ERP Technology Simplified

Keeping track of each and every aspect of your business – whether startup or existing – is paramount to staying on the road to success and prosperity. While many different programs exist to monitor every facet of your business, they are often separate programs which do not communicate with one another. Luckily, systems do exist which will monitor each individual aspect of your business AND communicate between departments. These systems are called ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning – and here’s a quick, simplified explanation of some of the great things ERP technology does.

ERP Technology offers Sales and Purchasing.

No one ever wants to see a potential sale or new client fall between the cracks. One great aspect of ERP technology is its ability to track all sales opportunities. From the moment the opportunity presents itself to the moment the client signs on the dotted line, all progress is tracked by the ERP system. Not only that, but the system will also predict the revenue potential, as well as automate the purchase orders after your client signs and places their first order.

ERP Technology offers Production and Inventory.

Sales are great, They’re the life’s blood of almost every company. But fulfillment is another beast altogether. ERP does such a great job of managing sales and purchasing, wouldn’t it be great if it managed the fulfillment side, as well? It actually does. Your ERP technology will not only manage all warehouse data, it also tracks the movements of all your stock-in-transit, and will even craft production orders for you! Amazed yet? We’re not even done.

ERP Technology offers Human Resources.

As you know, there’s much more to business than sales and fulfillment. You hire people, and those people have needs which must be managed. Your ERP technology can even greatly assist your HR manager with its integrated human resource and payroll tools. Once you have every aspect of your business entered into the ERP system, suddenly – you’re running a tight ship with your business, as it sails down the river of success efficiently and effectively.

Michell can Customize the Perfect ERP Technology for Your Business.

ERP technology is quickly becoming the norm for total business management for today’s prosperous organizations. If you’re ready to make the switch to ERP to manage all aspects of your business with efficiency and ease, give Michell a call, and we’ll discuss with you exactly how the process will go from start to finish.

How to Choose the Right Distribution Management Software For Your Business

Not all businesses are created equal, and neither are all distribution management software. It’s key to understand your business’s unique needs and how each software can address those needs in order to make the right choice, one that will allow your business to grow and your customers to feel satisfied – not to mention make running your business easier.
With this in mind, here are key points to consider when choosing the distribution management software that will allow your business to operate at its peak:

• How can you keep your customers happy? Customer management is a full-time job unto itself – one which the right distribution management software should make easier for you. Will the software you’re considering allow you to improve your service levels? Will it allow you to improve on-order fulfillment and thus raise your customer retention rates? Will it allow you to identify any areas in which you’ve been slacking so you can tie up loose ends?

• Who are your best suppliers and vendors? Another point to keep in mind is whether your software will allow you to identify your company’s best suppliers and vendors. If you are involved with a number of either or both, odds are you have just as complicated a job on your hands managing them as you do with managing your customers. The right software will allow you to track the service you get from these parties and potentially identify any weak links which may need to be replaced.

• Is your inventory being closely tracked? Much of what you’re looking for in a distribution management software will depend upon the extent of your inventory and your needs when it comes to managing your warehouse. Not only do you need to keep close track of what’s currently there, but your software should also be able to determine for you where your inventory dollars will go farthest through demand planning and forecasting. If you don’t currently house an extensive inventory but plan to expand at some point in the future, keep this in mind and choose a scalable software that will support your growth.

• Where is your money coming from? Are you able to identify which of your products the customer is spending the most money on? How about pinpointing your most profitable customers so you know with whom you need to maintain a warm relationship? This knowledge allows you to focus your energy on the channels which bring you the most money in order to encourage an even stronger cash flow from those directions.

• What’s the state of your financial records? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to create accurate, real-time financial reports at the drop of a hat? Will your software allow you to do this? And should you need to create custom reports, will you be able to do so? Be sure to get a good feel for any software’s reporting capabilities – after all, being able to review your stats and figures easily allows you to make decisions with greater confidence, not to mention making life a lot easier when meeting with accountants.

• How user friendly is it? Let’s face it: Even the best distribution management software will do nothing for your business if your employees don’t know how to use it effectively. An intuitive interface, one which makes usage not only easy but enjoyable, will go a long way toward having your business running smoothly and your employees on the same page in regards to how you’re performing.
The best distribution management software will address your organization’s pain points and make every aspect of running your business flow more smoothly. Putting in the time to assess where your current software (or lack thereof) is letting you down and to explore your options is sure to pay off great dividends as time goes on and your business begins running like a well-oiled machine.

If you still have unanswered questions on choosing the right software for your business, contact Michell Consulting Group and let one of our experienced consultants guide you through the process.

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Infor Distribution FACTS Software

There’s a lot of business advice out there, but not all of it is good! In fact, some of it is full of misconceptions, misinformation, and myths that could affect your business. This is true of all areas of business, and ERP System software is no exception.

Your time is much too valuable to spend trying to debunk the myths to find the best options for your business. Many of the common misinformation topics date back to the beginning years of ERP Systems and have been around awhile. To help, we’ve compiled the following examples of the worst advice we’ve ever encountered about ERP Systems like Infor Distribution FACTS Software.

 

  • It’s Only for Big Businesses. You might  think that your business is not large enough to need business management software, but nothing is farther from the truth. ERP System software options, like Infor Distribution FACTS, will make your business activities easier and clearer as it streamlines processes in Inventory, Sales, Purchasing and more. Businesses of all sizes—big and small—can benefit from enhancements in tracking business resources, improving data management and refining the interpretation of the figures that you base business decisions upon. Furthermore, such software is customizable, and it will give you the resources to be able to keep up as your business thrives and grows. Using ERP System software means it will be faster and easier for your small business to expand.
  • It’s Too Expensive. As a business owner, you know to be wary of anything that seems too cheap to be true because you do have to spend money to make money. ERP software like Infor Distribution FACTS is not cheap, but can bring a lot of value to your business’s daily operations and overall efficiency. It is well worth the money spent on the software as it makes your business easier to run through tracking your business’s resources, activities and commitments.
  • Implementing Infor FACTS is Too Difficult. Perception is the key issue here. Anything is going to be difficult if you decided it is so. While completely converting to new software is never simple, Infor Distribution FACTS is light years ahead of the original ERP software that created this myth in the first place. Additionally, if implementation is a concern, then consider a provider that offers unparalleled service and support to guide you and your workforce through the process.
  • Your Business’s Processes Are Too Difficult to Convert to an ERP System. Again, this is a matter of a perception of difficulty, because your company’s processes should adapt to fit your business as it grows. Instead of looking at how outdated processes can—or cannot—fit into the new phases of your business, such as converting to an ERP System like Infor Distribution FACTS, try to look at the end results for your business. Do your orders go through faster and more accurately? Do your inventory shortages stop? Are your shipments on time and your payments taken in a timely manner? Infor Distribution FACTS makes your processes easier to manage, so if they need to be tweaked to take your company to the next level, then so be it.
  • ERP Systems Take Too Long to Implement. Rome was not built in a day, but still, if you find a vendor with top notch support and service, the implementation process of Infor Distribution FACTS does not need to be the bogeyman that it is sometimes made out to be.  Since it is customizable to your business, implementing the software nearly out of the box is a real possibility. Additionally, a smooth and fast implementation is made more possible with the right support and service.
  • ERP Systems are Super Easy. While ERPs like Infor Distribution FACTS are not the convoluted systems that myths claim, you and your business’s employees will need to put some time and effort into learning new software systems. Infor Distribution FACTS can improve business practices and reduce inefficiencies, but it’s not magic. Employees still need to know how to use the software on a day-to-day basis. It’s no different than learning the rules of a game before you start to play, and, again, a vendor that provides support and service will be able to assist with training, implementation, and IT issues.

How Much Money Can Hackers Cost your Business?

Crime might pay for those bold enough to do it, but that doesn’t mean everyone should. Hackers likely don’t take into account the fact that they are costing the world countless millions of dollars in damage only to further their own gain, and their influence can have far-reaching effects on people all over the world, let alone your business.

Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to put a number on how much cash cybercrime actually costs businesses, and this can happen for a number of reasons. There are many variables that need to be taken into account when trying to figure out how much a data breach can cost your company.

Counting the Costs
If you try to use reports and surveys to get an idea for how much money is lost due to hackers, you’re only going to wind up with a headache. All you can find are guesstimates, and different definitions about what the cost of hacking even means. In the Ponemon Institute’s study titled 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, the institution goes into detail about why and how data breaches occur in many different countries around the world. It also details the business costs associated with data breaches, such as detection and investigation costs, as well as the aftermath of the breach and how much money would be lost in fines.

Factors Which Affect Data Breach Costs
Obviously, there are some factors which lead to the statistics that most companies feel represent their data breach costs. However, some companies experience minimal cost from a data breach due to quick action.

  • Does the company have an incident plan? This factor details whether the company has an action plan in the event of a data breach. According to the report, U.S. companies that use an incident response plan can save up to $42/capita just by having one in place.
  • Does the company have a strong security stance? The second factor had to do with how effective the security measures the companies had in place were. This factor was measured by administering a test, which provided a Security Effectiveness Score (SES). Those with a high SES saved up to $34/capita on data breach costs.
  • Does the company have a chief information security officer (CISO)? Putting someone in charge of keeping your information secure can benefit your company and allow this person to concentrate on that one specific task. Having a CISO on board decreased the cost of data breaches by $23/capita.
  • Has data been lost by a third-party error? A lot of the time, it’s not even the company’s fault. Organizations associated with the company can make mistakes too, like technology vendors and business partners. $43/capita per record is estimated to have been lost to data breaches by third-parties in 2013.
  • How quickly were the victims notified? In some countries, there are regulations put into place that dictate a timely notification of the victims of data breaches. However, if the victims are notified too soon, the total costs are higher. In the U.S. alone, a quick notification added as much as $37/capita per record.
  • Were lost or stolen devices involved with the data breach? If there are lost or stolen devices involved with the data breach, costs were increased. Though the U.K. topped this list at $15/capita in costs, the U.S. suffered a $10/capita loss per record.
  • Were consultants engaged to help fix the problem? Organizations that hired outside consultants for the data breach resulted in savings of up to $13/capita per record. Not only did this save them money, but it also helped them contain and resolve the problem effectively and efficiently.

The bottom line is that you don’t want to be caught off guard during a data breach. All of these factors that affect data breach costs could have been limited with proper preparation. Take action today by calling Michell Consulting Group at 305.592.5433 ext. 2601. We’ll make sure that you are prepared to meet a data breach head-on, and we’ll do our utmost to prevent it in the first place. Don’t become just another statistic – let Michell Consulting Group keep your company safe.

3 Ways to Increase Workplace Productivity

The office is a unique place designed solely for the purpose of getting work done. Therefore, no matter how your workplace is designed, there’s always room to improve it in order to squeeze out a few more precious minutes of productivity from each worker. As productivity goes, every minute saved adds up!

Every productivity expert is a careful student in both math and commerce. Office managers are acutely aware that saving even a few minutes in a worker’s day can add up significantly over the course of a year. Additionally, if you multiply that figure by every worker in the office, it will easily add up to saving the company weeks of salary. Here are three practical measures your business can take to improve workplace productivity.

Study Your Existing Workflows
It’s impossible to know what to improve upon if you’re not familiar with your current workflows. By taking time to study your company’s workflows, you will begin to see several productivity shortcomings. You can do this by talking to the workers in the trenches. They will be able to passionately tell you what roadblocks are keeping them from getting more work done. Be sure to talk to as many team members as you can. As you begin to compile first-hand accounts of productivity hindrances, you should start to notice patterns that you can address.

In fact, there’s an actual scientific method used to increase workplace productivity called Scientific Management. This field of study dates back to before computers were the norm. As reported by The Secret Life of Machines, “Techniques included taking time lapse photos of office workers with flashing light bulbs tied to their heads and hands to trace their movements. The idea was to eliminate ‘wasted motion’ and find ‘the one best way’ for every job.”

Customize the Workplace Around Employee Needs
When it comes to workspaces, it’s impossible to implement a one-size-fits-all model. People have different personalities that require different environments to maximize productivity. For example, going with an office designed with all cubicles or an open office that’s one big room will isolate people with certain personality tendencies that don’t fit the environment. Perhaps a mix of both models will work best to accommodate workers’ different personalities. Designing the layout of your workspace will work best if you talk to your staff and better understand their needs. Getting to know your employees will help you to determine the introvert-to-extrovert ratio. For accurate results, you can have every employee take a personality test.

Invest in Technology Productivity Solutions
After talking with your team about workflows, you may discover that many of their pain points relate to technology. Michell Consulting Group can improve your current IT infrastructure and help equip your business with the latest in productivity technology. With the implementation of solutions like cloud computing that give workers the ability to collaborate on projects in real time, and content filtering which allows you to block time-wasting websites, you will get back those precious minutes from being wasted on a poor workflow.

Other technologies to consider:

  • Streamlined Business Applications
  • Shared Calendar Solutions
  • Task/Project Management Software
  • Cloud File Management/Collaboration
  • Mobile Computing Solutions
  • Live/Remote Meeting Software
  • And more!

For a free consultation on what improvements you can make to your technology so that you can increase workflow and profits, call us at 305.592.5433 ext.2601.