Your business is growing, and - in order to stay efficient and profitable - you realize that you need to step beyond makeshift business mechanisms and into the world of Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
How should you start this investigation, and how do you make sense of terminology like 'cloud-based solution', 'business intelligence', and 'inventory automation'? Over the next two weeks, we'll be blogging about some concepts to consider as you prepare to research your options. Following are some fundamental questions we'll be addressing.
What is The Cloud? What does it mean to use “cloud-based” systems?
Cloud computing seems to be everywhere nowhere at once. "Is your data in The Cloud?" "Did you back up to The Cloud?" These are increasingly common questions. Yet when asked, people find themselves hard-pressed to explain what being "in The Cloud" actually means and how it impacts their everyday technology choices. In the first part of our series, we'll decipher the essentials of cloud computing so that you can make informed decisions for your business. We'll explore:
- what The Cloud actually is
- business applications suited for cloud use
- differences between SaaS and on-premise business applications
- single-tenant v. multi-tenant SaaS deployments
- the dangers of legacy applications re-engineered for cloud use
- selecting the best option for your company's business technology needs
What is business intelligence? How does it really relate to reporting?
Most enterprise leaders associate business intelligence (BI) with the executive dashboard: that colorful collection of on-screen graphs and charts which measure sales, production statistics, and inventory volumes at a glance. However, well-deployed BI - especially at the mid-market level - has the capability to inform and improve all levels of your organization through analytics and data warehousing/mining. In the second part of our series, we'll examine how the right ERP system includes BI tools that effectively transform raw data into knowledge and insight. Topics include:
- how business intelligence works
- BI reporting
- turning data into meaningful metrics
- understanding essential data by developing your own analysis
Hand-in-hand with accounting, every ERP system is constructed around inventory management, and only the best CRM systems take inventory as seriously as they do customer relations. Because of their profit-critical nature, inventory records and transactions are the most likely to be digitized. Over the years, those digital transactions have become capable of far more sophisticated activities than simply recording quantities on-hand or determining min/max levels. The third part of our series demonstrates how manufacturing and distribution companies alike benefit from robust and constant visibility into integrated inventory data. We'll delve into:
- data collection via bar-code devices
- cycle counting
- ABC analysis
- integrated planning
- lot tracking and traceability
Not all ERP solutions are created equal! Over the next few days, you'll learn what to look for as you investigate the options on your journey towards finding the solution appropriate for your business. If you have specific questions, drop us a line or give us a call!