ERP must work harder to build competitive advantage for companies: Steve Murphy

Skimming through some ERP news items, because there is always something new to learn on a Saturday afternoon, I came across this very quick read on The Economic Times website. I was about to move on to more pertinent information since this seemed to be about ERP opportunities and business in India, which isn’t our current core market concentration.

However, something at the end Steve Murphy says caught my eye:

One of the key opportunities for ERP to become far more responsive and useful to its customers is the development of Internet of Things (IoT). In the near future every aspect of a manufacturing and engineering company’s business is set to be revolutionised.

This falls right in line with our methodology for business system consulting and implementation. (Yes; ORG also does the work along with consulting and analysis.)

We embrace the philosophy that eliminating as many middle layers or steps as possible will optimize performance and efficiency in any process.

So much thought seems to get caught up in the “bells and whistles” of ERP, CMS, Warehouse & Distribution Logistics Systems — the automated processes of business systems. However, our years of experience continually reminds us that the real brilliance of automated systems comes from adapting them to business systems already in place; not bending the company and people to the “will” of the program. This is what should be attractive to any company considering ERP opportunities and growth.

As is also stated in the interview, Murphy states, “ERP must work harder to build competitive advantage for companies, serving the user and providing information to the right people at the right time, to take action in the right way.”

Use this link to read Shelley Singh’s brief interview with Steve Murphy.

The Internet of Things (to Come)

The Internet of things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Wikipedia

In an Information Week article this week, CTO Rick Veague states: “IoT (Internet of things) data on its own can provide insight into equipment health, asset status, the current location of a connected device, and other individual data points. But in order to deliver the benefits of digital transformation, it must be integrated with operational systems, and in most businesses, that means enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.”

Automation is a buzz word I am hearing a lot as this year’s business begins. As with all great ideas, and I do support the idea of automation, practical implementation — is going to get the best results.

Veague’s article is a rich, informative, and quick read. I point out quick because time is so precious, and I often find myself questioning the value of weeding my way through the mass amount of information available. And thus I appreciate when a trusted resource, or individual, points me to a valuable piece of information.

This article, Use IoT to Accelerate Digital Transformation, is a very valuable read. He draws from real-world examples of deployments that already exist to give bullet points of advise.

  • Lower your barrier to entry.
  • Minimize risk.
  • Focus on incremental results.

Read the whole article here.

(By the way, did you get my Yardbirds reference? Age me much?)

What you gonna do with all that… Data?

I’ve noticed one aspect about successful ERP, CRM, and WMS installations or upgrades that is often overlooked, or not given enough emphasis, is storage and access to data. We all get excited when we see information from different departments and operations quickly called up, analyzed, and integrated into a smoothly run business operation. And let’s not forget the ease of recovery when things do go wrong. Hey, we’re still human. Best to acknowledge mistakes and accidents will happen, and implement systems of recovery. And what supports these business operation systems? Data!

You need a solid storage system as a part of your business operation. It needs fail-safe systems; backups and access are of key importance. How much attention to storage are you giving to your implemented business processes. There are many IT individuals I can introduce you to who attempted to call attention to a data storage system in need of upgrading, and their calls went unheeded — always another priority and/or expense to push the call aside… until a real emergency occurs. Penny wise; pound foolish.

An article we read today about Chapman University’s storage upgrade was very encouraging; reading that Chapman U “expects to cut storage management burden by 95 percent”. This article shows the amazing benefits of a well thought-out data storage system as an integral part of automated processes.

The article is obviously showcasing Pure Storage. And we think it is a good read to help strengthen the importance and benefits of a best of class data storage system. Upgrades, data access, backups and cloning, are key to any business process.

Read Full Article Here

Software/System Integration: Can’t we all just get along?

Are your CRM and e-Commerce systems hooked-up, sharing key data and working seamlessly together with your ERP?

We ask that question right at the top of our “Bridges” page on our website. ORG has known for a long time that system integration is the lifeblood of a successful ERP and CMS for any company – regardless of size. Because we’ve operated from this understanding for over 20 years, we’re experts at integrating systems and adapting them to your unique business needs. It is a key element to ORG methodology.

It is no surprise to us that Tom Kelly, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Oracle NetSuite, start’s his article on with, “Companies today realize they can no longer put up with the struggles of legacy accounting applications that don’t integrate with other vital software systems…”

In Kelly’s article, 3 Ways CFOs Can Accelerate Payback from New Technology, he also contends that unless top-level executives are driving a companies change to new technology and updated ERP/CRM systems, the integration most likely will fail. I think our experience with system integration is in complete agreement.

The beginning of a new year is a time for assessing goals; starting new projects for the over-all improvement. So if you are considering implementing ERP and/or CMS for the first time – or looking to upgrade your current systems to meet company growth, give us a call.  We’re happy to share our experience with you and help you start the new year on a strong foundation.

And take a look at Tom Kelly’s article. He’s addressing CFOs; there’s great information in there for everyone involved in your business systems.

3 Ways CFOs Can Accelerate Payback from New Technology

By Tom Kelly, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Oracle NetSuite

Companies today realize they can no longer put up with the struggles of legacy accounting applications that don’t integrate with other vital software systems, with systems that leave finance personnel laboring with Excel workarounds and a slew of manual processes. It’s no longer acceptable to base critical business decisions on the often outdated or inaccurate information of these legacy systems.

Though many recognize that implementing a modern cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is an obvious answer — many that take start the transition are surprised by marginal improvements, slow user adoption, and unchanged processes that still rely on excel workarounds.

To ensure a smooth transition to cloud ERP, CFOs need to lead the charge. Executive sponsorship at the CEO and executive bench level is essential for organizations to realize full ERP’s benefits. It’s not strictly about using new technology — it’s also about executives driving a shift to a more digital, data-driven culture and ensuring that users embrace the new system.

(read entire article)

Seed to Sale? Sign of the Times

Well, without getting political, we’d like to stay contemporary…

So, yes, one can debate the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana all day long. But this article by Doug McVay of Portland’s KBOO (among other credits) points out the fact that as marijuana becomes a sanctioned business, it also must comply with “States require(ing) constant monitoring and electronic access to data, what’s called ‘seed-to-sale’ tracking in order to prevent diversion of marijuana outside the regulated system”.

What is of particular interest to me comes towards the end of the article. McVay points out that two ERP systems have both experienced security breaches that have threatened their ability to remain valid in the industry.

It is yet another example of making sure that your ERP and CRM systems not only work well with your operating systems, but that they also are compliant with all the rules and regulations you might be operating under.

So, yes, our first post of the new year might be controversial. It’s also very educational.

Read more

Successfully Challenged

We are all challenged when things aren’t going well; sales are down, product recalls, etc. We rarely consider the challenge of overwhelming success. This article by Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur magazine’s editor in chief, is about such an overwhelming success story – and how Melissa Ben-Ishay and her team analyzed data from their CMS and ERP system, reworking their system with an emphasis on organization so that orders are now completed in excellent time.

Like Ben-Ishay, you will probably spend time refining your CMR and ERP Systems so that they are fully functioning and supporting your entire business. You will be challenged; and it is well worth the necessary time and energy. Your business will grow exponentially – and be well supported for such “overwhelming success”.

(Lucky for you, you have a strong and experienced partner in this process with the ORG Team.)

How the Founder of Baked by Melissa Recovered From Her First Holiday Sales Disaster
Melisa Ben-Ishay talks about her first big mistake (during the holiday rush!) and what it taught her about prepping for sales spikes.
This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Entrepreneur.

The holidays can be a killer. For many entrepreneurs, particularly those in retail, the stretch between Halloween and New Year’s is when teams get stressed, systems get strained and even the smallest inefficiencies can amplify into crises. If a young company builds itself well enough to survive into January, it’ll be in great fighting shape for the rest of the year. If it can’t, it won’t. And that was the crossroads Melissa Ben-Ishay found herself in back in 2009.

Her New York-based company, Baked By Melissa, sells bite-size cupcakes. It had grown fast, and she thought she was ready for the holiday crush. On one of the first days of that season, she woke up at 3 a.m. to see how things were going. Holy shit, the orders are coming, she thought, and they’re not stopping. So she ran down to her fulfillment center to help out and discovered a disaster in the making: Her back-end system was buckling under the volume of orders. The whole thing would need to be scrapped. “We were basically at square one,” Ben-Ishay recalls.

It was about to be a long December. But by the time January came, she’d know what it takes to build a company into the future.

Read Jason Feifer’s complete article:  click here.

ERP Helps Manage Safety & Quality

In this current age of social media as the main (re)source of news, as we see daily, bad news travels like a California wildfire. Product quality and safety has always been vitally important in business, especially in the food manufacturing industry. A company can drop big points, possibly falling off completely, from a bad batch shipped out. It’s not just the public backlash and outcry, there’s the very real penalties and fines that come from government regulations as well.

In Stephen Dombroski’s article, Keep the links in supply chain connected to boost food safety, posted in today’s Food Safety News, he speaks to the importance of “Food Safety Supply Chain Management”, and how these supply chain complexities can be accurately managed — especially as technology quickly improves to meet these complexities.

Read the full article here.

Food safety challenges will continue to pressure food manufacturers as supply chain complexity grows and consumer preferences evolve. Manufacturers need to understand that with new and innovative processes and solutions such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things, Machine Learning and others synchronizing the supply chain while maintaining food safety is an achievable goal.

How cloud ERP helps ambitious businesses move fast, grow fast

SUMMARY: Learning from NetSuite customers BUILT/ and Buster & Punch how cloud ERP helps ambitious businesses like them move fast and grow fast

There are many more enterprises like these two that show a real appetite to create new markets and try out new business models. A few years ago, the cloud model was still a difficult sell but now business leaders increasingly understand why it’s well suited to help them achieve their goals.

That creates a market for cloud ERP that NetSuite is eager to address. To meet that demand, its parent Oracle is funding a big expansion in NetSuite’s sales teams, partner channel and localization efforts across large tracts of Europe and in other regions. The timing is propitious and there certainly seemed to be a positive buzz at this week’s event in London.

(originally posted by By Phil Wainewright)

(read full article)

Learning ERP From Our Neighbors

There are a lot of resources for learning ERP processes: the set-up and other elements important to optimizing performance and efficiency in your business processes management.

Today, we were surprised to read about one of the key elements in learning ERP implementation we continually communicate about with our clients: patience. Careful planning and auditing of the ERP implementation will save time and money in the long run — and give you the automation and organization efficiencies you’ve been expecting with your ERP and CRM systems.

Where did these words of wisdom and insight come from this morning? Hastings, Nebraska.

We tip our (proverbial) hat to Hastings Utility Board members … who are recognizing the benefits of implementing ERP into their business processes, while also recognizing the benefit of patience in the process.

City continues to look for efficiencies

…The city of Hastings continues to implement recommendations included in the Novak Study, the city’s organizational study completed in 2015 by the Novak Consulting Group of Cincinnati.

Several of the recommendations included combining city functions to create more efficiencies.

Stutte said one way to achieve greater efficiencies is to purchase new enterprise resource planning software, which will help departments such as information technology, finance and human resources run more efficiently.

The administrative department capital budget includes $550,000 for new ERP software.

Still, those achieving greater efficiency is a work in progress.

“As much as we would like them overnight, we know they’re more difficult than that,” Schreiner said.

(click here for full article)

ERP: a single database that tracks all things in one place

Yesterday, Sholto Macpherson posted on IN THE BLACK an excellent article about entry level discussions and explorations for businesses exploring moving to ERP systems.

As we all know, with success comes the challenges of growth – and it’s rare that a start-up planned for and implemented systems oriented for larger enterprises. However, a successful business finds themselves needing to consider ramping up to new (for them) technologies to support and streamline their operating processes and management.

This is a great article if you and your management are talking about what is needed to help wrangle all the various departments and management systems that have grown, well, unruly, as you have successfully grown.

Enterprise resource planning: taking the leap

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) companies are winning over business owners by showing how one single database can be used to manage and help automate multiple parts of the business. Read more