Archives for June 2013

Five Tips for Adopting an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Successfully implementation of an ERP solution is a team effort involving your CFO, CIO and key players in your organization.  To make the most of this essential technology, make sure to follow these five tips:

MS Dynamics ERPSpend time planning.  Enterprise Resource Planning software provides management capabilities for finances, human resources and payroll, manufacturing and supply chain, project management and more.  Within your organization, the departments handling these functions are probably using their own processes and systems, so if you are thinking about adopting an ERP solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), you should start by devoting adequate time to the planning phase, conducting a thorough needs assessment.  It’s important to understand the details of your company’s various business processes as these are all likely to be affected by an ERP implementation.

Get buy-in earlyEqually important to your ERP planning is the need to prepare employees for the coming changes.  If you can’t get your staff to use your ERP solution, then you’ve wasted your time and money.  Include as many people as you can during planning phase by asking all levels of management and staff for their input.  What data is important to them, how are they currently collecting it and what challenges do they face with their daily analysis and reporting needs? Knowing the answers is important not only for selecting the right ERP system, but also for engaging employees and demonstrating they have a stake in a successful ERP implementation.

Devote time to training:  Make sure training sessions are tailored to meet the needs of each department or function, so that staff understands which parts of the ERP they will be using.  Don’t overwhelm by trying to make everyone understand all the capabilities.  Providing training sessions that are more job-specific and relevant make it easier to learn and boosts employee confidence.

Don’t overcomplicate things:  If users become frustrated with overly complicated software, they will eventually abandon the system.  Easy-to-use software, like MS Dynamics GP, with a user interface that looks and operates like the familiar Microsoft Office products, allows for customization that allows users to see only those functions they need.

Choose a reliable ERP software providerSelecting the right vendor is another important factor.  Accountnet has helped hundreds of companies adopt an ERP solution that matches their business goals and has deployed it according to our clients’ timetables and within their budgets.  We are Gold Certified Partners for Microsoft Dynamics in New York City, serving the Northeast from Boston, MA to Washington, DC.  Contact us today for a free needs assessment or to learn more about Accountet’s services.

Five Business Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics SL Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP with Microsoft Dynamics SLCloud computing.  It’s been a buzzword for the past few years, but the reality of cloud ERP systems is only starting to penetrate much of the business community’s consciousness. What was once a major concern for companies considering adopting an Enterprise Resource Planning system — the cost — is no longer an obstacle.  Cloud ERP solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics SL, provide greater economic and operational flexibility to smaller businesses and project-based companies that once believed that these sophisticated systems to be out of their reach.

  • Quick set-up.  Instead of the weeks and months required to purchase and set-up a new server, load, configure and debug software, cloud-based ERP solutions can be deployed more quickly, which helps your company see a faster return on its investment.
  • Reduces capital expenditures and operational costs.  Many project-based businesses (creative agencies, consulting firms, government contractors) are not in a position to invest thousands of dollars on IT infrastructure each year and hope to stay profitable.  Using a cloud ERP solution means that all the software updates, security patches and hardware infrastructure costs are included in a set monthly fee based on the number of people using the system.
  • Scales up as your business grows.  Microsoft Dynamics SL cloud-based ERP allows you to adjust users and applications according to the changing needs of your business.  Since there is no capital investment and no IT team needed, you can change course as your business situation dictates.  Testing and rolling out new applications is much easier, risks are mitigated and training costs are reduced.
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.  A cloud system’s core function is to provide the infrastructure for business continuity, so when disaster strikes you can focus on your people and facilities instead of worrying about your data and day-to-day operations.
  • Improved Security.  Contrary to the belief that data stored in-house is more secure, what is often overlooked is the fact that Cloud ERP providers are likely to have much more experience securing data than your internal IT people have.  The reality is that business data centers are usually no more than locked rooms that do little to protect against natural disaster or break-ins.  In many cases, cloud computing is likely to be more secure than your current set-up.

Understanding Your Options

When it’s time to choose a provider, contact us at Accountnet for a preliminary ERP needs assessment and a more detailed conversation about your options.  We can tell you about our services: customizing Microsoft Dynamics SL for your unique business needs, integration for connecting your ERP with related programs, consulting around security protocols, disaster-recovery capabilities and much more.