What is ERP? (An In-Depth Guide)

How Was ERP Created?

ERP is a term that has been around since the early to late 1990’s. Throughout the years this business solution has adapted and progressed to provide actionable business solutions for small to medium business owners and large corporations alike. There has a been a steady progression of evolution of ERP systems, which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning.

Diving Deeper Into the 1990’s

Business industry analysts created the term ERP to describe a new concept in business planning services that entails the integration of information for company transactions to be turned into actionable tasks throughout all the departments within an organization.

This system allowed for multiple departments, or all departments of a business to gain access to transactional information in a format that was relevant to their corresponding departments. For example, if one department recorded a transaction, this information would create a workflow or task for the department handling the next step in fulfilling a sale for a transaction.

Towards the tail end of the 90’s another system was introduced and quickly gained popularity called a CRM. CRM solutions, also known as “customer relationship management” solutions, was centered around the beginning steps of a sale. This system mainly used by sales departments, was an interactive tool that would assist in the documentation of relevant customer information related to potential future transactions.

Sales representatives would track updates on each customer going through the sales process from creating quotes, initiating contracts, and would include exclusive details such as products and pricing. The CRM became a partner to the ERP system. Businesses would use these two systems simultaneously to track creation and management of key business data.

However, there was one set back, which involved the labor intensive need to create reports from each system to analyze the business’ overall transactional information from pre-sale to close.

From this point, there was a new need for data warehouses that would take on the sole task of compiling all the data a business amassed each business day, and then generate reports consistently to business owners the following day.

2000’s

Fast forward to the early 2000’s when again, there was another shift in how ERP was being used and improved. There were two main changes during this time that differentiated the ERP process from its conception and use in the late 1990’s.

The first main change was that hardware increased in processing power at a lower cost to the business. And secondly, data integration tools became more advanced in that they allowed for re-usable data integration from one application to another.

This progression in ERP systems during this time resulted in a few milestones. Supply chain data became information that was able to be gathered, displayed and analyzed simultaneously. ERP vendors were able to double down and hit the ground running with new improvements much faster due to overwhelming acquisitions throughout these years.

Every business owner and organization felt the need to have an ERP integrated into their business model as it showed highly valuable information with less effort that ever before. And finally, this also meant the code used to integrate this system became fully reusable.

Looking Ahead

So, now we know where ERP systems began and why creating this capability for small to medium business owners and larger corporations alike was so highly sought after. This would reduce the time it took to gather key business data that directly reflected how a business was performing saleswise.

While the core functions are still relevant to the ERP systems used today, it is interesting to take a look back to see how ERP began and progressed from the 1990’s to 2000’s. The ability to for ERP software to then become integratable with other business programs like the CRM (customer relationship management) for example, was a milestone in and of itself, but also a stepping stone towards the ability for ERP’s to partner up and work with programs out there.

From providing information on sales, transactions, products, and fulfillment what can we expect to improve a model that seems to have it all figured out? Looking ahead to the massive changes that have happened since the early 2000’s will give us a better idea of how remarkable technological advancements can truly be in such a relatively short period of time.

How can the delivery of key business data be improved? What will come after the milestones already reached by this method? Will tasks triggered by the ERP model continue to be worked on by employees or will artificial intelligence come into play? The following paragraphs will go over ERP systems today and how information technology has carved out an even more impressive path to business solutions for business owners.

Changes Happening Today

While we have reviewed how ERP software began with a general overview of how they function. There are additional more technical business functions to go over to give us even more insight on understanding ERP, and how progressions since the early 2000’s will be different today.

There will always be, however, solid core business processes supported by ERP software that will remain intact. This includes the tracking of the sales process from the initial order date through to fulfillment and finally receiving payment. This is a given, and will not change.

Another core business function of ERP systems that will transcend time is tracking the availability or inventory of a product and that initial vendors are also distributed payment for their products or services. And finally, ensuring the financial process of a business is recorded in order to generate reports for business owners to analyze data.

Today ERP implementation is incorporating artificial intelligence and automation technologies to assist in the assembly of ERP operations. Cloud ERP implementation has also started in order to create a more sustainable host for all the data flowing from the ERP business processes. This in turn reduces the cost of the constant hardware upgrades and maintenance that was previously required and viewed as a new technology advancement not so long ago.

Industry verticals are becoming more uniform in the way their sales processes are handled. This is because the introduction of highly automated online sales systems have steadily increased in demand by consumers. Potential customers seek to find the easiest, fastest, and least time consuming alternatives to purchasing goods and services, the internet has allowed for this new wave of sales to happen.

The ERP business process has naturally welcomed this change as it ties in seamlessly to how an ERP system functions. Automation advancements have greatly improved to give consumers the efficiency they are looking for in the buyer process. While this is a great turn in the improvement of technology, there are changes beginning to happen when it comes to certain roles held by employees being replaced with robotics software analytics, for example, chatbots on facebook, other social media platforms, and business websites.

The more readily available information is for a potential customer, the more likely they are to purchase an item faster. Which means tools like chatbots that run through the sales process automatically depending on where the potential customer has landed, has become an increasingly valuable and lower cost tool than hiring an employee to provide this service.

In addition to this, artificial intelligence, or commonly referred to as AI, will allow for data to analyzed at a much more rapid pace than before. Predictive analytics are also a function that AI can produce within little to no time lost. The roles held by analysts previous to AI, who would work on the analysis of key business data is becoming less so as we continue down this path.

Now let’s take a look at the key factors that drive ERP from 2016 to 2019. Initially in 2016 a driving change in the traditional ERP method was to replace legacy systems, improve business performance, and ensure overall compliance. In 2017, improving business performance was at the top of the list.

As we previously mentioned, faster processes directly reflects a quicker sale. Which leads into the second most important factor of ERP in 2017, which was to simplify employee tasks triggered by the ERP process. The quicker an employee can complete a task by automating as much of the sales and fulfillment process is ideal in having a smoothly functioning well oiled machine.

The ability to integrate multiple systems to the ERP model was also a driving force in the progression of this model today.

What are financial professionals working on now? Firstly financial professionals have begin evaluating new trends that show great promise and high potential success rates in effectively strengthening ERP business solutions.

A major trend is using the cloud. Most ERP providers are hosted within the cloud, and unfortunately systems that do not conform to this trend, which seems to now be the status quo, will not be able to keep up with the demands in this field. The cloud ERP provides a host of new features like blockchain, AI, Machine learning, intelligent process automation, and IOT.

New capabilities are constantly being worked on for the future success of ERP to reduce errors and increase efficiency exponentially.

How Do You Know if You need an ERP Solution?

If you are a small to medium business owner you might be at the cusp of thinking about implementing ERP software into your business. When you started your business you might not have needed too many programs to keep your operations obligations in working order.

You might have felt like you had everything under control from the beginning of your sales process to fulfillment, and this is common amongst most small to medium business owners. However, if your business has continued to grow, and say you have added a list of new products and services that you did not have before, you might start to find certain areas of your overall business operations becoming cumbersome and downright clunky.

If you are starting to sense that your overall business processes as a whole are no longer running smoothly as they once did, you might want to consider an ERP solution for your business. How can you tell if you need to begin your journey in this new direction?

The tell tale sign that you might need to make some changes to your business operations process is if you are using multiple softwares and programs that do not integrate well together, if at all, and have gaps in coverage of information.

You might sense that the programs you are using feels like a juggling act where you are not always quite sure how to procure reports that make sense in order to analyze your key business data. Or the programs you are using are completely disconnected and disorganized!

This is a huge pain factor for business owners who are successfully growing their business, and if you think this sounds familiar, you are not alone! This is exactly why the ERP solution was created in the first place!

Another tell tale sign is if you are constantly unsure of your total inventory after a holiday rush, or a busy month. It might take you hours to run all your checks and balances to determine what your final inventory numbers are, and even then you might still feel uncertain if you have made a mistake.

The most dangerous aspect of running a business without an ERP solution, is if a customer purchases a product, and it turns out you do not actually have the product in stock!

Customer demands are at a level where if an efficient system is not set in place, a potential customer can tell and might be discouraged in continuing business with you. It’s important to keep this in mind when considering if it is time for you to switch to an ERP implementation solution for your organization.

Do not feel discouraged as this does not mean you are doing badly, it simply means that your systems to work for you! Rather than using twenty different platforms, it is okay to consider a better system that will help you decrease your workload when it comes to keeping the checks and balances of your business.

Why not have an easier way to see final numbers in real time and have the ability to access easy and fast reporting methods to relay information to your employees. Increasing the visibility of your operations takes the guesswork out of what is coming in to the business and what is going out.

ERP software also gives you the capability to automate and auto populate almost any aspect of your operations. This allows you to avoid the need to enter each piece of information into a spreadsheet where you are not able to transfer data from one place to another easily. Managing spreadsheets like this takes hundreds of man hours, and can ultimately hinder the success of your business.

Modern ERP also includes an application programming interface. This interface is what allows you to directly speak with your customers via phone or email and provide a paper trail of any information passed back and forth from the business to the customer. You can also view the analytics of the sales of your business, how certain products are performing, and so forth.

You can even connect your bank details to this system so you can provide payment to your vendors with the click of a button. Billing, invoicing and
inventory management all make up your ERP solution. All this information ebbing and flowing form one central hub is how you can manage to get back your time.

Your company’s metrics will completely transform to work for you, not the other way around. These key business metrics will also give you the insight you need to know where, how, and what products to market and to which audiences.

You will have all the information you need on audience demographics, when customers are purchasing your products throughout the day or even throughout the year. You will be able to see clear as day which products are performing and selling best, or even which products are performing best during certain times of the year.

This is invaluable in understanding when to market certain products. You will feel certain of which products require marketing campaigns and your paid advertisements won’t be done blind with guesswork. You paid ads will have purpose and hardcore data to back up why you will be willing to spend more on advertising certain products throughout the year.

Additionally, you will be able to easily discern a clear budget for your marketing campaigns, or any other aspect of the operations of your business. This is virtually a seamless, no hassle way to make quick decisions about the direction of your business in a way that is fully intentional and informed.

Benefits of ERP

So, what is erp? We have crossed over a great amount of information from the inception of the ERP to now, so in short, ERP in 2019 is now known as this:

ERP allows for your business to manage and integrate financials, supply chain, operations, manufacturing, reporting, and human resource activities throughout businesses. ERP providers today commonly offer clients the upkeep of new changes innovation. The most prominent changes in innovation today are the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, IOT, and much more!

This promise sets ERP companies apart to business owners who understand that technological advances are happening fast, and rather than having to switch to a more technologically in tune ERP company down the line, they will inevitably search for the ERP solution providers that give them the best possible services in the digital age.

If you are at the stage where you are searching for an ERP provider to partner with, keep a few things in mind to reduce your chances of choosing a company with a higher rate of failure in the future. Choose a company that is focused on new trends like organizational change management.

System providers are in the age now where new directives are becoming more prominent. Many providers are seeing organizational change management as a top performance variable in providing great ERP services. Research any recent technological deficiencies and failures an ERP solutions company might have had due to lack of movement in the digital age.

While an ERP claims to integrate all the vital aspects of your operations in one central hub, not every ERP provider can do actually execute this well. You should make sure to ask potential ERP providers that you are considering partnering with, on which capabilities they are performing best in.

You might choose to go with an ERP software they ticks 9 out of your 10 boxes rather than going with an ERP system that ticks all 10 boxes with a lower quality performance. Your business deserves the best, but with so many softwares out there to choose from in the digital age, it can be a risk to move all your business data to a platform that will not give you the particular results that are of utmost importance in your particular industry.

Keep this in mind when searching for solutions for your business operations, and always ask questions on deficiencies a provider might have had in the past in addition to their best performance aspects. The more you know the less likely you are to find yourself paying for a service that does not actually serve you.

While the best of breed model was thought to once go obsolete, it has increased in popularity recently because customization to each unique business has increased. There are so many more types of businesses and products available now then there were in the 1990’s, and this is why choosing a provider that can provide as much coverage for you as possible might be a better option for you.

Adapting to change is a requirement within the ERP design. Shorter processing times for project delivery are happening in real time and the excitement to see what will become of ERP next is anticipated to be both exciting and maybe even unsettling to some.

We hope you have found this in-depth guide to ERP software, ERP implementation, and ERP vendors useful in determining the best fit for your small to medium business or corporate organization. Overall an ERP will always be a great option for any business owner in any vertical as regardless of your industry you will always deal with countless moving factors in order to run your business successfully. ERP implementation is highly valuable because saving time is the most valuable factor of all.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

CRM and ERP: What’s the Difference?

There’s no disputing that today’s market offers you many user-friendly products that can help you manage your business a little easier.

What’s the challenge in this scenario? You may not know which product to purchase. All businesses work with budgets and chances are you may only have the money to add one tool or resource to your business this year.

When faced with this predicament common questions relate to CRM and ERP products. What’s the difference? Do you need one or both?

The first important fact: they’re not the same thing, even if vendors tell you they are. Read on to get some inside information, empowering you to make informed decisions on where to invest your funds.

What is an ERP?

Here we’re talking about an enterprise resource planning system. As the name suggests its core purpose is to help you manage business operations better. Of course, business operations are found in many aspects of your business:

  • Orders and sales
  • Accounts
  • Payroll
  • Human resources

A quality ERP system will easily deploy across various departments, providing dynamic features to different employees.

An important benefit you’ll immediately enjoy after implementing it is that all your departments will have access to standardized information. A high-end system offers this data in real-time. If one department notices a problem the entire spectrum of role players will receive alerts instantly.

These features enable you to become more proactive and efficient. Also, when everyone works with the same information it improves efficiency and data accuracy & will enable fast decision making.

What is a CRM?

A CRM is a customer relationship management system. You can see there’s a focus here on a very important aspect of your business: how you interact with customers.

Different role players in your business interact with your customers and a quality CRM will provide the necessary—up to date—information of any customer to whoever needs it. This happens without one party needing to ask someone else for contact details, an update on a query or the latest news on someone’s account.

The system doesn’t only store basic information about the customers, but the details about your interactions with them.

With instant access to all this information sales representatives, customer care agents and your accounting department can get work done faster. Customers also get their feedback faster than usual, resulting in more satisfied clients.

Advanced CRM systems can even assist in the following:

  • Help you with lead generation
  • Steps in planning a marketing campaign can be automated with client information being instantly accessible
  • Analysis of customer activities such as buying habits becomes easier, resulting in more effective marketing

You’ll also enjoy automation of various tasks your employees perform manually at the moment. You can save time while delivering better service than ever before.

Recommended read: “What is CRM? A Simple Detailed Guide

The Differences Explained

With ERPs being active in many departments of your business it’s clear that some of their features will overlap with CRMs. To gauge which one you should invest in, let’s discuss similarities and draw clear lines between these systems.

Purpose & Functions

Your CRM is customer-focused and will specifically help you improve your relationship with them. But note that this does affect multiple departments, all focused on your customers’ experience of your company:

  • Customer service
  • Marketing
  • Sales

The systems will help automate sales processes thereby saving time, speeding up your activities and meeting customer expectations faster than before.

A CRM is therefore a handy tool if you realize the lack of customer satisfaction is the main problem in not reaching your planned sales figures. Instead of restructuring your entire business this one small adjustment of implementing a CRM could bring the change you need to be successful.

In contrast, an ERP can help you upgrade processes in even more parts of your business. You can become more proactive as access to information will help you notice challenges before they become problems.

You’ll have one database that supports all the features. Features will assist with tasks such as:

  • Costing
  • Supply chain management
  • Scheduling
  • Life cycle management of products

CRM functions such as sales, marketing, call centers, and customer services may form part of an ERP’s functions too.

Effect on Your Business

It makes sense that any resource you acquire should affect your bottom line.

Your ERP helps you do this as you will invest less of your capital in managing business processes. You’ll less to cover overheads which instantly frees up cash flow for other aspects of your business.

If you use your CRM effectively you’ll notice an increase in sales. This is thanks to close relationships with customers that make them more loyal to your brand.

Users

There are similarities in who will use the systems as both can be used by multiple role players. With an ERP an employee can enter new data while managers will use the data when making decisions. In a similar fashion the CRM’s data can be updated by sales clerks while upper management will draw on the data to create sales projections.

Which One do You Need?

You can see they’ll have different results, but that doesn’t mean you need both right now.

Smaller business can often function well without an ERP system. Your departments may be physically in close proximity to each other and employees can easily share information with the few relevant role players. Once you grow and the infrastructure becomes more complex it’s a smart move to implement an ERP.

In contrast, almost any business would be wise in acquiring CRM. Your relationships with your customers at the start of your company will determine how quickly you grow. Implementing a structured, effective way to manage client information—instead of a messy paper-based system many small businesses settle for—is an investment worth making.

Should you invest in an ERP that can handle CRM functions too? Simply make sure you don’t pay for features you’ll never use.

Conclusion

There’s no question that these products can influence your productivity and even your revenue for the better. But it only happens if the system’s core functionalities relate to your needs. And yes, some businesses may need both.

Research well before you buy and then enjoy how streamlined your business becomes.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

Cloud ERP vs On-Premise ERP: A Comprehensive Comparison

If there was an easy answer, we would state it right here. But as with many business solutions, deciding between a cloud ERP and an on-premise version, is a very personal choice. It’s almost a cliché, but it’s true: Find what works for you.

But it’s challenging, right? Technology changes so rapidly that it’s difficult to know what is the best long term decision for your business.

We’re going to help you: Your best bet is to make decisions with as much information as possible on hand. And we summarized the most important below.

Definitions

Let’s start with the basics so there are no misunderstandings.

Cloud ERP

“In the cloud” is becoming a popular term in many environments, also in ERP. If you pick this method your data will be hosted by the ERP service provider. It doesn’t even use the vendor’s own hardware always, but rather your data is held on the internet ‘cloud’.

One of the unique features is how you access this information. You’ll be using your internet web browser. This type is often called SaaS (Software as a Service). You and your employees don’t need to download software to your computers necessarily. Everything happens on the cloud.

Recommended read – “5 Good Reasons to Deploy a Cloud ERP“.

On Premise ERP

This system will be installed on your premises as the name suggests. It will be using your own hardware and servers. What you may not have thought of is that it will also be your IT team managing the data, even though you have a service provider offering you the program.

Now, how do you pick between the two?

Vital Knowledge Before You Initiate ERP

Because there is no right or wrong method to use, don’t let the decision dictate to you. The best starting point is to assess how you currently function and finding an ERP that aligns with it in as many ways possible.

However, if a certain method will be more beneficial (we’ll discuss that below), yes, it’s worth investing in the necessary assets to make it work.

Now, write down your priorities and then see how the differences below will help you achieve your personal goals & suit your preferences.

The Important Differences

We’ll describe each scenario and offer our opinion on the best option. However, don’t simply take our word for it. Remember, it’s about your personal preferences, needs and capabilities too. See how it applies to your unique situation before deciding which one comes out on top from your perspective.

Costs Involved

Your equipment determines how effective your ERP will function and when you have an on-premise ERP the responsibility lies with you:

  • Obtaining hardware and servers
  • Employing capable IT personnel to maintain, upgrade and deployment
  • Managing customizations

This is a huge capital investment at the start of the venture, though you may pay less each month to a service provider. You also have to pay employee salaries.

In contrast, a cloud ERP doesn’t require you to invest in assets and most of the maintenance work is done by the SaaS team on your behalf. You don’t pay salaries so your only expense will be monthly fees.

An added bonus with a cloud system is that your IT personnel can focus on other improvements in your company, rather than maintaining the ERP. This is often a full time requirement, leaving no time for other projects.

Winner: It seems there’s a clear winner as cloud based ERPs will cost you less in the long run, even though you’ll commit to monthly payments. If you already have hardware and servers on hand, you may consider using them though. Some may simply have to opt for the cloud option because of a lack of cash flow.

Changes Over Time

You need to pick an option that makes long term sense. You don’t want a solution only for today, but one that will ensure optimal functioning months and years from now. That means your software must move with the times:

  • Technology changes and you can’t afford falling behind
  • Your business will change and your ERP must keep up

How do the two options support these scenarios?

Upgrades are necessary but they can create problems in on premise ERPs. Usually if you upgrade your software, you’ll lose previous changes, such as customizations your IT team implemented. This means every upgrade requires a tedious implementation and customization process. This often leads to businesses not doing upgrades at all.

On a cloud based ERP upgrades are effortless. The vendor implements the upgrade and everyone using the SaaS instantly has access to the new features. Customizations can usually be incorporated seamlessly.

Of course your staff must be prepared to often see the new changes, with or without prior warning.

There may be challenges to integrate a cloud based system with your unique setup, but the characteristic of quality cloud ERPs is that they are flexible.

Winner: Cloud ERP. If you don’t like sudden changes you may want to implement changes yourself however; as and when you’re ready.

Is There a Better, Faster Performer?

Of course, you want to know how this will affect your day to day functioning, right. Here are a few facts:

  • It’s faster and easier to implement a cloud ERP as you don’t spend time acquiring an infrastructure
  • A cloud ERP is more accessible to employees
  • If you don’t have quality internet connections an on-premise system works better
  • Having multiple users won’t affect the efficacy of a cloud based system

Winner: Your location and internet access determine the winner

Can One Save You More Time Than the Other?

Studies show even after using the cloud method for years, some users still pay up to 50% less compared to creating your own server system and employing the staff it will require to maintain.

Winner: Cloud ERP

What is More Secure?

The industry took its time before businesses decided it’s safe to store sensitive personal or client information on the cloud. It is easier to keep data secure on the cloud, contrary to what many believe.

Today it’s common knowledge that it’s easier and more cost effective to store data safely on the cloud. Vendors often offer backup services, disaster recovery services and industry standard security features. Doing this by yourself requires a lot of effort and money.

Winner: Cloud ERP

Conclusion

These are only a few aspects that play a role in deciding the best option: Cloud vs On-premise. Did you write down your score according to your unique setup? Which method came out on top?

If you need help in choosing the right type of ERP for your business, do contact us.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

ERP Integration: Strategy, Challenges, Benefits, and Key Types

Leading companies are adding new talent to support a digital operating model. To develop sharp insights using digital tools, procurement teams will need data science and analytics expertise.

Improving the B2B experience for your customers using SAP Business One

Leading companies are adding new talent to support a digital operating model. To develop sharp insights using digital tools, procurement teams will need data science and analytics expertise.

6 Things Every CFO Should Know About ERP

So, you’ve heard the buzz words in the industry: Everyone’s using it, so you should too: ERPs.

In business, a popular trend usually has some value for the industry, instead of just being a gimmick. So, it’s worthwhile keeping an eye on what others do. That’s definitely the case with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). But that doesn’t mean you should be too quick in joining the crowd.

Warning: Making the wrong decisions during planning, vetting service providers or implementing could lead to more problems, rather than this great technology helping you enhance your business.

So, we’ll break it down for you: The most important facts any CFO should know about ERPs. Read this before embarking on this exciting, (usually advantageous) journey.

How Does This Relate to CFOs?

No, you can’t leave these important decisions in the hands of the IT department, the office manager or a committee. An ERP will affect business processes and therefore influence the company’s growth. That makes it relevant to a CFO’s responsibility in the company and you must work together with other role players to ensure a desirable outcome.

Here’s what you need to know.

The 6 Important Facts

1) You Must Understand the Process

Don’t leave it to others who are more technically minded. You can easily miss important aspects—which will affect costs—if you don’t educate yourself. For this reason, consider the most important software concepts relating to ERP implementation:

  • Installation: What it takes to load software on hardware such as a server.
  • Configuration: Making sure the software works according to your workflows and security requirements.
  • Customization: Modifying software to suit your unique needs, often involving changing code.
  • Conversion of data: Importing data into the system. If not in a compatible format, it must be done manually.
  • Integration: How it communicates with other software platforms. (see more below)

2) You Must be Hosted on a True Cloud

Don’t be confused by unknown terms or technical jargon. The simple question to ask your service provider is whether the ERP is hosted on the cloud. This is the preferred method at the moment. It’s easier and more secure.

However it won’t help to simply be hosted on the cloud. Confirm that the solution has been rewritten for the cloud. This ensures it will keep up with future changes. As CFO you must ensure you invest in quality long term solutions.

3) Your Service Provider’s Vision & Longevity Determine Your Own Future

The next aspect that will affect whether this is a long term answer is the service provider’s own situation. You have the right to ask questions and research certain aspects of the vendors that offer you their services:

  • Does the vendor’s financial situation make it a viable option for the long term? This isn’t simply about making sure you get good service. If the vendor hosts your data on their servers or on the cloud you need to make sure you’ll have access to that information for years to come. That won’t happen if a company suddenly goes bankrupt.
  • The vendor you pick must be relevant to today’s market, but also stay relevant in future. We all know how fast the tech environment changes. It’s your prerogative to ask questions about how they plan to stay on par. Request information on their research and development plans to ensure they’ll keep on giving you a high end product for years to come.

4) Integration is Key

Your ERP isn’t the only system that will determine your company’s performance. You need all factors to work together well (integrate) if you want optimum results and frustration free days. This means you have to ask about integration with any aspects regarding:

  • EPM: Enterprise performance management
  • SCM: Supply chain management
  • HCM: Human capital management
  • CX: Customer experience

It’s vital that different platforms work together well, so you don’t have problems such as inconsistency of data between two systems.

Consider this before you pick a vendor and use the one giving the best support. You don’t want to face cumbersome processes where you and your team have to handle integration after the ERP is implemented. You also don’t want to deal with difficult processes of continuously keeping all the different platforms updated. They should function as one unit.

A specific risk—especially relevant to a CFO—is integrating ERP with EPM. You want your systems integrated, instead of doing a lot of work manually.

Luckily this is usually unnecessary in today’s market—you just have to pick the right vendor.

5) It Requires Teamwork

Your goal is to see the ERP deliver excellent results, helping various aspects of your business more effectively:

  • Supply chain
  • Manufacturing
  • HR
  • Payroll

That’s a lot of people that have to work together and you need to make sure all of them get on board and stay on board. A negative attitude towards the new system will prevent employees from using it effectively. This immediately affects productivity and your bottom line.

To ensure everyone’s buy in it’s important to:

  • Identify needs in all departments and making sure the ERP will meet these requirements. This way everyone will experience an enhanced workflow and see the value of learning the new system.
  • You won’t get departments’ buy in if their top leadership don’t believe the change is necessary. That’s why you need key role players and even your CIO (Chief Information Officer) to become part of planning & implementation.

6) Scalability = Success

The key to picking the right ERP is realizing that one size doesn’t fit all. You need an ERP that matches your unique requirements, not necessarily the one your greatest competitor implemented. And here’s why: Scalability.

If your ERP doesn’t cater for your size business, it won’t be effective. As CFO you’ll need financial planning tools that suit your business size, whether small, medium or large.

Apart from catering for your unique business needs, it must also be scalable to serve different employees well. As much as you need features to do financial planning, other role players in the business also takes part in these processes. The ERP must cater for their responsibilities too.

Conclusion

Yes, adding ERP to your business will take a considerable amount of time and effort. But, as a CFO, it’s essential you prioritize this process if you want to see positive long term results. Don’t worry. It will be worth it.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

5 Key Reasons Why ERP Implementation Fails

Even though the ERP system has been proven to be an efficient method of managing one’s business, any system is only as good as the people who operate it. A shocking 75% of all ERP implementation is a failure due to lack of knowledge or training and budgetary constraints.

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” These words ring true in the business environment in many aspects and this is no different.

No matter which industry you specialise in, “proper preparation prevents poor performance”. This saying is well known as the “5 P’s of success” originally created by the British army.  How does this link to the failure of implantation of an ERP project into a business? Research, information, training and a high standard of management are essential to the success of this system in a business.

There are obviously a dozen or more reasons why ERP implementation might fail, but below are a few valid points to take into consideration.

Poor Planning in the Initial Implementation Phase

Too many businesses rush into the process of incorporating this complex system into their existing business model. The truth is that Enterprise Resource Planning is a large and complex system. It takes time, dedicated training and adequate management to flourish as a proficient tool within your business. Time devotion to this phase is paramount.

How could something prosper in a business when nobody really knows how to operate it confidently? The relevant trained employee/s should know without any doubt that the results of the data collected is 100% accurate with utmost certainty.

Should this phase be tended too with enough diligence, ERP could prove to be an invaluable aid tool to your business.

Lack of Adaptability

In all areas of life, change is never easy, but necessary for growth. A lack of adaptability often prevents growth and tends to have an adverse effect on productivity. The same applies when it comes to introducing new systems into a business. The more adaptable your business model and staff are, the greater your chances of encouraging growth.

In an ever-changing and extremely competitive business world, flexibility is likely to be one of the key factors to being a step above the rest.

Ask yourself how trainable and adaptable your staff are. How dependant is your daily operation on your current business management system, should you have one? Can the business afford the time needed to dedicate to training? These are a few questions that need to be answered with a positive outcome prior to committing to an ERP project.

Poor Data Quality

Should the ERP system be integrated into an existing operation, the quality of the existing data would be paramount. ERP needs to be well equipped with data to enable it to process information like sales trends, customer data, staff efficiency and the general day to day operations of the existing business model.

Due to the nature of ERP, this data would need to be of a high quality to fit into ERP to ensure accuracy. The data collected by this system is of no worth if the input is not accurate. ERP thrives on the quality of the data used to make it efficient.

A consideration in this area would be to plan the transfer of the data from the current system being used, to the ERP system. Loss of data would cause a negative knock-on effect, resulting in the transfer from the current system to ERP obsolete until sufficient data could be accumulated. You might as well not waste any time on capturing data in any specific department if the data is not good quality, accurate and complete.

There is no use in starting to build a puzzle if you know that pieces are missing, and the full picture will never be experienced.

Lack of IT Support

In-house IT support is a huge advantage to the ERP system. Though this is not mandatory, implementation into a business without an in-house IT department has proven to be costly and time consuming. Even in a case where an IT department exists within the organization, enough and specialized ERP training would be necessary to ensure proficient expodition of any repairs or updates that may be necessary from time to time.

Another option would be to hire prequalified staff who have already undergone training and have experience in ERP operation. Using external IT vendors would strain the organization in costs and efficiency in terms of call out times. This would still make more sense than an untrained employee stumbling around a problem for hours on end with insufficient knowledge and experience to deal with the challenge at hand.

Lack of Data Sharing Ability

One of, if not THE most integral aspect to the successful implementation of ERP into an organization is the ability and capability to share data in the supply chain. Without this the system can be rendered as useless. Keeping up to date with the latest updates and putting them into practice would determine whether this system will make or break your company. Difficulties in the sharing of data could cost time and funds and end up being more of a liability than an asset to an organization.

Customization add-ons and the migration from an older system to ERP may pose as a challenge in this aspect and would need careful attention in the beginning phases of implementation.

Conclusion

75% is an alarming number of failures of the implementation of ERP. All factors above considered, it is paramount that all of them be investigated and thought through thoroughly prior to the implementation of ERP into a business.

Has the right software been chosen? Has there been enough training offered to the right employees to optimize productivity? Does your current data match up to the standard? Do you have informed and capable support available? Is your system correctly customized to the specific business? Does the business have the capacity to carry the cost of such a system? These are all important things to consider before implementing ERP in a business.

The efficiency of this system has been proven for decades, but if not managed correctly, could have a negative effect on an otherwise stable business. On a positive note, if the answer to the above questions are yes, Enterprise Resource Planning software could revolutionize your business.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

What is Sage 300C?

Sage 300c offers you all the 2016 release enhancements plus anytime/anywhere mobile access, a modern new user interface, and easy mobile access to real-time key performance indicators.

These new screens aren’t just great looking; they also help you improve productivity. You can access Sage 300c as you do today or leverage the new web screens using a browser from a desktop, laptop, or tablet. You have the freedom of choice on how you want to access Sage 300—anytime, anywhere.

Enjoy mobile access with new modern web screens

Sage 300c features new web screens that can be run side-by-side with the Sage 300 traditional Windows screens. These web screens are intuitive, easy to navigate, and provide the same functionality you have today in Sage 300.

Keep tabs on critical information with the new homepage

Get a pulse on your business with the new web homepage in Sage 300c. You can select an anytime, anywhere dashboard specific to your business with key performance indicators (KPI) to access in the office or away through any mobile device.

Do contact us for more information regarding SAGE 300C.

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

5 Good Reasons to Deploy a Cloud ERP

The world is changing quickly and if you want your business to be relevant 10 years from now, you have a responsibility: Make the right decisions now.

This may seem a bit obvious, but many business leaders don’t apply this guideline in all aspects of their companies yet, especially their tech departments. Not that anyone should feel guilty. The tech industry changed quickly and excessively over the past two decades. Now it’s difficult to keep up, understand what you should prioritize and then lobby for the funds to implement the technology.

So, we’re going to provide insight on one aspect: Your cloud ERP. Yes, this MUST be at the top of your to do list.

What is a Cloud ERP?

Your business success depends on how efficiently you can function. An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is one of the best ways to streamline:

  • Taking orders from customers
  • Storing data (e.g. financial figures)
  • Keeping inventory
  • Operation scheduling

The focus is on integrating and automating your company’s core business.

But don’t simply pick the first system you come across. You can firstly opt for a Cloud ERP, which will be hosted on the vendor’s servers. Alternatively, there’s an on-premise ERP for which you use your own computers and servers.

So why do we vehemently promote a Cloud ERP?

Reasons to Deploy Your Cloud ERP

It’s Your Safer Option

It’s common to find opposition to new technology and many people feel sending their data ‘up in the air’ is a dangerous notion. The truth is that it’s the more secure option between various storage methods.

Cloud systems have excellent encryption features, such as 128-bit encryption for any data you send into the cloud. When you use a cloud system your paid for services include personnel that are dedicated to keep the cloud secure.

This is much more effective than an overworked IT department on site where a large workload may keep them from ensuring optimum security levels. Can you guarantee that your team can implement and test the necessary features 24/7? It only takes one breach to put your entire system at risk.

It Makes Financial Sense

Of course, you obviously need to consider your budget. You may expect to pay more for a such a professional service, than simply hosing it yourself. Luckily, in most circumstances, that’s a myth.

If you aim to create a top of the range system on your premises, you’ll have to spend a large amount of capital on hardware. This isn’t viable for new businesses who don’t have the funds yet and for established businesses, this is an unnecessary expense.

Added to this is the cost of running servers, as well as time—and money—lost when you deploy new features.

On a cloud system you pay for the use of servers, but this is much more economical than buying them yourself. Thanks to faster deployment and excellent scalability a cloud based system positively affects productivity and therefore revenue.

An on-premise system also demands the presence of on site experts. If you don’t have an equipped IT team a small problem can lead to huge losses while you wait for a professional from elsewhere to arrive. With a cloud ERP you don’t have to grow your IT department if your finances don’t allow for it.

This isn’t only beneficial to your budget now, but also in the long term.

Enjoy a User Friendly System

Because new technology seems daunting to many people you may think it’s the more difficult option to use in your business. Once again, a myth!

A cloud ERP has many user friendly features. First of all, it’s a common feature that cloud ERPs are designed according to systems most employees know already, which include:

  • Intuitive dashboards
  • Familiar interfaces
  • User friendly features

Vendors understand the necessity of not wasting too much time on getting to know a new setup.

If speed is a priority you’ll also pick a cloud ERP for how quickly you can implement it. It’s a fact that they can be deployed in much shorter time frames than on premise ERPs. The benefit here is that there won’t even be much disruption to your normal processes when you start using it.

And now think of how you’re conducting your business. Don’t your team members function more effectively when they have access to business information at all times, no matter where they are? This is easily possible with a cloud ERP, as you only need an internet connection to access the cloud.

Upgrades Made Simple

As mentioned, technology changes quickly. That means your system won’t always function the way it does today. Upgrading an on-premise system is loaded with challenges:

  • It adds more pressure to IT departments who in general have too much to handle already.
  • Downloading upgrades to computers is bothersome to workers, as it takes time.
  • Testing an upgrade can disrupt workers and lower productivity levels.

When upgrades happen on the cloud, most of these challenges are negated. IT personnel can focus on their other work and you don’t run the risk of a possible breach because they don’t have time to work on the new security upgrade.

Staff members don’t waste time on downloading upgrades or testing the software, because it’s done on your behalf.

Upgrades aren’t only simpler, but actually more cost effective, since upgrades to software are usually covered by the premiums you pay.

It Shows Your Concern for the Environment

As much as you value productivity and efficiency, your clients may prioritize one feature even more: your social responsibility.

If your carbon footprint is important to you, realize the value of using multi-tenant systems on the cloud, rather than deploying your own system on site. The latter can increase your footprint by 95%.

Conclusion

No matter where your priorities and business focus lie, there are clear reasons for using a cloud ERP, rather than deploying it on site. We will say it again: Your future success depends on the decision you make today. The only question left to ask is: When will you join the cloud?

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0 0

Peppol E-invoicing is a standardised digital way of sending and receiving invoice between the accounting systems of two parties. Peppol is the network that facilitates the exchange of this information digitally. IMDA has implemented the nationwide E-Invoicing network on 9 January 2019 with certified Access Points and Solution Providers offering services to help businesses improve efficiency, reduce cost, enjoy faster payment cycles, access to new financing options and build a strong foundation for digitalisation. Leave us your email to find out how SAP is PEPPOL ready.
Learn More About Peppol