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What Your Business Should Know About Cloud-based ERP

Wood blocks with the letters ERPERP 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.    

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Automation with SAP

a line of water bottles in productionEffectively automated processes keep a business streamlined and efficient. Along with the many other business benefits of SAP, automation is one of the largest advantages that comes from the ERP software. SAP’s automation tools allow for increased visibility, a modern and adaptive workforce, and a simplification of processes that allow a business to run smoothly, without delay. Here’s some more information about automation with SAP...  

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Managing a Global Network with ERP

Lights shine across a global networkIn an increasingly global marketplace, mid to large size businesses need to be able to effectively manage their organization across different countries, and even continents. The simple truth is that, for many industries, it is absolutely essential to be international with your business, if you hope to be competitive in the overall market share. Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) enables enterprises to control their global network through a convenient, yet powerful tool.  

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Reduce Headaches with ERP

A businessman holds his head in his handsAt the end of the day, the purpose of utilizing any business tool is to simplify the processes and reduce the amount of headaches that are created by operating a successful enterprise. At its heart, this is what enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is all about: reducing headaches. Here are several of the ways that ERP software can streamline a business and simplify the process for executives and employees, alike...  

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When to Upgrade to ERP

Vector of finger hitting pro buttonIn a business’ maturation cycle, there comes a point of growth where a company must make a jump from small to midsize business. Before this can happen, though, it is going to require an audit of internal processes and systems that may or may not be slowing down the prospective growth of the business. In today’s marketplace, to remain competitive, this is probably going to mean that an adoption of enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is going to be required. How do you know when it is time to take this step, though?  

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The Key to a Successful Software Rollout is Not What You Might Think

Are you in the middle of launching new ERP software or planning an implementation in the coming months? Without effective communication guiding your rollout, even the most powerful, useful platform will go unused. Set your implementation up for success by creating an effective launch communication plan. Let these 5 questions guide you.

  1. How will this system make the lives of my colleagues better?
Adoption of the new technology hinges on how effectively you communicate the vision for it. What does it do and why are we moving to it? If you lead with the technical details and pre-launch checklists, you'll lose your audience. In a piece by Harvard Business Review, Didier Bonnet of Capgemini Consulting says, “Employees need to understand why [the new technology] is an improvement from what they had before." Without compelling reasons to transition, most employees will perceive the new technology as disruptive to their comfortable routine. Put yourselves in each department’s shoes. What’s in it for Accounting and for Manufacturing? What about Sales and Marketing? Also remember that communicating the vision doesn’t end once you’ve announced the new system. You must reiterate the “what and why” at each stage of the rollout process.
  1. What influencers can I ask to champion the rollout?
First, if top leadership isn't backing this new technology and making that clear to the rest of the company, very few people will adopt it. But beyond the executive team, who else in your company could you ask to be an ambassador for this change? Choose someone who has demonstrated enthusiasm and success in championing other initiatives.
  1. How will we educate people about using this new tool?
Your colleagues already have a full-time job. Asking them to learn a new platform is almost like giving them a part-time job on top of that. Be sensitive to this. How can you communicate in ways that make the most of people’s time and make it easy for them to learn? Simplicity People are daunted by software user documentation because it’s murky, cumbersome, and bursting with jargon. Communicate in everyday language. Keep videos or documentation short and organized. And if your mom couldn’t understand your communication, start over. Motivation Build incentives into your communication plan. The first 5 people to sign up for a training webcast get a $10 Starbucks gift card. The first 5 people to do XYZ in preparation for launch get a $25 Amazon gift card. And so on.
  1. How will we set expectations for day of go-live?
Create and communicate schedules. Are you rolling out in phases? Outline the “who” and the “when” clearly so that people aren’t surprised when they can’t access legacy systems any longer. What can people expect on the day of rollout? Who do they contact if they have problems with the system? When questions, concerns, or problems roll in, be quick to address them. For those who experience a critical issue on launch day, you need to provide a response that at least sets expectations for a solution.
  1. How will we sustain engagement on our new ERP system?
Many companies mistakenly think that once the new technology launches, the job of communicating is done. Making it past launch day is only half the battle. You've got to show up after rollout through continued communication and guidance. Continually communicate why people should keep using the tool and motivate them use it. Celebrate quick wins departments are experiencing to create momentum. Create FOMO throughout the company by sharing employee success stories of those who are benefiting from using the new system. It’s not too late! If you’ve already started your software transition without considering these questions, it’s not too late to finish strong. Review the suggestions and see what you and your team can pull together. We’re here to help, if you still have questions, contact us!

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5 Reasons It’s Time for You to Leave QuickBooks Behind

Countless small businesses rely on QuickBooks to manage their finances. This software has served your company well in the early stages of growth, but it may be showing signs of wear as you continue to expand. So, when is the right time for you to upgrade to more advanced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software? The short answer: when everyday accounting tasks become complicated for your team to perform. Here are 5 common moments that signal it's time for you to move on from QuickBooks. 1. When you're struggling to track your growing inventory You've got an exciting problem on your hands. Product demand is out-pacing your ability to keep tabs on your current inventory. Maybe you're even adding a warehouse to meet your growing needs. Inventory tracking is now more critical for you than ever. How can you know what you have in real time so that you fulfill customer orders fast? And what about tracking backorders? ERP software offers all this and more. 2. When your customer data causes QuickBooks to crash Those mumblings of mutiny you're hearing in the accounting office are no joke. When file sizes get too large for QuickBooks, that causes instability and program crashes. This means lost work and lost time, which translates to a frustrated accounting team. The more customer accounts you earn the more transactions you need to enter, causing file size to increase. With QuickBooks’ Enterprise tier, the file size limitation is 1.5 GB. To regain file size, you need to delete history. When you’re hovering near max file size, you’ll notice problems like reports taking too long to load, random error messages, or all out crashing. ERP software databases have more capacity and also support transaction archiving, which you aren’t able to do in QuickBooks. 3.  When reporting has become a major challenge Though QuickBooks handles reporting, these features aren’t robust or easy to use. Does your team rely on 1 or 2 QuickBooks reporting gurus to generate the right reports for your company? Are people having to export data from QuickBooks and then manipulate it in Excel to produce the reports you need? If so, it's time to upgrade to an ERP that makes creating and publishing reports, charts, and dashboards fast and easy for everyone. 4.  When you need fully integrated CRM functionality With QuickBooks there’s an add-on CRM solution but it’s not a complete integration and there isn’t any drill down capability. With good ERP software, you get CRM functions integrated throughout the entire application. You can manage your customers everywhere in the system, rather than in a separate module. 5.  When you need an easier way to maintain GAAP compliance QuickBooks as standalone software is not GAAP compliant. You’ve likely struggled to build your financial statements using data from QuickBooks, a network of spreadsheets, and even other systems. GAAP compliance is either expected or mandatory for:

  • Securing VC funding
  • Getting bank loans
  • Filing your taxes
  • Your company’s valuation
  • And more
When you’re financials are consistent, you’ll also get more reliable forecasts. Given how crucial this record-keeping is, why not use a single system that’s already GAAP compliant for managing your finances?

Summing it Up

When a company has gotten used to any software, it’s challenging and even a little painful at first to make a change. But what you’re gaining from ERP software—the scalability, flexibility, time savings, and increase in features and integrations—will provide huge returns on your new investment. Is your company outgrowing Quickbooks?  Register to attend an overview demo on SAP's Business One platform, geared for companies just like yours.  Click here.  

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How to Evolve Your Midsize Company to ERP

A bird's eye view of business people working on computersThe digitization of the modern marketplace necessitates the use of digital tools to stay relevant. As the 21st century continues to change in favor of technology, this fact becomes even more true. For this reason, many midsize companies, as well as some small and large companies, have found that evolving their system to incorporate enterprise resource planning software (ERP) to help organize their operations.  

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The Edge of Cloud-based ERP

A business man holding an icon of cloud erpCloud-based business planning software used to be a solution that was associated with smaller businesses. However, in recent years, the viability of using a cloud-based enterprise resource planning software (ERP) has exponentially increased, to the point where surpasses the effectiveness of on-premise ERP, and allow your midsize business to cut major costs.  

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Three Strategic Reasons for Moving to Cloud-Based ERP

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:  

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