January 5, 2017
There are numerous benefits of utilizing real-time, integrated ERP at the heart of your business operations. However, one of the most complex aspects of managing business growth is handling the massive amounts of data that a midsize business will begin to accumulate. Pretty soon, you’ll need entire divisions dedicated to just managing the logistics of your company’s data. However, using enterprise resource planning software (ERP) like SAP will enable your business simplify its data processes, saving you enormous amounts of money in IT costs.Read more
January 4, 2017
Manufacturing, distribution, and service-oriented companies are facing critical challenges in today’s marketplace. To service the new global economy, companies need to be continuously reinventing themselves by rapidly adding new products and acquiring new businesses. They need to build new partnerships and expand their channels of business, because they will not be able to depend on the same set of suppliers tomorrow that they do today. Simply put, businesses cannot expect to do business the same way as the world changes around them. For these reasons, enterprises large and small need a new kind of ERP; one that's faster to deploy, and contains these characteristics:Read more
December 30, 2016
ERP is not a new thing, and has been around for the better part of 40 years. However it used to be a technology that, due to capital constraints, was typically limited to large, multi-national corporations. However, over the last 10-15 years, business enterprises have been adopting ERP technology. Now, with the cloud literally everywhere around us, it makes sense that our critical business data should be with us wherever we are, and accessible whenever we want it, thus making cloud-based ERP a must-have for rapidly growing small & large businesses.Read more
December 29, 2016
The global marketplace is not something that is known for standing still. Every year, many businesses get left behind in a market that rapidly changes, and one that demands innovation and evolution. Small-to-midsize businesses need to be prepared to tackle the tide of technological advancement, or else get washed away in the storm. Essentially, not going digital in the modern marketplace is dooming your company to mediocrity. According to Digitalist Magazine, every company is a tech company in a global marketplace like this one. The only way to maintain and grow market share is to innovate, digitally. This is why real-time, integrated ERP systems are becoming the norm in the contemporary marketplace. There are a handful of reasons that digital innovation is so crucial, and why it is absolutely necessary to digitize in the way that cloud ERP can help you accomplish...Read more
December 28, 2016
Walmart is a leader in competitive pricing around the nation, thanks in large part to supply chain management and inventory control. Nightly stocking and real-time monitoring of purchases means that they’re able to get their customers what they need when they need it. However, the past few years have proved more difficult to manage. In 2014 Walmart acknowledged in a corporate meeting that it was losing about $3 billion just as a result of empty shelves. Keeping online inventory stocked as well as in-store items where they need to be is a whole new challenge, and Walmart isn’t the only one feeling the pinch. Target is also struggling to maintain supply chains and prevent empty shelves. In fact, it’s the main reason that Target’s launch in Canada failed last year. Paula Rosenblum, business analyst and writer for Forbes, said that for the past three years, top retailers have cited unproductive inventory as one of the top three business challenges facing them. Back rooms are filled with products that no one wants. Businesses are facing a difficult balancing act: how can you keep shelves filled, but avoid overstocking with unwanted products?
The Challenges of Stocking Today
- So many of our products today come from overseas, so re-ordering needs to take place way ahead of time. Shipping could take a month or more, depending on who you're working with.
- Online ordering requires you to balance two different businesses, often using the same inventory. We’re still learning how to best meet the needs of online customers and merge that with an in-store business model.
- Cutbacks on salaries and the amount of workers often means that there just aren’t enough people managing the stock.
Intelligent Technology Can Offer the SolutionHere at Navigator, we work with small to mid-size companies just like yours. We know that even though you’re not dealing with the same volume as Target or Walmart, you probably face similar challenges. You need to manage exchange rates and shipping times with trans-continental supply chains, online ordering, and good point-of-sale systems that will be user-friendly for your customers and yet offer your business insights that will help you plan your ordering and your workload. Our integrated platforms offer enhanced analytics to help you determine how to order and how to keep your retail store functioning properly. We’re a leader in creating add-ons that are custom-built to accommodate your growing needs. Interested to learn more? Click here for more information.Read more
December 27, 2016
How do you measure success in your company? Is it by quarterly sales numbers? How many 5-star reviews you have on Google? Is it employee or client retention, or perhaps the accolades that your business is rewarded? Numbers are used to measure success because it’s the only definitive measuring device we have. Nothing else shows up on a presentation graph half as well. However, the numbers that you’re using aren’t always the best way to measure your unique business.
Use the Right MetricsBest selling author Seth Godin has made impassioned arguments for measuring the right thing in order to actually determine how your company is progressing. Because while numbers may be our best vehicle for measuring success, they can also be easily fudged. For example, certain pharmacies will have return-customer promotions offering gift cards to customers who have moved to other locations. However, when you’re counting how many return customers you’ve roped in with the promotion, are you counting the same people gaming the system over and over again? Are you counting the amount of gift cards you’ve given out? Is there a way to measure the amount of true-blue loyal customers that you’ve actually gained through creative measures?
Technology Can Help You Measure CorrectlyWe’re not saying that businesses need to eliminate measurements! On the contrary, it’s essential that you keep an up-to-date documentation of your performance and operation. It’s the only way to see what’s working and what isn’t. However, a close look at what we’re measuring will determine whether it’s actually matching up with our goals and purpose. There are two primary reasons companies measure the wrong things:
- Lack of inter-departmental communication, or communication between management and lower-level employees. This causes a disconnect between what the people at the front lines are seeing, and what people at the decision-making and budgeting level are deciding.
- Software that’s not flexible enough to understand your business’ goals. When you compromise with software built for a different business format, you start measuring things that are important to other businesses, and not necessarily yours.
December 19, 2016
Between the rapidly-changing tech world and the shifting needs of small businesses, employees today need to be flexible. One company may transition between three different software systems within a year or two. There’s software to manage client contacts, software for editing documents, software for project management, as well as programs for finances, accounting, sales, and inventory. As a manager, your hardest job is acquiring efficient software, then putting it into action effectively in your workplace. Some employees will quickly learn and adapt to new software. Others will have to be dragged kicking and screaming.
Tips to Make Your Transition Easier
- Explain the overall benefits to them. No one wants change just for change’s sake, and they certainly don’t want it to adversely affect them. Explain the reasoning for the transition, and how it will affect the whole company in a positive way. Once the new software is rolled out, measure positive changes and share the victories that it enables. Celebrate the good moments and reflect a positive attitude.
- Give some extra time to employees so that they can play around with the software without feeling like they’re wasting time or about to screw something up. You can even consider rolling out a beta version and giving employees some exercises to do. The trouble with new software is that most of us will just learn a couple functions, and never expand past that to learn about what amazing capabilities and access they have.
- Get official, professional training for everyone. Navigator offers professional on-site training as part of our setup. Having a specialist on hand for the launch to explain it to employees gives everyone firsthand knowledge. This is much better than getting training from third-hand sources that are just learning themselves.
- Offer additional training for a few select employees in the office. You might choose the department heads, or just open up additional training for anyone who’s interested. Make sure that you’ll have a few people distributed around the office who can help others comfortably with the software. You might also think about mixing younger employees in with older employees, since the younger generation is more likely to be comfortable adopting new tech.
- Most important of all, choose your software wisely so you aren’t constantly switching to new systems. Investing in a good platform now can save you a lot of grief down the road. You’ll want a program with room for expansion and growing needs. Make sure that you have a plan in place before you launch the new software.
December 8, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY - December 6, 2016 - Navigator Business Solutions has been selected as a member of the Bob Scott’s VAR Stars for 2016, a group of 100 organizations honored for their accomplishments in the field of midmarket financial software Members of the VAR Stars were selected based on factors such growth, industry leadership and recognition, and innovation. Selection is not based on revenue and those firms chosen represent a wide range of size and many different software publishers of accounting software. “Each year, 100 VAR Stars are picked from the best organizations that market financial software. It is always an honor to recognize those who contribute to the development of our business,” Bob Scott said. Eric Dahl, Vice President of Marketing for Navigator, added "We are again delighted to be included in Bob Scott's roster of VAR Stars. This recognition speaks to our commitment to provide value of the highest degree, in multiple facets, to our rapidly growing list of clients." About Bob Scott Bob Scott has been informing and entertaining the mid-market financial software community via his email newsletters for 17 years. He has published this information via the “Bob Scott’s Insights” newsletter and website since 2009. He has covered this market for more than 25 years through print and electronic publications, first as technology editor of Accounting Today and then as the Editor of Accounting Technology from 1997 through 2009. He has covered the traditional tax and accounting profession during the same time and has continued to address that market as executive editor of the Progressive Accountant since 2009. About Navigator Business Solutions Navigator Business Solutions is the premier Cloud value added reseller and SAP Cloud Partner of the Year for SAP Business One and ByDesign software platforms, services and proprietary add-on software. Navigator’s cloud first, agile methodology has enabled effective implementations for over 500 small and medium sized manufacturers, distributors, professional and commercial service providers, retailers, and industrial focused companies worldwide. www.nbs-us.comRead more
December 1, 2016
More and more small-to-midsize businesses are recognizing the value of real-time information that is enabled by cloud ERP systems. Further, many of these companies are adopting mobile/smart device strategies, thus enabling employees and executives to gain access to the information they need, when they need it. However, access to real-time information is not the only reason that companies are making this move. Real-time access delivers at least seven additional benefits that can help make a business more competitive in the contemporary marketplace.Read more
November 15, 2016
In today's market place, business moves faster. People and businesses want to be closer to their data and their customers than ever before, and they are leaning on their mobile devices to connect with such. However, it is absolutely business critical that businesses consider a mobile strategy that is right for their business. The following 7 guidelines, adapted from industry-expert opinions, can ensure that you are well on your way to doing so. 1. Take time to develop a purpose-based mobile ERP strategy There shouldn’t be many limitations to the ways businesses can extend the value of their ERP systems through mobility; however, in order to achieve optimal value, it’s necessary to start with a strategy. A lot of organizations are jumping on the bandwagon of mobility and implementing solutions without a clear purpose or strategy in mind. Unless you have got cash and time to burn, try to avoid this ‘shoot until we hit something’ approach. 2. Craft a strategy based on your users and their needs A strategic approach includes researching the mobile needs and benefits of three key enterprise audiences: employees, vendors, and customers. It also includes exploring some fundamental topics like security, scalability, and innovation. Such considerations may show that delivery and warehouse systems, CRM, and business intelligence are all areas that are ripe for mobile solutions. But let the strategy drive the conclusions. 3. Mirror your company's operational reality One of the key goals of ERP is to process transactions and issue recommendations that drive meaningful operational value. To successfully achieve this goal, an ERP system has to mirror or prototype the company’s operating reality. Mobile technologies empower timely, accurate data capture and analysis by extending the enterprise to places that are not easily supported by workstations, including: warehouses, shop floor, field service, and off-site sales. As organizations become increasingly dispersed, remote, and virtual, expect them to increasingly rely on mobile solutions to ensure ERP data accurate reflects operating realities. 4. Enable mobile devices to function as workstations It is important to ensure a point of reference. So you have an ERP system, it has workstations and users who simply process, insert, update, or view queries. The key to effective mobility when implementing ERP software is to ensure the user understands the mobile device is just another tool the user must understand and use as a workstation. It is not the mobility as the tool, but the mobile device. Once the device is properly configured, it can be used just as easily, and in some cases, more conveniently, as a desktop computer. This need not necessarily be while on the road. It can be on the shop floor as well, where the updates, corrections, and demands can be entered by the supervisor who is making his rounds on the shop floor. 5. Educate end-users on the importance of securing company data Mobile devices can really speed up processes on the shop floor as well as on the road. Other than making sure all your ducks are in a row with the device and ERP, make sure your staff is aware that the security of the device is most important to ensure that the security and integrity of the company’s database remain intact. 6. Serve the needs of those outside the organization - the customers Mobility in the enterprise software arena is not necessarily new; it’s the prevalence of high-power mobile devices with a low barrier of deploying applications that is new. This puts ‘(almost) always-connected’ computing devices into the hands of people inside and outside of the organization. One specific pattern that has a lot of legs is customer self-service. For example, auto-insurance claim initiation by policyholders has the potential to speed up the claims-adjudication process, reducing costs, improving process speed, and (hopefully) improving the total customer experience. 7. Take advantage of the timeliness and accuracy of mobility Mobile technologies provide opportunities to ensure that MRP makes recommendations based on both timely and accurate data. From a timeliness perspective, handheld bar-code scanners give companies opportunities to record inventory movements as soon as they happen. From an accuracy perspective, mobile technologies provide opportunities to minimize data recording errors. Many businesses first record material and labor movements on paper, then transfer those records to a system later in the day (perhaps at the end of a shift). This type of double-entry system is not only inefficient and delayed, it creates risks of data entry errors. The moral of the story? Modern companies need ERP solutions that offer all the advantages of ERP performance while maintaining simplicity, flexibility, and scalability in a fully integrated, cost-effective, end-to-end solution. And, like so many modern, generation X employees, the solution has to be modern and support mobility features to enable employees to work flawlessly anywhere, anytime. Heeding the advice in this report can help your business realize the myriad competitive advantages that adopting a mobile-savvy ERP solution affords. To see how SAP's world-class ERP solutions are empowering businesses globally with mobility, register for a demo offered by SAP's #1 Cloud Partner, Navigator Business Solutions.Read more