Written by Annaliese Kloe, Director, Klugo & Headland Machinery As the Australian manufacturing industry moves into its seventh consecutive month of contraction, business conditions are challenging to say the least. As a Business Owner, I’ve often asked myself “how do we not only survive, but also evolve and grow during these times?” I thought I would take this opportunity to share some thoughts and insights into how Headland has been managing, and perhaps provide some ideas for your own business.

Efficiency and Transparency Across the Business

The first area we addressed was our internal costs and obtaining efficiency and transparency across the business. We reviewed our IT systems, which were traditional on-premise software products like Sage (ERP), SalesLogix (CRM) and ServiceCEO to manage our service team. Unfortunately, these products presented a barrier to innovation and business growth, instead increasing IT costs, creating duplicated work and additional administration costs, resulting in decreased efficiency. Three years ago we switched our IT Systems to a cloud-based system called NetSuite. Today, Headland achieves an annual ROI of $320,000 as a result of our new business systems. We now also have a ‘single view’ of our customer’s accounts, aiding us to accelerate innovation and rapidly adapt to the changing environment. As part of our founding entrepreneurial spirit, we have set up a new company called KLUGO and are a reseller and software development partner for NetSuite.  If you are still running traditional on-premise software products for your business, take some time to research alternatives because there are some real cost savings you can achieve for your business.

Adaptation and Diversification

The other area we focused on was the ability to adapt, diversify, and be open to change in this moving manufacturing landscape. We have reviewed our product portfolio to be in line with the market and changing conditions and will be launching some new products to the market in Quarter 3 2014. Our staff is also embracing the change, and we are increasing our service levels in all areas from Application and Software support to additional field Service Engineers. By reducing our IT system costs and focusing on business flexibility to adapt and diversify our product and service range, we’ve remained competitive by embracing these times of change. Annaliese Kloe is the Director of Klugo and Headland Machinery. If you would like more information on Headland’s journey with NetSuite, or the development of Klugo, get in touch here or call 1300 766 011