SSG BLOG

The Mid-Market ERP Dilemma

August 23rd, 2016

Mid-Market ERP

The Mid-Market ERP Dilemma

SMB’s (Small & Medium- sized businesses) are facing an increased amount of challenges. Companies with 30-500 Employees are almost required to maintain the same degree of complexity as their larger competitors. Thinner margins, doing business internationally, multiple languages, time zones & entities, foreign currencies, managing a complex supply chain, pressure to engage with customers are just a few reasons why SMB’s often look to sophisticated ERP/CRM systems similar to what their competitors use. One central system that manages all business functions sounds good, however what many companies find can be frustrating. Lack of IT staff, budget and time leave many to question…

 

Are we big enough?

Traditional ERP and CRM systems were designed to be installed on-premise and require hardware, network capacity, security and people to maintain them. Many users also find them to be complicated and cumbersome to use. Is there an affordable solution that could eliminate the need for an on-premise setup and not only streamline existing operations but also seamlessly integrate with future technologies and business initiatives?

 

We’ve done the research for you!

After 20 years of being a Gold certified Microsoft Partner implementing ERP and CRM systems we have found a software company that is breaking the mold and allowing the SMB market to unlock restraints and drive growth. Acumatica is a flexible, user-friendly and affordable solution that we carefully evaluated and now offer. True cloud technology, superior features and unlimited user pricing are the main reasons we chose to partner with Acumatica. Here are some resources if you’d like to do your own research.

 

PC Mag gives Acumatica “Excellent” rating along with the Editor’s Choice honor- 2016

 

2016 Codie Award Winner

 

2016 IDC Innovator of the Year Award

 

2015 Nucleus Research Matrix ranking Acumatica as the best in usability

 

 

If you are evaluating a new ERP/CRM system then Acumatica should be on your short list. Software Solutions Group, Inc. has implemented hundreds of systems over the past 20 years. For more info about choosing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, call us at 716-568-2040 or email at sales@softsolgrp.com.

 

By Rick Stefanone, Software Solutions Group, rick.stefanone@softsolgrp.com

Choosing an ERP solution that fits your business
(now and in the future). 7 Tips for selecting an ERP Software.

July 8th, 2016

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Have you been thinking about adopting a new ERP system? The ERP space is bursting with vendors that most claim are a perfect fit for your business. How do you know what system will fit your business? Navigating the selection process can be overwhelming and confusing. This is where an experienced, local ERP consultant can help. Whether you are currently working with a consultant or just doing exploratory research here are 7 points to consider.

 

  • Implementation and Support- How long has the VAR (Value Added Reseller) been in business? How many customers do they have? What is their reputation like? How many implementations have they performed in your industry? What is their service like post “go-live”? What options are available for training?

 

  • Deployment- What method of deployment will be the best for your business over the next 10 years? The world is moving to the cloud. Is your business ready to move your ERP to the cloud now or in the next few years? Does the ERP vendor offer the flexibility to deploy on premise, in a local cloud, or 100% in the cloud? Can you switch from one to the other easily?

 

  • Goals- for today and in the future. Today companies are looking to consolidate multiple software products into one ERP system to simplify operations, reduce data entry, and improve on-boarding/training. Will the software platform also handle future business objectives? E-commerce integration, multi-currency, intercompany transactions, consolidations, remote and mobile capabilities are a few examples of future needs in a system.

 

  • Features and Functionality- how many “bolt-on”, 3rd party products are needed to have the ERP system handle your business? Ask the vendor how many 3rd party products would be required. The cost to integrate, update and customize will rise with added on products. Look for a platform that has outstanding “out of the box” functionality that will minimize additions to the platform.

 

  • Cost- a big piece of the TCO is the license cost. As companies implement ERP systems they find they can include many more folks inside and outside of their organization. Does the vendor charge per user? Think of additional users potentially in Shipping & Receiving, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Investors, Vendors and Customers that may require access to parts of the system. There are ERP systems (like Acumatica) that only charge per module such as distribution and allow unlimited users. This could be a huge cost savings.

 

  • Data Management- How does the software handle importing and exporting of data? Will it require translation or data cleansing? Will you need ongoing data management?

 

  • Reporting & Dashboards- don’t rely on a demo and sales pitch to determine the ease of creating reports or modifying dashboards. During a demo ask if you can take control and create a report. A main function of an ERP system is to be able to get valuable insights about your business- make sure you are comfortable with creating and editing reports and dashboards.

 

Software Solutions Group, Inc. has implemented hundreds of systems over the past 20 years. For more info about choosing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems call us at 716-568-2040 or email at sales@softsolgrp.com.

 

By Rick Stefanone, Software Solutions Group, rick.stefanone@softsolgrp.com

Benefits of a Customer Portal – Why should you want one?

June 23rd, 2016

Self-service is quickly becoming the preferred method of interacting with an organization. How can your organization be “open” 24/7 without actually extending your hours? How can you improve the customer experience and deliver a high quality experience without hiring more support staff or implementing new training programs? Customer Portals are one way that small and medium businesses are staying in touch with customer needs, improving their brand, and staying competitive with larger organizations. And it’s easier than you may think. Let’s take a look at a few benefits of giving your customers access to a customer portal that is integrated with your ERP.
 
 
1. Saves time for you and your customers. A customer portal allows a secure and efficient way to get information which bypasses queues and waiting on return calls or emails. Your ERP and Customer Management systems contain the information that your customers are typically looking for. Copies of invoices, due dates, order status, inventory quantity, placing orders, reviewing past orders, initiating or status of a support case are generally at the top of the list when I ask business owners what absorbs most of support staff’s time. A portal enables your customers to get this information without emailing or calling your company.
 
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2. Customer Retention. The reality is that customer loyalty is earned repeatedly. Every interaction a customer or vendor has with your company will either help or hurt that allegiance. In addition to the tasks above a customer portal can also be a great place for accessing a knowledge base and document sharing. Marketing and educational materials, company policies, and FAQ’s can be securely housed within the portal without having to build a separate web page. When setup effectively, a portal will be viewed as a valuable communications and workflow resource.
 
3. Secure. Every contact with portal access will have a login and password. With a few simple clicks you can tailor the portal experience for each user. Which inventory items are visible, which warehouses they can ship from, or even what shipping methods they can choose are up to you. And since the portal is integrated with your ERP the information will always be up to date.
 
Providing a customer portal is one way to help justify the conversion from your existing ERP system. It can improve your customer experience, reduce internal tasks and ultimately help you retain existing customers and grow your business. Acumatica is a cloud-based ERP that gives unlimited users. You only pay for the modules you need whether it is one or all of accounting, distribution, customer management, manufacturing, project accounting, payroll, e-commerce or other modules. Software Solutions Group has successfully implemented hundreds of ERP & CRM solutions over the past 20 years.
 
For more info about customer portals or how an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can benefit your business call Software Solutions Group at 716-568-2040 or email us at sales@softsolgrp.com.
 
By Rick Stefanone, Software Solutions Group, rick.stefanone@softsolgrp.com