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Infor Integrates Amazon Business

Infor has announced its integration of Amazon Business. This marriage between two tech giants allows Infor to deliver integration and consulting solutions that help joint customers throughout their procurement journey. The Infor® CloudSuite Supply Management Procurement Punchout provides customers access to Amazon Business to leverage processes and workflows of Infor CloudSuite Supply Management and the power and usability of the Requisition Self Service system. Infor Healthcare customers now have access to Amazon Business, so they can drive spend management with thousands of suppliers in one easy-to-use location. From their press release, “within Infor Procurement Punchout, Amazon Business is represented by an icon on the Infor Requisition Center home page. When a user clicks on the Amazon icon (called “punching out”), the Amazon Business catalog appears in a separate browser session. From the Amazon Business catalog, Infor Requisition Center users can choose items and return them to the Infor Requisition Center application. This allows Infor customers the freedom of having large catalogs of supplies to choose from without the requirement of maintaining those items in the item master, which is time consuming to maintain and keep current and clean.”

 

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Unlocking business potential with AI-integrated ERP software

There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay, and is revolutionizing the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) space. Mark Bowen at Intelligent CIO recently shared how the partnership of AI and ERP is going to affect the “very essence of the system-controlled business operations.” AI-integrate ERP systems can unlock the hidden potential of your business data.

Impact of AI on industries

  • AI in manufacturing – AI technology help ensure faster production in less time. From planned preventative maintenance to every other operation performed in any manufacturing plant, AI would make them more efficient and less prone to errors.
  • AI in retail –  Virtual reality functionalities in advertising, intelligent chatbot customer service and extensive customer behavior profiles are just a few areas where AI would thrive in the retail industry.

 

AI is transforming the way ERP functions

Integrating your ERP system with AI opens a world of opportunities and shed some light in your daily operations. With detecting customer behavior patterns and performing routine tasks, inclusion of AI in ERP systems can provide the following benefits:

  • Identify the problems even before they occur
  • Automates routine tasks with system intelligence
  • Improves user experience through interaction

AI is still in its early stages, believe it or not. Though it is no doubt that AI will be a part of ERP systems moving forward. So be ready for this change if you want your business to remain competitive in the years to come.

 

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Are you thinking about integrating an external project system to your ERP?

There are several things that you need to take into consideration:

  1. What are the accounting needs?
  2. When do the commitments need to be booked in the GL?
  3. Budgets:
    • Do you want a budget to be tracked in your external Project tracking system?
    • Do you want a total not to exceed budget in your ERP to make sure someone is notified when the budget is exceeded?
    • Do you want a detailed budget in both places?
  4. If there is retention from supplier invoices to be paid at the end of the project, when does the retention need to be booked?
  5. Where is the project initially setup? In the external project tracking system or the ERP?
  6. What are the touch points that need to be considered when determining what the interface points are?
  7. How will your ERP know when the project is complete so it can be marked as closed?

4 Things Sales Managers Need From a CRM System

Even with the advancement in technology taking over almost every business, position, and process, there is still a need for strong relationships to develop organically – with human connection. A computer cannot build relationships by itself; you still need people for that. They’re the ones who feed computers intelligence. According to HubSpot, 58 percent of sales teams are increasing in size. With an increase in staff comes the need for experienced managers who know the value of face-to-face, personalized customer relationships. Sales managers are responsible for reporting to the board, managing technology needs, and of course managing people. Technology is perhaps unavoidable and integral to today’s business world, but often it seems that the tools that are supposed to help us end up making things overly complicated and not intuitive. Salespeople for example need a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It is essential to not only the sales team, but also the manager. The right CRM solution can save you time and money while helping close more deals. But it can also get in the way and end up being a hindrance to your ability to successfully manage people if it’s too difficult to use. Desitnation CRM suggests four things for mangers to look for and leverage in a CRM system as they run their sales teams:

  1. Workflow – A CRM system should aid workflow, not hinder it.
  2. Collaboration – A CRM system can fuel collaboration by giving each team member access to real-time data.
  3. Automation – A CRM should minimize your need to micromanage.
  4. Integrations – A CRM system should work seamlessly alongside the other tools your sales team uses, like email, contracts, and inventory.

Technology has the potential to improve a sales team and free up your time as a manager to focus more on helping you grow your business.

 

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How integrating CRM and ERP can increase revenue and profitability

One of the main reasons that enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations fail is that businesses try to lever ERP into a system that it’s not been designed for. While ERP can automate and manage many back office functions for a company, it does not solve or replace other aspects of the business. One such area is customer interactions. This is where customer relationship management (CRM) systems come in. Using a CRM system enables a company to learn and act upon every single customer interaction – something ERP is not designed to do. Integrating both ERP and CRM systems to work side by side could open many possibilities for a company. With such an action, a company has a single view of all customer interactions including contact details, meetings, emails, quotes, orders, products purchased and warranty details. A significant reduction of errors or repeat data means a much more efficient process. In order to get the best out of the two types of software, the most efficient approach is to take an example of each and get them working together. It’s important to note that CRM and ERP are two very different systems. But it’s apparent that with some time and effort, successful integration of the two systems can produce an efficient and cost-effective way of working.

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What Is Your ERP System Lacking?

If your organization doesn’t yet have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implemented, you are way behind in the competition. Taking advantage of data management with erp systems is crucial in today’s competitive landscape. Not all ERP systems are the same, so it takes a great deal of research to find the one best for your business. If you already have an ERP system in place, you might want to consider if it’s the right fit or if it’s still not at full potential. Lexie Lu at socpoub.com shares the common areas where ERP systems fail, and how you can focus on these to improve your business processes and data processing.

  • Flexible Databases – While you don’t want to make all information accessible, you can set up tiers where department heads have more access to data than other employees, for example.
  • Manufacturing Execution System (MES) – For businesses with a manufacturing floor, adding MES functionality to your software systems helps with everything from overtime scheduling to quarterly productivity goals.
  • Visualization Tools – One way of breaking down complex data is with data visualization tools, which takes complex data, analyzes it and creates visual representations, making it easier to understand.
  • Security – Securing your system is vital and one of the reasons many companies turn to cloud-based solutions.
  • Remote Accessibility – Having a cloud ERP system can be accessible for any and all remote workers, business travelers, and on-the-go sales people in your company.
  • Vendor and Client Access – Vendors and clients alike should have easy access to profile information, past purchases/activities and general data provided by your ERP system.
  • Automated Workflow – You can add different software modules to your ERP that automate workflow for sales and marketing.
  • HR and Payroll Management – Adding HR and payroll management software to your ERP not only frees up HR but also makes life easier on your accounting department.

In a perfect world there would be an ERP system that crosses off everything on your checklist, but that doesn’t (yet) exist). However, the best ERP systems out there do have quite a few exclusive benefits. Thanks to third party add-ons (make sure they are compatible and fully integrated with your ERP system) you can customize your ERP system to your liking.

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Don’t be intimidated, Embrace Technology

We are living in the digital age, and the best innovations are showing up every day. If your business is stuck in it’s traditional ways, you can get left behind. The problem, though, isn’t the lack of available technology, but the overwhelming feeling of learning and implementing something new. The key to lessen the intimidation of technology is to be smart about what tech to employ and whether you are up to the task of administering and maintaining that technology. There is no rush to change everything to tech, but there is a need to replace legacy systems with newer, (and often times) easier ways of doing things. Keeping up with emerging technology is like a full time job. Software, mobile devices, and servers are constantly advancing, always needing updates. So how do you keep up? Once you learn about your new technology at the very least the basic level, utilize your IT guys and make them the experts of your new technology and your go-to guys for any concerns. Startups and existing businesses today need technology in their organization to stay relevant. If you’re still a bit overwhelmed by this tech talk, consult with a technology expert and see how you can make some technological changes to your business.

Best Practices for CRM Marketing Integration

Businesses big and small at some point will consider investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to create synergy between departments. Using best practices in choosing and integrating CRM to your workflow could get you the most out of the data it offers. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Train Employees on How to Use CRM
  • Use All CRM Features
  • Automate Where Possible
  • Process All Leads Through the CRM
  • Meet with Employees to Discuss Refining the System
  • Use CRM Marketing with Social Media

Taking time to plan a CRM marketing strategy is key to a smooth implementation and continued growth for your business.

 

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ERP, CRM integration unlocks value

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) have always been interconnected in the business world. It is no surprise that to reap substantial benefits from the two, that the platforms must integrate. “Where CRM largely focuses on increasing profits by growing sales, ERP is about improving efficiencies and reducing costs,” says Jeremy Waterman, MD of Sage ERP Africa.

Sales and marketing drive CRM decision-making, while finance and operations drive ERP purchase decisions. Integrating the two platforms will give a more complete view of customers’ needs, order history, product shipments, support, finance and accounting.

Waterman concludes that the information can flow between the systems without the need for clumsy, expensive interfaces or the need to recapture data.

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Are ERP and CRM one and the same?

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers; and technology is used to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is a business management software that allows a company to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business, and automate back office functions related to finance, manufacturing, budgeting and forecasting, professional services and human resources to name but a few.

To make business decisions, an attempt is made to position for one or the other, as the most effective business application in that role. But as companies and technology are ever-changing, it seems that the line between ERP and CRM are blurred, the need to compare them becoming almost moot.

These days we see ERP and CRM as complementary to one another in a sense that they enable not only the automation of many business processes, but also add controls into a business. They enable and empower people and work together to ensure that nothing slips from their site.

Understanding that there is a natural overlap, or complimentary service between ERP and CRM, and how best to leverage this, will deliver more efficient, and in some instances more cost-effective solutions. Companies can experience maximum benefit from the complimentary and overlapping roles of ERP and CRM.

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