Factors to Consider When Choosing an ERP system

With the New Year fast approaching, your company has decided to adopt/upgrade to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Congratulations! Making the decision to adopt/upgrade to an ERP system already puts you ahead of your competition.

 

An ERP system is a powerful tool that helps you efficiently analyze, interpret, and execute the core activities of each department of your business on a day-to-day basis. Companies who seek to adopt/upgrade to an ERP system do so in order to integrate the different programs they're using for different departments into one suite. An ERP system helps reduce costs because any previous delays or duplication of work is avoided. For example, a company may calculate their sales revenue using one type of software meanwhile using separate software to produce a financial report. An ERP system integrates the two actions whereby once the sales revenue is calculated, the ERP system uses the same information to produce a financial report. A benefit of having these separate processes integrated is that the same information flows from each department which results in less errors made, in addition to better business decisions made. Resources such as time and staff are reduced (not to mention the complexity) which boosts the company's bottom-line.

Other benefits and features of an ERP System include:
• Access to all the company's information across all departments in real-time
• Stronger customer relations through better access of customer information as part of your company's practices in customer relationship management (CRM)
• Improved controls at each stage of the supply chain
• Enhanced security with access to a single set of user settings to better protect your company's information
• Less training and implementation necessary because all staff are trained to use the same system

Consider the following when adopting/upgrading to an ERP system:

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Top 3 ERP Trends in 2014

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Cloud ERP Gains Ground

The cloud has been advancing steadily into the enterprise over the past years. However, many ERP users are still hesitant to move their business into the cloud.


As SaaS ERP emerges, enterprises seem to eagerly cloud-enabling their offerings. In the meantime, new organizations come on stage claiming their offerings are "true cloud" or "more cloud" than others. Thus, there is nowadays a misunderstanding in the market about what is considered as a "real cloud" solution, which makes the buying decision even more difficult for potential customers.


"As companies that have not traditionally been cloud ERP clients turn to the cloud, competition in the market will increase," said Andrew King, Managing Director of WebSan Solutions Inc. "This will require customers to carefully evaluate cloud ERP vendors across specific industry benchmarks before purchasing a new cloud solution."

Business Intelligence

In 2014 Business Intelligence will be a must, since large and small organizations continue to look towards BI tools in order to benefit from data and maximize their investments in Enterprise Resource Planning solutions. Users are constantly looking for accurate and comprehensive information through visually appealing dashboards. In turn, by having real –time access to relevant data, companies can use this information proactively to make business decisions more effectively.

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What Customers Can Look Forward to in Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains 2013 (Part 1)

The release is almost here! Business is growing and so is technology so look no further! Microsoft Dynamics GP is committed to helping you do this by delivering a widespread vision and solution for your business. In part 1 of this blog I will be talking about 3 features that you can look forward to in the upcoming release.

Take command of your business

 

Have access to Dynamics GP virtually everywhere. There will be a new web client so you can use and contribute to Dynamics GP anywhere, anytime. The business analyzer dashboard helps you gain access to key performance indicators, reports and important information.

What’s new about business intelligence is it now offers both full service and self-service users have more of an “out-of-the-box” Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and Microsoft Excel Reports.

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5 Common ERP Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Implementing a new ERP Software is a time for new learning experiences and challenges. There are some common mistakes that you want to avoid when implementing ERP software, remember this list so you can become a hero and not a victim of poor planning.

Mistake 1: Not selecting the right vendor

Browsing through a vendor’s website can’t determine if they are right for you. Call the company and speak with someone, this gives you the chance to ask questions about the company and their services. Don’t forget to ask for references so you can hear more than one opinion of the vendor.

Mistake 2: Not taking advantage of all the features that you are paying for!

For any kind of service you pay for, be mindful of what’s included. If you are unaware of a feature that you have but never use, just ask!

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The Essential Information for a Good ERP Quote

There are several different elements that need to be well thought-out in order to receive a good ERP quote. Enterprise Resource Planning by definition is a system that integrates information across a company using services such as: finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales, customer relationship management (CRM) and more. You want to make sure that you get a quote that’s in your budget, but you don’t want to sacrifice the essentials to stay within your budget either. Make some room in your budget for fluctuation and negotiation to ensure that you get the best quote.

Modules

There are a number of modules that are offered in an ERP system, it’s up to you to choose which ones best fit your company. For example if you are a consulting company maybe you only need CRM, Finance and the Sales module. Save money on modules that you don’t need and get the one’s that you do need. You have the option of getting standard or advanced modules. Advanced modules offer more variety of features but are usually used for larger businesses. There needs to be research done to explore what particular capabilities you need.

Number of Users

The number of user’s plays an important role when determining the price. It is important to have a firm estimate of the amount of user’s that you need. Plan in advance to avoid unanticipated cost and to get a more accurate quote.

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From the Gutenberg Press to Hosted Dynamics GP

Many companies have started to embraced enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to maintain their competitiveness. They have quickly learned a fundamental truth: technology can move a company forward only as far as its business processes will allow.

Amongst most organizations, paper or hard copies is the principal format for sharing invoices and associated documents for approval. Paper processes generates uncertainty and blind spots in a business. An example could be your Accounting department. Accounting has no way of knowing where a paper invoice resides on someone’s draw or desk after it is sent around for approval, nor how long it will sit there. Executives are unable to make accurate financial predictions because they see only completed transactions—not those in process, floating somewhere in the company’s structure.

With paper processes restraining the real value of a paperless ERP for companies large and small, the need for a way to automate the transformation of paper documents into digital data and to manage the resulting documents has prompted technology developers to innovate a new generation of devices and services. This is where Hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP comes in.

The next technological move from paper format is for companies and their accounting departments to consider is the cloud—online services that can dramatically reduce the costs of technology. Instead of a company’s investing more in its own infrastructure—additional servers, software, networking and maintenance—it can turn to the cloud for the applications it needs. By integrating your company with the Microsoft Dynamics cloud platform, it easily scales with your company’s needs and automatically upgrades as innovations evolve.

To help your company get away from paper and into the clouds, contact us here.

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