In 2017, we here at Bennett/Porter took a year off from hosting our annual Connections conference to focus on expanding our software and service offerings. This year we return with and we invite you and your colleagues to join us.
Innovation in the business world is often perceived as opportunity by those doing - and benefiting from - the innovating. For other businesses that change unwillingly impacts, however, innovation often feels more like painful disruption to an already risky status quo. Our little region of the Pacific Northwest is the proud home of Powell's City of Books, the world's largest independent bookstore. We're especially enamored with it now that online and digital enterprises have made similar brick and mortar bookshops such a rarity. For Amazon and Apple, this transformation in how we buy and read books is opportunity. For Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, Crown Books, and many others, the rapid dismantling of their longstanding business models could only be interpreted as disruption.
While every company's needs and solutions vary regarding Enterprise Resource Planning, most companies will complete a capital expense justification before committing to an ERP system. This is the return on investment (ROI) process that identifies the expected direct and indirect costs of the project compared to the anticipated benefits. A project of this magnitude is usually approved only if the return can be proven to meet specific lender and board requirements.
You've received a quote from your preferred Enterprise Resource Planning system vendor. Now you know the costs for hardware, software, implementation assistance, and training. So that's the total cost, right? Unfortunately, that's probably not the entire cost of your system, and companies that aren't made aware of this fact frequently find themselves with the unwelcome surprise of additional fees and expenses that were never anticipated - and therefore weren't included in the budget plan.
True costs and real gains. Those are the things you need to know before embarking on an Enterprise Resource Planning system implementation. Why are they important? Because an ERP implementation will likely touch every part of your organization, and you want to know what that equates to - both in terms of impact and benefit - for the bottom line. The two parts are, of course, related. You need to reveal the hidden costs so that you can factor them in to the potential return on investment of your new solution. Completing a thoughtful financial justification for an ERP implementation project will help eliminate mystery about the actual costs and reveal the many available benefits.
Whether for personal or business use, everyone seems to be moving their computing systems and data to The Cloud. So it's natural for companies to ask, "Should we move our Enterprise Resource Planning system to The Cloud?"
Inventory management is, arguably, at the heart of any Enterprise Resource Planning system design. That makes sense, given that inventory records and transactions are the most likely to be digitized. And while some CRM systems bolt on inventory considerations as an afterthought, the best ones offer truly seamless visibility from customer order inquiries though to product volumes in the warehouse. At the most basic level of functionality, ERP inventory management maintains a perpetual inventory record that updates the accounting modules. Fundamentally, the system accepts inventory movement reports (transactions) and maintains a continuous record of the various quantities. Modern ERP systems expand on this essential task by developing features that increase accuracy and efficiency in inventory management. Here are five tools can and should be integrated within any inventory management system to give you the control and visibility to support your larger business operations.
We started selling MAS 90 software in 1988 – when the manufacturer was State of The Art Software and before Sage Software acquired it. There was a DOS version and a Unix version, and you either purchased a single user license or a network license. We didn’t have "user licensing" in those days; you either had a network license or you didn’t. MAS 200 (which was a client/server version of MAS 90) was released in the mid-90’s, and that’s when the thought of licensing the software "by user" was introduced. And there were no annual maintenance agreements! If State of The Art came out with new features you were interested in using, you simply paid an upgrade fee to get that version.
Executive dashboards often add the "Wow!" factor to Enterprise Resource Planning systems. Those collections of colorful funnels and three-dimensional columns supposedly allow decision-makers to understand their company's key metrics in visual form. However, gorgeous graphs do not automatically equate to intelligent business decisions. True business intelligence (BI) capabilities must be thoughtfully designed and implemented, and the underlying technology must be versatile enough to make those pretty pictures come alive in dynamic and purposeful ways. Here is how smart businesses can leverage this incredible resource.