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Soon, Cloud ERP Users Will Be Surfing the Wave

Soon, Cloud ERP Users Will Be Surfing the Wave

by Chuck Olinger, COO and Executive Vice President Rootstock Software For those that wonder if analytics will become one of the major tenets of an ERP system, consider this. It is getting almost impossible to read an article on ERP that doesn’t have at least a paragraph on analytics. One of the best attended presentations/demonstrations at Dreamforce was presented by Rootstock COO and Executive Vice President, Chuck Olinger. It was on Wave Analytics, the first cloud analytics platform designed for every business user, making it easier than ever for anyone to explore data, uncover new insights and take action instantly from any device. Olinger demonstrated how Rootstock ERP Performance Dashboards would extend the power of the Salesforce Wave Analytics Platform to help every business user monitor measure and analyze the enterprise’s company performance, profitability and efficiency from any device. That’s because the data used in the ERP can be a gold mine. With ERP Performance Dashboards, customers are able to capture and manage this valuable data quickly across departments and facilities. When built on the Salesforce Wave Analytics Platform, access to this data is supercharged to allow organizations to quickly adjust to their markets by drilling into insights and discovering […]

Why Manufacturing Cloud ERP Users Need “Power of Choice” in Financial Packages

With the rapid growth of the Salesforce ecosystem, more and more companies are considering independent software vendors’ cloud applications for that platform. This also applies to those companies looking for cloud-based ERP solutions. Many manufacturers and distributors that have their CRM and other software on that platform are now considering an ERP created just for them that is written on Salesforce. This means the company can leverage their investment in the Salesforce platform and integrate their manufacturing and/or ERP seamlessly with their other Salesforce cloud apps. But, such integration doesn’t stop at with the manufacturing ERP. IT management will want to continue to promote a ‘best of breed’ approach to Financial Applications. Present and future manufacturing customers will want their Receivables, Payables, Ledger and Reporting software from a Salesforce partner so that they can continue to easily integrate that partner’s financials with Manufacturing Cloud ERP in the same manner as those seamless connections exist today. Leveraging “power of choice” options, Rootstock is integrated with other apps on the Salesforce platform such as Avalara for sales tax compliance and ZenKraft for shipping integration for Fedex and UPS. For their accounting functions, one may want to explore Financialforce, Intacct, Sage Live and […]

Quantitative and Qualitative Benefits on Implementing a New ERP System: Part 5

The Bottom Line To purchase a new software suite, vendors must show owners and upper management how the new investment will make money and provide a solid return on investment. Dino Farina, Proveris Scientific founder and CEO knew that his company was consistently overbuying parts and materials just to assure that it had enough in inventory to meet order demand for its nasal and aerosol testing instrumentation. His question was, with cloud manufacturing ERP, would Proveris be able to determine how many of its most popular machines could be built with the inventory on hand? “We were constantly trying to get the answers to such questions,” emphasizes Farina. “By the time we finally got the data, the answers were too late. With manufacturing Cloud ERP, we will now be able to not only find out how many units we can manufacture with the inventory on hand but whether we need more inventory, how much, how soon and at what cost. This will make our business more efficient by increasing our cash flow and improving our resource planning, while giving our customers faster deliveries on their orders.”

Buyers Beware: Not All ERPs are Manufacturing ERPs

The saying, “a tree is a tree is a tree,” doesn’t apply to ERP. Contrary to what many providers may tell you, every ERP solution is not necessarily a manufacturing ERP solution. ERP customers need to understand that what you don’t know about an ERP suite is just as important as what you do know. Let’s consider a company that makes clothing apparel. They take raw material and turn it into a finished product in their 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. It’s a complex process that requires systems that fully comprehend and manage the complexity. What that company needs to understand is that an ERP for a manufacturing company like this is a very different product than the ERP being sold by many software vendors. In recent years, any company selling a financial-centric package with a few added embellishments like purchase orders and inventory are now assuming the mantle of ERP. However, ERP goes much deeper than that for a manufacturing company. ERP’s Manufacturing Roots The concept of ERP has its original roots in manufacturing. When ERP was described in 1990, it was depicted as the logical extension of MRP to MRPII to ERP. MRP dated back to the mainframes in the […]

Quantitative and Qualitative Benefits on Implementing a New ERP System: Part 4

Deep Functionality Many Cloud ERP packages have fallen short, because in the rush to get to the Cloud, they are either severely limited in functionality or they are only replications of a predecessor legacy ERP package supporting one business type. They do not acknowledge that manufacturers require a greater variety of manufacturing methods and services to be supported. Let’s look at some examples of what is meant by this. “Unionwear manufacturers completely customize products and we needed a cloud based solution that will allow our textile and promotional clients to design accessories online, get real time costing and stage opportunities that we flow directly into planning, procurement and production,” says Unionwear president Mitch Cahn. “The automation provided…makes small batch manufacturing a more fluid, profitable experience for both us and our clients.” “We are a small company who locally designs and manufactures a large collection. That has always presented challenges in production timing and material management. With the MRP capabilities…, we will be able to more efficiently get our production and work orders completed,” says the operations manager of a fashion manufacturer. “That really stuck out for us.” Northeast Lantern needs to track inventory and have vision on its production flow […]

Quantitative and Qualitative Benefits on Implementing a New ERP System: Part 3

Both Continuous Software Enhancements and Customizations Must be Addressed Most small companies do not have the resources to develop and maintain all of the features their growing businesses demand. The old legacy softwaredoes not allow the customizations and integrations they need and they do not want to get caught into a future legacy problem. However, It makes little sense for an owner of a smaller business to invest in a new Cloud ERP if the new software won’t provide the answers needed that are so sorely wanted from the present elementary system. To spend more money to be in the same vacuum of information is simply a waste of money, even though it might interface with salesforce.com. Yes, there might be some improvements but not enough to force a solid payback on the new ERP. The same holds true for larger concerns. With the supply chain now being global, additional importance is placed on certain features of ERP, such as multi-plant inventory, planning and tracking offreight and other shipment logistics, plus having to track consigned inventory and sub-contract expenditures. Increased machine automation in some industries means that they require more analysis regarding the cost of materials versus the cost of […]

Quantitative and Qualitative Benefits on Implementing a New ERP System: Part 2

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 […]

Quantitative and Qualitative Benefits on Implementing a New ERP System: Part 1

There have been a series of articles on this subject and the topic is covered in almost every software manufacturer’s PowerPoint presentation to a new prospect. There are many reasons, including growing revenues, creating business efficiencies, aligning the various departments of a company into a cohesive unit and so on. Lofty goals all. The truth is that every company has a unique set of circumstances and will require its own way to justify a major project. In general, a good approach is to look at the investment from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Let’s begin with the quantitative. The first thing most companies examine is how much inventory reduction they will obtain with an effective ERP system. Industry analysts generally agree that between a 20 to 30 percent reduction is achievable with improved management of raw material, parts, WIP and finished goods. Even if the incremental improvements are only 10 to 15 percent, this still results in significant savings. Forecasting and scheduling improvements resulting from an effective ERP system will have a positive impact on purchased materials and components. With the ability to provide firmer commitments with predictable lead times to the company’s vendors, purchasing departments can negotiate better […]

Manufacturers are Looking to the Cloud: Part 5

Manufacturing ERP and Salesforce Manufacturers who have moved to cloud ERP have found that the access to big data on demand leads to improved business intelligence, and they can use this information to coordinate and collaborate with every department at every step in the supply chain. As the leading cloud platform, Salesforce provides a stable and growing cloud ecosystem for manufacturers looking for cloud-based ERP solutions. In most cases, manufacturers want to choose a cloud ERP system is designed specifically for the Salesforce ecosystem and is 100 percent native to that platform, which means that their software runs 100 percent within Salesforce. The cloud ERP solution should support multiple companies, multiple divisions and multiple sites, all within a single tenant on the Salesforce platform. A powerful cloud ERP solution represents every step in the manufacturing process, increasing efficiencies, controlling costs and, ultimately, increasing revenue. Check to see if the ERP has modules for sales order management, purchase order management, production engineering, inventory management, lot and serial control, scheduling and capacity planning, shop floor control, material requirements planning (MRP), manufacturing cost control and project control modules. Since the development of the Salesforce ecosystem, manufacturing firms can take advantage of such cloud-based […]

Manufacturers are Looking to the Cloud: Part 4

What to Consider When Looking for a Cloud ERP Solution Regardless of which model you choose, there are important things your company must consider when shopping for a cloud solution such as cloud ERP. Cloud computing enables speed, agility and innovation. You must move from the drawing board to deployment. Can your organization adapt? Choose a cloud computing environment that’s right for your organization. Is a private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud solution best for your company? Which vendors offer these solutions and will they be in business a year from now? Security remains a critical factor in considering cloud ERP solutions. Are you ready to extend your enterprise security policy to the cloud? Customization has always been an issue with ERP systems. Manufacturing firms must spend time determining how easy it is to customize and add enhancements to cloud ERP systems. Public cloud platforms such as Salesforce, offer significant advantages for IT departments, allowing them to easily provide their own customizations to the written natively on the public cloud platform. Stay tuned for the Conclusion!