For any business there is no greater asset than its employees, and it’s no secret that keeping them happy leads to greater efficiency and productivity. A happy employee makes a happy business but the question is; how do you keep employees happy, motivated and loyal? You’re first idea may be to offer a pay increase or a generous bonus, but as the old saying goes “money doesn’t always buy happiness”. In fact, some of the simplest and cost effective things can increase employee satisfaction the most.
1. Work-life balance
For many employees having some balance between their work and personal responsibilities is important. If possible, why not give employees the option to work from home occasionally or offer flexible working hours?
2. Career progression
Don’t wait for good workers to come to you saying they’re moving on, use your foresight and plan their career progression from their very first interview. Most good employees will be eager to learn and develop their skills so show them they’re valued with regular reviews and training opportunities.
3. Communication and be transparency
Employees don’t like to be left in the dark when it comes to business operations. Breaking down the barriers between management and workers with regular communications in the form of staff conferences, emails and one-to-one catch ups about the state of the company can build trust and go a long way in improving employee satisfaction.
You’d be surprised how a humble “thank you” or “well done!” influences workers’ self-esteem. Nobody likes to feel their efforts are going unnoticed and a bit of gratitude will always be appreciated.
5. Good working environment
Your office doesn’t need to be full of state of the art equipment and the latest technology, but having a clean, tidy and most importantly, a safe work space is essential.
6. Allow freedom
When you give your employees freedom and responsibility you’d be surprised by what they can achieve. Where possible, cut the restrictions and let them develop their ideas creatively.
7. Have fun
Enjoyment is one of the simplest and easiest things to implement and can make a huge difference to the work environment. Work doesn’t always have to be serious and initiatives such as dress down days, competitions, team building days, fundraising activities and social activities such as drinks after work on a Friday and team lunches can work wonders. You’ll also get to know your employees on a personal level rather than just by job title, particularly new starters and those in other business departments who you don’t work closely with on a day-to-day basis.
8. Pay employees accurately and on time
The last thing employees want is a headache when they receive their monthly pay cheque. Clunky, out of date payroll systems can often cause inconsistencies resulting in late payments and incorrect tax, which can quickly disgruntle employees. New initiatives such as auto enrolment contributions, childcare vouchers and salary sacrifice create additional challenges for payroll departments and potential errors if systems can’t keep up. Make sure your payroll system is up to the job of catering for the demands of a twenty first century payroll, such as Opera 3 Payroll & HR .
9. Be a good leader
Do you flourish under pressure or turn into a wreck? A good leader will remain calm, organised and offer employees clear guidance and expectations. If employees don’t know what they’re doing, or feel their leader isn’t up to the job they’ll quickly lose interest.
Of course there are many other ways too in which you can boost your employee happiness, the list is endless. However the most important note is not take your employees for granted, and don’t make the common assumption that throwing money at them will increase satisfaction, as it won’t, at least not in the long term.
Cloud computing has seen huge growth over the past few years and is revolutionising the way businesses operate. Whilst many businesses have jumped on board with the new technology, there are still a lot out there who are dubious about the business benefits of moving to the cloud and have concerns about its use. We have taken a look at some of the common myths and concerns surrounding cloud computing and aim to address these.
Myth one: Cloud computing is new
Many think the cloud still needs to evolve before it is ready for full scale use, but believe it or not, cloud computing is now reaching maturity and is continuing to grow year-on-year. Cloud adoption rates in the UK reached a staggering 84% in 2016. It isn’t a new phenomenon or fad; cloud computing is here to stay.
Myth two: Cloud computing is not secure
There is a common misconception that by moving to the cloud you are opening up your sensitive data for the world to see. In fact, 49% of IT decision makers have security concerns when it comes to cloud computing. In truth, many large security breaches in recent times have been on premise rather than in the cloud. Cloud hosting companies employ state of the art security measures to ensure data is safe – firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption systems to name a few.
Myth three: Cloud computing is only for tech companies
There is a belief that technologies like cloud computing are only for tech companies and “not for us”. In reality, cloud computing can benefit any type of business, big or small. You’ve been using cloud computing for personal use at home without realising and you’re not a large, multinational tech company are you. When you check your email or use online banking you are using the cloud.
Myth four: It is hassle to migrate
Moving to the cloud couldn’t be easier, especially if you’re using a provider like Pegasus. We would manage the migration for you so you would have peace of mind and a seamless transition to the cloud with minimal downtime.
Myth five: The cloud will give me less control
By moving your business into the cloud you are not giving up control. In reality you are equipping yourself with more control as you will be able to access your business information and run your business anytime and anywhere (with an internet connection).
Myth six: It’s unreliable, I’ll lose my data
You can rest assured that no data will be lost through cloud computing. This is because regular backups are performed by the server provider so your data can be fully recovered in the event of a disaster. Ask yourself truthfully, how often do you currently perform a full manual backup of your data?
Myth seven: The cloud is expensive
It is often thought that with technology comes cost and that is definitely untrue. Cloud computing is flexible and can cost as little or as much as you want. It’s fully scalable so you can add to it as your business grows and often you can pay monthly to ease the financial burden. Under our latest offer you can test drive Pegasus Business Cloud completely free for three months and save 35% if you sign up after the trial ends.
Myth eight: Cloud computing will need too much maintenance
Relax! The beauty of cloud computing is the cloud provider takes care of all maintenance needed. You won’t need to worry about backups, software upgrades or equipment maintenance as they are all taken care of so you can get on with running your business.
Whilst cloud computing is growing at an increasing rate each year, a large number of businesses do still have genuine concerns, which are intensified by the many myths surrounding cloud computing. Hopefully our blog has helped to address some of these myths and reassure you on the benefits of cloud computing.
To learn more about cloud computing, or to discuss your requirements, please contact our friendly team today.
Faced with economic volatility, ever-increasing customer demands and a necessity to do more for less, wholesale and distribution businesses are in for a rough ride. The most successful players in the wholesale and distribution sector find that margins and customer service come together to create business excellence. For businesses still searching for this winning combination, a good place to start is by looking at the systems which underpin the business to help them increase efficiencies while improving customer service. When it comes to business systems, integration is key. Linking up various and often very different business processes and functions to provide full visibility into not only all parts of the business, but into all stages of the customer journey. For example, integrating sales, purchasing and stock control can automate delivery of customer orders while ensuring effective stock management. This enables a faster, more accurate and consistent response to demand for certain products, improving customer satisfaction. It also delivers a greater level of control over pricing and margins and a firmer grasp on the management of the supply chain as a whole.
One of our customers, Bell Lighting, a leading manufacturer and supplier of light sources and fixtures to the electrical wholesale industry, invested in a new warehousing system to sit alongside their Opera 3 platform. By implementing a barcoding solution to enhance picking and packing across the warehouse, Bell Lighting increased efficiencies and boosted order fulfilment across the board. The barcoding system automates the entire picking process, from PO creation through to labelling and dispatch, showing what’s being picked, at what time and by whom. This increased level of visibility led to vastly improved inventory levels and reduced the number of missed deliveries to zero, which for a business with 1200 different SKUs, which processes approximately 300 POs each day, is no mean feat.
It’s not only through supply chain management that warehousing and distribution businesses can make a real difference to margins and customer service levels. The right CRM tools again integrate with the rest of the business, providing a clear line of sight of the customer from prospect stage right through to taking delivery of items. By never losing sight of a customer, businesses can ensure they never miss an opportunity to proactively manage the customer relationship, boosting customer satisfaction levels, greatly increasing the longevity of customer relationships, and ultimately paving the way for future business growth.
For wholesale and distribution businesses to increase efficiencies and customer service levels, investing in robust, scalable business solutions is a must. It’s only with such systems in place that organisations can have access to the comprehensive, business-wide information that’s key to underpinning the right business decisions, ensuring profitable margins. These very same systems also bring process automation, helping to improve accuracy and delivering real efficiency while guaranteeing optimum levels of customer satisfaction. For businesses looking to lead the way it really should be a case of all systems go, with wise investments today ensuring success for the future.
For more information on how o-a-sys can help your wholesale and distribution business, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rise of mobile and cloud technology has made the possibility of flexible working a reality for many businesses and their employees, who would have once needed to be at their desks in order to get the job done. Cloud software and technological developments mean that employees really can now be anywhere and get on with their job as efficiently as if they were at their desk, as long as there is an internet connection. With this in mind, we have taken a closer look at some of the pros and cons of flexible working from the employer point of view.
Pros of flexible working for employers
1. More motivated employees
2. Greater efficiency if staff are working instead of commuting
3. Reduced turnover of valued staff
4. Lower absenteeism rates
5. Looks good for you as an employer – putting employees first
6. People can work when they feel most productive, even if this is outside the 9-5 hours
7. Attract talented workforce to whom flexible working is appealing
8. Promotes a diverse workforce
Cons of flexible working for employers:
1. Arranging group meetings can become difficult
2. Trust required
3. Disjointed projects can occur
4. Some people may take advantage
5. Disgruntled employees who need to be office based6. May become difficult to monitor performance
7. Communication breakdown may occur
When it comes to flexible working, there are many pros and cons but ultimately your business structure will determine if flexible working will truly benefit your organisation. Some employees might be needed in the office for meetings and to communicate regularly with other departments, whereas other employees might be fine to adopt a flexible approach. However, whatever your structure, technological developments have certainly made it possible to work anytime, anywhere.
For more information about how cloud software can help you adopt a flexible approach, or to learn how it could benefit your business, take a look at Pegasus Business Cloud .
With continually squeezed margins resulting in the ever-present need to do more with less, set against a backdrop of ongoing economic and political uncertainty, the manufacturing sector is facing some of its toughest times. In spite of this, the pressure is still on to capitalise on growth opportunities wherever possible, proactively pursuing new avenues to steal that all-important march on the competition.
Without a doubt, effective IT systems are a key enabler of growth, but where larger, less agile manufacturers may struggle to change course to chart new waters, SMEs are often in a stronger position to capitalise on growth opportunities, unencumbered as they are by restrictive legacy systems. But, with smaller IT budgets to work with, the benefit of being legacy-free can be somewhat curtailed by the pressure to make the right IT investment first time. SMEs not only need to invest in the right capabilities, but also to ensure they’re investing in capabilities that will work with what they’ve already spent money on. For example, there’s no point investing in a CRM system with a view to boosting service levels if it’s not integrated with wider business processes. Simply bolting on ill-considered solutions will only serve to add another level of complexity to operations, rather than adding value.
Many SMEs have found that having a single, integrated system in place to support all areas of the business is far more practical and cost-efficient than investing in a series of process-specific systems and solutions. A single solution that sits across the business, drawing in information from all departments and areas, is a much more effective way of improving processes. This ability to offer up-to-date information about precisely what’s happening means that such solutions deliver the levels of visibility and insight that manufacturers need in order to grow.
With a robust, scalable platform in place integrating all systems and processes across the entire operation manufacturers can pursue growth, adding new capabilities as and when required. Take Bell Lighting, a leading manufacturer and supplier of light sources and fixtures to the electrical wholesale industry: having experienced rapid growth in a relatively short time, Bell Lighting recognised the need to invest in infrastructure to support this expansion. With an incumbent Opera 3 deployment already bringing together all key areas of the business, it made sense to add to it and extend its reach with the addition of a new warehouse system. Not only has the new solution boosted efficiency in the warehouse, but the fact that it’s linked to all other processes via Opera 3 has resulted in improved visibility throughout the organisation. So, by automating the entire picking process (from PO through to labelling and dispatch), showing what’s being picked and by whom, it adds a whole new level of visibility for Bell Lighting, improving accuracy, efficiency and ultimately enhancing customer service levels.
By taking a step-by-step approach, with a focus on effectively gathering and using timely, accurate business information, manufacturers can optimise basic processes while benefiting from the levels of control and visibility that are necessary for growth. Incorporating seemingly mundane yet vital functions into business-wide IT systems enables a manufacturer to build a comprehensive picture of their operation and processes, with precise data at their fingertips. It’s only with this level of insight and control that manufacturers can expect faster, more effective decision-making, increased agility and, ultimately, continued growth.
When it comes to running your business, the question is not why move to the cloud, but when? More and more businesses are moving to cloud based accounting systems and the reason is simple. In fact, there are ten of them:
All your data is backed up in the cloud regularly so you can rest assured your sensitive data is accessible should the worst happen.
As long as you have an internet connection you can work anywhere, anytime. On the train, in the hotel, on the beach and yes, even in the bar!
Paper systems are time consuming and are notorious for errors. By moving online you can quickly and easily correct mistakes, and stop them occurring in the first place.
4. Up-to-date software
Cloud based software is updated by the server provider so no more “upgrade software” pop ups and lengthy downtime needed. You’ll always be working on the newest, most efficient release.
5. Ditch the paper
Paper takes up a lot of room! Moving to cloud based software means you can ditch the paper once and for all and clear your desk at the same time. Plus it’s better for the environment.
Cloud based accounting software is scalable so you can add applications and users easily and quickly as your business grows.
7. Share information easily
With cloud based accounting software you can share information and reports with key employees across your business easily to improve visibility and speed up decision making.
8. Virus protection
You don’t need to worry about a thing when it comes to anti-virus protection as it’s all covered by the cloud server provider. Plus, they are so hot on security that you can rest assured you’ll be covered by the best protection out there.
9. Reduce total cost of ownership
No local servers are needed and there is no need to invest in hardware.
10. Flexible payment
No large upfront costs are needed; you can pay monthly with manageable monthly repayments. For a limited time you can try Pegasus Business Cloud absolutely free for three months! What’s more if you decide to sign up after your trial you’ll save 35% (terms and conditions apply).
When you look at the benefits of moving to cloud based accounting software it seems a no brainer. So, the question is when are you making the move? Contact us for more information about Pegasus Business Cloud and Opera 3.
Join the o-a-sys team on Wednesday 5th July at Wye to see how you can build your software and learn more about cloud computing and protecting your software from cyber crime. For more details and to book your free places visit our events page .
Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common, with some very high profile cases hitting the news recently proving that almost any organisation large or small is at risk. In fact, research by Symantec found that 75% of businesses have suffered some form of cyber-attack in the past year. When you’ve got highly sensitive business data locked away, the consequences of it falling into the wrong hands or becoming inaccessible can be dire. Let’s look at some of the key steps every business should be taking to protect themselves from cyber-crime and viruses.
1) Set strong passwords
It goes without saying that you should never share your passwords or use any personal data such as names, addresses or important dates. Strong passwords typically contain 8-10 characters and contain a mix of letters, numbers and at least one capital letter. You should also consider refreshing your passwords every 90 days.
2) Put up a firewall
Firewalls protect your entire network by controlling the traffic that comes in and out of your business. They’re an essential for any business large or small.
3) Install anti-virus protection
Should an unwanted visitor be able to access your network, anti-virus and anti-malware software will offer some protection to your devices.
4) Update software regularly
There is little point investing in top of the range technology if you are not going to maintain it. Regular updates should be performed to make sure it’s security protection is up-to-date and ready to protect you from the most recent viruses and cyber threats.
5) Secure mobile devices
Many businesses now rely on employees working remotely on their laptops, tablets and mobile phones. This is great for flexible working but poses a significant security threat if they get lost or stolen. A simple but effective step is to encrypt your devices so the data can only be read if the correct password is entered.
6) Perform data back-ups regularly
If you lose your data, you’re in big trouble. Performing regular backups will help ease the impact if you were to lose your data. Backups should be performed at least once a week to an external hard drive or the cloud. If you’re using cloud based software like Pegasus Business Cloud this is done automatically by the cloud server provider for ease and extra peace of mind. matters.
7) Remind your employees of internet dangers
It’s easy for unsuspecting employees to click on dubious links in emails without knowing they were harmless, and before you know it, the majority of your organisation has been struck down by a nasty virus. It doesn’t hurt to send out reminder emails to staff from time-to-time recapping the dangers of clicking on links from unknown sources. Your IT department will thank you for it.
Unfortunately in today’s climate, you are never going to eliminate the risk of cyber-attacks completely, as even the largest of organisations have found recently. However by implementing some of the above steps you are making every effort to proactively manage the risk. Setting strong passwords, implementing firewalls, staying on top of updates, educating employees and regularly backing up your data are very simple, yet effective steps for keeping your business safe.
Join the o-a-sys team and J & J Systems UK Limited on Wednesday 5th July at Legoland Windsor as we discuss Pegasus Software and Cyber Crime. For more information and to book your places visit www.o-a-sys.co.uk/how-will-you-build-your-software
In today’s ever changing business environment, businesses need to be one step ahead of the competition at all times. That means staying on top of technology and turning business data into usable information, known as business intelligence. Business intelligence can be a valuable addition to any business strategy to drive growth; not only can it aid decision making, but it can improve productivity and ROI too. How can business intelligence help grow your organisation?
1) Make faster and more confident decisions
In days gone by, individual departments within a business would record and store data making it difficult and time consuming to collate information across the business and make decisions. By the time a decision was made, the situation would most likely have changed. Business intelligence software helps you stay one step ahead by allowing you to access to real-time graphs and spreadsheets, giving you complete visibility of the entire organisation in one place. This means you can make up-to-the minute decisions confidently and quickly.
2) Satisfied customers and better customer retention
You think you know your customers, but do you really? Do you know what products they buy and when they buy them? How long does it take them to reach the purchase decision and what other products do they look at? How often do they return to re-purchase from you and what challenges are they facing as a business? Business intelligence software will ensure you know your customers inside out giving you an insight into their patterns and behaviour, so you can offer the best products and service to retain them.
3) Plan for the future and be proactive
Businesses always have, and always will, face uncertainty about the future. This is particularly topical at the moment with Brexit underway. Business intelligence can help minimise the risk of uncertainty by giving you an insight into how your business has performed historically. It can help you take proactive actions to predict and manage changes and reduce the impact any changes have on your business.
4) Empower employees
Don’t keep information hidden away for only the top management to see. If business data is accessible for everyone to see and use it can help them make more insightful decisions from the “shop floor” which can have huge benefits for the overall success of an organisation. Plus, it’ll empower and motivate your employees are drive productivity in the longer term.
5) Make the data you need
The beauty of business intelligence software is you can access the exact information you want, when you need it. No more guess work or hours crunching the numbers. A well implemented business intelligence solution will give you the ability to correlate your data how it suits you, and share it easily with other employees and managers across your business.
6) Save time
One of the simplest, yet biggest benefits of a good business intelligence solution is the time saving it can offer. Inputting data can be an arduous and costly task, especially in time and cash strapped organisations. Business intelligence software can generate reports at the click of a button where most of the leg work has already been done so you can focus your time where it really matters.
Do you think your organisation could benefit from some of the above? Maybe it’s time to think about investing in a new business intelligence solution? Opera 3 has award-winning business intelligence ,functionality which can provide valuable insight for your business. Contact us ,to learn more and to discuss your requirements.
As a business in the 21st century you are up against constant pressure to operate efficiently and competitively, and technology advancements like the cloud have made it achievable. With 48% of SME’s set to increase spending on cloud services this year, we take a look at 7 reasons why you should consider moving your accounting practices to the cloud.
Believe it or not, accessing data in the cloud is far safer than accessing your data on premise. Cloud server providers invest in the strictest physical and digital security processes, more than any business can usually afford in house. Plus, by accessing data online you’re eliminating the risk of storing sensitive information on your device which becomes open to all if it’s lost or stolen.
One of the biggest benefits of cloud is the flexibility it brings. You are no longer tied to your desk and can access your data wherever you are at the click of a button, as long as you have an internet connection. This is ideal for businesses that are constantly on the go.
3. Cost savings
Moving to the cloud can actually bring you cost savings as you don’t need to pay large fees upfront for software, or pay for users that you don’t know if you’ll need a year or so down the line. Cloud based software is scalable and can easily be upgraded as and when you need. Software and security upgrades can also be managed easily by the server provider so you don’t need to experience lengthy downtime or the inconvenience of running them yourself. Plus you no longer need your own in-house servers which could save you thousands.
4. Routine back-ups
Back-ups are done routinely as a matter of course, reducing your risk of data loss from human errors and system failures. Plus, it’s a big job that is passed over to someone else, freeing up your time so you can focus on running your business.
5. Real-time information
To run your business efficiently it’s important you have accurate information at your fingertips when you need it. Cloud technology gives you just that, real-time information at the click of a button so you can make smarter business decisions, even when you’re away from your desk.
5. Keep up with the competition
The market is changing at a fast pace and if you don’t move with the times then your competitors will. Can you afford not to adopt cloud based accounting software?
5. Free up your hard-drive
With cloud technology everything is stored online so you don’t actually need to install software onto your system, freeing up space on your systems for everything else you need to run your business.
These advantages are some of the many reasons why 48% of SME’s are looking to increase spending on cloud based accounting software this year. If your business is looking to increase productivity, efficiency and flexibility then a move to cloud based software could be what you need.
Replacing an on-premise solution with the cloud removes a host of associated direct and indirect costs with a simple, single monthly subscription fee. When comparing ongoing on-premise against cloud, they can look comparable at first but the real savings are from looking at your indirect costs as well which include.
The 2016/17 payroll year end ends on 5 April 2017 which means it’s almost time to process your year end, a busy time for any business running a payroll. The introduction of RTI back in 2013 made the process much simpler, but it can still be an understandably daunting task for some. Here at Pegasus we’re with you every step of the way to help things run smoothly, so let’s go through the key steps and dates for your diary.
Send your final FPS and/or EPS by 5th April 2017
You should send your final Full Payment Submission (FPS) on or before your employees last payday before the tax year ends on 5th April. If you don’t send your FPS by 5th April 2017 it’ll be classed as a late submission but HMRC will actually accept them until 19th April 2017. After this date they’ll no longer be accepted and you will need to send an Earlier Year Update submission (EYU) instead which highlights the difference between your last submitted report and the final figures for the 2016/17 tax year.If you need to send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) then you should send this by the 19th April 2017. If you make submissions after this date you may be charged a penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month your report is late.
Update employee records to transfer payroll into new tax year – as soon as possible
A large, but essential, task is updating the payroll records for every employee working for you on or before 6 April 2017 (throughout the tax year), regardless of how much you pay them or whether they have now left the business. You’ll need to prepare a payroll record, identify the correct tax code to use for them in the new tax year and enter it into your payroll software. The tax code increases are as follows for the 2017/18 tax year commencing 6th April 2017:
HMRC may send you tax code notices for individual employees. If this happens then you should overrule the standard increase values.
For new employees, use the information provided on their P60 from their previous employer.
For employees who pay Scottish rate of Income Tax, make sure they are set as being a Scottish taxpayer.
Update your payroll software – as soon as possible
It’s important to update your software so you’re using the new rates and thresholds for the new tax year on 6 April 2017.For Opera 3 the updated software also includes a new advanced payments and deductions list that can assist with gender pay gap reporting.. If you’re using a Pegasus payroll solution it’s easy, and your fully trained Pegasus partner can guide you on this.
Give your employees a P60 by 31st May 2017
A P60 outlines everything you have paid your employees throughout the tax year, along with any deductions, and should be given to every employee by 31st May 2017.
Report expenses and benefits by 6th July 2017
If you’ve paid employees any expenses through your payroll then you’ll need to tell HMRC about these via a P11D submission. The P11D will show HMRC how much Class 1A National Insurance you owe – which must be paid by 22nd July 2017. Take a look at the Pegasus P11D Organiser for help with this.
For further advice on running your payroll year end take a look at the guidance information on the HMRC website or call the o-a-sys team on 01233 812050.