The Value of Implementing an ERP for Professional Service Organizations

Leaders in the Professional Services industry can benefit from a modern cloud-based ERP system that enables them to provide a better service delivery methodology with employees that are prepared to provide customer support — transferring both timely response and expert quality.

To make significant impact in this ever-changing industry, it’s essential that organizations have a solid handle on project management, contract management, and accounting processes. Companies are able to create more efficient processes when they combine the management and oversight of multiple processes into one system. Implementation of a streamlined solution can ease daily tasks, while improving the ability of the entire work team. In the end, this means more efficient work.

By modernizing a company’s operational infrastructure, professional service firms are capable of breaking away from disparate practices and bringing together wide-ranging functionality into one fully integrated tool — imagine the advantage having both back-end and front-end processes accessible when working to innovate client projects.

Visibility

An ERP system enables the business to view data and insights across the entirety of the organization in one simple solution. Leadership will have dashboards that display the information needed to make decisions quickly and accurately.

Because the cloud-based system is updated regularly, there are no lapses that could provide the team with conflicting data. Real-time reporting keeps everyone on the same page — a perk that can eliminate issues and keep all employees “in the know” at every juncture. Drill down architecture enables employees to reach whatever details they are needing to transform their work function.

Accounting is integrated into the organization’s various departments; this means that finance can see where sales and marketing are focused and those working in these areas are able to attribute gain and loss to the area’s efforts.

Acumatica, an award-winning cloud-based ERP solution, tracks integrated performance with its ERP Solution for Professional Services Lead, including:

  1. Sales and purchase order management
  2. Service and support automation
  3. Project cost tracking
  4. Time and expense
  5. Material requirements

Customer Management

The more a company knows about its customer base, the better the employees can serve the clients’ needs. Likewise, the happier a customer is, the more loyal they will become. With this in mind, it’s essential that leaders engage state-of-the-art business software that can help them maintain a competitive advantage.

First is understanding who key clients are, and next is learning how to better capitalize on these money-making accounts. By studying purchases and needs, a company can better determine opportunities to retain, extend, and even up-sell whenever possible. An ERP system reveals shifts, whether negative or positive, which enables leadership to make decisions that can grow the company’s relationships — and, thus, its bottom line.

Real-time views provide not only leadership with understanding of where processes are successful or lacking, but also employees working at client locations. With access to Internet or Wifi and a smartphone, tablet or laptop, service technicians or consultants can provide up-to-the-minute insights to customers. This adds value to those who have face-to-face relationships with clients, enabling them to provide the best possible service — and become the company’s personal and accessible expert — and close deals quickly.

Project Pricing

Professional Services firms need to quote accurately and make sure they are able to come in at the projected amount. Employees who are working within a cloud-based ERP solution have the best chance of providing the best possible service.

An ERP solution enables consultants with detailed information around resource allocation, project budgets, and delivery dates. Tracking project actuals can assist in avoiding costly overruns, which can be a black eye for those responsible for project management.

With a system that provides insights and detailed project-based reporting, a team can fully understand a client’s profitability —both in past and current runs, as well as what the forecast is for future performance.

Professional Services employees know that the work they do today will reap rewards for future business. The best a company can do for its staff is arm it with the most advanced technology, which in turn enables their best and brightest to deliver results that exceed expectations and make working easier.

The Cloud Advantage

Implementing a cloud-based ERP solution is one of the best ways a business leader can prepare a Professional Services organization for the future. Modern technology can help a company to lead successful projects through even the most challenging timelines, on budget.

The first step is partnering to improve business capabilities and efficiencies, both of which are imperative to growth. At CCS Technology Group, we understand cloud expertise and how it can benefit Professional Services organizations. Interested in learning more? Read our testimonials and contact us to get started today!

Additional ERP Resources

Qualities to Look for in a Cloud ERP

How to Improve Efficiency with a New ERP Solution

What’s New in Acumatica 2019 R1

Don’t Click That Link! Protect Your Business Against Phishing Emails

The weak point in your information security strategy is your people. There’ll always be somebody who falls for a phishing email and clicks on a dangerous link. It’s important to take steps to block dangerous emails.

Phishing Techniques

All online phishing techniques send emails or texts that try to trick employees into allowing malware into your organization or to expose sensitive data. There may be a link to a malicious website masquerading as a legitimate site that prompts employees for login credentials. There may be an attachment that contains malware, including ransomware, that executes when the file is opened. Or the email can impersonate a legitimate contact and request information such as account numbers.

Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing. Rather than a generic email, these messages are targeted to specific employees and carefully crafted to be believable. CEO fraud uses an email that pretends to be from a senior executive and requests employees to make a financial transaction, such as transferring funds to the attacker’s account.

Learn more in Phishing 101: What it is, how it works and how to avoid it.

Protecting Against Phishing

Guarding against phishing requires both technology that attempts to block the phishing messages and dangerous websites, plus training that teaches employees to recognize them.

Technical Solutions

Antivirus software and spam filters can keep out malware, and web filtering can prevent users from connecting to known dangerous sites. All systems should be kept up to date with security patches. Data loss prevention software can help prevent data from being removed by unauthorized users. Use multifactor authentication to block hackers who’ve gained passwords.

Training Solutions

Perhaps the most important thing to know about training employees is that you need to train all your employees, including senior executives. Senior executives are frequently targets of phishing because their passwords grant access to sensitive systems.  Remind employees not to click on attachments from unknown senders, to double-check all URLs before clicking on them, and not to share their passwords via email.

Training isn’t a one-time process, either. New employees need to be trained, not just current employees. All employees need a periodic refresher. You can also consider periodically creating your own phishing email to test employees and identify personnel who need additional training.

Learn more in Different Kinds of Malware Need Different Kinds of Defenses

With more than 3 billion malicious emails sent daily, there’s a strong chance they’re landing in your employees’ inboxes frequently. Even the best employee can have a moment of carelessness or inattention that leads to a dangerous click, but proper employee training in conjunction with other information security measures can help minimize the risks and the consequences. CCS Technology Group provides security services that educate your employees and guard your systems from threats. Contact us to learn more about protecting yourself from phishing and other cyberattacks.

Additional Cybersecurity Resources

Closing the Most Common Cybersecurity Holes

Spoofing: What it is and how to avoid it

Why a Business Continuity Plan is Essential

The Differences Between Backups, Disaster Recovery, and Archiving Matter

Backup, disaster recovery, and archiving all create or use copies of data, but they have different purposes and objectives. We’ve talked before about how backup is not disaster recovery; backups are also not an archive solution.

Know the Purpose of Backups, Disaster Recovery, and Archiving

Here’s a quick reminder of the purpose of these three processes:

Backups Are Data Copies

Backups are simply data copies; that’s all. Backups don’t do anything to the original data, and the purpose of a backup is to be able to restore the original data if something happens to it. If a file is corrupted or accidentally deleted, it can be replaced with an undamaged copy.

Disaster Recovery Isn’t Just About Data

Disasters are almost any scenario that brings down systems in a data center, including equipment failures, fires, and weather conditions. Data may be damaged and need to be restored, but first you need to get servers and possibly entire data centers back online.

Archiving Preserves Data

Archives provide unchanged historic copies of data to meet legal and compliance requirements. Unlike backup files, which may be kept for only a short while, archives are kept for the long term. You need quick access to backup files in order to restore files rapidly and minimize the impact of lost data, but archives are not used by routine business operations and can be stored in low-cost, off-site locations. Working with an archive may require using special e-discovery software that can search through large data stores to find records relevant to a legal process.

Don’t Use A Backup Tool as an Archive Tool

It may seem that you can create your archive simply by keeping your backup tapes (or other backup media) instead of recycling them. That’s a shortcut that will create many problems in the long term. Backups aren’t tagged in any way, so searching them for data is difficult. In addition, backups don’t let you easily delete data.

Why would you delete data from an archive if the purpose of an archive is to preserve data? Storage costs money, so keep data only as long as legally required. There may also be legal or other risks if older records are exposed. Making sure data is preserved and deleted appropriately requires a workflow that backup tools can’t support.

Don’t Use an Archive Tool as a Backup or Disaster Recovery Tool

An alternative would be to take the opposite approach. If your archive contains all the copies of your data, why do you need separate backup and disaster recovery tools? Couldn’t you just extract the necessary data from the archive?

First, if your archive is kept on a lower tier of storage, retrieving and restoring data can’t happen as fast as you need during an outage. More important, archives simply aren’t built to manage a data restoration process, which requires getting a specific file from a specific location on a specific data.

Although they sound similar, backups, disaster recovery, and archiving are all unique processes that require distinct tools and strategies. CCS Technology Group can help you make sure you have the right solution in place to meet specific backup, disaster recovery, and archiving needs. Contact us to learn more.

Additional Business Continuity Resources

Understand the Different Cloud Options for Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategy

Don’t Lose Your Files to Ransomware

5 Changes to Make When You Switch to Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

KPIs for Manufacturing and ERP Software

No matter what the industry, an organization relies on measurements that provide perspective on performance, including both successes and challenges, for insights that can drive improved decision making. By reviewing these key metrics, business leaders can shift focus to improve efficiencies and boost profits.

Manufacturers work with a wide array of measurements, such as profit and loss, cash flow, production schedule compliance, inventory turns, to name a few. There are so many areas to consider, that the task can become overwhelming — it’s easy for business leaders to become buried in weighty reports, there’s a greater likelihood of missing important issues, and the result can prove disastrous for the company. Without providing clarity around the data, it can be a real information overload!

To keep focus, industries rely on a handful of measures that reflect the overall stability of the business. By collecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), decision makers are able to critique matters much more quickly. Modern ERP systems can track these metrics and present them in easy-to-read dashboard displays with graphics that provide real-time views.

Types of KPIs

Most ERP solutions will provide general “out-of-the box,” pre-defined KPIs, which provide the basics for businesses across various industries. There are different types of KPIs; some are financial, historical, while others are predictive and give a glimpse into future expectations.

Ideally, manufacturers will want to identify approximately 8 to 10 that reflect the work their company does. Some of these will relate to the work the entire company is doing — such as Inventory Turnover Ratio and On-time Delivery. It makes sense that individual departments or functions will also benefit from measurement that speaks to their focus. Executive dashboards provide detailed performance views that can drill down for more granular results.

Let’s look at a couple of KPIs that are standard for manufacturers:

Plan vs. Actual Hours and Cost

Interested in knowing how the plant is functioning? This KPI pulls data from various areas of the organization, which can reveal how processes and products can create differing scenarios and impact the company’s health.

Utilization and Capacity

Planning for optimum utilization of available resources can benefit an organization, even though “lean manufacturing” doesn’t place emphasis on this area — it instead centers on the basis that having idle equipment is better than overproducing or early production. Finding the right balance can mean lower costs, as well as improved performance in an array of areas, including completions, overtime and expediting, and reliability. A key benefit of a Work Center Dispatch KPI is visibility into what each location is working on and where processes stand.

Scheduled Production

Workflow and resource utilization greatly impact production schedules; this is an area an ERP Manufacturing Dashboard can assist with, combined with the Work Center Dispatch KPI. It also helps for manufacturers to understand which clients and products bring in the most profit — looking at profitability by customer/items, category, and item will reflect the best results. These insights help the business create distribution plans and budgets that impact the overall company strategy.

Putting KPIs to work

Data is only as good as those who are reading it. It’s essential that a company train its employees in what KPIs mean and how they relate to the work they are doing on a daily basis. With this approach, the staff will build a personal connection — think ownership — of the KPIs that they need to be most effective. Management should use these measures to make key decisions.

This isn’t a one-time process; KPIs need maintenance to stay relevant. Working this into the overarching management process will ensure that updates are made to reflect shifts in the environment, such as customer preferences and market changes.

Don’t expect to tax the IT team; today’s KPI dashboards are limber enough to roll with developing needs. User-friendly tools make updates and new reports an easy process. The dashboards are truly designed to simplify employees’ tasks. Being cloud-based also means that information can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device as long as Internet or WiFi is available.

Read more about how technology can create powerful, flexibile KPI systems in Acumatica’s white paper Key Performance Indicators for Manufacturing.

Getting Started

The first step toward better measurement is implementing a cloud-based ERP, while the pivotal part of the journey is finding a partner that offers understanding and various capabilities. CCS Technology Group is experienced in cloud expertise and enterprise resource planning to develop, implement, monitor, and support effective solutions.

We understand that the easier working is, the more freedom a company will have to achieve its goals. Read our testimonials and contact us to learn more about how to implement an effective cloud-based ERP system — we’re here to improve processes and efficiencies that can drive growth.

Benefits of Inventory Management Software for Your Distribution Company

Managing inventory in the most efficient and profitable way, is a top concern for companies across the globe. It’s essential that businesses are able to fully understand customer needs so they can make better decisions that impact ways inventory is handled. With cutting-edge technological developments, it’s becoming much easier for distributors to better manage inventory.

Through modern ERP software, organizations are able to improve customer service with real-time access to important information around inventory, as well as key data. Implementation of a cloud-based ERP system, allows companies to manage the distribution process efficiently and without losing track of costs.

Challenges Distributors Face

Visibility provides distributors a way to realize and understand inventory, which can impact supply chains. In this area, the entirety of the business revolves around receiving, replenishing, stocking, compliance labeling, processing customer service requests, tracking, reporting, and shipping, etc. By understanding the complexity of the inventory ecosystem, a business is able to set in place protocols that drive efficiency, which helps to reduce costs.

  1. What does the inventory look like? Knowing a business’ core (continuous, year-around) items and non-core items (seasonal merchandise), as well as the marketplace, enables companies to manage ordering. A company should know what’s in stock, what needs to be ordered, the quantity and shape of the order, as well as what gaps need to be filled.
  2. Has the business moved beyond outdated processes? Manual ways of doing business can add to the complexities of the work environment and deter a company’s growth. The first step forward is identifying where improvements are needed.
  3. Is the company keeping up with customer demand? When it comes to customer needs, it’s essential a business remains limber enough to respond to changes —- shifts can happen daily. A company is expected to keep abreast of customer needs by managing its inventory to meet demands, and those that do not risk losing out to the competition.

The ERP Advantage

An ERP system gives a real-time glimpse of the company’s inventory; distributors are no longer pressed to work with ambiguities in critical areas. Effective businesses will learn to keep a handle on costs as they manage both inventory and distribution processes.

Many businesses are challenged due to the sheer expanse of the business. Multiple warehouses often have location-specific inventory quantities, allocations, and costs. An ERP system that focuses on inventory management, helps companies to redistribute product from a central warehouse to other warehouses with ease, as well as granting rights to the various locations, so employees can access information and enter transactions in real-time.

The systems assign multiple valuation methods, so businesses can determine standard cost, moving average, FIFO (first-in, first out), and item-specific methods. Unique valuation methods can be attributed to each inventory item, while report and inquiry views help distributors make direct adjustments to cost and physical inventory counts.

Being able to know where each and every item is becomes exponentially easier with lot and serial numbers assigned on receipt, issue, or assembly. Costs can be managed with item-specific valuation methods associated to serial numbers — all of which makes tracking that much more effective.

Learn more in ERP for Distribution Companies.

Impacts on Distribution

Imagine the advantage of having access to warehouse information, including the ability to make updates in real-time. With a cloud-based ERP solution, distributors are able to modify and analyze inventory, as well as restrict access to inventory by item or warehouse. All business insights are accessible in the cloud-based system — employees are able to get secure access anytime, anywhere via smartphone or Internet-connected device.

Visibility gives the team the tools they need to make better decisions, faster. Drill-down reports and user- or function-specific dashboards reveal past actions and data that can help positively impact the future. With the entirety of the organization viewing real-time inventory levels and customer-specific pricing, the team is able to clearly communicate to customers. When customers are told the same insightful information from all parties, expectation is better managed; a company that honors contracts and successfully fulfills orders will have a better chance at gaining repeat customers.

A modern ERP that meets the needs of distributors can help to manage costs. Outdated spreadsheets become a thing of the past, as ledgers are automatically created from inventory transactions. It’s easy to see what goods have been sold, and also any inventory holding costs.

Another cost saving measure, is the benefit an ERP system brings to the actual workforce. There’s no longer a need for employees to perform time consuming data entry, which also helps to mitigate risk due to error. Default accounts can be set, reducing the amount of work the staff must do. The increased efficiency leaves time for distributors to focus on other areas of business that can drive growth and profit.

Implementing for the Future

The first step of the journey is realizing when a company is ready for a cloud-based ERP system. Acumatica Cloud ERP is an award-winning solution that offers Acumatica Distribution Edition. One of its many features is Advanced Inventory, which is designed to improve customer service and profitability.

Partnering for the future enables a business to improve capabilities and efficiencies, both of which are imperative to growth. CSS Technology Group brings cloud expertise to take a company into the next decade and beyond. Read testimonials and contact us to learn more about implementing a cloud-based ERP solution.

Here’s What It Takes to Succeed at Cloud

What does it take to succeed at cloud? You can have a successful migration to cloud and still not experience the benefits you expect. Truly succeeding at cloud begins with understanding the technology, having a strategy that aligns cloud use with business needs, and putting appropriate support teams and systems in place.

Understanding Cloud Technology

There are many different kinds of cloud, and you won’t succeed if you pick the wrong cloud model for your business. In addition to choosing from Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Platform as a Service clouds, you also need to decide whether you need a public cloud, a private cloud, or a hybrid cloud. You also need to decide whether you want to use a single cloud provider or create a multicloud environment leveraging multiple cloud providers. You need to know how cloud will fit into your end-to-end business workflows.

Along with understanding what cloud offers, you need to understand what cloud doesn’t offer. Cloud can free your team from much routine support, but cloud doesn’t free your team from responsibility. You’ll still need to make sure you have a way to monitor your infrastructure and have a backup strategy if there’s an outage (cloud is highly reliable, but all the big and small cloud providers have had incidents that impacted customers).

Cloud also doesn’t eliminate the need for you to implement security controls. The cloud provider protects the physical infrastructure and may implement patches, depending on the kind of cloud you’re using, but they do not completely protect applications and databases from unauthorized access. Your team needs to ensure appropriate configurations and roles are in place to keep private systems private. You need to continue to review logs to detect breaches.

Plan to Use Cloud Strategically

Cloud can be used simply to alleviate the burden on your IT team. It can also be used to provide business advantages, but that requires thinking strategically about using cloud rather than seeing it simply as a fix for technology challenges.

To create a cloud strategy, you need to understand how your current IT is limiting the business, whether they aren’t able to roll out new products and services quickly enough, there isn’t enough capacity to support demand, or other challenges.

Once you know the business problems, you can identify ways to leverage cloud to address these business needs. You can address these department-by-department or take a higher-level view and implement your cloud capability as a collection of services that can support multiple departments.

Put the Right Support in Place

Cloud changes how your technology team interacts with technology and how your end users interact with technology. You should anticipate reorganizing and retraining your technology team to provide them with the tools and skills to support the new cloud-based systems and resolve users’ problems. This may require hiring new staff or engaging a support organization that’s already deeply familiar with cloud.

How successful have you been integrating cloud technology into your organization? CCS Technology Group provides cloud services to help you understand cloud technology, develop your strategy for using cloud, and support your cloud effectively. Contact us to learn more about what it really takes to succeed with cloud.

Additional Cloud Resources

The Cloud Solutions Primer eBook

Calculating the ROI of Moving to the Cloud

5 Changes to Make When You Switch to Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

5 Tips for Getting the Best Results from a Managed Services Provider

There are many things to think through when you choose a managed services provider, and hopefully you select a provider that’s a good fit for your business. But don’t stop thinking about your managed services provider once you sign the contract. Think through how you’ll work with the provider so they can succeed in delivering services that help your business succeed.

1. Make sure you get the right services from the right provider

There are two ways to think about this. The right services are the services you need to address your business’s IT problems, whether it’s help with your network, cloud, desktop support, or security. You want to make sure you get the services you need from a provider that’s got the skills and experience to deliver them effectively. If your provider doesn’t have a background in a technology or service you need, you’ll be better off contracting with a second provider who does have that expertise, even if it means you add complexity to managing your providers.

2. Get clear about service delivery

It isn’t likely you’ll completely eliminate your internal IT team, so carefully define the boundaries around the work you’ll do yourself and the work you want the managed services provider to handle. If the contract didn’t define a detailed set of deliverables, have a meeting when the contract starts to spell out your expectations and address concerns. Along with this, carefully define the communications process so both you and the provider know how new requests will be handled and how you’ll work to resolve any problems.

3. Set metrics

You should have a plan for how you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of your managed services arrangement. Define metrics before the contract starts, and be sure to let the provider know. That way they can focus their efforts on the concerns that really matter to you. Don’t wait until the end of the contract to let the provider know if they aren’t measuring up. Do a periodic assessment and bring your concerns to them when there’s still time to make changes and get a positive result.

4. Treat the managed services provider as a member of your team

The more the provider knows about your business, the better they’ll be able to tailor the services they deliver to your business needs. While you may not want to give them all the details, if you give the provider information about your business problems and strategies, they’ll be able to give you better support that helps you meet long-term goals.

5. Let the provider do their job

Pay attention to what the provider delivers, but let them figure out how they want to provide the service. Managed services providers support many businesses, and they’ve most likely found a way of working that works for them as well as the clients they support. As long as they’re not doing something illegal, unethical, or disruptive to your business, you should focus on their results and not how they’re getting them.

CCS Technology Group is dedicated to providing top quality managed services to our clients. Contact us to learn how our team can help solve your business information technology challenges.

Additional Resources

6 Big Benefits from Using Managed Services

How Managed Services Make the Difference

Qualities to Look for in a Cloud ERP

Businesses in every industry and sector are looking for ways to improve efficiency and internal processes to boost growth and, ultimately, profits. Manufacturing and distribution are a couple of areas that are greatly realizing the benefits of a modern ERP solution.

A cloud-based system offers organizations state-of-the-art technology, which is revolutionizing the way professionals work. There are clear advantages that a cloud-based ERP can offer a business.

Top 7 Reasons to Adopt a Cloud-based ERP Solution

1. Budget Savings

Business leaders are often hesitant to move forward with an upgrade or first-time installation, as they worry about cost. There’s good news: moving to the cloud can actually save an organization money. In fact, according to Acumatica, a leading ERP provider, 82% of companies have cost savings when they move to the cloud.

While on-premise ERPs generally require a hefty startup cost, cloud-based systems should prove easier on the purse strings. Decision makers should plan to do some investigative work and steer clear of vendors that charge per user, as those fees can add up and the plan would prove more difficult to adjust as needs evolve. Acumatica, for instance, offers an unlimited number of users and is scalable, adjusting to what suits the customer without added cost.

2. Easy Implementation

Implementing a new system can be daunting, but moving to the cloud makes the process much easier. No longer are companies concerned with finagling servers, installing software, and hoping that the system works well with the supporting network.

A cloud-based system is housed off-premise and can be managed without straining internal employees. The IT department can then focus on much more important matters that can generate increased business and profits. Implementing a streamlined ERP solution that lives in the cloud will make employees’ lives easier, not create issues and more work.

3. Reliability

Business leaders are typically concerned with ensuring that any steps forward will not cause delays or slow down functionality. They can rest assured that cloud technology has been a steady piece of business management for a couple of decades; and it is now proving to be even more reliable than out-of-date legacy systems.

The key is to partner with a solid vendor that has proven results — ideally in the same industry that the company works in. Designate a team from the IT department, as well as those from other departments throughout the organization, to lead the project. They should read testimonials, interview other clients of top finalists, and, if possible, visit their offices to see the system at work.

4. Performance

It’s a common myth that working in the cloud brings with it slower results. Speed is not an issue with a modern ERP — today, cloud-based systems can compete or even beat out on-premise systems.

Improved connection speeds and other advancements in technology have paved a new way forward in the cloud computing ecosystem. While business leaders may express concerns around drops in efficiency and response, they can rest assured that today’s ERP systems are truly industry-best.

5. Easy Maintenance

On-premise ERPs are frustrating to the internal team, as they require server and local maintenance. When a business hosts its ERP solution, it is fully responsible for maintaining its upkeep, which can be extremely time consuming.

There’s also obvious risk of in-house management — if it goes offline there can be dramatic, and even devastating impact, to the operational side of the business. A cloud-based system mitigates the risk that comes with on-premise systems. The business will not be taxed with hiring additional staff to maintain a new server and see it through its ups and downs. Instead, the provider will handle all problems; an employee simply logs in and reports what is needed.

6. Security

The provider will also be able to provide the necessary security the system and business need. While concerns do loom about security in the cloud, it is much safer than most would think.

There are also steps that can be taken in-house, such as safe record-keeping. Make sure the company that is hired includes high standards of certification, compliance, and data backup and recovery. If it is determined that the ERP vendor’s efforts to ensure security aren’t adequate, boost an internal strategy to protect the business from cyber attacks.

7. 24/7 Access, From Anywhere

One of the best benefits of a cloud-based ERP is the opportunity to access important information and data at any time and from any location, as long as WiFi or a browser and Internet connectivity exists. This type of accessibility was unheard of until the past few years.

With this type of convenience, teams can work at full capacity in the field or remotely. Dashboards make function-centric visuals available at the touch of a button, giving the workforce an obvious advantage. Likewise, this frees leadership, which can move approvals along quickly. Customers will benefit as well, as the entire team will be working in real-time, offering consistent updates.

Join the Cloud, Today!

CSS Technology has the knowhow to take businesses into the future by streamlining process management, particularly for Small to- medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that are looking for an opportunity to improve efficiency. Put the power of a cloud-based ERP to work, in a cost-effective and effortless approach.

Contact us to find out more about how state-of-the-art technology can transform and prepare for growth.

Additional ERP Resources

ERP for Distribution Companies

How to Improve Efficiency with a New ERP Solution

How to Select an ERP Solution

ERP for Distribution Companies

Distribution companies are eyeing the future with a bold, new outlook. Modern ERP solutions are beginning to change the way these businesses operate. Cutting-edge, cloud-based software is changing the game in the way distributors operate — in what is known as one of the world’s most pervasive and complex industries.

By implementing cloud-based ERP software, companies are better able to manage supply chain and logistic activities, which includes warehouse management, inventory management, and order management (sales and purchase orders), and integrate these activities with the company’s financials and sales.

ERP software that is built for wholesale distribution leaders, can help drive business due to improved customer satisfaction, reduction in order times, and cost control across the entire supply and distribution chain.

Insurance for Supply Chains

Today’s business environment is very much a global one with bigger audiences, and further-reaching vendors hitting previously untapped markets. There is great reward for companies that are able to reach worldwide, but with that comes substantive risk.

Half of all businesses experience more than one supply chain disruption per year, and almost 55% of such events cost more than $25 million; further, one-in-five costing over $500 million, according to the International Risk Management Institute.

Needless to say, there are not many companies that could shoulder such a hit — most would end up shutting doors and closing up shop indefinitely. What should a company do? The best bet is to try to circumvent such an occurrence from the offset.  

Modern ERP software can help to prevent risky disruptions, keeping manufacturers armed with powerful analytics capabilities and data-driven insights that will help them to steer clear of trouble and costly mistakes.

Cross-Channel Visibility

Breaking down silos between work teams can prove beneficial to distribution companies; however, employees will need a data management system that can do the same. Bringing departments together connects partners, countries, cultures, and also currencies. Integrating software capabilities connects financial and operational matters in cross-border commerce with key metrics that can be viewed and digested via dashboards.

Transparency isn’t only beneficial to those working for the business, but also for customers and partners, as well. Relaying information to clients through fulfillment notifications before and after delivery is a great customer satisfaction strategy. Field work and remote reporting is on the rise, and companies that make working off-site easier will reap the benefits.

Mobile access requires all workers to be able to access inventory levels and include real-time updates that can add value for the entire team. All that’s required for mobile login is a Wifi signal or a browser that allows for Internet access. With this helpful feature, employees won’t feel tethered to their desks or limited by typical 9-to-5 office access, to complete tasks in a timely manner. It may make the difference in sealing a deal, beating out less agile competition.

Automate for Efficiency

Workforces that are optimizing to modern ERP systems will likely see an evolution in their internal competencies. Software such as this is created to make working easier. This means, staff will be able to learn how to benefit their job flow, using the time it saves to focus on other efforts that increase efficiencies and also grow the business.

Distribution includes many moving parts — manufacturing and safely delivering product doesn’t have to be a cumbersome, manual process. That’s now a thing of the past!

Thanks to automatic notifications, processes move much more smoothly. An ERP system is fast at work to ensure that all is optimized and products are moving through the supply chain efficiently. A new sale or return sets matters in motion with data transmitting to the appropriate parties for follow up or sign off. Everything is documented within the system, so users and departments can be tracked or identified as need be.

Seamlessly defining data and having it readily available to be be shared across various operational areas moves a company’s performance leagues above those that are not working with an ERP solution.

Getting Started

Realizing when a company is ready for a cloud-based ERP is the first step of the journey. The award-winning Acumatica Cloud ERP offers its Acumatica Distribution Edition, which includes Advanced Inventory, Requisition Management, Purchase Order Management, Warehouse Management System, and Advanced Financials. The system integrates fully with Acumatica’s CRM, Manufacturing, Field Service, and Project Accounting software —- providing clear visibility across the complete business.

The ideal partner should understand a company’s capabilities, as well as how to improve efficiency to optimize growth. CCS Technology Group brings cloud expertise, developing, implementing, monitoring, and supporting effective cloud-based solutions.

Read testimonials and contact us to learn more about implementing a cloud-based ERP solution that will take your company into the next decade and beyond!

Calculating the ROI of Moving to the Cloud

Streamlining resources and investing in the valuable time a company spends around efficiency means increase in the valuable time employees have to perform substantive work. This can also lead to a reduction in paperwork that can, otherwise, be redundant at most. The implementation of ERP software can smooth processes within a business, improving the overall ROI (return on investment) of an organization.

With an automated control system that enables businesses to manage core processes around finance, human resources, services, etc., a business can contribute to the increased efficiency of the workforce by utilizing time more effectively. While the thought of implementation of an ERP system may raise brows across the finance department, it’s important to remember that such a system also can greatly benefit a company’s bottom line.

Here are a handful of the ways an ERP system can improve ROI for businesses.

Information Sharing

ERP software is built on a single platform, which can be used to monitor various databases controlled by different departments throughout the organization. Users benefit from this integration because it allows better decision making that enables business professionals to improve operations.

Conversely, when data is hosted in multiple platforms, overseeing and managing the system becomes more difficult. When approached in this way, data must be collected and then used to generate reports and data-driven analytics. While the process is much more involved, and requires more time, making an integrated system significantly much more desirable.

Efficiency

Updating and managing data for different functions across an organization can cost a lot of money. It’s an exhausting task that involves a lot of effort from staff, who can be responsible for submitting duplicate entries or various other manual mistakes that can hit a company’s profits.

An ERP system provides a platform that helps to reduce human intervention — and with this, it also helps to eliminate mistakes that can cost the company considerable amounts of money. Savings on the financial side also help to protect resources; employees who are working in better systems with safeguards to protect against error typically have a better work quality and happiness in their positions. Employees that are dedicated to learning a system and working in it are able to fine-tune processes and increase ROI. It’s understandable that ROI will increase over time, due to the performance of the ERP system.

Learn more in How to Improve Efficiency With a New ERP System.

Data and Governance

ERP software has many benefits — the most obvious is that it brings up-to-the-minute results in real time. Information is available to the entirety of the company, on premise, working virtually or in the field. Platform security provides access to reliable data, which allows both leadership and staff to make the most educated of decisions at a moment’s notice. The more agile a company, the better it will perform.

Cloud-based ERP systems offer another significant advantage: mobility. No matter where employees are located, they are each able to access information anytime and anywhere a Wi-Fi or mobile internet connection is available. With personalized dashboards, individuals or departments are able to see insights that reflect the current ecosystem of the business; views are determined by the user and also the functions they serve.

Inventory Management

With an ERP there are an array of areas that can be better managed, such as production, distribution, warehousing, and more. Keeping track of the activities in these areas, through an ERP system, can provide a company with timely information on inventory; for instance, what is in stock, on the way, or needed.

When inventory is under control, there are fewer shortages or interruptions that can cause issues with efficiency. Through insightful enhancements, the software enables businesses to plan future production well in advance.

Cost Reduction

Operating costs can be cut considerably when an ERP is in use. When implementation is given ultimate consideration it is able to perform functionality that can elevate the work a team does. Procurement and payment tools help to reduce material cost, while the software also easily handles improvement around staff allocation in efforts to reduce overtime and labor costs, and additionally knocking down incurred administration costs and other regulatory compliances.

It’s a collection of information that helps to improve ROI for a company, and implementing an ERP system will help to bring results sooner. Look forward to running a more organized business, reducing needed processes such as manual data entry, etc. — all of these points can help business leaders to reduce wasted time and money.

Getting Started

Understanding a business is ready for a cloud-based ERP is only the first part of the journey; the remainder is finding a partner that offers understanding of various capabilities, as well as how to implement efficiently. CCS Technology Group combines its cloud expertise with business continuity insight to develop, implement, monitor, and support effective cloud-based solutions.

Acumatica’s Modern CFO ERP Buyer’s Guide offers ERP insights for business leaders who are ready to take their company into the modern technological age. The easier working is, the more freedom a company will have to achieve its goals. Read testimonials and contact us to learn more about how to implement a cloud-based ERP system to improve processes and efficiencies that can jumpstart a company’s ROI.

Additional Cloud Resources

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