There’s a lot to communicate and keep track of as a distributor, particularly in a city as busy as Los Angeles; from shipments to stocking levels, and ordering to managing staffing, to finances and business projections. So, wouldn’t it be simpler if there was some software or service that could tie everything together for you – and without having to invest in new server hardware and software to do it?
Enter Microsoft Office 365, which may well change the way in which your company operates and leave you free to focus on the really important tasks.
So, what’s it all about?
What exactly is Office 365?
Office 365 is the brand name that Microsoft has given to a range of cloud hosted software and services that is available to users via a monthly subscription service. Office 365’s features include Microsoft’s Office applications such as Word and Excel, cloud storage, access to apps on Windows and OS X devices, and email and social network services among others. In short, it’s a comprehensive business package that could help you to reclaim some of your precious time without having to increase your physical IT footprint.
We think you’ll find it hard to ignore some of the advantages of Microsoft Office 365, including:
Continuity and productivity
Subscribing to Office 365 will allow you to continue with your existing software packages and data. And, utilizing Office 365 for your mail services means that the maintenance and upkeep of the underlying hardware and server software now fall to Microsoft. This will guarantee a degree of continuity and ensure that you won’t be spending weeks training your staff on an entirely new system. Staying current with application updates helps your staff get the job done and to increases your company’s productivity.
Security and reliability
There’s a lot of information involved with the distribution industry, financial and otherwise. And it’s incredibly important to safeguard each piece of data that you process; from clients’ contact details and invoices, to stock takes and staff records. You don’t want your company’s records falling into the wrong hands. Office 365 provides unprecedented access to its users, robust security and a level of efficiency that means you can relax – the hard work is being done for you.
Office 365 is hosted within the cloud, so all documents and programs are accessible wherever there is an Internet connection, and on any number of devices. In fact, Office 365 will make your system as flexible as your working day is, and free up your time to focus on the demands of the job. Now, while accessibility may not be the selling point it once was, owing to the large amounts of software that are created to be hosted within the cloud, it’s certainly an added bonus when you factor in the service’s other big benefits.
OpEx vs. CapEx
The packages that Office 365 offers are charged on a monthly recurring basis so that this software goes from what used to be a capital expense to an ongoing operating one.
And finally, cost. A subscription to Office 365 starts from as little as $4 per month, although the price will increase depending on the kind of package you want. This is ideal for LA distributors that are looking to setup their monthly budget beforehand and makes the process of operating your business significantly clearer. Not only can a subscription help you to set a budget, but depending on your size will also work out cheaper than purchasing licensing.
Do you use Office 365? Have you found that it's improved the performance and productivity of your company? Or do you feel otherwise? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the Comments section below.
If you own or manage a whole distribution or manufacturing company in Los Angeles, and you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest technology, be sure to download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.