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Four Functions Every Business Needs for Long-Term Growth

By Pavan Muzumdar | Automation Alley | 1/10/2018
 

No matter what kind of company you run, be it a pizza shop, accounting firm, shoe shop, or manufacturing company, there are four major functions every business must strengthen: Marketing, Sales, Operations and Finance.

Organizing a company in this way is particularly important for leaders facing the disruption of Industry 4.0. If functional teams work well together, then the company as a whole will be able to much better understand needs, pricing preferences, product and service configurations, and capital requirements to deliver the highest value to its customers.

Marketing
In most cases, Marketing generates leads through outbound communication, either digitally or physically. Potential customers are attracted and inquire more information about the company or their product. Over time, if effective, marketing should be able to collect data so that it is able to build and refine the customer profile. Effective marketing systems nurture prospects into qualified leads to hand over to sales.

Sales
If marketing is successful, the sales team should have a sufficient quantity of leads to convert into paying orders. This can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few months, depending on the complexity of the product or service. For example, in online sales, the sale team doesn’t interact directly with the customer most of the time and instead offers the customer sales tools such as a website with a shopping cart. On the other hand, if the company were bidding on a construction contract, the sales cycle would be long requiring many face to face meetings and exchange of information. In either case, when the customer places the order, the work is handed off to operations.

Operations
A good order is like a blueprint for the operations team to properly execute the product or service. As the product or service is built or delivered, there may be more communication between the customer and operations. Once the service or product is rendered, the satisfied customer provides payment which is collected by finance.

Finance
Finance manages money. This means managing the short- and long-term requirements including payroll, and inventory, and new equipment, tools, and facilities, respectively. If the business is run successfully, more capital flows in and is retained in the organization, than flows out. This allows the leadership team evaluate and act on greater opportunities to grow the business. As a result, marketing is provided a larger budget to attract more customers, and the cycle repeats.

While the functions appear discrete, they are all inter-dependent. For example, the product or service experience delivered in operations will impact marketing through word of mouth. Similarly, finance needs to allocate capital for the needs of all functions, not just marketing. A leadership team that is able to consistently manage and improve the throughput and flow in each of these functions will eventually succeed in creating a sustainable company built to last.

Do you want to improve flow and throughput in your company? Give Automation Alley a call and we’ll help configure your organization with consistent long-term growth.

Pavan Muzumdar is Automation Alley’s chief operating officer. In this role, Muzumdar is responsible for facilitating the smooth functioning of Automation Alley, enabling the organization to execute its strategic goals with excellence and realize its vision. Muzumdar has an extensive background in organizational management and is the creator of the organizational tool icube™, a collection of simple, effective techniques and disciplines that help companies run smoothly. In addition to serving as Automation Alley’s COO, Muzumdar is the lead facilitator of the icube™ methodology in the organization’s successful entrepreneurship program, the Automation Alley 7Cs™.
 

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