Inertia is a powerful force. It’s easier to keep doing what you’ve always done than it is to make an improvement. Change can be time consuming, scary, or require significant investment. When it comes to ERP solutions, though, the cost of doing nothing may be higher than you realise.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the ways that an old ERP system might be limiting your potential, or even putting your business at risk.
It can be hard to attract and retain the right talent, especially if you need everyone to be in the office. Enabling your people to work from home helps them to maintain a good balance between work and family responsibilities and gives them a chance to optimize their work environment too. Remote working is also important for those who travel on business or work from customer sites. If your ERP solution does not provide remote access using the cloud, it’s time to upgrade.
We’re so dependent on our mobile devices now, it’s hard to remember a time before them. Yet, mobile computing is a relatively recent trend. Android came out ten years ago; the first iPhone was in 2007 and the iPad’s launch in 2010 invented the consumer tablet market. If you’re using an old ERP system, it may not have been designed to take advantage of mobile devices.
That really matters: if you can’t access or update information on the move, your team may be forced to use paper workarounds. It’s time consuming and error prone. There might be discrepancies in your data because someone hasn’t had time to do the updates or rekey the paperwork yet, or worse still because they can’t read someone’s wiggly handwriting. If your team don’t have current information, it could affect your sales processes, because they don’t know something is in stock, or because two people sell the exact same item. You could carry extra inventory to cope, but it’s tying up your capital.
Modern ERP solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central enable you to work wherever you are, using a wide range of devices. It enhances productivity and helps you to ensure your team are always up to date.
Old solutions may no longer be supported by the software vendor, and so won’t be updated for compatibility with new devices and other applications. Your ERP solution might have been running successfully for some time, but software is hugely complex and new bugs are often discovered late in an application’s lifetime. If the software is unsupported, these bugs won’t be squashed, which could put your data or uptime at risk.
What happens if something goes wrong with your ERP solution? You need to know that you can get it fixed, and fast. That’s unlikely to be the case if you’re working with a legacy solution. You might struggle to find IT consultants with the expertise in outdated software, and the willingness to work on it. When you do find someone, it might prove time consuming and expensive for them to find the problem and fix it.
By migrating to a modern ERP solution, you can ensure you’re benefiting from software that is currently supported, continuously updated, and easier to maintain. You not only reduce your risk of downtime (with the huge opportunity costs that entails), but may also be able to cut the cost of a support contract or any ad-hoc maintenance.
IT systems are constantly under attack today, so it’s important your ERP solution is resilient. Hackers often try to exploit any bugs that become public knowledge to see if they can use them to infiltrate the system. An older ERP solution that is no longer receiving bug fixes and security patches is particularly vulnerable, so it’s important to have a current solution that still benefits from updates.
Your company doesn’t operate in a vacuum: there are changes in the market and in regulatory requirements. These all need to be reflected in your business processes. We’ve recently seen the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and HMRC is now rolling out Making Tax Digital, an initiative that will require businesses to file financial returns electronically.
If you’re relying on an outdated ERP solution, you might not be meeting all the regulatory requirements that apply to your business. Compliance might involve using multiple applications and manual workarounds. It’s a productivity killer, and puts stress on your team.
By using a legacy ERP solution, you’re not benefiting from the latest innovations and productivity improvements. Researchers are working out how to make software easier to use all the time, and customer feedback is often incorporated into later software releases. People use software at home and have expectations about how it will work. Older ERP solutions might be harder for them to navigate, and require more deliberate thinking to switch context from the applications they routinely use to the unfamiliar ERP environment.
The best software enables your people to work seamlessly and intuitively so they can focus on adding value to your business, not spend time puzzling over an interface. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, your team can use smooth integrations with the Office applications they know, and a familiar Microsoft Office look and feel throughout.
It is, therefore, no surprise that manufacturers require incredibly efficient organisation of all their daily business processes. Solo coordinators often fail at the task of keeping up, and whole committees rarely do any better. Enter enterprise resource planning (ERP).
If you’re looking for a way to up any aspect of your company’s game, there’s a good chance this versatile, understandably popular software is your ticket.
According to statistics, manufacturing stock rose 0.4% to a record high of £81.5 million last year, and stocks were up in 9 of 21 industries, representing 58% of total manufacturing stock. Meanwhile, unfilled orders were up 3.5% to £92.8 million last year – the fourth consecutive yearly gain.
To keep unfilled orders down and stock levels at a healthy turnover rate, more and more manufacturing companies are using ERP and taking advantage of its many benefits. It’s no wonder that the global ERP software market is expected to reach £41.69 billion by 2020.
Perhaps the most significant benefit that a solution involving manufacturing ERP functions offers is automation. Process automation speeds up overall production and drastically reduces errors. When your company transitions from manual manufacturing to automated, you rely less on humans, and the process becomes more straightforward and accurate, which in turn improves customer experience and boosts your profits.
As manufacturers grow, operations grow more and more complex. Custom manufacturing ERP software provides real-time information you can use. Imagine the level of productivity you could achieve by letting ERP guide users through complex processes. Eliminating data re-entry, and improving production, order completion, and delivery are just a few of the perks. Modern ERP systems also offer integration capabilities, making it easy to centralise information so all employees who need access to data can get it from one place and update each other as needed.
Thanks to the automated, streamlined processes they make possible, manufacturing ERP features for SMEs help manufacturers reduce operational costs. Additionally, ERP implementation in the manufacturing industry is known to increase worker productivity, in turn minimising labour costs. The ability to efficiently track stock levels and integrate it with production planning eliminates excess stock and storage costs. Also, lower error rates curtail your losses even more.
Knowledge is power, which means observing fault in a product facilitates the production of higher quality items. An effective ERP solution can be incorporated with a quality control module which helps manufacturers standardise their products. Manufacturing ERP modules also help to detect those areas where quality issues are occurring in the first place and identify appropriate measures for putting an end to them. Better products mean higher sales and genuine customer loyalty.
Manufacturing ERP functions offer you the opportunity to seize control of your stock, precisely plan out and streamline production schedules, and coordinate distribution channels. Thank your ERP-conducted system for consistently on-time product delivery – a critical performance metric for any manufacturer. Think of it as yoga for your company: enhanced flexibility goes a long way.
An ERP system is all about effective communication.
Manufacturing ERP features for SMEs allow firms to share important production-related data with internal employees as well as external stakeholders like suppliers, distributors, or even end-customers. This improved ability to communicate and collaborate allows department heads to maintain, sustain, and strengthen key business relationships.
A comprehensive ERP solution provides thorough visibility (and therefore insights) into every department, rendering it easy for your company to make it quick, and informed decisions on the spot. Access to key performance metrics such as overall sales, or sales margin, helps you optimise day-to-day operations and stay close to your goals whenever called for.
When you put the pieces all together (which is precisely what manufacturing ERP functions do), it becomes clear very fast that the combination of accurate production planning, increased stock control, streamlined processes, and coordination of distribution has a significant positive impact on delivery times. Punctual delivery is integral to maintaining your customers’ happiness, which in turn makes them want to leave glowing reviews.
Many SME manufacturers ask themselves if they really need the features an ERP offers. Integrating an ERP is a major investment for any manufacturer, so many small and medium-sized businesses feel they might be too small to take the leap. But, the fact of the matter is, in order to compete against larger companies, small businesses need to outdo their competition. Small and mid-sized manufacturers who use the right ERP can actually operate like enterprise-scale businesses, leveraging the power of the software to streamline their processes, increase their productivity and throughput, and reduce costs.
At a base level, an ERP can integrate all the core processes you need to run your manufacturing business into one seamless system: engineering, purchasing, production, inventory management, human resource management, customer relations management, accounting, sales and more.
Imagine having easy access to truly useful, real-time information about how your business is functioning, the status of individual jobs, and an accurate forecast for your margins. Manufacturers who have installed an ERP built for the manufacturing industry, have not only been able to increase their sales, but they also have higher customer satisfaction rates too.
Still, it can be difficult for many SMEs to outline the specific benefits an ERP system will deliver to help accomplish their goals. Here are just a few benefits of getting the most out of manufacturing ERP functions:
You can ask yourself a couple of simple questions to see if an ERP would help you:
If your goal is to save time, achieve quicker response times when dealing with customer queries, boost your ability to plan ahead, reduce waste, and best of all, reduce stress, then it may be time to work those manufacturing ERP functions into your strategy.
Interested in finding out more? You can get in contact with us here, or call us on 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant.
According to a survey conducted by Oxford Economics, 64% of SMEs are leveraging technology to outperform their peers; everything from social media, mobile-friendly software, cloud computing and big data.
Indeed many businesses that use enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are transforming their business to stay ahead of competition with improved visibility, efficient operation, and the ability to capture vast amounts of data – data on things like sales, production, and inventory management.
The challenge remains to find a way to analyse this data more efficiently to gain actionable insight and outperform the competition. That’s where applications like Microsoft, Sage and Pegasus comes in. In order to make sense of business data, SMEs are taking advantage of reporting and advanced in-memory analytics that ERP systems have to offer; increasing visibility and enabling fast and accurate analysis. What’s more is that they are doing this faster, easier and with more accuracy.
SMEs now have the option to leverage business information into valuable insight through an ERP solution. Every business hopes to receive some turnaround on their ERP investment. The name of the game is to make more money and trump your competitors, but in an era where just about everyone has an ERP system, standing out against the competition can be tough. If you’re looking to gain a competitive advantage in your respective industry, the right ERP software can help.
Despite the fact that many ERP solutions cover a lot of the same core functions, there are some differences to take note of that differ from industry to industry. It is crucial for your newly implemented ERP software to be industry specific to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck. If you were in the business of manufacturing, you would never tell a professional service firm how to do business. The same goes for ERP systems.
Just because everyone else is working from the cloud doesn’t mean that it’s best for your business, and vice versa. Picking the right ERP software has everything to do with picking the right partner so that your organisation has the constant support and training that you need to be sure your needs are met.
While it may be tempting to go ahead and customise every aspect of your new system, first consider these system customisations are really going to make a difference in how you do business. Customising little things that don’t give you an advantage isn’t as necessary as using your customisations to fit areas that do. That being said, don’t be completely stingy with customisations either.
There is great value to be found in customising ERP. If your business has come up with a unique process that allows you to outshine your competitors, that is when you should customise your ERP to fit your model. Thoughtfully differentiating between the two will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.
The use of real time analytics can be a great advantage for businesses using ERP software. This automated software enhances preventative maintenance and detects potential failure before the problem arises. Something that competitors without advanced ERP systems will continue to struggle with.
Your ERP’s predictive capabilities can allow users to pinpoint the location of potential errors so that you can eliminate the problem right off the bat. Thanks to many ERP collaborations, err can be essentially eliminated thanks to smart technology. Don’t get set behind by silly errors and mistakes, and use ERP to keep you ahead of the competition.
ERP systems like Microsoft, Sage and Pegasus have highly advanced manufacturing and planning modules that support the entire range of products from beginning to end. Execution modules give decision makers full access to data collection options and quality measures, while the scheduling module provides easy to read visuals of master schedules so that your planners can make accurate ‘what-if’ scenarios accordingly.
Meeting demand and rerouting potentially conflicting schedules only enhances conflict and error prevention, helping you to focus on the bigger picture. In a world where good and bad reviews can make or break a company via the internet in just a click of a button, it’s important to make sure that your ERP software works for you and not against you. Standing out against your competitors can be easy with ERP.
Gaining an advantage over your competition is as easy as finding the right ERP software and implementing it in a way that serves you best. For more information on how Sage and Pegasus could be the next best step to help your company gain a competitive advantage, either contact us here, or call 0191 500 8150 to speak to a Business Software Consultant.
The system is a scalable solution that will grow with you from 2-250 users. With a wide range of addons such as Document Manager and EDI and various modules such as Financials and Commercials, you can really cater Sage 200cloud to your business needs.
Sage 200c’s powerful reporting capabilities gives you a variety of ways to help make your month end routine easier. With a big selection of standard reports, the ability to customise or create your own from scratch and with the business intelligence (BI) suite, you can choose the option that best suits your requirements. And of course, the software is HMRC compliant.
The Sage 200c Commercials module gives you the ability to control your purchasing. With the built-in purchase order authorisation process and a web-based authorisation for external users you can control your purchasing budgets.
Sage 200c’s powerful stock management system, combined with project accounting, Bill of Materials and manufacturing modules allows you to understand the true cost, and hence the profit of every item. You can figure the exact costs of any batch or serial numbered item. Sage 200c saves you the hassle of figuring it out and gives you multiple options when it comes to costing methods.
You can easily track the make-up of the costs for your stock items that you are manufacturing using the manufacturing specific module from within the software. Whether it is a time machine, time-sheets or operational costs and without the hassle of complex and unmanageable spreadsheets.
Even ignoring the cost of the paper it’s printed on, passing paperwork around the office can be an unseen cost. Or perhaps you have a multitude of different systems that don’t talk to each other.
An integrated system reduces cost and the likelihood of errors, ensuring that your information is produced faster and more accurately. Managing your data correctly can save you time and money.
Sage 200c CRM gives you the tools you need to track your opportunity pipeline, ensuring you follow up every possible sale. With customisable dashboards and automated reminders, you and your team stay on top of your multiple opportunities and ensure you never miss another sale.
Streamline your sales process with mail merge and email templates. Automatically schedule activities as the opportunity moves through your pipeline stages, saving your team time and automating your sales process!
Sage 200c CRM has an inbuilt tool to help you get your sales forecast quickly and easily! Weighing the potential income against the certainty of that opportunity occurring, gives you a clear methodology to collate your forecast from each team member into one team forecast.
Tracking the success and keeping on top of your outbound telesales calls becomes simple with Sage 200c CRM. Generate lists for your team to call, script their conversation and track the leads generated.
Create groups of customers to call quickly and easily – target customers based on purchase history, location or any other custom data you have in your database.
Easily put together targeted lists of customers by industry, address or based on previous purchases. Highly refine your marketing lists to ensure your campaigns are as effective as possible.
No more hours spent putting together lists of information from Excel spreadsheets or duplicating contact details.
Track the success of your marketing campaigns, track how many leads or opportunities have been generated from individual activities. So, you know where you spend your money to get the most bang from your buck.
Track budgets vs actuals and calculate exactly how much you are spending on marketing activities.
Know exactly what is coming in and going out at any time with Sage 200c. Integrated with the Sales Order and Purchase Order Processing modules, Sage 200c removes the need for vast amounts of paperwork coming from the sales teams, and allows them to see the stock levels available within the warehouse.
Get accurate reporting on your stock. With the inbuilt report designer and free business intelligence suite, Sage 200c gives you the right information in real time so you can make better decisions.
With its ability to generate a suggested buying list, sage 200c calculates the right amount of stock to both meet the orders on your system and also to maintain your minimum and maximum reorder levels. All at the click of a button.
With a variety of barcoding options, Sage 200c provides a fully integrated system accessible from handhelds to speed up your goods in, goods out and stock take processes. Even ignoring the cost of paper it’s printed on, passing paperwork around the warehouse can be an unseen cost. Lost paperwork and errors on handwritten documents is also a major issue with a paper based system. These errors and issues can easily be removed through the use of barcoding.
Sage 200c offers a powerful manufacturing solution that helps you manage your entire processes from estimating through to planning and production. Integrated with the stock, commercials and financials, Sage 200c helps you meet your promise dates by helping you plan and control the production all the way from order to despatch.
Identify potential issues before they arise by using Sage 200c’s powerful stock projection capabilities which provide full visibility and control over future stock levels. Assess the impact of changes to due delivery dates and quantities quickly and easily.
Sage 200c gives you the ability to manage batch and serial numbered items throughout the manufacturing process to maintain quality standards and detailed traceability. Assign specific batches or serial numbers to a works order, substitute one traceable component for another and know exactly which batch or serial numbered items make up the final product.
If you are interested in upgrading your current accounting software system to Sage 200c, give us a ring to see what next steps you can take, and we will fully support you every step of the way!
Can you relate to any of the points below?
With less manual input, more efficiency and more control, Sage 200cloud allows you to focus on what’s really important – running your business.
Many Sage 50 users have upgraded their software to meet the needs of their growing business and Sage 200 or Sage 200c has been the next natural upgrade route. Monpellier will work with you so you understand the advantages Sage will bring to your company and how it can help solve your business needs and problems that you may be encountering.
Sage 200c is built on customer feedback, bringing a focus on connected services and three key themes – connected data, customer experience and simplicity.
Let’s take a look at nine new features of Sage 200c:
One of the biggest new features in Sage 200c is the new Invoicing module. It is now quick and easy to create invoices for your customers. There is no dispatch process in the Invoicing module, so you can print and email the invoices straight away. This fast and effective invoice entry will make day-to-day processing easier.
This feature acts as a prior step to the creation of a Purchase Order. It provides an easy way to enter requisitions for either stock or free text items, regardless of whether you know the supplier or stock codes. A new rule means that purchase orders will only be raised if the requisition has been authorised.
Sage 200c now offers greater detail when checking the progress of Sales Orders. This gives you greater control and insight over your Sales book. You can now see the exact state of the sales order to cover allocations, dispatches and invoiced status.
You now have the ability to store analysis codes on each nominal record, allowing for a greater depth of analysis and reporting.
You can now group together any combination of nominal accounts and report on the rolled up total budget for these accounts against the actual total balance. This can also be used to check that the budget figures that are set upon each nominal account are correct, as you can check how much of the overall combined budget has been allocated to nominal accounts.
You can now download your bank transactions to Sage 200c using Sage Bank Feeds. This means transactions in your bank account will now be reflected in Sage 200c. New transaction types have been added, which can be entered as adjustments directly from the reconciliation screen.
Providing greater control of your data, you can now amend Sales and Purchase Ledger transactions once they’ve been posted. A ‘Correct’ button has been added to the bottom of the screen which can be used to change the amount, Customer/Supplier or to remove allocations.
You can now hide redundant Sales and Purchase Ledger accounts. This allows for more effective reports and data analysis by omitting accounts that you no longer transact with.
A Direct Debits & Standing Orders report has been added to the list of standard reports. In addition, there are now portrait versions of the Aged Debtors and Creditors reports.
2nd Reference has been added to the Sales and Purchase Ledger transaction enquiry screen as a default column. This means the 2nd Reference field can now be sorted on and used to find transactions.
Many organisations choose to upgrade to Sage 200c from other accounting systems; maybe because they require improved accounting functionality and improved user friendliness. They will certainly enjoy the benefits of joining the largest accounting system user community in the world.
We help many users make the transition to Sage 200c; we are familiar with all types of migrations that you can be rest assured the transition will be as seamless as possible, meaning that it won’t be long before you can benefit from all the features of this market leading accounting software.
If you would like to explore upgrading your current accounting software system contact us on 0191 500 8150 or email [email protected] From here we can arrange a free demonstration and choose the right software for your needs and start planning your upgrade.