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Saturday, 22 October 2011

ERP Solutions – Best Practices Implementation

ERP software solutions in Indonesia need to provide a high level of reliability, as well as good customization and configuration options due to the geographic and cultural environment. ERP solutions that are publicised as easy-to-implement and ready-to-go software, however, should be taken with a pinch of salt because no reputable ERP software company should claim its solution is a universally easy-to-implement system. Implementation of ERP systems is a complex process, involving in-depth study of an enterprise’s needs and requirements, data migration, configuration and possible customization of software, etc. ERP solutions consist of different modules that have to be configured to suit the correct needs of a customer; therefore, best ERP implementations practices involve long procedures and thorough analysis and assessment of different aspects of successful software deployment.

ERP solutions provide increased business processes efficiency, automating essential business management procedures and tasks, while allowing corporate executives to analyze data in a more comprehensive fashion across different departments. Thus, implementation of ERP systems secures operations of the everyday management procedures and decision making, helping managers to focus on strategic decisions instead of procedures and methods for data collection across departments and subsidiaries.

Best practices in implementation of ERP platforms show that few large corporations can rely on ready-to-install solutions but need to go through a process of customization and tailor-made configuration of the ERP systems they use or implement. The ERP systems are developed in modules; therefore, a trade corporation can take advantage of particular software modules like financial operations and accounting while setting aside modules that are designed to fulfil the needs of a manufacturer.

Although all ERP systems are developed to enhance the existing corporate business model and practices, an enterprise can barely expect to see immediate positive impact on its Return on Investment (ROI). Best practices in ERP implementation show that a corporation should witness improvement of financial results over a period of time, depending on process complexity and overall company size it could be 3 to 5 years.

A crucial element of ERP implementation is data migration, a process which has to be carefully prepared in advance, while data templates should be developed for seamless migration of data. Data migration takes place at a relatively late stage of the overall ERP system implementation; therefore, some managers and IT specialists tend to underrate the importance of the process. According to the best ERP implementation practices, data migration can secure, or ruin, flawless transition to a new business management system and is an essential element of each smoothly-operating ERP system.

A reputable ERP software company will usually require over a year or two to complete ERP system implementation within a large enterprise. Best practices include hiring of third-party consultants to assess all needs of the company, evaluate the ERP software, and develop processes, together with the ERP software vendor, for achieving best implementation quality within budget and time.

Support is another underestimated aspect of ERP implementation, and underrating this element can result in disastrous results for a corporation. Pre-implementation and post-implementation support plays an equally important role in the best ERP implementation practices. While many companies offer consulting, configuration and customization prior and during implementation of ERP software, a first-class service should include reliable and affordable post-implementation support.

A company may consider implementing a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ERP solution, which eliminates a number of difficulties related to on-premise installation and configuration of ERP software. Such a solution runs on remote servers and all data is stored on these servers that are managed and supported by a third-party vendor. However this may not be a good idea in Indonesia till the telecom infrastructure develops across the nation and can guarantee nearly 100% uptime and low latency.

The best practices in ERP implementation are heavily dependent on a software vendor an enterprise selects to perform the implementation. While choosing an ERP software solutions company in Indonesia, it is crucial to go with an organization, which has many years of implementation experience, good references and offers high-quality and configurable ERP systems at competitive prices.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Point of Sale Software in Philippines

During the past decade, a growing number of vendors have started offering advanced point of sale software (POS) in the Philippines many of these vendors enjoy growing world popularity for their reliability and advanced features embed in their software platforms. Just twenty years ago, a POS terminal was a rarity outside international store and restaurant chains, even in Manila, while in present-day it is a common device and can be seen starting from a local grocery, to a large store, to entertainment venues worldwide.

Non-tech savvy customers and corporate executives are familiar with most basic functions of POS system; namely, its ability to allow salespersons to manage the selling process, while creating and printing receipts. This is the most visible part of POS software but far more advanced functionality can be embed into a POS system, managing, customer relationships, customer service, inventory, allowing remote support procedures and standard hardware interface, for instance. Advanced features of good POS systems should also enable support for various command protocols, thus securing interoperability between different displays and printers, on the one hand, and various POS terminals and computer devices, on the other hand.

Recently, with the rapid emergence and development of Web 2.0, a growing number of vendors provide web-based and cloud-based POS solutions. An advanced POS platform may feature web functionality, allowing POS terminals to connect to a remote corporate server within a corporate local area network (LAN) or other type of enterprise computer network. In addition, such POS solutions can be hosted on third party servers, allowing businesses to take advantage of lower costs for licensing of software, hardware and software maintenance expenditures, and payroll costs related to maintain a larger team of IT specialists. However these POS platforms require very high reliability of networks, low latency and secure connection to the serves, preventing intruders from entering the corporate network and isolating POS terminals from other sensitive segments. Such network systems are not yet in place in most ASEAN countries and till they are clod based POS systems are not a viable option.
Ability to support touch screen technology is gaining popularity among both software vendors and end-customers. A POS terminal, featuring a touch screen, usually contains all hardware and software required to run a reliable POS system, therefore, no need for connecting additional peripherals exists. These are often referred to as all-in-one POS systems and can save counter space needed for other purposes, in addition to lower costs caused by a fewer peripherals a business is forced to purchase.

Furthermore, an advanced POS system offers functionality to process and manage promotional sales, maintain records of existing customers, validate coupons and handle various types of payments, including purchases in foreign currency. This is of special interest to retailers which deal with a fair number of foreign customers on a daily basis.

Inventory management functionality is a standard in modern POS software platforms, enabling managers and back-office staff to perform operations related to indenting, issues, receipts, transfers, stock take etc. Actually, the price of a POS system that features inventory functionality is already in the same price range as systems with more limited functionality, therefore, a growing number of enterprises prefer to purchase a POS platform that offers such functions. A relatively new technology in the sphere of POS devices is a built-in functionality to support tablet and other mobile platforms using a wireless network, allowing mobile POS terminals to be used within the store of a retailer.

In fact, programmability is not considered an advanced feature of a POS system anymore, with many vendors allowing enterprises to configure their newly purchased POS terminals to suit their business needs. Internet-ready and programmable devices are already widespread, so software and hardware vendors today focus more on improving features related to security, reliability, and interoperability rather than developing new methods of communication between devices. POS platforms vary greatly from vendor to vendor, therefore, corporate executives should carefully select software and hardware that can be best customized to meet their particular business needs and requirements.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Competitive Advantages of ERP Software Vendors in India

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems began to gain popularity in early 1990s with ERP software development in India gradually gathering momentum and a growing number of vendors starting to offer an integrated set of enterprise management modules in a single software product with localisation that is able to address all aspects of a business: from manufacturing, to logistics and sales, to finance and accounting, to human resources, etc. Many local companies have placed orders for ERP Systems from reputable global software vendors, while others buy locally developed ERP systems from vendors in India.

ERP solution providers worldwide face fierce competition in a relatively limited market for their products. This type of software systems are expensive, their deployment requires specific know-how and extensive due diligence. Normally integration with existing software and customer relationship management (CRM) systems can be challenging, especially when trying to integrate with outdated software platforms, this can be handled by using well established integration tools and experienced vendors.

Local ERP solution providers can boast marked competitive advantages in regard to the overall cost of software and ability to provide professional support and know-how at very competitive prices. Deployment of an ERP system would require detailed due diligence to be performed, and ERP vendors in India employ well-educated professionals that are able to assess thoroughly all aspects of ERP's implementation within a particular company, typically locally-developed software solutions are highly customizable and configurable. Additionally, many local companies are engaged in development and deployment of ERP systems that run on remote cloud servers; web-based platforms that offer functionality offered by globally-deployed ERP systems.

India's software vendors are usually more flexible than their Western peers, which allows them to react faster and offer tailored solutions when different ERP software modules should feature specific functionality or particular modules should be added or excluded from the software.

A large manufacturer would probably require all modules of an ERP system to be deployed, including a CRM module, manufacturing module and a supply chain management module. A service provider, however, would rarely need a manufacturing module while practically every enterprise should require finance and accounting modules to be featured in its corporate ERP system. Behemoth ERP providers are able to provide solutions to suit the needs of every enterprise but these solutions can prove very expensive for small and medium sized businesses that tend to look for more affordable software.

Working as subcontractors for leading world software giants and tailoring orders on the local and regional markets during the past couple of decades has helped local software vendors to gain in-depth knowledge in the sphere of ERP needs of enterprises doing business in both developed and less economically developed countries. This is a major competitive advantage because most large world software vendors lack knowledge on the specific needs of companies operating in less economically developed parts of the world.

In fact, local  ERP software vendors in India are able to provide high-quality product or service at a very competitive price. The level of ERP software development in India is comparable to that in leading software producing countries worldwide.