90 Day ERP Go Live is Smooth Sailing Thanks to Parallel Solutions
ALTEO NA, LLC was finding that their AS400-based legacy order-entry system, Oasis, was no longer meeting the firm’s growing needs. The biggest problem was that the system could not keep track of lots and employees were finding it very difficult to use.
Executives, considered system needs and came up with a straightforward list, which led them to consider replacing the system with Quickbooks Enterprise. While contacting ERP vendors, ALTEO got in touch with Parallel Solutions and immediately found their consultation to be helpful. The experts at Parallel helped fine tune ALTEO’s business process model and dove deeper into the needs analysis over the long term.
Scott Barnhouse, Director N.A., found this service to be especially valuable. “Parallel Solutions guided us through the decision process regarding the specific ERP that was best suited to our company and showed us that Quickbooks Enterprise would not be our best long term solution. Initially, we did not fully understand the longer term, total needs of the company.”
For ALTEO, running a SQL based system led to more flexibility -- from customization of forms, to work methods. They made the decision to purchase Macola, which allowed them both to achieve their goals more quickly, with less effort, and still remain well within budget.
But the partnership with Parallel Solutions really paid off during implementation. Due to a new corporate spin off, valued at $30,000,000, the company had exactly 3 months to go live and no room for error.
Barnhouse says, “We had no ability to remain on the legacy system or to run in parallel, so the timeline for a smooth implementation was critical.”
Parallel Solutions’ team guided ALTEO through the setup, training, and implementation step-by-step while always keeping the the firm’s specific needs and issues top of mind. The goal was to design the system correctly and implement it quickly. The result? Implementation was smoothly done on schedule and there were no major problems.
“We were up and running by August 1st and issued our first live invoices in the second week,” says Barnhouse. “And, since that start, Parallel Solutions has been present, hand-in-hand, with training, support, and system improvements that have greatly enhanced our ability to do business in a fast and efficient manner.”
In fact, it all went so well, Mr. Barnhouse is often surprised to hear other businesses negative stories of ERP implementation, training and management.
“In my discussions with colleagues in a wide variety of businesses, I have learned that everyone complains about their ERP system. My experience with Parallel Solutions has given me only reasons to praise.”
Do you have critical implementation timing needs for your new ERP system? Find a vendor you can trust to understand your business and partner for the long term. Call Parallel Solutions today for a consultation: (440) 498-9920.
In our last blog, we talked about IT Disaster Recovery Planning and strategies for various scenarios that may take out information systems. While IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness is key to business resilience, it is only one part of overall Business Contingency or Resiliency Planning.
Consider this scenario:
You run a waterjet cutting machine shop that specializes in custom runs for the automotive industry. You just landed a large order and raw materials are in transit. You are also finishing up the previous run, on time, and are about to ship deliverables to a happy client that has no wiggle room built into their own production schedule.
Then a large storm rolls through and tornadic activity takes out a neighboring suburban area.Your shop, thankfully, sustains only minor damage, but the surrounding area is plagued with flooding, downed trees and blocked roads.You have no power at the plant, or your offices, and the power company thinks it may be 3 days before power is restored.
You will not be back up and running before the big shipment comes (if it can even get to you). Outgoing orders are also stalled and employees, many of which lived in the severely affected area, cannot make it into work (besides you still have no electricity).
Now what? Is there a plan in place? Have you ever run through it? Do your employees know about the plan and what’s expected of them? Who is implementing the plan? Is the plan printed in a binder at work? Is it on the hard drive of a computer in the office you cannot access? Is it on a Web based application with an unknown password because everyone relies on browser cookies to save passwords?
The Forrester Research 2014 The State of Business Continuity Preparedness report says that 49% of disasters occur because of IT failure. However, many more, 69% are due to natural disasters, which affect much more than IT and have cascading effects, such as longer term transportation disruptions, power outages and telecommunication failure.
Because of this, many companies are prepared for the IT portion of their disaster, but ill prepared for the workforce, communication and supply chain issues like those in the above scenario.
According to Forrester Research Analyst, Stephanie Balaouras, “Organizations often go to extraordinary lengths to develop disaster plans to address the failover of IT systems to alternate sites but often neglect or underestimate the human aspects such as workforce recovery and crisis or emergency communication.”
In her detailed Forrester report, Balaouras found that businesses who suffered at the hands of a disaster learned three very important lessons:
So let’s consider some of the questions which need answered to address these 3 needed planning provisions:
Third Party Collaboration
There are a lot of near invisible moving parts in business today that will grind to a halt with something as simple as a power outage. For more information about Business Disaster Planning, check out the government resources at Ready.gov/business. And if you’d like help crafting your Disaster Plan, contact us at Parallel Solutions. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call us today at (440) 498-9920 and be prepared to make the best of a worst case scenario.
In this day and age, IT is essential to day to day business operations. Loss of access to data or, loss of stored data entirely, is a true disaster for all businesses. While most think of floods and fires when they think of IT outages, there are other risks to consider, such as employee theft or even the sudden death of a key employee.
The reality is that disasters come in large and small varieties and it is near impossible to anticipate what might happen or how much it will impact your company. This is why it is important to be prepared. Unfortunately, most do not place disaster recovery on their todo list.
According to the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council, in their Annual Benchmark Survey Results, 3 out of 4 companies fail to prepare for Disaster Recovery. Perhaps more alarmingly, 20% of those who reported suffering from outages reported losses of over $50,000.
It’s important to note that backing up data is a good first step, but is not a Disaster Recovery plan. In fact, many disasters come from loss of backup data itself, especially if backup servers are stored on site. Creating correct processes and procedures for different disaster scenarios is key.
The other key piece of Disaster Recovery Planning is testing. It is crucial to test the backup process and run through different data loss scenarios in order to be truly prepared for disaster.
Unfortunately, according to the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council, even among those who have Disaster Recovery plans: “Nearly one in four respondents never tested their DR plans, and one-third of those surveyed test plans only once or twice a year. When companies do test, more than 65% do not pass their own DR tests.”
So what can you do?
Auditing and drafting the Disaster Recovery plan can be a complex process. In addition to choosing the right hardware and software security, important questions like “Who will execute the plan? Do you have the materials required for execution? Do you have the resources to sustain the company while recovering?” must also be answered.
If this is a daunting task for your small business, Parallel Solutions can help. We offer system audit services for Disaster Recovery and can recommend changes to both hardware and software and consulting on backup procedures and processes. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call us today at (440)498-9920 and be prepared to make the best of a worst case scenario.
Mary Jo O'Neill