White Papers

Real Time Data Pushes Manufacturers into the Future

In today’s business climate, manufacturers need access to seamless technologies with multi-dimensional features in order to stay competitive in their industries. Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) can bring significant returns with the right preparation, so finding the right ERP system for your manufacturing organization may be one of the most important decisions you make for the business. Once your manufacturing organization acknowledges the need for manufacturing ERP software, start your software evaluation process here by finding out how to choose from all the options.

The Executive’s Guide to Business Visibility: Mobilizing

Decisions aren’t confined to the boardroom or limited to office hours. Many of the most inspired business revelations happen when you least expect them, away from the office. Consequently, it’s not surprising that mobile access at all times has arrived as a necessary imperative.

How do well-run companies deploy mobile solutions? What are the most important considerations before purchasing tablets, smartphones, and mobile solutions? And what business benefits can you expect to gain from anytime, anywhere connectivity? This e-book aims to answer these questions and provide tips you can use to ensure your business visibility is as mobile as you are.


The Distribution Executives Guide to Business Visibility: Monitoring

When it comes to decision making, information is your most valuable asset. Unfortunately, the amount of data from sources such as emails, conversations, documents, telephone calls and orders—from across multiple departments and office locations—can cause more pain than gain. In this e-book, you will learn about tools, technologies and tips that will simplify the way you monitor your business by helping you find, filter and focus on the information that matters most.

15 Tell-Tale Signs you Should Replace Your ERP Software

We’ve been around more than quarter of a century and we’ve seen thousands of companies struggle with technology seeking their next strategic business system. We’ve seen companies pick the right product and we’ve seen them make huge mistakes leaving them with a tangled mess, bad data, and crippling debt only to have to go through the process again. Replacing your business software isn’t easy. It can (and should) take many months to evaluate vendors and products and to eventually select a business system. And it’ll take you at least another couple months to implement the basic system which is where most companies stop and become complacent – never returning to setup the advanced features available to them in their application. It’s no wonder why most companies keep their business software for at least 10 years (about 12-15 years for mid-market companies).

In her July 18, 2017 story, “The Real Cost of Aging IT Systems” on Excella.com, Stephanie Vineyard writes, “Data creation is exploding, but legacy systems remain ubiquitous and continue to power the business world. It is estimated that close to $3 trillion in daily commerce continues to run through 60-plus year old COBOL systems. Just two years ago, it was reported that the banking and insurance industries spend close to 75% of IT budgets maintaining workhorse systems, such as these COBOL systems.” This is just one of hundreds of accounts showing how reliant businesses are on technology and how difficult it can be to move to new platforms.

The big question is this: When is the right time to switch software and what are the tell-tale signs that the time is now and not later? This white paper is based on our years of experience working with thousands of companies that were faced with this same question. Our goal is to help you and your team to understand what to look for and to put some hard data to the inefficiencies caused by staying with the wrong software for too long.

7 Distribution Challenges & How ERP Can Help

Knowing the problem is only half the battle. Wholesale Distribution ERP can help.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a multi-billion dollar organization with locations spread out globally, or a smaller company with only a handful of employees, your ERP system needs to provide functionality for all of your business processes. A good ERP system should streamline all of your processes from one single database including financials, human resources, distribution, supply chain, and more. What happens if something goes wrong? You run out of stock? A delivery truck gets a flat tire or stuck in traffic? How long until you know? Think of the time, money, resources, and profit that would all be affected. Having a properly implemented ERP system in place that can immediately alert you of issues inside the company could potentially save you thousands annually.

What are the key reasons most Wholesale Distributors implement an ERP system? Aberdeen Research does an annual – survey [¹] benchmarking the performance of over 644,000 companies across the wholesale distribution industry. The results illustrate where companies need improvement and what separates the best-in-class companies from the industry average and the laggards as well as the advantages of having an ERP system that best fits your business needs.

When it comes to ERP selection , the reasons for implementing ERP are similar for distributors across the industry. In this white paper you’ll discover the most common concerns and problems in your industry, how the right ERP system can help you address them, and real-life examples of how companies used ERP software to solve their problems.

Using ERP to Become a Best-In-Class Distributor

How wholesale distribution ERP can close the gap between leaders & laggards

A good ERP system should streamline all of your processes from one single database including financials, HR, distribution, supply chain, and more. Having a properly implemented ERP system in place that can alert you immediately of issues inside the company could potentially save you thousands a year. ERP systems are intended to rapidly respond to new business demands and can be simply changed or updated without disturbing the course of business.

Key reasons why most Wholesale Distributors implement an ERP system are outlined in this white paper. Aberdeen Research does an annual – survey benchmarking the performance of over 644,000 companies across the wholesale distribution industry. The results illustrate where companies need improvement and what separates -the best in class companies from the industry average and the laggards as well as the advantages of having an ERP system that best fits your business needs.

When it comes to ERP selection and implementation, the reasons are similar for wholesale distributors across the industry. In this white paper you’ll learn several facts outlining why properly implementing an ERP solution is important to:

Essential Features of a Modern Accounting System

Accounting systems are not something you change or replace very often. However, as your organization grows in size or complexity, you will reach a point where manual processes are draining your productivity and you struggle to analyze the growing range of your financial and operating data. You’ll need a better way to handle accounting within your organization. You’ll need to modernize your system.

Building a Business Case for Food and Beverage Manufacturing ERP

Do you have easy access to your business and information systems or do you have to use various software for different processes?
Are these problems leading to longer and more difficult accounting and operational tasks? Is your information technology complex, time-consuming, and disconnected? Are your sales results or customer satisfaction suffering? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is quite possible that your organization is ready to implement the proper ERP system. Within this whitepaper, you will discover the difference between manufacturers operating with an ERP software and those without, and several benefits that food and beverage manufacturers receive through ERP.
Is ERP the Answer?

The first step in building your business case for ERP is to identify if such a system will help you address your problems. While ERP software can be an essential tool for organizations that want to advance in the market place, it’s not a blanket solution for every problem, Here are a few things to think about when deciding whether or not ERP is your answer.

Growth. When a company reaches a certain size the way they did business previously may not apply to the increased competition, sales volume or increased complexity that comes along with it. An ERP system can help you keep up. For example, an Aberdeen Group Survey declared that 88% of midmarket organizations that do not currently have ERP software can no longer track business processes effectively. ERP software comes equipped with the tools and automation to help you change that.

Further, if you’re experiencing difficulty with your current processes such as heavy reliance on spreadsheets, multiple disparate systems, excessive manual processes and duplicate data entry; then ERP can be your solution.

10 Critical Considerations for Selecting Rubber & Plastic ERP Software

The ERP software selection process is not an easy one for companies in any industry. Simply put, software selection can make or break your company. The selection and implementation of this software can be one of the most tedious and costly tasks that your company takes on which is why it’s extremely important that your company’s ERP selection process is done correctly. For your selection process to be successful, you must have a firm understanding of factors such as your company’s budget, people involved, system requirements, and the time and resources required for the process.

No matter how big or small your company is, your ERP system must provide functionality to meet all business needs and streamline all of your business processes from one single database to increase process efficiencies, reduce operating costs, and increase profitability. ERP systems can make rubber and plastic manufacturing companies more competitive and profitable if used correctly. The contrast between the success and failure of an ERP system begins as early as the selection process. If a company chooses the wrong ERP system, the results could be devastating financially.

When it comes to ERP selection and implementation for rubber and plastics manufacturers, it seems that the same common mistakes are made repeatedly. This white paper will provide insight for your company’s selection process and provide you with information on some of the potentially fatal blunders that could weaken your final decision if you do not take them into consideration.

ERP Costs, Budgets and Price Negotiation

How much should you expect to spend on ERP software? Others will say it depends on the system and what you want to do with it but there are some general guidelines that will help you identify approximately what you should expect to spend on a new ERP system. Your investment will increase as you move from entry level accounting to SMB, SME, and Tier One ERP offerings. Additionally, the services required to implement the software will also increase dramatically. Further, you can probably get discounts up to 50% off in some cases if you know the tricks of the trade.

It’s vital that you understand that most ERP vendors have very different pricing models. For example, some ERP products are priced based on named users and others are priced based on concurrent users (users in the system at the same time). Further, some user licenses are discounted for limited tasks such as shop floor data entry. Further, most ERP vendors are pushing subscriptions these days as opposed to traditional purchase pricing. Subscriptions are very different in that they include the license for the software and user licenses rolled together into a monthly or annual price which includes the maintenance and support costs.

Traditional sales of perpetual licenses where you buy and own the software are still available from some vendors and often require or offer optional maintenance and support plans (sometimes called clientcare or businesscare). These average about 20% of the original software list price so if the software cost $100,000 to buy – you’ll probably spend about $20,000 annually on the maintenance and support plan to ensure that you have access to new versions and support. And you kind of have to stay on plan for the maintenance and support. ERP vendors will ding you pretty hard if you don’t renew charging you penalties for reinstatement. Further, off-plan customers are pretty much on an island – they cannot purchase any additional modules or users and they’re out of luck if there’s a problem with the software that requires a source code change as there are very few options outside of getting back on plan or paying a licensed developer to fix the problem.

Subscriptions are increasingly popular these days because they’re good for the publisher and the customer alike – especially in a hosted deployment. This is no different really than Microsoft’s new approach with Office365 where you don’t buy the software – you simply rent it for a monthly fee and it automatically updates.

Subscription plans for cloud and SaaS applications vary dramatically. For example, midmarket cloud ERP and accounting products typically charge for a base subscription for licensing the software in various configurations. Depending on what you need, the subscription price typically starts at around $1,000/month for the basic configuration up $10,000 per month for larger, enterprise cloud deployments. These prices typically don’t include users which are around $100 per month each. So what does this look like? A 10 user midmarket cloud accounting or ERP system would cost you about $22,000 annually on subscription. That’s an average of $2,200 per user annually (just under $185/user/month). By comparison, a similar 10-user midmarket ERP purchase (with similar bells and whistles) works out to about $27,000 for the first year and about $15,000 for future years. The purchased, premise application would cost you more upfront but less in the long-run as the recurring costs are considerably lower. But you also have to consider the intangibles that go along with cloud applications – reduced IT costs, no need for operating system or database licensing, reduced hardware costs, and faster deployment.

And then there’s services which can be even more confusing than the pricing. Do NOT try to self-implement SMB or SME or Tier One ERP products – you are not saving money. You will only cause problems that will cost you more in the end. Pretend that the service costs are non-negotiable and simply let the experts do what they need to do to implement your software.

Move Your Company Forward and Re-Energize Business Management

There is a better way to move your company forward
It’s easy—and justifiable—to blame rapid, unceasing technological advancements as the cause of many of the challenges facing your industry today. Changing regulations, a mobile workforce, and new apps and tools are among the many factors that have created a new reality in which:
Paradoxically, if technology is complicating your business, it can also simplify it. That’s why many small, growing businesses like yours understand that accounting software or manual processes are no longer adequate to keep up in today’s business world— much less tomorrow’s.

The Executive’s Guide to Business Visibility: Predicting

The Predicting Predicament

The traditional approaches to business visibility (reporting, monitoring, and analyzing) are important and can help you gain insight into what already happened and what is happening now.

But considering the fierce competition and razor-thin margins you face, that style of rear-view management simply isn’t good enough. To succeed in today’s climate, it’s important to understand what might happen in the future—so you can prepare for it, control it, and take action today to attain tomorrow’s goals. What follows are some tips, best practices, and basic steps you can take to develop more informed forecasts and what-if scenarios.

Questions about distribution ERP software

Life After QuickBooks

Why It’s Time to Upgrade to Business-Class Financial Software
Learn how QuickBooks is holding you back and why it’s time to graduate to a modern financial management and accounting system that can address QuickBooks users’ biggest limitations:
If you’re like many businesses, you’re using QuickBooks to manage your company’s financials. It does the job. But once your business moves beyond the initial stages, QuickBooks becomes a burden to your organization—slowing growth, stalling revenue, and draining productivity. When you need deeper functionality, improved security, tighter internal controls, and greater visibility, it’s time to upgrade to a new accounting system.

Moving from QuickBooks to ERP

Many companies start out using an introductory system like QuickBooks- and why shouldn’t they? QuickBooks is a well known solution that is easy to use and fills the needs of a small company. But over time companies grow and begin to experience some of the common hassles and expenses of using a system that can no longer handle the changing requirements, processes, and accounting needs of a larger business. When this happens, businesses may see an increase in the number of manual and paper processes outside of their QuickBooks system required to keep up with the new processes, accounting, and reporting complexities. This translates into much more time, resources, and money needed to gather and analyze financial data. As a growing company you recognize the need for more visibility and additional functionality to truly thrive. So you make the decision to move from QuickBooks to a larger and more robust system; but at what cost?

As with any software purchase, there will be an investment required to move from QuickBooks to a more robust ERP system; but the ROI and new level of insight and control over your finances is well worth it. But how much of an investment should you make? How big a system do you need? This white paper covers a few of your options and tips on how to budget for the move.