The 80/20 rule probably applies to your business systems: your current applications give you 80% of what you need for a fairly low cost. But, what about the other 20%? The rule never meant that you were supposed to give up on that.
No matter what products or services you offer or the size of your business—managing your data is integral to your success and growth. However, if your data is in different systems throughout the office that aren’t connected—or worse yet, scattered among a dozen spreadsheets in your office—you’re only functioning at about 80%.
Many programs have an application programming interface (API) that allows one to automate many common functions with the application. Or, they have a means for importing/exporting data to and from plain text files. These features can allow you to automate routine or time-consuming tasks so that they can be done with the click of a button, or to move data from one application to another to keep everything in synch.
Microsoft Office suite has a great programming language already built into it, so it can serve as the platform for a lot of this automation. What does this mean for you? It means that with Office you have the capability to custom automate your applications–such as your financial system and CRM data–for increased productivity, accuracy and efficiency.
For example, a program written in the Office programming language could automatically create an email message in Outlook that would: 1) assign the recipient of the email to a particular email address or a group in Outlook; 2) insert the subject such as “This Month’s Financials;” 3) set the body of the message to a default block of text; 4) attach a particular .pdf file; and then 4) either send the message immediately or allow you to review and edit before sending it manually.
The programming language in Office can automatically retrieve information from Web pages and Web services, so your business can connect to those key sources of data outside your office that you depend on. And, Office is excellent for creating a database management system unique to your needs.
To see how Microsoft Office programming helped Honda Finance— and how it can enhance your business systems check out this case study now.