26.06.2016, How ERP can help startups improve revenue growth
Today’s global business climate can foster super-sized expansion in a heartbeat. However, rapid expansion makes startup enterprises particularly prone to revenue management issues since, well-funded or not, early-stage firms tend to face unexpected challenges. These can range from a sudden need to refine operational processes, to unexpected investigations into less than sterling sales or marketing programs.
While these problems bubble up in the daily operational rice bowl, each unwanted issue also creates cost that is rarely budgeted for. This can lead to significant cash mismatches between one’s expected net revenue, versus the threat of a company’s practical inability to pay a light bill or worse; sometimes referred to as the “initiation of a business death spiral.”
ERP systems for startups offer numerous ways to avoid this threat by applying clearly identifiable revenue-growth processes. This is particularly true if they use one of today’s reasonably-priced cloud-based systems . Here are three ways to get the job done:
Automate order-to-cash processes
Typical legacy accounting systems require users to execute quote, order, sales fulfillment processing and invoicing manually; then actively monitor and account for received revenue in order to book and close a single deal.
Recommended reading: find ERP software that works for your startup with out ERP selection checklist.
As a general rule the manual model is prone to human error; more importantly, it creates cascades of process lags throughout the transaction chain, and these create a delayed cash recognition condition. On the other hand, today’s integrated ERP systems allow users to automate up to 85% of the entire quote-to-close chain, while also integrating sales, finance, and fulfillment modules, leading to faster and more accurate revenue reporting.
Enhance market analytics
Efficient enterprise growth is typically managed by four doctrinal components including a clear understanding of desired data points, an ability to effectively locate and target growth opportunities, a willingness to make business decisions on a timely basis, and a commitment to constant improvement. The overall efficiency of this sequence of decision milestones is largely-guided by available data, supported and managed by various filter mechanisms that users leverage to create bankable information.
In the past the commercial usefulness of gross data acquision was strictly limited by how much time can be afforded by an enterprise to hunt and peck one’s way through the market. Today, however, automated ERP systems largely driven by mobility-adapt apps and affiliated utilities drive through a particular market segment like vacuum cleaners, picking up data wherever and whenever new data appears within a company’s customer base. These characteristics ultimately end up as Business Intelligence reports that can be used to target, trap, re-sell, and in general compete more efficiently than the other guy.
Equip for future needs
This revenue growth suggestion may appear to be a bit off the beaten path, since using a brand new system in a brand new company may appear counter-intuitive for many. However, to paraphrase an old aviation saying, “If a company is equipped right; it’ll usually work right.”
Therefore, any well-funded startup must include the consideration and purchase of a proper ERP system as a critical capital requirement during any “use of proceeds” discussion. There are two primary reasons for this suggestion:
The day-one use of an ERP system means that a startup will grow in concert with, rather in spite of, a deeply-seated business culture, overcoming a host of costly and time consuming business change challenges that typically plague mature enterprise ERP implementations.
Startup use of an ERP platform will create a flurry of early-stage competitive advantages when compared with competitors.
Each value point accrues to revenue growth in the aggregate. However, in the past such a suggestion was not typically realizable to early-stage firms due to overall cost and systems infrastructure constraints. However, today’s cloud-based ERP platforms have become so reasonably priced, that virtually any well-funded startup would be foolish not to have ERP support from the outset.
19.06.2016, Four things that improve ERP user experience
From a purely developmental perspective, considerations associated with the phrase ‘user experience’ (UX) typically refer to varying degrees of code production, utility integration, automated maintenance performance, and levels of useful activity regarding internal/external reporting processes . However, from an operational perspective UX applies differently.
At the user level, operators tend to cleave to subjective judgments largely driven by characteristics associated with look, feel and ease of use when defining an ERP platform’s perceived value. Consequently, these ‘softer’ characteristics are difficult to measure empirically, and in the end, typically resolve themselves by either appearing to offer a successful UX experience, or in some cases, missing the mark entirely.
Given that we’re typically focused on what will actually help, rather than the inverse here at ERP Focus, we thought we’d run through five things that can improve your ERP UX experience without the need for too much extra effort.
Encourage a ‘constant-education culture’
The impact of an effective ERP UX selection process largely exists on the basis of management’s understanding of processes, functions and best practices, that consequently render maximum performance on a recurrent basis. However there is no sugar-coating to be had since ERP platforms are complex, require constant re-training and attention to operational detail. Develop and drive a constant education culture that ensures long-lasting results.
The constant-education culture in real-time:
Senior management can encourage recurrent enterprise-wide education programs
Line managers can execute regular refresher training programs
Line managers and central module operators, such as financial, inventory, or CRM workers, can convene regular informal, “community-driven”, events oriented to better ways to operate.
Encourage individual empowerment
In the same way that constant education delivers positive impacts on an ERP UX selection process, an ability to encourage and delegate individual work throughout an implementation program produces equally valuable performance over time. Today’s ERP platforms are built to take advantage of opportunities for all workers to take ownership by bringing individual thoughts to an enterprise’s overall idea-churn. Take advantage of this value and leverage it accordingly.
Recommended reading: find companies with a focus on ERP UX with our completely up-to-date ERP vendor guide .
Foster constant improvement from the ERP platform out
A successful enterprise UX experience is driven by the execution of a system that fosters effective usability day-after-day. However, real life tends to get in the way, and periodically mistakes emerge. Consequently, whether you are resolving an after-the-fact incident, or optimizing an active usability process, a sense of constant improvement must apply throughout your operation.
Examples of this approach includes:
Measure everything all the time
If an error occurs fix it now, not later
Compile, track, and share any lessons learned whilst using the enterprise ERP
Engage supply-chain partners to develop better collaboration
While it may appear that details of interface design primarily reside on the enterprise’s localized platform, there is an opportunity to extend value by engaging one’s entire supply-chain early on . The potential of this kind of integration capability will streamline and speed end-to-end processing, thereby creating more efficiency throughout.
Engage consumers to help ‘train’ ERP CRM workers
This somewhat esoteric value will allow CRM operations access to real-world experience, leading to overcoming systems constraints earlier rather than later. For example, in order to attract customers to this CRM “lessons-learned” program, the company could offer one or more product discounts, or free premiums in return for completing operational surveys. While this suggestion is only a simple approach to the problem, other values could be delivered to encourage a customer base to provide feedback on CRM processes.
12.06.2016, 4 common ERP user gripes and what to do about them
Granted, keeping ERP users happy is not easy, but understanding user feedback and acting on it isn’t particularly difficult either. Nevertheless, given the human condition, the effort necessary to deal with a complex company-wide system typically triggers all kinds of user gripes. Here are some of the more classic complaints.
1. System change is affecting my work
This complaint is usually heard about mid-way through a pre-launch training cycle, and typically experienced at the point where new information becomes nearly overwhelming for ERP users. The condition is entirely reasonable if you consider it for a minute, since everyone involved is essentially doing two jobs simultaneously. The first job relates to executing the ‘old way’ of doing things because the enterprise still has to operate on a daily basis; while the second job relates to accepting, comprehending and assimilating a ton of new operational information at the same time.
Recommended reading: ERP implementation - 11 steps to success
In this case, the best way to proceed for all participants is to take a break for a week or two, then come back to pre-launch training , if for any other reason than to allow new information to settle intellectually. Typically, this mid-point break gives everyone a bit of a breather leading to the tendency toward a ‘second wind,’ and offers an opportunity to clarify queries without everyone feeling under too much pressure before the final push to implementation begins.
2. The implementation process is too complex
By their nature ERP systems are complicated, but as the old saying goes; ‘one can’t make an omelet unless one breaks some eggs.’ In this event, there are two ways to deal with the complication issue. On one hand, encouragement of an early acceptance of the depth and comprehensive character of these systems can make the road considerably smoother, on the other hand, sometimes it is best to simply teach ERP users the ‘come hell or high water drive on’ approach.
given the human condition, the effort necessary to deal with a complex company-wide system typically triggers all kinds of user gripes
Personally I like the early education approach better since it tends to create a more collaborative result, gain consensus and get everyone on the same page. However, if time is short and getting an ERP system up and running sooner rather than later is crucial, a manager can simply challenge a workforce. In the latter case, if senior management has been doing its job, while the complaint quotient will clearly trigger some whitenoise, good people lead by effective managers can typically quell any problems.
3. ERP implementations are too time intensive
This complaint usually goes hand-in-hand with issues of complication. Let’s face it, to get an ERP system up and running , significant time must be spent. Even if everything works exactly as expected, more time, rather less, will be expended on a system as go-live approaches. Again, navigating a workforce through this kind of issue challenges any management cadre, but if an enterprise workforce has been trained properly, getting the job done effectively will usually end up being more a matter of individual consideration, rather than flogging the troops like a herd of rented mules.
4. Why haven’t we seen a return on investment yet?
This complaint is usually heard from senior-level ERP users, and is typically voiced by CFO’s or COO’s to third-party partners or responsible IT line managers. In this case, there is a degree of trust required by all parties involved since, new ERP systems tend to exhibit a lag trend between start-up and 90 days; where training and operational issues are being put to bed, and system data is not producing quite enough reportable information to measure the system’s overall business value . Once again, the best course to take is to regularly measure the stability and depth of end-to-end activity. Although one may not be able to necessary garner much in the way of new information, at least the platform will be able to illustrate that ‘something’ is going on, while preparing for the first comprehensive enterprise reporting run.
5.06.2016, Намаляване или премахне разходите за изпълнение ERP проект 2
Само да получите това, което трябва
ERP системи са опаковани по няколко начина. Често те се продават от модула. Ако имате нужда от главната книга, но нямат нужда от вземания, пропуснете, че един и спести малко пари. Понякога те ще предложи пакет от най-честите модулите. Това може да бъде един чудесен пари сейвър, но ако те предлагат ограничени версии на някои модули те може да не разполагат с инструменти, необходими.
Тези дни не трябва да купуват вашата ERP система изобщо. Cloud-базираните ERP системи се нуждаят от само една месечна такса ползване, предлагащ потенциални спестявания в сървъри и друга инфраструктура. Също така, има малко или никакви първоначални разходи, което спомага за намаляване на общите си разходи за изпълнение ERP.
Помислете дали да се работи бързо, или да си време
Има много работа в създаването на своя ERP. Някои го определят като по-добре да се направи трудно еднократно натискане и се получи, че извършената работа и да започне използването на системата бързо. Други са щастливи да се разпространява работата с течение на времето, дори години. Възможно е да завърши изпълнението на ERP, без външна помощ по този начин, но вие няма да започнете да виждате предимствата за известно време. Помислете кой подход подходящо за вашия бизнес - или човек може да намали разходите за изпълнение ERP в правилната настройка.
Бъдете сигурни, че имате изпълнителен подкрепа
Изпълнителният подкрепа е изискване по принцип, но тази подкрепа ще се спестят пари също. Когато някои (други) отдел е в застой или се опитва да увеличи обхвата на проекта, че изпълнителната може да им помогне да се върнем към плана. Най-EXEC също ще помогне с бюджетиране и анализ на начина, по който проектът върви към приключване.
Това са само извадка от идеи, за да се запази цената на изпълнение ERP под контрол. Реалната възвръщаемост на инвестициите си разчита на цялата стойност на собствеността на вашата система.
29.05.2016, Начини за намаляване на разходите за изпълнение на ERP проект
Създаването и внедряването на нова ERP система не е евтино, но ето няколко начина да се намалят или премахнат разходите за изпълнение на ERP проект.
Управление на бюджета
Задавайте бюджет преди началото на всяка работа. Какво ще струва нашият софтуер? Колко ще е нужно да се похарчи за хардуер и мрежови услуги? Какви консултанти ще са необходими? По колко часа ще бъдат необходими на нашият персонал? Ще ви се наложи ли да използвате временен персонал за допълване на работата на служители си, докато те са заети с проекта? Кога ще бъдат направени тези разходи?
Ако прогнозите Ви са примерно да се добавят до $500, но имате само $ 400, сега е моментът да се изрежат някои разходи, или да се потърсят допълнителни пари. Измервайте действителните си разходи постоянно и ги сравнявайте с бюджета си често. Внимателното бюджетиране е един от най-добрите начини да се контролират разходите дългосрочно - започнете с основите.
Минимизиране на персонализирането
Вашите отдели по продажба вече искат някои персонализирания и вашите инженери настояват за интеграция? Помислете внимателно дали наистина имате нужда да харчите пари веднага. ERP-то, което вие сте избрали се използва от широк кръг от компании. Разработчиците са построили приложенията с доста гъвкавост, за да работят с много и различни процеси. Научете как да използвате out-of-the-box процесите, преди каквото и да било персонализиране. Може да откриете, че това е по-добър вариант от процеса, който използвате в момента, и който се нуждае от персонализиране, и ще намали разходите за изпълнение на ERP.