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ERP can bring great value to your company by providing a way for you to integrate all of the data that exists across the various departments in your company.

ERP Software

Course Notes from ERP 101 (Part 5b)

In order to discern which particular modules will most effectively streamline the business processes of a particular company, it is oftentimes useful to sample the historical data of particular software functions to realize which functions of the ERP solution will grant the most readily accessible and important data. This method allows organizations to gain a degree of insight into the many modules and sub-modules and their specific forms and functions.

Standard utilitarian concerns for an ERP system include ease of use, integration/implementation time to get the system operating, quality of literature and training regarding the product, as well as scalability and potential for growth. All of these factors should be researched with a particular vendor to determine if its product will truly be useful in a timely manner.

ERP can bring great value to your company by providing a way for you to integrate all of the data that exists across the various departments in your company. Various vendors exist for companies to seek ERP solutions, all depending on the size of customer’s company. This overview has provided a very brief look of some of the vendors that are out there, taking a sampling from across all of the tiers. The enterprise tier was examined in full. Other vendors offering viable solutions exist in the other tiers. Those seeking an ERP solution in the lower tiers are encouraged to poke around ERP.com to discover the wealth of additional solutions that abound.

NetSuite. Gartner has named NetSuite as one of the few pure cloud ERP vendors out there and as a viable option in certain cases.

ERP Software

Course Notes from ERP 101 (Part 5a)

NetSuite. Gartner has named NetSuite as one of the few pure cloud ERP vendors out there and as a viable option in certain cases. The company has over 6000 customers and offers modules for financials, accounting, payrolls and more. Its ERP suite integrates with its CRM offering. The company characterizes itself as offering an ERP cloud. Its real-time dashboard integrates business information from across the company and can be personalized for each employee. By using a web-based approach, it makes ERP more accessible and easy to use for smaller companies.

Although there are several different criteria to consider when selecting a vendor, the selection process that is ideal involves having a vendor bring in its trainer, and not sales representative, for a live demonstration of components which are as similar to an enterprise as possible. This way, organizations will be able to simulate their product while talking to a trainer who will be of continual use to a company, as opposed to a sales rep who is trying to expedite the sales process. Expect to pay for a trainer’s time, however, as any other company (which has previously purchased the vendor’s ERP) has already done.

Additionally, to determine the most advantageous EPR vendor it becomes necessary to have a team of as many employees, ideally from each of the respective departments that will be incorporated into the ERP, as possible to voice the respective needs of the separate entities which the ERP solution will link. The involvement of these various employees will help organizations ascertain the full amount of benefits, features, and potential costs that such a system will enable. This team should be headed by a selection manager who acts as an intermediary between the vendor and the prospective enterprise.

Continued in part 5b

Enterprises have also taken the lead on social media, in part because of greater customer brand awareness and consequently their focus on projecting and protecting it. Midsize companies are behind them as they are still trying to figure out this channel.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast as Your Customers? (Part 8b)

Contact centers are key conduits for customer interactions in both B2C and B2B environments. They may represent the only opportunity for customers to interface with companies. Customers’ impressions of firms are often shaped by their experiences with self-service tools and live agents. Unfortunately, many companies often neglect their contact centers, treating them as cost centers rather than as strategic assets.  To an extent, this is understandable: these operations are costly. Then again, losing dissatisfied customers is also expensive.

To lower costs, most firms have deployed IVR systems to divert customers from interacting with live agents, but too often these installations have been made with little regard to customer usability—with complex, hierarchical menu structures.  Customers often experience long queues before reaching agents, as well as delays while agents toggle between apps. Often, information entered into the automated IVR must be repeated. Agents themselves may be poorly selected, trained and coached.

The ROI is there from contact center investments to address these issues and deliver a better customer-retaining-and-attracting customer experience. They enable the smarter approach to CRM by improving the customer experience while enhancing productivity. IVR improvements (including deploying speech recognition applications) encourage customers to stay in the automated channel. Web chat, when deployed properly, can provide highly personable and productive service. With it, an agent can handle multiple interactions at the same time. Skills-based routing to well-trained and managed agents permits high-quality, individualized service, while workforce management tools enable managers to efficiently schedule these employees. Agent performance optimization (APO) tools shorten calls, lower costs, and, more importantly, improve the overall customer experience, bolstering customer satisfaction and retention. Automated outbound notification tools give customers insight into important changes like fraud alerts or service delays.

Continued in Part 9

 

Improved CRM techniques enable business leaders to mine data for customer insights and present appealing offers in real time.

CRM Software

Can Your CRM Evolve as Fast  as Your Customers? (Part 8a)

In today’s economic environment, there are no new, big untapped markets of affluent consumers, businesses, governments or institutions. Consequently, business managers have to find ways to grab bigger wallet share from current customers—while they retain those customers—and/or go after competitors’ customers or expand into markets in other countries. Improved CRM techniques enable business leaders to mine data for customer insights and present appealing offers in real time.

Whereas many business leaders are working with their IT counterparts in midsize companies to consider embracing Cloud CRM solutions, overall they have been lagging behind small companies and enterprises in their current use of them. Moreover, the adoption of CRM solutions has been lower on their priority lists than data storage or database management applications. While enterprises have embraced CRM for B2B and B2C, midsize outfits have largely employed CRM solutions as B2B sales force automation applications. The chief reasons are their cost and complexity. Consumer-based CRM applications require high contact-center functionality, spread out over many more users (agents and supervisors), in order to interact with customers over multiple live and self-service inbound and outbound channels.


Continued in Part 8b

 

Customer service is expensive. Ironically, since interaction with customers is the source of nearly 100% of most companies’ revenue, enterprises still need to streamline the process. Before the sale. During the sale. And long after the sale.

ERP Software

Putting the emphasis on“Relationships” with Cloud CRM

That’s one of the strong appeals of a solid CRM system, now made vastly more attainable with Cloud CRM, pay-as-you-go models. As companies grow, as especially as they move more and more commerce to the Web, contact volumes grow exponentially, straining resources and, if not attended to, setting the stage for Brand Disaster. That’s when it makes sense for online sellers to turn to a Cloud CRM platform to help keep a lid on costs of customer service operations while dramatically improving the customers’ perception of service at the same time.

There are several different components within the on-demand system that maximize customer-facing personnel efficiency and help to improve service, build relationships, and increase revenues. Here are five Cloud CRM initiatives you can undertake to upgrade service and save money.

Build a Knowledge Base. Setting up a single knowledge base to store answers to common questions, accessible instantaneously to all customer can have a dramatic effect on their ability to resolve problems quickly and consistently.

Promote Web Self-service. Giving customers direct access via the website to put questions to the knowledge base and find answers can dramatically decrease the number of e-mail inquiries coming into your customer service center.

Online chat. The ability to have service agents and specialist advisors engage in private online chats with customers helps resolve problems more quickly and increases the value of those customers’ purchases.

Social media. Tapping into social networks such as Twitter and Facebook encourages customers to help each other. Monitoring these online conversations allows the company to identify emerging problems.

Mobile. The next frontier will be putting customer care onto mobile platforms, helping customers make the most of online shopping from the palms of their hands.

Social media, in particular, has great potential to engage with customers and find out what’s on their minds. Years ago, companies might spend a considerable sum in research efforts to tap into what customers are thinking. Now that information is free if you’ll take the time to listen to the chatter online.  Best practices dictate that some number of a company’s CSR’s should be engaged in social media, and that the knottiest issues are automatically escalated to a CRM team that includes representatives from marketing, legal, HR and management. Why such firepower? This is an environment where every customer is an everyman, out there for all others to watch and relate to as he or she interacts with the Corporation—you!! Create the wrong impression, it could be a bad brand experience; do the right thing and it reverberates across the Internet.  It can sometimes take courage to engage so directly with customers, but the results can be worth it, especially when companies realize that there is so much to learn from interactions with customers in this way.

Companies that use Cloud CRM for competitive advantage, to get closer to their customers and to build relationships with them will be the ultimate winners.

Customer service is expensive. Ironically, since interaction with customers is the source of nearly 100% of most companies’ revenue, enterprises still need to streamline the process. Before the sale. During the sale. And long after the sale.

ERP Software

Putting the emphasis on“Relationships” with Cloud CRM

That’s one of the strong appeals of a solid CRM system, now made vastly more attainable with Cloud CRM, pay-as-you-go models. As companies grow, as especially as they move more and more commerce to the Web, contact volumes grow exponentially, straining resources and, if not attended to, setting the stage for Brand Disaster. That’s when it makes sense for online sellers to turn to a Cloud CRM platform to help keep a lid on costs of customer service operations while dramatically improving the customers’ perception of service at the same time.

There are several different components within the on-demand system that maximize customer-facing personnel efficiency and help to improve service, build relationships, and increase revenues. Here are five Cloud CRM initiatives you can undertake to upgrade service and save money.

Build a Knowledge Base. Setting up a single knowledge base to store answers to common questions, accessible instantaneously to all customer can have a dramatic effect on their ability to resolve problems quickly and consistently.

Promote Web Self-service. Giving customers direct access via the website to put questions to the knowledge base and find answers can dramatically decrease the number of e-mail inquiries coming into your customer service center.

Online chat. The ability to have service agents and specialist advisors engage in private online chats with customers helps resolve problems more quickly and increases the value of those customers’ purchases.

Social media. Tapping into social networks such as Twitter and Facebook encourages customers to help each other. Monitoring these online conversations allows the company to identify emerging problems.

Mobile. The next frontier will be putting customer care onto mobile platforms, helping customers make the most of online shopping from the palms of their hands.

Social media, in particular, has great potential to engage with customers and find out what’s on their minds. Years ago, companies might spend a considerable sum in research efforts to tap into what customers are thinking. Now that information is free if you’ll take the time to listen to the chatter online.  Best practices dictate that some number of a company’s CSR’s should be engaged in social media, and that the knottiest issues are automatically escalated to a CRM team that includes representatives from marketing, legal, HR and management. Why such firepower? This is an environment where every customer is an everyman, out there for all others to watch and relate to as he or she interacts with the Corporation—you!! Create the wrong impression, it could be a bad brand experience; do the right thing and it reverberates across the Internet.  It can sometimes take courage to engage so directly with customers, but the results can be worth it, especially when companies realize that there is so much to learn from interactions with customers in this way.

Companies that use Cloud CRM for competitive advantage, to get closer to their customers and to build relationships with them will be the ultimate winners.

In essence, the concept behind the advancement of the ERP Industry was to take the many departments that make up a company and join them together in order to streamline management and operations.

ERP Software

The ERP Industry and How it Evolved, Part 2a

Once the purchasing department was able to buy materials based on real-time information entered by employees working in the warehouse and once the ordering department could put out the news that new materials needed for the start of a new project had arrived, and once a boss was able to determine how many workers would be needed at each station on any given day, while at the same time accounts payable was able to ask for payment when the shipment was ready, then companies understood in a different way that the data from every department does affect the rest of the departments within the company, and that working together produced more profit than when each department worked separately, almost at cross-purposes.

In essence, the concept behind the advancement of the ERP Industry was to take the many departments that make up a company and join them together in order to streamline management and operations. This third stage of software allowed for information to be collected and processed into a central system that enables seamless communications between departments, management, suppliers, and even customers. Evolving out of the manufacturing industry, ERP software systems began to include software for manufacturing, order entry, accounts receivable and payable, general ledger, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, and human resources. ERP modules then continued to develop with the added property of being able to interface with a business’ already owned software with varying degrees of effort.

One of the greatest benefits seen from the development of ERP as a major software strategy was the elimination of effort being duplicated within a company.

ERP Software

The ERP Industry and How it Evolved, Part 2b

One of the greatest benefits seen from the development of ERP as a major software strategy was the elimination of effort being duplicated within a company. The ERP industry made it possible for company data to be entered only once permitting every department the right to use this same important information in a standardized way. This resulted in more productivity and reduced costs.

ERP software solutions are applications which will break down communication barriers and technological barriers, plus allow for information sharing by the employees of a business as well as by partners and investors. ERP software solutions are also used to better manage and organize specific operations such as: intelligence, scheduling, database management, data governance, e-procurement, and database management. These solutions also enhanced better decision-making.

It is believed that the ERP industry revolutionized business in its ability to cut down costs, improve efficiency, and generate a much higher quality of work. So even though, clearly, the bigger a company is, the more it needs an Enterprise Resource Planning Software Solution the industry did evolve so that in 2012 there are ERP software solutions for companies on both sides of the spectrum and all of them in between.

 

 

One of the greatest benefits seen from the development of ERP as a major software strategy was the elimination of effort being duplicated within a company.

ERP Software

The ERP Industry and How it Evolved, Part 2b

One of the greatest benefits seen from the development of ERP as a major software strategy was the elimination of effort being duplicated within a company. The ERP industry made it possible for company data to be entered only once permitting every department the right to use this same important information in a standardized way. This resulted in more productivity and reduced costs.

ERP software solutions are applications which will break down communication barriers and technological barriers, plus allow for information sharing by the employees of a business as well as by partners and investors. ERP software solutions are also used to better manage and organize specific operations such as: intelligence, scheduling, database management, data governance, e-procurement, and database management. These solutions also enhanced better decision-making.

It is believed that the ERP industry revolutionized business in its ability to cut down costs, improve efficiency, and generate a much higher quality of work. So even though, clearly, the bigger a company is, the more it needs an Enterprise Resource Planning Software Solution the industry did evolve so that in 2012 there are ERP software solutions for companies on both sides of the spectrum and all of them in between.

 

 

In essence, the concept behind the advancement of the ERP Industry was to take the many departments that make up a company and join them together in order to streamline management and operations.

ERP Software

The ERP Industry and How it Evolved, Part 2a

Once the purchasing department was able to buy materials based on real-time information entered by employees working in the warehouse and once the ordering department could put out the news that new materials needed for the start of a new project had arrived, and once a boss was able to determine how many workers would be needed at each station on any given day, while at the same time accounts payable was able to ask for payment when the shipment was ready, then companies understood in a different way that the data from every department does affect the rest of the departments within the company, and that working together produced more profit than when each department worked separately, almost at cross-purposes.

In essence, the concept behind the advancement of the ERP Industry was to take the many departments that make up a company and join them together in order to streamline management and operations. This third stage of software allowed for information to be collected and processed into a central system that enables seamless communications between departments, management, suppliers, and even customers. Evolving out of the manufacturing industry, ERP software systems began to include software for manufacturing, order entry, accounts receivable and payable, general ledger, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, and human resources. ERP modules then continued to develop with the added property of being able to interface with a business’ already owned software with varying degrees of effort.

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