November 3, 2016
October 17, 2016
As a manufacturer, but really even as an everyday regular Joe, you’ve undoubtedly heard and read the buzz about the cloud. A simple definition of the cloud is that it is a network of servers, some of which perform online services and some which allow storage of and access to data. Technology companies with a heavy consumer focus are leading the charge in promoting cloud solutions and are battling vigorously for attention and dollars with the aim of having people entrust their digital lives to them. With the above said, manufacturers oftentime have different priorities than consumers who are primarily concerned with being able to access their music or photos at anytime from anywhere. For example, medical device manufacturers have an even greater set of concerns that introduces regulatory compliance into the equation. Highly regulated device manufacturers are focused on innovation, patient safety and operational efficiency, but nothing is more important that complying with federal and international requirements like Title 21 CFR Part 11 or standards like ISO 9000 & 13485. Regardless, the prospect of trusting the operation of your business to a cloud ERP solution could scare you, but it shouldn't. If you are considering the cloud, the secret is selecting a cloud ERP solution that works for your business. To clarify, one that meets your standards for security, as well as your processes and regulation requirements if such exist. There are countless players in the cloud, so it is crucial to ask at least the following questions prior to finalizing your decision. Is it secure? Security can be a major source of anxiety when considering a cloud-based solution. However, a cloud solution that is designed to meet the specific needs of a manufacturer can easily overcome these concerns. A cloud ERP provider needs to make security, privacy and high levels of information technology (IT) controls of paramount importance when designing a solution. A viable cloud solution uses stringent infrastructure and operational security measures to protect the underlying network, servers and application, all while controlling access to sensitive corporate data. Data centers must include state-of-the-art technical security measures, such as electronic and remote (yet secured) access; up-to-date firewalls and malware protection; and physical security measures, such as perimeter fences and live monitoring. With these measures in place, information resides in a cloud solution optimized for most industries, and is even more protected than an on-premise server and/or data center. Does it meet your compliance and regulatory requirements? A cloud-based ERP solution must be offered in a regulatory compliant IT environment. It should be a robust, highly available solution with all the necessary standard operating procedures to meet the requirements of national regulatory authorities. Examples of such include (but are not limited to):
- US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
- DCAA (defense contractors)
- 21 CFR Part 11 compliance
October 12, 2016
Have you reached the point where running your business is running you ragged? Wouldn’t you prefer to concentrate on service delivery and client satisfaction, instead of fire-fighting back-office tasks? Are you actively managing projects, or merely juggling them? Can you quickly determine how your business is performing at any point in time, or do you assume being busy is indicative of a profitable operation? Are you driving managed growth, or just getting bigger? These worries plague many growing, mid-size service companies –from accountancy practices to business consultants, engineers, advertising and marketing professionals, recruiters, researchers, estate agents and translators. Here, we identify the top 6 challenges that are common to all these businesses and show how you can address them, once and for all, with more streamlined ways of working and joined-up thinking. 1. Balancing Supply & Demand for Resources Just as with any factory, capacity management is crucial to your business. The workload you can accommodate is constrained by the basic equation of time multiplied by people, so it’s vital to avoid over-commitment that will compromise quality. At the same time, you’re challenged to optimise resource allocation, as your workforce is largely a fixed overhead and under-utilisation will negatively impact your bottom line. When your firm was smaller, you were probably able to determine availability and schedule projects using a whiteboard, calendar planner or spreadsheet. But as you hire additional people with diverse skill-sets to support increased business activity, the process of allocating resources and managing your workload manually starts to reveal its inadequacies as deadlines slip and profits slide. What's Needed? Clear, current and accurate visibility into supply and demand across existing and upcoming projects with integrated Work In Progress reporting that allows you to allocate resources more efficiently and profitably. 2. Omptimizing Cash Flow to Maintain Your Liquidity No matter how much revenue you’re generating, cash flow is critical. Late payments not only cost a business in lost interest, they can affect the financial sustainability of the business. That’s why getting the job done is only half the story – billing and getting paid on time is the other. Again, when your business was more compact and manageable, you could probably get by with manual invoicing processes. But growing in size is often accompanied by growing complexity. You probably have multiple concurrent projects and a larger workforce than in the early days. Some staff may work full-time on a project while others may be spread across several jobs at any given time. You incur expenses of various kinds, some billable, some not, and you may bill for materials as well as time. Your staff are more than likely charged out at different rates, depending on their skill set, experience and seniority. If you’re still relying on spreadsheets and documents to generate invoices, and reactive phone calls for credit control purposes, chances are you’re not getting paid promptly, either. What's Needed? A streamlined order-to-invoice business process with fully-integrated time and expense management and automated billing functionality, in order to achieve visibility into point-in-time project costs, generate error-free invoices and enforce timely payments. 3. Ensuring On-Time and On-Budget Delivery Your ability to deliver projects on time and on budget is critical to revenues and reputation – it’s what keeps you afloat and keeps your clients coming back for more. As your portfolio expands, your operations demand greater flexibility, reflected in the way you resource projects. You may need to bring in temporary or freelance workers, consultants, subcontractors or outsource partners to provide the manpower or expertise needed to fulfil the requirements of the job. Spreadsheets and even most project management software don’t work optimally in a distributed environment, affecting your ability to plan adequately and deliver projects within agreed timescales and budgets. Juggling complexity, your business developers or account managers may artificially inflate estimates and schedules when bidding for a new project (making your firm less competitive) or swallow the overage (affecting your profitability). They may even end up having to surprise the client with additional costs and delays (potentially tarnishing your reputation). What's Needed? A collaborative project management capability that enables team members to visualize forecasted resource, plan, execute and track project deliverables and share progress reports with stakeholders. Want more information? Click here.Read more
October 11, 2016
It seems that most companies want to do something related to cloud deployment these days. With analysts quoting expected revenues higher every day and the desire of businesses of all sizes to cut fixed costs, it is no wonder we are watching the cloud in the sky with rose-colored sunglasses. It is key to note that this transformation is not an easy one – for partners or vendors. It requires executive-level commitment to transform and accept that this new cloud reality is, well, cloudy. One thing seems to be consistent though: these unchartered skies require bold pilots, supported by an army of wingmen, or more specifically a partner like Navigator, who has the right skills and gumption to make it happen. For the customer, It’s a full commitment … one that has to start with all levels of the organization recognizing the risks today and benefits of the future. Change is not easy and requires organizations that are willing to commit to it wholeheartedly. If they don’t, they are likely to not be here in the future. Cloud is here to stay and hopefully you and your company are as well. So where do you start? And what do you need to consider on the cloud journey? Organizations that have been successful in the transformation seem to have some key best practices they follow. They are the true Red Barons – their fearlessness allows flight. While bravery is no blueprint for success, some suggested flight plans they took may help you embrace similar successful company attributes in your own organization.
- Commitment to the cloud is not optional. This is not about simply saying “we are a cloud company.” Being a true cloud company requires that every member of the team be willing to be the pilot, co-pilot, and spokesperson for your cloud strategy if and when needed. If you are part of a company embarking on a cloud strategy, do you understand the benefits of the cloud and how it will fasten and secure your company for the future? Is everything you do aligned to becoming a cloud company? For example, Navigator, SAP's #1 Global Partner for Cloud Solutions, moved all of its operations to the cloud so to better align itself with the rapidly growing cloud market. Grant Fraser, CEO of Navigator, had this to say. “Moving to the cloud is a transformation. It’s certainly not something you can just hire a sales team, and say, ‘It’s on cloud’. By moving to the cloud, we had to rethink our compensation model for our sales and service people. We had to rethink our marketing approach. We had to rethink our sales approach. We had to rethink our delivery approach. We also had to worry about cash. Basically, we had to transform our company to be cloud, because in cloud it has to be that much quicker, more efficient, and it’s all cloud speed, and that’s quite a transformation from being just on premise.”
- Aviate, navigate, and communicate. No part of your organization will remain untouched. Cloud is not a sales, marketing or services transformation. It is an end-to-end change in the way you do business today. This means that sales, marketing and services need to work closer together and fly in formation to provide holistic solutions to customers. Gone are the days with operational silos when a product was marketed, software was sold, services implemented, and support follows when a problem arose. With cloud, your customer can cancel the contract easier, and partner/service teams might not be able turn profit until many months after contract signing. Support is ongoing. Marketing has to be able to demo more often and propel more demand to increase reoccurring revenue. Plan your flight formation together. If you are not flying together and the landing gear is not engaged, you risk all going down.
- Perform a flight check. Set and manage your cloud targets. Most pilots do not get in a plane without performing a safety check with a focus on fuel levels. Without fuel, pilots become pedestrians – and a flight plan is crucial. However, because cloud revenue numbers seem so enticing, and it is what the future holds for software and service, I often hear of partners and vendors charging forward without a plan. It is key to have a plan – you safety check often and refer to later if you need to change course of action. Basic questions you will need to answer include sales and solutions goals. For example, is the goal to phase out your on-premise business in favor of a cloud one? If so, do your employees and flight staff have the skills to do this? Your sales organization will have very different compensation and targets. Make sure that they are on board as everyone needs to be with their new cloud reality.
- Short-term sacrifice may be needed. This is especially true for those companies coming from a traditionally on-premise software delivery model. Many born in the cloud companies are not yet making money in the cloud. Those who are entering into the cloud from an on-premise software delivery are often trying to figure out how to rebuild the plane – fully-loaded, no life vests without landing it. This is not an easy task. Everyone seems to have a different solution depending on their appetite for risk. Separate funding for cloud will need to be carved out and that may mean making some difficult choices – perhaps even landing the plane for a while. Forget about thrust and drag, lift and gravity; an airplane flies because of money and investment.
- Different skills required to take flight. Sales has to be able to sell value, not products. The focus has to shift to many smaller deals instead of one (or few) big ones. Marketing needs to be a key part of the organization, delivering lead volume to sales consistently while focusing on customer retention and acquisition. The key to the sale is now the Line of Business owner and success in the cloud will mean making sure you are speaking to them in their language, and effectively articulating what they care about. If these employees do not exist today in your organization, you may have some difficult hiring decisions to get your workforce ready to fly the plane – and safely.
September 28, 2016
Salt Lake City, UT (September 27, 2016) – As a progressive pioneer in providing Cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to multiple verticals, Navigator has announced a new major initiative designed to support emerging companies within the rapid growing Cannabis & Medical Marijuana industries. This new focus aims to provide companies with efficient, compliant business management software to help enable the long term success of growing businesses within the space. Further positioning Navigator, an SAP Gold Partner, as the leader in providing Cloud-based software to small-to-medium sized businesses, this new initiative will broaden Navigator’s target market verticals, which previously had been focused within Life Sciences, Professional Services, and Manufacturing & Distribution, among others. The initiative’s mission is to encourage and cultivate a flourishing and emerging market where many companies on the rise are in need of a tool that can increase profitability, manage scheduling, track performance, and maintain compliance in one streamlined solution. “Navigator Business Solutions has made a deliberate decision to focus our extensive talents and domain expertise within this large, untapped and extremely under-served market. Cannabis companies need better operational transparency, improved visibility, extremely flexible yet highly compliant solutions that are tailored to their unique needs and fast changing environment,” said Geoff Ashley, Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Navigator. “Our company invests heavily in finding fresh, unique markets where we feel as though there can be opportunities to create cohesive partnerships with clients and the Cannabis industry is where we believe we can provide the same celebrated value that we’ve given to our customer base of over five hundred companies.” Navigator has already had success within the market, as earlier this year they signed Adakai Holdings, an Arizona based parent company which operates a portfolio of business lines and products within the Cannabis space. At present, a strategic marketing plan to onboard the Cannabis vertical is underway at Navigator. Plans include Navigator sponsorship and involvement at industry related trade-shows, whitepapers and other written materials, and online exposure to help prospective clients navigate all of the information, options, and complexities that make up a fully defined yet easy to use Cannabis solution. About Navigator Business Solutions Navigator 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. For more information, visit: www.nbs-us.com To read the initial press release, click here. Media Contact: Sarah Chairez, Marketing Coordinator Navigator Business Solutions www.nbs-us.com 801-642-0123 email@example.comRead more
September 26, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – September 26, 2016 – Navigator Business Solutions, the premier value added reseller of cloud based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, announced it is a sponsor of the ASUG SAP Business One Conference (b1.asug.com) for 2016. The conference is being held September 26-28, 2016 at the Hilton Miami Downtown in Miami, Florida. “Our sponsorship of the conference attests to Navigator’s commitment and belief in the value of ASUG” said Eric Dahl, VP of Marketing at Navigator. “We are always excited to be a part of an experience with significance such as this.” ASUG SAP Business One Conference is a one-of-a-kind annual event for small to midsize businesses and SAP ERP customers using SAP Business One. It is an event where the North American SAP Business One community hears from SAP Business One experts and fellow SAP Business One users. It includes state-of-the-art solutions by partners, hands-on workshops, and trainings of how to leverage SAP Business One software to transform businesses and drive better results. Additional Information:
- Register for a Navigator demo: http://www.nbs-us.com/demos/
- Follow Navigator on Twitter: www.twitter.com/navigatorsap
- Register for ASUG SAP Business One Conference: http://b1.asug.com/register
- Follow @ASUG365 on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asug365
August 30, 2016
(Salt Lake City, UT) — Navigator Business Solutions has announced that Adakai Holdings, an Arizona based cannabis holdings company, has selected Navigator Business Solutions to implement its company procedures and operations onto a single streamlined software platform; SAP Business One. Adakai was founded in 2015, and has quickly established itself as a transformative player within the cannabis industry. Adakai aims to provide the cannabis industry, partners, consumers, and patients with valuable, enduring, and trusted knowledge, products, and services. As Adakai has continued to grow, so have its needs. The company found that the industry-specific management software that they had in place did not provide them with mission-critical elements such as database management, date tracking, and reporting that the company required. In addition, it was essential for Adakai to find a solution which could better automate their day to day processes, especially within inventory management. Ultimately, the decision was made to transition to SAP Business One, a unified, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that would give Adakai a competitive advantage as they continue their phenomenal growth. “Inventory accounting and an all in one production database with reduced manual labor and streamlined spreadsheets were certainly a part of the appeal for Adakai” said Trisha Smith, Financial Controller. “In addition the level of service and professionalism with Navigator was something that we didn’t find elsewhere.” Adakai is slated to go-live October 1st. With such an aggressive schedule, Adakai was very interested in Navigator’s 95+% on-time and on-budget performance record. As Ms. Smith stated, “Navigator made the decision easy, safe and predictable.” Once the software is fully implemented, it is anticipated that the growing company will enjoy a level of organization and overall control unlike anything previously experienced. With the expectation to keep all customers as ‘Customers for Life’, Navigator looks forward to a fruitful, long-term partnership with Adakai. “Adakai Holdings is a welcomed addition to our notable client list in an industry sector that Navigator has determined to be highly strategic,” stated Geoff Ashley, Navigator’s SVP of Sales & Marketing. “We are honored to be working with such a professional organization, especially considering their significant industry influence and thought leadership. We look forward to bringing Adakai on board, and equally excited to grow with this promising company far into the future.” 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.com About ADAKAI Holdings ADAKAI Holdings leverages years of entrepreneurial and operational experience to improve performance, reduce risk, and enhance the long-term value of the companies and brands in the portfolio. Adakai operates a portfolio of business lines and products in the cannabis space including Omaha Farms (a cannabis research, development and production facility), Monarch (a medical marijuana dispensary), and HUXTON (a craft flower cannabis brand). www.adakaiholdings.com To read the original press release, click here. Contacts Navigator Business Solutions Sarah Chairez, 801-642-0123 Marketing Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more
August 17, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – August 17, 2016 – Navigator Business Solutions, the premier value added reseller of cloud based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, today announced it will be a sponsor of BioCom’s DeviceFest 2016 conference (http://www.biocomdevicefest.org). The conference will be held August 30, 2016 at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. “This year’s DeviceFest will provide a great opportunity to expand our reach into a key Navigator vertical” said Eric Dahl, VP of Marketing at Navigator. “We are excited at the opportunity to demonstrate Navigator’s proven solutions to the respected medical device executives who will be in attendance, and look forward to creating additional long-term partnerships within the life science industry.” DeviceFest 2016 is a device & diagnostic conference which outlines the latest important developments that focus on reimbursement, regulatory, financing, and strategic partnerships within the medical device community. The conference will include a blend of keynote presentations, panel discussions and stand-alone presentations. Additional Information:
- Register for a Navigator demo: http://www.nbs-us.com/demos/
- Follow Navigator on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NavigatorSAP
- Register for DeviceFest 2016: http://biocomdevicefest.org/
- Follow @BIOCOMCA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BIOCOMCA
August 8, 2016
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects are perhaps the most intrusive project that a company will ever undergo. Almost everyone in the organization is affected in one way or another, from having to learn new computer skills, developing new report writing skills, re-engineering internal business processes, or the possibility of having to assume new roles. Frankly, people do not like change, and within every ERP project, there will be at least one person that doesn’t want the project to be successful. They like the way they work today, and they do not see the need for change. Technically, this is a management issue; because the company would not undergo such a disruptive project unless they had clear goals of how new software could help their company improve. And those improvements can be measured in efficiency which results in greater profitability. Management must communicate “why” they are undertaking a project to get all employees on board. It is about survival, growth, and taking the business to the next level. According to the Standish Group in The Chaos Report, a study of over 50,000 technology projects showed the technology industry has a poor track record of delivering ERP projects on time and on budget. The year of 2015 was the best over the past 20 years, with just 29% of projects being classified as successful. A full 19% failed, while the other 52% were classified as “Challenged”. What does this mean? A large percentage of projects go well over budget, well over timeline, and simply are poorly managed. It can often be traced back to a “selling model”, where technology vendors low-ball actual costs to win business, knowing that once a company is committed to a platform, returning with change orders to complete the work is the main alternative to halting the project. The reality is that most software packages in the market today do what they claim they do. It’s usually about project management. So how do companies avoid being one of the 71% of companies that fail or are challenged? Vetting the software partner is the first order of business. How many total implementations have they performed? How long have they been supporting the platform you are considering? The software partner’s experience is the most important decision point in every technology decision-always more important than cost of the software or ease of use. But there are even more important considerations. Complexity of ERP projects ranks high in contributing to challenged and failed projects. ERP is inherently complex. But why do companies attempt to eat the entire elephant in one bite? It makes much more sense to separate the “have to have” functional tools vs. the “nice to have” tools and eat the elephant in smaller bites. Remember, software vendors get paid by time and expense and want you to buy into the full complex project. So the longer they can be on site, the higher your cost, resulting in more change orders. Companies need to better define what they “have to have” on go-live to be successful, and then deploy “nice to have” tools in the future with smaller projects. Lastly, companies need to take a look at their business processes today and reconsider if they are using best-practice business processes. Challenge your software vendor to implement best practices for your business. If they know your business, which should be a main requirement for their selection, they should be able to recommend what companies like yours do for better efficiencies. And if they provide those recommendations, find out if they can they also offer them under a Fixed-Price, Fixed-Scope model. In the end, your project should be less-cost, due to a canned process, and less risk, since you would be keeping complexity down. Let’s face it; companies like yours don’t make money implementing software, so choose a company that understands that. Keep it simple. Keep it low cost. Be informed. Be one of the 29% of companies that are classified as “Successful”. Have questions? With 500+ ERP implementations, and the distinction of being named SAP’s #1 Cloud Partner, Navigator prides itself on being Fixed Price, Fixed Scope, On Time, and On Budget. To find out more, click here.Read more
July 26, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY - July 26, 2016 -- Navigator Business Solutions has announced that Rice's Lucky Clover Honey, a respected producer of 100% pure raw & unfiltered American honey, selected Navigator to implement its company procedures and operations onto a single streamlined software platform: SAP Business One.
Rice's Lucky Clover Honey was formed in 1924, and has grown steadily since inception. It is a women-owned, family operated company, which is now in its 5th generation. Nurturing long-standing relationships with beekeeper families throughout the US, Rice's customized filling process and system ensures the natural pollen and enzymes of the raw honey remain in every bottle. The company operates out of its Greeley, Colorado office.
To aid their commitment to stay competitive within the market, Rice's chose SAP Business One, a unified enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, to automate their operational processes, streamline workflow, and manage inventory across the organization. This process involved identifying the proper platform to upgrade from Quickbooks. This platform would need to be adaptable to the unique standards and needs of the company.
"We certainly liked what SAP offers" said Mike Lordemann, Vice President of Operations at Rice's Honey. "The back-end systems, up to date analytics, and the ability to grow with our company was very important to us." Mr. Lordemann continued "We are excited to have the capacity to track a project with quality from start to finish with accurate financials."