5 Guidelines for Evaluating ERP Systems for Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers

5 Guidelines for Evaluating ERP Systems for Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers

Today’s ERP systems for Consumer Products Manufacturers  must drive true transformation.

In order to compete, consumer goods companies must keep pace with customer demand while managing margins and complying with ever-changing safety and environmental regulations.

Companies must also manage a variety of pressures ranging from the price of raw materials needed to produce their goods, to the energy needed to run their manufacturing plants.

Speedy product development and replenishment lifecycles are the order of the day since today’s consumer goods manufacturers are faced with growing demands for the fast delivery of personalized goods. information systems should help optimize supply chains and help manufacturers that are facing tightening margins.

To compete and thrive, it’s critical to understand key criteria about ERP systems for Consumer Products Manufacturers.

Guidelines for Selecting ERP Systems for Consumer Products Manufacturers

As an ERP consultant team, we speak with many companies looking to better handle the functional areas they need to run and grow their business.

Some of the key areas project teams are challenged with involved areas such as managing demand planning and forecasting; integrating customer orders, and streamlining warehouse management to name just a few.

In general, to drive business process improvement, We remind firms to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  1. Process automation:Look for features and functions of an ERP system that takes out reliance on manual intervention and siloed spreadsheets, so the team is better positioned to deliver new products quickly and more cost-efficiently
  2. Full Integration with CRM: Be sure the ERP system provides a seamless connection to CRM features for optimal customer service, helping to manage order customization, promotions, trade spending, and rebates. It’s key to easily manage customer relationships and sales orders.
  3. Integrated Product Configuration:CPG companies are expected to provide quality and accuracy to customers. Enterprise systems should offer product configuration basics, and be integrated to configure and customize products based on unique needs, so it’s easy to make modifications, track costs, and maximize performance.
  4. Compliance Functionality:Keep an eye out for the latest features to help comply with product safety standards. Today’s modern systems help organizations meet increasingly complex customer and regulatory mandates related to reporting, labels and other areas.
  5. Streamlined EDI:Be sure systems can better streamline seasonal forecasts, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), distribution, and optimizing workflow.

While not an exhaustive list, this is a good look at what to keep in mind when evaluating ERP systems for Consumer Products Manufacturers.

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Considering ERP systems for Consumer Products Manufacturers?

  • Contact the us to drive your organization’s transformation

 

Resources to Help Manage Risk During an ERP Project

Resources to Help Manage Risk During an ERP Project

Image result for free images of risks

 

It’s a challenge for project teams to manage risk during an ERP project. We know as an ERP firm with extensive experience in ERP selection and implementation projects that no enterprise software implementation project comes without some risk. To gain the desired success, it is essential to identify and manage risk during an ERP project.
Most manufacturers and distributors don’t have the expertise to pinpoint what causes risk and how to create an ERP risk management plan. The manufacturing and distribution teams we work with have relayed that managing risk is one of the strongest reasons to work with a consultant team.

ERP Implementation Risk

In our context, risk in an enterprise software implementation is defined as a chance of exposure to adverse consequences of future events. Risk might come masked as changes in leadership and project team priorities, lack of proper budgeting and unanticipated financial forecast changes, scope creep as the project requirements change, a lack of details that alters the project timeline and budget, lack of skills in managing organizational and culture change, and more.

Over the years of hundreds of engagements, the business improvement consultants at ACEteK have identified four general areas of risk that can sabotage an enterprise project:

1. Lack of proper team resources and executive leadership/buy-in. ERP project teams are successful when they can properly devote their time to the project and have executive support.
2. Lack of team resources with extensive experience in various disciplines who will document the current and desired future state of operations. The role of an ERP consultant can fill this gap, bringing industry experience to propose suggested business process re-engineering directives.
3. Settling for out-of-the-box solutions rather than focusing on the appropriate fit between ERP features and the desired future state of business processes.
4. Assuming an ERP project is “just” an IT project. In fact, implementing a new enterprise technology solution is the perfect time to review and revise business processes to maximize the technology investment.

Resources to Help Manage Risk During an ERP Project

ACEteK’s experts have provided numerous ways on how to minimize and manage risk during an ERP project.
Developing a formal plan for an implementation project is a smart strategic step for the ERP project team. ERP project risks fall into three categories: cost/money, timeline, and scope/quality.
To manage risk during an ERP project it pays to get educated. As a part of our toolkit of ERP education resources, we have developed methodologies for dealing with risk, including prevention, reduction, transference, contingency, and risk acceptance. Our structured approach to risk analysis and risk action begins in the planning phase and continues throughout the project.

At ACEteK, our experience gained from more than 100 successful ERP engagements has given us specific knowledge of the Types of ERP Risks You Simply Can’t Afford to Ignore. We guide teams to address serious project and business issues. The risks we encounter most frequently fall in the areas of:

• Business priorities and leadership
• Financial budget and value realization
• Project scope and timeline
• Resource staffing and competencies
• Change and cultural adoption
• Process capability and future state expectations

As part of ERP process improvement services, ACEteK focuses on proactively identifying ERP risks and instituting risk management best practices. We apply methods throughout the implementation process to proactively identify, plan for, and mitigate risks.

We understand that an ERP project will deliver success only when it is built on business process improvement rather than driven merely by ERP system features. Consider these questions when selecting ERP software:

• Why is business process improvement the place to start, even before selecting ERP software?
• What are the key categories of decision drivers?
• How is setting strategic decision drivers different from the traditional RFP process?

Learn More to Manage Risk During an ERP Project

It is imperative to have the right resources to carefully plan for and manage risk during an ERP project.

What’s the Best Approach to Project Management and ERP Implementation?

What’s the Best Approach to Project Management and ERP Implementation?

 

As an independent ERP consulting firm, we have guided manufacturers with project management leadership for hundreds of enterprise software projects over the years.

Because of this, we know that competent project managers coupled with a proven methodology are the key to a successful enterprise software implementation.

Conversely, inadequate project management practices and inexperienced resources are proven root causes for the failed implementations we have seen and subsequently rescued.

Effective Project Management and ERP Implementation

When looking at the most effective approach to project management and ERP implementation, note that project management is an integrative endeavor, where every action, or failure to act, can affect your chances of success.

Key requirements of effective project management are as follows:

  • The project manager assigned to the ERP project should be experienced and have a portfolio of multiple projects like yours.
  • Your project manager should have a track record of leading successful improvement initiatives, enterprise software selection activities, enterprise software implementations and organizational change management projects with referenceable customers and measurable results.
  • Consider structuring an enterprise project management office (PMO) that reports directly to an executive steering committee. This approach is paramount for managing resources and the project plan.
  • In addition to having an experienced project manager, the PMO should include team members from across the enterprise who are accountable for the project’s success.

An Implementation Partner or a Transformation Partner?

When manufacturers and distributors turn to us for project management of an ERP implementation, they benefit because our team is up to speed on the organization’s future state needs.

When we guide enterprise software selection, our team is already embedded with key resources and functions as a transformation partner instead of a software delivery provider.

More than guiding the implementation alone, we act as a transformation partner by capturing the benefits of the new technology, which we identify during the business process improvement and selection phase.

We allocate only the staffing needed to ensure all critical implementation deliverables are covered – driven by a joint work-split analysis during the Selection Phase.

Comparing Approaches to Project Management

When comparing approaches to project management and ERP, it is useful to list out the various approaches available to the ERP project team.

We encounter three main implementation strategies in our engagements: using a software vendor, using a third-party service, and using internal DIY resources.

  Using a Software Vendor for ERP Implementation

Using a software vendor for ERP implementation is a typical approach in the marketplace. But the approach has its limitations.

While the software vendor knows the technology and its functionality, the vendor is only focused on the software implementation. Vendors, as a rule, do not engage in any business process improvement or transformation activities nor do they uncover opportunities for process change found during the BPI and Selection Phases.

Moreover, vendors do not always cover all elements needed for a successful implementation – many implementation risks occur in areas that vendors do not review in their implementation methodology.

  Using a Third-Party Implementation Service

Much like software vendors, third-party implementation services generally focus solely on the software implementation.

They frequently lack a strong project management capability, a robust methodology and a background in business process improvement/technology selection opportunity analysis outcomes.

We have often encountered third-party implementation services that lack the full knowledge of a vendor’s software, which means the vendor needs to be involved in the implementation anyway.

Using “DIY” Internal Resources

It is rare indeed to encounter a manufacturing or distribution organization that has sufficient staffing to run a successful end-to-end implementation without external support and expertise.

Using a DIY approach leaves the company open to critical risks, including difficulty identifying correct internal skill sets, inability to staff internal resources already allocated on other projects, and no clear career path available to the internal team after project completion

Other issues with a DIY approach involve lack of internal methodology that covers all work streams to achieve a low-risk project, and a lack of the ability to manage the more technical activities of the software vendor.

We have been called upon many times to rescue manufacturers taking on an internal enterprise technology implementation project.

 

Seeing Clearly: Data Visibility Improves Decisions

Seeing Clearly: Data Visibility Improves Decisions

As an ERP consulting firm, we often guide teams to work through enterprise system selection to improve key processes related to gaining visibility into the enterprise.

A common theme running is a desire these organizations have for improved visibility and transparency of information.

The role of an ERP consultant adds clarity in helping the ERP project team understand the types of data that should be tracked, the reporting format that is most useful, and the importance of integrated data visibility.

ERP and Data Visibility

Today’s modern ERP systems capture, store, and trend a range of information such as quality, production, shipping, financial, supply chain activity and more.

Yet even today, many organizations use a variety of manual methods, standalone spreadsheets and other patchwork systems to track data, and are in a poor position to react to change, optimize business processes such as production planning, or to improve relationships with customers and supply chain partners.

This is where “data visualization” comes into play – making key data actionable by visually aggregating numerous data points into displays that use colors, gauges, graphs, and other visual representations to display trends, averages, unusual results, compliance with goals or expectations, and other “actionable” information for managers and executives.

Learn More about Data Visibility

No matter the sector – food processors, industrial equipment, metal fabricators, distributors or others – the teams we talk to are hungry for real-time visibility into their entire operation to clearly see bottlenecks, adjust and improve productivity.

With access to more timely and accurate information, the assumption is that manufacturers use that data to take the needed action to improve business processes.

A focus on business process improvement is the foundation for successful implementation of an ERP system that improves data visibility.

Looking to transform your enterprise through effective use of information systems?  Contact ACEteK Software Limited for the best way to get started.

 

5 Signs You Need an Integrated ERP System

5 Signs You Need an Integrated ERP System

 

What are the pitfalls we often see when an ERP system is not fully integrated?

Enterprises are leaving ROI on the table when fear of the cost of investment keeps them from integrating systems together to streamline all operations and processes. Moreover, they don’t have the visibility that adds strategic accuracy into operations, an acute understanding of customer preferences and requirements, and insight into possible efficiencies. Our business improvement consultant’s report scenarios from the field where enterprises with poorly implemented integration have fulfillment delays and sloppy order processing, a lack of visibility, and flawed decision-making based on obsolete data.

An integrated ERP system gives a full accounting of inventory, shipping, quality, orders, payments – in short, a total and accurate real-time picture of the shop floor truth

5 Signs You Need an Integrated ERP System

The role of an ERP consultant is to deliver independent, unbiased guidance to businesses as they look to achieve streamlined operations and reduced costs. From that guidance, we have assembled 5 telling signs that you need an integrated ERP system.

  1. Your enterprise relies too much on manual spreadsheets

A common problem we help our clients solve is their over-reliance on Excel spreadsheets. They are error-prone and easily corrupted, lack appropriate version control, lack consistency from one department to the next making them less useful, and often are duplicated by departments spending time and resources creating spreadsheets another department has already drafted.

Spreadsheet are cheap and relatively easy to use but come with many costs. A spreadsheet cannot maintain the complexities and best practices necessary, for example, for strategic supply chain management, inventory-based replenishment, production planning, and other processes in the enterprise. They mask the data visualization and real-time intelligence enterprises so desperately need.

  1. Functional areas use siloed, standalone systems

When we see enterprises with standalone systems that can’t communicate with each other, we know that the ERP project team needs to connect all systems together to gain operational efficiency.

  Without integrated ERP, manufacturers and distributors cannot properly track production, inventory, quality, ordering or other operations

Enterprises working with multiple standalone systems and siloed data that’s inaccessible face duplicate data entry processes that are often manual and ripe for errors, a lack of visibility, and obsolete reporting and forecasting. Without an integrated ERP system, manufacturers and distributors cannot properly track production, inventory, quality, ordering or other operations – they are introducing opportunities for waste and manual errors.

Standalone applications keep data from flowing properly throughout the enterprise because disparate versions of intelligence are used upstream or downstream.

  1. You can’t trust your data

Without an integrated ERP system, many businesses are making crucial business decisions based on inaccurate and obsolete data that needs manual consolidation and manipulation. Multi-million dollar forecasting and decision-making based on untrustworthy data is a recipe for disaster. The total amount of data and information produced on the shop floor can’t be trusted when it comes from standalone, legacy systems that are not integrated.

Actionable operational intelligence is critical for decision-making in an efficient organization.

  1. You can’t monitor reports or data in real-time

Manufacturers and distributors live or die on real-time visibility into their entire operations to monitor productivity, solve bottlenecks, and respond to customer requirements, not to mention make time-sensitive forecasts.

Lack of an integrated ERP system that delivers real-time means that managers are hamstrung and often revert to manual workarounds to digest the enormous amount of data generated each hour on the shop floor.

Last month’s data is no substitute for data from the last hour.

When our business  consultants conduct a current state analysis, they often find a lack of real-time, actionable intelligence. With an integrated ERP system, real-time reporting is achievable.

  1. You can’t easily see “the big picture” of enterprise performance.

Hand-in-hand with a lack of real-time, actionable intelligence and production metrics is the inability to see the entire enterprise and its performance metrics as a whole. This strategic success factor outweighs all the others.

Seeing operational metrics from an integrated system lets organizations know if they are meeting their goals in terms of productivity and costs.

For businesses, seeing all operational metrics from one integrated system is the only way to know if they are meeting their goals in terms of productivity and costs, among others.

Access to accurate and timely data managed by their integrated ERP system is essential. Hidden costs, production inefficiencies, costly manual workarounds, and even safety issues won’t come to light without real-time data and an all-encompassing view of the enterprise.

Supplying timely and full-picture metrics of the operation is what integrated ERP systems do. They deliver vital performance information with real-time or near-time reports and dashboards.

The Benefits of an Integrated ERP System

If your organization is experiencing any of these 5 warning signs, it’s time to consider an integrated ERP system.

The benefits of integrated ERP include better operational and performance management, reduced costs, reduction of manual errors, improved view of customer demands and buying trends, better-informed decision-making and forecasting, and real-time visibility into every facet of the business process.

 

We’d love to hear from you about your project. Whether you are interested in a new ERP system for your business, or if we can assist with your current system, get in touch!

Email: info@aceteksoftware.com

Website: http://aceteksoftware.com/

Contact form: http://aceteksoftware.com/contact/

 

5 Surprisingly Common ERP Selection Issues

5 Surprisingly Common ERP Selection Issues

Is it time to select a new ERP system? You are looking for one that will meet all your needs, be easy to implement, accepted by all right from the start, and provide a return that makes you a hero and helps your business succeed. ERP selection should be easy, right?

Issue 1: Not starting with business objectives

What do you hope to accomplish? What demands are your customers placing on you? What problems need to be solved? Will a new ERP system solve those issues? How will a new ERP system solve those issues? ERP is nothing more than a tool that might be able to get you where you want to go. It is a very powerful tool but it cannot solve every problem.

Make lists of what you hope to accomplish and what are the barriers to achieving those accomplishments. Prioritize the objectives. Monetize the objectives. Make this a large-scale enterprise-wide team effort. Your objective might not be another person’s. Neither of you might be targeting your organization’s objectives. As a starting point, increasing efficiency, replacing outdated legacy systems, and gaining greater functionality were the top three reasons businesses chose to implement their ERP. Spend as much time on this phase as necessary. Unless you get this part right, you could doom any efforts to select and implement any ERP.

Next, look at the objectives and determine how or if an ERP system can help get you there. Look too at your current ERP and other tools you already have. How can you use any of these to get toward your objectives? The gaps left behind are why you need to consider an ERP. Understanding those gaps and how ERP can resolve them is critical. Some of these are must-have and others are nice to have. Knowing that your ERP selection takes care of all the must-have needs and many of the nice to have needs will eliminate many problems others have with ERP selection. It meets the must-have needs or it doesn’t. Real simple.

Issue 2: Delaying process improvements

Do you re-engineer processes before your ERP selection or after? Often there is no absolute right answer; you could succeed either way. Process re-engineering can be more valuable to meeting your objectives than the ERP system itself. If the re-engineered process depends on the features of the new ERP, you might think you have no choice. But look carefully and maybe there is some part of the process change that could begin immediately with your current tools. You are in business to make money. If your goal is to make $100 after selecting and implementing an ERP but you could make $75 right now by changing some processes, why wait?

Process re-engineering and ERP implementation can both be large, complex projects. Try to keep them separate. Work on one at a time and get it done before disrupting the business with a second project.

Issue 3: Delaying change management

This isn’t directly a part of ERP selection, but change management is one of the key reasons why an ERP project might fail. Whatever ERP you select, you don’t want to plan to fail.

Change is about people. People learning a new way to get their jobs done and embodying that new way so deeply that when a crisis comes along, they automatically use the new ways and do not return to the old process they once were comfortable with. People will change how they do their jobs. Some will change easily and others not so easily. Few will simply never change. They have to know why the change is important to the company. They have to know even more so why the change is important to them. We all ask, “What’s in it for me?” That answer has to be crystal clear to each and everyone involved. Even then, they must be competently trained and have confidence that the other people upstream and downstream from them in the process flow will use the new processes too.

Issue 4: Not considering current resources

You might decide that Brand X ERP meets all your must-have objectives and more of the nice-to-have ones than any other ERP. You could also find that Brand Y also meets all the must-haves and nearly as many nice-to-haves but can be implemented with the resources you already have. Project management is a resource you cannot succeed without. Less-visible resource needs are IT people to manage data conversion. Resource needs can also be hardware and ancillary software needed to fully implement the ERP you select. People’s time for testing the ERP, training in the ERP and new processes is very important. Will you pay overtime? Can you avoid some tasks those people currently do? Do you have available time now because of a decline in your order bookings?

Issue 5: Personal bias

You need a new ERP and you understand the priority of needs that an ERP must meet. You might have used a particular ERP at a previous job. You might have even worked for the ERP vendor. Sure, you are comfortable with that product. Don’t let your personal bias interfere with selecting the best product for your business and its needs. This is subtle. It requires stepping outside of yourself. Do it.

None of this ensures you will have no problems with ERP selection, but this preparation ahead of the selection will greatly help you make the best choice.

 

Considering a new ERP system? 

Considering a new ERP system?  Don’t be easily impressed!

Chances are if you are one of the thousands of companies that will be looking at a new ERP this year, you are updating from a 10-year-old system or you are moving to your first major system.

Either way, you will be dazzled with all the new things that you can get from a new ERP system.

The reporting, dashboards, interface, and graphics will all be flashy and capture your attention.  You may find yourself so excited that you want to move immediately to upgrading with the first software vendor you see.

Here’s a warning based on experience leading many enterprise technology projects… don’t be easily impressed!

More than Technology

Don’t make the mistake of quickly jumping into software demos, nor should you just view a single demo.

All of today’s modern systems will dazzle you and seem like a large improvement, but not all systems are the right fit for your business.

ERP systems are rapidly improving, they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

The features you find most impressive may actually be common among most systems and you are missing the critical parts of your business.  Remember, productivity is not about the “look” of a software system, it is about automation, information, and number of screens/clicks.

While it’s tempting to consider these initiatives as pure “technology or IT projects,” that perspective is not effective and often results in an implementation that fails to meet expectations.  IT may lead the project and certainly has a major role, but ERP projects touch almost every area of the business.  The new system will naturally bring some change to how business is done, so it’s important that business process owners are heavily involved.

Decision Drivers

Instead of being impressed with the latest user interface, We suggest our clients work with a set of software decision drivers which will vary for every organization depending on what is the best match for the specific functional areas of the business.  Those drivers include:

1 – Features and Functionality

Does the software meet the future state needs of the business?

Will users find the software intuitive and easy-to-use?

Does the software have advanced industry functionality to support dynamic business needs?

2 – Vendor Synergy

Does the vendor understand the specifics of the business?

Is the vendor aligned with the specific requirements of the organization?

3 – Solution Agility and Viability

Is the vendor invested in this product solution?

Will the software be a part of its service offering for the long-term?

4 – Technology Alignment

Does the platform fit within the team’s technology roadmap?

Is the vendor following industry standards for current and future integrations?

5 – Total Cost of Ownership

Are licensing fees, maintenance and subscription costs understood?

Are fees for services/support and integrations included?

6  – Implementation Considerations

Does the vendor’s implementation methodology align with the organization?

Is the project plan comprehensive with adequate detail?

How are risks and issues managed?

A Better Way Forward

Transforming your business processes, with an ERP system as a technology enabler, requires creating a vision of the future state from the current state – and then on to defining the business value for the project.

Done properly, this foundation will establish alignment of expectations with management, improve the efficiency of the project team, eliminate process waste, and reduce the time to benefit for the project.

Thus, when a project team is considering an ERP selection project, it’s imperative that the selection process is based on a solid foundation of industry expertise, vendor research and intimate knowledge of the business, all aligned with the goal of improved business performance.

So in a nutshell, we suggest this strategy: Know your users, know your business, understand your current state.

Then look at best practices to incorporate into your future state requirements.  Then find the right solution that matches strengths to your needs.

Email: info@aceteksoftware.com

Website: http://aceteksoftware.com/

Contact form: http://aceteksoftware.com/contact/

What are Your 2020 ERP Goals?

What are Your 2020 ERP Goals?

What’s the state of your company’s ERP goals?

With the final quarter of the year well underway, it’s typically a time of reevaluation of old strategies. Project teams are taking the time to seek new initiatives to stay competitive in the manufacturing and distribution sectors.

As an independent ERP consulting firm, common questions we hear this time of year are “Are we ready for a new ERP system? Is next year the right time? Can we be successful with our existing system?”

Before any plans are set to undertake an enterprise technology evaluation project, we see the most successful companies are those that set ERP goals early in the process.

 Survey Shows Importance of ERP Goals

The importance of setting ERP goals is confirmed from findings in ERP Implementation Survey recently conducted. The survey surveyed more than 300 US  manufacturers and distributors with a carefully crafted set of questions designed to strike at the basis of conceptions about ERP projects.

The focus was on ERP implementation projects in terms of schedule, costs, and expected ROI.

The survey found that an ERP project is too important to embark upon without first setting goals.

These goals should also form the basis for expectations in terms of return on investment (ROI). You might have a single over-riding priority, or you might have a long list of goals.

They asked 315 survey participants to select their “top three” most important goals for ERP

Several only selected one or two, and a very small percentage (4%) indicated they set no goals. They simply knew they had to “do something.” However, the vast majority did select three, leading us to believe that more often than not, they did indeed have a substantial list of goals

The Top ERP Goals

Specific business cost savings and improvement of selected performance metrics top the list, but we found it somewhat surprising that less than half (46%) selected each.

These two goals provide the most direct opportunity for ROI and most companies embarking on an ERP project must cost-justify the expense.

In the past, this was always a capital expense, but as software as a service (SaaS) becomes more prevalent, less (or no) capital may be required, perhaps making it easier to justify. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for ROI. An ERP project team is wise to take this finding into consideration.

Why Set ERP Goals?

We guide manufacturers and distributors to identify specific, quantifiable goals before getting on board with any project, whether that project is an implementation of a new solution, a significant upgrade or a major overhaul.

If your current solution is not meeting your goals, or if you never set goals, it may very well be time to step back and perform an audit of your current solution to determine if it is living up to its full potential.

And then determine if that full potential is sufficient to give you a competitive edge. If not, it may be time to replace it. The role of an ERP consultant can help in this regard.

Your 2020 ERP Goals

As we wrap up this year and head into 2020, be thinking ERP goals. If you can’t be objective about this, find an independent third party that can.

As part of ERP process improvement services, we know the right technology-enabled applications can help propel growth and superior performance in the year ahead, while those built on outdated technology can stifle it.

Get in touch with us!

We’d love to hear from you about your project. Whether you are interested in a new ERP system for your business, or if we can assist with your current system, get in touch!

Email: info@aceteksoftware.com

Website: http://aceteksoftware.com/

Contact form: http://aceteksoftware.com/contact/

 

5 Key Advantages of SAP Business One vs. QuickBooks

5 Key Advantages of SAP Business One vs. QuickBooks

OK, let’s say you’re either ready to upgrade from QuickBooks to a more robust ERP solution or you’re at least open to considering options.

If you’ve already commenced your search, you likely discovered the large number of ERP choices on the market today that claim to be “affordable.” The question is: How many of them possess the combination of flexibility, scalability and industry-specific functionality, not to mention integration with hundreds of add-ons, to deliver exactly what you want?

Before you get too far into your search process, we and countless small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) can highly recommend one product that fulfills these criteria and offers a very powerful and affordable upgrade from QuickBooks – SAP Business One.

Below, we’re going to offer five compelling reasons (among many) why we think SAP Business One is a much better solution for your long-term goals than QuickBooks:

SAP Business One is Much More than Just Accounting; It’s a Complete Business Management System

QuickBooks’ core function is accounting. Yes, if you purchase QuickBooks Enterprise, you can add on some limited inventory management, sales, customer and reporting functionality to the system, but it’s pretty basic and the system is not that adaptable to industry-specific needs. Are manufacturing and production part of your business? If so, QuickBooks is not geared to those markets.

Conversely, SAP Business One is designed as a fully automated ERP for manufacturers that unites all your business processes – accounting, sales, CRM, inventory management, distribution, purchasing and operations under “one roof” to provide clear visibility into your entire business. This means you always have access to real-time data for up-to-the-minute, accurate reporting.

SAP Business One Offers Unbeatable Flexibility

Look, we think QuickBooks is a solid first step in maintaining your books as you get going. However, if you’re looking to customize reports, choose the inventory valuation methods that you want, transact in multiple currencies or have the capability to integrate with third-party add-ons to suit the needs of a specific market niche, you may want to consider a more robust and flexible solution.

Conversely, SAP Business One is built to offer your business the flexibility, adaptability and customizability to grow and change with your business for the long haul. You can utilize the system’s built-in Crystal Reports functionality to customize reports to your unique specifications or have instant access to real-time data anytime, anywhere via a mobile device. You can choose your inventory valuation method and if you do business internationally, you’ll have full multi-currency capability. Do some research on SAP Business One to learn more about the many ways this software can be molded to fulfill your unique business objectives.

Unparalleled Scalability – from 5 Users to 500, SAP Business One is a Great Choice for the Small to Mid-size Business.

So, you may be thinking, “SAP? You’ve got to kidding me! Hey, we’re just getting started; no way we need a big-time product that’s used by large corporations.” We’ve got good news for you – SAP Business One is designed to grow with you for the long haul. Whether you have five users or five hundred, SAP Business One will scale to meet the demands of your business … now and into the future. With Quickbooks, 30 users is your limit.

One other thing: Once you reach a certain threshold of entries in QuickBooks, you may start to experience a gradual downturn in performance. Conversely, with SAP Business One, you won’t have to endure any degradation in performance, no matter how many customers, vendors, products or other data you enter … ever.

Does Your Business Occupy an Industry-Specific or “Vertical” Market Niche? SAP Business One Can Adapt to Your Industry.

What’s your niche? Do you need a software solution that conforms to the unique requirements of your industry? If so, QuickBooks is probably not your best option since it offers fewer than 30 proprietary add-on products and no integration to third-party extensions to augment its core functionality.

SAP Business One, on the other hand, is designed to adapt to the unique requirements of a vast array of industries. In fact, there are nearly 600 prepackaged, fully integrated industry‑specific solutions built for SAP Business One, which means the odds are good that SAP Business One has a solution for your industry.

Inventory Control – SAP Business One Has Got You Covered.

QuickBooks is not intended to deliver comprehensive inventory management. The scope of its capabilities is pretty much limited to basic inventory tracking using the average costs method. It doesn’t support multiple warehouses or bills of materials and can’t monitor warehouse availability, and it doesn’t track backorders or serial numbers. If you need lot and/or bin management, LIFO or FIFO, you’ll need to consider another option.

SAP Business One gives you the tools you need to effectively manage every facet of your inventory. Most important, you’ll always have access to real-time information for optimal decision-making. Valuation methods include standard costing, moving average, LIFO, FIFO, as well as additional methods. You can track inventory transfers in real time, monitor stock levels and incorporate special pricing structures. And if you employ international currencies in your business, SAP Business One will support them.

Conclusion

If you’re a small- to mid-size business that’s ready to graduate from QuickBooks, we suggest you take an in-depth look at SAP Business One. We think you won’t find a better option when it comes to visibility into your business, industry-specific capabilities, real-time reporting and overall value. Check it out and discover why more than 12 million users in 125 countries rely on SAP Business One to help run their businesses.

 

Get in touch with us!

We’d love to hear from you about your project. Whether you are interested in a new ERP system for your business, or if we can assist with your current system, get in touch!

Email: info@aceteksoftware.com

Website: http://aceteksoftware.com/

Contact form: http://aceteksoftware.com/contact/

 

How ERP Improves Inventory Visibility

How ERP Improves Inventory Visibility

Enterprise Resource Planning software makes purchases, sales, accounting, production, supply chain planning, inventory and all other business operations easy and hassle-free.

Let’s understand how an ERP solution helps you improve inventory visibility.

5 Ways ERP Improves Inventory Visibility in Your Supply Chain:

1.  Resolves unpredictable scenarios

  • ERP promotes automated processes and integrated production functionality. It synchronizes production, sales, financial management, and warehouse management and automatically tracks the movement of every inventory item.
  • Reporting functions yield accurate insights and data is updated in real-time. As per SAP Performance Benchmarking, manufacturing organizations that use SAP Business One experience an 8% increase in plan adherence.
  • ERP integrates material availability data with delivery dates and real-time manufacturing conditions. This can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and cost-efficiency.

2.  Enhanced just-in-time inventory strategies

  • ERP eliminates the need formanual scheduling. ERP promotes a just-in-time inventory strategy. Materials are ordered and received to meet production requirements. It saves overhead inventory expenses and manages time.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning software enables real time inventory visibility, tracking and data management. A JIT strategy increases efficiency and cuts cost by receiving goods only when required.

3.  Better inventory levels and improved customer relationships

  • Get insight into point-of-sale online transactions, shipping data, procurement and production data, all on a single screen. This enables data-led decision-making which nurtures relationships with customers and vendors.
  • With real-time dashboards, businesses can view the inventory status at different plant locations, warehouses, stores etc.
  • ERP provides you the functionality to monitor trends to ensure you meet customer demand on time. This develops a loyal client base which increases rapport and profitability.

4.  Drive omni-channel growth

  • Manage inventory across multiple locations and channels
  • Receive sales orders from multiple sources and automate the process
  • Promotes cross-channel inventory movements

5.  Provide actionable insight

  • User-configurable reports and dashboards help businesses analyze global finances and rolled-up data
  • Material requirement planning functionality ensures optimum stock levels
  • With data at your finger-tips, you can make better business decisions

Conclusion

SAP Business One, one of the renowned ERP software systems for small and mid-sized businesses, effectively balances inventory management and sales orders for better business growth.

SAP Business One’s capabilities that help improve inventory visibility in your supply chain are:

  1. Automated sales order entry – Ensures that sales orders are linked to real-time inventory data
  2. Enhanced inventory tracking – SAP B1 lets you track when inventory is procured, moved or sent out of the warehouse
  3. Courier/freight automation – Integrates your technology with courier companies or freight specialists
  4. Better integration – Every department is integrated smoothly. Inventory, Finance, Sales, Procurement, Accounts – every department is interdependent. This gives you better insights.
  5. MRP automation – Order recommendations are designed for timely delivery. It gives you detailed information about the requirement for products.
  6. Predictive forecasting – it lets you manage and predict stock levels to meet customer demand

 

Get in touch with us!

We’d love to hear from you about your project. Whether you are interested in a new ERP system for your business, or if we can assist with your current system, get in touch!

Email: info@aceteksoftware.com

Website: http://aceteksoftware.com/

Contact form: http://aceteksoftware.com/contact/