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?

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5 Steps to Successful ERP Implementation for Logistic Business

In any business, be it logistics or otherwise, efficiency is the answer to optimal productivity, which in turn results in increased profitability. ERP is proving to be a proactive method of achieving these exact goals in the up-and-coming enterprises of our current day and age. That being said, an ambitious business owner should want to implement this solution as an investment in the growth and effectiveness of their business.

This is a simple yet effective guideline to the implementation of ERP, specific to a logistic business. But first, let’s be clear on what this entails.

What is ERP

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It really took flight in the late 1990’s during the Y2K scare and introduction of the euro. Businesses did away with their legacy systems and started using ERP. This system provides access to employees and partners by means of e-commerce technology.

ERP is an all-in-one business management solution that allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your business from one easy source.

ERP systems include the following characteristics:

  • A united system
  • Operates in real time
  • An integrated database supporting all the applications
  • A consistent dashboard across the modules
  • Enablement of the system with intricate application or data integration by the IT department, provided the implementation is not done in compartmentalised sections.
  • Placement options include: in house, cloud hosted, or SaaS (software as a service)

How is this Applicable to the Logistics Industry?

As an industry that relies heavily on data capturing and management, an EPR system is perfectly suited to the nature of your business. Monitoring and logging information is important. This is what helps track and manage such a complex business model. Why would you not want to have the power to oversee your entire business from one single point? Benefits include the following:

  • Optimize inventory control
  • A personalized dashboard allowing for monitoring of orders, sales and distribution from one centralized point
  • Track previous sales trends to prepare for future efficiency
  • Accelerates distribution times by 23%
  • Realtime data analytics
  • Identify out-of-stock inventory, handle inbound orders from suppliers, and execute outbound orders
  • All features are accessible from a desktop or smartphone
  • Implementation and support from software vendors
  • Improves distribution
    • Improves distribution management of freight operators
    • Records datasets from multiple sources eg: in house records, internet, social media
    • Displays information through maps, charts and graphs
    • Streamlines delivery to customers using the data collected
    • Encourages communication between suppliers, distributors and retailers
    • Allows for live information to be delivered to drivers regarding traffic and delivery destinations.
    • Reduces operational and administrative costs by 23% and 22% respectively due to effective, real time communication
    • Personalized system to suit specific needs
  • Manages staff
    • Log employee hours
    • Track rest times of operators
    • Collect staff performance data
    • Maintain a steady stream of staff, distribute contracts, and schedule hours

Where to Start

Now that it is evident that ERP systems are not only extremely beneficial, but almost a necessity to your expanding logistics business, let’s look at the process of implementation.

Step 1

Choosing a Software Vendor

Find the right software vendor and personalized software to suit your specific business. This would be imperative to experience the full benefit of the system. As ERP is not a new concept in the market, it should not be difficult to find a vendor in your area. When shopping for the right system for your business, consider the following:

  • Recognize five key factors of the product you see most fit for your business
  • Identify the essential factors necessary for your business
  • Avoid outdated technology
  • Minimize risk in ways that satisfy your budget
  • Determine how your top choices stack up against similar systems

Step 2

Choosing the System That Suits You

ERP systems are applicable to several different industries. The ERP SD (sales and distribution) module would be best suited to a logistics business and consists of the following components:

  • Master data
  • Basic functions subdivided into multiple components, such as pricing and output, to name but a few
  • Sales
  • Shipping
  • Transportation
  • Localization
  • Foreign trade
  • Invoicing
  • Marketing support
  • Electronic data interchange
  • Sales and Logistics Information systems

Step 3

Staff Training

Any new system, policy or protocol implemented into a business requires training and support. Equipping staff with this knowledge will allow them to competently make full use of ERP. It is advisable for your business to provide as much training and support as possible.

Online training is available from certain software vendors. This online training proves to be comprehensive and conclusive enough to give your staff the tools they need to proficiently operate your ERP SD system.

Step 4

Day to Day Operation

As you must have realised by now, an ERP system is user friendly and comprehensive. It is important that management staff are well informed and active users of your new software. Even though support be available from your software vendor, it is a good idea to have an inhouse “expert”.

This person should oversee everyday operations to make sure that staff are using the system correctly and that all the necessary data is being used in the best way possible.

Step 5

Keeping Your ERP up to Date

Isn’t it scary how fast technology is developing these days? You get a new device today and by next month it is superseded by something bigger and better. Before you’ve even had the chance to experience the one you have to its full capacity, it is redundant. The same applies here. It would be most beneficial for you to keep up to date with updates and expansions of your ERP system. In this field, there are constantly new and better developments being released to make our lives and productivity that much more efficient. Don’t get left behind.

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Adapting ERP into your Business Processes with Peace of mind

When you are trying to implement ERP solutions such as Sage 300 or SAP Business One in your company the biggest problem that you will face is in terms of changing the business processes of your company in such a way that they can get used to what is known as an unconventional mode of operation in today’s world. The timing is highly important over here. The same can also be said of customizing ERP in such a way that you can have the edge that you previously had from the point of view of strategic business processes.

The major reason for such a statement is the fact that there are not too many business processes that are sure to provide you a strategic edge over that of your competitors. You will always see that people in your company are resisting this much-needed change. These systems have been created and then maintained following years of observation and appreciation of what works best for individual businesses. It may be so that the way your business works does not conform to ERP principles. This means that it can work even better.

In spite of this, you will be opposed in your company. This is because people will have to do something that they do not wish to do in the first place for the simple reason that it is unlike the way your business is supposed to function. So, the question is how to be successful in this case. For starters, you need to create a mental distance with your peers and friends even if you acknowledge the concerns that they have. On top of this, you need to be sure yourself as to whether the policy that you are following is in the best interests of your company. You need to be strong enough to say no at times.

This is where your strength of character comes into play since such situations can drain you completely from an emotional point of view. At times, your colleagues might come and say that ERP implementation might harm their prospects for the year, you need to stand firm in the face of the storm and retain your faith in the ERP processes. You need to know what the advantages of implementing these systems are going to be. It is also important to be secure in the knowledge that these norms are the best in the business.

With ERP you can be sure that in actuality you are carrying out some corrective measures that have been necessary for a long period of time. This might actually benefit your company in the long term and in more ways than anyone might care to understand. This is where prior education and training are of such importance.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

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Top 3 Team Talents Needed to Successful ERP Implementation

It is always important to have the right team in order to be able to implement ERP successfully. This is almost as obvious as growing revenue is good for business or greater saving is greater for personal wealth. Yet, as an ERP project manager, everyone has to do a fair share of fighting in order to be able to recruit the right talent. How committed a company is to staying healthy in the long term and how much it understands such factors can be gauged from the quality of people it entrusts with the responsibility of implementing ERP systems. If you have not assigned the best talent in your company for implementing the ERP processes you should not be surprised if the results do not match up to your expectations.

The biggest benefit of having a talented team is that it is able to see the bigger picture to a much better extent than a normal executive would. It can understand the results of strategic decisions much better and evaluate decision likewise. It is the long term that excites them and not the immediate time. They know what will happen tomorrow. They are also capable of implementing the process-related changes that have to be made.

There are some signs that some individuals are talented and thus worth depending on. The first is that they are good enough to be promoted. These people have very little interest in maintaining status quo. They are one day likely to get to the head of the management setup of their companies. They will always have a basic understanding of how and why various processes came into being. It is always good to have individuals who are quite intelligent themselves but it is even better to have people who are intelligent from a team perspective.

At times, it has been seen that people who are smart themselves meddle with the way a team works. Normally, there is very little connection between team intelligence and personal intelligence. When you are smart from a team perspective you are able to understand why it is important to have consensus on various matters. You also do not stretch a conversation beyond a certain point. You are able to understand the effect a decision will have on the organization as a whole and evaluate it likewise. You also do not let personal ego come in way of work.

The third benefit of having a strong team is that they have a rather deep understanding of how to work in an organization. They know what they are supposed to do and they also know the reasons for the same. Such understanding comes in extremely handy when a company decides which processes need to be changed and which need to be retained. Perhaps, their best quality is that they are able to listen to different points of view coming their way and then choose the one that happens to be the most appropriate one or even assimilating the best among these.

As could be understood from the discussion, with a talented team there is an overall improvement in processes. With them change management becomes easier. There is improvement in testing as well since the choice of such scenarios is judicious and execution is intelligent. Since the team members are not averse to being given extra responsibility, the organization does not miss milestones or at least the ratio comes down by a significant extent. They can contribute as and when help is needed. There are several factors that are important in the context of implementing ERP processes. Perhaps, no factor is bigger than team talent. While there is no guarantee that a talented team will always deliver exceptional results you can always be sure that a mediocre team will perform poorly.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

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3 Leadership Commitment to a Successful ERP Implementation

It is very important to have a committed team in order to be able to implement ERP with some modicum of success. If all the people working in your company are aligned towards making your ERP implementation successful, then they will put in efforts likewise. This will help you to focus on other areas that are important in helping your company become successful in the long run. Consider another situation. Your middle management senses that it can create problems between the team that is implementing the EPR and the one that takes all the executive decisions. In that case the environment can actually become rather poisonous.

In such a situation you will find that you are spending a lot of time – much more than you intended to in the first place – in review meetings where you end up defending the decisions that you have taken. This is why it is important to have some leadership commitment and the best thing about this is that it does not take a lot of effort. As an initiative, ERP is strategically important. This means that when you decided to implement it, there must have been a certain level of commitment and interest in the same.

You also need to take into consideration the fact that ERP is known to have medium to high levels of risk. Its benefits (read about benefits of SAP Business One and Sage 300 ERP) are also hard to quantify in the strictest sense of the term. In such case, as an organization your aim should be to foster the support you enjoyed originally and keep it growing. It could so happen that nothing remarkable may happen in months. Patience is the key over here. When one looks at design sessions it becomes rather clear that ERP implementation will need a significant amount of change. There are times when one hears that implementing ERP could have a destructive effect on business.

This happens mostly in the communications between lower positions and the higher ups. Most of the time, such situations do not have because people have malicious intentions but because they are afraid of changes and what they might do to them. There are certain steps that you need to take to make sure that the leadership is on your side as far as ERP implementation is concerned. The first thing is that you should always be the first one to communicate any changes being made to the process followed in your company.

It is always not easy to do this. It becomes really hard to do this if you follow a routine of review cycles that occur after every couple of weeks or a month. If you are good with written communication, you can try e-mailing people in these intervals. You can also communicate with them over the phone. It is important that you make you decisions seem justifiable from a business point of view. If you are unable to explain it to others, it means that your decision may not be sound enough.

It is also important to make the executives look at the big picture when you are making the presentations. This is why to you need to make them aware of the possible results of some ERP strategies from a strategic point of view. This way you will be able to engage them in a positive and fruitful way. You should also look for feedback to your plans from the executives and while at the receiving end of the same, you should never be defensive. It is always important your goals with that of the executive leaders. In order to achieve this you should be confident enough to listen to the problems they come up with and then respond to the same.

Such a way of work also makes sure that they are involved in the process of making decisions. It is always better that way as people then think the decisions to be a collective one rather than an individual one if only your ideas were behind it. If you can rally the executive leaders the middle management understands what a waste of time sensationalism can be. They will try and make a meaningful contribution to the efforts of ERP implementation. This will also be better for you.

Do contact us for more ERP related questions.

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SAP Business One Benefits: Why Your Business Needs It.

What is SAP Business One? 

SAP Business One is a manufacturing software that combines various business functions of your company. This includes key areas such as financials, operations, sales, inventory, and consumer relationship management. SAP Business One is fairly different from all other software solutions available in the market mainly for small-business entities. It happens to be a single application, which makes it easier to use. You do not need to install it first and then undergo the excruciating process of integrating various modules, an activity which can be complex at times as well.

Greater efficiency

Greater efficiency is a very integral part of business because it helps you achieve a better bottom line and stay in the business for long, and prosper as well. With SAP Business One you can connect different areas of your business in one thread. This will also mean that you have no need for useless data entries, expenses, and any errors. With SAP Business One you can achieve good levels of growth in your business. Since your entire operation is much more streamlined you can actually focus on taking decisions that will help your business earn greater profits.

SAP Business One is a globally known and trusted solution, which implies that it has a long road ahead of it. This is a software management system that will actually change and grow in the same way your business does. What further makes it more credible is the preference that Fortune 500 companies have for this software. With this software you will also be able to possess the finest talent in your sector by providing them the tool that is needed to achieve success in the industry.

Better decisions

With SAP Business One you can actually take good business decisions and that too at less time! This software gives you the luxury of including all your business information in a single source. This will enable you to upload all the latest information into your database in the quickest-possible time. This will also allow your employees to respond to queries and complaints from customers. They will also enjoy greater levels of freedom in making business-related decisions.

More time to value

With SAP Business One you can start your business activities in 2 weeks at the least and 8 weeks at the most. The user experience here is spontaneous and this means that as a user you do not need a long time to get acquainted with the software. You also do not need to spend a lot of money in IT support since you yourself know how to operate the software.

Help for new needs

The customization tools of SAP Business One are fairly easy to use. Its software solution partners also provide you 550 add-on solutions. This means that you can use this software to be used exactly the way you think it should be used to meet the particular issues of your business.

Effortless network

As has been said already with SAP Business One you will be able to connect your head offices with your business associates as well as your subsidiaries. This shows that this manufacturing software can be used in the major corporations as well. It allows you as a business to serve your clients that much better and your operations are more efficient as a result. The solutions that you provide SAP Business One can be afforded by a greater cross-section of clients and they are just the right size as well. This also helps to manage the flow of information in your business and also achieve greater harmony in business as well.

Operational benefits

As has been said already, there are several operational advantages of SAP Business One. With this software one can provide consistent customer support through media such as telephone, personal interaction, and e-mails. It also helps with remote site connection-based operations such as Skype and go to meetings. One can also get greater exposure in the immediate area as well as a greater one. At times, you can also segregate various departments – if you so choose – by customizing work centres and screens with data that is necessary for a particular department only. There are several companies in Singapore which also offer training to companies that are interested in using this software. With SAP Business One you also do not need to go through those integration efforts and software updates that are highly time consuming. This helps you focus on other areas of your business.

Greater revenue

As has been said already with SAP Business One you are in a better position to respond to your customers, vendors, and clients in the shortest-possible time. You can do this since you have all the business information you need courtesy this wonderful software. The advantage of this scenario is that your customers are impressed by your turnaround time and the overall quality of your response and trust and avail your services more than others. This ensures greater flow of revenue.

You can also promise your customers a lot of things since you are secure in the knowledge that you will be able to deliver them as well. With this software you are also able to gain some proper insight into the patterns shown by your present customers and then you can engage them in ways that add value to the whole interaction. You can also actually get ready for the next demand from your customer by using SAP Business One.

Reduction of costs

With SAP Business One you can eliminate additional costs that crop up owing to legacy systems that use components, which lack efficiency and increase costs in the process. Since you are able to combine various areas of your business you achieve greater control over your business as well. You can also reduce the costs incurred in areas such as yearly support and maintenance. Using SAP Business One also allows your storage costs incurred for inventory and reduces waste generated by your company – a big benefit in this world where pollution is going up alarmingly.

Do contact us if you are looking for something what SAP Business One can do for your business. We are an authorized partner of SAP.

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Dear Customers, We are closely monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus with the safety of our colleagues, customers, and their families as our top priority.We would like to inform you that we have implemented a set of safety precautions - from teams’ rotation and work-from-home capability. Our staff are enabled with the necessary tools to work from home and we remain contactable. Do contact the consultants via their mobile phone.
We are confident in delivering quality support even during this period. We will do all we can to minimise service disruption. We are depending on you, our valued customers during these challenging times. Keeping our mutual business moving forward is vital for everyone. Please contact us should you require any assistance.
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support@twm.com.sg
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sales@twm.com.sg
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Thank you for your support. Stay safe !
Regards,
TWM