Why use an ERP solution rather than a spreadsheet for inventory management?

Many small- and medium-sized businesses still use spreadsheet software such as Excel for inventory management. Maybe your SMB does too. But does your spreadsheet meet all your needs? If it seems like your spreadsheet can’t keep up, maybe it’s time to turn to another solution, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. When it comes to inventory management, this system has a leg up on spreadsheets. Here are three good reasons to make the switch.

1- Easier decision-making

Along with having to run all over the place to get information from the different parties, employees who work with spreadsheets face other challenges. They have to enter, verify and format all the accounting data in the hope of making the best possible decision, albeit at the eleventh hour! With management software, your employees would have access to automated and customized reports to help them make better decisions. Since all the information from the various departments would be centralized, they could quickly determine how much to order for each of your products and the best time to do so. That way, you would avoid headaches such as costly inventory shortages. All decisions regarding inventory should also be assessed from a financial point of view. Another advantage of ERP software is the ability to integrate inventory accounting directly into the balance sheet. Unlike a basic spreadsheet, all ERP modules talk to each other, so any inventory decisions will automatically show up in your accounting. Your balance sheet will be adjusted as soon as the items are digitally scanned by the employee in charge of receiving goods.

2- Better customer service

Customers love accurate answers based on information that is continuously updated. With a spreadsheet, however, your customer service agents may not have the latest information at their fingertips. They have to wait for someone at the warehouse to update the spreadsheet, which can cause an unintended delay in responding to their callers. With management software, all employees who work with inventory, whether at headquarters or at a warehouse, have instant access to the most reliable data, which they can then easily pass on to customers. This kind of increased efficiency in your daily operations is sure to improve your delivery processing. With automated purchase orders and an easier way to create shipping orders, your teams will be able to complete their tasks faster. Deliveries will be shipped quicker, and you will finally see the increased sales that you had hoped for.

3- A streamlined interface for your employees

A spreadsheet interface isn’t advanced enough for optimum inventory management. All those columns and rows on spreadsheets makes it harder for your employees to do their work. They have to get creative to extract the right data to make a decision. Using countless filters, creating complex pivot tables, and hiding certain fields are just some of the manual tasks that employees must master when using a spreadsheet. But with ERP software, the data entry process is intuitive and therefore requires less time. Some processes can be automated, simplifying the task for your employees. The software can, for instance, email an employee to notify them of a likely inventory shortage for a specific item.

Get an ERP solution today for your inventory management

Unlike spreadsheets and other basic tools, an ERP solution lets you see your inventory in real time. Even if your company has multiple warehouses, you’ll have an accurate picture of the current situation, boosting your productivity. And by spending less time managing your inventory, you can focus on your real priorities. For SMBs looking to strengthen their supply chain, management software is the ideal solution. And ACCEO ERP can help. Want to learn more? Download this free guide today: “8 reasons to use an ERP solution rather than a spreadsheet for inventory management.”

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4 reasons to recommend Acumatica Cloud ERP to Quebec SMBs

ACCEO’s world-class enterprise resource planning (ERP) software offers Quebec SMBs advanced business management features at affordable prices. Acumatica Cloud ERP can improve productivity in billing, inventory management, accounting, payroll, customer relationship management (CRM), and other areas. Acumatica Cloud ERP is a flexible and robust ERP solution that helps SMBs continue to grow. Know of any SMBs looking to corner the Quebec market? Here are four good reasons to recommend Acumatica Cloud ERP.

Personalized support

When you recommend Acumatica Cloud ERP to an SMB looking to optimize operations, you’re inviting it to join a skilled and specialized team. With more than 30 years of experience under its belt, ACCEO is known for the expert work and extensive hands-on knowledge of its attentive advisors who keep a watchful eye on the technological and business issues facing SMBs. With solid market experience and reputation for supporting growing companies, ACCEO stands head and shoulders above the rest.

The ACCEO ERP team is known for seizing all aspects of a company’s business processes and the reality of SMBs in Quebec and Canada. This attention to detail ensures that the team implements the solution that best suits the company’s needs. This kind of personalized service guarantees that each ERP implementation is a success. What’s more, the service centre is run by a specialized team that tailors its services to each company’s business reality to:

  • Optimize management software use
  • Ensure a fast return on investment (ROI)
  • Make sure the software provides a true competitive edge

By promoting the flexibility and reliability of Acumatica Cloud ERP to SMBs, you’ll help them benefit from the skills and expertise of a team recognized in the market as the ideal partner for Quebec SMBs.

Unique methodology

From software acquisition to employee training, the ACCEO ERP team applies a strict methodology that takes into account deadlines and budgets, ensuring success at each step of the Acumatica Cloud ERP implementation process:

  • Detailed analysis of the business environment, needs, and expectations
  • Solutions tailored to each company’s technological and financial reality
  • Risk, challenge, and opportunity assessment
  • Implementation schedule
  • Software deployment and customization
  • Change management program development
  • Stakeholder training
  • Post-implementation follow-ups

Acumatica Cloud ERP stands out from other management software because of its attentive support service, from the selection process to implementation and beyond. That way, SMBs who choose Acumatica Cloud ERP are never left to their own devices during this complex process—another big advantage that sets Acumatica apart from the competition.

Bilingual world-class cloud-based software

Acumatica is the ultimate cloud-based ERP software. In a quickly changing market, SMBs need effective technology that supports their business goals.

Recommend Acumatica Cloud ERP to your customers to give them access to Acumatica’s avant-garde technology in the form of a comprehensive, easy-to-use, flexible, and mobile cloud-based ERP solution. Accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device, this multilingual system makes it easier to manage field work and overtime or weekend shifts and for employees to work remotely.

All its features can be accessed through a regular browser without having to install additional software or get a licence. Acumatica Cloud ERP is an indispensable modern tool that can be customized to each SMB’s specific sector. What are you waiting for?

Easy data tracking, detailed information, and more!

SMBs that opt for Acumatica Cloud ERP will finally get to experience a system that gives them an efficient and accurate way to manage budgets, time sheets, inventory, billing, and reporting for all their projects. The cash management module, for instance, provides real-time visual reports of even the smallest account details and can import bank statements directly into the Acumatica Cloud ERP.

With Acumatica Cloud ERP, SMBs can do things their way:

  • Easy data tracking
  • Fast and detailed report generation
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Bilingual guides
  • Touchscreen ready
  • Remote work made easy
  • And so much more!

Acumatica Cloud ERP management software can be tailored to meet all the needs of a growing Quebec SMB. Be sure to recommend it.

For more good reasons to recommend Acumatica Cloud ERP to Quebec SMBs, download our free guide, “How Acumatica Cloud ERP supports growing Quebec SMBs.”

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5 reasons to switch to a cloud ERP solution

Your business has experienced steady growth over the past few years; clients are flocking to your door and profits are on the rise. It’s the scenario you’ve always dreamed of. At the same time, you still see room for improvement. Each department uses a different management solution, which makes it difficult for them to communicate with one another. Outside of company walls, your employees lack access to the data they need to do their work. All in all, you’re looking at a real logistical head-scratcher. To help you out, here are five reasons to consider investing in cloud-based enterprise resource planning solution (ERP).

1 – Turbocharge your productivity

Once your company’s systems have been successfully integrated into—or, as the case may be, replaced by—the new ERP system, your employees will have at their disposal a centralized database and a full view of all areas of your business. You will be able to automate certain tasks and optimize inventory management, among others, and it will be easier for different departments to work together. Now that they have access to accurate, up-to-date information, your employees will no longer have to work in silos. A single person—a customer service representative, for example—will be able to consult a customer’s file, provide that customer with their account balance, and answer questions about delivery times. Decision making will be faster than ever.

2 – Go at your own pace

ERP is all about flexibility! You can add authorized users as your workforce increases, and it’s easy to change the structure of the system to maximize the use of different features, storage space, or complementary modules. In addition, IT resources are leased to meet the changing needs of your business. It’s the same principle as you would apply when thinking about getting a new vehicle: either you buy a car you intend to drive for several years or you lease one short-term so that you can re-evaluate your needs down the road.

3 – Save on operating costs

Since your provider will be responsible for your ERP system’s maintenance, you won’t need to designate a team for that purpose. Generally speaking, it isn’t necessary to purchase any additional IT equipment. The SaaS (software as a service) model’s monthly billing set-up is suitable for companies with budgets of any size. Moreover, these monthly payments count as operating expenses and are fully tax-deductible. There is also no upfront licensing fee, meaning you can direct your human and financial resources where they are really needed. While your cloud computing service provider oversees all technological infrastructure, your employees can focus their energy on expanding your commercial activity. In other words, your operating costs go down while your business continues to grow.

4 – Bolster your data security

A cloud-based ERP is a sure-fire way to strengthen the security of your data. Cloud storage allows you to recover your data in the event of damage or theft. Major suppliers also carry out regular security updates to ensure stored data is properly protected. Even so, it can feel as if you’re losing control of your data by choosing to store it outside of your own company. You might also be wary of the potential for unauthorized users to access vital information about your business. Follow these tips, courtesy of CPA Canada, to see how simple it is to safeguard your confidential data.

5 – Embrace mobility!

Since ERP is accessible online, it can be used anywhere, anytime, and by any authorized user. In other words, a cloud platform allows you to access your system from any device (computer, tablet, etc.). It permits simultaneous access to the data by multiple users, each of whom might have a personalized interface based on their needs or position in the hierarchy. Thanks to a cloud ERP, it has never been easier to set up a satellite office in another city. Satellite employees can now access the same system as every other employee in their company without having to lug around a decade’s worth of archival paperwork.

Are you ready for the cloud?

These are but a few of the benefits of using cloud-based management software. Acumatica Cloud ERP can help take your business to the next level. To explore further lines of thought or learn more about cloud ERP systems, download this free guide today: “8 benefits of a cloud-based ERP.”

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7 myths about cloud-based ERP systems

As a distributor, you are in constantly looking for new ways to boost profits while securing your market share growth. In order to succeed, you are looking for business efficiency and agility, and real-time information. While this wish list has been the same for decades, two influential disruptions have since changed the business environment. The internet has completely altered the way we interact and has transformed our business methods. Moreover, the marked evolution of ERP solutions has made integrated business applications essential.

How can distributors capitalize on these disruptions? By replacing their outdated ERP systems – a factor that is holding back over 2 million businesses – with a customized, modern, and flexible platform. Cloud-based ERP solutions offer distributors many advantages and improve growth. If you are still reluctant to that change, a few myths about cloud ERP are overturned here.

Myth 1

My old software suits me fine. The role of a distributor has not changed all that much.

Reality: Instead of using traditional distribution channels, manufacturers can go directly to retailers and consumers online. So the role and value of the distributor have evolved considerably. Consequently, providing quality customer service is now that much the more important. Cloud-based ERP offers web-based customer relationship management applications that allow you to offer superior customer service.

Myth2

I know my customers and what they want. I also know my products and how to manage them.

Reality: It is crucial to track changes in consumer demand and respond swiftly and consistently. You have to know your customers to impress them. And that requires real-time access to business-critical information. An ERP solution lets you anticipate changing customer demand and positions you to provide a timely response.

What is more, by managing your products with a cloud-based ERP solution, you can track sales in real time, product engineering changes, service requests, and warranty issues. The less time you have to spend on these tasks, the more time you can spend focusing on your customers.

Myth 3

Our team collaborates. We work well together and have all the information we need.

Reality: Employees are busier than ever. Customer orders are larger and so is the volume of information and records to keep. Because of this, data sharing from a single source is invaluable. An ERP solution can help engage your customers, automate processes, and monitor every aspect of your operations. Communications are streamlined allowing you to focus on your business’s success.

Myth 4

Transitioning to a cloud ERP will take a lot of time and energy which I should be using to grow my business.

Reality: Making critical decisions based on old data and legacy software is like driving a business forward while looking in the rear-view mirror. In truth, as your business grows, entering data and synchronizing your systems will consume even more of your time. Contrary to older systems, the modern ERP offers speed and adaptability, with extensive and scalable development applications that can be installed as your business evolves.

Myth 5

I’m OK with my current reports and feel that they work just fine for me.

Reality: Inaccurate or outdated information impacts efficiency. You need to know your exact inventory to make informed decision and optimize your product offer. Cloud-based ERP provides measurably better-than-OK information (which is often several days old). A modern ERP will produce detailed information and dashboards to alert owners of any problems in real time. The information is delivered in clear and concise formats, so you don’t have to make decisions based on large amounts of raw data.

Myth 6

I’m a distributor; I don’t need a website to sell my products.

Reality: While this can be true, having a website with self-service portals can go a long way toward creating customer loyalty. These web tools allow customers to browse through all the relevant information and perform account-related operations online. Moreover, by providing anytime access to a knowledge base and document sharing, you can reduce the number of customer support related questions. Providing clients with better access to information enables you to work and communicate more efficiently.

Myth 7

Investing in a new system is too expensive.

Reality: Doing nothing will still cost you money. Legacy systems require annual licensing fees, maintenance, and substantial IT staff expenses. By comparison, the cost to implement modern ERP systems has been driven down significantly by the availability of cloud and software as a service.

With today’s cloud licensing fee model, the total cost of ownership is comparable to legacy software. In fact, moving to a cloud ERP can reduce support staff costs by 55% and cloud solutions deliver 2,1 times the ROI of on-premises software1.

Here’s the takeaway: a cloud ERP system is essential to maintain a dynamic distribution business. ERPs can grow sales, drive customer service, improve management, streamline operations, and much more. Distributors who invest in their business with better technology increase their chances of long-term success.



1Nucleus Research (2016). Cloud Delivers 2.1 Times More ROI

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Why the cloud is essential to your SMB’s growth

The constant evolution of technology can prove to be a challenge for some SMBs. Does your company have all it needs to stay ahead of the curve? Investing in technologies adapted to your business allows it to increase employee productivity, make better decisions and provide a superior customer experience, among others.

For most SMB owners and employees, the main priority is usually running the business on a day-to-day basis. However, they also regularly think about their current technological platforms and how they no longer meet their flourishing company’s needs, nor do these legacy platforms help it stay ahead of their competitors. SMB Group, which focuses on technology adoption and trends in the small and medium business market, says companies should act on these growing concerns.

SMB Group’s new eBook – sponsored by Acumatica, the technological platform on which ACCEO ERP is built – details how businesses can innovate and thrive in this rapidly changing business environment by capitalizing on technology.

SMBs’ continued success hinges on a modern ERP platform

Between 1965 and 1990, companies lasted less and less time on the S&P 500 and it is predicted that the average time a company stays on this index will keep decreasing. Why do companies who were successful fall behind? As a small-to-medium-sized business, how can you avoid the same outcome? According to SMB Group, technology in the form of a cloud-based ERP is the answer.

“Businesses are using technology to create new business models, improve the customer experience, and operate more efficiently,” SMB Group writes.

But it is also true that deciding to invest in new technology is a big change, and that it may not be easy to do. Is it worth it? SMB Group says it is. By reading this eBook, you will:

  • Find that a cloud ERP can provide SMBs the tools they need to innovate and prosper
  • Learn the top ten challenges to using new technology
  • Discover how the many benefits of a cloud-based ERP overcome these challenges

SMB Group describes cloud management solutions as the “on-ramp that your business needs for future business innovation.” In essence, if you choose a modern cloud ERP platform today, you’re already ahead of the game.

Implementing an ERP solution built on and for the cloud is what savvy SMBs are including in their technological and business strategies and, according to SMB Group, those who have not yet committed, should.

Be ready for the future today: implement a cloud-based ERP solution

Download the eBook “The Cloud as the Platform for Innovation: Putting New Technology to Work for Your Business”, written by the SMB Group and sponsored by Acumatica, to get the most of new technologies and boost your SMB’s growth.

As SMB Group says, “Developing a technology foundation that can help your business take advantage of new technologies is an essential part of preparing for future opportunities and challenges.”

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Smart inventory control strategies

As a distributor, you know that inventory control plays a significant role in your business. It represents a large investment since in order to keep enough inventory to satisfy customer demand, you must plan and maintain storage space, acquire inventory management software, take regular inventory and pay staff. Because these are costly processes, companies will often tackle them first.

Yet simply cutting into stocks without having developed a plan can prove disastrous to a distribution company’s financial health. In fact, this can lead to increased shortages, reorders and complaints, and even lead to lost business opportunities.

As a way of avoiding this predicament, it is important to establish effective stock management that takes into account two key processes: inventory tracking, to monitor quantities for each item, and replenishment control, to counter shortages while preventing costly surpluses of stock that is difficult to sell.

To help drive these two processes, companies can benefit from having an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. Moreover, cost/benefit analyses on ROI (Return on Investment) demonstrate that inventory reduction is often at the top of the list of arguments in favor of implementing an ERP solution.

As you build your inventory management plan, it is a good idea to leverage some proven strategies. Here are four simple but effective strategies for smart inventory management:

1 – Maintain accurate inventory records

Trying to manage inventory without tracking quantities is nothing short of utopian. If you are not using an inventory tracking system that accurately reflects your merchandise movements, your business is at risk of failing to fulfill orders and disappointing customers.

The accuracy of any inventory tracking system is based on reliable transaction reports. Any inventory movement must be recorded in the tracking system in a timely and accurate manner. This task is not as simple as it appears because human-based procedures are subject to errors, delays and lost transactions. Therefore, employees tasked with transaction reporting must understand the importance of tracking every item they move.

Some data collection can be partially automated, most often through a bar-code scan. This reduces the effort involved in data collection as well as the number of manual collection errors.

Regardless of their nature, inventory records are error-prone. Counts of 100 items frequently produce a less than 50% accuracy rate. Cycle counting inventory is the best solution to improve accuracy and eliminate the cause of errors. Counting a certain number of items each day or week, according to their importance, and logging them into the system, can help you identify how errors occur and fix your procedures so errors are eliminated. This approach has helped certain businesses achieve accuracy levels sometimes reaching over 98%.

2 – Ensure proactive planning

It is essential to have an efficient replenishment strategy that plans for new inventory to arrive just before your current supply runs out. There are different approaches to help you achieving this goal.

In a basic distribution situation, the “order point” management method can be implemented in several ways: walking through the warehouse to identify items that are out of stock or at low levels; drawing on inventory maintained in a reserve supply, then initiating the order process. Computerized order point that provides statistical analyses on item use and replenishment lead times, to calculate best order point for each item.

Distributors can also use a technique called Distribution Requirement Planning (DRP). Using forecasts on demand, and work backward in time through the distribution network to line up replenishment orders to minimize inventory while preventing shortages.

While inventory management can be costly, shortages can be far more damaging to your business. Therefore, it is essential to find a customized proactive inventory management tool such as an ERP system. Of course, no replenishment planning system is perfect, so it’s always wise to carry a little safety stock.

3 – Focus on improvement

There is a direct correlation between reduced stock reduction and an increase in the risk of shortages. But there’s also a third moveable factor involved: Variability. Fluctuations in supply and demand, including inventory accuracy errors, have an impact on this factor. Because it is impossible to cover every variation, we have to live with a level of availability (fill rate) less than100%. However, by reducing variability, you can increase the coverage rate without increasing your inventory. Here’s how:

  • Improve inventory accuracy (use cycle count)
  • Improve forecast accuracy (work with customers and distributors)
  • Reduce lead time (improves forecast accuracy)
  • Enhance your reliability (tighten up procedures and controls)
  • Consider implementing integrated systems like ERP, warehouse management systems and other technologies that improve accuracy

4 – Reduce supply delays and lot sizes

Companies need to maintain inventory because of lead time. Longer lead times mean longer storage periods for inventory (including the security stock) and bigger orders. The size of replenishment lots can be calculated by balancing the costs of ordering and storage to determine the most economical replenishment quantity. A successful company will minimize expenses by avoiding overstocking while reducing orders.

To decrease order size, it is important to reduce associated fixed costs, including operational cost and increase efficiencies around purchasing, receiving, handling and inspections. Several technologies can streamline the ordering process. It is also possible to expedite receiving and handling by working with pre-selected suppliers and applying quality assurance principles.

Winning strategies

Developing and implementing effective inventory management can be burdensome and costly in terms of time, money and effort. But keep in mind that good inventory management pays off in higher customer service and satisfaction, lower overall inventory investment, fewer backorders, reduced disruption and lower cost of expediting. The rewards are well worth the effort!

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How to get financial assistance for your new ERP system

You may have been thinking for some time now that your SMB needs to boost its level of productivity to stand out from the competition and accelerate its growth. Have you heard about technological tools that could help you build momentum? The ACCEO ERP management solution and targeted financial assistance could help you get started. Here are three ways you can kick-start implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to boost productivity.

ACCEO ERP improves productivity

The ACCEO ERP management solution gives SMBs a competitive edge, helping them improve and optimize their productivity at affordable prices as their business evolves. It is a customizable tool that leads to productivity gains while providing an efficient and accurate way to manage budgets, time sheets, inventory, billing, and reporting for all business projects. Built on Acumatica’s 100% cloud-based, user-friendly, and powerful platform, ACCEO ERP is flexible and robust.

Owners who choose to invest in an ERP solution are equipping their SMBs for their complex technological environment while accelerating their growth. ACCEO ERP unlocks numerous advantages, including the following:

  • Automating repetitive tasks and producing reports
  • Increasing staff performance and reducing errors
  • Enabling centralized account and contact management

Now that your teams fully grasp the benefits of implementing an ERP system, all that’s left to do is to decide when to do it, and, more importantly, to free up the necessary funds. There are a number of programs that can provide financial assistance to help you do just that. The PME en action program subsidizes professional fees when implementing an ERP solution. Investissement Québec’s tax credit can be applied to a qualified management software and any necessary licencing fees.

How to apply for financial assistance through the PME en action program offered by the Quebec government

The PME en action program supports the analysis leading up to the implementation of investment projects in Quebec by businesses in the province or elsewhere with a view to create jobs and promote sustainable development. It also aims to improve the productivity of Quebec businesses to give them a competitive edge and accelerate their growth.

If your for-profit business is based in Quebec and operates primarily in the tertiary industry, which includes information and communication technologies, industrial building and design services, industrial laboratories and scientific services, and value-added distribution centres, you can submit your ERP implementation project to the Appui à la productivité des PME component of the program. Your plan to integrate IT should allow your business to see a major improvement in terms of productivity.

If you meet all the conditions, you could obtain a non-refundable contribution of up to $50,000 for your project. Before submitting your contract, make sure a preliminary analysis has first been conducted by an external consultant.

For complete details on the Appui à la productivité des PME component, read our guide “How to get financial assistance to implement a new ERP solution.”

Adding Investissement Québec’s tax credit

If your business has its main office in Quebec and more than half of its operations are conducted in Quebec and are deemed eligible by Investissement Québec, you can benefit from the tax credit for the integration of IT in SMBs. This refundable tax credit covers 20% of eligible expenditures related to a qualified IT integration contract up to a maximum of $50,000.

Primary and wholesale trade are among the eligible sectors.

To qualify for this tax credit, your SMB must obtain certification of the qualified IT integration contract as per the eligibility criteria listed in our guide below. This tax measure could certainly help you get started on your plans to implement an ERP solution.

Contact our team to learn more. The financial assistance offered to SMBs in the form of a subsidy by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and a tax credit by Investissement Québec are undeniable assets for your business. Don’t wait to take advantage of these tools. Your business will be better off and ready to face the competition.

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How can an ERP solution make your employees more productive?

You can tell how healthy a business is by its management, employees, and the tools they use. In an effort to increase employee productivity, companies will often offer training, encourage initiatives, and improve communications. Technology also plays a part in productivity. Did you know that implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can help increase employee productivity? Find out how well-integrated management software can give your employees the help they need.

Automation of low value-added tasks

Implementing an ERP solution allows you to automate an impressive number of repetitive manual tasks that often lead to errors. Once these tasks are automated, your teams can do better work, in less time. Some software packages even offer ways to understand and quickly improve processes, which encourages employees and the management team to revise their practices or adopt new ones. Information gathering and sharing

Giving employees access to a centralized computer system means giving them rapid access to reliable and consolidated information, without human intervention. Companies that don’t use an ERP solution are often faced with duplicated information, data synchronization failures between teams, and, ultimately, poor planning based on inaccurate information.

Without management software, your teams will spend too much time gathering information, backing it up for themselves or other departments, or building data models using calculation methods that vary from one team to another. You may end up with multiple versions of the same document and waste time trying to figure out which one is the right version. Your ERP solution eliminates this undeniable strain on productivity and always provides accurate information.

Better communication

An ERP solution can provide your teams with real-time information based on the same reference data. It features reports and alerts for fast and efficient communication whenever problems arise. Your management software can be used to communicate order changes, prevent delivery errors, and improve project coordination. You and your employees will have access to accurate, consistent data that is reliable.

Better decision-making

Employees who don’t have access to quality information often make unproductive decisions based on speculation rather than facts. Without an ERP solution, some employees use data they’ve gathered manually or are forced to rely on their instinct or estimates to make decisions. With an ERP solution, you can say goodbye to the uncertainty that arises from speculation or calculation errors and start making decisions based on precise data, in turn maximizing the efforts of your teams in their day-to-day work.

Access to industry best practices

Thousands of companies have successfully implemented management software by integrating their business processes. Now integrated into most ERP solutions, these standard processes reflect industry best practices and often use automation to eliminate most routine tasks. Implementing an ERP solution ensures that you adopt these best practices and, in turn, increase productivity with minimal effort.

Resources used to their full potential

One of the major advantages of implementing an ERP solution is the time each of your employees will save. By relieving your employees of low value-added tasks, you can assign them high value-added tasks, such as improving customer service and strategic planning.

Better customer service

An ERP solution can help your clients create and manage their customer accounts online, change their order details, and enable your employees to instantly relay these changes to the warehouse, for instance. Employees can meet deadlines more easily, and, ultimately, provide a better customer experience, giving employees confidence and boosting their productivity.

Better strategic planning

An ERP solution also improves the productivity of your managers, freeing them up so they can focus on strategic planning while the automated system handles access management, inventory management, financial management, and project management. When properly integrated into your operations, an ERP solution provides a clearer picture of the company’s various spheres, giving you a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.

Motivation that boosts productivity

Successfully integrated management software makes daily tasks easier to accomplish and reduces the risk of error, while motivating your employees. This data may not be easily quantifiable, but there’s no denying that employees are more productive when they are motivated.

The Technology Trends section of BDC’s infographic is a good illustration of the benefits of advances in technology for businesses looking to increase productivity.

Download our guide, “How an ERP solution can improve employee productivity,” to learn about its other financial benefits.

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3 ways to increase your profits with an ERP system

You have a good idea of the costs associated with setting up enterprise resource planning (ERP) software at your company. But you’ve been wondering if it’s worth the cost. After all, the system should be a springboard for your business, not a financial burden. But whether it’s through improving your annual sales or reducing your operating costs, a management solution will definitely contribute to improving your bottom line. Not convinced? Here are three excellent reasons to implement an ERP system now at your SMB.

1- A good opportunity to rethink your processes

There’s more than one way to increase your profitability. As explained by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) in this post, you can reduce your costs, raise your prices, or eliminate unprofitable products or customers. Before making a decision, however, you need to seriously evaluate every possible option. That’s where an effective ERP comes in. Giving you a 360-degree view of your operations, an ERP solution can help you make the best possible decision for your company.

After analyzing various financial data from your company, you may come to the conclusion that a particular product is too costly to produce when it only generates a few sales or that one of your customers never pays you on time. In short, implementing a management solution is a unique opportunity to rethink all your processes. The improved efficiency will no doubt have a positive impact on your profitability.

2- Improve your cash flow

The ERP’s financial management module facilitates the management of your customer accounts. In particular, it allows you to reduce the average amount of time you have to wait to receive payments. You’ll definitely appreciate this function if you receive late cheques month after month. After all, late payments reduce your manoeuvrability.

With better financial management, you can improve your cash flow and strengthen your financial flexibility. Your entire organization will benefit. For example, your SMB could decide to reduce its debt. You’ll pay less interest, while increasing your profits. With a bigger bank account, your company can finally acquire its infamous competitor and become the leader in its field, if it isn’t already. And that’s just one example among many that illustrates the potential benefits of this kind of system.

3- Open a new location to boost sales

Management software isn’t just for acquiring other companies. It can also help your SMB grow its sales organically. Basically, an ERP solution allows for the optimal budgeting of all your business projects.

For instance, you could decide to open a new location to stimulate sales. Depending on your activity sector and needs, you could open a new hotel, another restaurant, or a high-tech distribution centre that would be envied by your competition. No matter what project you have in mind, a management solution will be your best ally to help you expand geographically.

If you install a cloud-based ERP system, collaboration between your various teams will be optimized, even when they’re thousands of miles apart. Once saved in the cloud, your data can be used anywhere, at any time, by any authorized user. Your employees stationed at your new location will have access to the same information as those working at head office. What’s more, you won’t need to invest additional sums in costly computer servers. Yet another opportunity to reap the benefits of economies of scale!

Long-term benefits

With a life cycle of anywhere from seven to 10 years, and possibly even longer in the case of a cloud-based solution, an ERP system represents an excellent long-term investment. Its advantages, as you can see, are many. It can help increase your revenue and reduce your operating expenses, and it can become an invaluable ally when opening new locations. But did you know that management software can do even more for your business? Download our free guide, “How an ERP can help your SMB be more profitable”, to learn about its other financial benefits.

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Postponing your decision to implement a new ERP system, really?

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are considering introducing a new ERP system or replacing their existing system face a unique challenge. Their operations management can be as complex as that of larger companies: supply chain management, customer relations, overseas operations, and so on. It follows that in order to meet their intricate requirements, SMBs need an ERP system that performs the same advanced of functions as those used by large multinationals.

Too small for a big investment?

The glitch for SMBs is that although the range of features offered by large conventional ERP solution providers are usually suited to their needs, these costly solutions come at a price that by far exceeds their smaller budgets. Moreover, “traditional” ERP solutions are typically designed to be deployed and maintained in-house while SMBs generally do not have the IT resources (such as a team of technicians and IT infrastructure) to deploy, operate and maintain an ERP system internally. So, in order to fully implement the ERP system, SMBs then also face additional investments in computer equipment, network infrastructure and personnel. Ultimately, the scope of implementing a large ERP solution leads to costs that are well beyond the reach of most SMBs.

Too big for a more affordable system?

In terms of performance, many of the more affordable ERP solutions offer fewer functionalities, which means that they do not meet the requirements of the small and medium-sized business whose activities include distribution, retail, services, manufacturing or overseas business. These more affordable ERP solutions also lack the flexibility and scalability necessary to integrate new technologies that will evolve and grow with the business.

Are you sacrificing growth to preserve the status quo?

Far too many SMBs postpone the decision to implement a new ERP system because they consider their business too small to justify acquiring an ERP solution or replacing their current obsolete system. Some small and medium-sized enterprises simply want to avoid a significant short-term expenditure or an interruption of operations during the implementation. Other SMBs have always operated without an ERP and consider that they can continue to operate effectively using the same business practices. Finally, several companies believe that the internal challenges of implementing ERP software are far too demanding.

Most troubling among these examples, is the situation where companies naively trust (let’s not mince words) that they can continue to manage their operations—and that their business can remain viable into the future—without ERP software. It is possible to draw two conclusions from this perspective: either these SMBs do not anticipate any growth in the years to come, or they simply do not know the extent to which their technological standstill is blocking their business growth.

The consequences on your operations… and your competitiveness

Not using ERP software can have potentially disastrous consequences: redundant or inaccurate data, disparate computer systems that can neither communicate with one another nor track business processes, unreliable data sharing, lack of internal collaboration, and many more.

As for those SMBs that already have an ERP system, many are relying on legacy systems that run on outdated technologies and they are reluctant to replace them. This failure to take action also comes with its share of consequences that will ultimately compromise their ability to remain competitive. Businesses that leverage the most current version of their ERP system consistently outperform those using older technology in areas like average days sales outstanding, complete and on-time delivery, adherence to internal timetables, inventory accuracy, percentage of financial report accuracy, timeliness of data availability, and customer satisfaction.

Cloud-based systems: affordable and feature-rich

Any SMB with eye toward growth needs to operate with an ERP software and cannot afford to keep using an obsolete system. The good news is that even the smaller budget can now access an ERP solution that offers advanced features and scalability. It’s all about cloud computing. Cloud-based ERP systems offer feature-rich and flexible solutions that will evolve with the SMB. Because these solutions are web-based (and hosted by the service provider) and updates are typically included in the offer, choosing this option means SMBs get all the benefits of the latest technology and none of the expenses of acquiring additional hardware, maintaining an IT infrastructure, or hiring staff to support the software. Another significant advantage of cloud-based ERP systems is that they are generally simpler, faster to install and are accessible from anywhere, at any time, and on any device (laptop, desktop, tablet or smart phone).

So, are you still convinced that your decision can wait?

Download the Aberdeen whitepaper

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