“The way to wealth is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words, industry and frugality: that is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.” ― Benjamin Franklin
This quote by our founding father is the principal issue in ERP purchase and implementation. Waste neither time nor money. Inefficient process can be solved with the right ERP system -- time no longer wasted. Of course, maintaining frugality in ERP purchasing is hardly easy. While the investment in ERP can be significant, there are ways to keep costs down and stay frugal.
Here are the top 4 considerations.
Research Options: Draft a budget; however do not default to the cheapest option. Consider the cost of each vendor’s solution along with the breadth of relevant functionality offered by each ERP solution. While operating in budget is essential, getting the right software saves in the long run, so balancing those priorities is key. At the same time, don’t let yourself be talked into a lot of different pieces and extras your company has no use for. The right vendor won’t up sell the unnecessary; they will instead help you think through scalability.
Choose a Vendor Wisely: Speaking of finding the right vendor, it is important to find one who can deliver everything your company needs, or may need, for the long term. Obviously, they need to offer the software package you want, but also make sure they are available long term for training and troubleshooting. Vendor support is crucial to implementation success and cost control.
Consider Licensing Options: There are many types of user options to consider and your vendor can help you choose what is both affordable and workable for your firm. Some options include named users, concurrent users, and even labels like “lite,” “occasional access” or “limited” can be applied to licensing options. The questions to ask include:
Factor in Savings: The cost of ERP vs. the cost of inefficiency is a serious consideration. The right ERP solution minimizes wasted employee time and wasted or duplicate data input. Data, in particular, is an often overlooked area for cost control. The data integration provided by ERP makes your company leaner, more competitive, more flexible, and more responsive to changing customer and business needs.
According to an Aberdeen Group study of job shops, those effectively implementing an ERP system report a 13-20% reduction in operating costs, a 10-18% reduction in administrative costs, and a 10-22% reduction in inventory costs.
There are lots of ways to control costs when replacing your ERP system and implementation cost savings also helps you stay within budget. Let Parallel Solutions help you balance business inefficiency and system cost. Call us for specifics on your company’s possible savings in ERP purchase and implementation at (440) 498-9920.
Did you know that anyone – students, faculty and alumni and members of the community can utilize facilities at Case Western Reserve University to create and test new inventions?
Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] is a center for innovation and entrepreneurship filled with supplies and equipment. It is located in a 7-story, 50,000 square foot facility in the Richey Mixon Building at 11201 Cedar Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106. Easy access is via the Veale Center on the southern edge of campus.
Currently 3 floors are occupied and more is being renovated. Over 5000 visits each month are occurring. The Thinkbox is the largest open access innovation center at any university in the world. This is a place to encourage out of the box thinking. There is an opportunity to use an assortment of equipment in a safe and supervised manner. The thought of utilizing a 3D printer makes me want to immediately start inventing new products.
Northeastern Ohio is a great place to see creativity come alive. If you want to speak to someone about selection of ERP software and creative ways to improve your business reporting, contact Parallel Solutions at 440-498-9920 or via www.erpsolutions4u.com.
Getting a competitive advantage in business today means leveraging technology and talent. Nowhere do these two topics converge quite so poignantly as the discussion of how Millennials will shape the future of ERP technology. To stay ahead of the market, companies need both their ERP systems, and those who run them, to “operate” efficiently.
So, what influences can we expect the growing job market to have on ERP?
According to this University of Tampa Study, Negotiating the deal: using technology to reach the Millennials, (Journal of Behavior Studies in Business), Millennials are digital natives who prefer, “tech-centric environments that are active, collaborative, experiential, team-based, and self paced as possible.”
This is both encouraging and challenging news for ERP developers and implementers. On one hand, Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) gives Millennials the collaborative, team-based experiences and access they respect and prefer.
Millennials will likely take to well built and implemented ERP systems like fish to water. However, poorly implemented ERPs that use manual workarounds, untrained staff, or create duplicate data will be (understandably) a huge source of frustration to a generation of digital natives. Millennials will want an interface and ERP experience that meets their expectations.
So, what are some of those expectations?
This generation has had their tech experiences guided by user friendly applications their entire lives. Dashboards will have to push software complexity to the background and be intuitive, hierarchical and user-role centric. Department integration will need to be seamless and communication simple. Document collaboration (think Wiki) and file sharing will also ideally be easily done. In order to garner respect and cooperation with this workforce, multi-tasking capabilities will also be important without switching between or shutting down modules and applications.
Digital natives will also want to take their tech with them and value working off site and being able to access what they need, when they need it. Mobile tech with full access will be a must. This is, of course, a security challenge. According to the Ponemon Institute, 6 out of 10 data breaches occur through mobile. Aside from the obvious passwords, authentication and malware issues, Cloud ERP, mobile and varying-or-custom-device access environments have an array of challenges.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will simply be anticipating what a new generation of users prefers while simultaneously anticipating how they will change the environment themselves through their contributions. Luckily, no company needs to navigate these waters alone.
Talk to experts, like Parallel Solutions about how to choose an ERP system that has the collaborative interface and access your employees want while still maintaining the security you need. Contact Parallel Solutions at (440) 498-9920 to learn about the risks and rewards of various options.
Mary Jo O'Neill