Qualitative Benefits of a Cloud ERP System
Now, let’s focus on the qualitative approach to making the ERP case. The best examples I can give are the reasons our customers gave us for implementing our Cloud ERP solution. There were basically two main groups of customers and all used salesforce.com®. If the company was smaller and growing, they were previously using spread sheets or very simple ERP packages that they had outgrown.
“We had been running all of our reports in Quickbooks,” reports Northeast Lantern Vice President Christopher Heal. “We then needed to take the various reports, export them into Excel and formulate a single new report just to find the information we needed. Nonetheless, we still didn’t track inventory or have a snapshot of our production flow. Manufacturing cloud ERP will now help us do that, which will mean our customers will be able to get product faster.”
If the customer was larger, it had been using an on-premise ERP system that was no longer providing the help that they needed. A company with multiple divisions and differing ERP systems cannot obtain the global deployment and integrations of systems that it needs to be competitive. The cost/benefit analysis for a new Cloud based enterprise-wide system will often show significant economic advantages over maintaining multiple On Premise ERP versions and their required interfaces, conduits, and translators.
We then found three main features/benefits that encouraged prospects to become customers.
Leveraging salesforce.com and Force.com
Salesforce.com customers and users want solutions that hook into their presently installed software. But, that’s not enough. They need a Cloud ERP that also provides the integrity, robust performance and flexibilities that traditional ERP provides.
Wilshire Coin is such a company. According to Zach Scott, Wilshire Coin operations manager, the company was advised to look into salesforce.com. The management team liked the concept of multi-person access to the data from anywhere in the world. As a result, Wilshire Coin became a salesforce.com user. They then hired a consultant to help them pick the right ERP to help with their other needs.
A larger organization wanted Cloud ERP to replace its on-premise legacy ERP software and consolidate all of their key metrics onto the Force.com®platform, considered by many to be the most powerful and flexible platform for business enterprise applications.
Lastly, domestic custom accessories manufacturer Unionwear wanted to convert its salesforce.com quotes and opportunities into sales orders with fully configured bills of materials and routings, automating planning, procurement, inventory, manufacturing shop floor control and scheduling, product costing, productivity analysis and financial management processes, providing end-to-end process improvements, cost reductions and improved customer responsiveness.
Naturally, in all three situations, the ERP needed to interface easily with salesforce.com and/or Force.com. From that point on, the reasons to decide to sign up were dependent on the package’s capabilities and how the software manufacturer could perform for them.
Stay tuned for Part three!