7 Benefits of CRM Software (That’s Integrated with ERP)

Everyone knows that “The customer is always right.” However, in a lot of businesses, there are two big difficulties with this piece of wisdom: They don’t know quite who their customers are and they may not have a good feel for what the customer wants or thinks. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions offer a way to stay in touch with customers and keep them engaged for ongoing revenue growth.

These solutions, which started out as glorified digital rolodexes, now enable highly sophisticated sales forecasting capabilities, customer support, and marketing management. They also integrate with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions—potentially giving everyone in the business a clear picture of the customer at any given point in time. With that in mind, here are 7 benefits of adopting CRM, especially when it’s integrated with ERP:

1. Improve customer relationships

This sounds pretty basic, but it’s one of the most important elements of a growing business. CRM gives your team the tools to be in touch with key accounts and stay engaged with them as their needs evolve. With CRM, you can instantly get a complete view of the customer, including proposals and orders in progress, new leads within accounts, customer service history and more.

2. Manage sales more effectively

CRM gives sales managers a total overview of customer accounts. Sales reps can use the CRM solution to create opportunities and build sales forecasts, one customer at a time. CRM creates accountability in the sales team, with the potential to drive revenue growth.

3. Understand the effectiveness of marketing campaigns

CRM solutions usually have marketing campaign execution capabilities, though in many cases, separate marketing systems integrate into CRM. Either way, marketing and sales managers can use CRM to track which marketing initiatives are creating sales prospects. And, of these prospects, which become accounts. Thus, CRM offers a way to show Return on Investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns. It measure how well marketing money is being spent.

4. Establish and maintain customer master data

Customer data, especially for accounts with multiple locations and contacts, can easily get disaggregated. With duplicates and missing data, customer data management and communication suffers. CRM gives your company a standard master data record for each customer.

5. Grow sales with quote-to-order capabilities

CRM, when connected to ERP and outfitted with quote-to-order functionality, lets all relevant stakeholders in the sales and order delivery process to know exactly how a particular customer relationship is doing with regard to orders. You can also keep customers in the loop on issues with quotes, e.g. delays in the supply chain that might affect an order.

6. Get better at upselling and cross-selling

With CRM, sales team members can be given suggestions on cross-sell and upsell, e.g. adding a service contract to sale of a product. Sales managers can also then track how well reps are doing at cross-sell and upselling.

7. Deliver better customer service

The customer support module is often activated when companies deploy CRM. Doing so provides mutual visibility between sales and support, which can be helpful in maintaining good customer relationships. For example, if customer support gets a seemingly minor issue from a customer, they can see on CRM that it’s a multi-million dollar account, so it deserves a high priority. Or, if a sales rep is calling on an account, he or she can use CRM to see existing support tickets.

We have worked with many companies on the implementation of CRM solutions, both on a standalone basis and as part of an extended ERP system. To learn more about CRM or see a demo, please visit our CRM page.

Additional CRM Resources

Which CRM solution is right for your organization?

4 ways a CRM helps you improve customer relationships

3 different approaches to CRM systems

Take These Steps to Avoid Expensive Ransomware Recovery Costs

Recovering from ransomware has cost affected entities millions of dollars—Baltimore spent more than $18 million to bring systems back to their normal state. To avoid budget-crushing costs, it’s imperative to defend against attacks and have a plan for responding to incidents.

Understand the Scope of the Needed Defenses

There isn’t a single measure you can take that will be effective against all ransomware, any more than there’s a single measure that will block all other kinds of malware. Defending against ransomware begins by understanding that defenses need to be widespread. Do a review of your data to identify the most vulnerable and most valuable so you can focus your efforts where you’ll gain the most benefit. Similarly, conduct a review of your network architecture to ensure the most important applications are isolated from the wider network.

Get Your Backups Ready

You can prevent some files from being corrupted by ransomware by setting filesystem permissions, but restoring from backups is often the only way possible to recover from a ransomware attack. It’s crucial that you ensure your backup procedures work. Make sure your backup scripts cover all critical systems, and run a test to ensure you know how to correctly restore a server. Keep a copy of the backup that isn’t connected to networked devices in order to prevent ransomware from accessing the storage.

Learn more in Don’t Lose Your Files to Ransomware.

Block Dangerous Software from the Network

If you can keep ransomware out of your network, you’ll never have to attempt to restore from backup. If you’re behind on installing patches, catch up now, and put a process in place to keep you up to date. Ensure firewalls, blacklists, and mail server filters prevent potentially risky files from reaching end users.

Protect User Devices

Take steps to prevent ransomware from spreading and limit the number of affected files if it reaches user devices. Turn off file sharing and disable Windows PowerShell and Windows Script Host. In Microsoft Office, disable macros. Ensure antivirus software is installed and do scheduled full scans. Don’t allow applications to run from App Data folders.

Train Users

Your users are your final backstop against attacks on your network. Train them on good computing practices in general, including recognizing and avoiding phishing attacks. Make sure users know who to contact in case of any suspicious email contacts. Users should know how to disconnect their device from the network and be taught to do so in case of a suspected ransomware incident. Learn more about creating an information security culture.

Ransomware is just one of the many cybersecurity threats businesses need to defend against. It’s important to develop a comprehensive, multilayered security strategy that offers comprehensive protection. Contact CCS Technology Group to learn about how our security services offer protection against ransomware and other information security threats.

If you’re serious about protecting your company – and you should be – there’s a two-pronged approach that will stop most ransomware dead in its tracks. You need solid employee education, and you need the right technical tools.
To find out how, download our guide: Ransomware 101 Guide.

Additional Information Security Resources

Discover the Dangers of the Dark Web

The Key Features to Look for In Your Firewall

6 Ways to Keep Your Cloud Secure

New Year, New Cloud Choices and Challenges

The new year brings new technology capabilities and new technology challenges. Here are some cloud challenges and choices you should be prepared for in 2020:

Multicloud and hybrid cloud become strategic decisions

Although adopting cloud was a difficult choice for many businesses, today cloud is an almost automatic decision. Because many businesses started small with cloud, their IT infrastructure is often a hybrid IT mix of cloud and on premises systems. Because many departments adopted cloud independently, their IT infrastructure is often a mix of different cloud vendors. Up until now, those mixtures of technology have often been the unintentional result of separate decisions. In order to get the most benefit from cloud, hybrid IT and multicloud architectures need to become strategic choices, evaluated for how they can integrate and work together to deliver the IT capabilities the business needs.

Learn more in What it Takes to Succeed at Cloud.

Cloud security is a business priority

When cloud was first introduced, many were hesitant to use it because of concerns about data security. After it became clear that cloud security is often better than on premises security, many businesses began to rely on their cloud provider for data security. But businesses need to recognize that the data security implemented by the cloud provider does not provide a complete data security solution that meets business needs and multiple cloud solutions can mean inconsistent, incomplete security controls. Businesses need to make their own efforts to ensure data is properly protected in the cloud.

Learn more in 6 Ways to Keep Your Cloud Secure.

Having a cloud in your data center is a viable, defensible technology architecture

After deciding you want a cloud, you have to decide where you want it. This is no longer simply a matter of choosing your public cloud vendor. Private clouds are getting easier to implement, with tools such as Microsoft Azure Stack making it simpler to build a private cloud on premises. Security considerations as well as concerns about growing public cloud costs mean a private cloud deserves serious consideration.

Build workloads with portability in mind

The multicloud approach means there’s a need to move workloads between providers; the need to avoid cloud vendor lock-in also creates portability concerns. To achieve this, businesses need to balance the benefits of proprietary libraries and APIs against the portability concern. Technology teams need to leverage containers and other technology to make deploying on multiple platforms easier.

Because of the complexities of cloud, it’s always a good idea to get help from an experienced partner. Contact CCS Technology Group to learn how our cloud services can help you get the most out of your cloud in 2020.

ERP Selection Tips for Manufacturers

Chances are, if you’re in manufacturing, you already have software to manage your operations. It may be time, however, to think about updating that system. With competitive trends accelerating and customer preferences evolving relentlessly, manufacturers are under pressure to adapt and become more agile and better at what they do. New cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like Acumatica give you capabilities that easily translate into improvements in efficiency, quality and profitability. With that in mind, here area few selection tips for selecting the right manufacturing ERP solution.

Table Stakes

Any worthwhile modern ERP solution will have certain core features. Think of them as “table stakes” to be in the manufacturing software game. These include having a cloud-hosting option and the accompanying flexibility the cloud enables. Cloud computing gets you out of the capital investment (CapEx) you’re accustomed to with on-premises solutions.

A modern manufacturing ERP should also be extensible, with the ability to integrate with other systems using standards-based APIs. Mobility is a given, as is deep data management and analytics capabilities. Security is also “table stakes,” especially considering the emerging risks facing Operational Technology (OT) SCADA systems that may be linked to operational management systems like ERP.

Manufacturing ERP Selection Factors

Assuming the system you have in mind meets the table stakes, consider the following factors when making your selection:

  • It allows you to make decisions with visibility and collaboration. You should be able to use the ERP solution for internal collaboration as well as for coordinating processes with supply chain vendors and customers.
  • A good manufacturing ERP enables you to bring complex, customized products to market in a rapid cycle; it facilitates, rather than hinders, the adoption of new manufacturing methods and technologies.
  • You can manage resources and inventory to keep costs under control and minimize the amount of cash you tie up with inventory.
  • It offers powerful but flexible master production planning and control.
  • The solution handles complexity in the lifecycles of your various products, e.g. multiple versions, revisions, updates, end-of-life, etc.
  • It can easily handle complex product structures that generate Bills of Material (BOMs) with multiple levels.
  • You can set up and implement detailed routings that include processes that occur off of your shop floor.
  • Production scheduling is flexible.
  • Configuration management is easy to use.
  • You can use market data reporting to anticipate supply and demand for materials and finished goods.
  • Cost reporting is fine-grained enough to allow for rigorous cost management and cost cutting that doesn’t negatively affect product quality.
  • BOM costing and production costing allow for roll-up to design and production planning.
  • You can allocate overhead flexibly, by product, product line or business unit.
  • It integrates with the accounting system, including for multiple entities.
  • You can create production orders that track costs for materials, labor and materials as well as overhead that’s either fixed, variable or both.
  • You can integrate with Customer Resource Management (CRM) for sales tracking.
  • It provides Quote-to-Order-to-Invoice capabilities.

This may look like a long list, but it’s really just a sampling of what you should be looking for in a manufacturing ERP solution. We have worked with many manufacturers over the years in the selection and implementation of new ERP systems that are adapted for their unique business needs. If you’re thinking about upgrading your manufacturing ERP, we should probably talk.

Additional ERP Software Resources

How ERP Software Can Save Your Business Money

ERP Software 101: History and Modules Available

7 Signs that You Need ERP Software

Meeting the ASC 606 Compliance Deadline with Acumatica Deferred Revenue Accounting

Corporate accounting systems must be in compliance with the ASC 606 rule for revenue recognition as of December 15 of this year. This requirement will not be a problem for companies using Acumatica Cloud ERP’s Deferred Revenue Accounting module. Those that don’t have this software or the equivalent will be in a rush to get right with this important accounting rule. So, it’s worth taking a moment to examine ASC 606 as an example of how the interplay between software and accounting rules can affect financial reporting.

A Brief Overview of ASC 606 and Its Implications

If you’re a CPA, ASC 606 is probably not that big a deal. You should already know all about it. However, if you’re in IT and supporting the accounting department or a business analyst trying to build efficient financial workflows, a quick review of ASC 606 is in order. The Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) rule 606 is one of many rules by which companies control their financial reporting. ASC 606 is paired with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) rule 15. The rule is thus known as ASC 606/IFRS 15. In the US, they’re being promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the accounting profession’s rule-making body.

The goal of ASC 606/IFRS 15 is to standardize revenue recognition in accounting practices worldwide. Before these rules were adopted, revenue recognition was not subject to any global standards. Companies in different countries could recognize revenue on different bases. Revenue recognition relates to the period in which a company will claim a sale is actually revenue, for reporting purposes. As a result, it can have an impact on tax liabilities and many other aspects of financial reporting.

A quick cash transaction is easy. If you get paid $100 in cash in 2019 for an order that started and finished in 2019, you will recognize that $100 as revenue in 2019. However, what happens if you get $50 to start an order in 2019 and $50 upon completion of the order in 2020? Under the old rules, some companies might recognize all $100 in 2019 (and pay tax on it in 2019) while others will split it. The second $50 becomes “deferred revenue.” ASC makes everyone follow the same rules for these practices. It has implications for taxes, lending, incentive-based bonuses (e.g. revenue growth bonuses), share prices, entity valuation and so forth.

How Acumatica Deferred Revenue Accounting Enables Compliance with ASC 606

Acumatica Cloud ERP has a portfolio of specialized accounting modules. Deferred Revenue Accounting is one of them. It enables your accounting team to handle the detailed, potentially confusing revenue recognition requirements of ASC 606 in a centralized, intuitive and automated accounting workflow. In particular, the module helps users identify a contract with a specific customer—itself a major component of ASC 606. Revenue recognition is contract-based.

The module then identifies the performance obligations in the contract, such as revenue milestones for partial completion and so forth. It can determine and then allocate transaction prices to specific financial periods. Revenue is then recognized when the performance obligation is satisfied. Acumatica’s Deferred Revenue Accounting module can handle bundled contracts, multi-item contracts and related contracts. The system makes these aspects of ASC 606 compliance compatible with other accounting rules already in place.

Each company will have its own distinct revenue recognition requirements. Acumatica adaptable, allowing for Customized Deferral Schedules based on templates or created from scratch. Users can link schedules to specific transactions and line numbers on income documents.

To learn more about Acumatica’s specialized accounting modules, including Deferred Revenue, contact us today!

Additional Acumatica Resources

7 Signs That You Need ERP Software

Why Acumatica Outpaced NetSuite on the Most Recent G2 Survey

What’s New in Acumatica 2019 R1

How ERP Software Can Save Your Business Money

Can ERP save your money business? In our experience, the answer is definitely “yes.” Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, used correctly, will drive savings in multiple categories of business operations.

ERP at a Glance

The term “ERP” has become a bit of a misnomer. When ERP made its debut in the 1970s, the technology was all about running big manufacturing plants and handling supply chains and logistics for industrial companies. This is still the core of ERP, but today, an ERP solution can do so much more. In fact, modern cloud-based ERPs like Acumatica can run virtually every aspect of a business. ERP does accounting now, along with service management, Customer Resource Management (CRM), project management, project accounting, Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) and more.

High-Level Cost Savings from ERP

How does use of an ERP solution translate into savings? In the big picture, it’s about operating more efficiently. ERP helps people work more quickly and accurately. Process automation cuts down on error-prone manual steps. Miscommunications about orders, inventory, logistics and so forth generally decline with the introduction of ERP. Learn more about the signs you need ERP software.

When we help a customer deploy ERP, they tend to notice right away how much faster everything starts to move. They didn’t realize before how seemingly minor things like chasing down paper bills of lading or returning phone calls slowed down operations. ERP makes people more productive. With people doing more work in less time, the cost doing business drops.

Part of the productivity gain comes from the centralization of all business management processes into a single system. There’s no more porting of data from operations to accounting software, and so forth. People get a continuous, real time overview of data regarding orders, support cases, inventory and the like.

Where ERP Saves Money, Specifically

On a day-to-day basis, we see ERP saving money for our customers in the following specific areas:

  • Better control over inventory control—Inventory costs you twice. There’s the carrying cost of parking cash in inventory. Then, you have inventory handling costs like shipping and receiving and related accounting tasks. ERP helps you automate many of these processes. And, up-to-date reporting and predictive forecasting—along with smarter production management—help you keep inventory carrying costs to a minimum.
  • A faster, smoother information flow—The centralized nature of ERP and its rich data reporting capabilities, coupled with automated notifications and task management, result in a smoother, faster flow of information across the organization. People can make more informed decisions and stop using email to manage workflows.
  • More coherent supply chain management—ERP enables you to coordinate purchasing and supply chain, monitoring dependencies and keeping everyone involved informed about the latest production statuses. Learn how ERP can promote a sustainable supply chain.
  • More accurate, timely invoicing—An ERP solution speeds your cash cycle with timely invoicing. Learn about the benefits of ERP for accounting and financial management.
  • The ability to anticipate, rather than react to problems—Data visualization and automated alerting can give your team the ability to see potential production and inventory problems in the making. This way, they can solve them or devise a response before they cause trouble.

All of this depends, of course, on how well you implement your ERP. The software alone won’t do much if your people aren’t making the most of it. This is where we can help. We have worked with many businesses on the implementation of Acumatica and other systems. For a demonstration of Acumatica or a consultation on how software can help your business run better, contact us today!

Rein in Privileged Users to Reduce Information Security Risks

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

That isn’t just a comic book saying; that’s reality. Ensuring that those who have great power use it responsibly can’t be left to chance; that’s also reality. That’s why having a process to monitor and control privileged account usage is a critical piece of ensuring your information security.

Privileged Account Powers

Privileged accounts are the ones with the power of creation and destruction. They’re the administrator accounts that create other accounts and grant powers to other users. They’re the accounts that turn systems on and shut systems down. They’re the accounts that define configurations that control how systems behave. They’re the superuser accounts that can read all data and make any changes. They’re completely necessary, and at the same time, completely dangerous.

Risks of Privileged Accounts

The big risk of privileged accounts is that if they’re compromised—if their credentials are compromised or an employee acts improperly—they can create big damage. Access to all data means all data can be tampered with or stolen. Access to configurations and controls means systems can be altered to behave in unapproved, ineffective, or dangerous ways. Because these accounts are so powerful, they’re tempting targets for hackers. Often, these accounts are ridiculously easy to break, because systems have built-in admin accounts needed to install and configure them for use, and the default settings aren’t changed.

Managing Privileged Account Risk

The first step to managing privileged account risk is to limit privileged account usage. You need to determine where the balance lies between empowering employees and protecting your business. Giving every employee admin access on their PC or to a critical business application may help some tasks get done more quickly, but it also increases risk. Because many companies don’t know where all their privileged accounts are, an audit is often necessary to identify them so they can be managed.

Once you know where the privileged accounts are, you can take steps to control them. This likely means removing privileges from some user accounts. Users should have the minimum set of privileges necessary to perform their job functions. Using role-based access controls can help ensure that only appropriate privileges are granted.

Ultimately, though, some users need privileges. They should each have their own accounts, and passwords should be randomized and changed frequently; passwords that don’t change are vulnerable to attack. Use multifactor authentication to enhance the security of these accounts. Users should access their privileged accounts only when needed to perform a privileged function; actions taken by the privileged accounts should be logged and reviewed.

The reviews don’t need to be manual; there are threat analytics programs that can first identify normal patterns of access and then identify any deviations that may indicate improper use. Should improper use be detected, you need an incident response process that shuts down the account and minimizes damage.

Tools for Managing Privileged Accounts

Tools can help you implement the necessary management and monitoring of privileged accounts. Credentials can be kept in a “vault,” with users required to request access through a workflow. This prevents these accounts from being shared and used without authorization. Delegation allows users to be granted a subset of admin functions. Session monitoring creates a record of user activity within the privileged account.

All user accounts need to be securely managed. CCS Technology Group helps businesses develop and implement comprehensive data security solutions to secure data, networks, applications, systems, and accounts. Contact us to learn more about implementing information security that protects your business.

Additional Information Security Resources

Don’t Overlook These Information Security Basics

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

7 Common Mistakes That Place Your Data in Danger

Make Sure Your Disaster Recovery Plan Isn’t Just Words on Paper

A written disaster recovery (DR) plan is a good start towards making sure your business can resume operations after an outage, but you won’t know how good those words are until you put them into action. Because you don’t want to find out your plan is incomplete or incorrect during a crisis, it’s important to schedule periodic disaster recovery tests to try out your plan before you need to execute it for real.

Types of Disaster Recovery Tests

There are several different ways you can test your plan:

  • Circulate for comment. Distribute the plan to everyone who would participate in it and solicit their comments and feedback.
  • Walkthrough the plan. Gather everyone who would participate in the plan in a conference room or on a conference call. Read through the plan as a group—out loud, not silently. Because there is group interaction in this approach, you’re likely to surface issues that won’t be identified when individuals read through the plan separately.
  • Tabletop testing. Similar to a walkthrough, the participants are gathered together. Rather than read through the plan in isolation, they are presented with a typical failure situation and called upon to resolve it. This can identify planning gaps and failures that are not addressed by the DR plan. It’s important to choose realistic failure scenarios and that the participants are not informed of the scenario in advance.
  • Parallel test the plan. Bring up the disaster recovery systems and test whether they can execute a day’s work. The production systems run in parallel, so the only impact on routine business is that some personnel have to perform tasks on the disaster recovery systems.
  • Failover test. Simulate a production outage by gracefully shutting down the primary servers and failing over to the secondary site. This test method impacts ordinary production work so it may be better to execute this process on a weekend or other low volume time period. This process requires additional work to bring the primary servers back online after the test is complete.

Learn more in Craft An Effective Disaster Recovery Plan.

Disaster Recovery Test Follow-up

Whichever test strategy you choose, the test process isn’t over when the final system is brought back online. After the test, the DR plan needs to be updated to reflect:

  • missing applications. It’s not uncommon for applications to be overlooked when the DR plan is written.
  • missing or incorrect steps. The processes for bringing up applications may be missing some steps, miss some dependencies, have steps in the incorrect sequence, or contain errors in the details of the commands to be executed.
  • incorrect timings. Every application should have a recovery time objective which the recovery plan attempts to meet. If the test shows recovery can’t meet those objectives, the plan needs to be revisited to determine how it can be altered.
  • missing communication. Plans often fail because important notification steps are omitted.

In addition, you should always consider how the plan would have worked if this was an actual, unscheduled outage.

Learn more in Don’t Improvise Your Way Through Disaster Recovery.

Repeat the Test

If there were major failures during the test, take time to revise the plan to reflect those problems and then schedule another test to verify the corrections. If the recovery process mostly worked as planned, you can wait until your next regularly scheduled test—usually annually, though some prefer twice annually or even quarterly—to test the update.

CCS Technology group offers disaster recovery planning services. Disaster recovery testing is an important part of your business continuity strategy. Contact CCS Technology Group to learn more about writing and testing your DR plan.

Digital Transform in the Distribution Industry and How Cloud ERP Can Help

Discussions about digital transformation often lead off with the phrase, “Just imagine if…” Just image that you could use Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to build a new kind of relationship with customers. Just imagine that you could track an order from receipt through delivery in real time. For a lot of companies, it’s pie in the sky. In distribution, the pie has already been served. You just have to order a slice. You don’t have to “just imagine” a digital transformation if you have the right tools.

Digital Transformation, the Concept

What is digital transformation? Briefly, digital transformation is a concept that started out in life as marketing hype but is quickly becoming reality. At its core, digital transformation involves using advances in application integration technology, cloud computing, data analytics and “edge computing” IoT devices to transform your relationship with customers, employees and partners. It enables you to venture into new business models and competitive strategies.

Digital Transformation in Distribution

The distribution business was actually an innovator in the practices that now comprise digital transformation. Distributors adopted computer-based order tracking, inventory management and the like years before anyone else. You may not remember, but before about 1990, if you shipped a package, you had a 0% chance of knowing when it was going to be delivered. You could call the carrier and ask, but they didn’t know.

Today, instant online or phone-based order tracking, along with dozens of comparable real-time processes, are simply an expectation of doing business. The problem with this is that once business practices become a given, they are no longer competitive. If every distribution company offers online order tracking, your distribution business is another dime, among dozens. Learn more in Looking at 2020 Distribution Industry Trends with ERP in Mind.

The challenge—and opportunity—for distribution companies is to use technology to take the business to new levels of efficiency and competitiveness. This is not always easy, but the tooling is definitely available to make it happen if you want it. With cloud ERP solutions like Acumatica, distributors can implement a range of digitally transformative processes and practices in their businesses. These include:

  • Maintaining a real-time view of your customer’s activities across all your operations. This is made possible by integrating field service operations software with back office systems.
  • Tracking customer engagement from first contact through opportunity creation, price quoting order processing, scheduling of installation and follow up field services—connecting mobile devices with ERP and accounting software as well as with data analytics and reporting tools.
  • Using data visualization to spot issues in field service quality—and react in real time with route optimization
  • Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) for predictive maintenance that optimizes field service and keeps customers happy
  • Discovering the optimal marketing processes to identify and convert the best prospects into high-grossing accounts—by analyzing account performance data with marketing campaigns
  • Increasing back office productivity by automating workflows and becoming more efficient at document management, e.g. for contracts and sales orders
  • Integrating with partner firms for better supply chain management and customer service

Acumatica Distribution Edition delivers, giving your business control over their supply chain and logistics activities, including warehouse management, inventory management, and order management. Built in the cloud and customized for your needs, Acumatica helps companies improve customer satisfaction, reduce order times, and control costs across the entire supply and distribution chain.

CCS Technology has considerable experience in the distribution vertical, equipping clients with industry-specific tools that ensure a smooth process, top-notch security, and consistent reliability. We’ll make sure your clients can count on you. Contact us to learn more.

Additional Distribution Resources

Benefits of ERP Software for Distribution Business Management

Making the Most of KPIs in Distribution

5 Reasons Distributors Need ERP Software

Choose the Right IT Service Type to Best Meet Your Business Needs

IT services come in several different forms. If the service type you choose doesn’t match your requirements, you won’t get the benefits you expect and will likely be disappointed by your experience. Make sure you know what different IT services offer so the one you select is a good fit for your business.

1. Break-fix

Break fix services provide support to fix problems after they occur. When hardware breaks or software fails, you can call the break-fix company to investigate and resolve the problem. This approach is entirely reactive and doesn’t look beyond the immediate problem.

2. Contractor

A contractor is effectively an addition to your staff without adding a permanent employee. Through the contracting agency, you’ll select someone with the appropriate skillset for the job. They then work under your direction on whatever assignment you give to them. While contractors are sometimes called consultants, a contractor’s services are less independent than true consulting.

3. Consulting Services

Consultants are brought in to solve specific problems. Unlike contractors, consultants are expected to think independently to develop solutions to larger problems. The scope of the consulting work is up to you. Generally, you provide the consultants a statement of the problem; they investigate to determine the requirements, propose a solution, and complete the project implementation.

4. Outsourcing

When you outsource your IT to a provider, you hand over control of your IT resources to the outsourcing firm. They handle all the ongoing support. Unless you request a project to expand or upgrade your IT technology, the focus is on maintaining your current infrastructure.

5. Managed Services

With managed services, as with outsourcing, you rely on a provider and their staff to provide you with IT services including monitoring and support. However, unlike outsourcing, the managed services provider looks towards your future needs. Outsourcing is “outside” of your business. Managed services providers are partners with your business and take ownership of resource-related issues, including making sure the infrastructure will support your business as it changes. They can recommend and implement the infrastructure you will need tomorrow, not just support the infrastructure you need today.

Learn more about the benefits of partnering with a managed services provider.

Be clear: none of these services is better than any other, but one might be a better fit to your business. It entirely depends on what your IT challenges are, the level of IT expertise you have in-house, and how much control of your IT resources you’re willing to turn over to a third-party. Contact CCS Technology Group to discuss how our IT services match your business and IT needs.

Interested in learning more? Find out the benefits of working with IT pros.