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Nowadays, we take information technology (IT) for granted and simply expect it to be intuitive to use and for it to simplify our lives. IT enables our personal and business processes and actions to help us lead organized and effective lives. But the ins and outs are completely interconnected. You cannot have one without the other, and successful outcomes rely on what’s put in.

IT constantly grows to enable more and that can be a problem or a missed opportunity if you don’t see it. So what should you be aware of?

The Purpose of IT  – The INs

The first purpose of IT relates to DATA. IT stores, processes and regurgitates data more effectively and faster than humans do. Then it must present that data in a way that creates information in an easily digestible way.

Data can be static, like the number of kilograms in a ton, or fluctuating, like stock-on-hand of a product you make or sell.

Next, IT handles transactional data, a record of what someone or some machine did, for example buying a donut, selling a car, depositing money – updating many areas to record this transaction for future use.

IT helps transform seemingly unconnected facts and records into insights or “paintings” that tell a thousand words. Plus it can recall this information on demand without any problem, unlike humans.

Data Collection – The OUTs

It’s INFORMATION of course. Linking data in the progression of efficient business processes – rather than people creating scribbled notes, arrows and diagrams on some scrap paper, which only means something to the original creator. IT must enable the collection, processing, sharing, and presentation of this processed DATA to others.

The results can be reports showing the activities we executed plus cost analyses, inventory balances, and deliveries made. We get dashboards facilitating easy understanding of problems, trends, and insights. IT makes sense of all our “stuff”

…. but you knew that anyway …

Data Cleansing – The WHAT?

The “what” is how much attention we take of our Ins and Outs. We all know about data cleansing and master data management – yes you do – rubbish in, rubbish out.

The future has come to SYSPRO 8 users and we need to be more aware of the power that business IT offers today. Allowing rubbish in is a crime as data-in forms the basis of future processing, thinking, and action, not just the stats for past performance or mistakes.

Real Business Intelligence – Looking at the NEW OUTs

We don’t just get alerts as our plans go out of sync, we get visibility of what the root problem is and predictions on how to handle it. We get real business intelligence (not just reports) presented clearly and graphically – and on a laptop, or phone in an Uber.

We see trends in topics like customers or products we “liked” because they are our key customers or products that make our margin or grow out market.

And on the IN side

Information comes from searches on articles and info on the Internet. It comes via IoT from factory equipment to ID performance, GPS trackers for global position and movement, pedometers on our sheep to check they exercised optimally – not just from plugged in users

Input from customers can be interpreted and routed by Bots that get better with practice – we call it Machine Learning. And even more – bring social media to our own info, letting customers, suppliers, and employees add “comments” and “likes” to bring “sentiment” into the analysis.

There are new habits we humans must learn or sharpen to get the best from today’s business life and SYSPRO ERP.
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How does BI differ from ERP?

ERP systems essentially integrate all the disparate functions within your business and overcome the so-called ‘silo mentality’ by creating a single, centralized data architecture. The ERP software collects, stores and manages data relating to business activities.  The principal output of ERP software is business efficiency and cost-savings.

BI and ERP are often confused as they operate together and their core definitions suggest a degree of overlap, yet they differ significantly:

ERP collects the enterprise data while Business Intelligence analyzes the enterprise data and uses dashboards and other interfaces to present that data in ways that make it easily understood and helps identify actionable opportunities.

The right ERP system will make your business more organized and radically streamline your administrative functions.  Applying the correct Business Intelligence tools to this data for data analysis, trends and forecasts makes the combination invaluable.

What’s Your Business IQ?

Since its inception in the late 1990s, Business Intelligence (BI) has become something of a buzzword. But what exactly is it, and where does it fit in with your ERP systems?

The first widely accepted definition of Business Intelligence was coined by Howard Dresner, who described it as the “concepts and methods to improve business decision-making by using fact-based support systems.”  In simple terms, Business Intelligence refers to the analysis of business information and the information it provides – the assessing and understanding of enterprise data for the purposes of generating information about operations and strategy, by identifying key trends, strengths and weaknesses.

Today, Business Intelligence is understood as the gathering, storage and analysis of business data. It is also referred to as ‘knowledge management’.  The Business Intelligence technologies are engineered to mine datasets with a view to uncovering opportunities that might not otherwise be apparent.

How BI can help Your Enterprise

Business intelligence essentially transforms raw data into actionable knowledge. It enables a business to understand its markets and customers at a much deeper level and can provide meaningful metrics such as ROI for marketing spend.

This facilitates personalized product or service offerings, leading to greater brand loyalty and more engaged customers. Insights learned through the application of Business Intelligence develop better business processes like improved supply chain management and more efficient marketing strategies. Business intelligence ultimately drives improved business effectiveness.

Complementary Technologies

It’s clear that your ERP and your BI system are not the same. Rather, they work together to convert your data into information and knowledge about your business, transforming your enterprise into a data-led growth engine.

With ERP software organizing your business data, Business Intelligence technologies can mine this data and present it in easily digestible and actionable formats. ERP and BI have a symbiotic relationship – BI requires an ERP in order to function, while the value of ERP software is significantly enhanced when it is paired with BI.

If you’re already taking advantage of the efficiency and effectiveness of ERP, it is time for your enterprise to consider the next addition and add Business Intelligence to analyze the data and present it in ways that allow informed decision-making both easier and more effective.

ERP systems can make your business run better today; but with the added functionality of Business Intelligence, they can prepare your business for the future by providing you with the insights you need.

Future proof your business with confidence, your competitors have probably future-proofed theirs already!

To paraphrase Albert Einstein, “Business Intelligence without ERP is blind”, yet together, they can enable you to see much further and so much more…

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Digital transformation is the latest trend, and for good reason. Being a successful food or beverage manufacturer in 2019 is no small feat. It requires an efficient supply chain and demand management, quality control, and a willingness to adapt to an ever-changing industry.

That being said, let’s explore why digitalized operations is essential to today’s food and beverage manufacturers: 1 – A Customized Traceability System

The processes behind the inspection and regulation of food and beverage products are changing, which means that a willingness to adapt and innovate is critical to your operations. Although food law is used in a singular term, it is recognized that in many countries more than one law may exist which contains provisions for ensuring safe and quality food production. Implementation of food laws and regulations is essential and in many countries food and beverage manufacturers are also required to implement a verified traceability system for transparency.

This shift from prescriptive regulations can be a good thing since there is no officially recognized, set-in-stone traceability program. As we’ve covered previously, specialized systems are imperative since your business operates with unique complexities and challenges to face. You have the freedom to seek out a custom solution that is optimized to suit your business’ specific needs. Key benefits include greater potential for improving value chain efficiencies and lowering costs. Also, expect greater effectiveness at isolating and preventing contaminated products from reaching consumers. The latter could do wonders for your brand equity – something invaluable in an age when competitors are more aggressive than ever to secure the trust of prospective customers.

2 – Consumers Demand Change

If there’s one thing that can help your business sink or swim, it’s a reputation. Greater transparency and accountability are understandably being demanded by the average consumer, driven by an increase in recalls and investigative reports seeking to protect shoppers. Therefore, people want quick, convenient and easy access to information about your company. Specifically, they seek clarification on what goes into that meal on the dinner table, your values, and the ethicality of your current practices. Long story short, you need to be willing to accommodate their requests. Otherwise, you could be gambling with your reputation and run the risk of lower profits due to reduced consumer trust.

3 – Improved Management Efficiency

A recall due to mislabelling or a widespread health and/or safety risk can happen at any time, no matter how proactive your supply chain management system is. Your business also needs to be able to act fast when it comes to unexpected hiccups or changes in operations such as ingredient price fluctuations or a spike in product demand. Cost reductions aren’t limited to reducing financial expenses, either – they also involve mitigating potential damage to your brand reputation as well as catching manufacturing anomalies in real time during the production process. This requires a quick, appropriate reaction to unexpected situations. With that need to expect the unexpected, it’s a good idea to implement an innovative solution that can address problems before or as they’re unfolding rather than once that damage has taken its toll.

This is where digitalized supply chain management systems could literally save your business. Consider SYSPRO’s ERP solutions for food and beverage manufacturers, for instance. If you’re concerned about optimizing margins, reducing giveaway and ensuring fewer QA mistakes, it’s a streamlined way to keep tabs on everything from recipe quality control to full compliance, and purchasing and inventory management. Reliance on technology to keep operations smooth and under control is higher than ever in times of crisis or otherwise.

Today’s food sofware manufacturers don’t merely rely on innovation and digitalization because it’s the latest trend. It’s an outright requirement in order to maximize efficiency and cost savings. With the onset of Industry 4.0 and mandatory traceability, manufacturers have little choice but to modernize or lose market share. Tech will continue to play an essential role in how we manage supply chains, especially when working with perishable products that need to get out quickly without skipping compliance or QA-related steps along the way. Add customer demands for something new and unique as well as the fact that there is no “off” button when it comes to this type of business, and you have an ever-growing collection of challenges that need to be addressed.

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If I had ever, in my youth, invented an acronym, I believe it would have been ‘GARR’. GARR represents the repetitive processes that countless financial workers have suffered through since the invention of…well…finance. Finance, almost by definition, requires attention to detail, and for a finance worker, the details are in the data. And if you rely on data, then somebody needs to GARR:

Gather, Analyze, Report, Repeat

GARR probably accounted for the bulk of my work life before the advent of corporate management performance (CPM) software. Much of that is just a memory now – the long hours I used to spend closeted in my office, gathering, analyzing and reporting on financial data, the painstaking attention to cells, columns and rows, the late nights when I struggled to keep my eyes focused on spreadsheets. The days I spent in a waking nightmare, consolidating the complicated financial statements of multiple entities. And, of course, the early mornings when I got up to do it again….

The Power of Automation

By automating the most repetitive processes within GARR, CPM has made my job more rewarding – I now have extra time to focus on the parts of my work that require actual thought and decision making. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of working with a CPM, let’s look at some of its features and advantages.

For companies still using spreadsheets, CPM is almost guaranteed to be transformational. Spreadsheets have worked well-enough for decades, but as we head into the era of Industry-4.0 technologies, their shortcomings are becoming obvious. Financial workers are increasingly being asked to bring their processes into the 21st century, which means supporting business decisions, strategies, critical success factors and market trends with real-time intelligence and analysis. Spreadsheets simply aren’t up to the task: not only are they difficult to integrate with ERP solutions, but they suffer from being error-prone (even the best of us make data-entry errors) and they lack the inherent, feature-rich strengths of modern, collaborative software. They are, in a word, the very essence of repetitive GARR.

The BI of CPM

Once spreadsheets have been kicked to the curb, CPM will do most of the GARR-ing for you, while maintaining (for the sake of your sanity) that old familiar spreadsheet look and feel. This allows an easy transition to increased functionality and collaboration, which ultimately adds up to enhanced productivity for your entire user community.

With CPM in place, you can:
  • Support company business objectives:

    By monitoring company performance KPIs (performance measurement) such as revenue, ROI, CAPEX and OPEX, while automating important, but repetitive processes such as data imports, report generation and allocations.

  • Create standardized plans:

    By leveraging CPM’s pre-built functionality, you can pre-populate data for the creation of logical and consistent models, budgets, forecasts and cash flow plans.

  • Consolidate multi-divisions, multi-locations, multi-currencies, multi-ERP solutions:

    For complex multi-unit or division companies, CPM can easily deal with multiple locations and currencies and can interface with multiple ERP solutions. That makes a real difference when it comes time for reporting, consolidating, and improving the accounting tasks involved in a financial close.

  • Deployed on-premise or in the cloud:

    And of course, because it’s integrated with SYSPRO ERP, our CPM solution can be deployed in the way that makes sense for your business – on-premise or in the Cloud. Either way – CPM provides full functionality along with an intuitive, productive, collaborative user experience.

I realize that my acronym (GARR) will most likely never catch on. CPM, however, is already making its presence felt in financial offices, here in Australia, and around the world. If you’d like an obligation-free demonstration, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

If you want more information, download the CPM factsheet here
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A recent study out from PwC in November 2018week shows R&D spending by companies reached record levels in 2018—a good sign for the future.

The study looks at the 1,000 public companies around the world that spend the most on R&D, and found a hefty 11.4% jump from 2017, to a record-high $782 billion.

The question is, will your business join them and embrace change as a benefit?

It can be hard to move forward, particularly if you’re struggling to find time and funds to apply for government grants and other financial incentives – after all, there are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of.

Keep in mind that where you allocate funds is critical to long-term growth and success. Perhaps you’re being dinged each month with expenses tied to wastage or inefficient processes that hold your company back.

This is where using an ERP solution can help you take advantage of the funding opportunities available by maximizing cost and time management efficiency. By leaving nothing to chance, streamlining processes and accessing the data you need to cut costs and drive growth, you may find that there’s enough money to pursue funding for new technologies and innovations.

See how using an ERP can make financing opportunities more accessible for your business: Food and Beverage Manufacturing

In the food and beverage industry, managing expiration dates minimizes waste, boosts inventory turnover and enhances materials management efficiency. Thus, food and beverage manufacturers streamline operations by using ERP and have more financial leeway due to lower costs. Improving quality assurance with recipe control and full traceability also helps in this regard, as does having a crystal-clear view across all your operations.

Industrial Machinery and Equipment

Are you responsible for keeping factories up-to-date and maximizing their performance? With the right software, obtaining enough funding for your ambitious goals is no longer a pipe dream. For instance, with SYSPRO’s industrial machinery software improving plant efficiency is simplified, and you’ll also benefit from setting out on the right strategic path with plenty of business insights available. Whether you want to improve inventory forecasting and materials planning, maintain audit trails more efficiently or take control of rework metrics, continued investment in new breakthroughs is essential in this business.

Electronics Manufacturing

Losing money on inefficient product lifecycle management? Get it to the market sooner and reap the financial rewards with the right electronics manufacturing software. By doing so, you can also benefit from streamlined quoting, planning and scheduling to cut down on time and capital wastage. The right solution can help you cut down on lead times to ensure faster deliveries, protect your IP and implement automated Engineering Change Control to reduce instances of human error.

Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturing

One of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of manufacturing automotive parts and accessories is the design phase. Simplifying operations with the right software, such as a specialized ERP, can speed this process up and get your products to market quicker, meaning faster profit gains. At the same time, this is a solution that will provide ample, accurate industry and facility data, leading to much-improved sales forecasting and inventory management. You can even simplify quoting, estimating and scheduling with this streamlined software to maximize capacity, helping your business reach its utmost potential when combined with faster lead times.

If you want to take advantage of funding and financing technologies that can help your business grow and become more profitable, you first need to ensure your supply chain management is optimized. Using an ERP customized for your business can effectively minimize cost and time wastage, and improve customer service by boosting visibility into your business via analytics.  Your margins will also see an improvement with the reduction in product and material waste as an effect of better inventory control.

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Far too often “trend reports” in an industry are all about trends that only the largest companies can implement and take advantage of. The Fortune 500 has the resources to fill in the gaps that might not be apparent when innovative technologies and processes are first rolled out. This affects everyone else in the industry and adoption is initially slow due to the high cost and longer time to realize a return on investment (ROI).

I decided to consider small and mid-market businesses when identifying the innovative technologies and processes we are seeing in the manufacturing industry. The trends below, while not being the new kids on the block, are helping modest-sized firms (SMB) to lead the manufacturing renaissance.

1 – Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing is the development of a connected ecosystem of people and equipment that communicate in real time. The benefits of smart manufacturing range far and wide: optimization of organizational systems, improved product quality, increased efficiencies in the allocation of resources, and amplified customer satisfaction.

In the nascent days of smart manufacturing, equipment would have to retrofitted or replaced with newer models that had sensors or another mechanism to provide data. The shop floor had to be outfitted with input devices and the software for people to enter data. Now, newer digital technologies have reduced the barriers to entry to smart manufacturing for even the smallest manufacturers.

Shop floor equipment already slated for replacement, benefits from the slew of up-to-date models already equipped with standard connectivity and seamless software integration capabilities—it’s industry standard. Software vendors have also improved the user experience with simplified workflows and intuitive visuals—engaging the workforce and streamlining data analysis. These innovations are driving the adoption of smart manufacturing at a rapid pace.

2 – Data Utilization

It used to be that data was lumped into two categories. In the simplest terms, data was either considered an asset or liability.

  • Data as an asset considered things like intellectual property, customer and vendor lists, and some financial data—such as pricing and margins.
  • Other data, including most financial data (like invoices and receipts), quality metrics, and output data where considered liabilities.

Due to the expense of storage, most companies only kept what was necessary to fulfill regulatory compliance. With the decreasing price of digital storage, increased computational power, and ease of capturing data, companies are storing more data than ever before. But, until companies had a way to utilize that data, what was once categorized as a liability is still a liability and ended up as overhead. Now, mid-size manufacturers are able to invest in tools and processes that address how to use this data to increase profit and productivity and improve customer satisfaction.

3 – The Internet of Things

The Internet of things (IoT) is now prevalent in our personal lives, with our phones, watches, and even our clothes using sensors to gather data. Your car and your home have connected devices that use the kind of data and automation that was once considered special effects in science fiction movies and shows. All of this is fueling manufacturers to add IoT to their products and capitalize on them. For example, creating new revenue streams and improving differentiation by utilizing the data collected to predict defects or issues in products before they happen. In the past, this kind of artificial intelligence (AI) was too costly to justify the price to the consumer, so most mid-market manufacturers could not justify the expense.  Now, the drastically reduced technological costs have made it possible for any sized manufacturer to realize ROI, become more innovative, and disrupt entire business models.

4 – Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the ability for an application to understand what you are asking and infer the best possible answer from all the available data. With machine learning (just one of the applications of AI), AI has become one of the best and most essential collaboration tools manufacturers can use.

Utilizing visual and sensor data from the shop floor, AI can not only predict if a product is being manufactured correctly (thus reducing defects) but also decide and inform the operator on how to improve the manufacturing process. AI is enhancing our ability to manufacture the best product at a lower cost and mid-size manufacturers are in the best position to get maximum impact from this trend.

5 – Workforce Training

Workforce training is going through a disruptive renaissance. With low skills jobs, a person might learn via apprenticeship, trade schooling, or on-the-job training. In higher skills jobs, you went to college to learn how to program. We are seeing a real need for workers with mid-level skills—not doing piece work or understanding programming—but able to make decisions based on what is happening in the environment and the process. These “middle” skills can only be acquired by repeating different scenarios and gaining that knowledge. To accomplish this, we are seeing manufacturers utilizing concepts such as gamification and technologies such as virtual reality. Along with AI and a simplified UI, it is easier than ever to master these mid-level skills.

These trends are really not trends anymore. They have moved beyond hypothetical concepts or results only large corporations can achieve. The majority of smaller and medium manufacturers have either started to adopt or have implemented some of these innovations. We will only see these smart manufacturing mainstays accelerating as more applications are built out for each of these approaches.

[We provide an overview of the new technologies that are disrupting the status quo and how, with SYSPRO’s focused approach to adopting those emerging technologies that are adding value and providing a competitive advantage, no one is better equipped to take this journey towards digitalization with you] Find Out More Here Today
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When you hear the word ‘migration’, do you picture a herd of antelope trying to cross a river and avoid the snapping jaws of crocodiles? Like all significant journeys, ERP legacy system migration can be hazardous – but it can also open the way to unprecedented business growth, cost-savings and efficiencies.

Why Migrate?

There are many reasons why you might want to migrate away from your current ERP system. Some of the most common reasons cited by business leaders are dissatisfaction with either the implementation process, ability to adopt new technologies or performance of their legacy system. The implementation process could have involved either over- or under-customization, potentially resulting in ERP software that has failed to keep up with business evolution through an inappropriate degree of specialization.

Moving to cloud-based ERP systems similarly involves a process of migration, even when the same software will be used.

“Vendors and systems integrators have more sophisticated tools at their disposal to migrate data to cloud ERP, but the tools will only be as effective as the planning and execution surrounding their use.”

Michael Guay, research director for ERP strategy and value realization at Gartner.

1.     Assess the Current Situation

The first stage in any migration process is to thoroughly assess your current ERP system and evaluate its continued ability to meet the needs of your business and your team. Only by conducting this exercise can you determine in which areas your legacy systems are falling short, and what additional functionality you will require from your new ERP system.

This investigation will inform your search for a replacement ERP system.

2.     Research Your Options

It’s important to begin the search for a new ERP software package well before your current system reaches capacity. The migration process should be a smooth transition from a functioning system to a better one, not a case of disaster recovery.

Research involves understanding both your company’s current and future needs, and the abilities of the various ERP systems on the market to meet them. By making use of a clear decision matrix one will have a clear rationale for your legacy ERP system migration, and this should be communicated to all stakeholders for maximum buy-in.

3.     Plan Ahead

There is no such thing as excessive planning when it comes to ERP migration. Not only do you need to align with your business goals and objectives, but you also need to minimize disruption to ongoing operations and rule out any possibility of data loss.

Determine exactly what it is you want to achieve and adopt and share a clear migration strategy.

4.     Start Small

You can build confidence in your new ERP system and the migration process by beginning with less mission-critical components and data, before moving onto more complex applications and systems. This will minimize the risks of errors or data loss and maximize the learning potential of the exercise. It will also make legacy ERP system migration an easier ‘sell’. Such a staged approach will allow for continuous evaluation of progress made and will contribute to the supporting the change management plan by establishing trust in the deployment.

At each stage, be certain to back up all data and applications.

5.     Get Buy-in

Getting executive-level support is crucial to the success of any ERP migration – as is winning over colleagues who may be sceptical or nervous about the process. Resistance to change can only be overcome through education, and with each application that you successfully migrate.

The human factor may prove to be your greatest migration challenge. Ensure that you dedicate adequate human resources both to the migration itself, and to ensuring that all stakeholders are on board when it comes to the reasons for the migration and the business benefits that will flow from it.

 

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Nowadays engaging the end user has become a major contribution to improved performance in business. And by choosing and installing a business system like ERP that offers a rewarding and engaging user experience can:

  • Create a satisfying work environment
  • Empower people to work smarter rather than harder
  • Embrace diversity and flexible working arrangements

And hopefully you see that the benefits to your business will include:

  • Improved overall business performance and productivity
  • Streamlined processes
  • Better communication and collaboration across workstations, divisions, departments, branches, territories – in fact, the entire supply chain
Developing a UI that doesn’t make the user think

But knowing this as an ERP developer, and actually delivering on this got me thinking…how easy is it really to simplify your success with an engaging UX?

User Experience (UX) guru, Steve Krugs, puts it in a nutshell for web designers: ‘don’t make me think’ (it is also the actual title of his book).  Well then, that’s easy, problem solved:  Develop a user interface that won’t let users think. Right?

Once I started thinking about this (at some point someone must think!), I soon realized that it sounds easier than what it is. To develop a UI/UX that will enhance and simplify customer usage can be a challenging task.

It’s easy when you know how

Or maybe I am looking at this the wrong way. Maybe there is some truth to the saying ‘it’s easy when you know how!’

Screens and application flows are designed to enhance user experience, to streamline business processes and enable power users to customize the system.  Having this type of ability also means that these power users need to have the necessary skills.  UI/UX is a fast-moving space as usability, accessibility, interaction, and visual design continue to advance.  The onus is on the developers of any business system such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to ensure that we are prepared and armed with the right knowledge to assist in designing solutions that will improve our customers’ business.

By committing a couple of minutes daily towards researching the industry, reading articles or working through an online course will guarantee an immense enhancement of the skills that can benefit everyone within the ecosystem.

SYSPRO understands the need for upskilling and offers a SYSPRO Learning Channel consisting of webinars, videos, tutorials, training guides, and certifications, to name a few.  There are even books that have been published,  that overflows with valuable information for a developer.

The good news is that this is not just available to me. You too can benefit from it.  We can both learn about the customization and flexibility that a system like SYSPRO offers.  With SYSPRO’s web interface, Avanti, now available and the capabilities it offers by making use of the latest technologies, we all need to sharpen our pencils daily. UX is an area that we can all add our voice to – with or without too much thought!

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In our ERP world, we get those who manufacture and those who distribute. The ones who make ERP, typically rely on “distribution” firms to sell and support the end consumer. These firms range from Tier 1 or mainstream consulting organizations that supply multiple ERP products, to niche, agile organizations that support a single ERP, thus developing a focused depth of knowledge.

In this environment, manufacturers have to develop, as a core competency, the ability to enable their  ERP implementation partners with the knowledge and tools for continued sustainable success. This all has to happen, whilst also adding capabilities into the ERP to remain relevant, and promoting of the brand to all and sundry.

For this reason, it is important for vendors to launch and maintain a robust, yet rewarding partner model that enables better selling and provides the knowledge to foster customer intimacy through educational upliftment.

When implementing ERP, the consumer organization generally does not have the prior experience or exposure to successfully roll this out on their own. I don’t only mean that the in-depth, intricate knowledge of the system is lacking but also the know-how and ability to run profound projects may not be there either.

Select the Professionals

There are many comparisons to what implementing an ERP is like but the one I prefer is akin to child education.

On the journey of selecting an appropriate school for your child, you would evaluate all institutions that are nearby, either to work or home. You would review their facilities, interrogate the principal, analyze the extracurricular activities, talk to current students’ parents, scrutinize the curriculum and you may even reach out to previous alumni. Most important though is to evaluate the teaching staff.

Ultimately it will be these individuals that would be responsible to ensure your little one is provided with the foundational knowledge to excel in life. The school facilities and extracurricular activities may be phenomenal but would you risk your child’s education with below par teachers?

With this in mind, selecting an ERP vendor with geographically convenient offices, exceptionally innovative technologies, high levels of capability and big brand exposure may be great on paper but if it has a sub-par partner landscape/program, this will be detrimental to your “child”/business.

The partner you select to implement your ERP is like selecting an individual who has to teach your child to read, write and count. You would not put your faith in someone who does not have the battle scars from previous experience. Also, you would not go with an organization that does not want to see your child excel.

Experience, Experience, Experience

Choosing an ERP implementation partner with previous experience and exposure within your industry, who is willing to bring that knowledge into your implementation is the right choice. It should be a firm that can challenge your organization with a new level of thinking. It should be a firm that can push you out of your organizational comfort zone and partner with you for continued, sustainable success.

It must be a firm that has the credentials to back up in-depth knowledge of the ERP they are putting into your company. It should also be a partner who has a close relationship with the vendor. After all, collaboration between vendor, partner and consumer is the first step towards a successful ERP implementation.

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In rapidly evolving markets, businesses today have no other option but to increasingly rely on data and analytics. Inundated with information, and the time is takes to correlate and gather multiple data can be tedious, often leading to errors. We’re only human after all. But with data warehouses, a company is provided with a practical, scalable solution. 

According to HubSpot, 27% of people surveyed spend an hour or more on data entry every day, 23% cite manual entry as the biggest challenge when using their existing CRM, and a further 17% cite lack of integration with other tools as the largest hurdle when using their existing CRM. Alarming right?

Since accessing data and reporting from often-complex systems can be time-consuming, not to mention difficult, gaining valuable insights becomes tricky.

Imagine instant business reporting with no data headaches. Welcome to data warehouses, like ZAP Data Hub for SYSPRO, a data solution for a world class ERP system, known for its simplicity, ease of use and fast ROI. The benefits are endless.

1 – Easy Reporting with Structured Data

Data hubs, built on big data processing technologies and search engines, means disparate sources are ingested into the data hub and are available for data analysis, giving you have a 360-degree view of your company’s data. For example, ZAP automates the access, unification, and preparation of business data from all sources, including ERP, CRM, financial systems, marketing, SQL, Oracle, Excel and more.

The person preparing the data also gains a deeper understanding of the data (Data Warehouse Architecture) and in turn, can produce insightful reports and visualizations.

2 – Saves Time and Reduces Inaccuracies

Automation software such as ZAP makes business reporting easier and quicker for better business intelligence.

How? Data drawn from systems can be refreshed in the data warehouse periodically. Plus, you can set reports to run on a schedule or ad-hoc basis. This removes the effort and time businesses spend on producing reports.

A real win, human errors can soon become a thing of the past, as companies using ZAP are rather left with accurate and trusted reports.

3 – Greater ROI from BI Tools

The success of BI and ROI is often hindered by data governance. BI tools are useful when placed in the right hands, but this can often lead to the data not being used correctly as these tools often result in pockets of data across a business that might not be consistent.

Fortunately, data warehouses provide you with a single version of accurate, unified data to govern and control. So, when data is accessed by a BI user it reduces the risk of inaccurate and inconsistent information being consumed across the company.

Fun fact : Moving your BI and data to the Microsoft Azure data platform has never been easier, faster or more automated, as well as user-friendly with ZAP.

4 – Historical and Current View

Data warehouses store historical data in a way that lends itself to trend reporting. Basically, ZAP takes multiple snapshots of the transactional databases and layers them on top of each other. So, don’t get stuck with only one current view, rather get the bigger picture and real-time data.

To sum it up, ZAP Data Hub for SYSPRO means fast reporting for all business functions. Time is money, fortunately, with the help of ZAP you can now spend more time analyzing data and less time wrangling it, how convenient? Data preparation tasks become more focused on value-add activity and enrichment. You’re zapping mundane, time-consuming tasks in the bud.

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