Marketers are increasingly clamoring for a comprehensive software suite to enable them to do a better job, but according to Forrester Research's latest analysis of enterprise marketing platforms, the vendors have yet to fully provide it.
Businesses all around the world are increasing their reliance on ERP programs as a cost efficient alternative to their current manual procedures or their piecemeal software applications. However, current ERP programs suffer from a number of shortcomings which make it especially difficult for the small/mid size organization to enjoy the tremendous benefits of ERP:
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About Advanced Systems Integration Inc. Advanced Systems Integration (ASi) is a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics™ AX and Learning Solutions partner founded in 1991 that delivers comprehensive enterprise class applications that improve customer relations, enhance partner collaboration and create efficiencies across supply chains and business operations. ASi also offers industry specific extensions integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX platform (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta). ASi uses its industry focus, enterprise software domain expertise and transparent agile implementation methodology to provide its clients an enterprise class solution that is implemented properly the first time. ASi is based in Lake Forest, CA and has sales offices strategically located throughout the United States. Please visit the company’s web site at www.advancedsystemsintegration.com.
WAYNE, PA – January 27, 2010 - Deacom, Inc. (www.deacom.net), provider of an integrated accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system that is engineered for mid-to-large sized building component and batch process manufacturers, has issued a new version of the DEACOM ERP Software System. Updates to DEACOM 12.1 comprise design changes to the main menu and enhancements to specific functionality.
Using ERP Software To Drive Organic Growth in SMBs
SMBs are on a mission to create sustainable organic growth and ERP software applications are a big asset in their arsenal to accomplish this goal. Sales and profitability growth is at the top of the list for most company strategies, whether it be long term or short term. The strategies for growth vary from organization depending on how rapid an expansion is required. Growth through acquisitions and through M&A activities always makes the headlines, but in the long term, a company and its business entities must have a solid growth strategy from organic sales. Because organic growth is based on operational excellence and a long term strategy, ERP software solutions play a critical role in achieving organic growth objectives.
Because organic growth is founded on the organization's core competencies and offerings, ERP software applications help streamline core business processes resources. Organic growth or increasing top-line sales boils down to a four key metrics and activities. The four strategies are selling more or your current products or services to your current customers, selling your current products to a new customer base, creating new products or services to sell to your current customer base, or lastly creating new products to sell to a new market.
Whatever strategy or combination of strategies a company focuses on, the business processes that ensure optimal sales effectiveness, customer retention, product development, and operational performance are the foundation of achieving organic growth and ERP software solution are developed to enable companies to optimize performance in these business processes.
Increasing the skill level and effectiveness of a company's sales force is critical in both creating new sales opportunities and converting opportunities into sales and new customers. The core ERP software modules include CRM, or customer relationship management, applications to help automate low value, mechanical processes to enable a company's valuable sales resources to focus on the high touch, high customer interaction activities where they have a golden opportunity to build a relationship with a customer and close a sales opportunity. Customer retention is as critical as sales growth as the long term success of a business will depend on keeping their customer happy and buying more.
ERP software applications can help deliver streamlined operational business processes to increase profitability, this has been a well known and core benefit of ERP applications. However, ERP solutions on the market today can do much more with respect to setting the metrics, foundation, and performance levels to raise the level of sales effectiveness in an organization to drive more top line sales. Minimizing costs can deliver more profitability to the bottom line, but the ability for an organization to deliver incremental sales to an organization through better product development, sales development, sales close ratios, and customer service are other significant areas of opportunity an ERP software solution can deliver to your organization.
ERP CRM Software
ERP CRM Software Application Benefits
ERP CRM software applications have a wide user base and are growing in popularity every day. Most all businesses around the globe have heard of web based CRM solutions such as Salesforce.com and SugarCRM. Businesses are becoming more and more aware that customer really are king and that they keeping customer satisfaction high and exceeding their expectations are critical for the short term success and the long term survival of the organization. ERP CRM software options available to businesses have multiplied like rabbits over the last decade. Not only have the ERP CRM choices increased, they have improved significantly with respect to features, functionality, reporting capabilities, application delivery, and their overall value added benefits to organizations. However, even though the improved benefits ERP CRM solutions have brought to businesses deserve an applause, for most companies these powerful solutions have even more potential benefits that are just waiting for most companies to tap into.
Only a small percentage of businesses polled achieved the results they expected from their ERP CRM application investments and some were debating if their ERP CRM software implementation was a positive return on investment as it was difficult for them to measure if productivity improved at all. The cause for the unmet expectations that the ERP CRM software delivered was due to the fact that the ERP CRM software itself is only one piece of an implementation. What is often overlooked is the powerful impact the human factor has on an enterprise application as well as the state of a company's current business processes.
ERP CRM Software Challenges
The main driver for ERP CRM software not meeting expectations is the human factor. The bottom line is that users of the enterprise systems are simply not using the application correctly, or not using the application at all. User training and change management programs are important initiatives to put in place before an ERP CRM implementation process starts as user habits are tough to change. Users of the enterprise app are the key to successful with deployment. It's important not to assume that users will embrace new technologies, tools and business processes.
Another key factor for and ERP CRM implementation shortfalls is the lack of metrics established at the beginning to measure success or failure. Benchmarks and success metrics to measure against were not established and thus there is no baseline to compare results with. Business managers should determine the success criteria targets before an enterprise system is implemented which is also crucial in calculating a ROI analysis.
ERP CRM software implementations often fail to meet expectations because they lack the support and ongoing commitment from the company's executive team. Despite the high energy at the start of an ERP initiative, many times the enterprise application ends up being just a management reporting tool rather than an important business strategy that will have a major impact on the way the company operates and performs in the future with respect to sales, service levels, customer satisfaction and ultimately market position. ERP CRM software solutions should be welcomed and included in employee performance metrics throughout the organization versus on the bonus plan for only a few individuals in the IT department.
ERP CRM software apps are developed to increase business processes efficiencies and automate businesses processes that are low value. Valuable resources can be redirected focused on higher value, higher touch activities. ERP CRM solutions are not designed to fix broken business processes and broken operational strategies. Before an ERP CRM implementation even gets started, a company should know what their current businesses processes are and where they want them to be. Knowing this in detail will better ensure a successful implementation and also be critical in sourcing the right ERP CRM vendor and product for you organizations.
Top ERP Vendors
Who are the Top ERP Vendors?
ERP vendors and solutions have been multiplying with a slew new applications that are traditional on-premise ERP software applications or newer web-based software as a service, or SaaS, hosted apps. The newer technologies on the market have appealing, robust features and a company looking to find who the top ERP vendors are for their company needs to weigh the pros and cons of a newer, emerging application and vendor.
An ERP vendor and applications with a history and a track record to mitigate the concern that the company and hence its products will most likely be around to service the customer and update the applications in the future is a significant benefit that should be considered when looking for the top ERP vendors for your organization. That being said, a good place to start is to get a list of the top ERP vendors by user base or market share on the market today to get a benchmark of product features and services they offer.
A relatively new player in the ERP market is the software giant Microsoft. The focus of Microsoft ERP applications is towards the SMBs and Microsoft developer are refining and enhancing their solutions to form a customized fit with this market. Microsoft is no stranger to developing, marketing and distributing software products and along with their powerful solutions they have become one of the top ERP vendors literally overnight. Microsoft's offerings are quite well received in the market place and continue to increase their user base. A key driver adding to their popularity is the seamless compatibility with their Microsoft Office products and windows applications.
Oracle has been another one of the Top ERP vendors since the beginning. Their foundation in the ERP industry has strengthened considerably with their acquisition of PeopleSoft , the world leader in human resource ERP applications. On its own, before it joined forces with Oracle, PeopleSoft led the pack of the top ERP vendors for HR enterprise systems. Oracle continues to strengthen its strong position in the ERP marketplace with its acquisitions of leading ERP solutions.
Another leader on the list of top ERP vendors is the ERP giant SAP. SAP remains the ERP market share leader globally with companies around the globe with an almost 30 percent market share. Because of the surge of new ERP products and software on demand solutions over the last five years chipping away at market share, SAP is developing new applications that are more customizable to SMBs along with affordable web based applications that are extremely popular with small and medium businesses.
UPS ERP software is top ERP vendors that can integrate well with other ERP applications. This is an attractive benefit to customers because it could allow companies to take the best features and functionalities of ERP applications and offer a best of breed hybrid that best suits their organization.
Understanding who the top ERP vendors are today and what the leading ERP applications are offering is a good place to start when conducting your software selection due diligence with respect to features, functionality, implementation, cost and long term viability. New products, solutions and companies on the market can then be balanced with the solutions, deep pockets, and distribution muscle ERP market leaders.