System for Systems – Entrepreneurs winning strategies
Here are the slides from the Presentation that Steve Simonson shared on the Online Seller Cruise:
Normally I don’t include this much text in slides because I am explaining LIVE what each step means.
But I know this concept of having one system to build all of your other systems is something that is a KEY to scale without losing your mind. These images together represent your first system. It’s the seed that you can plant to build your own forest of systems. Below I am sharing more detailed views of systems that you should view to understand how this takes shape in real life.
I want each of you to know that systemization is the key to your mind freeing itself from the tactical level details (aka my personal hell) and elevating your focus to the things that really make a difference.
During the presentation I talked about how many lines that Amazon occupies on my chart of accounts due to their “detailed” method of billing. Here are the Chart of Accounts(COA) codes that we map to for our companies and this is from the standard COA from Parsimony.com. Bear in mind that all of these COAs should be tracked for each individual marketplace you are operating in. We’re showing the list for the US, but Canada, the UK, EU and other marketplaces all should be tracked individually.
Income Accounts US Amazon Marketplace ONLY
Expense Accounts US Amazon Marketplace ONLY
Because I got a ton of questions if I can help people or consult to help them in their business, which I do not do, I wanted to share some insights on how we set up every business we start and include the module frame work and the subsystems that can help drive ANY business towards systemic bliss.
Once you understand the overall picture then you need to start at the top of the functional parts of your business. Below is an example of the functions that we track in a traditional eCommerce and distribution business: (images courtesy Parsimony.com demo site.)
Then just start working from the Top Module down to the bottom module. Each function has a series of systems and those systems will often have a series of sub-systems until you reach the end point that delivers the objective as desired. The accounting or finance system is made of lots of inputs which are are related. Systems are like parts of a finely tuned engine. Every piece much turn in a harmonious way to get maximum power from the engine of your business. The best systems will allow custom reporting or can be attached to a business intellegence (BI) reporting system like https://www.metabase.com
Metabase is a powerful tool similar to Tableau that can take dynamic and customized datasets and turn them into beautiful visual stories. It takes either system integration or some data understanding, but these reports can be automated after they are set up and like all reports in Parsimony can be automatically scheduled to be emailed, slacked or sent via homing pigeon. (FYI: Pigeons are less reliable than digital choices.)
Accounting Module Systems
If you are using the appropriate systems and making inputs, using automation when possible, and adding manual check points for audit and other accuracy purposes the data you input becomes information. Humans are visual creatures so having a dash board for each module is very important. In the Accounts module it brings all those inputs from the finance and accounting systems and rolls them up in to visual dashboards. The most important thing management can do is scan dashboards and then DRILL DOWN on the areas which are anomalies. Every system and subsystem can be organized or customized into their own module or their own “card” which assembles related subsystems for easy viewing.
Accounting Module Dashboards
You may not know it but most businesses have assets on the balance sheet and those assets must be maintained, depreciated and managed based on a variety of factors. Understanding asset management becomes more and more important the larger your company grows so getting this system right can save you a ton of time later.
Asset Module Systems
Systems Building – literally
If you want a system you build a system. It can be on paper or digital or chalk on a sidewalk just make sure it is written down. In our case we have a system to build digital systems and that module is called the BUILD module. This allows us to create new data tables, data fields, define onboarding processes for each module, create dashboards, scripts and more. The point is that a truly enterprise level system is capable of letting the humans in the organization build without having to contact developers for most processes. Developers time should be dedicated to enhancements and other performance driven objectives and milestones that are more strategic vs. the tactical customization of the ERP system.
Build System Module
By clicking on the Accounts Dashboard listing we can see the details that are included in that specific dashboard:
Each of the Charts and Cards are other subsystems that build into the dashboard system that overlay into each module which creates one seamless integrated experience for your company from top to bottom. As new gaps are identified on a specific dashboard it can be edited to include more or less information as required.
Buying or Purchasing Systems
Like all systems you must have a clear way to track purchases and buyers need to be able to track RFQs with suppliers and then move those into POs as time goes by. This means all things purchasing are held in the Buying Module. Don’t let the vocabulary mess with your mind. The modules can be modified in our system to anything we want and your system can have whatever names make the most sense to you.
Buying Systems Module
Buying Module Dashboard
This concept of modules and dashboards continues down to every level for all of the modules shown above. The list and work is exhaustive. If you want to see more click the REGISTER now button and leave a comment or message me and I’ll see about adding more data points here for you. 🙂
A quick word about SOPs – everyone has their own way of doing it, but our way is to take SOPs everywhere we go on the internet no matter what system we are in. Check out the SOPBox demo on the home page.
No matter what systems, SOPs or processes you use – it will become unique to you and your business. I would avoid going to far from standards that have been tried over time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a breakthrough through innovation.
I wish you the very best success in systems building and in your business ventures. Stay awesomer and I’ll see you at the top!