FARGO, N.D., Dec. 5, 2002 — Ruth Mondragon, CFO of a LaMar’s Doughnuts franchise in Pueblo, Colo., wasn’t happy with the software she relied on to manage accounting, payroll, cash flow and other business functions.
“For starters, it wouldn’t track separate locations, so it wasn’t going to work once we opened the second store,”
With plans to open four more stores and add 60 to 75 employees in the next two years, Mondragon realized she needed a better solution.
“I didn’t want to work myself into a dead end,”
“Where do you go from there?”
After considering several options, Mondragon chose Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager, which she had up and running in six hours with minimal support.
After a year of using her initial purchase to manage her business, Mondragon recently upgraded to Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager 7.0, the newest release of Microsoft Business Solutions, which officially launched today .
“The product is cost-effective for a small business,”
“At the same time, you get the same reporting features that big corporations get. It’s so easy to use, even for someone like me, who definitely doesn’t have a lot of computer experience. And the upgrade went very smoothly.”
Providing small businesses like Mondragon’s franchise with technology that’s cost-effective and easy to use were key goals throughout the development process of Small Business Manager 7.0, says Jonathan Weinstein, director of small business product management, with Microsoft Business Solutions.
“We think it’s crucial for small businesses to have access to technology that serves up the same benefits previously reserved for large businesses with big budgets and IT teams,”
“We’ve worked hard to build a thorough understanding of our small business customers. We’ve drawn on that understanding to develop and enhance technology that gives small businesses the tools they need to succeed on several different levels.”
Weinstein says key benefits of Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager 7.0 include powerful integration for managing sales, purchasing, inventory and payroll processes, which adds value to existing data and helps small businesses expand their capabilities.
In terms of productivity, Weinstein says that Small Business Manager 7.0 offers the ability to process transactions efficiently, make better informed decisions, and exercise tighter control over financial goals, cash flow and overall business performance.
And the flexibility and dependability of Small Business Manager 7.0 means that small businesses can quickly adapt software in order to best meet their own unique needs.
“Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager 7.0 is an affordable, long-term technology investment for small businesses,”
“And it’s backed by award-winning support and training.”
For Mondragon, the features in Small Business Manager 7.0 translate directly into an ability to better manage her business.
Mondragon says her favorite part of Small Business Manager 7.0 is the way it keeps her fully informed about activity across the business.
“The data is easy to access, and it’s in a format that’s easy to understand,”
“Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you should have to compromise on what kind of reports you get.”
Managing her payroll was also easier for Mondragon. With her previous technology, the process required from six to eight hours per store. Now, from start to finish, it takes her around two hours. In addition, she now has quick access to data that was previously difficult to obtain.
“Small Business Manager breaks payroll information out by store,”
“I like to know what labor is being used and where. It also handles multiple ways of paying employees.”
Mondragon says that Small Business Manager 7.0 rises to the challenge of her company’s high turnover rate.
“With this technology, it’s not a big deal to manage a payroll that is constantly changing,”
Mondragon says the solution also makes it easy to stay on top of cash flow across the company.
“You can forecast how much money you’ll have in an account at any given point,”
“That’s very beneficial for us. We’re a small business, and I monitor cash flow daily.”
And the accounting capabilities she now has are beneficial in a number of areas, particularly flexibility. Mondragon has her accounting organized into 13 four-week periods instead of the standard, which is 12 periods.
This organization, she says, makes it easier for her to make comparisons: for example, comparing a Monday in June with a Monday in October. Organizing financials according to her specifications, she says, wasn’t possible before she switched to Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager.
Mondragon says the ability to close periods is also beneficial.
“Before, if I’d accidentally key something into the wrong period, it would actually go in and change all the financials,”
“With Small Business Manager, the periods are closed and protected when they’re over, which cuts down on errors. And with just a couple of clicks, we can look at financials and know where we’re at in each store.”
She’s also come to rely on the Smart Lists and Account Summary features.
“Smart Lists gives you a quick view of data, and it’s easy to customize,”
“I use Account Summary to check on balances. In just two clicks and I’m in whatever account I want to look at.”
While Microsoft Business Solutions Small Business Manager 7.0 was built to offer the highest degree of customization, Mondragon has been able to use the product with little customization needed.