Why ERP is important in 2022?

ERP is important
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Summary: A recent report by Allied Market Research reveals that the ERP market size will increase from USD 43.72 billion in 2020 to USD 117.09 billion by 2030. That’s an impressive growth of a CAGR of 10% from 2021 to 2030. Nonetheless, multiple companies might wonder why the ERP market is growing by leaps and bounds. They need to understand that ERP software is essential in helping businesses increase efficiency, cut operational costs, build an outperforming team, and create robust and evergreen customer relationships. In short, ERP is important because it provides a competitive edge that helps transform a company into a market leader.

ERP

Benefits of ERP software: A short overview

Here are a few points that describe how ERP systems help organizations across industries to achieve their business goals:

  • ERP is important because it stores critical information in a single platform allowing business stakeholders to access, create, edit, and share it with anyone, anytime, and through any device.
  • You can customize ERP systems for your business based on your current needs. For example, a food and beverage company can opt for a recipe module. On the other hand, a shipping company can integrate a supply chain management module.
  • Your company can save money by not purchasing modules you don’t need currently. It’s a good strategy for small and micro businesses that cannot afford to buy expensive business management solutions.
  • You can create advanced reports to check the vitals of your business. These reports will provide a 360° overview of your company, including monthly sales, number of new/retained customers in a month, number of machine breakdowns, and employee performance.

Why ERP is important?

ERP software can manage multiple business functions efficiently, but what distinguishes it from other solutions? The importance of ERP can be measured by its distinctive appeal to provide the best services at relatively affordable prices. The following list provides 8 reasons why ERP is important for your organization and why you should consider implementing it.

1. Better collaboration

One of the most significant benefits of ERP software is improved collaboration between different business departments. Usually, traditional companies have data silos, which are information repositories that can be accessed only by a particular department. The problem is that it restricts different teams from accessing information instantly. But an ERP system destroys data silos by bringing all information repositories to a single platform. The benefits include —

  • Department A doesn’t have to seek permission from department B before accessing critical data. 
  • A single source of truth reduces errors, decreases incorrect data, and eliminates data duplication.
  • A central database allows stakeholders to access information from anywhere, anytime, and through any connected device.
  • An ERP system ensures data is complete, accurate, and 100% safe from external threats.

2. Save your investments 

Business management solutions have reduced their prices lately, enabling multiple companies to implement them and take advantage. But, ERP software is still considered to be a big-ticket purchase. So, if you look at an ERP system from a cost perspective, it might not appear to be a cost-saving proposition. To understand the real power of ERP software, you need to come out of the initial sticker shock. 

Here’s how you can save money by implementing enterprise resource planning software in your business:

  • ERP software unifies multiple information systems eliminating the need to implement fragmented solutions. 
  • Your employees can access all the necessary tools to perform their jobs on one platform.
  • With enterprise resource planning (ERP), users don’t have to search for crucial information across multiple systems. They can draw valuable insights from data stored in a single integrated database.
  • ERP is important as it automates repetitive tasks. Therefore, users don’t have to take rigorous training sessions to operate the ERP software.
  • Your ERP vendor will take the update and maintain your ERP software. Therefore, you don’t need an IT team to do that.
<<<Also Read: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning): Ultimate Guide 2022>>>

3. Enhance productivity

One of the most crucial benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning software is that it can perform tedious tasks. For example:

  • Processing orders
  • Monitoring inventory levels
  • Creating general ledger
  • Creating financial data models
  • Creating invoices and quotes
  • Helping with tax declarations and global compliances
  • Help with credit management and payment process
  • Packaging and labeling
  • Managing the sales workflow
  • Generating Bills of Materials (BoM)
  • Automatic data collection (ADC) with handhelds
  • Shop floor tracking
  • Material weight management during the production process
  • Product traceability
  • Allows changes only by authorized and verified stakeholders
  • Timesheet tracking

Companies can save massive costs by assigning the functions mentioned above to ERP software because by doing that:

  • Employees can instead focus on mission-critical tasks.
  • Human-induced errors will be eliminated.
  • Redundant tasks like data entry can be performed quickly.
  • Complex calculations can be done within seconds.

4. Comply with government rules 

Governments across the globe and international institutions are tightening the rules and companies that don’t adhere to them are finding them on the receiving end. The world is awakening to new information security, environmental, and human resource regulations and customers show higher levels of trust and loyalty to companies that care more about the environment around them.

If your company is operating in an industry that requires you to comply with numerous compliances, then ERP is important for you. Modern ERP systems are built keeping in mind you need to comply with government norms at every stage. In addition, they have built-in tools that take care of multiple tax provisions and document business critical things like recipes for the F&B industry or chemical potency and usage for the chemical industry. 

Moreover, ERP systems play a pivotal role in managing risk. They have an advanced financial management module that eliminates errors while generating accounting reports and maintaining the general ledger. Cutting-edge forecasting tools enable users to predict crucial events like labor, demand, and budget leading to better work scheduling, secure budgets, foolproof product development plans, and matching up with customer demands in the short and long term. 

5. Forging robust and strong customer relationships

Irrespective of your product line and the segment you are offering your services to, forging one-to-one customer relationships is the need of the hour. Today, in the digital age, your customers know more about your company than you do. And if you fail to provide what they want, they won’t hesitate to switch to your competitor. 

Moreover, do you know that 84% of customers trust the internet to search for what to wear, eat, and how to live their lives as much as they do their friends? 

One of the best ways to enhance customer satisfaction is by providing client-focused services and products. This is where ERP is important for your business as it has an integrated Customer Relationships Management (CRM) module that serves the following functions:

  • Recording multiple client requests simultaneously.
  • Responding to repetitive questions quickly.
  • Enabling client service employees to access client information from multiple databases.
  • Decoding changing customer preferences.
  • Generating and sharing invoices with customers instantly.
  • Automate messages, notifications, and recommendations to users.

Do you know: It’s 5 times more expensive to find new customers than to retain the existing ones. 

Moreover, CRM software also records other critical data points like billing information, order history, and past purchasing habits allowing decision makers to identify customers’ needs and wants and estimate what customers might want in the future. When you get access to critical customer details you can improve your sales strategy and improve lead generation. 

6. Improved analytics

Decision makers require reliable data, comprehensive reports, and analytics to understand changing market conditions and customer preferences. ERP is important because it collects crucial information from multiple sources and enables the upper management to gain valuable insights from that data. 

Here’s how ERP software helps:

  • Generate error-free complex reports within seconds.
  • Analyze employee performance in real time.
  • Set custom KPIs like income, profits, and expense statements to gain a comprehensive perspective.
  • You don’t require a highly qualified IT team to generate report and derive meaning out of them. The ERP software can do that quickly and efficiently.
  • Reports have varied access levels. So, only authorized users can view them.

7. Enhanced Inventory Management 

Is your inventory growing rapidly? How are you identifying the exact level of inventory you need? How are you tracking the real-time location of your finished products? This is why ERP is important because it uses RFID tags, barcoding, and serial numbers to track inventory at each stage of the supply chain. With such advanced tools, you can:

  • Identify which items are being transported from source to destination.
  • The quantity of raw materials across each warehouse.
  • Which finished items are on the shelves and ready to be picked up by consumers.

Increased warehouse visibility enables companies to optimize their supply chain performance — pick, pack, and ship — and removes the guesswork. Users can also configure KPIs to check:

  • Products that are moving fast showing greater demand.
  • Products that increase carrying cost.
  • Products that are selling slow.

ERP is important because it provides real-time data to warehouse managers enabling them to make precise business decisions.

8. Better shop floor management

Shop floor management upgrades production quality and efficiency. Today, with digitalization taking over each business aspect, identifying improvement potential across manufacturing operations is essential. And this is why ERP is important because it optimizes the entire shop floor operations giving more time to managers to focus on critical management tasks. 

Here are the benefits of implementing ERP software for shop floor management:

  • Automate BOM creation — Generate BOMs automatically. Eliminate the guesswork and make objective decisions. 
  • Eliminate errors — Acquire raw materials on time. Have the right materials on the shelf. Get accurate real-time reports of materials you have and those you need immediately.
  • Identify shop floor issues immediately — Identify assembly line challenges and identify the manufacturing process progress each day.

What is a Bills of Material (BOM)?

Bills of material
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Summary: Bills of Material (BOM) plays a significant role for companies involved in manufacturing finished products. It enables the manufacturing unit to plan inventories, design, and estimate the final cost of the entire manufacturing process. 

What is a Bill of materials? 

A bill of materials is a list of assemblies, raw materials, components, sub-assemblies, and essential parts required to manufacture a finished product. This finished product might be the final product itself or may serve as a raw material for producing another bigger product. Several departments, including manufacturing, logistics, operations, purchasing, and engineering, are involved while collecting accurate data for creating the BOM, and therefore, departmental collaboration plays a substantial role in BOM creation. Note that different teams create different BOMs. For example, the manufacturing team generates manufacturing bills of materials (MBOMs) and the engineering team creates engineering bills of materials (EBOMs).

Along with the raw materials required for production, the bill of materials also mentions the quantity of each component. You can generate multi-level BOM if your products are available in different configurations, colors, and sizes. Moreover, you can also define by-products or scraps produced during the manufacturing process in the bills of materials. BOMs also facilitate effective revision control for the New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI) process with supply chain partners. 

A word of caution: Whenever you share a BOM with a contract manufacturer, ensure it’s revised to avoid product launch delays and manufacturing errors. 

Top 8 reasons why a bill of materials is critical for your business?

1. Components or subassemblies not specified in the bill of material will not be acquired.

2. A bill of materials lists all the components of a product.

3. A bill of material makes the manufacturing process more cost-efficient.

4. Once you know the cost of all components required to manufacture the finished product, it becomes easy to identify which components you should purchase from a vendor and which ones you can manufacture.

5. A BOM helps identify waste products produced while manufacturing a finished product. 

6. BOM also ensures that repair and maintenance of components, subassemblies, and finished products are maintained. 

7. BOM provides a reasonable estimate of the cost price of the finished product. 

8. BOM allows companies to ascertain whether manufacturing or buying the product makes sense.

Components of a Bill of material

It’s best to include specific pieces of data corresponding to a product in the BOM record to ensure the product is built as it was intended. Whether you are creating a BOM for the first time or have done that multiple times, the following list will help you improve the BOM creation process.

  • Part number

Assign part numbers to each component or assembly, which helps identify at a later stage quickly. You can either use an intelligent or non-intelligent scheme to assign part numbers. Irrespective of the scheme you chose, don’t assign multiple part numbers to the same part.

  • Description

Provide a detailed description of all parts/assemblies to help yourself and others to identify specific parts quickly and differentiate between similar-looking parts.

  • Part name

By assigning distinct names to each component/assembly, you can significantly decrease the time spent identifying them.

  • Phase

The manufacturing bill of materials must record each component’s production stage in its lifecycle. A common notification used for recording this purpose is “In Production”. Similarly, you can use notifications like “In Design” or “Unreleased” to indicate components that have yet not received approval. Recording the “Phase” of each component plays an essential role during New Product Introduction (NPI) as it facilitates the creation of realistic project timelines. 

  • BOM level

Assign a number to each part to help anyone understand where that part fits in the BOM’s hierarchy. This process makes it easy for business stakeholders to decipher the entire structure of the BOM. 

  • Unit of Measure

The engineering bill of materials should contain information regarding the amount of materials that will be consumed or purchased. Commonly used notifications are feet, inches, and ounces. Unit of measure ensures that the right quantities of similar products are delivered to the manufacturing plant.

  • Reference designators 

If printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) are a critical part of your product, then including reference designators in the package makes sense. They tell the user the exact location where parts will fit on the PCBA. This way, you will save time and eliminate confusion while fitting the parts.

  • Procurement type 

The bill of materials should also document how each component is purchased — off-the-shelf or tailored according to the customer’s specifications. This process helps enhance manufacturing efficiency, procurement, and planning activities in the short and long term.

  • Quantity

Maintain and update the number of parts to be used in each assembly/sub-assembly in the bill of materials. It will allow purchase managers to ascertain the exact quantity of raw materials they need to restock the inventory.  

  • BOM notes

Maintaining additional notes along with product-related information is very useful. This way, you can quickly update a new employee about the project — work that has already been done and future plans.

Various types of Bills of Material

The following list provides the various types of bills of materials:

  • Configurable BOM
  • Service BOM
  • Manufacturing Bill of Materials (MBOMs)
  • Single-level BOM
  • Multi-level BOM
  • Engineering Bill of Materials (EBOMs)
  • Assembly Bill of Materials
  • Sales BOM

Let’s discuss the two most important types of BOMs from the list mentioned above.

  • Manufacturing Bill of Materials (BOMs)

This list contains materials required to manufacture finished products and their quantities. The procurement department uses this list to maintain an appropriate inventory level and update the ERP system with the latest BOM details.

Two formats to display a bill of material 

Bills of material can be displayed in two formats:

  • Explosion format

In this format, the finished product is exploded into its constituent parts. This process moves in the reverse direction, i.e., from end to start.

  • Implosion format  

In this format, the constituent parts are connected to form an assembly at the highest level. This process moves in the forward direction, i.e., from start to end. 

<<<Also Read: 10 types of BOM and why they matter?>>>

4 essential questions you must answer before creating the bill of material

1. Will your bill of material contain records regarding consumables?

Most manufacturers struggle to decide whether to keep items like fasteners, glue, wires, boxes, and labels in the BOM. Remember that if these parts aren’t accounted for in the bill of material, they will most probably not be there in your product as well. So, please document these parts in the BOM.

2. Who will use the BOM record?

Your bill of material should include as many details as possible. The reason is that people you will never meet face-to-face should be able to understand and utilize the BOM appropriately. In addition, the BOM must contain each bit of information stakeholders might need throughout the product’s lifecycle. 

3. How are you going to attach files to the BOM record?

Attaching supporting documents like work instructions and CAD drawings with your BOM is critical. When these documents are linked with their specific components in the BOM at the appropriate place, it helps avoid confusion, reduce quality issues, and eliminate unnecessary rework.

4. What is the right reconciliation process for your BOM?

Your bill of material may change multiple times during the design phase. So, it would be best to have all the BOM versions stored safely inside your ERP system, allowing you to compare them and check the revisions you have made. The reconciliation process includes:

  • Check all versions of the BOM to identify all components and subassemblies and how they fit together.
  • Check the changes made by a particular engineering change order (ECO).
  • Observe who made the changes and when.

How SaaS CFOs can improve Financial Planning and Forecasting

SaaS
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Summary: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are rapidly transforming the business landscape. Companies across industries recognize the power of automation. They are readily implementing newly-developed technologies to increase efficiency, enhance productivity, reduce operational costs, build robust and long-lasting customer relationships, and allow internal and external stakeholders to access and share business-critical information on a single platform. SaaS technologies enable investment institutions to offer automated investment accounts, allowing banks to minimize the number of physical branches and retail shops to provide automated shop assistants. This blog will talk about how CFOs can use the power of SaaS technologies to revolutionize their business and become a market-leader.  

Today, any function across the business hierarchy can be automated — customer service, financial management, compliance, logistics — and offer massive returns. However, some business pundits argue that the increasing abilities of AI, for example, computerized business forecasting clubbed with rapid data processing, may render humans obsolete. At the same time, optimists say that new technologies will significantly increase the decision-making abilities of humans. 

Although organizations understand the benefits of implementing SaaS technologies, a few aren’t ready to board the bandwagon so quickly. The primary question is: When SaaS technologies are automating functions in lower and middle hierarchies, why not in senior management? Let’s discuss this question in light of the existing financial structures across organizations.

SaaS
SaaS Automation in the world of finance

It’s hard to believe that CFOs often push for the latest technology trends across the organizational hierarchy. But when it comes to top financial management functions, they will opt for manual methods. But is there any concrete reason why only the finance department should be devoid of the latest technology trends? Are there any hidden advantages of this move? Is it helping reduce expenses or increasing the execution speed of processes and transactions?

The traditional roles of a CFO are business forecasting, improving ROI, decreasing financial risks, preparing critical reports, maintaining enough liquidity at all times, and many more. But manual functions like preparing business reports can be tedious work that eats up much time of the CFO and their team. 

A recent PWC global CFO survey tells that 78% of companies are most likely to adopt advanced levels of digitalization by 2020. The global pandemic might have offset the need for immediate implementation of digitalization, but now that the economies worldwide are recovering, companies are showing renewed vigor for implementing SaaS technologies. But you will see a vast difference in how CFOs are responding. They accept that SaaS technologies are automating business functions at the lower and mid-level. Still, they remain silent when it comes to replicating the same success in their domain of influence.

During the COVID era, more than 50% of businesses couldn’t respond effectively to changes brought by incessant lockdowns. The reasons were as follows:

  • Companies didn’t have early warning systems, due to which they failed to anticipate the challenges ahead. It reduced their ability to strategize and act quickly to the changes around them.
  • According to the Vena Q2-2020 Industry benchmark report, only 48% of companies surveyed have an agile planning process. Moreover, 40% of organizations don’t use scenario modeling because they lack appropriate tools to conduct scenario modeling, agile forecasting, and cash flow management, leaving them with no way to plan for the future.
  • 57% of the surveyed professionals in the industrial benchmark report say that disparate and disconnected data pose a severe data challenge, and 48.5% find it challenging to draw valuable insights from their data.

What can CFOs learn?

Business management solutions automate finance processes, instantly finishing time-consuming and repetitive work. This is where RPA plays a significant role as it helps achieve an array of benefits. For example, it helps manage cash flow and maintain business liquidity by automating the process of collecting funds and invoice generation for customers. However, most businesses still rely on manual methods to check and verify the accuracy of billed amounts and ensure the fee is paid within the deadline.

Financial reporting is one of the primary functions of a finance ERP system. Finance automation complements this tool by automating manual functions like external reporting and journal entries. In addition, it streamlines each level in the production process, from the beginning to the end, accelerating the business workflow and eliminating the need to maintain data manually. 

While talking about the primary functions of a CFO, Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) comes to the fore. Unfortunately, the CFO’s team spends substantial time collecting and formatting data when they should use their time to brainstorm strategies, do better forecasting, and make sound decisions. 

Financial planning and forecasting are crucial areas that a company should focus on and learn ways to deal with. Today, business transformation requires a sound digital strategy, and it’s high time CFOs should evolve and board the innovation train.

<<<Also Read: The first 90 days action plan for a new SaaS CFO>>>

The future trajectory for CFOs 

As the number of data points — customer and industry sources — increases, companies expect CFOs to execute highly-relevant digital strategies. Reporting on business outcomes is only becoming more complex and strategy-driven with time. In short, the position of a CFO is gradually drifting away from being a generalized one into a specialized one. As a result, CFOs will have to adopt a broader-stroke thinking pattern to establish strategic synergies in the process. 

CFOs should understand that resource-heavy manual tasks will become mandatory in the coming times, so eliminating them will not be the right step. If CFOs continue walking on the current trajectory, the functions of CFOs and CEOs will overlap. And the only way to deal with that challenge is by adopting the latest technology trends. An old-school finance mindset will not work in today’s cut-throat competitive age. Instead, CFOs must adapt to recent technology trends at the earliest. 

At Sage Software Solutions, we have a vast array of ERP solutions tailored to your business needs. Seamless collaboration and robust automation are the fundamental principles upon which our company is built. If you want to implement an ERP software customized to your needs, then please contact one of our sales representatives and get ready to become a market leader.

Understanding the primary differences between ERP customization and ERP configuration

ERP Customization
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Summary: While businesses of all sizes desire to implement a “vanilla” ERP, it’s not easy as it sounds. It requires immense investment of time, money, departmental collaboration, and employee readiness. Therefore, most companies opt for ERP customization, selecting the most critical modules that allow them to perform business functions. As time passes by, and as business activities become more complex, businesses can integrate new modules. This article will share our experience to help you decide whether you require ERP configuration or ERP customization.

ERP Customization

What is ERP customization?

ERP customization refers to adding new modules to your ERP software that you didn’t have before. This change might be because of various reasons:

  • Existing modules in your ERP aren’t able to perform new business functions.
  • You want to increase the productivity & efficiency of your workforce.
  • You want to build better relations with your vendors, suppliers, and distributors.
  • You want to establish robust and long-lasting customer relationships.
  • You want to save money by outsourcing IT functions to a trusted third-party cloud-service provider.

Time stamps are an excellent example of a new module in your ERP software. They record the exact time when a production job was created and changes made in the orders. This functionality is added to your ERP software without making any changes to the pre-existing modules and hence is a perfect example of ERP customization.

Advantages and disadvantages of ERP customization.

Let’s first check the advantages of ERP customization.

1. You have 360-degree control of your product.

The primary purpose of an ERP system is to increase productivity, enhance efficiency, cut operational costs, perform repetitive work quickly, and allow decision-makers to gain valuable insights from data collected from multiple sources. But one-size-fits-all software might not align with all your business needs. And hence you require a customized ERP system tailored to your specifications and provides absolute control over your business processes & functions. 

Off-the-shelf ERP software might lack the exact modules you need to perform business functions, and this is where ERP customization becomes essential. It leverages only the features you need the most, helping you save money on modules you don’t need. In addition, you can brainstorm with all business departments and decision makers to conclude what modules you might need for the success of your enterprise, which increases your control over the ERP system. 

2. You will perform better than your competitors

As previously stated, off-the-shelf ERP systems fail to fulfill all your business obligations because they are not built keeping in mind your specific business challenges. Remember that the final goal of implementing ERP software is to help you gain a competitive advantage and only ERP customization can help you get the modules you need to outperform in the market. More importantly, if you fail to implement an ERP system built specifically for your business, you will not be able to understand the market and customer preferences better and, as a result, risk your competitors going ahead of you.

<<<Also Read: 12 Steps To Choosing The Right ERP Software>>>

3. You get a flexible ERP software

Flexibility plays a significant role in the cut-throat competitive world we live in. A flexible solution ensures that new modules can be integrated quickly & efficiently. Moreover, flexible ERP software makes it easy to collaborate with third-party development teams who can quickly understand your business requirements to accommodate new demands. On the other hand, standard software doesn’t provide this level of flexibility and demands more resources and time to offer the same level of benefits as a customized ERP solution.

4. Your ERP system is scalable and can change whenever needed.

Companies flip the rule book quite often. What if you:

  • Plan to hire more employees? 
  • Implement new processes & functions?
  • Change company policies?

Therefore, you need customizable enterprise resource planning software that will grow with your business. If you take a customized approach, the software development team will work to scale the ERP solution to your team’s needs by accommodating new services, users, and demands. 

<<<Also Read: Scalable ERP Software for Small Businesses>>>

5. You will be the real owner of your software

The license of an off-the-shelf ERP software belongs to the software company. Similarly, if you have subscribed to a SaaS model, it means you are paying a subscription fee to the software company. On the contrary, the license belongs to you if your ERP is custom-made. The best part is that you can skip paying a subscription fee to a third-party vendor.

Here are the disadvantages of ERP customization.

1. You can introduce a whole lot of bugs

If you work with a high-quality ERP vendor, you don’t need to worry about bugs and errors during ERP implementation. But if you introduce multiple new features without collaborating with a recognized third-party software development team, you might get into trouble. Remember the general rule: The likelihood of errors is directly proportional to the number of times you customize your product.

2. You might be missing the benefits of Off-the-shelf ERP software 

The primary purpose of ERP customization is to add new & improved functionalities to your existing ERP software. But it doesn’t mean you overlook your current software’s built-in features. Moreover, customization sometimes takes a long time, making it difficult to upgrade the system or install regular upgrades. Also, multiple upgrades over a short duration might compromise the basic functionalities of the software. 

3. ERP customization might be an expensive affair

The more features you integrate with your ERP software, the more money you need to shell out. Extensive customization will definitely increase your capabilities, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. So, ensure that you implement new modules only when required; otherwise, you will run dry quickly.

4. Beware of over-customization

Sometimes, businesses integrate personalized modules without analyzing whether they are required in the first place. As a result, the ERP software becomes unrecognizable and fails to achieve the objectives it was implemented for. In the worst case, you might have to scrap the ERP software as it no longer serves its purpose.  

Defining business objectives before starting to customize your ERP software would be best. This way, you can measure the impact of new modules and whether they are proving advantageous for your business. 

Here’s a word of caution: Don’t unnecessarily add new modules to your existing ERP system. You will only lose money.

<<<Also Read: 4 Reasons to avoid Over Customization>>>

ERP Customization vs. ERP Configuration

Customization involves adding new modules to the existing ERP software to increase its capabilities. Changes are made at the source-code level, which requires comprehensive planning. The process involves:

  • Establishing business needs.
  • Creating a customization plan.
  • Offering training to users.
  • Fixing bugs and errors.
  • Final implementation.

The table below shows the pros and cons of ERP customization.

 

Pros Cons
Enables integrating new modules to the existing ERP software. A highly-skilled team with deep ERP knowledge is required to pull the implementation.
ERP vendors mostly provide low-code customization that eliminates almost all cons related to ERP implementation. Few ERP vendors don’t provide the required support for ERP installation.
Unique to enterprise processes and & business workflows. Some modules require customization in the future.
Offers the flexibility to fulfill a business’ operational requirement. Implementation cost and development time increase with the increase in organizational size.
Requires heavy investment of internal resources and robust maintenance.
Sometimes the budget can shoot off, delaying the project.


On the other hand, ERP configuration allows businesses to add new modules to the existing ERP software without changing the source code. It includes changing the settings of financial reports, time zones, language, currencies, business workflows, and data analytics. In addition, businesses can change the settings based on the requirements of each department (or multiple benefits). For example:

ERP personalization:

  • Personalization of field labels, data analytics, business reports, and trends.
  • Create the sequence of screen layouts, questions, color schemes, etc. 
  • Establish departments and employee roles based on the enterprise. 
  • Use a browser-based interface to publish the configurator to end-users and dealers. 

Workflow automation:

  • Create discount rules based on item types, customer types, etc.
  • Generate BOMs and routings automatically.
  • Lay down accessibility and security rules based on the types of customers.
  • Define rules to perform automated processes.
  • Create discount rules based on item types and customer types.
  • Create formulas and rules for creating manufacturing BOMs based on configuration.

What is ERP configuration?

ERP configuration means setting options in the ERP system. But this process is challenging because of two factors —

  1. There are numerous options.
  2. Configuration requires technical expertise.
  3. Existing features should be configured to align with the system’s requirements. 

ERP configuration requires appropriate care because most options cannot be reversed once configured. A few examples of ERP configuration are as follows:

  • Generating page layouts.
  • Setting up language preferences, time zone, and currency.
  • Defining role and hierarchy based on access controls.
  • Generating a default template and email message for clients.

4 steps for ERP customization

ERP customization is a long and complex process. Here are 4 steps you should implement for ERP configuration.

1. Get a comprehensive understanding of different types of ERP customizations.

ERP customization means extensively modifying the primary code of the ERP software. The process is complicated and labor intensive but error-free. The different types of customizations are as follows:

  • Integrations: Third-party vendors design new modules that extend the capabilities of the existing ERP system.
  • User Interface: Aesthetic changes based on customer preferences.
  • New functions & extensions: Modifying the source code to enhance existing functions or add new modules.
  • Forms and documents: Invoices, layout, delivery notes, order confirmation, etc.

2. Abstraction layers come to the rescue.

If customization isn’t managed well, it may negatively impact your ERP for a long time. For example, your system might not be able to install vendor updates automatically. This situation often occurs when your code modifications aren’t aligned with the vendor’s. An excellent solution to this challenge is an abstraction layer that provides an additional interface that protects your customizations from the primary ERP code. Abstraction layers enable businesses to check how compatible a new customization is and also allow making changes to the system without damaging the source code. 

3. Evaluate the long-term value of a customization

Start by identifying customizations that have the potential to offer significant value to your organization. It means you should check whether the new customization aligns with your short- and long-term business goals.

Following are a few questions you should ask while assessing the long-term value of customization:

  • What value has been added by the customization? And the list of parameters based on which you will calculate this value?
  • Can a customization be built in a way such that it doesn’t change the software’s internal architecture?
  • Which business challenge is the customization addressing?
  • What is the required budget for sustaining the business value?

4. Remove customizations that you don’t require

Business needs and objectives change with time. What appeared necessary when you started your business might not be as essential today. Similarly, if an ERP customization doesn’t provide any value, you should discard it. It’s because every extra line of code unnecessarily burdens your ERP, depleting essential resources.

Here’re three ways of retiring unnecessary customizations:

a. Deactivating or concealing the functionality in the system 

If a customization applied to multiple components of an ERP is removed, it will negatively affect the entire system. The best solution to such a problem is to deactivate or conceal the customization so that it doesn’t impact the underlying code.

b. Removing the customization completely

Ask yourself this question: Is the customization negatively impacting a single component or multiple components? A follow-up question might be: If it’s affecting only a single component, then will the rest of the ERP system function appropriately if you remove the customization? 

c. Don’t upgrade your system or integrate the customization in the new version.

Use this option only if deactivating or concealing your system functionality will render your ERP useless. The negative side is that your system will not automatically update functions and security updates. The positive side is that your ERP will remain intact, and you can use its basic functionalities at least. 

The-Ultimate-ERP-Guide-2021-2 (1)

 

10 result-oriented CFO Trends you must watch for

CFO trends
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Summary: The role of CFOs has changed significantly over the past decades. Today, they have a lot on their hands, from leveraging existing operations to aligning the company’s financial policies according to changing market trends and customer preferences. CFO trends are primarily dependent on two areas, namely:

a. Adopting best digital practices to achieve existing priorities.

b. Analyzing the changing financial trends to keep the organization’s financial goals on track.

This blog will share ten CFO trends that companies across industries should imbibe to build a successful CFO office.

1. Zero-based budgeting (ZBB)

Zero-based budgeting is quickly becoming one of the most important CFO trends. Let’s understand why?

The world is going through a financial crisis. And businesses need to think of alternative ways of achieving their financial goals in this ever-changing market. Therefore, CFOs are reimagining their financial strategy from a “zero-base” to get a fresh perspective on value creation, business blueprints, resource allocation, and workforce effectiveness in the future. A recent report by McKinsey revealed that 43% of 127 CFO respondents said they need to reorganize their overall budgeting processes to respond to business challenges quickly and efficiently. 

ZBB models are enjoying massive popularity as they help CFOs bring down operational costs, achieve quick wins, and lay down effective business continuity principles. Moreover, recent AI and cloud systems developments are also accelerating the adoption of low-risk ZBB models.

Zero based budgeting

2. Digital transformation across all business departments

Digital transformation accelerates innovation, automates manual work, and helps build robust and long-lasting customer relationships. So, forward-thinking CFOs are looking for ways to integrate the finance function with digital systems to achieve long-term financial goals. Current CFO trends suggest that finance leaders are more interested in bringing digital transformation to the sales & marketing domains. Widespread automation, hybrid-selling, and social media promotions are essential to business success today. CFOs must brainstorm effective strategies considering adequate money and resources for achieving this level of digital activity.

3. Workplace transformation

Automation and remote working have become a reality in today’s business ecosystem. So, CFOs are spending more on cloud-based solutions and business automation tools like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to increase business productivity and provide a flexible working environment.

New CFO trends suggest that organizations today are adopting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles to create a supportive workforce culture and implement the best hiring practices. As a result, CFOs should allocate resources to facilitate workforce repositioning, better use of talent, and offer world-class training. Modern CFOs also need to supervise the efforts of the HR and payroll teams to design employee-first strategies.

<<<Also Read: Financial Management: The Ultimate Guide>>>

4. Better cash flow management

Above all, maintaining a positive cash flow is of utmost importance to any company. New CFO trends suggest that offices should create agile cash collection methods and optimization strategies to keep the cash coming in. Working capital inefficiency is one of the critical areas of the business that financial leaders want to address by establishing flexible cash flow models.

Moreover, in its recent survey, American Express India revealed that 2 out of 3 CFOs wish to pay attention to digitizing the payables and receivables management. The same report further reveals that 1 out of 2 CFOs wants to make better use of analytics for collection management. Modern cash flow management solutions streamline end-to-end processes, increasing profitability and providing a better experience for the company and customers. 

5. Governance models and data visualization techniques

CFOs today rely on real-time data to make better financial decisions. A recent Accenture survey reveals that 99% of CFOs understand that real-time data is instrumental in managing disruptions. Still, only 16% believe that they can do so. Implementing the best quality data visualization and analytics tools is one of the most significant challenges CFOs are facing. The finance team can make better forecasts, optimize cash flow, and formulate error-free plans for multiple business units by receiving refined data from various sources. But it also requires establishing ground rules for data governance. 

6. Forecasting models and tools

Accurate forecasts ensure positive growth across all business units, maximizing revenue. But making accurate forecasts using traditional methods is a big challenge. So, current CFO trends suggest using cutting-edge tools and techniques to reduce transactional accounting work. They help set realistic targets and manage time with periodic forecasting. Moreover, these models use the latest emerging trends and accurate financial data for making better decisions.

7. Real-time and predictive analytics

Modern CFOs are expected to steer the company’s future and carry out their everyday functions. Predictive analytics help CFOs forecast possible hazards, brainstorm strategies to prevent them, and engage with multiple stakeholders to find opportunities. Current CFO trends recommend relying on multiple data sets to extract analytical output to make better decisions. For example, CFOs examine business performance, identify emerging trends, and derive valuable insights using predictive analytics. The best part is that predictive analytics also generates values in allied business functions, including supply chain management, sales & marketing, customer relationship management, and detecting operational risks. 

8. Inclusion of self-service finance tools

Finance automation is a buzzword these days and CFOs are finding ways to incorporate them into their business strategy. It includes integrating new-age tools and sending real-time updates to facilitate business operations and simplify financial transactions for customers. Moreover, CFO trends suggest that these tools also help to analyze, report, and perform data visualization, providing a high level of flexibility. Different predefined report templates, intuitive financial tools, and KPI dashboards allow CFOs to supervise each employee’s activity and establish a robust relationship with external stakeholders.

9. ESG metrics for business sustainability

Modern CFOs pay adequate attention to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics while framing their financial strategy. Today, consumers are more aware of the environment around them and prefer buying products from companies that care for the environment. Moreover, the global pandemic has also encouraged CFOs to adopt ESG policies as it helps enhance transparency with employees, customers, stakeholders, and investors. ESG metrics also show customers that you pay as much attention to protecting the environment as you pay to earn profits. 

10. Increasing tech investments

Financial technology improvements enable CFOs to provide the facility of touchless transactions, which has significantly increased the penetration of financial services. Tech investments are also helping companies to automate their manual functions, increase productivity, cut operational costs, and allow employees to focus on mission-critical tasks. 

Remote working is another area where investing is an excellent idea. Several organizations worldwide are adopting the remote working model, enabling employees to work from anywhere, anytime, and anyplace. Modern CFO trends suggest that Industry 4.0 technologies, including AI, machine learning, data analytics, RPA infrastructure, and cloud-enabled ERP are a few cutting-edge technologies that organizations should invest in to become a market leader.

Sage X3 Finance challenges

What is Business Intelligence Software ?

Business intelligence software
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Summary: Data sources are increasing daily, and the amount of data that companies need to process is also increasing immensely. So controlling the channels of data and the ability to extract crucial knowledge from it is more important than ever. Business Intelligence software allows companies to extract critical data that help make better business decisions. For example, it reveals hidden market trends and customer preferences that tell what products and services customers are most likely to buy. Moreover, data allows business stakeholders to brainstorm and implement strategies that help save costs and ultimately enable you to become an industry leader.

Quote

What is Business Intelligence?

Business intelligence software comprises the following components: Data mining, Data tools & infrastructure, data analytics, and data visualization. Using these components, business intelligence aims to cull out critical information from large volumes of data that help make better business decisions. 

Modern business intelligence (BI) software help:

  • Understand changing market trends.
  • Examine transforming customer preferences. 
  • Eliminate work inefficiencies.
  • Brainstorm better marketing strategies.
  • Keep crucial data safe on platforms.
  • Get critical insights quickly and without any errors.
  • Users feel empowered when they use trusted BI software platforms.

How does business intelligence software work?

Businesses across industries collect data from multiple sources. This data can be beneficial if companies have the tools and know the techniques to extract valuable insights from that data. Such insights help achieve long-term goals and short-term objectives. Now let’s understand the technical side of the issue.

Data is firstly collected from business management solutions and then processed to eliminate unwanted crap. Finally, the leftover data is stored in cloud-enabled data warehouses allowing instant access to business stakeholders from anywhere, anytime, and on any connected device. Using this processed data, decision-makers can answer business questions quickly and efficiently. Another advantage of business intelligence tools is that they project hardcore data into easy-to-understand charts, graphs, statistics, and other visual mediums. Therefore, key stakeholders can view and understand data easily.

<<<Also Read: How can Business Intelligence significantly improve your ERP software?>>>

Business Intelligence (BI) methods

As described above, Business intelligence (BI) has multiple components that collect and process data allowing key stakeholders to fetch valuable insights. These insights optimize business performance by increasing productivity & efficiency, cutting operational costs, and developing robust customer relationships. In the last few years, business intelligence has evolved to include numerous activities and processes to enhance business performance, such as:

1. Data mining

Companies can uncover valuable insights from large data sets using advanced statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and databases. 

2. Reporting 

The reporting feature enables key stakeholders to glean business insights in an easy-to-understand format.

3. Descriptive analytics

Descriptive analytics allows key stakeholders to identify changing market trends and customer preferences based on current and historical data. 

4. Statistical analysis

This method helps to uncover the underlying trends and patterns from data collected from multiple sources. This method is used in situations like statistical modeling, research interpretations, and designing surveys and studies. 

5. Querying

A business intelligence platform uses structured query language to request data from database tables.

6. Benchmarking

Customized dashboards allow a business intelligence platform to compare historical data to track performance against pre-determined goals. This way, key stakeholders can benchmark their performance and determine their performance. 

7. Data preparation

Collecting data from multiple sources, identifying measurements and dimensions, and readying data for data analysis come under data preparation.

8. Data visualization

Once the data is prepared, it’s time to represent it in an easy-to-understand format using various data visualization tools like graphs, charts, and histograms. 

9. Visual analysis

Visual insights allow key stakeholders to understand the data’s context and underlying intention. It enables decision-makers to comprehend the purpose for which data is being collected, filtered, and analyzed. 

How do business intelligence (BI), business analytics, and data analytics go hand in hand?

Business intelligence is an umbrella term that contains business analytics & data analytics and uses them to achieve a particular goal. Data scientists use predictive analytics and advanced statistics to identify and forecast future patterns. The primary question that data analytics asks is “Why did a particular activity happen and what is the probability of it happening again?”.

Then, business intelligence (BI) uses those algorithms and models to turn results into actionable language.BI software is customized to answer particular queries and critically analyze for planning or decisions. In addition, businesses can implement analytics processes to improve iteration and follow-up questions. Modern-day businesses use analytics to discover, access, explore, and share data, which is called the cycle of analytics. 

What is the difference between traditional BI and modern BI?

Historically, a traditional business intelligence model was used to develop business intelligence tools. IT organizations used a top-down approach to drive business intelligence and static reports were used to answer analytic questions. 

The most significant disadvantage of this process was that if somebody had a follow-up question, their request would be sent to the bottom of the reporting queue, and they had to wait for the process to start over again. As a result, it led to slow reporting cycles, and decision-makers couldn’t leverage real-time data while making decisions.

Even today, most companies use traditional business intelligence for answering static queries and regular reporting. However, some organizations are drifting towards modern business intelligence as it’s more approachable and interactive. Although IT departments play a significant role in managing data access, multiple user levels can customize dashboards and create reports at short notice. In addition, full-fledged software allows users to visualize data in various formats and answer their questions. 

did you know

Benefits of using a business intelligence software

A business intelligence software allows companies across industries to gain a series of benefits, as mentioned below:

1. Enhanced organizational efficiency

BI tools allow organizations to access data from multiple sources, get complete control over their business processes, and benchmark their results with short and long-term business goals. For example, business intelligence software allows for faster clinical trials, better-optimized patient diagnosis, and better closing of claims. The best part is that when employees focus less on compiling reports and performing data analysis, they can focus more on developing better business programs and competitive products for their business. 

2. Intuitive dashboards 

BI intelligence software performs data processing on the company’s servers and the cloud. BI software gathers data from multiple sources, stores them in the data warehouse, and critically analyzes the data based on user queries, interactive dashboards, and drag-and-drop reports. The best part is that a business intelligence tool provides interactive dashboards that empower non-technical users to share stories without much coding proficiency. 

3. Enhanced data organization

Business intelligence tools improve data organization and analysis, allowing different departments to access several databases without seeking permission. Business intelligence software tools can combine internal datasets with external data directories, including social data, customer data, and historical data, into a single warehouse accessible to all key stakeholders. 

4. Data-driven business decision

Better decisions require access to valuable insights churned out of volumes of data. For example, business intelligence software allows companies to view sales forecasts and real-time data to meet with potential clients. As a result, sales reps understand the clients’ needs and can therefore confidently speak with them. Moreover, decision-makers don’t have to wait weeks to access detailed reports, and the risk of outdated data is also eliminated. 

5. Improves employee satisfaction

Business intelligence software allows analysts and IT departments to examine business user requests without spending much time. The best part is that those departments that required permission (or technical expertise) from the IT team to process data can now begin data analysis with little training. Business intelligence tools allow non-technical users to seamlessly and intuitively analyze data without technical expertise. 

6. Enhanced customer experience

Business intelligence software significantly improves customer satisfaction and experience. It quickly pulls text data from multiple customer support chat sessions and operational data as well. For example, business intelligence tools helped Verizon reduce support calls and enhance customer service by 43%. 

BI analysis categories

There are three primary categories for BI software:

  • Predictive analytics: This category considers real-time and historical data to model future outcomes for efficient planning.
  • Descriptive analytics: This category uses historical and real-time data to identify relationships and trends in data.
  • Prescriptive analytics: This category uses simulation, graph analysis, neural networks, and recommendation engines to find answers to questions such as “What should we do to achieve a goal?”.

Factors to consider while choosing a business intelligence software?

Choosing the right business intelligence tool is critical for your company. Here are some factors you must consider while choosing one:

  1. Variety of visualization options 
  2. Multiple dashboard templates
  3. Flexible to implement
  4. Data connectivity
  5. Valuable insights
  6. Alerts and notifications for identifying best & worst metrics
  7. Integrates with multiple business applications

The future trajectory of business intelligence

Business needs, customer preferences, and market trends are continuously changing, and so are business intelligence tools. Current developments happening in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence will play a significant role while businesses plan their BI strategy. 

Moreover, businesses today are getting more data-driven to make better decisions. As a result, efforts for collaboration and data-sharing are increasing. Business intelligence software also integrates the best data visualization tools allowing employees with little or no coding experience to cull valuable insights from raw data.

infographic - business intelligence

Different components of data warehouse

components of data warehouse
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Summary: Data warehouses include vast amounts of past data specifically intended to resolve queries and analyze data. This blog post will let us learn what a data warehouse is and components of data warehouse.

 

components of data warehouse

What is a data warehouse?

The data warehouse is a data management type specifically crafted to stimulate business intelligence operations, reporting, and analytics. It also supports other regulatory requirements so that organizations can convert their data into valuable insights that lead to entire data-driven decisions. A data warehouse saves current as well as past data in one place while acting as a single source of truth for a business. 

In business operations, data continuously flows from various operating systems like ERP and CRM, external resources, IoT devices, and more. However, in the past few years, data storage places have been hugely transformed into multiple locations, including the public, on-premise, and private cloud. Learn about significant components of data warehouse.

<<Also Read: What Are Data Silos And How Do Companies Handle It?>>

Significant Components of Data Warehouse 

As per the data warehouse architecture, a data warehouse has four components- ETL tools (Extract, Transform, Load), central database, access tools, and metadata. These components of data warehouse are specifically designed for enhanced speed so you can get the results faster and flawlessly analyze data on the go.

Let us now see the components of the data warehouse in detail. 

components of data warehouse

1. Warehouse database

Warehouse database is the first one among the components of data warehouse.

Central database-

It keeps all business data in the data warehouse while making it easier to report. There are various database types in which you can store the specific data types in the warehouse. These database types include-

Analytics database-

These databases help manage and sustain analytics of data storage. 

Cloud-based database-

Here, the databases can be retrieved and hosted on the cloud so that you do not have to acquire hardware to set up a data warehouse. 

Typical rational databases-

These are row databases used on a routine basis. 

2. ETL (Extraction, Transformation, Loading) Tools 

ETL tools are the central components of data warehouse and help extract data from various resources. This data is then transformed into a suitable arrangement and is later loaded into the data warehouse. They allow you to extract data, fill mislaid data, highlight data distribution from the central repository to BI applications, and more. 

Simply put, data is pulled from resources and altered to align the data for fast analytical consumption. It is carried out by a variety of data integration strategies, including ETL, ELT, bulk-load processing, real-time data duplication, data quality, data transformation, and more. 

3. Metadata

Metadata is termed as ‘data about your data.’ It is one of the major components of data warehouse. Metadata tells you everything about the usage, values, source, and other features of the data sets in the warehouse. Additionally, business metadata includes a context to the technical data as well. It describes the method to access the data, where it resides, and how well it is structured. Metadata is also classified as business meta-data having information which gives users a simple understanding of the information warehouse. 

Metadata offers interactive and easy access to the users, which helps them understand the matter and find get the data. Its management is carried out through the repository and other accompanying software. The software relies on a workstation and easily maps the source to the target database. Also, it creates code and controls the operational data to the respective warehouse.

Since data warehouse is a project, you need a flexible approach to implement it as effectively as possible. This is where effective warehouse architecture comes into the scene. 

components of data warehouse

4. Access Tools 

Data warehouses make use of a group of databases as the primary base. However, data warehouse organizations can’t work with databases without using the access tools until a database administrator is available. But, to cope with the changing conditions, it becomes necessary to use data warehouse tools as the major components of data warehouse, including data mining tools, app development tools, OLAP tools, query/reporting tools, and more. 

Data mining tools-

They streamline the process of checking arrays and links in vast volumes of data with the use of statistical modeling methods. 

OLAP tools-

These tools aid in building a multi-dimensional data warehouse while allowing business data analysis from various points. 

Application Development tools-

They help develop customized reports. 

Query reporting tools-

With these tools, corporate report production is quickly done through spreadsheets, innovative visuals, and spreadsheets as well. 

 

5. Reporting layer 

The reporting layer in a data warehouse helps customers to get access to BI database architecture and interface. Its prime aim is to be a dashboard to bring data visualization, fetch needed information, and create reports.

The query and reporting tools include-

Dashboard tools-

These software applications display complex business information and metrics, allowing quick understanding. 

Data mining tools-

They enable customers to implement in-detail statistical and numerical calculations that identify designs and analyze trends along with data. 

<< Also Read: Things you did not know your Warehouse Management ERP could do>>

6. Additional components 

There exist some additional components of data warehouse in a few data warehouses. They are-

  1. Logical data marts-
    It is an altered view of the significant data warehouse. But, logical data marts do not exist physically as an independent data element.
  2. Operational data store-
    It is an integrated database of operational data while its sources contain legacy systems. It also includes near and current term information. 
  3. Dependent data marts-
    It is a physical database that fetches all the information from the data warehouse. 

components of data warehouse

7. Data warehouse bus 

It is among the main components of data warehouse. The warehouse bus indicates the flow of data in a data warehousing bus system and has a data mart. It is a level that helps users transmit data and is also used to partition data produced for a specific group. 

Benefits of a Data Warehouse 

A precisely designed data warehouse is quintessential to carrying forward a successful analytics program. The primary functions of a data warehouse include dashboards, analytical tools, and reports that are quintessential for organizations. It offers appropriate data-driven decisions while assisting you in making the right decision on developing a new product and inventory. An adequately properly designed components of data warehouse helps execute queries too quickly. It offers higher advantages over on-premises and traditional versions. 

Let us now see some benefits of a data warehouse:

  1. Advanced business analytics- With DW, decisions can be made easily while also allowing access to data from different resources and removing the redundancy of making decisions on inappropriate data. 
  2. Integration- DWs develop consistency through various data types and integrate them well.
  3. High data quality- Data cleansing cases are developed by the entire system and are stored in the worklist for the following processing. 
  4. Quick queries- The primary purpose of data warehouses is explicitly developed for data analysis and retrieval. You can quickly draw vast amounts of data with very little support from the IT department. 

 

New UI Profiles in Sage 300

UI Profiles
Reading Time: 2 minutes

UI Profiles in Sage 300

In Sage 300 ERP, system administrator may occasionally need to hide a field, button, or tab from a specific user. They may also want to restrict access to certain details or information for all users. We’ll talk about a Sage 300 ERP feature that enables this in this article.

Take the AP Vendor master UI, for instance. Now, if you want to prevent another user from viewing Group Code, take the following actions:

Login with administrative privilages ->  Navigate to AP Vendors -> Vendors -> Options -> Customize
Sage 300 will navigate you to a new UI:

UI Profiles

Click on New Button as shown above and add a new profile (Refer below screen shot) -> Enter Profile ID -> Click on Add and then Close.

You can also add new profile by navigating to Administrative Services -> UI Profile Maintenance

UI Profiles

Now the profile will get added to Customize UI -> Un check the field or button you want to hide from particular USER -> Click Save.

UI Profiles

Go to Administrative Services -> Assign UI profile -> Assign Profile Id to the user from whom you want to hide.

Now the User won’t be able to see or edit hidden fields against the assigned UI

Thus, system administrator can hide fields or button in Sage 300 ERP from any user.

The same process, steps and settings can be used on different screens like entry screens or setup screens so as to restrict the unwanted access to users. Admins can also hide various buttons and prevent users from carrying out specific activities which the users do not have rights for. Module wise UI profiles can be assigned to users as modules can have specific UI profiles created for them. This can be done by using the Assign UI profile screen to assign the profile onto the user.

In conclusion a company can limit the user controls and access to the screens so as to keep the proper functioning and control over their users activities and keep all the entries clear and transparent.

 

Why is product lifecycle management a significant component of business growth?

product lifecycle management
Reading Time: 4 minutes

SUMMARY: At its very basic level, product lifecycle management is a systematic way of managing the thorough journey of a product/ service from its initial stage till its development, service, and finally disposal. In short, product lifecycle management PLM is everything right from the start to its end. So, let us see here the importance of product lifecycle management in business growth in detail.

product lifecycle management

If your business has been introducing a product in the market, then it might need to carry out various steps in every department of the organization. There are a bunch of challenges to the path of the product’s successful launch. Though the engineering and designing department gives a finished product, the outcome might still fail. Not least, but the sales/marketing team could also skip the chance to make the product more appealing to the customers. Also, a weak link in the process can lead to the lowest profit expansion of the business.

This all might seem like a stumbling block to you! 

But do you know what could be the ever best solution to this issue? 

It is ‘Better communication’! 

It is imperative to properly send information about a product/service across all departments, which indicates the success of an organization. To achieve this, a PLM or a product lifecycle management becomes truly crucial. 

This blog post lets us learn everything about product lifecycle management and its significance.

<<Also Read: Why is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) essential for your company?>> 

What is product lifecycle?

A lifecycle management PLM is a model for small businesses that is based on the concept that any product launched in the market needs to go through several stages, including introduction, growth,  maturity, and lastly, decline. Though the duration of these stages, as well as the scope, may vary the organizational strategies must stay constant without failing. The product lifecycle is closely connected with marketing while it can also assist small entrepreneurs in developing new products, planning costs, and learning the latest industry trends. 

A product lifecycle is a forecasting, control, and planning tool to estimate the business profit. 

If your business is in a developing stage, you must explore the way to manage the product life cycle along with its stages. 

Why you must have product lifecycle management?

PLM (Product lifecycle management) offers quick and long-lasting results to an organization. It helps enhance the communication among various departments leading to systematic services. This way, employees can get access to the most relevant information without waiting too long for the emails. With easy communication, the resources and time as well can be accurately given to increase the quality of the product. It will develop efficiency externally and internally also. Moreover, customers could also get the profits since their queries would be easily answered in the fastest way. 

product lifecycle management

What factors does PLM involve?

  • The nature of the industry and product decides on what parameters the PLM software would revolve. Some of the most crucial factors include-
  • Executing different resources including finance, people, and infrastructure 
  • Securing the business confidential decisions related to product development
  • Staying constantly updated with the market trends related to customers, technology, and industry 
  • Developing and deploying the top-notch sales/ marketing strategies 
  • Final delivery of lucrative products

<<> Also Read: What is the correlation between Supply Chain Management Software & ERP Solution? >

Significance of the Product Lifecycle Management PLM

There are a number of reasons why business professionals strictly manage a product lifecycle. Some of the prime reasons include-

Proper financial impacts 

The investment required from R&D to launch a product like a car, life-saving drugs, or even consumer durables includes billions of investments spread throughout the years. However, if you miss a single PLM process then your company faces high financial implications causing even bankruptcy. 

Staying up-to-date 

Once success is accomplished, businesses should not get lethargic. For better results, product & project managers should keep a keen watch on the competition with market-transforming products. The best product lifecycle management PLM plan must make sure that businesses keep revisiting their products for any kinds of revisions to be made as per the industry and technology trends. 

product lifecycle management

Changing customer expectations

Today, the enhanced lifestyle has increased the general expectations of customers. Let us see a small incident. If you want to purchase a mobile phone, what do you ask first? Definitely its battery or camera specifications. Coping with these informed and most demanding customer requirements makes it necessary for the managers to review product management plans keenly as a small part of the product development lifecycle process. 

Business survival

For the best class outputs, entrepreneurs should be agile and ready to bring required changes on the floor. If they become arrogant or ignorant, then this might keep companies behind the race. It is this reason why the most iconic brands such as Nokia has disappeared from the market.

So, business heads should always have a sense of their survival while ensuring that their product team is reviewing the strategies and plans regularly. 

<< Also Read: Product Expiration Management in Sage X3>>

The working of product lifecycle management PLM

PLM does not mean just emailing or preparing any proper documentation. It is way beyond that. Though emails and documentations are parts of PLM, it also includes more engaging parts. As discussed earlier a clear definition of PLM is managing a product right from its start to its disposal. It revolves all around various actions that require servicing, making, and distributing a particular product.

The most important factor of product data management PDM is the collection data of from every department and saving it into a centralized database. This way, the departments working on a specific project can share data with the workers. It is called a unified approach that all workers can fetch benefit from. 

Global Search in Sage 300

Global Search in Sage 300
Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the name suggest, it relates to searching information or data on a given platform.

Global search feature was first introduced in Sage 300 ERP v2019. The main focus of introducing Global Search feature was to assist the user to find a particular or a set of data in the database by just using keyword related to the data.

Global search is found in the Help section in the Home Tab of Sage300ERP.

Global Search in sage 300 cloud

Global Search feature is only available when it is selected from the module list while installing Sage300.

From Sage300 v2020 Global Search was made available for Web Version also. The GS can be found at Top Bar of the Sage home page.

As conveyed earlier this feature is used for searching data through entire database or a particular module/screen.

Global Search feature is very user friendly to extract data. To use this feature, one only needs to enter the Keyword related to the data in the finder option. For eg if the user wants to extract the Transaction which have done for Customer/Vendor then the user need to enter either  Customer/Vendor number or name in the finder option of the Global Search screen.

Filter search option is also available for searching the data, user can also specify from which screen or module the data be fetched for the use.

User has the option to filter the data as shown below.

The Global Search feature also helpful as you can directly open the Transaction or Screen for further information about the data.

User can sort the search feed accordingly based on Transaction or masters or Account.

The main benefit of this feature is it reduces the effort of manually searching the data in the database and simplifies it few button click which gives data more efficiently and faster compared to manual output.

One thing about the Global Search option is that it is available for all the user, which helps the user to have a better knowledge of the data and the system.