5 Ways to Reduce Downtime: Preventive Measures Every Company can take

ERP Software Development - ExpandERP
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This article was published on: 18/01/19 2:47 PM

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5 Ways to Reduce Downtime: Preventive Measures Every Company can take

Despite having a sturdy infrastructure, there are many organizations which face database, software and hardware downtime which lead to shorter periods of shutting down to longer days of non-functionality. What exactly is a downtime period? It is basically an ‘unplanned event which stops production caused by either by human error or machine dysfunction”. System outages are common, but can your company afford this downtime? Here are 5 preventive measures to downtime that companies can follow.

Calculate the expenses of downtime


For any manufacturing unit, the biggest mistake would be not to calculate the ‘real’ expenses of downtime. The calculation should include loss in the production of actual goods, loss in productivity, and the number of man hours which needs to be further devoted to rescheduling. Not to forget the unexpected expenses of repairing equipments and the time which needs to be devoted to satisfy the customers. But the most fatal of these expenses would be reputation damage.

Go for a risk audit


The most effective way to reduce downtime is to go for a risk audit. According to statistics it has been proven that obsolete machines and equipments used by the manufacturers can stall operations leading to sudden downtime. For most outdated or old machines, parts are not available or take weeks to deliver. Think about your support network and get a thorough idea about the availability of the spare parts. A risk audit will ensure that problems are highlighted and you come up with solutions which can help you when you go down.

Prepare your data and reporting systems


Many manufacturers have manual methods of data collation and data management. When you evaluate your current data collection system, do they pinpoint to the macro causes of downtime? A vague report on a non-functional machine is not enough. What you need is real-time access to the entire operational data. ExpandERP is one integrated software which resolves this issue immediately. Once the IT and operational systems are integrated, it helps the manufacturer to know the exact moment when a machine breaks down. Once the cause of downtime is known, it helps in faster and accurate responses.

Updating your documentation


Update all documentation on your equipments like machine history and procedure and up-to-date drawings of an equipment which can be used as easy reference in case of an error. Proper documentation is the key to address unplanned downtime. When the operators have the right information, it becomes easier for them to address the issues. Working without context never helps. You need an integrated software like ExpandERP to show people how proper documentation can improve overall performance of an unit.

Adopt a proactive method

Proactive thinking will allow you to adopt new habits and systems which will stop problems even before they occur. ExpandERP is one such example of proactive thinking. The idea is to automate your processes and maximize the value of those processes leading to increase in operational value. To know more, you can click on Expand ERP

5 Unexpected Things To Expect Before ERP Implementation: Can Selecting Right Vendor Help?

how to Help ERP Software for our business
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This article was published on: 3/01/19 10:10 AM

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5 Unexpected Things To Expect Before ERP Implementation: Can Selecting Right Vendor Help?

Remember, a good ERP system ‘ideally’ should have an impact on every part of your business. Here we are talking about an ‘ideal’ condition. Reality can be far from ‘ideal’. With countless ERP softwares available in the market, it becomes almost impossible to select the right ERP solution which fits your organization. When you are a first time buyer, the choice becomes more difficult as you can face a number of challenges. Identifying these challenges in the planning stage can solve a lot of problems; the primary being selecting the right vendor.

Do not be confused with too many options

As a business owner, it is crucial to establish, define and understand the unique business processes of the company. If required, prepare a list of questions for the ERP vendor. You not only need the right software, but also the right vendor. Remember, when it comes to ERP solution, it’s not a one-size fits all situation. For example, if you are in the manufacturing or export industry, you will need a reliable ERP software like Expand ERP. With an expert ERP solution like ExpandERP, you will be promised end-to-end solutions which will fulfill the specific requirements of your business

Enquire about the technology specifications of the ERP solution

While selecting the right ERP, think of the technology that the ERP solution is using. Ask whether the ERP solution is turnkey or will be customized as per the organization’s business processes. If the ERP solution is scalable, will it be able to adapt to the growing users or increases in data? Ask about the speed of the product and how it will impact the end user. Another major concern of the organization is whether there will be possible support for multi-company or multi-site environments if the company wants to work on multiple operations. Now, this is where ExpandERP is different from other ERP solutions; as it is hosted on cloud it helps to quickly migrate legacy systems and implement most advanced technology features across different processes and departments effortlessly.

Think about data quality control

Two of the most common data challenges that a company faces while implementing a new ERP system is replacing legacy data and think about a process to consolidate separate solutions. A business should decide on the kind of data which needs to be collected for business processes and operations. This will be closely followed by the clearance of any duplicate or inaccurate data which was part of the previous system.
An expert vendor like eDominar will help you to guide you through the entire process and map the migration of the newly refined data to the new file format. It is absolutely crucial that all data is balanced prior to going live. Remember that the data integrity of the new system can either make or break the implementation of ERP. With ExpandERP, there is absolutely no requirement for in-house IT infrastructure or upgrades. You need not worry about data backup of security.

Talk about the true expenses of the ERP solution

Before you select the vendor or sign a contract, you need to determine the rough estimate of ROI. As a business owner you are likely to evaluate the cost of the ERP platform and whether it is okay to pay that amount, considering the functionalities it will offer. Also, many organizations have the concern whether the charges will be one-time or if they will be recurring. In case, it is the latter, you need to figure out whether or not the organization can afford that amount. You also need to find out about the annual maintenance charges.

Once you evaluate all these expenses, do a quick review about the ROI; your investment should not be more than the projected returns. The Expand team takes care of any user query over remote desktop and phone support at zero expense. As it is a cloud ERP, there will be automatic statutory updates. New reporting changes and new features will get rolled out instantaneously at zero cost.

Will the ERP solution adapt to the business?

A successful ERP implementation depends on the users and their willingness to adapt to new processes and systems. The best way to manage ERP is from top down. It is essential that managers and executives are integrated to the system, so that employees can follow them.

Check out edominer and Cloud ERP Software for one of the effective ERP solutions for your business.

Is ERP Worth It?

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This article was published on: 15/03/16 1:37 PM

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Is ERP Worth It?

Implementing an ERP system tends to be a complex and costly process which leads many to wonder – is ERP worth it and will it really help?

Enterprise Resource Planning, commonly abbreviated as ERP, refers to a business management system that is comprised of various integrated software modules that help to manage and integrate the business functions in an organisation.

Since the late 1980s large companies such as IBM and Microsoft recognised the need of implementing an ERP system to ensure the smooth flow of data and information in face of the ever growing and complex business and technological environment. In order to make the best decision in a timely manner, businesses require efficient inter-organisational data flow.

Take for example Nestle USA. In 1997, the company decided to roll out an ERP system to integrate its various business operations in the country. The implementation would take 6 years, with a budget of approximately $ 200 million. While this may seem like an exorbitant amount, by 2002 the company reported savings of $ 325 million, increased integration within different regions, reduced training costs for employees, and more accurate demand forecasting among various other benefits. In terms of monetary investment alone, the move certainly panned out well. These benefits combined led to greater efficiency, competitiveness and an overall organisational ‘culture of continuous improvement’. Several other companies also share similar stories.

Greater integration and transparency within a company lead to increased productivity, better decision making, reduced operating costs and improved internal communication. Even the customers reap the benefits of successful enterprise integration – increased customer service, satisfaction and order fulfilment are one of the many benefits reported.

Not all businesses are capable, or even suitable for implementing a complex and costly ERP system; however, with the introduction of many out-of-the-box ERP soft wares that are very reasonably priced even small enterprises can reap the benefits of this system. It is apparent that in order to stay competitive in the market, greater efficiency provided by ERP systems and soft wares is necessary.

To be competitive, to be relevant, to be efficient – ERP is essential.

Contributor : Vidushi

GOLDILOCKS AND ERP DECISIONS

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This article was published on: 3/03/16 12:50 PM

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GOLDILOCKS AND ERP DECISIONS

ERP Decisions

Goldilocks, SMEs and the quest for ‘Just Right!’

“Goldilocks was wandering through the forest when she chanced upon a house. Famished and tired, she entered and was delighted to see three bowls of porridge to quell her hunger pangs. She tasted the first bowl and exclaimed that it was too hot. The second bowl’s porridge was far too cold. The third bowl however was just right for her and she soon gobbled it all up”

Small and medium sized enterprises are the proverbial Goldilocks of the business world. While Goldilocks strolled aimlessly through the woods in need of food and nourishment, these firms wander through the business world, in need of a solution to help them cope and compete in their industry.Goldilocks had to taste all the bowls of porridge to find the one that was ‘just right’ for her. Much in the same way as Goldilocks, firms also have to go through all the available options to determine which solution is ‘just right’ for their needs.

Just as Goldilocks was famished and in need of nourishment, a firm in today’s hyper competitive environment requires enterprise resource planning solutions to address its needs and hunger for growth. The solutions offered may be ‘too hot’ with far too many components, complexities and costs that would burn the firm. A ‘too cold’ ERP system without the necessary modules to meet the requirements of the firm is not a desirable solution either. An SME can neither have a ‘too hot’ solution or a ‘too cold’ one as both would hurt them and their prospects for growth.

So what is the ‘Just Right!’ solution?

1)The porridge that is ‘just right’ is sufficient in quantity to alleviate Goldilocks’ hunger, nourishing enough to help her grow and at a temperature that renders the meal palatable.

2) Similarly the ERP that is ‘just right’ has all the modules and programs necessary to meet the firm’s current and more pressing business needs, while the system aids the company’s future growth plans – all at an affordable cost. The ‘just right’ ERP should meet the firm’s current pressing needs and the future more complex needs for growth.

3) Most SMEs would find that their Goldilocks solution is a mostly standard ERP system with minimal to moderate customization and costs. Cloud-based enterprise resource planning programs are suitable for these firms as they are affordable and have the scope to be easily modified to meet the firm’s growing needs in the future.

“After finishing the porridge, Goldilocks felt tired and went over to the living room and found three chairs. She sat in the first one and exclaimed “this chair is too big!” The second chair was too big for Goldilocks as well. The third chair appeared to be just right in size for Goldilocks but as soon as she settled in, it broke apart completely!”

When Goldilocks is tired she goes over to a chair, settles into one that appears just right in size. The chair and Goldilocks both come crashing down. Firms with an enterprise resource planning system that opt for the bare minimal support get the same experience. Much like how the ‘just right’ chair was anything but, firms need to be wary of ERP solutions that provide the bare minimum and provide no flexibility or scope for adapting to a growing business.

     As a firm implements the system and starts reaping benefits from the ERP, it starts to increase its efficiency, productivity and growth. The ERP system and vendor should provide adequate support to aid the firm with any troubles it meets along the way. Programs that update automatically and keep the system running on the latest, most efficient system would be ideal for SMEs. A vendor that provides regular support services and is specialized in providing industry-specific solutions would be suitable as they can anticipate the firm’s needs effectively and intuitively as a result of their experience. It is essential that the ERP system and vendor must be capable of increasing the number of modules and services when the scope of the business changes – otherwise the firm may suffer the same fate as Goldilocks.

“Goldilocks feeling sleepy, proceeded upstairs and found three bed. She lay on the first and found it far too hard. The second was far too soft. She tried the third bed, and it was ‘just right’ and she promptly fell asleep.”
   
   Just like Papa Bear’s bed, which was too hard for Goldilocks, a large vendor’s solutions may not be suitable for small and medium enterprises. The big names of the ERP industry are more experienced in addressing the needs of large conglomerates. Their programs, modules and systems are all designed meet to the needs of the Fortune 500s and SMEs often find their solutions uncomfortable. Mama Bear’s bed, being far too soft, was also not right for Goldilocks. Similarly, ERP vendors that are too inexperienced or just offer a few individual modules may not be able to provide quality solutions for the firm.

 Vendors that are specifically focused on providing solutions for SMEs would be more suitable for compared to the ‘big players’ like SAP and Oracle. An out-the-box solution with minimal modifications is enough to meet all the current and future needs of most SMEs at a fraction of the cost of the big firms.

   Much like Goldilocks, firms can experiment with their ERP programs and vendors before settling into their ‘just right’ systems. Firms can draw some wisdom from Goldilocks as well – that is to not settle for anything that is not ‘just right’. When choosing an ERP system firms must keep in mind that it is a long term decision. Unlike Goldilocks, once they choose their bed, they will be lying in it for quite a while.

Contributor : Vidushi

Myth Busters: Data Insecurity on Cloud

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This article was published on: 28/12/15 8:45 AM

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Myth Busters: Data Insecurity on Cloud

“Sure an ERP system is great, but is my data safe on the cloud?”
Due to common misconceptions, and with wide spread myths about cloud storage some companies remain hesitant to move forward into the future.
The cloud enables greater transparency and accessibility, rapid deployment of the software across the company and seamless scaling of business functions to meet market changes. There have been a number of high profile attacks on company data in the past year, a case in point being Sony. These stories are bound to make some hesitant about switching to the cloud.
These are the top buyer misconceptions when it comes to cloud ERP system:
1. Cloud data is more prone to attack
An ERP vendor has more expertise on data security than the average enterprise engaging its services. The physical location of the server, be it on company premises or within a cloud provider’s data center, has little relevance on the server’s potential vulnerability. The data’s security relies less on the physical location of the server and more on the security measures implemented by the center. Companies with on premise ERP have the added responsibility of maintaining its server’s security and maintenance. The generally superior to that of the average enterprise. Thus purely in terms of data security, the cloud system is the better option for most small and medium sized enterprises.
2. Data Residency Control
Many countries have regulations that restrict personal or sensitive data to be exported or stored in a different country. Companies that fear that their data and records may be outsourced without their consent can rest east knowing that there are legislative restrictions to prevent that. By choosing a reputable and reliable ERP vendor who is transparent about the internal and external policies governing the relationship, the firms can be assured that their data is in reliable hands and rest easy.
3. Rival firms with the same vendor can hack and sabotage
A persistent but unfounded concern is that a cloud based system that houses the data of multiple firms is inherently more susceptible to data hacks, leaks and attacks. In a cloud system, firms share a pool of network and storage resources, which brings about this fear, because in the business world, sharing is not about caring. Firms can be assured that the cloud providers segment and secure the servers and resources in such a way that essentially each company’s data is in their own private space, completely detached and inaccessible for others.
4. No Cloud, No Worries!
A firm that has not opted for a cloud ERP system may smugly assume that it is safer. “My data is not stored on the cloud, it is stored on my own computer. I am completely safe!” But if the computers are connected to the internet, the firm is already on the cloud. Given that most, if not all, companies are connected to the internet, no company is perfectly safe from attacks and data theft.
5. Data security is the sole responsibility of the Cloud Provider
The cloud ERP vendor does manage the network security and associated tasks for the firm. However, to rely solely on the vendor for all aspects of data security is a massive folly. Internal data management and confidentiality policies, password policies, employee accessibility, user management and security training of employees are equally, if not more, important when it comes to maintaining data integrity and safety.
There are several reasons to choose a cloud based solution for your business needs. Lower costs, greater accessibility and flexibility are some of the many reasons that firms are increasingly opting for cloud-based ERP. The common myths and misconceptions regarding data security on the cloud are more fiction than fact. Enterprises looking for a suitable ERP system can be rest assured that the cloud options are safe.
Contributor : Vidushi