Cost Benefit Analysis for Business Process Automation

cost benefit analysis - BPA

Having previously discussed the concept of business process automation (“BPA”) and how to identify bottlenecks that BPA can potentially resolve, let’s now turn our attention to the costs of implementing BPA, and the cost versus benefits comparison. The costs will largely depend on your starting point. If you already have a powerful ERP software system in … Read more

Business Process Automation – Identifying Bottlenecks

BPA - identifying bottlenecks

Building on the previous blog post about Business Process Automation (“BPA”), let’s now explore some ideas on how to identify processes that could (or should) be automated, and also how to evaluate the potential benefits of doing so. This is important, because there will be at least some level of cost associated with any BPA implementation, even if … Read more

Business Process Automation – Is It For You?

business process automation

If you work for a large organization, chances are that you’re quite familiar with the concept of Business Process Automation (“BPA”). However, many smaller businesses may have heard the expression but are either not sure what it exactly encompasses, or think that it’s just for larger enterprises. So what is Business Process Automation (or BPA)? … Read more

RDP and Cloud-based Software

RDP and Cloud Software

What is RDP? RDP stands for “Remote Desktop Protocol” and it’s a Microsoft licensed technology that essentially allows you to connect from your device to another computer over the internet. The technology is available for a large range of computers, tablets and other devices, including most Windows and Mac computers, iPads and iPhones, Android devices, … Read more

3 Traps to Avoid When Implementing ERP Software

ERP Implementation Process

When implementing a new ERP Software System in your business, you’re probably (hopefully) looking to achieve improvements in productivity, information flow and business intelligence. Here are three traps that many companies fall into during the implementation phase, preventing them from fully realizing the hoped for, and readily available, benefits of the new system.   Holding on to low … Read more

6 Costly Software Selection Mistakes

Software Selection Mistakes

For many wholesale and distribution companies, replacing internal inventory and accounting ERP software is like going to the dentist; necessary, but potentially painful. Even for those businesses who consider the software purchase as a strategic investment, it can still cause stress and anxiety among employees.  Often, you can stave off the need for replacement with preventive action such as upgrades. This is why it is important to invest in software maintenance, and to find a software vendor that will also upgrade any customization work you have done – without charging more.  However, if the system you’re using will no longer be supported, or if there has been a change in the business that renders it inadequate, you have no choice but to go to market. And when you do, it’s easy to make big mistakes. Here are the biggest ones.

  1. Requirements not defined properly (which can lead to nasty surprises).

This mistake is often the result of a rushed sales and implementation process, and poor communication with the software vendor.  It is as much your responsibility as a company to define your requirements as it is that of the vendor you work with to spend the time learning about your business, and asking the right questions.  Be wary of vendors who try to rush your company to the demo and proposal stage and especially of those who offer price incentives based on specific timeframes.  To avoid this mistake, find a vendor who spends the time getting to know you and your business in order to make sure that their software is the best fit for your needs.  Lastly, never assume that certain features will be available; always check with the vendor to make sure you’re not missing functionality critical to business operations.  Once again, this should not be an issue with a vendor that does a detailed job during the sales process.

  1. Lack of buy-in.

If the people who are going to use the system are not motivated to make it a success, you’re headed for trouble.  This includes those employees in management positions with decision making power and those who will be using the system at various levels within the company.  Resistance from employees is a natural reaction, however there are certain steps you can take as a manager to ease the transition to new software.

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SaaS and On-Premises Software Disaster Recovery Plan

SaaS and On-Premises Software Disaster Recovery

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You can’t predict when your offices will experience an event such as a power failure or a bigger disaster, such as flooding, however you can protect it to minimize the damages that can occur as a result of such a situation.

Many companies rely on their Accounting ERP software on a daily basis for managing their business, and any time without access to it can result in loss of sales, loss of income and loss of ongoing business.  Having a disaster recovery plan (which does not have to be complex or costly) can mitigate the damages caused by downtime.  Yet many small to mid size businesses do not have such a plan in place.

While a full blown plan should start with a risk assessment, followed by complete documentation of procedures and steps to follow, the key components of a basic plan include immediate backup power, data backups and facilities from which to access the data.

Immediate Backup Power

It is critical that servers hosting key data, a workstation and a printer all have an un-interruptable power supply (UPS).  In the case of a power failure, depending on the power of the UPS this should give a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes of time to save documents, complete transactions which are in the middle of being processed, download any spreadsheets or other documents onto portable storage and print any key documents which will be needed.  If using a laptop, as long as the batteries are charged this acts as a built in UPS.

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