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Posted by & filed under Case Studies, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Read more on "TGO Understands Unique Challenges Non-For-Profits Face" » UniqueChallenges

A non-for-profit, accredited organization, Ongwanada offers a wide range of individualized services and community supports to approximately 600 people with developmental disabilities and their families in Kingston and Eastern Ontario.

Ongwanada, like many small organizations, had an ERP solution in place, but found they lacked the expertise to optimize its performance – especially in adapting applications to meet their unique business needs.

For Nicole Cooper, Communications and Change Coordinator, the problem was clear, “We had a great system in Microsoft Dynamics GP (GP), but we knew we were underutilizing it.”

A Detailed Discovery Process
TGO’s usual practice when working with a new client is to begin with a detailed Discovery session. As this process began, it was clear that Ongwanada wasn’t sure about the kind of solution they needed.

Customizing An Assurance Plan
As a non-profit, Ongwanada had a limited budget. TGO therefore produced a tailored, comprehensive Assurance Plan at a fixed annual fee.

TGO’s Assurance Plan is a customized plan based on the client’s specific business requirements, a unique feature to customer satisfaction that sets TGO apart. A typical plan includes support, onsite visits, diagnostic calls and small projects.

For Ongwanada, the Plan mapped out projects for the next three years, including extensive training and support. The Plan takes into account more than just software – it is a detailed map of the entire path towards reaching a business’s overall goals. Ongwanada’s Assurance Plan was a comprehensive strategy to support the institution’s goals and vision for the community.

Site Assessment
A full site assessment began the process of targeting the right solution for Ongwanada. Helping the client better understand their real business needs, TGO worked closely with the finance, procurement and human resources (HR) departments to redesign their processes, and improve efficiencies in each area.

More Than Just Technology
TGO’s Assurance Plan detailed an upgrade to a newer version of GP. As we do with every version of GP, we offered the client expert training and advice needed in order to reap the full benefits of the solution. Ongwanada was provided with diagnostic calls, in-class and online training and a Tips and Tricks session customized to their needs. In addition to training, Ongwanada received one-on-one onsite user reviews, an onsite Excel use review and recommendations session, and annual reviews.

TGO’s custom Assurance Plan also provided Ongwanada access to a dedicated, in-house support team. The team provides full support to all GP modules and any third party add-ons to their solution.

TGO’s Solution Improved Operations Across The Board
Working closely with TGO, Ongwanada revamped their business processes which helped make each area of their business more efficient, saving time and money. Most importantly, TGO made it possible to take full advantage of their existing system.

Results Speak For Themselves
Before TGO, Ongwanada ran multiple satellite systems for their day-to-day operations, not realizing that the system in place could conduct these tasks already. By upgrading their ERP system, they were able to get the functionality they required in one system.

The system greatly reduced manual processes for the finance, procurement and human resources departments. With system workflows set in place, purchasing, invoicing and financial reports are automatically created and distributed accordingly to the department heads. This process was complemented with alerts and approvals. This not only saved the employees’ time, it allowed them to focus their energy on more strategic tasks.

TGO Has The Experience And Expertise To Make Business Better
With over 27 years of experience, TGO’s award-winning approach to serving clients is based on matching the right solution to the right need. If your business process needs a tune-up, contact us today and see how TGO can improve your company’s performance and profitability.

Posted by & filed under ERP.

Read more on "4 Qualities To Look for in an ERP Professional" »

If you’re interested in an ERP for your business, you’ve probably done your homework. You’ve looked into the different types of ERP systems available, researched how they can help your company, and looked into which ERP vendors might best suit your needs. But just as important as the vendors are the individual ERP professionals you’ll be working with once you make your choice.

A company is only as good as its employees, and while it’s important to look at a company’s record as a whole, it’s also a great idea to do some research into the people behind that company. So what is it that makes a good ERP professional? What should you be on the lookout for as you decide who to work with during a time of transition and training that can affect the future of your entire business?

1. Experience
More than anything else, experience should be a key factor in your decision. An experienced ERP professional will not only be an expert in the product and its implementation, he or she will also have insights and perspective that only time and experience can bring. She will already know which areas can be tricky, and anticipate issues so that they never become a problem. He will be able to quickly and accurately assess any situation that arises and draw on his prior experiences to find an effective solution. Finding an experienced ERP professional to guide you through the process of choosing a system, implementation, and beyond, is vital to the success of the initiative.

2. Industry Expertise 
Just as important as job experience is, expertise specific to your industry, is equally important. An ERP professional may be well-versed in the implementation of systems for the manufacturing industry, for example, but how well will that translate for your restaurant chain? You want to be sure that the person handling your ERP implementation understands the unique needs and priorities of your industry.

3. Reliability
A good ERP professional doesn’t promise the impossible. He or she defines your expectations as a customer realistically – and then follows through, delivering what was promised. That commitment to truly helping each customer, as opposed to just making another sale, is what sets great ERP professionals apart. How will you be able to tell whether one is reliable or not? Ask for references. Talk to customers who worked with that professional in the past, and find out what their experiences were. A solid track record speaks volumes.

4. Commitment to Ongoing Training
ERPs are not static – they are constantly being updated, upgraded, and improved. Any ERP professional worth his salt understands that it’s impossible to be at the top of his game without ongoing training. Look for professionals who were at the latest conference for your chosen ERP, and the one before that, and the one before that. Look for professionals who come back from these conferences energized and excited, and who share their new knowledge with their clients via blog posts or newsletters. An ERP professional excited about what they do is the one you want on your team.

If you’re looking for an ERP vendor with a team of incredible ERP professionals, look no further. At TGO Consulting, our professionals are experienced, expert in multiple industries, impeccably reliable, and passionate about ongoing training. Speak with us today to find out how we can help set your business up for success.

Sources:
https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog/archive/2014/10/24/the-key-attributes-of-an-erp-professional
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/evaluating-erp-software-vendors/

Posted by & filed under Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Read more on "3 Surprising Benefits of an ERP for a Food and Beverage Business" »

What can an ERP really do for your food and beverage industry business, you wonder? Sure, it can keep track of numbers for you, but so can your basic spreadsheet, right? What are some of the real, tangible benefits of an ERP system – specifically for a company in your industry?

Businesses in just about any industry can use an ERP to not only get finances, inventory, or sales data under control, they can also use them to gain new capabilities and insights that a basic spreadsheet could never provide – insights that have a real impact on their bottom line, and on the way they run their businesses.

What sorts of capabilities? We’re glad you asked. Here are just a few of the surprising ways an ERP can help your food and beverage business thrive.

1. Inventory Tracking in Case of Recalls
Food recalls are every food and beverage industry company’s worst nightmare. But the way they’re handled can make the difference between a company that survives and goes on to thrive – and a company that flounders.

An ERP linked to a warehouse management system can help a business keep tabs on every single product in its distribution supply chain. By tracking lots, dates, and quantities for each product, as well as each one’s movement, a company would quickly be able to determine where the potentially problematic products are, and who to contact to recall them.

2. Restaurant Management Made Easy
Managing one restaurant is hard enough, but when you’re in charge of an entire chain, it is next to impossible – without clear sales data to inform your decisions. By integrating an ERP with the POS systems in each location, restaurant chains can create accurate daily sales reports – and best of all, they’re automated!

With the right numbers giving management the full picture at every restaurant, every day, things like monitoring cash, keeping track of cost vs. sales performance, and predicting future sales become easy. The profitability of each location can be accurately assessed, and successful practices of top restaurants can be applied at all other locations to increase their profitability, as well.

3. More Efficient Distribution for Perishable Foods
When you’re dealing with perishable foods, every second counts. Distribution must be quick, efficient, and accurate in order to minimize costs and maximize product quality. It’s not enough to track products as they move through the distribution supply chain – you need to be able to identify ways to continuously improve.

With an ERP’s inventory management and CRM capabilities, coupled with route planning software, a food and beverage industry company can easily take orders, find the most efficient ways of transporting products, and track every step of the process, so that inefficiencies can be eliminated and customer satisfaction – and profits – can be boosted.

ERPs can do a lot more than just organize data for your company. From providing practical, profitable restaurant management ideas to boosting efficiency to contributing to a quick recovery in case of a recall, an ERP can quite literally mean the difference between success and failure. Contact TGO Consulting today to find out how we can help your company implement an ERP today!

Sources:
http://www.erpsoftwareblog.com/white-papers/new–25-brilliant-ideas-to-outsmart-your-competition-with-microsoft-dynamics-erp-39/
https://customers.microsoft.com/Pages/CustomerStory.aspx?recid=13

Posted by & filed under Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Read more on "Can an ERP Drive Innovation in Your Business?" » How Customizing Your ERP

Don’t you just want to kick yourself sometimes, when you see a commercial for a brand new product or service that seems like such an obvious solution to a common problem? Why didn’t you think of that?

Well, it may seem obvious in retrospect, but for most people, the problem with common problems is that they’re so…common! We get used to dealing with something a certain way, and never even think twice about how it could be changed – until someone somewhere has that sudden insight.

The same principle holds true for business practices, as well. We get into routines and don’t even notice areas that could be improved on, or better yet, areas ripe for innovation.

But believe it or not, that’s where implementing an ERP can help. ERPs can actually help drive innovation within your company, because they allow clear, detailed insight into the workings of your business, assisting decision makers in seeing where innovations are needed – and what type of innovations those should be.

There’s even a tried and true process for promoting innovation within a company, known as the Six Sigma Method. This approach to business has companies take five specific steps to work out what that innovation should be: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify

. This methodology is used successfully by businesses the world over to improve their processes – but coupled with an ERP system, it’s a sure-fire way to encourage innovation. Let’s break down each step and take a look at how using an ERP aligns perfectly with each one.

Define
The first step is to define the goals of your business, specifically in the area you are analyzing for possible innovation. What is it you are aiming for? These goals should play a major role in your ERP set-up, so that you can track how efficiently and effectively they’re being worked towards and reached.

Measure
Now it’s time to quantify those goals. This is where your ERP is invaluable. With all the necessary data at your fingertips, you can easily crunch the numbers and see how you’re currently performing, where you’d like to be, and what it’ll take to get there.

Analyze
The third step is to analyze your current process. Take a close look at how things are done, and then brainstorm ways they could be done differently in order to improve the outcome. Weigh each option, looking carefully at the results it’s likely to bring. The information found in your ERP will be immensely helpful here, as it provides easy insight into every department and every process – not to mention an ERP’s forecasting ability, which lets you play with different scenarios.

Design
This step is where the innovation happens. Design an improvement to your existing process – or change it completely. Eliminate steps entirely, or replace them with something totally new. Let your creative juices flow here – but always grounded in the facts and numbers that your ERP provides you with.

Verify
Finally, run a trial of your new idea to make sure that it will actually perform as desired. Try a simulation, run it through your ERP to see what happens, or test it out in some other way to ensure that it will do the job.

By following these five steps, utilizing the data provided by your ERP in each one, you can drive focused and imminently practical innovation at your company. Necessity may be the mother of all invention, but if you don’t know what you need, no progress will be made. ERPs allow easy insight into exactly where improvements are needed in your business, so that you can latch on and run with it. Contact TGO Consulting today to find out how we can help your company start the innovation process today!

Sources:
http://www.sixsigmaonline.org/six-sigma-training-certification-information/articles/the-dmadv-methodology.html
http://blogs.ramco.com/erp-and-six-sigma
http://www.sixsigmaonline.org/six-sigma-training-certification-information/articles/the-significance-of-six-sigma-and-erp-implementation.html

Posted by & filed under General, Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Read more on "Microsoft GP Solutions For Nonprofits" »msgp

When it comes to selecting an ERP, nonprofits face unique challenges quite unlike those common to small and midsized companies. Jumping into an ERP willy-nilly can saddle a nonprofit with features that they don’t need, making what should be an improvement into a costly and inefficient investment.

Unique Needs
Nonprofits have business needs that other organizations lack. Where business goals for a products or services company are supported by budgeting and forecasting practices, nonprofits have a non-monetary objective and a need to provide financial information to stakeholders. ERP solutions structured to serve the needs of profit-based companies can significantly hamper a nonprofit, create a plethora of pain-points and confusion for end users, and ultimately stand in the way of the organization’s mission.

Any nonprofit that is considering adopting or upgrading ERP should enter the process with a clear understanding of the ways they differ from for-profit business.

A Nonprofit’s Critical Needs
Nowhere is the difference between non- and for-profit organizations more evident than the area of revenue.

  • Grant management: the complexities of applying for grants and managing this process is a daily reality for just about any nonprofit. All aspects of the grant process can occupy a large percentage of an organization’s workforce.
  • Financial transparency: a fundamental characteristic of any sound nonprofit, transparency is important for all stakeholders who may want to see where their money is being spent.
  • Reduction of overhead: many nonprofits ignore this aspect of operations, but donors often dislike seeing a nonprofit spending too much on staff rather than directing funds toward the organization’s avowed cause. Keeping expenses under control and staff lean can help turn donors into repeat donors.

Implementing an ERP solution should first and foremost make financial transparency something end users can provide and manage swiftly and easily. This solution should also act to support a nonprofit organization by providing demonstrable savings in staff.

Microsoft Dynamics GP For Nonprofits
GP’s Grant Management module can provide the clarity and ease of use needed to help any organization get the most from small staffs and limited budgets. Grant Management allows you to automate the grant management process so that

  • Grants can be quickly and easily tracked and monitored
  • Accountability is demonstrated
  • Future funding can be secured through transparency and documented use of funds

Make Better Business Decisions
When budgets are tight and funds are liable to be tied to specific types of expenditure, making decisions about spending can be a headache for nonprofits. GP’s Grant Management module’s features make daily, monthly, and yearly expenditures easy to track.

  • Automatic alerts can warn of possible overruns
  • Funds from a specific grant can be tracked in relation to specific programs
  • Reports can be run to show current grant allocations and transactions
  • Specialized reports can be generated to show compliance with relevant regulatory legislation

Tailored Solutions For Unique Challenges
TGO knows that every nonprofit is unique, and the challenges they face are as diverse as the causes they champion. Our experience and knowledge can help your organization find the best way to smooth operations and provide the kind of transparency that is imperative for any nonprofit. We realize that budget constraints can seem like impediments to adopting or upgrading ERP, but we can work with your business goals to make the best use of resources.

Whether it’s training on existing software, or the implementation of a new solution, contact us today and learn how TGO can help your organization operate more effectively.

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