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Sunday, April 29, 2012

4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing a Warehouse Management System

When selecting a Warehouse Management System, the surefire way to make the right choice is to put the research in up front. As you are researching and comparing solutions, there are some common mistakes to avoid that can make your research even more effective and your implementation a success:

Not Realizing the Full Benefits of Automation
Automating warehouse operations and related functions can save your organization considerable time and money. However, if you don’t also improve your current processes and ways of interfacing with RF-based hardware, accounting software, shipping systems, and warehouse equipment, automating your system won’t deliver the full return on investment you could achieve.

Not Quantifying All Benefits
It is difficult to calculate possible future gains such as increased productivity, better warehouse efficiency, improved customer service, and other factors after a new system has been successfully implemented. Remember, these types of benefits can dramatically improve your bottom line and should not be overlooked.

Going It Alone – Without Management Involvement
Top management and other key personnel within the organization must be involved in the selection and the implementation process. For the project to be a success, management needs to stay involved.

Assuming Automatic User Adoption
Many companies assume a well-designed system will operate at peak levels shortly after they make the purchase. The best system will not perform as expected until properly trained personnel have developed complete competency with the system. Allow users to gain confidence through a gradual process of operational ramp-up, including incremental training and system usage. Wait to introduce them to new and more complex system functions until they have mastered the basics.

Read more about this article by visiting the Advanced Distribution blog. Interested in learning about implementing an ERP or CRM system? Sign up for a free consultationwith Brown Smith Wallace Software4Distributors today.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Afraid That Cloud Software Will Drag You Down?

There are many businesses that fear using cloud solutions in their organizations. Security risks and downtime frequently come up as the top issues that discourage companies from adopting cloud technology. But really, how valid are these concerns?  Read more about the security of cloud solutions in this latest article from I.B.I.S. ...

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thinking of Keeping Your Homegrown IT Solution?

From the Epicor white paper, 9 Reasons to Retire Your "Homegrown" ERP Software Solution Before it’s Too Late.

In today’s complex business environment, it can be very challenging for in-house IT professionals to keep up with the pace of change necessary to sustain a competitive advantage.

Whether the homegrown IT system you have seems "fine" for now, or your company has developed strong loyalty to a custom-built solution, these options cannot offer you the level of protection and security of an outside enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.

ERP system installation is often thought of as the most risky, expensive, and disruptive investment a distributor can make in their business. However, you must also consider the inherent risks of a homegrown solution. When you argue against a potential system switch with costs, pain, and efficiency concerns, you should take a look at them as they exist in your current system.

Compared to a robust ERP system built by a well-established software provider, homegrown tends to be fragile and lacking in-depth support. And while a custom-built system may seem to offer control and flexibility, it may actually lock you into a suboptimal solution. Some basic questions to consider include: Read More...

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Pronto Software and Nike

Nike Australia partner Retail Prodigy Group has signed a deal to deploy Pronto Software’s latest enterprise resource planning and business intelligence solution, Pronto Xi Dimensions. Retail Prodigy Group holds a master franchise agreement with Nike in Australia, establishing three Nike only stores since July 2011.

To help drive its aggressive growth strategy, Retail Prodigy Group needed an integrated solution that offers business intelligence (BI) functionality and swift implementation.

Retail Prodigy Group has implemented a range of Pronto Xi Dimensions tools including financials, distribution, point-of-sale, CRM and IBM Cognos 10. The solution went live in Retail Prodigy Group’s Melbourne Central, Charlestown and Penrith stores in late 2011. It will also be deployed in additional stores scheduled to open in Queensland and New South Wales in the next three months.

Retail Prodigy Group’s General Manager Andrew McDonald said having a solution that brings together ERP transactions and BI Analytics in the one product is a key benefit.

“In retail, we need to be able to access and analyse good quality information for better decision making. Having had prior experience with Cognos, I knew it was a strong analytics tool that would deliver us this insight,” McDonald said.


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Sound of Big Data

From Epicor's Connected Enterprise blog:
McKinsey & Company’s report on Big Data puts it in sharp context:
“The ability to store, aggregate, and combine data and then use the results to perform deep analyses has become ever more accessible as trends such as Moore’s Law in computing, its equivalent in digital storage, and cloud computing continue to lower costs and other technology barriers. For less than $600, an individual can purchase a disk drive with the capacity to store all of the world’s music. The means to extract insight from data are also markedly improving as software available to apply increasingly sophisticated techniques combines with growing computing horsepower. Further, the ability to generate, communicate, share, and access data has been revolutionized by the increasing number of people, devices, and sensors that are now connected by digital networks.”
Many data management solutions exist, and organizations should weigh their specific needs and budget requirements when selecting one. According to the report, several key technology groups deserve special consideration due to their strong correlation with the performance benefits of speed, satisfaction, and scale.

The study shows that organizations with the highest level of data integration were much more likely to adopt the following technologies than their peers:
  • Business intelligence platforms
  • Data quality tools
  • Data enrichment tools
  • Master data management systems

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Providing Enterprise Collaboration Tools Employees Will Use

From CIO:

"Businesses are under pressure to enable collaboration beyond the corporate firewall as workers increasingly need to connect with remote colleagues as well as business partners, suppliers and consultants.

The challenge to IT departments is that many employees are turning to email and consumer-grade file-sharing services to get their work done and exposing the enterprise to risk in the process."


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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Customer Relationship Management: What Will The Next Five Years Bring?

From the Epicor blog...
"A while back, I read an interesting post from Lauren Carlson of Software Advice who interviewed several experts in the realm of CRM to compile the top 5 trends to watch in the realm of customer relationship management over the next 5 years.
They were as follows:
  1. The Rise of Content Services
  2. The Realization of Real-time Customer Intelligence
  3. TV as Customer Engagement Channel
  4. Continued Adoption of Unified Communications
  5. Gamification in the Business Realm.
This got me thinking – how many of these concepts could not only be applied to CRM, but to ERP and business as a whole?"


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Advanced Distribution Software: 4 Keys to Order Management Efficiency

Living in a digital age where information, goods and services can all be acquired at a moment’s notice has changed the expectations placed on every industry, but especially distributors.  Being able to deliver upon immediate requests puts the pressure on distributors to accelerate and automate order management.

According to supply chain industry specialist, Michael Hugos, “because of supply chain complexity and changing market demands, order management is a process that is evolving rapidly.”  In order to keep up with that evolution, he lays out four basic principles to help distributors adapt their order management:   Read more...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Epicor White Paper: ERP in Wholesale and Distribution

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has long been a key enabler for manufacturers to effectively run their businesses. Still, the efficiencies that come with a well implemented ERP strategy can be gained in many other types of organizations. Wholesalers and distributors, organizations that are often aligned with the goals of manufacturers, have a particular need for ERP. This sector Insight examines the ways in which leading wholesalers and distributors are integrating ERP into their daily operations. Download the material here.

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