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Justin

Justin

Tribridge

Three-time Microsoft Dynamics Worldwide Partner of the Year, Tribridge specializes in all Dynamics products (CRM, AX, GP, NAV and SL), Microsoft .Net development, SharePoint and other essential productivity solutions. Tribridge is dedicated to helping customers leverage cloud and on-premise business solutions to become more productive, profitable, competitive, and secure. Tribridge offers extensive industry experience and technological savvy to help you assess, design and implement the ERP system that is right for your business challenges.

Tribridge

Three-time Microsoft Dynamics Worldwide Partner of the Year, Tribridge specializes in all Dynamics products (CRM, AX, GP, NAV and SL), Microsoft .Net development, SharePoint and other essential productivity solutions. Tribridge is dedicated to helping customers leverage cloud and on-premise business solutions to become more productive, profitable, competitive, and secure. Tribridge offers extensive industry experience and technological savvy to help you assess, design and implement the ERP system that is right for your business challenges.

The core benefit of ERP is integration of systems and data to make business operations more manageable. Instead of having each business unit in a large organization manage its own human resources, financial, and manufacturing systems, ERP uses a single integrated system and database to maintain all of the transactional data for the organization.

ERP Software

Course Notes from ERP 101 (Part 2b)

System Integration. This is what ERP is all about. The core benefit of ERP is integration of systems and data to make business operations more manageable. Instead of having each business unit in a large organization manage its own human resources, financial, and manufacturing systems, ERP uses a single integrated system and database to maintain all of the transactional data for the organization. So for each of the following features, you can look at it as an "integrated" feature under ERP.

Human Resources Management. For most business operations, the most expensive resources are employees and other human resources (HR). Managing the information connected with these resources is a huge task, and no two systems are alike in the way they handle HR data. Standardizing HR data is a big benefit of ERP, and a key feature to look for in any ERP package is its HR module. Managing information regarding HR events such as hiring, training, promotions, benefits, and terminations are all critical to your operations.

Finance and Accounting. ERP systems can integrate your financial and accounting systems and provide organization- wide views into your business that might not otherwise be possible. ERP also facilitates drilling down to a detail level to analyze financial data for services, products, customers, and markets. Using ERP to manage finance and accounting can help you put in place standardized long-range planning and make that planning a part of your core business. For some organizations,finance and accounting is the most important ERP module. In truth, though, there is not a lot of difference between one vendor’s F&A applications and another’s. This is a very mature segment of the ERP big picture and, while essential, not likely to be the reason you choose one solution over another.

Continued in Part 3

 

Pre- and Post ERP can be a world of difference. Perhaps you’re in a situation right now where if you inquire on the status of an order, you set off a wild goose chase throughout your entire company as departments go searching in an effort to reconcile their latest information with one another.

ERP Software

Course Notes from ERP 101 (Part 2a)

Pre- and Post ERP can be a world of difference. Perhaps you’re in a situation right now where if you inquire on the status of an order, you set off a wild goose chase throughout your entire company as departments go searching in an effort to reconcile their latest information with one another. ERP can change all that by enabling you to go to a single source and getting the information you want in minutes, if not seconds, as opposed to possibly waiting hours doing it the old way. Plus, you can be certain that the answer you got is precisely the same answer every department in the process is working from.

Before you bite the ERP bullet, though, take a good hard look at your business. Analyze the processes that are going on in and between departments. Can they be streamlined? Are there ways to make complex processes easier? These are the types of questions to ask. As you arrive at your answers, you’ll either see ERP as a boon or decide to stick with the status quo.

The best features of an ERP system are those features that promote integrated management and use of critical information across the enterprise. The following is a list of features that make ERP systems a valuable addition to your organization. 

Continued in Part 2b

Buying enterprise software solutions, ERP, “on demand” is a whole new ballgame compared to traditional IT procurement. Don’t worry if it seems a bit foreign to you.

ERP Software

Seven Things to Think About When Buying Cloud ERP (Part 1)

Everyone is still learning the rules, too, so there are few established guidelines you can trust. To help you out, here are seven top success tips to keep in mind when closing the deal on Cloud ERP.

 1. Buying a service is not like buying a product. There’s a raft of different strategies that all of us draw on when we buy services that we wouldn’t necessarily use when buying a product. It’s exactly the same with on-demand ERP. You need to think beyond the functions and feature set of the product and examine how exactly it’s being delivered. That means taking a long, hard look at the contract and thinking about what it covers and – often more important – what it doesn’t mention. You’ll especially want to understand what your exit options are (if any) and how you’ll be able to ensure the provider sticks to what it’s promised to do. Naturally, you’ll be comparing two or three finalists; just studying what points they all emphasize, or points that two mention and a third doesn’t, will teach you a lot about what to insist on.

 2. Don’t expect a custom contract . On-demand services, if they’re done right, are shared services that are delivered to many other customers at the same time. (In fact, if the service isn’t multi-tenant, it’s not a true cloud offering, just a hosted service.) Cloud ERP is rapid and economical precisely because everyone gets the same core service. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to negotiate a custom contract that delivers service levels tailored to your precise requirements – indeed, if you can, that’s a warning sign you’re not buying a true on-demand solution. Instead, look to negotiate other concessions such as free consulting, integration services, or prioritizing early development of product features you’d like added to the product. Most cloud vendors know it is important for them to have a mechanism to learn from their early clients. Explore a relationship that will give you a say if their future development plans.

3. Look to cut deals. On-demand is an emerging field. The vendors are looking to validate what they offer and expand their footprint in the market. They are almost all trying to achieve that elusive “critical mass.” This means they’re ready to cut deals for customers who want to achieve cutting-edge innovation and business results on their platforms. Of course, you have to go beyond just buying the service online with a credit card to get that kind of relationship. But there are opportunities to enter into strategic partnerships that will help vendors prove new capabilities, penetrate new markets, or simply act as a showcase for what they can do. Ask about training, for example. The better trained your people are at using the system, the better the results. And the better your Cloud vendor looks in the process. Do they provide feedback to you, for example, benchmarking your use of the system? You should also find out what arrangements are in place for you to download or offload your data both during the relationship or when it ends.

Continued in Part 2

Perhaps the most popular ERP application over the past decade has been fueled by the rise of customer relationship management (CRM) functionality. CRM has been on of an enterprise “sacred cow,” the one application morethan all others that is often allowed to be upgraded at a faster pace that all others, even if that means that best of breed solutions end up existing outside the integrated environment of ERP.

ERP Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 1a)

Perhaps that’s a good thing, because in today’s rapidly more Internet-dominated transactional framework, CRM is in for a wild ride. Attracting today’s customer is a growing challenge for midsized companies. The economic recession, even if technically over, has decreased spending ability amid inflation and job insecurity.  Meanwhile, businesses and individuals are leveraging rapid technology changes and pervasive connectivity to become more informed buyers. Seeking better value for their money, they are turning to mobile devices and online tools to help them find it. Empowered by this information, customers expect a purchase experience that matches the ease and speed of the information-gathering experience. Sales, marketing and customer service managers recognize they must be ready to address these trends with a robust, flexible, adaptable CRM solution.

People today are rewriting the rules on how they interact with midsized businesses. With instantaneous access to information and the expansion of online media and mobile devices, customers need only click a button to find out about a product or other customers’ experiences. This digital empowerment is happening for clients of all industries: nonprofits are increasingly seeing donors give via digital tools like smart phones and tablets; retailers are increasingly investing in online commerce, as online shopping in the United States continues to grow at break-neck speed. But it is not just where customers conduct business that is changing, it is also the speed of the decision-making process that has changed. Around the world, customers enabled by the rapidly rising availability of mobile connected devices are moving from product or service awareness, to research and then to taking action in a far shorter time than ever before.  Good news. If you can keep pace.


People today are rewriting the rules on how they interact with midsized businesses. With instantaneous access to information and the expansion of online media and mobile devices, customers need only click a button to find out about a product or other customers’ experiences.

ERP Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 1b)

This digital empowerment is happening for clients of all industries: nonprofits are increasingly seeing donors give via digital tools like smart phones and tablets; retailers are increasingly investing in online commerce, as online shopping in the United States continues to grow at break-neck speed. But it is not just where customers conduct business that is changing, it is also the speed of the decision-making process that has changed. Around the world, customers enabled by the rapidly rising availability of mobile connected devices are moving from product or service awareness, to research and then to taking action in a far shorter time than ever before.  Good news. If you can keep pace.

The connectedness of customers has also led to another important development: the rise of individuals as influencers. Through the use of social media, customers have transformed the way they connect to—and share their experiences with—a brand.  A customer’s social network has become an important influence on brand perception, especially in industries that they interact with every day, like groceries, apparel, personal care products, home products and appliances. Using Internet forums, blogs and videos to connect with a circle of like-minded consumers, individuals now have a platform for endorsements or complaints about products, services, businesses or organizations.  In short, today’s customer is more powerful than ever before.

And with this empowerment, customer expectations have become more mature. They demand personalization, greater choice, and the right to be heard. They want to be wooed by personalized promotions; to have custom assortments of products available to them; and to have control over the overall buying experience. They demand aggressive discounts, broader choices and an opportunity to provide feedback.  Businesses are expected to listen and respond to customer needs on the customers’ terms. In a global marketplace, this also necessitates serving customers in their language of choice. With brands now competing more tirelessly than ever before for attention, customers today are speaking loudly and clearly: They, not the sellers, are in charge.

Continued in Part 2

 

In today’s tough economic environment, business managers have to be more bottom-line focused than ever before. Every investment is being carefully scrutinized to see if it maximizes value and if returns are justified.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 5a)

In today’s tough economic environment, business managers have to be more bottom-line focused than ever before. Every investment is being carefully scrutinized to see if it maximizes value and if returns are justified. CRM solutions are under the microscope. Many companies still remember older CRM solutions that were rolled out in the late 1990s and which were one-size-fits-all packages that required extensive integration and customization. The traditional solutions could cost as much as $1,500 to $2,000 per seat with deployment taking two to three years, and a return on investment (ROI) in as long as three to five years. Sometimes the problems that the CRM solutions were intended to fix had disappeared by the time these old-school systems went live.

That kind of time frame is just too long to deal with today’s information-rich, empowered customers. Companies serving the ever-changing customer should avoid large, stand alone CRM packages with long lead times and costly integrations that are difficult for managers and other staff to use. Instead, they need products that are modular, scalable, and user friendly, with open architectures to protect their investments. The systems must incorporate the mobile and social behaviors of customers in the marketplace as well, or risk being irrelevant to customer needs.  If these conditions are not met, companies will be hard pressed to deliver on the expectations of the customer.

What midsize companies need to realize is a simple truth: the customer is in charge. The companies they choose to do business with have no choice but to pay attention to customers’ desires and needs by delivering the goods and services the way they want, at the price point and service quality they expect.  Advanced CRM solutions and execution strategies can help companies’ business managers meet these demands

Continued in Part 5b

 

The constraints imposed on CRM by the changing customer have resulted in clear trends in the development of the software and in how midsize businesses use it.  Marketers, as well as sales and customer service managers need to adjust their operations based on these trends.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 5b)

The constraints imposed on CRM by the changing customer have resulted in clear trends in the development of the software and in how midsize businesses use it.  Marketers, as well as sales and customer service managers need to adjust their operations based on these trends. They are making better decisions: no longer is it appropriate to rely on assumptions when data can be leveraged. They are focusing on the customer experience in order to grow business with existing customers and attract new ones. This strategy is far less expensive than traditional, aggressive customer acquisition programs, and is more effective in meeting customers’ requirements for personalized and immediate service. Social media has also turned customers’ referrals that are based on their positive experiences into a prime business development tool. And midsize companies are looking at cost effective ways to deliver the software and services that will help them achieve these growth strategies.

Many midsize companies are planning to implement hosted Cloud–delivered CRM solutions. Cloud applications typically rest on outsourced infrastructure or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).  This method can reduce capital, as well as IT and related facilities expenses. IT expenses may be reduced because required applications can be built on the outsourced platform and upgraded as needed—and at lower cost compared to on-premise hardware and software. And facilities expenses are reduced because deployment is expedited from an off-premise infrastructure. This gives firms greater flexibility in meeting changing customer demands without incurring added installation costs or wasting money on overbuying capacity. 

Continued in Part 6

 

The constraints imposed on CRM by the changing customer have resulted in clear trends in the development of the software and in how midsize businesses use it.  Marketers, as well as sales and customer service managers need to adjust their operations based on these trends.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 5b)

The constraints imposed on CRM by the changing customer have resulted in clear trends in the development of the software and in how midsize businesses use it.  Marketers, as well as sales and customer service managers need to adjust their operations based on these trends. They are making better decisions: no longer is it appropriate to rely on assumptions when data can be leveraged. They are focusing on the customer experience in order to grow business with existing customers and attract new ones. This strategy is far less expensive than traditional, aggressive customer acquisition programs, and is more effective in meeting customers’ requirements for personalized and immediate service. Social media has also turned customers’ referrals that are based on their positive experiences into a prime business development tool. And midsize companies are looking at cost effective ways to deliver the software and services that will help them achieve these growth strategies.

Many midsize companies are planning to implement hosted Cloud–delivered CRM solutions. Cloud applications typically rest on outsourced infrastructure or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).  This method can reduce capital, as well as IT and related facilities expenses. IT expenses may be reduced because required applications can be built on the outsourced platform and upgraded as needed—and at lower cost compared to on-premise hardware and software. And facilities expenses are reduced because deployment is expedited from an off-premise infrastructure. This gives firms greater flexibility in meeting changing customer demands without incurring added installation costs or wasting money on overbuying capacity. 

Continued in Part 6

 

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