ERP

how to choose the right erp system

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes 1200 450 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

While demand for an effective ERP system is the highest in the manufacturing industry, more and more companies are leveraging the right ERP software to increase collaboration and streamline operations. Here’s an overview of how helpful a modern ERP software can be.

Choosing the Right ERP System for Increasing Business Outcomes

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

ERP competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage

Rethinking your ERP strategy for gaining a competitive advantage 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Investing in an effective ERP solution today is essential for the smooth operation of any business.
  • A prediction by Statista estimates the global ERP market to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 growing with a CAGR of 8%. cv
  • Your ERP system manages various aspects of your business like materials, inventory, sales, distribution, and even your accounts, making it essential to focus on a smooth transition from legacy systems to the cloud.
  • As there is so much sensitive data hosted on the cloud, the transition from on-premise systems to the cloud should be done carefully, taking several factors into consideration. Steps taken to ensure a smooth transition can range from prioritizing applications to the geographical constraints and regulations put on data sharing.
  • According to a prediction by Dell, companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security tend to see a 53% revenue growth as compared to their competitors.

Investing in a good ERP system is the biggest responsibility for any company. Choosing the right ERP system is not only a huge financial responsibility but as large companies like Oracle and SAP announced plans to phase out support for the older versions of their ERP software, business executives everywhere are forced to rethink their own ERP strategies.

What today’s companies need instead of just a flexible system is one paired with rapid responsiveness to customer needs and which can lead to increased business opportunities. The next generation of ERP implementation strategies is likely to have a smaller core of critical business processes and easily manageable connections for industry data that lives on the cloud including third-party solutions.

According to Statista, the overall ERP market is expected to grow to $28.8 billion by 2022 depicting a compound annual growth rate of 8%. Companies are rapidly moving from legacy systems to the cloud to reap its benefits. In fact, a recent report by SelectHub showed that the global cloud market is expected to reach $411 billion by 2020.

ERP in Core Operations Management

An ERP software manages essential information for different departments of a company. They provide software assistance in most areas like –

  • Materials and Inventory: Managing stock levels, material requirements, and vendor requirements.
  • Manufacturing and Assembling: Helping in planning, scheduling, and forecasting production and material requirements.

Figure: 1Must-Have ERP Modules

Must have ERP Modules

  • Sales and Distribution: Ensuring real-time data tracking for increased visibility on customer orders and distribution requirements.
  • Accounting: Managing essential back-office processes, tracking all transactions, and supporting financial reporting.

Most companies need stable and multitask-capable systems to work on to meet the needs of their customers at a faster pace to stay at par with the competition. The only real solution is to adopt a legacy system replacement strategy using flexible microservices which can offer a competitive advantage.

Enterprise Resource Planning – On-premise and cloud

Currently, most ERP systems run on either on-premise or private clouds. According to a report by Panorama in 2018, 15% of companies use on-premise ERP solutions, 64% of companies use SaaS whereas 21% use cloud-based ERP solutions. On the other hand, in the year 2017, 67% of companies used on-premise ERP solutions, 6% used cloud and 27% used SaaS.

Figure: 2On-premise vs Cloud

On-Primise Vs Cloud ERP

The rapid increase in cloud solutions adoption shows that companies are slowly becoming comfortable with moving to the cloud and working on cloud-hosted systems. Cloud computing makes it much easier for vendors to deploy rapidly changing technologies using the internet of things (IoT), artificial learning, machine learning, and data analytics to keep their systems updated. This is the paramount reason for the cloud to dominate in the future. As and when this happens, the cloud will not only provide you efficiency and deliver valuable insights but will also enhance predictability.

This is not an overnight change because customers and users take time to mature and invest in current systems, the change is yet inevitable.

Steps to take before embarking on ERP modernizing journey

Moving to the cloud is a big step which means certain things should be done very carefully –

  • Prioritizing applications – Separating applications that help in business expansion and staying on par with the competition is essential. Applications like email, messaging, calendars, and other Office-supported apps are lower priorities compared to other business-critical software. Companies can make do without these less important apps for short periods. This helps in gaining a clearer understanding of which apps should immediately be moved to the cloud and which ones can wait.
  • Workload levels and demand levels – As many see the cloud as a solution for applications with major shifts in demand, public clouds offer increased server support when required. Running workloads with rapidly changing demand on the cloud increases efficiency and increase the financial support offered.
  • Importance of customization – When considering a shift to the cloud, workloads which require customer architecture require customization if performance is heavily dependent on a specific configuration. In cases where your internal organization has limited features and configuration capabilities, the cloud helps by increasing flexibility and provides resources necessary to identify workloads for optimal conditions.
  • Geographical and regulatory variables involved – Regulations can complicate your data framework immensely. Hybrid architectures help you successfully host your sensitive data and alleviate these challenges. Understanding these hurdles beforehand can save a lot of time and money. The regulatory requirements in different geographical areas also play a key role in moving data to the cloud. The broad presence of the cloud gives you the redundancy, content delivery network (CDN) capabilities and supports customers at any location that they access the data from without any additional costs. This also helps you by easing the complexity of operating geographically dispersed on your own.
  • Security threats – Security is a focus point for both private cloud providers and ERP software. Cloud providers operate at a larger scale, with increased security experts on staff and more experience protecting tenant data from new threats. When transitioning to the cloud, conducting a thorough assessment of both existing vulnerabilities and potential risks associated with service provider facilities before making your decision is extremely essential.

Better performance with modern ERP systems

Following the steps above can help companies go on to transition from their on-premise software to the cloud. They can effectively plan to modernize their ERP and transform their organizations. The experience of leaders who have been a part of such a transition shows that effort leads to significant gains including better and more secure access to data and increasingly efficient use of resources at reduced operational costs.

One particular benefit was seen by an industrial company with operations spread across the globe. They aimed to reduce operational costs by improving performance. They planned to do this by effectively managing their financial transactions. The easiest solution to this was to improve the connections between their ERP systems and the data being circulated both internally as well as externally. This in turn improved decision-making using automated data flows reducing the time that the company spent in gathering data and boosting the company’s financial intelligence.

Key Takeaways

No transformation of such a large scale can be easy or convenient. It’s not wrong to fear these kinds of transitions but it’s essential for companies to step up and take control so they can reduce their operational costs, increase connectivity and host sensitive data on more secure platforms. Moving data from on-premise software to the cloud can be made easy by answering the questions about the scope and nature of the upgrade. Adhering to a few simple and practical guidelines can also make this process simpler. Once this transition takes place, executives can manage the risks of modernizing their ERP solutions to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Thinking of restructuring your ERP strategy to boost your bottom line? Get started with XcelPros!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

5 Key Reasons Why Distributors Should Invest in a Robust ERP

5 Key Reasons Why You Need ERP Software in Distribution

5 Key Reasons Why You Need ERP Software in Distribution 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • As a distributor, your investments can be severely impacted due to operational or management issues with your transportation system; The day-to-day operations of most wholesale distribution companies can take advantage of optimized systems to avoid inventory stock-outs, transportation bottlenecks, and more.
  • Most operational problems can either be resolved quickly or avoided altogether with ERP software designed for distribution companies.
  • Today, more and more supply chain distribution and transportation companies looking for an advantage are investing wisely in ERP software.

Distribution management, supply chain and logistics planning can be few of the most challenging areas for any wholesale distribution company. If not properly monitored, common occurrences of events like rapidly increasing volumes of new information, varying timelines, and unplanned scheduling issues can become large challenges to overcome. This goes for unforeseen factors that can’t be planned for as well, like breakdowns, natural disasters, and unexpected disruptions to transportation channels. To minimize the impact of these scenarios and more, distribution companies can choose to leverage smart business management software platforms such as ERPs. These solutions designed specifically for distribution companies focus on simplifying operations and shortening the cash cycle with robust out-of-the-box and customizable solutions.

For years, distribution companies have been on the short end of the stick when it comes to implementing IT infrastructure capable enough to support their unique needs and requirements. While a quick search might indicate a majority of wholesale distribution companies operating on a similar model, a more in-depth investigation would highlight numerous differences and intricacies. An effective wholesale distribution ERP software can recognize specific requirements and provide solutions to address them based on the scale, geography, and operating model of a specific organization. This all points to ERP being essential for distribution channel management, boosting overall operational efficiency, and reducing costs.

Below are 5 more important reasons why the right ERP is a must-have for organizations looking to boost distribution and transportation networks

1.Increased agility With today’s market more dynamic than ever before, end-users are not only more aware of what they want but are able to access a growing number of options. This change in behavior requires manufacturers and wholesale distributors alike to rethink their approach. With the right ERP solution in place, both sales and distribution pipelines become much more dynamic, allowing distribution companies to communicate changes in requirements in real-time to simplify the order-to-shipment process.

2.Enhanced Data Management For any distribution company, managing inventory inflow and outflow is an enormous task, susceptible to repetition, recurrence, and multiple errors. This can be avoided by implementing a comprehensive ERP platform to automate data entry and facilitate high-end data and insight generation. The right ERP software in distribution offers significantly enhanced visibility and complete transparency for information being managed in a distribution network.

Figure: 1Why Do Distribution Companies Need ERP

Why Do Distribution Companies Need ERP

3.Efficient Inventory Management Properly managing today’s distribution operations includes actively monitoring supply chains, logistics, and inventory, which, when not managed effectively, can produce a significantly lower ROI. This is where ERP software for a distribution company can make a huge difference with things like built-in automation to track multiple items, real-time monitoring of goods to avoid stock-outs, and improved communication between stakeholders.

4.Streamlined Supply Chain Management To avoid disruptions in supply chains, companies need to take proactive measures to streamline operations and minimize the impacts of any global phenomenon that can potentially disrupt the supply network. An ERP software in a distribution company helps ensure a steady flow of goods, fortified communication amongst stakeholders, and complete visibility of the supply chain.

5.Improved Customer Relationships Today’s wholesale distributors are expected to anticipate their end user’s needs as market demands rapidly change. This helps organizations stay ahead of their competition, and able to respond quickly to their customer’s dynamic requirements. The strengthening of these customer relationships leads to an improved cash cycle, which further helps to avoid overstock. This leads to other, more conventional industries looking to improve customer retention with the right ERP.

Final Thoughts

Modern ERP software in distribution has evolved into complete end-to-end platforms designed to promote growth and improve both suppliers’ and distributors’ ability to do business under quickly changing conditions. Especially today, implementing the correct solution has become much more affordable, offering significantly improved response times, increased efficiency, and stronger customer relationships.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right ERP for distribution is more crucial than ever in making your supply chain and distribution network highly dynamic, leaving your business in a much better position to respond to rapidly-changing market demands.
  • The main focus of ERP isn’t just operations management but also improving supply chain and strengthening customer relations.
  • Overall, sales and distribution cycles become much more profitable when the right ERP solution is in place.

Invest in a robust ERP system to streamline your distribution operations. Start your free trial!

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustaining Manufacturing

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustainable Manufacturing

Importance of Robust ERP in Sustainable Manufacturing 2500 1250 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • ERP has been critical to the manufacturing sector, from business strategies to meeting increased demand for specific products.
  • While the manufacturing industry has long been reliant on ERP systems for effective business operations, recent events have highlighted their importance.
  • Experts are looking at comprehensive ERP products that can help them meet rising demand and elevate their business platforms for success in the future.

If the manufacturing industry had to describe 2020 in one word, most might go with ‘unprecedented’. Things like disruptions to Supply Chains, wildly fluctuating changes in demand, and shortages of materials have led to a state of disarray for organizations of every size. These organizations are looking to maneuver efficiently through these challenges and meet changing demands while remaining in compliance. This means that manufacturers’ top management bodies weigh options to reshuffle their business processes and strategies to accommodate sudden changes.

Going forward, businesses will need to change their production plan from top to bottom as the demand for certain goods like automotive, non-essential goods, and construction materials have gone down. In contrast, things like chemicals, ventilators, sanitizers, hygiene products, PPE, and various pharmaceutical raw materials have dramatically increased. This shift in demand calls for realignment and systematic operational implementation of business processes with a fortified ERP system.

53%

of the manufacturing industry expect COVID-19 to impact operations.

Source: National Association of Manufacturing (NAM)

Shown below are some of the biggest concerns the manufacturing industry has at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Disruption of supply chains due to travel restrictions
  • Low or no availability of raw material
  • Skeleton crews on the production floor owing to the fear of exposure to the virus
  • Loss of revenue due to stalled production all over the world
  • Realignment of the workforce to accommodate working from home
  • Rapid change in demand patterns for certain consumer goods
  • Downward or backward fiscal growth.

The future sustainability of organizations of all sizes in the manufacturing sector will depend on current investment in tools, software, and systems to streamline, realign, and effectively manage business and production operations. Sustainable manufacturing practices can surely help companies boost their profits.

Figure: 1Challenges Faced by The Manufacturing Industry Due to Covid-19

Challenges Faced by Manufacturing Industry Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

The resulting wake of Covid-19 has compelled decision-makers from businesses in the manufacturing sector to reevaluate their business processes and automation to deal with supply chain bottlenecks effectively. This is where the implementation of an effective ERP system comes into play.

Listed below are just a few key strategic ways that a comprehensive ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain and Finance can help fortify the end-to-end manufacturing life cycle for companies in this industry.

1.Addressing Bottlenecks in the Supply Chain ERP systems have proven essential to optimizing the supply chain and providing top-to-bottom visibility of production cycles to avoid situations like stock-outs, inventory glitches, and logistical issues. Enterprise Resource Planning tools have become highly critical to businesses as global supply chains are disrupted. ERP systems help mitigate damages by overhauling the demand-to-supply strategy and optimizing the supply chain accordingly. ERP systems are also highly crucial in collating and classifying production data for complete visibility to workers on the shop floor and beyond.

2.Boosting Automation to Compensate for Skeletal Workforce Thanks to restrictions still in place, many factories continue to operate at 50% workforce or even less to maintain social distancing to mitigate exposure risks. This means that more manual operations are becoming automated, requiring planning, changes in hardware and software, training, and proper deployment of automation protocols. This can all be managed with the help of a robust ERP system.

3.Managing Change in Demand Since the pandemic, there has been a swing in need for certain commodities, such as automobiles, sanitizers, hygiene products, and ventilators. These rapid changes in the market require an ERP system that helps streamline raw material purchases, billing cycles, payroll solutions, last-minute logistical changes, generating a bill of material, and much more.

Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Comprehensive platforms like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance or Supply Chain help Improve efficiency and productivity for businesses in the manufacturing industry. The systematic tools assist with planning, logistical management, change analysis, data collation, capacity requirement management, and responding to rapidly changing needs.

Figure: 2Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP System During Covid-19

Boosting Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP System during Covid-19

Key Takeaways

The numerous changes that developed since the onset of Covid-19 have created significant setbacks for any business in the manufacturing industry; Savvy organizations that can use the right ERP software while investing in intelligent solutions will be in the best position for growth when this is all over. Here are some final points to remember when you think of ERP in the manufacturing industry.

  • The top executives and decision-makers in the manufacturing sector need to invest in smart manufacturing ERP software solutions to combat the changing demand and supply patterns.
  • Analyzing global and local goods and commodities requirements will be essential for running a manufacturing plant.
  • Manufacturers need to rethink their supply chain and inventory management strategies and implement proven and systematic resource planning tools.

Book a free consultation for all your manufacturing process needs.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Top 5 reasons why ERP Transformation drives business success

Top 5 reasons why ERP Transformation drives business success 1200 600 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Have you seen a dip in your ERP system performance? Is your system breaking down every now and then? Is your current ERP able to support your rapidly growing business? As business transactions increase with time, you may notice spikes in system inefficiencies. You cannot expect to improve the company’s overall productivity with a legacy system that is barely functioning and outdated. You cannot report actionable insights while dealing with bad data and inefficient processes. By now, you have enough indications that your business is outgrowing the current ERP system. However, like most companies, you probably hesitate to transform your ERP, as there is an inherent fear about the cost of transformation and the company’s inability to accept change.

Three-fourths of ERP transformation projects fail to stay on schedule or within budget, and two-thirds have a negative return on investment.Source: Mckinsey

Interestingly enough, the above stat also forces companies that desperately need an ERP change to be better planned and prepared for the transformation. Companies that cannot transform quickly soon become irrelevant.

The only thing harder than transformation is, failing to transform.

ERP transformation SWOT

Many industry insights have proved that the rate of failure is significantly higher when organizations are unable to embrace change. There are various reasons to move on from your existing legacy systems. Read on to know more about the five reasons you need an ERP transformation.

1.Your current ERP system does not have systemic collaboration capabilities Most old-age ERP systems run in silos and process transactions independently for each department. Some don’t even have cross-functional capabilities. This can pose an issue when you are trying to eliminate inefficient business processes. Archaic ERP systems rely on manual/paper-based methods for inter or intra-departmental collaboration. You rely on your team’s verbal communication and expect them to be on top of their tasks, especially while handing them off to other departments. Most of the process inefficiencies arise due to poor communication. For example, your manufacturing and finance departments interact manually or through paper. As the volume of work orders goes up, the teams quickly lose track of operations that need to be verified and closed out. These delays can cause inventory inaccuracies and bad data.

Figure: 1A real life manual production process prior to transformation

Production Process before ERP Transformation

Notice the number of failure points in the above figure. Now imagine many of these failure points across different production scenarios. While some organizations are very good at tracking manual communication, the onus is always on the team to communicate effectively and move work orders forward. Secure, streamlined, efficient collaboration is the focus of most modern-day companies. Businesses that want to succeed will empower their team to collaborate from anywhere effectively.

2.Your ERP system does not have embedded advanced analytics and BI dashboards Most Agile companies prefer Analytics and BI dashboards within their operational ERP systems. Organizations with profitability as their primary objective always favor tracking efficiencies and inefficiencies. Success or failure depends on the ability to respond to aberrations instantly. BI applications are separate from an operational ERP system by design. A powerful BI application collates data and provides analytical insights. Integrating an obsolescent ERP to a standalone analytics application is cumbersome and does not offer real-time analytical reports. You may lose the capability of embedding a quick and easy BI dashboard onto your ERP that provides real-time progress reporting.

Ultimately, the more visibility you have of operations, the better equipped you are to make accurate business decisions. Once you notice an inability to report actionable insights, it is time to move on to a new ERP with better systemic capabilities and real-time reporting.

3.Your ERP system cannot leverage the power of AI and process automation It is a known fact that various industries have embraced AI to enhance their ability to predict user behavior. The prediction criteria include historical data, continuously improving processes, day-in-the-life activities, and adaptability to process improvements. On a similar token, many modern companies have adopted process automation to increase overall operational efficiency. AI and process automation are not just fancy technologies for larger companies. They are active enhancers that also help small and midsize companies to grow their businesses. Without your ERP integrated into AI, the system will not have the capability of continuous learning-to-enhance productivity. If you are still on an out-of-date ERP system, the chances are that you cannot leverage the power of AI and process automation. When combined with advanced analytics, AI improves your supply chain’s end-to-end visibility and predicts possible disruptions before they occur. It now calls for a business decision if you are willing to decommission a legacy system that cannot utilize AI’s potential and plan your move to a modern platform.

4.Your current ERP system is less secure and more susceptible to data breaches Companies that are functioning on legacy systems tend to be more vulnerable to security threats and data breaches. You may not have the ability to protect your data and audit ‘who did what’ in the system. Most businesses store sensitive information like customer pricing, credit card numbers, employee records, company’s intellectual property, formulations, etc. If you are on an aged ERP, it may be challenging to ensure data privacy and security. Losing Information can be daunting, especially if you have no secure backups of data. How do you ensure that unauthorized access has not occurred and your information is not compromised?

Responsible companies do not risk customer information. They agree that short term pain and cost of an ERP transformation will any day benefit them, eventually leading them to long-term business gains.

5.Your current ERP system is not Agile and cannot accommodate incremental business needs An interesting question to ask yourself is if your technology can adapt to business process changes without customizing the system and violating industry best practices? Antiquated ERP systems are equivalent to following age-old processes. Enough research is done on this subject to help companies move away from outdated business practices and procedures. Companies are now choosing to be more nimble with changing times and stay afloat in a highly competitive market. Many companies within your sector may have already made the shift to newer, agile technologies – giving them the potential to outrun you in competition. Agile companies have the flexibility to function with higher efficiency, better ways to interact with customers/business partners, manage tasks smartly, and optimize resource utilization.

Research shows that agile organizations have a 70 percent chance of being in the top quartile of organizational health, the best indicator of long-term performance.Source: Mckinsey

As market dynamics change, the way you run your business should adjust accordingly. If you want to move out of working exhaustively, it is high time your company transforms towards being agile.

Why do companies move slowly to initiate the ERP implementation?

Below are a few hindrances that stop companies from moving forward with a technology transformation that will drive organizational change –

  1. 1.Cost of the changeover.
  2. 2.Businesses have difficulty following an implementation methodology that may challenge their current way of functioning.
  3. 3.Companies don’t have an internal change agent who can set end-user expectations, make tough decisions that may impact job descriptions and trigger a reorganization.

How do you overcome these challenges to move forward?

  1. 1.Have a set budget. Take a crawl, walk and run approach to the transformation.
    1. a. Crawl – Lift and Shift. Map your current business processes and convert them to the new system.
    2. b. Walk – Stabilize in the new environment, including handling issues, fixing them and maximize business operations.
    3. c. Run – Leverage all the additional optimization features on the application to boost the business.
  2. 2.Agree to a methodology that works for your company and doesn’t create too much resistance to convert.
  3. 3.Look for the right internal champion who understands the business and can manage user expectations effectively, especially when it comes to business changes that make users uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

  • If you cannot move out of an old ERP system, your business challenges will continue to persist – further increasing sunk costs and lost time in the battle of quality vs. efficiency vs. cost of transformation.
  • Chalk out your organizational goals for the next five years to clarify why you should transform your business into a modern – agile ERP system and list your transformational goals.
  • Prioritize your ERP transformation into different phases by starting with lift and shift – to move your core business functions into the new system, and eventually implementing process optimization to utilize the real power of your new ERP.

Begin Your ERP Transformation With Free Assessment.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Rapid ERP Implementation

Rapid Implementation of ERP Systems- Benefits & Challenges

Rapid Implementation of ERP Systems- Benefits & Challenges 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • ERP implementations are transitioning from being just a business choice to a necessity. Companies are now seeking ways for faster, smoother, and more economical implementation strategies.
  • An expedited ERP implementation strategy involves rapid methods that bring must-have features from legacy systems into a newer, agile and modern system.
  • Enterprises face many issues with rapid implementation, such as stringent scope, change management, limited customization options, etc.
  • Latest technologies and methodologies can make rapid ERP implementation a possibility for companies that want a higher ROI on their technology investments.

95%

of respondents improved some or all of their business processes after implementing a new ERP.

Source: Panorama Consulting

If enterprises were asked about their ERP implementation strategies a decade ago, the responses would vary widely. Many were skeptical, some were eager yet unsure and almost all who were positive, opted for steady onboarding into the new ERP. The continuing implementation model meant that employees were trained at a slow pace in the ERP, customizations were done as per requirements, and the budget was spread out. However, in the current day changeover to a new ERP is quicker making enterprises be agile and dynamic. Companies are lot more informed about the various technologies in the market and all they need is to plan the right time for the implementation and choose the right partner.

According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global ERP software market accounted for $35.81 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $78.41 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10.2% during the study period.

Many organizations are now opting for a cloud-based, rapid ERP implementation method, as they understand the benefits of the approach. The new decade demands companies to be more adaptable with a workforce that can quickly adjust to changes. In the past decade, companies that tried to get their employees be more nimble faced many challenges. Workforce could not promptly understand the market’s changing needs and adjust accordingly. They were usually overwhelmed, confused and unmotivated to move quickly. However, the new-age has limited choice to stay stuck in the same method of functioning, as many companies have already transformed to agile ERPs. The initial changeover may be painful but is necessary. Companies have to provide the right technology platform and help employees adjust to the new system. Once employee training and onboarding to the new system is done, they become accustomed to a continuous improvement procedure that drives growth.

The benefits of an expedited reorganization through quick ERP changeover makes enterprises go with a rapid transformation methodology.

Figure: 1Benefits of Rapid ERP Implementation

Why do companies move slowly when it comes to deciding on a new ERP? CIOs look for some general points such as ERP system with proven business benefits, technology roadmap for the future, company’s ability to move into a new ERP rapidly, etc.

Challenges in Rapid ERP Implementation:

1.Reduced Scope of Customization: Any ERP system that is suitable for a rapid implementation has templates for users to easily fill data, and tools that can easily help users move to the new system. This eliminates the need for customized codes and also simplifies the use of the tool. Some companies may find this method constricting, especially when they intend to customize the application to fit their current business processes. Predefined templates allow companies to go with out-of-the-box functionality. The newer system may follow all industry best practices out-of-the-box and may restrict you from overly customizing the system to fit your historical business practices. To remove the discomfort of user adoption to the new system, companies customize the system and make it look like the old system. Rapid implementations restrict customizations, creating some change management issues. 

65%

of new implementation budgets go above plan due to customizing the ERP system during the project.

2.Challenges in Faster Change Management: Rapid ERP implementation process requires setting up a system that can manage end-to-end processes. The system however should be designed to scale and accommodate updates or future releases without too much effort. An expedited change management timeline can be tough on users especially if they are unable to adapt quickly. Aligning all the stakeholders, making them privy to the to-be changes, avoiding communication gaps, managing resistance, and sticking to the budget are some of the challenges organizations face when moving to an agile cloud-based ERP.

3.Data Migration Challenges: Moving from legacy to ERP requires collation, classification, and systematic migration of legacy data. In the case of rapid ERP, moving to the cloud requires thorough data scrubbing within a limited time to ensure that data is accurate. To avoid a drain on budget, companies engage an internal resources to clean up legacy data. The data migration process goes smoothly when data is cleaner and in the right format.

4.Managing expectations: Lastly, companies often look at an ERP as their be-all-end-all solution. Rapid ERP tools are made with reduced implementation time as a primary objective. There can be certain discrepancies in managing expectations with stakeholders. A proper internal champion or change agent who can spearhead the transformation can make the transformation easy on the company. Furthermore, managing employees’ psychological resistance and expectations can also be a hurdle for companies in the initial period of implementation, especially if the company has been on the legacy system for many years. An implementation needs an internal change agent who knows how to set user expectations and take a tough stance on situations, especially the ones that can spiral the implementation out of control. Without an internal champion, no matter how good your implementation partner is, you will see a drain on budget, time and a continuous blame that will make your project a failure.

With these challenges ahead, how are the systems integrators ensuring that companies can still benefit from rapid ERP implementations? The answer lies in setting the right expectations with the customer and leveraging the native tool kits of the ERP. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations comes loaded with features that can give companies worth their money. The reliability, industry-standard templates, relevant functionality, and more such hallmarks make Dynamics 365 the go-to solution for faster cloud-based ERP implementations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations also enables step-by-step e-learning for its applications like the Task Recorder Resources that can run as a guide for users to learn the functions. With this app, users can record business processes for various scenarios and replay them as a guide. The feature speeds up change management and removes the user’s discomfort of not knowing the system.

The bottom line is that rapid ERP implementations are highly successful when companies go with native functionality and leverage the strength of the base system, rather than customizing the system. At least for the initial lift and shift, it is always recommended to stick with out-of-the-box functionality. Today, the digital era requires enterprises to become agile while leveraging newer technologies like cloud, process automation, etc. Rapid ERP implementations are a start to help a company become more nimble and adjust to market conditions quickly. So it is not always about ‘this is what I am used to doing’, it is about ‘what do I need to do differently to be successful’. We cannot avoid change and resisting the change will only push your company’s progress further. Companies will need to help their employees understand the benefits of going rapid so that the implementation and execution can be done on time and within the allocated budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Organizations need to be aware of challenges about rapid ERP implementation and be prepared with strategies to overcome these challenges.
  • It is crucial to remember that rapid ERP is highly beneficial to contain project costs and onboard users quicker into the new system. However, the chosen ERP should be able to handle most if not all organization’s needs.
  • Choosing the right tool for rapid ERP implementation is ‘half battle won’ for companies in their journey towards becoming agile.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Migrating to cloud based erp solution

Migration from On-Premise to Cloud based ERP System

Migration from On-Premise to Cloud based ERP System 1500 923 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

If you are dealing with a legacy ERP system that is slowing down your business productivity or limits your ability to grow, its time to start planning the changeover to a new system. Moreover, if you are struggling to get a grip over the exceeding maintenance cost, it’s no longer an option then, rather an absolute must have to upgrade your legacy system to a cloud-based ERP. Upgrading an ERP system is a critical business decision and involves in-depth research and planning. A scalable cloud-based ERP solution capable of managing a comprehensive set of business functions is what you need.

76%

of enterprises have a formal cloud strategy and 74% of organizations will increase cloud spending to over 20% by 2020.

Source: Per a prediction by Forrester and IDC

2020 has come and gone, with higher cloud adoption than expected. Many companies were struggling to adjust to the new normal with their archaic tools. Companies that transformed prior to the pandemic found it comparatively simpler to work remotely and still keep productivity up, in some cases productivity of a company has gone higher than expected due to remote work. If you take a look at the marketplace of today’s business, it’s a data-driven environment. Any decisions business leaders take based on numbers and insights to get the best results.

If you are operating on legacy systems, your business landscape is not up-to-date to provide real-time analytics or meet a modern business’s requirements. To enable a data-driven organization, you need to revamp your system.

The result is innumerable complexities in business operations such as gaps due to handling multiple databases, duplicate manual data entry, broken data flow between departments, missed deadlines, etc. On-premise ERP systems require a series of hardware updates that make the total cost of ownership (TCO) even higher. Security concerns, regulatory compliance, policy necessities add to the complexities.

60%or more companies still use outdated ERP systems, per Microsoft survey.

59% of respondents expressed they will prefer an upgrade to cloud-based ERP in their next implementation, per the Microsoft survey.

80%of organizations are allocating budget for cloud projects. However, more than half are burdened with legacy systems and lack in-house expertise, per IBM

The journey from ERP 1.0 to ERP 2.0

The evolution of ERP happened over a long period of time. It has taken organizations decades to reach the current shape of ERP. The root of modern ERP lies in older production management models like EOQ (economic order quantity) and MRP (materials requirements planning). After years of relying on old inventory management procedures, the manufacturing industry gets its upgrade, MRP II, a software solution enabling computing power to manage different business aspects. Further scrutinizing the broadened scope of MRP II, Gartner coins the term ERP. Later addressing the key market shifts, Gartner calls the software ERP II, a solution capable of tracking real-time, web-based data.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers Tier 2 ERP solution that offers superior functionality in minimum complexities and cost. It makes the upgrade and integration easier to the latest technologies and provides a transformative experience.

A switch from ERP 1.0 to 2.0 opens innovation areas by increasing your current IT landscape’s flexibility. Also, cloud migrated mainframes produce an approximate 47 percent lower cost of operations spread across five years than on-premise mainframe platforms.

A popular Cisco survey in 2017 showed that 83% of the best performing US businesses planned an effective SaaS strategy and have started collaborating with cloud vendors. Cisco’s Global Cloud Index for the period 2013-2018 showed that 59% of all cloud workflows would be delivered as SaaS by the end of the year. Moreover, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will decline to 28% compared to 44% in 2013, and that only 13% of workloads will be delivered as Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS).

A survey report of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals that 36% of 560 marketing professionals reported legacy systems to be one of the biggest roadblocks in implementing real-time analytics.

Legacy systems may offer you a high horsepower and set customer experiences, but upgrading to new software to keep up with the technological and generational growth is essential for ensuring better performance.

Regardless of the advantages of staying in your comfort zone and managing business processes with your legacy ERP system, these factors drive you to switch from legacy to cloud –

1.Operational inefficiencies:When your business expands, migrating to the cloud is an effective solution to keep track of all the real-time data and increase collaboration across your company’s different departments. Clinging to legacy software during business expansion decreases benefits of cloud ERP systems.

2.Growth of business:Growth of a firm often refers to the global expansion, reporting and compliance requirements and expansion of financial services. New opportunities like market growth, acquisitions and disinvestments require stabilized systems with smooth processes to be in place. As mentioned above, streamlining various departmental functions that deal with them for development and growth requires an agile cloud-based platform.

3.Technological Transformation:Unlike the expectations from previously used legacy systems, today’s users demand collaboration and ease. Companies expect essential operational functions like real-time analytics with customized dashboards, social collaboration with increased mobile access, and quick updates. This is easily achieved using cloud ERP systems.

Legacy to Cloud – Data migration challenges

Many companies operate on home-grown legacy systems, comprising both hardware and software. These systems were the foundation of working business systems and managers might hesitate to switch to other alternatives without a transformation plan. Though it is tough to make ERP implementation decisions, every business needs to upgrade to stay ahead of competitors. Some of the fears are also related to Data migration.

Per a report by Bloor Research, 31% of cloud data migration projects fail. Following are a few hurdles faced by organizations today, resulting in migration failure.

  • Insufficient knowledge of source data – A knowledge gap leads to problems such as lack of source knowledge, duplicates, missing information and erroneous data. This gives users a false perspective of data in the new system resulting in an incorrect design. Bad data leads to problems, and companies blame the new system until they figure out what the real issue is. It is essential to understand what information is a business need vs. a system constraint. Such situations make it essential for you to understand the source of data.
  • Unstructured processes – The process of data migration involves disparate technologies used by disparate people. Manual data migration increases human errors resulting in inaccurate, incomplete and outdated information. The outcome of such errors is the lack of technologies and resources to correct data. It is essential to perform an advanced analysis while planning and designing to help you recover these hidden errors.
  • Failure in implementation validation – Ineffective testing during the initial stage of deployment and lack of knowledge about the data sources results in its implementation failures. Running a few tests using the full volume of the data helps estimate the worst-case scenario missed using conveniently available data.
  • Late final result evaluation – This issue usually occurs at the testing stage, where users see only the final data compiled into the system at the end of design and development. Problems like data incompatibility with the new ERP system arise at this stage, which can be avoided with effective testing during the migration process saving the company time, money and delayed data migration time. Users can get involved in the evolving test cases to show them data output’s actual prototypes.
  • Lack of full usage of expertise – Most companies do not use the right expertise. They face issues in decoding large codes, obtaining access to these codes and other functional challenges. Introducing such experts to your project helps make sense of the disparate data for effective data migration techniques.

Figure: 1Benefits of moving ERP to the cloud

The bigger question – What does the cloud have to offer?

Even though migrating to the cloud might look like a hefty expense, it saves you from the troubles of operational inefficiency, effective demand forecasting, poor customer service and reduced ROI.

A few characteristics and advantages of a new and advanced cloud-based ERP would be –

  • Improved ERP Performance – The switch from on-premise to the cloud helps free up computational power and resources that are essentially necessary while deploying an effective ERP solution. This is one of the most significant advantages offered by the cloud, which eliminates any infrastructural costs, helping smaller businesses flourish and the only necessity is a well-established internet system.Microsoft Azure offers you a flexible cloud platform that quickly adapts to your business’s needs and requirements. It is simple to adjust and provides a host of building blocks that allow you to customize the cloud according to yourself.
  • Reduced Operational Costs – An on-premise ERP software requires a workforce to maintain it. The additional costs on human resources and the ERP software cost can increase operational costs for the firm. Using cloud ERP software gives you benefits like a monthly subscription tailored to the customer’s needs at a low outlay cost. As the implementation costs are much lower, the overall operational costs also reduce.
    The cloud’s added benefit is that it provides a common platform for developing various solutions, negating the developing time for constructing programs from scratch. The aforementioned helps in the allocation of resources for other activities that add a higher business value.Due to its large customer base, Microsoft offers a large volume of discounts to their customers. Azure usually works as a pay-as-you-go model, reducing the input costs for smaller companies. Larger enterprises who sign contracts are offered a more considerable discount as well.
  • Higher Security – The input and output of the ERP systems’ data is generally confidential and requires a well-established and secure maintenance system. Cloud ERP offers superior quality security systems that ensure that the information is effectively protected and encrypted. The user access to such data helps in the effective correction in the areas needed.Microsoft Azure offers you a multi-layered security system helping you detect threats earlier with unique intelligence.
  • Real-Time Analytics – Contemporary software-based solutions make it necessary for industry models to offer real-time data for the process optimization and business intelligence based on which decisions can be made. Cloud ERP software comprises API links to the platform, helping users scale reporting and analytical needs. The instant access to the data on the cloud makes information readily available, which benefits industries like manufacturing, where real-time data tracking helps in process optimization.
  • Enhanced UAT and API testing – An effective User Acceptance Testing and API beta testing has become a more common approach. In opposition to testing in isolation in an engineering setting, UAT and API methodology are more conducive to finding and more responsive to real-world problems.

Figure: 2 Variety of functions offered on the cloud

Cloud for ROI

The two main components of calculating ROI for an ERP software are –

  • required investment and savings
  • efficiencies & goodwill

The calculation of ROI for the software does not have a predetermined methodology as the software brings a variety of intangible values with itself. The benefits are primarily in reducing operation cost, optimizing inventory levels, labor cost and improved production.

The ROI is often masked in reductions of operational costs of running the company using transparency in the organization and the activities taking place in it. The benefits can also be reduced administrative costs by reduced paperwork and time information exchange using real-time data tracking. Inventory costs are reduced by optimizing material stock and by tracking the inventory health in turn increasing the ROI of the software.

Azure is the only major cloud platform ranked by Gartner as an industry leader for both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

What does Azure have to offer to you?

As per a Forbes study, enterprise adoption of Microsoft Azure increased significantly from 43% to 58% in 2018, attaining a 35% CAGR.

Raising cloud ERP adoption rates by such a high margin shows the increasing popularity of the software gained from features like increasing flexibility. Azure adopts and adapts other operating systems’ standards and embraces competing for software platforms to ensure it stays relevant to as many people and companies as possible.

Here are a few advantages of Azure –

  • Widespread customer support as Microsoft spreads over 19 regions across the globe and offers support plans in a variety of languages.
  • Offers a hybrid environment that helps you gain benefits from both on-premise and cloud software solutions without any added cost burdens.
  • Visual studio online and application insights helping in developer collaboration and increased options.
  • Offers you virtual systems like Linux and Windows servers, increasing your ability to run virtual machines.
  • Ability to scale on demand
  • Reliable back-ups in case of data loss
  • “Set it and forget it” scheduling
  • Increased automation
  • Reliable data storage and increased security

Figure: 3Cloud benefits to your business

Key Takeaways

  • In most organizations, legacy systems are still hovering around because the cost of refurbishing them is too high till they are in working condition and the management sees this as business overhead. On the other hand, the IT department sees it as a can of worms. Due to reeling communication, responsibility and financial problems, the organization are unwilling and initiate this migration.
  • The best thing the organizations can do in such a case is to hire an external vendor or an SME who can assess the situation and make this difficult decision and formulate a pragmatic approach to convince the stakeholders else they will pay for the opportunity cost of losing.
  • Finally, we can’t undermine having a proper cloud alliance that can help the organizations lift-and-shift their legacy systems to the cloud and reinvent these systems’ performance and makes all stakeholders see ERP cloud migration’s long-term gains.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

erp trends

Top 5 ERP System Trends in 2020 to help plan for 2021

Top 5 ERP System Trends in 2020 to help plan for 2021 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for organizations. Companies are figuring out systems to handle remote work, disrupted supply chains, sudden changes in raw material prices, an onslaught of data, and labor shortage significant challenges globally. Many of these companies got their tasks streamlined and optimized in these times with ERP systems.
  • Going forward, ERP in 2021 will be a gateway towards more flexible and agile systems which will enable companies to aim for zero downtime, improved resource functionality, and overall better process optimization.
  • Innovation is the key to ERP’s growth, and the current trends are pointing towards organizations’ keenness for out-of-the-box ERP applications.

Organizations worldwide integrate ERP into their IT infrastructure for operational efficiency, data management, finance and accounting, and process automation. The digitization of an enterprise through newer ERP solutions raises an organization’s performance and dexterity.

ERP has come such a long way from its early inception days that the older versions are quickly becoming obsolete. Companies are moving from legacy to newer ERP platforms to gain traction in the digital ecosystem.

According to the Panorama Consulting Solutions’ 2018 ERP Report, 49% of companies (USA, EU and Asia) reported improved business after ERP implementation.

With such a tremendous success rate, it is no wonder that majority of companies have either implemented or are looking to implement ERP. However, like any other technology, it is essential to keep on top of ERP systems’ features and solutions. Here’s a look at the top 5 ERP technology trends that companies need to watch out for:

1.Integration with AI and its positive impact: Gone are the days companies would look at artificial intelligence (AI) and ERP systems separately. The upcoming ERP comes integrated with AI and offers smooth functionalities in various functions such as efficient accounting, report generation, warehouse/ inventory management, customer service betterment, and more. Another positive impact of ERP systems integrated with AI is that it helps process automation and can save manual labor efforts and cost. This can serve as a boon for companies struggling with workforce shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

2.Cloud Acceleration: Another upcoming ERP trend is the much-talked-about cloud acceleration feature, wherein organizations (or individuals) will be able to expedite data delivery to respective nodes with the help of a smart ERP system. A cloud ERP system also enables organizations to seamlessly go along the digital transformation journey with real-time data feeds and verifications.

3.Agile ERP to Support an Agile Organization: Most companies are asked today if they are agile? To be agile and get away from the conventional waterfall method (where one function would complete the task before moving to the next), companies will delve into agile ERP. An agile ERP will support co-existence and concurrent working of multiple functions with a centrally accessible database. This will help companies reduce and expedite iterations, preempt and avoid operational glitches, and better manage their processes.

4.Customer-focused ERP: The business landscape is changing with digitization. Companies can now reach their customers directly and get honest reviews about their services/ products, thanks to various online platforms. Thus, in the year 2021, ERP will play an essential role in strengthening this connection and taking it in the right direction by generating alerts, reducing response time, and improving overall customer satisfaction for a company.

5.ERP aiding persona Marketing: Organizations worldwide are trying to make the most of their digital marketing spend by optimizing R&D about a customer/ prospect demographic. Cloud-based ERP systems can prove vital in that facet by serving as the data-gatherer and insight generator systems for a better, faster, and more accurate understanding of the customer’s preferences. Not many enterprises know the immense value that the current sales/ customer data provides to cross-sell/upsell/sell new products to existing customers or prospective customers within the same demographic. ERP systems can effectively streamline backend data and provide trends to aid digital marketing.

Figure 1: The Future of ERP: Comparing Features

The past year has seen numerous benefits of ERP in different business processes. A trusted ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations will be instrumental in helping companies manage operations efficiently. This ERP software is designed for today and the future, and it encompasses cutting-edge features that help fulfill your organization’s digital transformation quest.

New-age ERPs release updates to stay current in the market, and it is essential to upgrade by assessing the latest feature sets in the latest versions. Getting ERP consultants and experts on board can also help you in continuously improving your ERP system to adapt to the latest trends.

Key Takeaways

  • To stay ahead in the digital era, organizations need to keep up with the trends of cutting-edge software like the ERP.
  • The current and coming years will see further integration of various digital technologies into ERP to provide a comprehensive system that benefits both companies and customers.
  • The future and growth of ERP lies in digitization, agility, and enhanced process optimization features. Companies from various industries will need to upgrade their ERP systems to reap these features’ full benefits in the coming times.

Make the Move to Microsoft Dynamic 365

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

erp for chemical industry

Digitization of the Chemical Industry-Role of an ERP system

Digitization of the Chemical Industry-Role of an ERP system 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Chemical companies are looking to adopt the newer, digitized technologies to their fullest (instead of merely installing systems and processes that operate in silos).
  • A well functioning Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can help chemical companies in all phases of their operations- procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, vendor management, aftermarket, and more.
  • Implementing an ERP system need not be a costly or daunting affair, provided companies go for the right system and take the help of experts where need be.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has put chemical companies at the frontline as this sector provides the raw material for hygiene products and chemicals. There is an elevated demand, expanded supply networks, improved data flow, and a greater need for systematic operations optimization.

Digital transformations have been a boon for every industry; however, many sectors are still looking for ways to utilize these technologies to their fullest. The chemical industry is on the cusp of legacy and advanced software and systems. Many companies have departments working in silos, manual documentations, slow change management mechanisms, data discrepancy issues, and an overall fall behind when it comes to digitization and automation. Chemical companies can address these issues and many others by investing in a high-end ERP system.

According to PwC’s 23rd Global Annual Survey, 42% of chemical company CEOs prioritized and invested in digital operations and related technologies.

The above stat signifies that now is the time for chemical companies to systematically restructure their IT base and look at ERP as an option and a way forward to sustainable growth. After all, every sector is looking to leverage digitization to their benefit, including the chemical industry.

Here are five benefits of an ERP software system for chemical companies:

1.Digitization of Processes Leading to Accelerated Timelines:An intricately designed yet easy to implement ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP comes equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based features that can automate many processes such as documentation, reporting, log entries, etc. This will reduce manual intervention (providing personnel with time to invest in more innovative aspects) and mitigate errors. Digitization in the chemical industry also helps expedite processes as the data can be accessed, altered, and verified in real-time. With Microsoft Dynamics ERP, chemical companies can realize the vision of going agile.

2.Fortifying Supply Chain Management (SCM):A comprehensive ERP for the chemical industry can facilitate better management of your supply chain by interlinking the departments and creating a data pool between finance, sales, and delivery. This way, you will digitize and monitor the procurement of raw goods, oversee warehouses, manage inventory more efficiently, channelize communication between different stakeholders, and streamline the workflow.

Figure 1: A Multi Pronged ERP System to Integrate Different Departments in a Chemical Company

 

3.Better Response Time and Quicker Time to Market:An ERP for the chemical industry provides companies with a competitive advantage by giving better process and resource visibility, interconnecting departments, and avoiding bottlenecks. ERP is also integral in enabling chemical companies to identify their slow to move inventories and find quicker delivery options. This considerably reduced time to market. The overall product development process in chemical manufacturing companies is also expedited, thanks to the automation and optimization features of ERP systems, and this also results in quicker time to market.

4.Dynamic Change Management:The chemical manufacturing processes are subject to changes at different levels, from pre-formulation to production and packaging. These changes take time to get recorded and notified in a legacy system-backed environment, leading to delays. However, ERP allows chemical companies to be more flexible and dynamic in their change management approach. As data becomes centralized and systems become integrated, inter-departmental collaboration shines through, expediting the communication network in a change management ecosystem. Even at the supply chain and aftermarket levels, ERP allows better visibility across several stakeholders, enabling manufacturers to respond in optimized ways to any changes.

5.Better Customer Service and Enhanced Customer Satisfaction:Like any other industry, the chemical industry also strives to satisfy its customers- be it other industries or retailers or the end-user. With an ERP system for chemical manufacturing, companies gain insights into customer preferences, and they can anticipate market needs. Companies are choosing ERP systems designed to respond quicker and better to customer demands. With the ever-changing customer expectations scenario, chemical companies need to invest in a system that provides them with better customer visibility and agility to respond.

ERP is a software of possibilities, and the chemical companies can turn these possibilities into opportunities. To survive, sustain, and thrive in the era of digitization, the chemical industry can make use of this software to integrate and collaborate better. It also helps to get expert consultants onboard to implement ERP smoothly and leverage it to maximize performance and reduce costs. While every company has a different set of problems and requirements, well-designed chemical ERP software can efficiently address individualized issues.

Key Takeaways

  • The chemical companies must conduct a complete analysis of their as-is IT infrastructure and identify the right ERP system for their requirements.
  • ERP is a dynamic, flexible software, and thus chemical companies can evaluate comprehensively better many aspects of their operations with the help of a single system.
  • With learned ERP experts, chemical companies can go places in terms of operating smoothly and delivering consistently.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

The Role of an agile & cloud-based ERP in Chemical Manufacturing

How a cloud-based ERP helps in Chemical Manufacturing?

How a cloud-based ERP helps in Chemical Manufacturing? 1920 1080 Xcelpros Team

Modern Manufacturing

In recent years the chemical industry has witnessed a radical change in production methods. With technology gaining more attention in almost every sector, including manufacturing and distribution, business leaders need to upgrade their technology stack and outdated processes to meet the changing demands of the market. A rapid transformation of the Chemical manufacturing value chain is required to improve efficiency, productivity, quality, precision, pricing, and more.

While “Complexity” serves no good for business, it has been part and parcel of the chemical industry for decades. Many companies suffer from siloed department structures, disparate systems, inefficient data management, and a lack of streamlined processes due to lack of an agile ERP solution. These have all helped create roadblocks that hurt the bottom line of the business. Most companies don’t realize the gravity of the issue until the lack of integration between the floor and functional areas rears its head. As a result, it’s been easy for orders to get lost and product quality to suffer thanks to suboptimal production runs or poor capacity planning.

Chemical manufacturing companies need to take action by redefining their business models and re-evaluating their IT roadmaps. Chemical companies invest in transformation projects such as integrating a cloud-based ERP solution with operations to streamline processes, drive collaboration and efficiency, and offer much more informed decision-making.

Figure 1Agile ERP Solutions in Various Phases of Chemical Manufacturing

Unforeseen Circumstances: COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc, severely impacting every industry. The functioning of departments such as production and shipping became increasingly challenging. As a result, hundreds of companies had to scale down their manufacturing operations by as much as 40-60%. With such fewer raw materials being supplied, by February, the global production of chemicals had dropped by 2.4%.

The drop in business severely impacted revenue in Chemical companies. On top of that, transportation costs have gone up, and priority has shifted to essentials. This sort of financial pressure has forced companies to downsize the workforce, yet having to continue the business, which now is enforcing rapid technology transformations at an optimal cost.

An Agile ERP in Manufacturing

Unlike many other sectors, businesses in the chemical industry may not be able to stop production and send workers home. On the flip side, many chemical companies are pivoting operations to meet the demand of the market.

Add to this, a unique share of challenges that already exist for the chemical industry, including issues like

  • Fluctuating prices of raw materials and their impact on margins
  • The need for constant product innovation
  • Increasing risks in supply chain & manufacturing
  • Tightening regulations
  • Market uncertainty, budget & controlling costs
  • Difficulty in resource management

To overcome these complexities, companies need to possess a detailed overview of the market to identify the shifting customer dynamics and plan appropriately. Cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing can help identify market needs, shape the manufacturing processes, and finance a chemical company’s financial business processes.

6 Ways Implementing ERP will Improve Operations in Chemical Manufacturing

01.Improved Visibility

An agile ERP unifies data across departments, increasing the visibility of information across an organization, and eliminates unnecessary infrastructure costs while providing higher data security. Within a chemical company, process automation add-ons to the cloud ERP eases resource overload by optimizing workforce utilization on the shop floor. All departments across the company, including inventory management, purchasing, accounting, human resource management, production, and finance function together with a minimum breakdown and maximum clarity in operations. Agile cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing can help a chemical company access real-time data on a uniform platform and boost throughput to reduce downtime.

02.Enhanced Flexibility

As market demand fluctuates, there is a growing need for increased adaptability in the manufacturing and supply chain, enabled using the right ERP solutions. A Chemical company can share important updates and revised manufacturing plans/ schedules utilizing the supply chain planning system to plan stock availability. An agile ERP system for chemical manufacturing should follow a tiered approach comprising

  • secure database
  • simple user interface and higher accessibility
  • easy integration with external tools

The Chemical industry has a unique set of functional requirements to accommodate Environment health and safety and OSHA regulations. Cloud ERPs give Chemical companies the flexibility to customize the solution to suit their needs without migrating data or altering the entire piece of software.

03.Better Collaboration and Transparency

Data associated with the right ERP leads to better collaboration across the enterprise. Complex business procedures often are simplified, and simpler processes with no controls are made more stringent due to an ERP implementation project. All modern systems have enough restrictions to enable a disciplined method of functioning, that companies may have missing. A process and rule-based system improves transparency and sets the organization for growth.

04.Better Supply Chain Efficiency

A successful ERP software implementation eases the complexity of supply chain management with better-informed demand and supply management. Data insights collected from a well-designed ERP system for chemical manufacturing can reduce inventory cost, enhance supply chain efficiency, and optimize production processes that, in turn, build a robust supply chain. Building supply chain efficiency has further benefits such as decreasing expenditure on raw materials, increasing profit leading to capital growth for any company.

05.Improved Production

Chemical companies often pay a hefty price if the system they use is lacking functionality. The typical end-to-end chemical production process comprises – scheduling lot production, estimating the cost of the lot produced, recording consumption of raw materials, recording route operations, quality control check on lots, and accurately recording yields. This process exchanges multiple hands and devices. A poorly designed manufacturing execution system can hinder the batches produced, draining resources, and add unplanned costs to the company. All you need is an agile, cloud-based ERP system for chemical manufacturing.

06.Enhanced Customer Service

With the right suite of ERP and CRM solutions, it is possible to fulfill the customer-centric objectives such as understanding the customers’ needs, improving service levels, and enhancing customer experience. An agile ERP that supports companies to attend to their customers’ needs and resolve issues faster ultimately drives customer retention.

Final Thoughts

A Chemical manufacturing company holds its share of challenges. Be it specialty chemicals, bulk chemicals, private-label, co-pack, or a contract manufacturer, having the right cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing helps to build operational efficiency, bring products to market faster, reduce the cost of operations, be more agile, and responsive to market changes.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com