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How ERP Improves Your Business Decision Making January 15, 2017

Making Smart Choices

Companies and business owners are constantly required to make smart decisions regarding their various operations with an eye to their overall growth, expansion and profitability. In an earlier era, these investment decisions revolved around new tools, superior machinery, employees with more creative ideas and so on. Now, however, software solutions have acquired an equally important place in any business investment plan. Though simple software solutions like Spreadsheet and Quickbooks seem to be apparently easier and cheaper, a lack of integration among the various software applications can seriously hamper the company’s growth and incur unnecessary expenditure. Here, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software emerges as a one-stop solution.

What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP is a business management software that provides a system of integrated applications to run a business effectively with maximum efficiency and optimum use of all the available resources. It provides a master database, cutting across all the facets of the business ranging from product planning, development costs, invoicing, financial accounting and manufacturing to sales and marketing, shipping and payment, warehousing and payroll. This enables an efficient management of the diverse business operations on a day-to-day basis. The use of a single application further empowers the company not only to have an integrated system of accurate records but also facilitates wise business decisions.

ERP or QuickBooks?

Many small companies choose software like Quickbooks, Spreadsheet and Peachtree since these seem sufficient, at least for the time being, for their needs. However, as the business grows, these simpler solutions can seriously affect them through apparently minor errors and failure to provide an overall visibility of the various operations. In spite of being user friendly, they can hardly compete with the benefits provided by an integrated ERP.

Real Time Benefits

ERP offers a whole range of benefits including:

  • Complete visibility across the whole spectrum of business operations
  • Enhanced sales performance
  • A better view of the company’s financial growth
  • Better management of the varied business operations through the use of a standardized and common format and centralized database
  • Reduced labor cost
  • Improved DIFOT (Delivery in-full and on-time) rate and better customer satisfaction
  • Increased profits by means of integrated business processes and consistent policies across the various levels of operation.
  • A constantly updated record that provides increased control and better planning

Thus, the ERP software presents a cost effective solution and its desirability is further enhanced by the fact that it can easily be customized to suit the needs of any business – be it general manufacturing, retail business, CPG industry, life sciences industry, process or service industry or distribution company.

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Best preparation and planning practices for a successful SAP implementation November 6, 2016

In terms of technology, SAP rates highly as several organizations use their products and services for their end-to-end process management in a technology platform that is integrated. NetWeaver by SAP gives organizations the ability to bring different web applications and systems by third parties under a single platform. They aid companies that have already gotten some systems by third parties to protect such systems while supporting the growth of their business. Based on this, transformation products using SAP products are often very large and so are the clients. The most effective means of implementing the SAP is discussed below.

Planning stage

To start this stage, the committee in charge of overseeing the implementation should send out the individuals who would be responsible for leading the project, including those who would be in charge of IT, business and sponsoring for the program. They should consist of members of the organization so that they can continue to manage the system for the company. During this stage, the leadership of the project should be discussed with the major stakeholders so that the goals of their units can be integrated into the SAP. The project’s scope should also be reviewed so that decisions on the model of engagement can be made. The engagement model could either be the ‘Time and Materials’ model, where the client is expected to pay for goods and services on the basis of material, and time or the ‘Fixed Fee’ model, where a specific price is agreed upon for the entire project with the SAP partner.

Selection of technology

There are several factors that should be considered after adopting the SAP implementation. The factors include:

  • Ability to integrate the standard modules of the SAP with the functionality of the business including Pi, Bi, IS Solutions, MM, SD and FI-CO amongst others.
  • The organization being able to improve on the system internally, without having to contact the software vendor.
  • Capable of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  • Capable of healthy integration of external and internal systems
  • Able to support the growth of the business for a very long period of time including the performance, volume of data and functionality
  • Platform of technology scalability

Selection of a systems integrator

As soon as you select the platform for the SAP implementation, you should select a SAP partner. This would include inviting different vendors and checking which of their goals and abilities is compatible with the technology you intend to deploy for the SAP of your organization. You can also prepare a sheet to evaluate the vendors before picking the best for your organization.

Preparation stage

Based on the methodology of your SAP implementation, you will need to make sure all team and project charters are clarified at this stage. Some of the charters to be clarified include:

  • SOA
  • Legacy systems
  • Application development
  • Technical architecture
  • Integration team
  • Management of organizational changes
  • Overall business
  • Overall project

It is also important that your project is primed if you desire to use a SAP partner.

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Inventory Management with POS Software June 20, 2016

There comes a time during your business experience when a particular item is selling like hot cakes rendering it unavailable after a period of time. If you are unable to reorder the item before it goes out of stock you will lose customers who may have wanted to purchase it. Loss of customers could lead to a decline in profits as well.

This is where the point-of-sale (POS) system comes in. A POS system consists of hardware and software components which are integrated to ease retail transactions. You can use common spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel but POS software will allow you to go beyond the conventional boundaries of inventory management. Its versatility is such that many retailers prefer to use the term “Retail Management System” when it comes to a POS.

The most challenging task for retailers, large or small, is managing their inventory efficiently. Failure to update inventory may put the business at risk of losing not just customers but also its credibility in the market. Traditional inventory management systems are time-consuming and prone to errors. What you need is a simple, fast, and efficient POS system which can help you manage your resources, provide notifications when they are low in number, and update records in real time. You should also be able to view and print reports of the transactions and analyze strategies to improve your business.

POS systems can range from being basic receipt dispensers to complex inventory management systems. In the latter, the system is highly accurate in terms of providing the physical count of items, their expiry date, and the price. The system will provide transaction details at the checkout and simultaneously update the inventory logs at the backend. When there is a change in pricing of an item, all you have to do is enter the new price in the system and all other systems in the network will automatically get updated. Whether it is inquiry, movement, or location the POS system has details of every item in the inventory with which you can track its life cycle from the warehouse to the customer.

Some businesses find the complexity of the system quite overwhelming and are unwilling to invest in it. They prefer tracking inventory on a periodic basis rather than in real time. While this method is also available in POS systems, it is difficult to determine if an item was lost or sold. It is imperative to have a perpetual inventory system which tracks the day-to-day inventory of your business.

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Categories: Advance B2C Technology