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Lets face it, there are a lot of reasons to upgrade an ERP system, and the final push to move forward is dependent on current pain points, business requirements and goals. Whether provoked by a change in executive leadership, merger & acquisitions, growth, inefficiencies, data inaccuracies, disconnected data or other, there is a common thread of challenges resulting from outdated ERP technologies. Here are 12 simple reasons to upgrade your ERP system – the bottom line:

  1. Obsolete Technology – Existing systems are difficult and inefficient to use and expensive to maintain and support and ERP customizations are expensive and unable to move forward. Newer technologies are easier to use and less expensive to support.
  2. Inefficient – Older ERP technologies require many more steps to complete a task than current technologies. Modern ERP frees up employee’s time with Business Process Improvement and the automation of many repetitive, everyday processes.
  3. Not User Friendly – Older systems aren’t as intuitive and cumbersome to use. Modern user interfaces are more streamlined and offer more personalized, efficient user experiences.
  4. Not Flexible – Older ERP and legacy systems lacked flexibility and forced you to do business their way. When your business needs changed, older ERP systems required expensive customizations that could not be easily upgraded. Today’s systems are much more flexible.
  5. Not Scalable – Growing companies need a system that is scalable and can grow with them.
  6. Disparate Systems – Disparate systems cause a whole slew of problems starting with a disconnected organization and ending with a lack of transparency and decisions that are based on partial information.
  7. No Collaboration Capabilities – Modern ERP enables collaboration and sharing of information for improved communications and efficiencies amongst employees, vendors, and suppliers
  8. Lack of Mobility – Older ERP systems require employees to work at their desk. Employees can now access their ERP system 24/7.
  9. Real-Time Data & Reporting – Real-time, connected data, easy report modifications, enterprise-wide transparency, proactive decisions versus reactive decisions, No more super users and reporting bottlenecks. Plus, you get some pretty awesome BI and Analytics with interactive dashboards.
  10. Low Cost Cloud Deployment Options– Lower cost cloud solutions like Epicor Cloud ERP are enabling smaller businesses to have access to functionality that was previously only reserved for larger companies with larger budgets.
  11. Higher Customer Expectations – Customers expect a lot more today. If you’re not able to service them as expected, then retention rates go down and acquisition costs go up.
  12. Not Meeting Current Requirements – Older ERP system were designed around older business requirements and rarely address current requirements and goals. If your ERP system does not helping you meet your current business goals and objectives, then you are keeping your business from moving forward.

ERP systems impact who we are as a company and how we are perceived by others, both internally and externally. If we hang onto old, outdated processes and technologies then we are not making room for new opportunities or for improvement. Being stuck with a system that’s based on our old set of requirements often means that our business is also stuck and not able to move forward.

Learn More About Upgrading Your ERP System

Ready to talk about your business and what you can do to move your business forward? Do you have specific challenges with your existing ERP? Do you need help with your ERP project budget or preparing for an upgrade? Do you want to learn more about how Epicor ERP or Epicor Cloud ERP solutions can help you improve your bottom line and be more competitive?

Want to learn more about MIS, a top-tiered Platinum Partner and also the longest standing Epicor partner? Take a look at our About Us page.

Ready to contact MIS? We’re ready when you are!

About MIS

MIS is Epicor’s longest standing partner with experience in a wide array of industries and expertise in complex financials, discrete manufacturing, and process manufacturing. Our team of professionals have many years of experience from industry or as former Epicor employees. As a Platinum level partner we are confident that we know just what it takes for you to improve your way of being while meeting your business goals and objectives with Epicor ERP. Our goal is for you to gain the highest Return on Investment from your ERP project and have an Exceptional ERP experience! Don’t delay! Contact MIS today!

Related MIS Blogs:

When is it the Right Time for a New ERP System?

10 Risks Associated with Older ERP Systems

Epicor BI: Connecting Disparate Data for Improved Insights 

How Manufacturers Can Increase Production Efficiencies with Epicor ERP

Selecting the Best ERP for Your Business – 9 Considerations for ERP Selection

The post 12 Simple Reasons to Upgrade Your ERP System – The Bottom Line appeared first on MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc. | Your Epicor ERP Platinum Reseller for US and Canada including Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

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If your business is continually challenged by broken or outdated processes that are causing inefficiencies and keeping your business from moving forward, then it’s probably time to consider investing in a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. How do you know when it’s the right time for a new ERP system? Is it now, or can you push the decision out another quarter or two, or year or two?

Every business is faced with their unique set of challenges, and when these challenges cumulate to inefficiencies or the inability to meet expectations, then it’s time to begin researching new ERP systems. The signs may be coming from multiple areas of your business and after a while it may become quite obvious that your ERP is no longer keeping up with your current requirements. If any of the below scenarios sound like you, then it’s time to look into upgrading your ERP:

  • Your processes are outdated, and employees are spending too much time on tasks that could be automated.
  • Your data is spread amongst multiple disconnected systems and databases, making it hard to get a clear picture when important decisions need to be made.
  • You are challenged to keep up with changing regulations.
  • Your current system does not allow for team collaboration or the sharing of information amongst team members.
  • Your customers are often frustrated by the time and effort it takes to get a response to seemingly simple inquiries.
  • You have a hard time managing inventory and are holding onto extra inventory “just in case” it’s needed.
  • You’re not able to work with some retailers because of their RFID requirements.
  • You’re experiencing too much unexpected downtime because your equipment isn’t maintained on schedule.
  • Your management is constantly reacting to what needs to be done instead of being proactive about the future of your business.
  • You’re growing and your current ERP system does not provide the flexibility or scalability to grow with you.
  • Your ERP software vendor is no longer providing software updates.
  • Your current system is getting too expensive to maintain.
  • You can’t access essential business data and information when you’re off-site

If your ERP is keeping you from reaching your full potential, then it’s time to start the process of learning about how you can improve your business with a new ERP system. ERP is a big investment, but the ROI can be quite high when one considers the expense of supporting an older ERP system and the efficiencies and improved decision making capabilities gained from a new ERP system; a new ERP system can have a significant, positive bottom line impact on a business.

If you’re not a decision maker, then you’ll need to justify the investment of a new ERP system to management so that they understand the challenges resulting from your current ERP.  The above checklist can be used as a basis for creating your unique list of challenges and the list can be further expanded by your talking to colleagues or other functional areas. A list of challenges is a great way to start a conversation with your decision-maker about how a new ERP system could help. Once management understands the challenges of the existing ERP and the benefits of a new ERP system, then they will need to allocate a budget before an ERP project can be moved forward.

If you have questions, or want to learn more about how modern ERP technologies can help your business, contact MIS. MIS has been helping businesses in a variety of industries meet their goals and objectives with technology for over 30 years. Experience counts, and we know what it takes for you to have an Exceptional ERP  experience and a bigger ROI on your investment. Just ask!

Related ERP Blogs:

Outdated ERP System? How Bad do you Look from the Outside?

How ERP Helps Businesses Become More Customer Centric

How to Select the Best ERP Consultant for Your Business

ERP Selection: 8 Considerations for ERP Selection

ERP Selection: 9 Tips to Quickly Identifying Your Solution Faster

The post When is it the Right Time for a New ERP System? appeared first on MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc. | Your Epicor ERP Platinum Reseller for US and Canada including Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

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You’ve been plugging along, using the same old outdated ERP system for years, after all it still works even without all the bells and whistles of an updated ERP system. What difference does it make anyhow? No one cares whether your system is old or new, this is how you’ve been doing business for a long time. Why spend money on an expensive ERP system when you don’t have to?

Before you say no to a new system, think about how your old outdated ERP system makes your business look from the outside.

  • Do you require too many steps to resolve an issue?
  • Does your customer have to wait for a callback to get an answer?
  • Does your customer have to be transferred to multiple people for their answer?
  • Does your customer get a different answer depending on which department they talk to?
  • Are your customers frustrated or dissatisfied?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above, then you are experiencing inefficiencies with your outdated ERP system that are risking customer satisfaction levels and how you are perceived by your customers, the outside world.

Analyst Esteban Kolsky studied customer experiences and the impact that the not so stellar customer experiences had on the future of a business, including if the issues were resolved in the end. What Kolsky found was that customers wanted not only an answer to their questions, but that they also wanted the right answer.

  • 56% of customers just want the right answer.
  • 64% of customers lack the confidence that the answer provided was correct.
  • 44% of customers confirmed they got the wrong answer.

What would you think, or how would you feel if you figured out that the answer provided by the company representative was incorrect? Trust would definitely be at risk, plus if multiple incorrect answers were given, then there would probably be some loss of respect for the person on the other end of the line.

Not only do slow responses and inaccurate answers risk your business looking bad, but Kolsky also found that with negative experiences, your business is at risk of losing future business because unhappy customers tend to vent their frustrations more than happy customers share their positive experiences. Here are some statistics from the Kolsky study:

  • 67% of customers site bad experiences as a reason to take their business elsewhere; 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience.
  • 84% of consumers are frustrated when the representative does not have the information needed to help them.
  • Customer frustration leads to the following: 13% tell 15 or more people if they are unhappy; 72% will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.

George Washington University also analyzed the cost of a dissatisfied customer, and here is what they found:

  • Average businesses don’t here from 96% of unhappy customers.
  • For every complaint received, there are 24 people with unvoiced problems, six of which are serious.
  • As many as 90% who are dissatisfied with the service they receive will not buy again or come back.
  • Of those that complain, 50-70% will come back if the complaint is resolved. 95% will return if resolved quickly.
  • Average complaining customer will tell 9 to 10 people; 13% will tell more than 20 people.
  • Those who complained and had a resolution will tell five people.

So, are you still thinking no one cares if your ERP system is old or new? Well, you’re right, customers don’t care about your outdated ERP system, but what they do care about is getting what they want when they want it, and it’s all about efficiency. If you can’t get products out the door on time because you’ve unexpectedly run out of an item in your Bill of Materials (BOM), or if your representatives aren’t able to answer customer inquiries quickly or correctly, that’s when the customer becomes frustrated and takes notice of your outdated ERP system. Frustrated customers mean that you are risking losing your marketshare in today’s competitive global marketplace.

If you would like to learn more about how Epicor ERP can help your business look it’s best from the outside while staying more competitive in today’s global marketplace, give MIS a call. MIS has been helping businesses like yours resolve their biggest challenges with technology for 30 years. Our sales team will listen to your current business challenges and provide you with insights as to how Epicor ERP can improve what you are doing today. Learn about the expected Return on Investment (ROI) with Epicor ERP, and then decide for yourself if it’s worth the investment. Advice is always free.

Esteban Kolsky
George Washington University

Related MIS Blog Posts:
2017 Top 10 ERP Systems Ranking Report: Epicor #1 Overall
Forrester Says: Quick ROI with Epicor ERP
9 Tips To Identifying Your ERP Solution Faster

The post Outdated ERP System: How Bad Do You Look from the Outside? appeared first on MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc. | Your Epicor ERP Platinum Reseller for US and Canada including Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

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If you’re just starting to think about digital transformation, you’re not alone. According to the RSM Digital Transformation Survey, 81% of executives are taking steps towards a digital transformation; 53% have expressed concernes about their companies ability to achieve their goals for transformation. With food and beverage digital transformation a top priority for many, but where should you start?

First one must have concrete goals for a digital transformation. Identify the areas that are broken and what is needed to fix them and have a good understanding of the future direction of your company. Is it time to compete with e-commerce? Are disparate systems holding you back? Are you looking to implement a mobile strategy? Do you need to improve collaboration and efficiencies? Is your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system holding you back? Whatever the areas of concern, determine what your goals are for digital transformation and develop your strategy for success. Here are 5 steps to get you started with your digital transformation:

  1. Gain Executive Buy-In for Your Digital Transformation
  2. Determine a Project Budget for Digital Transformation
  3. Create a Digital Transformation Team
  4. Establish Digital Transformation Goals
  5. Engage a Professional Consultant for Your Digital Transformation
Step 1: Gain Executive Buy-In for your Digital Transformation

Contrary to what many may think, a company’s digital transformation is not the sole responsibility of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). According to the RSM Digital Transformation survey, 91% of food and beverage company Chief Financial Officres (CFO) share in the responsibilty and leadership in transforming their businesses.

Start your project by educating your executive team on the benefits, goals and expected Return on Investment (ROI) of a digital transformation. If executives understand and agree that a digital  transformation will have a positive impact and strong ROI, then they will help promote the transition.

Step 2: Determine a Project Budget for Digital Transformation

Technology solutions and projects vary greatly in size, scope and overall costs. Knowing your budget will help you identify your solution faster by keeping you focused on solutions within your price range. When determining your budget, consider not only the software costs, but also costs associated with hardware, implementaion, customizations, training, support and maintenance.  If later in the process, your ‘wish list’ is greater than your budget, the option of a phased approach should be considered. Don’t spend time shopping for a Ferrari when you only have the budget for an economy car.

Step 3: Create a Digital Transformation Project Team

Once a budget has been agreed upon, a Digital Transformation Project Team must be selected. Teams should include representatives from all areas of the business that will be directly impacted by the new system. This includes everything from customer service to finance to the employees in the warehouse. Each functional area will have their own perspective of what’s needed to help their area be most productive. Your project team should also have a team leader to manage the project. Your team leader can be an internal representative or an outside consultant.

Step 4: Establish Digital Transformation Goals

Are you looking to streamline processes, gain business intelligence, reduce costs, expand into new product lines or markets, or through mergers and acquisitions? Or play in the e-commerce arena? Whatever your goals, digital transformation can help you take your business to the next level. Technology provides many opportunities for improvement, and if your team is not familiar with the benefits of a transformation, go online to do your homework. An experienced consultant can also help you further define your ERP project goals as they typically have the advantage of having worked with many different types of businesses within and outside of your industry.

Step 5: Engage a Professional Consultant for Your Digital Transformation

You may think you can save some money by doing managing your entire project in-house, but this is rarely the case. Hiring a professional consultant that understands some of your biggest industry challenges and is experienced in addressing them with with technology could offer you cost savings that you probably would not have realized on your own. Not only can an experienced consultant shorten the process, they can save you time and money. You can’t replace the knowledge gained from years of experience. Working with a professional means your system will be configured best to meet your requirements while addressing challenges unique to your company and incorporating proven industry best practices.

If you are looking to digital transformation to take your business to the next level, MIS can help. MIS hires seasoned consultants that have worked in a variety of industries, or for Epicor Software Corporation. Our team listens and works hard to understand the many details of your business so that we can bring you an Exceptional ERP experience. To learn more, contact MIS today!

The post Food and Beverage Digital Transformation – 5 Steps to Get You Started appeared first on MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc. | Your Epicor ERP Platinum Reseller for US and Canada including Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

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It’s time for a new ERP system! Your ERP project is off to a great start! You have a team with a team leader, your decision makers are on board and a budget is in place. Online research, discussions with others about their ERP experiences, a partial list of must have features and functionality, and general goals for the new ERP system are underway. What about industry best practices?

You’ve heard ERP vendors touting that their systems incorporate best practices into predefined processes, and some of your team members have been gaining an understanding of best practices for your industry. It would make sense that incorporating best practices could simplify your ERP project, why reinvent the wheel? Not so fast! Just because a particular ERP system or best practices are ideal for one business does not mean they are the best for your business. Lets take a look.

Take Toyota Motor Sales USA as an example. Starting with their Mission Statement “To attract and attain customers with high-valued products and services and the most satisfying ownership experience in America” and Vision Statement: “To be the most successful and respected car company in America” one can figure out that Toyota’s goals are based around customer acquisition and retention, quality products and services and the overall customer experience. With that, we can better understand why Toyota Material Handling CEO, Brett Wood would suggest that ths list of 9 key practices  aka “best practices” is essential for today’s manufactures:

  1. Educate your associates on what is expected of them
  2. Engage your associates in making changes
  3. Empower your associates to make changes
  4. Consistency is a key factor in continuous improvement
  5. Develop new visualization tools to help all associates visualize what is happening in your plant
  6. Practice genchi genbutsu (go to the place where work is done and see with your own eyes what is going on)
  7. Visit customers and ask for their ideas
  8. Look for kaizen opportunities in the office environment
  9. Culture is king

Wood’s 9 key practices support his goals as well as the mission and vision of Toyota Motor Sales USA. In effort to be the most successful car company in America, Wood expects associates to be educated, engaged and empowered to make changes. Plus, customer input is sought after and valued as the opinion’s of Toyota’s drivers are important to the brand.

Next, we have a list of best practices for another industry, also in the manufacturing sector.

  • Establishing strong quality management systems
  • Obtaining appropriate quality raw materials
  • Establishing robust operating procedures
  • Detecting and investigating product quality deviations
  • Maintaining reliable testing laboratories.

Our second list, even though also considered best practices is different because it comes from a highly regulated industry, that of the pharmaceutical industry which is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One could argue that all industries should have a strong quality management system, high quality products, reliable testing, etc. but pharmaceutical companies need to take those requirements to a higher standard that most manufacturers.

How then does one determine which “best practices” to use? Industry specific best practices are a great start, but even industry best practices may not be best for your particular business. Before jumping down the path of best practices, take a look at these practical tips that will help you be the best that you can be:

  • Include a industry specific ERP solution in your evaluation process
  • Don’t assume that the recommended best practices and processes are best for your business
  • Understand your goals and seek best practices that will help achieve targets
  • Determine if recommended best practices make sense for your business
  • If ‘best practices’ are not going to help your company reach it’s goals, don’t use them
  • Be open to extending the functionality of an ERP system with customizations to  your gohelp meet goals
  • The best ERP system for your former colleagues business may not be the best for your business

With an abundance of ERP options to choose from, there’s no need to rush through the selection process. Take your time to do your homework up front, don’t get dazzled by fancy ERP demonstrations, and stay focused on what you’re trying to accomplish with a new ERP system. To learn more about selecting the right ERP solution for your manufacturing business, take a look at these MIS blogs:

If you would like to learn more about Epicor ERP and which industry best practices will help you meet your business goals, contact MIS. MIS is the longest standing Epicor ERP partner, and as a Platinum tier Epicor ERP partner you can count on MIS to have the experience and insight needed to create an ERP system helps you exceed your business goals today and tomorrow. Our team of professional consultants have been helping manufacturers like you create ERP solutions resulting in an Exceptional ERP experience for over three decades! Contact the experts and MIS today!

The post Are Best Practices Best for Your Manufacturing Business? appeared first on MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc. | Your Epicor ERP Platinum Reseller for US and Canada including Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington D.C., Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

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Historically, innovation in the cosmetics and beauty industry has been predominately focused on R&D in formulation chemistry, which was backed up by huge marketing budgets; today it’s more than formulation chemistry and marketing dollars with many factors coming into play. Beyond products being produced, personalization and the overall Customer Experience (CX) have become a focus of leading manufacturers. Today, businesses need to look at every aspect of their organization, from products to business processes in effort to provide the best overall customer-centric experience.

Personalized Consumer Experiences

Beauty manufacturers are responding to growing customer expectations with new product offerings, new retail experiences, and attention-grabbing offerings. Using foundation products as an example:

  • E-commerce site Sephora.com offers 239 different kinds of foundation.
  • L’Oreal has patented color technology to match consumers skin tones and textures – in 33 different shades!
  • CoverGirl has launched their Custom Blend app which matches products to consumers through facial recognition, a system which analyzes and matches the consumers skin tone, intensity and undertone to a CoverGirl foundation which can then be packaged with custom packaging created on the spot by the customer selecting fonts and label colors with an option for their name to be added to their foundation bottle.

Why are there so many foundation options and new approaches and tactics in helping consumers identify their perfect foundation? Because today’s consumers are more discerning and demanding than previous generations, and to remain competitive and sustainable manufacturers need to focus on meeting and exceeding those expectations.

In the case of foundation, and many other consumer products from technology to automobiles, consumers are looking for new, innovative approaches to address their specific needs or preferences. Aging baby boomers are looking for age-defying formulas, teenagers for products that don’t clog their pores, health conscious consumers for more natural, even chemical-free options, and the list goes on. Manufacturers are tasked to innovate products as quickly as possible to meet this higher level of expectations.

Personalization Goes Beyond Products to Include Corporate Experiences

Not only do manufactures need to continually focus on product innovation, they also need to focus on market share and today market share is directly impacted by the overall Customer Experience (CX). Customer experiences expand beyond the end consumer to include vendors, suppliers, and to some extent employees. Furthermore, the CX goes beyond traditional touch points to include the Internet of Things (IoT) and social media which have dramatically impacted how we live and work. If a manufacturer is hard to do business with because of outdated business processes, then it comes at the cost of a poor CX which puts future loyalty is at risk.

ERP Technology – Improving the Experience

How easy is it to engage with your company? How are product concerns communicated back to corporate? How easy, or difficult is it for vendors and suppliers to interface with your company or its representatives? Have tools and technology been put into place to simplify the process? Are you an ‘easy-to-do-business-with’ company?

How quickly can you bring new, innovative products to market? When opportunity knocks, do you know which opportunities make the most business sense to pursue? Are you looking to grow your business? Do you have the infrastructure to manage growth? Are you challenged to keep up with changing regulatory requirements?

Our blog, The Beauty Industry – Building a Strong Foundation with ERP Technology, provides insights on how Epicor Tropos, a modern ERP solution designed specifically for process manufacturers, can have a positive impact on every aspect of your business.

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Can custom ERP be upgraded? That’s a great question. Traditionally ERP systems with customizations were bound to the version of the software that the customizations were designed for. Upgrading a customized ERP system meant that expensive customizations were lost. As a result, highly customized systems were not upgraded until they were past their time, at which point they had to be replaced.

Epicor Software Corporation saw the challenges that businesses with functionality requirements beyond their already robust ERP solutions faced. First, it often took years to complete customizations, then as software and hardware updates became available, the customizations could not be applied. The bottom line was that companies with customizations were never on a current ERP system. With that, Epicor set course to develop a product that did not impact customizations.

The good news is that the release of Epicor ERP 9 brought with it a complete redesign, from the ground up, of how Epicor ERP was architected. Part of the strategy behind the redesign of Epicor ERP 9 was to separate the software, customizations and technology into unique components so that each could be updated independently. With that, companies using Epicor ERP 9 and later were given control over what was upgraded and when the upgrades occured. Separating the software, customizations and technology was a smart approach because businesses are able to gain a higher ROI from their investment through the preservation of ERP customizations.

If you would like to learn more about how the response to, “Can Custom ERP be Upgraded?” changed from no to an absolute ‘yes’ with the release of Epicor ERP 9, contact MIS today. The team at MIS has been helping businesses conquer their biggest business challenges for over 30 years, and we are ready for yours! And don’t forget to ask us about Exceptional ERP !

Related MIS Blogs

How to Select the Best ERP Consultant for Your Business

10 Risks Associated with Older ERP Versions

Epicor BI: Connecting Disparate Data for Improved Insights

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With software vendors continually pushing to keep their customers on maintenance and support plans, is an ERP maintenance contract necessary? For some it feels like a never-ending cycle of updates and upgrades that don’t always get installed due to lack of time or IT resources. For others, there’s no sense of urgency to install the updates because the software is working fine from their perspective. Whatever the reason a company chooses not to renew their ERP maintenance contract, the question is: Is an ERP maintenance contract necessary?

Lets compare your PC to your ERP software, you have the option to update or upgrade both. How long can you go without upgrading your PC before it becomes outdated and slows you down, or doesn’t support something you are trying to do? A few updates are probably not going to make a big difference, but after too many are missed you risk that your hardware does not play well with your software and app’s; the same is true for ERP software. Not only are your ERP maintenance updates keeping your system optimized for newer technologies, you might also be missing out on features designed to help you be more competitive.

Like a PC, you can get by without ERP upgrades for a period of time, but when the honeymoon is over, your older ERP software begins to show its face. It happens gradually, but it’s inevitable as inefficiencies begin to impact your business and the experience of your employees, customers and vendors. Oudated ERP leads to:

  • Information Challenges – Difficult to access information for decision making
  • Multi-step Customer or Vendor Inquiries -Multi departmental call transfers and call backs
  • Extra Steps to Complete Tasks – Workers working around the limitations of the ERP system
  • After Hours Report Generation – Fear of larger data files causing the network to slowdown or crash
  • Audit Risks – Inaccuracies and more time consuming and expensive to produce
  • Compliancy Risks – Not keeping up to date with new laws that need to be conformed to
  • Not Knowing – Bottom line impact of bottlenecks or unexpected downtime due to lack of real time reporting
  • Performance Issues – Outdated business processes, disparate data, older technologies
  • Reliance on IT – Too complex for an employee to modify reports or menus
  • Expensive to Maintain – Fewer product experts and discontinued product and vendor support

And that’s only the beginning because newer software also has features for improved collaboration, mobility, social and more to help you be more productive, efficient and customer-centric.

But Our Maintenance Contract Expired. What Happens When ERP Maintenance Contracts Expire?

If you let your contract lapse, the software vendor may back charge you for the period of time your maintenance contract lapsed (considered as a penalty to be fair to the customers that stayed current with their maintenance contracts). If the software is not performing well, or has a bug that you need fixed, you will have to be on maintenance to receive it. If it’s been a while since you’ve had an ERP maintenance contract, you will also have to ‘catch up’ on all of your updates which can be time consuming.

But Our Company has Customizations. How are Customizations Impacted by Maintenance Contracts?

Traditionally, upgrades were not possible if your ERP software was customized because of the expense and IT expertise needed to move the customizations forward with the software upgrade. Today that has changed, at least if a business is using Epicor ERP.

Epicor ERP was completely redesigned from the ground up with the release of Epicor ERP 9. Part of the strategy behind the redesign of Epicor ERP 9 was to separate the software, customizations, and technology so that each could be updated independently. With that, companies using Epicor ERP can control what they upgrade and when the upgrades occur. Separating the software, customizations, and technology means that a software upgrade won’t override your Epicor ERP customizations  so you can take advantage of the latest technologies as soon as they are released.

What if we Move to the Cloud. Do Cloud Solutions Require Maintenance

Cloud solutions are maintained by the ERP vendor. With cloud implementations the software vendors schedule updates and upgrades and update all their cloud customers simultaneously. The cost of ‘maintenance’ is included in the monthly subscription fee that is required with cloud implementations.

If you have questions about preparing for an upgrade, or Epicor ERP or Epicor SaaS or are in need of support, contact MIS. MIS has been supporting Epicor clients for over 30 years, in fact, we are the oldest standing Epicor VAR in North America, and maybe even the world. MIS supports clients on Platinum for Windows, Epicor Enterprise, and Epicor ERP. The team at MIS is committed to helping you achieve an Exceptional ERP experience – that’s success with MIS!

Related MIS Blogs:

Do Something Big: 20 Reasons to Upgrade Your ERP for 2019

10 Risks Associated with Older ERP Versions

9 Tips to Quickly Identify Your ERP Solution Faster

Epicor ERP 10: Collaborative Business Processes for Better Results

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Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.
– Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com

Keeping customers happy all of the time is a tough job which anyone with a customer facing role can attest to. However, today with the IoT, companies must make their customers and the customer experience an even bigger priority. Not only must quality products and services be delivered, but the overall company culture needs to consistently be focused on customer experiences. Doug Warner, VP of Innovation at HP says it well: “In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”

In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.
– Doug Warner, VP of Innovation at HP

It’s Simple. Customer Centric Companies Come Out on Top

Have you ever heard of an unhappy Amazon, Apple, or Salesforce customer? If so, that would be more of a rarity than commonplace. Amazon for instance, is so customer centric that if your Amazon package does not arrive at your doorstep they will send you a replacement without question. Nordstrom is another great example; a retailer whose mission was to offer the best customer experience before most retailers even thought about it. Each of these companies strives for super service and if something is lacking, we can count on them to make it right.

Customer Focus Leads to a Competitive Advantage

Companies that excel at the customer experience gain a competitive advantage, especially against those that are challenging to do business with. If that’s not enough, think about how much harder it is to gain a new customer than to keep an existing customer, especially with the IoT.

The IoT added a new dynamic to the purchasing process. The IoT enables Business-to-Business (B2B) decision makers and buyers to research products before their first interaction with a business, typically eliminating options before connecting with a company.

Business-to-Consumer transactions can be more difficult to capture as today’s consumers have virtually unlimited purchasing choices. The transaction must be easy, pricing must be competitive, shipping must be fast and a less than stellar customer experience risks that the customer will not be a repeat customer.

Not only is customer loyalty at risk, but so is a company’s reputation and the acquisition of future customers. Online social forums, such as Twitter, Facebook and others allow consumers to voice their opinions to many, and quickly; the wrong message can have a bottom line impact.

Most of us recall the negative PR that plagued United Airlines for a period of time after a passenger was forcefully removed from an overbooked flight in 2017. People were angered by the handling of the situation and posts, including videos went global. It didn’t help that social media posts voiced opinions that United Airlines’ CEO seemed insensitive with his apology. Surprise to United Airlines, the news impacted their stock which dropped $1.4 billion within a day. A very expensive PR mistake that the airline has probably not recovered fully from. Business’ must work hard to maintain their reputation.

A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.
– Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Conquer Customer Expectations and the Competition with the Right Technology

The capabilities of today’s business technologies are amazing compared to those of just a few years ago and you will realize your Return on Investment (ROI) faster today than in the past. An investment in technology will help your business:

  • Reduce costs
  • Improve efficiencies
  • Provide better customer service
  • Gain insights from Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Identify new products and services
  • Analyze new business opportunities
  • Be proactive instead of reactive

For some, excelling at customer satisfaction will lead to goals being met, for others it’s a matter of remaining competitive, and for many smaller businesses it can be about survival.

ERP for Every Budget

Improving customer satisfaction ratings and brand loyalty does not have to be such a daunting task or huge expense. With the introduction of cloud and hybrid ERP deployment options this past decade, you are sure to find an ERP solution to fit your budget as today there are ERP software solutions to fit every budget.

Are you ready to learn more? Contact an ERP expert at MIS today and take the first step towards meeting your business goals and objectives while achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction with Epicor ERP or Epicor ERP Cloud. The team at MIS has been helping organizations like yours utilize technology to meet business goals and objectives for over 30 years and we look forward to helping you achieve Exceptional ERP while conquering your biggest challenges too!

Additional Topics of Interest:

To learn more about what to expect from the software selection process and how to stay in control, take a look at these MIS blogs:

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It wasn’t too long ago that Business Intelligence (BI) tools were only available to larger enterprises. BI was new, required a significant investment in technology, and was not attainable for most. Things have changed. Today’s Business Intelligence (BI) tools are available to businesses of all sizes, thanks to the progression of technology, including the cloud, which has brought costs down significantly. As a result, insights that were not previously available, even to companies running older ERP systems on their backend, are now available to fit a variety of budgets and needs.

If you have seen the movie, Hidden Figures where computers were a group of men and women that spent their days computing complex mathematical equations in an effort to land the first man on the moon, BI is like going from a basic calculator to a complex analytical computer program. Imagine how much sooner we would have landed on the moon if we had today’s technologies in the 1960’s. Imagine how much sooner your business could reach its goals if you had BI to help you navigate through today’s business decisions.

There are a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to ERP and Business Intelligence. Let us take a look at how Epicor ERP BI can help you continue to move foward in today’s competitive global marketplace.

Why Epicor Business Intelligence Makes Sense:
  1. 1. Easy and seamless integration of all data sets including Epicor, non-Epicor, 3rd Party and Excel
    2. Flexible and Scalable
    3. Highly customizable to fit many business reporting requirements
    4. Empowers users with its intuitive user interface
    5. Generates simple or detailed reports from complex data sources to meet reporting needs
    6. Offers Enterprise capabilities including statistical formulas
    7. Report modifications are simple and don’t require reliance on IT or a ‘super user’
    8. Embedded into existing workflows
    9. Dynamic dashboards personalized to the individual by showing data that’s relevant to their role.
    10. ‘Out-of-the-Box’ reports can be modified by users if needed
    11. Data can be traced back to the source, regardless of database location
    12. Quick report generation
    13. Ability to process large data sets efficiently
    14. Improve employee and departmental efficiencies
    15. Report scheduling capabilities for automated report distribution to internal or external individuals or groups
    16. Improved customer satisfaction levels from leveraging Epicor BI for customer facing reporting needs
    17. Elimination of reporting inaccuracies that occur with MS Excel and data merges
    18. Elimination of manual work through report automation
    19. Easy upgrades that don’t impact your data, reports or dashboards
    20. Helps you meet and exceed business goals
    21. You have MIS to help you take your reporting and business to the next level!

The data has always been there; older technologies have not made it readily accessible. Epicor ERP Business Intelligence presents your data in a format that helps your management team see the big picture so they can make better informed business decisions. To put it simply, business intelligence creates value from the data that your system is already storing.

MIS has been helping businesses meet their business goals and objectives with technology since 1987. We are here to help you navigate the ERP selection process, whether it be a cloud, on-premises, or hybrid solution. The team at MIS knows what it takes to get you there! Ask MIS about Exceptional ERP  Contact MIS today.

Related MIS Blogs:

BI Software: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

Beyond Excel: ROI Budgeting and Corporate Performance Management Software

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