Friday, December 31, 2010

Evaluating SaaS Solutions: A Checklist for Small and Midsized Enterprises

Evaluating SaaS Solutions: A Checklist for Small and Midsized Enterprises

Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) has posted an article on a paper from Saugatuck Technology which discusses relevant criteria for evaluating SaaS solutions targeting small and mid size firms, and raises key questions that should be asked. It is important to ensure that a SaaS solution is well aligned with business requirements, and can accommodate change and growth. The paper also provides an evaluation template for executives to use in conducting evaluations of SaaS solutions.

What seems most relevant is the research a company should do to prepare for a change in ERP solutions.  Whether or not it is hosted (SAAS) or in-house, any solution should match the business model in place for a three to five year span and have the capacity to change evolve to meet new challenges and business growth.

VAI's S2K product is available in both in-house and hosted versions.  No software is perfect, but the ability to customize the software to meet current and future needs.  The development staff is always evaluating new technologies to see how they best can be incorporated to increase operational efficiencies, and thus increase profits.

Click here to learn how VAI business partner Dolvin works with companies to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and increase profits.

Click here to read about VAI's success stories.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food Distribution Software

Food Software

VAI’s S2K for Food software is designed to help your business keep up with the competition. Our S2K Enterprise for Food Distribution is a total food management solution that gives distributors the tools they need to reduce costs, enrich customer service, improve decision making and maximize efficiencies throughout the organization.

Our food industry software incorporates the latest industry features and it is easy to use for quick and efficient implementation. S2K Enterprise for Food Distribution is a flexible, scalable, and powerful food management solution that can help food distributors manage their supply chain and customer relationships more efficiently than ever before.

Food Processing Management Solutions

VAI’s food industry software also meets the unique requirements of the Food Processing industry. With an integrated suite of manufacturing applications, S2K Enterprise for Food Distribution also tracks work in process and assembled and/or packaged food products throughout the shop floor. No matter what size your company, our food industry software can dramatically improve your profitability.
Improve cash flow, decrease errors and reduce costs with VAI's S2K for Food software. Features include:
  • Customer Service
  • Inventory
  • Manufacturing
  • Route accounting
  • Finance
  • Warehouse Logistics Management
  • Catch Weight Processing
  • Broken Case Processing
  • Backhaul Processing
  • Truckload Management
  • Lot Processing

Learn More About Food Industry Software From VAI

Learn more about Dolvin Consulting authorized business partnership with VAI

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Invalid Data and the Losses Created

Invalid Data and the Losses Created.

Does your perpetual inventory match what is on your shelves?  Do your suppliers or customers have access to your inventory levels?  Do they make decisions based on this information?

What is invalid data?  Sometimes it is as simple as the computer value reading 1000 units, 998 or some other amount is actually on the shelf.  If the difference is large enough, do you disappoint your customer by not having enough or do you purchase too soon or too much by ordering the wrong quantity?

Invalid data is sometimes a wrong customer address or contact information.  What happens if your products ship to the wrong location?  Who pays for the return?  Who pays for the expedited replacement?  Who calculates the lost labor time?

Is your data duplicated in separate systems or files and how do you ensure they stay in sync?  Which is the “real” data?

How does this happen?  Inaccurate recording of transactional quantity.  Is the quantity correct, but unit of measure invalid?  Someone have a bad day, maybe more than once?  Picked the wrong quantity?  Inventory put away or recorded in the wrong location?  Time delay in posting the transaction?  Software or program error?  Equipment failure?

Garbage-In, Garbage-Out.  Invalid data passed along the system.  When do we find out about the bad data?  Are the audit controls sufficient?  Spot checks?  Does anyone ever figure it out?  Is it the system or the people or the data itself?

What is to be done?  We can start looking for bad data, we can look for the signs of bad data, we can run audit and cross checks to make sure everything balances.  Physical inventory without pre inventory fixes so real accuracy can be calculated.  Customer feedback.  Training personnel how to tell if a number is reasonable.

Clean the data.  Take a proactive approach.  Empower and reward employees for spotting errors.  Ask your customers to review their information. 

Are your problems small or large?  It should not just be business as usual.  Do not let: “It has always been that way, it is a cost of doing business” mindset ruin your profit.  Do not migrate it to a new system.

Find the problem.  Fix the problem.  Do it before someone else does.    

Click the linked words to find out how Dolvin partner VAI use their S2K Enterprise (ERP) software solutions to help companies streamline their operations, reduce costs, and become more profitable.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Purchasing Power and Excess Inventory

Even Fast-moving Items Can Result in Excess Inventory

Many companies are surprised when they find excess inventory of fast-moving items during a physical inventory. After getting over the initial surprise, they shrug their shoulders and say, "These are fast-moving items, and they should sell." What they fail to realize is that even though fast-moving items will sell, they carry unnecessary storage costs that affect their bottom-line profit.

Here are some common symptoms from having the wrong purchasing information: Excess levels of inventory found during physical inventory.  Constant worry about being out-of-stock, even on the most popular items.  Gut-feeling purchasing.  Buying that is out of control. These typically lead to a ripple effect of unnecessary expenses.

New process controls help to identify these issues and support better management of inventory levels, so management does not have to worry about being out-of-stock and not meeting customer demand.  Shipping inventory shortly after receipt, because the right tools exist to identify and track the inventory. 

Better forecasting results in better inventory levels without sacrificing customer service.  Just-in-time inventory is often the far-off dream.  Buying what is needed, when it is needed to meet forecasted customer demand is more practical. 

Do not go with your gut feelings.  Avoid buying out of control situations.

Does your forecast system include current inventory levels and low order points, item maturity based on sales history, outstanding open orders, Vendor’s delivery history? 

Is your purchasing department using accurate information?  Have you invested a lot of time and money in a system that just plain does not work?  Does your system meet your needs or do you meet your system's needs?  Is your company's culture stuck in the past?  How well is you company able to meet today's business challenges?  Are you selling on the Internet?

There is no one perfect solution.  It takes time and energy to select the right software.  Dolvin’s team approach with VAI and IBM partnerships ensures that we have a good match or we make a referral to another vendor.  We value successful partnerships and not having a good match between your challenges and our solutions does not help anyone.

For more information about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions, and how they can improve your bottom line, check out Dolvin Consulting’s web site by clicking this link. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cloud Computing and ERP Solutions

Cloud Computing and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions.

A lot of talk abounds today about Cloud computing.  Basically the cloud term comes from the network drawings of the Internet.  Cloud computing refers to hosting the applications offsite and granting access to users. 

Many personal applications are already hosted and often only require a web browser interface.  The browser interface allows hardware platform independance.

This post is not intended to address all the features, benefits and pitfalls of Cloud computing.  IBM has invested quite a bit in this area.    Click here to learn more about how IBM sees cloud computing reduces cost, improves service delivery and enable business innovation.  IBM provides many tools for developers to ready their applications for the cloud.

The cloud solutions are sometimes referred to as Software-as-a-service (SAAS).  There are many hosted services avialble today.  Dolvin partner VAI is one of the leaders in this area for ERP solution providers.  VAI provides a hosted or cloud version of their ERP software S2K.  While no single solution is best for all companies, this solution is a cost effective alternative.  This is especially true when there are multiple locations including a mobile sales force. 

Click here to learn more about Dolvin Consulting and how they work with VAI.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sales Force Automation

Sales Force Automation

Contact management, great, but is it integrated with the rest of your operations?  Does one department know what the other is doing?  Does management have the information they need to make timely decisions? 
If you need to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and become more profitable, then you need to invest in a solution that does the same thing.  Read on about how VAI's Sales Force Automation solution improves operational efficiencies.
Sales force automation (SFA) involves using software to streamline all phases of the sales process, minimizing the time that sales representatives need to spend on each phase. This allows sales representatives to pursue more clients in a shorter amount of time than would otherwise be possible.

At the heart of S2K Sales Force is a contact management system used for tracking and recording every stage in the sales process for each prospective client, from initial contact to final disposition. From the main contact screen your sales team can review current leads, convert leads to prospects, and convert prospects to customers. During each phase, the sales rep can manage contacts, account opportunities, and track all their interactions with an account. Users can log a call, create to-dos and follow-ups, schedule an event, or add notes. Events can be posted to their calendar and their open to-do list keeps sales reps up to date on all upcoming activities. All activities get posted to history so that users can easily review all their interactions with an account.

S2K Sales Force is much more then contact management; it is completely integrated with S2K Enterprise, giving your sales team real time access to customer and product information anytime anywhere they need it. Using the shopping cart module, your sales team has the ability to search the product catalog, check price and availability, see related products, new products, and current promotions. Sales reps can enter and track quotes, customer orders, and review a customer’s order status. Sales analytics screens give your sales reps insight on customer behavior and allow them to react quickly to customer issues and opportunities. With this powerful application your sales team will be empowered to drive new business and make the most of their sales calls.

Click here to learn more about SFA and how VAI integrated solutions improve efficiencies.

Click here to learn more about VAI partner Dolvin Consulting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fear of Change

Fear of Change

Does your company face any of these dilemmas?
·         Question if they should replace their aging system(s) or live with it despite its deficiencies?
·         Not want to relieve a previous bad experience?
·         Not want to stress their personnel with learning a new system or technology?
·         Make excuses about why new software is not needed?

Top issues:
·         Fear limits selection of new computer systems.
o    Fear of change is often traced to the Information Technology department.
o    Complacency using their existing equipment, reluctance to learn new technologies. 
o    Not sure if new equipment meets their reliability requirements. 
o    Afraid their jobs will be outsourced or not needed.
·         Wrong choices lead to business disruptions and financial losses.
o    Previous bad experiences and losses from incorrect decisions create fear that history will be repeated.
o    At what point does the continued losses become more than the cost of a new system? 
o    You know tough decisions need to be made, but fear holds you back.

The reasons for change:
·         Newer, integrated systems provide management the ability to make informed decisions.  Decisions based on facts and known metrics, not gut-feelings.
·         Loss of profits due to poor inventory management and customer management.
·         Compounded losses add up.
·         Accepting errors as the cost of doing business.
·         Increased efficiencies lead to lower operating costs. 
·         Either sales volumes must increase or profit margins must change if the company is going to survive without making necessary changes.
·         Manual processes should be replaced with automated systems to reduce errors and labor overhead without sacrificing customer support.

You decide:
Do you feel that, in order to compete in today’s market, having a system that integrates the supply chain, warehouse operations, ecommerce, back office/financial integration, would offset the effect of increased operating costs, lost sales, excess or misplaced inventory, and additional expenses that lower your profit margin?

Dolvin's web site has information and links to find out more about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and how they can improve your bottom line.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

User conferences are a great way that software vendors educate their customers.  The conferences should also be an opportunity for the users to educate the vendors on what they like, what they use, and what needs to be improved. 

Real-world implementations, real world challenges, real world solutions.

VAI has a long history of entertaining and listening to their users.  Many of the enhancements to their solutions comes from the user conferences.

Click here for a short video of the 2010 user conference.

Click here to learn about Dolvin and how we address our clients challenges. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Is ERP failing Manufacturers?

Is ERP failing Manufacturers?

In a recent white paper the Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) blog site author P.J. Jakovljevic talks about the challenges facing the Manufacturing industry for years.  Is there a better way to forecast demand? 

Forecasting is important, but so is finding the right solution.  The article points out that there are many software solutions.  Finding an integrated solution with the proper support is critical if the implementation is to be successful and return on investment actually returned.

Too many times software alone is seen as the solution and not enough buy in from management to budget enough resources to properly train and implement the solution.  Technology departments install and integrate the application, the pilot the use.  Everything looks promising and then when the Technology department moves on to the next project the last one slowly fades away.  Overburdened workers are not motivated enough to use the tools they already have.  What just happened to the efficiency you thought you were purchasing? 

Can you really purchase efficiency?

How many times have you been frustrated by receiving a spread sheet report and the data is out of sync or miscalculated?  How many decisions did you make based on out of date data?  How many decisions were not able to make, because you did not have any information?

Forecasting is cornerstone to budgeting, efficiency, throughput and profitability.  So is a properly installed and integrated system that users actually use.

Read the full TEC white paper by clicking here:

To learn how Dolvin and VAI offer solutions to the mid sized companies click here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Customer Service and the need for an integrated system

Customer Service and the need for an integrated system

Most companies have some struggles with Accounts Receivable and Customer service.  These are two very important business functions of every business.

I received an email recently from a noted expert that indicated that "Worldwide, up to two-thirds of all customers leave due to poor customer service.  On average, most US corporations lose half their customers every five years.  Customer relationship activities have the most impact on customer retention.  Every customer service encounter has the potential to gain repeat business or drive it away."

Read more at Dolvin's Web site to explore how and why an integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, such as Vormittag's (VAI) S2K family of products can help you streamline your computer operations so your customer service team has the information they need to service your customer base more efficiently.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Does your Enterprise Software (ERP) solution fail to provide any useful information?  Is the information there, but it takes too long to be delivered so that it is not news?  How many different versions have you tried to implement?  Was there something missing, not quite right?  VAI's product is comprehensive and fully integrated.
S2K Analytics is a comprehensive Business Intelligence (BI) tool that can help you improve service levels, gain visibility into revenue and profitability performance, control costs and better manage extended and complex supply chains. This powerful tool connects your staff with enterprise information in a way that is easy-to-use so they can make better decisions. With S2K Analytics you can:
  • Set targets, see results and understand what drives the numbers
  • Identify trends that may be benefits or threats
  • Take action with a common context for decision-making across every department
  • Identify and analyze opportunities and trends
S2K Analytics pre-configured dashboards help you gain immediate visibility into sales, monitor revenue and make sure targets are hit. S2K Analytics helps you see the big picture and monitor the performance at a company or location level. Detailed dashboards let you analyze volumes and profitability by sales rep, customer, or product. S2K Analytics enables you to analyze data at the most granular level of detail required, providing unparalleled insight into the actual events and dependencies informing your business performance.

Powered by QlikView, users can create their own dashboards to explore and understand data in their specific department. In addition to seeing charts, graphs and numbers, QlikView's associative analysis allows you to see and explore relationships that go beyond the linear and obvious. This exciting BI tool delivers true teamwork capabilities to end users, to allow any level of information sharing. Email simple bookmarks of selection criteria to colleagues. Build your own analytics within a document and then share them with team members to illustrate new perspectives. Sharing your insights via QlikView also means everyone works from a single version of the truth. With QlikView, there are no hidden surprises due to out-of-date or siloed data.

With QlikView’s mobile options, laptop users have options to sync with server documents or operate on a stand-alone basis. And QlikView’s state-of-the-art interactive mobile BI experience takes full advantage of the power and interactivity of today's smartphones to deliver full mobile analysis capabilities. Complete data selection and drill-down, object choices, GPS-sensitive filtering, and advanced visualization are available on all leading-edge mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Java-enabled handsets such as Blackberry and Symbian phones.

To learn more about VAI's BI product click here.

To learn more about how Dolvin partners with VAI to deliver these powerful solutions click here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Challenges to the Manufacturing, Distribution and Retailing Industries

Challenges to the Manufacturing, Distribution and Retailing Industries

Is your company facing any of these challenges to your operations?

  • Outsourcing production overseas to lower operating cost.
  • Starting to bypass the distributors selling directly to the Retail industry.
  • Opening outlet stores to they sell excess inventory.

  • Bring components from overseas becoming semi-manufacturers selling to the Retail industry.
  • Selling on the web B2B and B2C serving their clients and the Retail industry.
  • Opening outlet stores where they sell excess inventory.

  • Buying directly from the manufacturer in the USA bypassing the distributor to lower cost of goods.
  • Buying directly from overseas vendors bypassing both the manufacturer and the distributor.
  • Selling on the web B2B and B2C serving their clients and the Retail industry.

  • Wrong shipment carried duplicate freight, can become excess inventory, and affect customer satisfaction.
  • Misplaced inventory might not be sold and can become excess inventory.
  • Excess inventory carried additional cost and can affect the line of credit.

  • The web can be a double edged sword: it can increase sales or result in business disruptions.
  • Not having automated warehouse will result in incorrect shipments and excess inventory.
  • Not having modern back office system can result in buying the wrong products resulting in excess inventory.

  • Very often the search is left to the IT department who does not have the complete business overview resulting in choosing the wrong software.
  • All demos look very good since they are given by professionals who were trained to give them.
  • Just because software looks good does not mean it is appropriate for the end user.

Buying Software
  • Search committee of heads of department and computer department should be established.
  • Business requirements’ list should be put together and addressed at the demo.
  • Before buying the software visit vendor reference accounts and meet the CEO, CFO, and Computer Manager.

Next Steps:
Often a properly chosen and implemented software solution that is completely integrated can help a business overcome these threats and expose new opportunities.  That being said, sometimes software is the right solution to address these threats, sometimes it is not, and sometimes it's just part of a broader solution. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Myths of Outsourcing (Part 3 of 3)

Dolvin partner Optimum Solution's highlights some myths about outsourcing payroll.  Below is part 3 of 3 stories highlighting real life success stories.  Click here to learn more about Optimum Solutions.

Myth #3:  “If we outsource, it is more cost-effective”

FACT:  The true cost behind outsourcing is often difficult to predict.  Over time, a company will be faced with numerous hidden costs, fees for every report needed and price increases solely at the discretion of the outsourcing provider.  Companies will also often be presented with additional fees for W-2 filing, tax filing and printing of checks.  By bringing payroll in-house, many companies will see a return on their investment in as little as one year, as the purchase price of an in-house system is often equivalent to the company’s fee for only one year of outsourcing.   

Companies will often falsely believe that they will need to hire additional employees if they bring payroll in-house.  The truth is that the same staff responsible for outsourced payroll information can easily manage the duties needed for an in-house payroll system.

Companies are also often concerned that they will need additional IT staff if they bring their payroll in-house.  Most companies must have basic IT support in order to maintain equipment needed for daily activities.  With in-house solutions, all support and maintenance is provided directly by the vendor, and is completely automated, therefore no additional IT staff is required. 

Optimum Solutions customer:

“Before I purchased the software, I had to justify it…but that was easy to do once I illustrated how quickly we would receive a payback – we saw a return on our investment in less than two years.”
Donna Pickerill
White Hydraulics, Inc. 

Many companies have discovered that bringing payroll in-house can save a significant amount of money and receive superior support, thereby providing more value-added services to the company.  If you would like to learn more about Optimum Solutions’ full-featured in-house applications for the Windows or iSeries platforms, please contact us at 800-489-6026 or visit our website at for more information.

Friday, November 19, 2010

10 Common Issues with the Supply Chain.

10 Common Issues with the Supply Chain.

1.     Borrowing money:
Sale and inventory information are a major factor when getting financed. Not having the proper information will result in the main lender declining the loan or line of credit. Borrowing the money in secondary financial markets will result in high interest and increase operating costs.

2.     Cash flow issues:
Not having the right collection tools, the Account Receivable invoices become overdue, resulting in cash flow problems and financing at high interest rates.

3.     Buying based on "guesswork":
Not having accurate computer information will result in purchasing the wrong products or quantities and the unsold inventory will "collect dust" on the shelves in the warehouse.

4.     Purchase order verifications:
When inventory is received at the warehouse, not being able to scan and verify it against the purchase order will result in excessive paper work, higher labor cost, and possibly missing the early payment discount date offered by the vendor.

5.     Misplaced inventory:
When consolidating items on shelves, inventory often gets misplaced resulting in unnecessary replenishments. At physical inventory time, when found, this "lost" inventory often becomes excess inventory that might not be sold.

6.     Wrong shipments:
When incorrect products or quantities are shipped it creates the "domino effect" of business disruptions. Returned products carry double freight bills and the invoices will not be paid until credits and adjustments are issued. If the shipped inventory is replenished, often it will become excess inventory.

7.     Production coming to a grinding halt:
Not having accurate inventory control will result in parts' shortages that can bring the assembly line to a grinding halt, resulting in business disruptions.

8.     Profit or loss when using the Web?"
The Web can be a key to sales' success or business disruptions. Using the Web can increase sales drastically, or result in disruption of the back office business flow. Having outdated software will result in incorrect shipments, shortage of saleable items or excess inventory.

9.     Inaccurate sales information:
An outdated computer system will produce inaccurate information affecting future business planning and buying patterns.

10.  Disaster recovery:
If a disaster occurs, not being able to provide accurate computer information to the insurance company will result in devastating losses.

Click here to learn more about how Dolvin Consulting and how we help you better manage your enterprise.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Myths of Outsourcing (Part 2 of 3)

Dolvin partner Optimum Solution's highlights some myths about outsourcing payroll.  Below is part 2 of 3 stories highlighting real life success stories.  Click here to learn more about Optimum Solutions.

Myth #2:  “If we bring payroll in-house, we have to become tax experts”

FACT:  Most full-featured in-house payroll applications will maintain and update all tax tables and calculate the necessary taxes, thereby automating the tasks of tax filing.  With an in-house system, there is no need for your staff to become tax experts.  In fact, an in-house program can simplify the process – making electronic tax filing available at the click of a button. 

Optimum Solutions customer:

“I was a little nervous to begin tax filing on an in-house system.  I soon found out that the tax information is updated by Optimum – it’s all built into the program.  Also, the support personnel at Optimum answered every question I had, it was just so easy.”

Lesa Kloski
Assistant Controller
Tredit Tire & Wheel Company, Inc.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just in Time Inventory Control Systems

Just In Time Inventory Control Systems are about eliminating waste and gaining the most value out of your operation. Just In Time Inventory Control Systems provide the platform for Lean Manufacturing, enabling you to have the exact amount of materials and inventory you need, when you need it- no more and no less.

Inventory remaining in your warehouse collects dust and cost instead of revenue. In addition to lost profit from administration, financing and storage costs, inventory in your warehouse has to be insured or is exposed to risk such as fires, floods, obsolescence, and market depreciation. And raw material inventory remaining in the warehouse for a sluggish product can be a significant drag in markets that demand fast product changes.

Competitive markets reward fluid operations, responsive to costs and opportunities, requiring assets that produce revenue. A fluid, responsive operation enables you to move product quickly, based on demand with purchase orders in step with inventory movement. The end result? Faster movement of accurate quantities of inventory, responsive to your markets, with faster time to revenue.

Just In Time Inventory Control Systems are delivered through a combination of software and services, supported by experts with wide experience in the business of manufacturing and distribution. The bottom line: we bring hand's-on understanding, value and experience to your unique business challenges, working closely with you to implement the solution that works best.

With Just In Time Inventory Control Systems, you quickly automate procedures that:
·         Scan inventory upon receipt at the warehouse
·         Enable purchase orders to be available on a real time basis
·         Allocate incoming inventory to customer orders
·         Ship inventory as soon as it's received at the warehouse dock
·         Confirm the shipment of merchandise to customers
·         Easily track that the correct items and quantities were fulfilled

Part of an Enterprise-Wide Solution Specializing in helping manufacturing and distribution companies increase efficiency, improve customer service and augment cash flow. We do this by delivering an integrated combination of software and services for inventory control and inventory management including: Supply chain management, Manufacturing software, Distribution management, Inventory tracking, Warehouse management and Logistics, Just in time inventory control, Retail, Supply chain management, Ebusiness software, Sales Force automation & CRM, Purchase order management, plus a team of experts in the business of manufacturing and distribution. The bottom line: we understand your business challenges and work closely with you to implement the solutions that work best for your company.

We have been providing solutions since 1998.  We were here for you then, we're here for you now and we'll be here tomorrow. 

Dolvin Consulting Enterprise Software Solutions, powered by VAI S2K Family of Products and the leading technologies developed by Vormittag Associates, Inc. (VAI). Vormittag Associates Inc. (VAI) is a Premier IBM Business Partner and award winning software developer. The company's enterprise software product, S2K, offers a suite of dynamic applications for the wholesale distribution, manufacturing, and retail industries. Designed for the small to mid-range market, S2K is in use in over 700 companies worldwide. Most important, the flexibility and adaptability of S2K enables Dolvin Consulting Solutions to easily accommodate even your most pressing and complex business requirements.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The High Cost of Screwing Up a Software Implementation

They say the devil is in the details, and nowhere is that more true than in software implementations. Read this cautionary tale from TEC Analyst Chris Tanner to discover how getting just one important detail wrong in an IT project can cost time, money, and maybe even your job.

The essence of the article points out how important your ERP solution provider is and how much they concentrate on your needs and not just their commission.  As the author points out a very critical license issues was overlooked causing major headaches later on. 

Picking the right software involves not only the software, but the software provider. 

It is critical that you have a good working relationship with the provider and you have conversations with not only sales people, but managers, and yes owners.  Privately held companies, such as VAI pride themselves on giving all customers access to all team members from top to bottom.  It is one way in which VAI and business partner Dolvin distinguish themselves from the masses.

If you are not able to meet with the owner of the company and review your concerns, issues and agenda, then who are you working with?

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Myths of Outsourcing (Part 1 of 3)

Dolvin partner Optimum Solution's highlights some myths about outsourcing payroll.  Below is part 1 of 3 stories highlighting real life success stories.  Click here to learn more about Optimum Solutions.

Myth #1:  “If we outsource, someone else is doing all the work”

FACT:  Companies often have the false impression that they will no longer need to worry about any payroll functions if they decide to outsource.  The reality is that companies are still responsible for providing the outsourcing company with the essential information.  The company must collect and input items such as time, vacation, and pay information and then transmit the information for the outsourcer to print the paychecks.  As a result, all of the payroll functions are being completed internally.

Another issue that can arise with outsourcing is the loss of control over the payroll process. Service providers mandate that you meet their deadline and work on their schedule, not your own.  If there is a problem with submitted payroll information, the company must alert the outsourcer of the error and wait for them to correct it – potentially delaying your payroll.

Full-featured in-house payroll applications automate everyday functions such as tax reporting, vacation accruals, time input, direct deposit and garnishments.  The current personnel would be completing the same tasks, whether the company chooses to outsource or bring the payroll process in-house.

Optimum Solutions customer:

“While outsourcing, my staff still had to process the payroll, which is up to 90% of the work…I always thought outsourcing was better, until I really looked at the features and benefits of bringing payroll in-house with Optimum.”
Bruce Kalem
Milan Express Company, Inc.

Companies today have two options for paying their employees:  outsource their payroll or bring it in-house.  Companies are often drawn to payroll outsourcing by their promises of saving the company time, money and resources.  However, those companies quickly find the hidden fees and lack of flexibility and control after they outsource.  If this applies to your company, take the time to learn more about the “myths” of outsourcing and how an advanced, in-house payroll solution can provide complete control without the hidden fees.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inside ERP's Top 10 questions to ask when choosing and ERP solution.

Have you put together the most important questions to ask your potential ERP vendors?

Before buying a mid market or enterprise-level ERP system, you must get answers to these top 10 questions compiled from our ERP analysts who speak with 1000's of Finance, Manufacturing and Operations buyers. Learn what other ERP buyers have said should be part of the Top 10 questions to ask when choosing an ERP solution!
Not sure if you will agree with Inside ERP's actual questions, but this relatively quick reference does help.  All companies should work with their trusted advisor to come up with their own top 10 questions.  The questions should be broad enough to allow comparison between multiple vendors and narrow enough to provide real answers.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Technolgoy Evaluation Centers reviews Vormittag's S2K Enterprise software

Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) has now certified Vormittag (VAI’s) S2K Enterprise software.  You can be assured that the data TEC provides about its certified products conform to a well-defined standard of accuracy. When a vendor’s product is TEC Certified, it means that a trusted, independent third party has seen the product up close.
This is a well anticipated step that will allow organizations interested in finding the best fit software to cross compare S2K with other industry solutions.
Follow the link above to download the whitepaper.