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Read more on "3 Dimensions of ERP System Scalability" » ERP System Scalability

 

Scalability. It’s a term that nearly every business chases, often times without knowing exactly how to achieve it. For businesses large and small, many strive for growth and expansion – strategies that require flexibility in all aspects of the business, including software programs such as ERP solution. While scalability in your company’s software won’t necessarily propel it to an international industry leader, it will save you money and allow for flexibility to expand globally.
Instead of investing thousands of dollars to overcome your current system’s shortcomings as your business expands, scalable ERP software will not require these expenditures. Similarly, it will not hold your business back from any potential growth opportunities.

When looking to invest in an ERP system, there are 3 dimensions that can help you determine whether or not the system will be scalable and flexible for the future growth of your company.

  1. Utilization
    Utilization refers to how the system will respond when the amount of data it stores is increased. Ensuring reliable performance with an increased utilization rate is often solely connected to the hardware but, the truth is, that software plays a role as well.
    In some ERP systems, there are “tipping points” where the volume of data and information begins to impact performance. An open database structure that allows you to add server space to account for this increased volume is a must-have for any scalable ERP solution. In companies where there are spikes in the utilization, for example seasonal increases in demand, there are tools available, such as traffic prioritization. This allows the “essential” data to continue to flow, while pushing other data off to the side.
    The best solution, of course, is to ensure full scalability in your ERP and completely avoid this issue.

  2. Platform
    When looking at operating systems, a 2013 survey found that 90% of desktops run some sort of Windows OS. Consequently, many ERP systems are designed with this information in mind. There may be, however, times when your company may have to support an alternative operating system. To increase scalability, companies often look to browser-based software so that the device’s operating system essentially becomes a non-factor.
    Similarly, scalability can be increased by augmenting the functionality of the backend database. While it is not directly run with the ERP system, increasing its data storage capacity can help increase the effectiveness and integration with ERP and throughout the entire business.

  3. User Count
    As your business grows, it is logical to assume that the number of employees and users of the ERP system will also need to increase. Many systems allow you to add users, but it’s important to be aware of how the cost and relative ease of doing so differs between solutions. Are additional licenses sold on an individual basis or in bundled groups (1 vs. a package of 20?). Can new users access all functions of the system and under the same security measures? Does new client software need to be installed to every additional workstation? These questions, among others, are extremely helpful in gauging the process of adding additional users to the system.

When looking to purchase an ERP system, these three dimensions are important to keep in mind. While they may not seem relevant right now, they will come into question as your company begins to grow and looks for scalability in its software programs.

One client, IS5 Communication, opted for a full-fledged ERP system for their start-up from the get-go and reaped the benefits. Read how they did it to see how you can follow their lead.

Posted by & filed under General.

Read more on "4 Reasons Manufacturing ERP Systems Fail" »Manufacturing ERP Systems

 

ERP systems are a valuable addition to any manufacturing company. From discrete manufacturers to process manufacturers, there are a large number of benefits to be gained from implementing a new ERP solution into your business. While software, hardware and other miscellaneous costs may seem formidable, ERP systems aim to save your business money in the long-term by streamlining processes. In addition, they can help to reduce inventory shrinkage, labor costs and cost of goods sold by improving purchasing practices.
Each type of manufacturer has specific needs, but generally speaking, those companies working within the manufacturing field have a number of similarities. To ensure that your new ERP system is beneficial to your company, all manufacturers should be wary of reasons why ERP systems fail.

  1. A faulty inventory item number scheme
    When products are exchanged between suppliers and manufacturers, inventory numbers tend to be duplicated or operate on different systems. With different numbers and identification methods for each product, companies may reorder a new inventory supply when, in fact, it was simply numbered in a way that it was not picked up in the system. With multiple suppliers, these coordination efforts become even more complex. When purchasing a new ERP system, be sure that it maintains a cross-reference between your internal numbering system and each supplier’s system.

  2. Inaccurate inventory on hand
    One of the benefits of integrating your systems is that redundancies are eliminated across all areas of the business. One of the downsides is that an error is automatically compounded. An inventory mistake in the beginning of the manufacturing process will continue to repeat itself throughout the system. ERP systems that offer “net-change” physical inventory functions can make it easy to correct stock counts without having to stop production to do a physical inventory count.

  3. Lack of coordination between engineering and manufacturing
    An ERP system cannot help your company achieve its goals if the objectives set forth by different departments are diverse. By working together before implementing a new solution, all departments can be sure their needs are plausible and can be met. Working with a consultant can help develop a thorough implementation plan to appease all stakeholders before software installation begins.

  4. Unrealistic expectations
    Even if all departments of your business are on the same page as far as objectives and goals you want the ERP system to achieve, they need to remain within a realistic scope. It is important to balance what you need the solution to do with what it can actually do. Start by making a list of functions that are essential and adding a few “would be nice” items. When shopping for systems, you can then line up the specific functions you need with what each system offers.

When purchasing an ERP system for your manufacturing company, it is equally important to know what not to do in addition to what you should do. By identifying these implementation mistakes, your company can make efficient strides towards streamlining processes and saving money.
If you’re not sure what steps to take (or not take), then feel free to get in touch for a consultation before moving forward; we can point you in the right direction.

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Read more on "A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin and How It Affects Your Business" »


Bitcoin is one of those recent trends where businesses seem to be lagging behind in adoption and incorporation into their operations. Cash alternatives like PayPal and Western Union have built up a strong presence, but the idea of bitcoin – and how exactly it works – is something that remains unclear.


More than 80,000 businesses in the U.S. accept bitcoins as an alternative cash payment for their goods and services, and that number is projected to continue growing for years to come. Should your company accept bitcoin? Continue reading to explore what it is, benefits it can bring to your business and how it may affect your accounting practices.


What is bitcoin?

At its core, bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system that allows for the exchange of “digital cash.” It was created based on mathematics and cryptography. Users can create bitcoins by solving complex math problems and receive “payment” in the form of a bitcoin. Bitcoins will be distributed until there are 21 million in circulation, but this is the cap on the currency.


As one of the newest currencies on the global market, it makes all transactions public, yet anonymous, in an effort to maintain complete transparency of the company. There is an exchange rate between U.S. dollars and bitcoin, just as in the case of any other global currency.


Reducing business costs


Since being adopted into the business environment, bitcoin has become a tactic employed for cost reduction. Bitcoin can help to control the cash flow by increasing payment options available to consumers. The primary savings comes from minimizing credit card processing fees. Allowing customers to pay in bitcoins means that you, as a business, will not have to pay the 2-3% processing fee that is standard for most credit cards. While bitcoin is not 100% free to use, it is significantly less than the cumulative credit card fees absorbed by your business.


The use of bitcoin can also reduce costs associated with bounced checks and overdrawn bank accounts. As a digital currency, the transaction will not be permitted if there are not enough bitcoins in the customer’s account. Customer chargebacks are estimated to cost retailers $11.8 billion per year, so this presents a major benefit.

Risks to consider


As an unbacked currency, it is still unclear as to whether or not bitcoins will hold their value in the long term. Fluctuations up to 10% are relatively common in the stock of bitcoins, making them fairly unpredictable when compared to more stable currencies like the U.S. dollar.


The lack of clarity among the general public about how exactly bitcoins work makes the security risk slightly higher than with other currencies. It is unclear how customers and businesses can protect the information and prevent issues such as theft and fraud from occurring.


Effect on accounting practices


Government regulations are already in place to ease accounting difficulties associated with bitcoins. Revenues received through this medium are treated as capital gains and taxes must be paid according to the current exchange rate to convert the amount into U.S. dollars. Bitcoins do present a complex challenge in terms of accounting and budget planning.


Since bitcoins are virtual, divisible and relatively liquid, it is no wonder companies have had trouble comprehending how they work and if they should be incorporated into business practices. While the verdict is still out, it is important to recognize their growing importance in the scope of business and understand how your business’s decision to accept them or not can affect your bottom line.

Posted by & filed under ERP, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Product Focused.

Read more on "GP 2015 R2 – New Features!" »

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 is set to be released this summer. This was announced at Convergence this year (if you didn’t read my last blog post, check it out here.)

Keeping to their 6 month release cycles, Microsoft is always listening to customer’s feedback and refining their solutions based on those requests. Below are just some of the new features in GP 2015 R2.

 – All-in-one Document Viewer — Purchasing

- SQL View Designer

- Accounts Payable Invoice Workflow Approval

- SmartLists Display Debits then Credits

- Hide/Show SSN on Payroll & HR Reports

- Use Credit Card as Payment type for Payables Check Run Process

- Historical Received Not Invoiced Report

- Auto Deposit Cash Receipts in Bank Rec

- Visual Indicator for Customer Over Credit Limit

- Enable Email for all Sales & Purchasing Forms

- Self Service User Type

- Employees can view their W2

- Time Management App

- Combine GL Summary and Detail Inquiry Windows

  dynamics GP 2015 R2

TGO Consulting is a Gold  Certified Partner, we implement and support your GP solution. For more information on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 R2 or are ready to upgrade, then contact us today.

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

Read more on "Convergence 2015: It Was the Best of Conferences" »


Everything from the announcements of exciting new features to look for in the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics GP, to the great people I had the opportunity to meet in the Expo, made this conference informative, productive, engaging, and energizing.

Everything, that is, except for the part where my bus crashed.

My arrival at the Atlanta, Georgia convention centre where Microsoft Convergence 2015 was held last week was, shall we say, a little less than optimal. The bus I was riding in actually managed to crash into a traffic signal along the way, and shatter two of its windows. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the accident definitely got my day off to a dramatic start!

Once safely inside the convention center, though, things took a turn for the better.

Over 12,000 people from 76 countries were in attendance. That’s a lot of Microsoft users!

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivered the keynote address, announcing the dawn of a new era in enterprise resource planning due to all the powerful new technology available.


I also attended a GP presentation with Errol sharing Microsoft’s roadmap for developing Dynamics GP into the future. This summer, new features such as historical received but not invoiced purchasing report capabilities, the ability to auto deposit cash receipts to the bank, and AP invoice approval capabilities will be released, along with a new Dynamics GP Time Management app for iOS, Android, and Windows. Later this year, HTML5 will allow access via smartphones – we were even shown how it would look on a Samsung Galaxy! 

Beyond that, we were told that 2016 would bring with it an enhanced user experience, more support for web clients, enhanced workflow capabilities, and enhanced cloud deployment. Top features requested by customers will continue to be incorporated into the product as well. The future looks extremely bright for Microsoft Dynamics GP – and its users!

Throughout the week, I was able to meet up with a few of our partners at the Expo – Avalara, EOne, Professional Advantage, K-eCommerce, Wennsoft – the usual suspects.
Later, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation about the new GP workflow, boasting ultra convenient new features like the ability to approve workflow via an email link on a smart phone. That would be especially helpful in a situation where, say, someone’s bus gets in an accident, for instance, and they need to approve workflow on the fly. Just sayin’.

So in summary, Microsoft Convergence 2015 was definitely the best of conferences, in spite of a rocky start for yours truly. If you’d like to learn more about the updates and new features in the works for Microsoft Dynamics GP, or find out more about how we here at TGO Consulting can help you upgrade your own ERP system, contact us today!  

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