GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

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1 BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS: GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME How do you find a solution that meets all or most of your current and future requirements?

2 Introduction ONLY 45% 5% 65% 58% most of companies are satisfied with their overall ERP vendor experience increase in the number of ERP failures since last year of ERP implementations take longer than expected (due to schedule overruns) of ERP projects cost more than expected (exceeded their planned budget) ERP implementations under-deliver business value These thought-provoking findings, concluded from the ERP Report by Panorama Consulting Solutions demonstrate that the reputation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions is damaged. There is no doubt that ERP systems add value to companies, but choosing the right solution can prove to be intimidating. By going beyond ERP and looking at the wider picture, companies can find a Business Management Solution that matches their exact requirements, without sacrificing business agility. The following paper will help you carry out a much more focussed and thorough search to get your Business Management Solution choice right, the first time. When companies recognise the need for an ERP solution, they sometimes rush into the selection process without first figuring out exactly what they want to achieve from their implementation. These companies often find themselves overwhelmed by the broad range of options available in the marketplace and run the risk of making a rash judgement. Let us start by understanding what a Business Management Solution is and how it can help you. This is where Business Management Solutions can step in. They are faster, simpler and more flexible and eliminate much of the pain associated with ERP selection and implementation process. 1 Panorama Consulting, ERP Report 2015

3 What is a Business Management Solution? And how will it help my business? A Business Management Solution is a fully integrated, realtime system that gives you the information you need to grow your business. It enables agility by collecting and connecting information from everyone, every department and every process throughout your entire business. This means a seamless flow of information throughout the company - manufacturing, sales, marketing, distribution, accounting, financial, human resource management, project management, inventory management, service and maintenance, and transportation within a single system. Web Viewing Portal Business Alerts Business Continuity Planning Overall, Business Management Solutions deliver flexibility, functionality and security, without the complexity and cost of typical enterprise systems and work towards accelerating a continuous process of growth and improvement within the organisation. Therefore, moving away from ERP towards Business Management Solutions can empower the entire organisation to become leaner, more efficient and ultimately, more profitable. According to a Gartner Study 2, top business priorities have shifted in recent years, from cost-saving to growth and profitability. For no less than 41% of companies, growth is now one of the top three priorities and IT solutions play a pivotal role in making this happen. 18% 16% 17% Reasons for Implementing Business Management Solution Tracking Project Planning Business Management System Case Management System Document Library 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 12% 12% 11% 10% 10% 7% 7% 7% 4% 5% Management Reports Human Resources Finance Replace old ERP/legacy system 2% 2% 1% 0% Improve business performance Position company for growth Reporting/regulatory compliance Integrate systems across locations Better serve customers Standardize global operations Appease parent company/stakeholders Reduce working capital Make employee jobs easier Other Other companies have ERP 2 Gartner, CEO and Senior Executive Survey 2013: CFO Turns to Growth Source: Panorama s 2015 ERP Report

4 The assessment and selection process: Starting out on the right foot Whether you are looking for your first Business Management Solution or looking to move away from the typical complexity of ERP, and upgrade to a more cohesive system, keep in mind that the entire process represents a serious investment for any organisation and is crucial for its future success. The progression from evaluation to selection and then implementation is an important, long-term decision for your organisation. Consequently, the entire selection process should be considered a priority, with proper time and resources devoted to it. Here are the top 4 steps to help you towards successful assessment, selection and implementation of a Business Management Solution: STEP 1 It all begins with you! The wide adoption of internet has changed the way we do business, and over the years, the effect has trickled down to customers, who now have higher expectations. Therefore, whether you are a growing business or an established enterprise, you need a proven method to streamline your operations, drive growth, improve customer experience, enhance your competitive position and be in control of your business. Business Management Solution is the answer to all your wishes. STEP 2 Determine your reason and objective By being realistic about your goals, management and problems, you can find the best software that will help streamline your entire business. Just ask yourself what you really want and why, and work towards establishing your current and future objectives. Make sure that your corporate goals align with your Business Management Solution and that you have the necessary infrastructure in place prior to the implementation process. The more focused you are in identifying your business need, the better your software selection would be. STEP 3 Freedom in terms of flexibility and choice Available in the cloud, SaaS or on-premise, Business Management Solutions are ideal for growing or enterprise businesses, especially those in the manufacturing, distribution or service industry. Moreover, as Business Management Solutions are faster, simpler and more flexible than typical ERP solutions, companies achieve greater insight into their business processes by bringing everything together in one simple solution. According to the size and need of your business, determine whether your company needs specific industry functionality, or whether it will work better with a more flexible, standardised software. Irrespective of which software or method you chose, make sure the entire process is divided into steps and each step has specific timelines for completion. To guarantee a seamless implementation, assign someone responsible for ensuring those deadlines are met.

5 The assessment and selection process: Starting out on the right foot...continued STEP 4 Standardised implementation = minimum amount of time As with most implementations, the success of your Business Management Solution will depend on following a systematic approach from start to finish. Sometimes, the implementation process runs into minor bumps, and the timeline falls a bit off the track to accommodate those unforeseen circumstances. However, with standardised implementation, the process is supported with templated documentation, so the chances of hitting such bumps is close to nil. Such pre-worked documentation shared by the provider ensures that as a business, you are able to hit the ground running, and zero in on opportunities instantly.

6 e Checklist for choosing the right Business Management Solution for your business Does the system offer: A complete package, integrating all aspects of running a business. The latest technology and the most advanced features and options. Menu items and screen layouts that are user friendly, intuitive and easy to use. Enough flexibility to adapt to your business needs. Easy customisation built-in from the start. Full integration and doesn t require manually inputting the same changes on multiple screens. Maximum performance in your weakest areas. Cost-effectiveness to strike a good balance between the overall cost of the planned software deployment and the project s profitability in the payback period. A detailed online help system.

7 Steps to choosing the right vendor Choosing the right partner With the objectives and requirements of your Business Management Solution nearly sorted, it is time to look for the right vendor or partner who will meet your expectations. Having the right partner on-board is one of the main reasons why some companies have a dream deployment, while others have an unnerving experience. As seen in this graph, only 45% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with their overall ERP vendor experience. This is a relatively low percentage, given the increase in reported ERP failures and decrease in overall software satisfaction. Nearly half of respondent organisations are neutral about their overall experience with ERP vendors (44%), hence signalling that many businesses have evolved beyond the traditional ERP technology and capabilities. 8% 6% 5% 44% As a result, it is paramount that you work with a partner who understands your business needs, undertakes relevant and required planning and provides you with training and implementation documentation. The easy way to evaluate the right solution provider is to look for the following 4C s: Company history, Consultant experience, Customer references and the overall Culture of the company. Once you have shortlisted the potential providers on these bases, you are ready to dig deeper into your discovery of finding the perfect partner. 37% Neutral Satisfied Very Satisfied Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Source: Panorama s 2015 ERP Report Copyright 2015 Panorama Consulting Solutions

8 Steps to choosing the right vendor Round one Specification and pre-selection Among the shortlisted providers, look for those who provide maximum security for your investment and come with an international or industry-specific focus. Scour the internet for freely available information and attend fairs and roadshows where you can get an opportunity to meet the provider personally. Round two Discuss the application Further deduce promising candidates based on detailed specifications by asking for key business processes and project requirements. This is the basis for concrete proposals for both a solution and a first offer. Ask as many questions and look at as many examples as possible to build your trust in the provider. Compare the offers and reduce your list to a maximum of 4-6 vendors. Round three Final presentation This is the stage where you evaluate the actual performance of the eligible candidates. To gain insight, ask for demonstrations involving complex business processes. This step will help you observe how competent they are to handle your current business needs and future requirements. Follow it up with supplementary workshops with the best two or three candidates. Meeting your providers face to face will enable you to explain your business goals and allow your questions to be answered in greater detail. Round four The decision This is where you realise the fruit of your labour. Go through all your research and assess the solutions, the performance and the competence of the top 2 or 3 solutions and providers. For better acceptance, involve the representatives of the affected business areas before taking the final call. Make your final decision in consultation with the representatives of the affected business areas. This will result in better acceptance. Make careful preparations before the implementation by holding joint workshops. The more detailed the planning, the lower the risk of nasty surprises.

9 Conclusion The walls of ERP are crumbling. With flexibility and ease of use becoming critical to business competitiveness, ERP is gradually being replaced by Business Management Solutions that are faster, simpler and more flexible. These solutions offer increased satisfaction and security, without the complexity and cost of typical enterprise systems. While choosing the right Business Management Solution can be challenging, it is worth the time spent. In long-term, the right solution will pay for itself in business success, employee satisfaction* and company growth. With good preparation and planning, the decision may be easier than you think. It will bring benefits such as faster optimised processes, lower costs and greater transparency, which in turn will enable the company to quickly and flexibly adapt to market requirements. To simplify, think of this whole selection and implementation process as going on a road trip. You need to be willing and ready to undertake that trip, find the best route possible that takes you to your destination and make full use of all your packed resources. You might hit a few bumps in between, but with proper planning, you will most likely have a smooth ride. Let s hit the road. *The 2013 Aberdeen report on Best-in-class strategies for selecting an ERP solution revealed that a massive 56% best-in-class businesses look for solutions that are easy to use. That is because even the most functional of ERP solutions are a waste of money if employees can t use it. A user friendly solution will lead to a higher employee usage rate and the solutions benefits will more quickly and profoundly manifest themselves throughout an organisation. Business Management Solutions are clear, easy to use and come with an intuitive interface that helps decrease user confusion and increase overall productivity.

10 Introducing Sage Business Management Solutions Sage X3 Flexible Business Management Solution for mid-sized to enterprise companies Sage X3 delivers enterprise-class business management functionality and security, without the complexity and cost of typical enterprise systems. It simplifies the management of all aspects of your operations from financials, sales and marketing, to distribution and manufacturing and keeps your organisation lean and ready to grow. Sage X3 is a faster, simpler and more flexible business management solution developed for midsized to enterprise companies, to grow a profitable business, both internationally and locally. With powerful functionality for manufacturing, process manufacturing, project management, IT services, professional services, maintenance services, distribution and production industries, and a collaborative approach across all business units and departments, Sage X3 is ideal for business growth. Sage 200 Business Management for small to medium-sized businesses Sage 200 is a business management solution that helps Small and Medium-sized Enterprises get full visibility of information across their entire business. It manages finances, stock and business insight in one solution, allowing you to control all your business processes within one integrated solution. You can also choose from a range of modules and features, including Manufacturing and Project Accounting to build a fully customised solution for your business. With a choice of online or installed on premise software, there s even more flexibility about how you use, roll out and pay for your software. For more information visit business-management-solutions/sage-200-extra For a fully-scalable business management solution that s flexible, simple to learn and easy-to-implement, with no hidden costs talk to us about Sage X3. For more information visit business-management-solutions/sage-x3

11 With over 6 million customers in 24 countries, Sage is one of the market leaders for business software and services for small, medium-sized and enterprise companies. For over 30 years we have helping our customers achieve success within their business. Because every business is different, we offer products and services - covering a wide range of needs - which are secure, effective and easy-to-use. Sage UK Sage House, Wharfedale Road, Winnersh, Berkshire, RG41 5RD For more information visit business-management-solutions or call

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