in training employees to use the software, and they help teams fix issues on their own vs. needing to dial an expert.
  • Lots of inquiries from customers about specific problems they’re having with your product.  You can glean information from sales teams’ feedback or customer satisfaction surveys to help you get started.

All in all, more support for your customers means a higher level of satisfaction with your product. It provides reassurance in customers’ return on investment as they continue to grow and change with your product, software or otherwise. In 2021, that reassurance will be of massive value.

All in all, more support for your customers means a higher level of satisfaction with your product. It provides reassurance in customers’ return on investment as they continue to grow and change with your product, software or otherwise. In 2021, that reassurance will be of massive value.


Start using intelligent automation in accounting.

COVID-19 has pushed the need for electronic transactions and automated management of those transactions from the “nice-to-have” column into “must-have.” With the current focus on FP&A and continued work-from-home policies, it’s just too easy to miss an electric bill or be late on paying a paper invoice.

Further, finding ways to increase efficiency is always important in the accounting profession, where manual processes are at odds with the need for accuracy. Manual data entry has always been a common source of errors. Spreadsheets, while incredibly useful, are another pain point — an unnoticed change to a single formula can wreak havoc.

Robotic process automation (RPA) not only eliminates error-prone manual processes but also improves efficiency in other ways:

  • Combining RPA with learning algorithms allows an accounting system to recognize and post recurring transactions automatically.
  • Automatically matching customer payments to open.
  • For product companies, automating inventory processes saves time and ensures enough product is available to fulfill customer orders.

In this realm of light-weight automation, even something as simple as filling an order can kick off an automated process to notify customers of the shipment. Add some intelligence, and restocking orders can be automatic, and bills can be paid automatically if they’re within specified norms.

We recommend taking a crawl, walk, run approach to automation with implied intelligence.

  • First, get your transactions to come in electronically. Paper needs to be eliminated.
  • Keep human approvals part of the process until you’re convinced you’ve got the right rules in place — then you can move to a notification of automated actions.

Supply Chain, Warehouse, Inventory and Order Management

Get full inventory insights.

2020 was plagued with backorders, stockouts and delayed shipments. It was a wakeup call for many manufacturers, retailers and distributors as it exposed just how fragile the global supply chain is — and how little they knew about what was going on in their supply chain operations.

As we begin the new year, manufacturers, retailers and distributors will be focused on improving visibility into their supply chains. Running a global supply chain is complex — businesses struggle with how to deploy inventory in the right quantity, location and time, how to react to unplanned events, uncertainty around demand (which can create excess inventory), speculative ordering and more. Inventory visibility is central to the success of the entire supply chain, from demand planning to customer service, and everything in between.

Don’t miss this Sourcing in the new normal series: https://www.onepac.net/blog/2020/10/08/top-5-tips-strategizing-sourcing/

Businesses looking to strengthen their supply chains should focus on addressing weaknesses in their inventory tracking and ensure they have near real-time visibility of items across all locations and selling channels. An inventory system that is integrated across the organization and with other applications not only optimizes inventory to ensure product availability, it enables the entire supply chain to run efficiently and effectively.

As many manufacturers realized the hard way this year, relying on a single supplier for any item, component or raw material can have devastating results if it is suddenly not able to deliver.

About latest demand planning solution from NetSuite: https://youtu.be/aU1UMpX3_yk

In 2021, businesses should review their supplier profile and ensure they have multiple suppliers for each item. It’s also a good time to build a toolset that can manage multiple sources for products and materials so that you can quickly adjust to changing availability, eliminating a disruption in production and, ultimately, product availability.

Project Management

Boost efforts in collaboration.

Professional service organizations, along with those in many other sectors, will need to improve their collaboration efforts in 2021 as teams continue to deliver projects anytime and anywhere.

In 2021, we may see a new, more collaborative breed of resource management — one that’s a mix between traditional resource management and “crowdsourcing.

There’s a projection that firms will increasingly allow employees to pick and choose which projects they work on, rather than managers assigning teams. We’ll also continue to see more short-term projects vs. multi-year, spread out, longer ones. In the past year, professional service firms have been hyper-focused on project completion amid a remote, uncertain environment — and customers have too.

Depending on the sort of service being rendered, we’re also seeing a trend of companies keeping the services they have, but not starting new projects/engagement unless they specifically must happen due to changing business conditions.

As 2021 dawns, find the areas in which your clients need help now. If you’re an MSP, that might be ecommerce and collaboration tools. For marketing consultants, it could be improving digital marketing. And supply chain gurus will likely want to help clients diversify and strengthen their supplier sourcing. In all of this, keep time to value short, and come with examples of how your proposed technique is paying off for others.

At ONE Pacific, we have seen clients automating their business for rapid productivity and communications benefits which pave way for a sustainable 2021 and beyond. We are happy to share more of their stories with you.

Adapted from this source: https://www.netsuite.com/portal/business-benchmark-brainyard/industries/articles/cfo-central/business-2021.shtml