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ERP solutions may sound like something reserved for large companies, but despite the name, mid-sized business have a significant amount to gain from implementing ERP solutions. Fifty percent of companies implement ERP for cost-saving measures, while 21 percent of companies find ERP promotes business growth. After deciding to implement ERP within your company, you're often faced with the question of on-premise versus cloud-based ERP. While many companies immediately look at SaaS options, the on-premise solution also provides advantages.
An ERP system deals with business information of all types. Everything from employee social insurance/security numbers, accounting and expenses, supply chain management logistics, and other business intelligence would provide significant value to outside parties. When you host your ERP on-premise, you control everything, including the security measures used to physical access control. You won't be left at risk because a workstation connecting outside the network to the cloud-based ERP is insecure, or an employee at the cloud provider jumped ship with as much data as possible.
While cloud-based solutions are often touted as being highly flexible, your ERP gets locked into many technology decisions made entirely by the vendor. This includes some very important issues such as upgrade cycles - which is of particular importance if your ERP system is integrated into 3rd party solutions, extended or is customized. ERP solutions are also often implemented for long-term periods up to 15 years. If the vendor goes out of business, you have nothing to show for it and a lot of scrambling to do to implement a new solution. On-premise ERP removes the vendor dependency, so you can change different aspects of the system as needed.
Upfront costs are sometimes higher with on-premise ERP, but the total cost of ownership is almost always lower for on-premise, as ongoing subscription and support services on the cloud add up quickly. Generally, the break even period is approximately 3 years between the two types of deployments, after which on premise solutions quickly become less expensive. For an on-premise solution, you get the upfront costs out of the way, and the only ongoing costs are expenses such as energy and IT maintenance. When selecting ERP solutions for your mid-sized business, look at the total cost of ownership instead of being put off by upfront costs.
Just because you implement in-house doesn't mean the cloud is completely off the table. When you start with a solid on-premise base, you can incorporate cloud components and applications as desired to fill in ERP gaps without compromising on critical issues such as security. You get the best of both worlds with this configuration, which is one reason why it's popular for mid-size and enterprise-level companies.
While cloud solutions are excellent at integrating with certain third-party applications and software, they aren't so good at providing you with flexibility when you have your own customized solutions. Instead of throwing away useful applications tailored to your business, an on-premise system provides you with customization options for working these applications into your workflow.
Choosing an on-premise or cloud-based ERP solution isn't as simple as it may seem. It's important to consider many factors, from the security comfort level to the potential for customization, before making your decision. ERP solutions help streamline and automate many back-office business processes, allowing your mid-size business to operate efficiently, productively, and with a focus on current and future growth. Your ERP solution can be a primary driver of competitive advantage. Keep that in mind.
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CRM is a customer service management tool that gives businesses the opportunity to engage and interact with current and potential customers. There are many advantages of CRM. It streamlines customer service, provides customers with an outlet for communication, and ultimately allows businesses to manage and even control interactions in ways that benefit the organization and its clients.
CRM's main purpose is to increase customer satisfaction and improve clients' experiences, integrating CRM with social media offers many benefits to businesses and customers.
Social media integration means communication channels are constantly open. Businesses can interact with clients at any time, and clients always have an outlet for complaints, concerns, and questions. This provides your clients with consistent access to help, assistance, and answers, with the guarantee that your business will acknowledge and address their problems. This public forum aspect means your business will receive notification about problems in a timely manner. It provides the tools you need to manage client dissatisfaction and correct the issues in a very public way.
In short, social media integration provides businesses with integrated interaction management. Clients have a mode of communication that will ensure problems are addressed, while businesses reap the benefits of responding quickly and thoroughly to client problems.
Businesses can also use social media to effectively suss out client opinions and experiences that allow them to build a better business. Additionally, interacting with clients makes customers feel important and valued, which helps ensure repeat business and customer loyalty.
A well-designed app ensures your clients take your business with them wherever they go. Apps streamline purchases, track deliveries, make it easy to browse, allow customers to view and post reviews, and much more. Businesses can capitalize on app use by putting out messages through the app and offering benefits exclusive to the app, such as presales and special discounts. In effect, apps function as a lure, a benefit, a reminder, and a convenience all in one.
Social monitoring allows you to assess customer satisfaction and manage your reputation by tracking and reviewing your business's web presence as written and recorded by third parties, like media outlets and customer reviews. Social monitoring is both a safeguard and advantage, allowing you to flag and effectively address issues related to reputation and public opinion early. Social media integration offers businesses tools that help them track, monitor, and thank or repair as appropriate.
Between client communication, interaction management, application data, and social monitoring, social media integration offers a wealth of valuable data that you can use to develop effective marketing strategies. Businesses can use social media to learn what their clients want, analyze client demographics, determine client needs and wants, and eliminate things your clients don't appreciate or need. By utilizing this information, you can create effective marketing campaigns. Using social media is an efficient and highly effective way to improve your marketing.
Social media integration and managing the reputation of the companies is the strongest social media integration of CRM. Managing client interactions and addressing complaints responsibly while interacting with clients across a variety of channels, social media integration offers your business the ability to keep customers satisfied and engaged. This translates directly into effective management and maintenance of your business's reputation.
The integration of social media and CRM presents several advantages, benefits, and opportunities to business owners. By giving organizations the tools they need to manage all aspects of customer contact, CRM and social media integration benefits clients and, in the long term, your business, which will benefit from the ease a single integrated point of full-scale management provides. It offers significant advantages to customers by ensuring they experience controlled, comprehensive, responsive customer service. In the end, this helps you ensure an effective, responsible, and successful business.
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Enterprise Resource Planning systems have become more common in companies across the globe as the systems can be integrated into key systems such as sales, accounting, customer service, IT and human resource departments. A new ERP system fully integrated with your current key systems often increases the productivity and profitability. Besides the benefits your business gets from new ERP system, here are five surprising ways that employees benefit from a new ERP system.
It is easy not to realize how much work your employees successfully accomplish during one day. Your order entry department may be behind on entering new orders into the sales management software; but your order employees may have created a record number for the day. A fully-integrated Enterprise Resource Planning system will show real time data which has been completed by whom. This increased transparency of employees’ time and work reduces some of the stress of departments feeling that others don't pull their fair share of the work.
When vendors market most ERP systems they focus on benefits like productivity and efficiency. When employees are more efficient and productive, they become more confident in their ability to complete their tasks on a timely and correct manner. When processes are easier to manage, it goes a long way toward improving competency and confidence.
A new ERP system requires training of your employees who expected to utilize the system. The training affects your employees and isn't related to their job performance. For this reason, employees benefit from more training without the adverse perception that training means poor performance. During training phase, your employees may learn more about their job duties, or have the opportunity to further clarify aspects of their job that they may have missed.
Many employees started working remotely especially your sales team. The number of mobile workers has increased considerably. Many older Enterprise Resource Planning systems utilize servers or other equipment that may not be beneficial to a remote workforce. Newer Enterprise Resource Planning models incorporate cloud-based technology where possible to make the stored information more accessible. That's why it makes a lot of sense to select a new Enterprise Resource Planning system that supports mobile functionality. Your employees will like the flexibility that the new ERP system allows them to work from home. The new system may allow for a more formal telecommuting policy that promotes workplace flexibility.
One of the problems that businesses face in this century involves ensuring compliance with government and industry regulations. Corporations are required to generate detailed financial reports for industry and government regulations.
A new Enterprise Resource Planning system is better able to meet compliance standards for tracking and reporting information. If managed by a third-party vendor, the vendor will be able to share some of the responsibility for keeping the Enterprise Resource Planning system up to date with evolving regulatory compliance standards. Employees can rest assured that they are effortlessly maintaining compliance.
Implementing a new ERP system into an existing business, the benefits to employees are substantial. In the future, employees may choose to work for companies that remain competitive with their internal systems to increase mobile functionality and transparency.
Reduced compliance risk and confidence through speed and training only strengthen the overall posture of the organization. For these reasons, transitioning to a new ERP system may be worth the investment in time and resources.
Social CRM is quickly becoming a more popular software platform than its more traditional, informational based software. This is a natural result of social media movement among consumers as a whole to social platforms.
In this article, you will find information on the benefits of a social CRM platform for your business and also discuss options for making the social Customer Relations Management platform your own.
Customer Relations Management technology lets businesses use data to provide better customer experiences. It can track information like your clients' orders, payment options, preferences and other information to better serve them. While businesses use traditional and social CRM to focus on improving consumers' experiences, they do so in different ways.
Traditional CRM is used for customer data insights such as payment and purchase history to learn the buying patterns of the customers. Social CRM is about using social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to engage your client base. The integration of social media into Customer Relationship Management allows organizations to track client interactions and behavior.
This combination of technologies is essential for business success. IBM found that most individuals interact with organizations on social media for tangible value rather than feeling a connection to the brand. Consumers want value, and social CRM can help provide it.
Some of the many benefits of social CRM:
• Research shows that organizations using social media platforms to engage with customers are more likely to keep their clients over the long period of time. These companies can efficiently identify their customers’ needs and wants.
• Social Customer Relations Management allows your business keep a fully auditable record of every social media interaction with clients, even if they move between platforms. Because social media is backed up on Google, it's easy to search for past conversations.
• Social Customer Relations Management system is one of the most cost-effective tools on the market. It integrates all elements of social media and customer relations management into one place so you don't need a variety of other programs to supplement your information gathering.
When dealing with Social Media your marketing team is dealing with conversations and relationships. Here are some of examples of Social Media Customer Interaction:
• When you have a Twitter account that is an unofficial fan page dedicated to your services or products. You can use that fan page to engage with your existing clients. What do they like about your products and services? What can you do for better customer experience? The more you interact with people on their social media pages, the more likely they are to become repeat customers.
• You can use your Facebook page to encourage additional customer interaction. Facebook pages are amazing places to encourage conversations, sell some unique items not available anywhere else, and conduct polls. In exchange for your customers' time, you can offer such things as exclusive products, giveaways, special promotions and discounts.
There are a multitude of ways businesses use social media in their customer relationship strategies, and fortunately, these strategies are always improving.
They now have access to more than just traditional data for Customer Relations Management system. With social CRM, organizations and consumers can have very real interactions focused on continually improving customer relationships.
Many businesses strive for efficiency in their operations.
They would like to get more for every dollar invested in the business. But often,
the organization’s most important department is ignored during the process of implementing
systems and improving efficiencies across the business - even experienced executives
and top managers tend to forget about the most important capital they have in
their organization: human capital.
Why should you consider automation of business practices in
your human resource department? The
answer is that your people are the most valuable assets in your company. Your business
survives and stays competitive by recruiting and keeping the best employees in
the market place.
It is the job of your HR department to help achieve the
company’s goals. As an executive and top manager, how can you help them to be
successful? Many HR departments are buried with redundant tasks and trying to
finish those duties by handling paper work. Over 50% of human resources
department’s time is spent answering employees’ inquires, paper work,
processing employee information such as benefits administration, time and
attendance, absence management etc. An
automated Human Resources Management all in one system is a dream of any HR
With HRMS and HR software for People Management, your
department can focus on strategic tasks, attract skilled workforce and retain
them. HRMS software provides better
analytics for decision making processes. HR software integrates payroll,
benefit administration, applicant tracking, and employee self-service. All
in-one integrated software provides the most efficiency. You can have and keep
control in payroll, gain access to current and historical payroll information
of employees. You can stay up to date with changing tax laws. With employee
self- service, your employees can gain access to personal information, update
contact information and request time off to your HR department. Your benefits
administration team can automatically calculate insurance premiums, determine
employee and dependent eligibility, and generate automatic reports and transfer
employee enrollment information to the insurance carriers by HRMS messenger.
With the right HRMS system your organization can hire and
retain the most talented employees, make more analytical decisions, reduce the
time spent on paper work and redundant administrative tasks and make the best
use of your HR team.
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Business executives in North America and worldwide are looking for software solutions to improve the operational efficiency and productivity of their employees. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software improves productivity of employees across the organization by reducing the time spent on unproductive administrative tasks. Your employees will be empowered with a customizable and integrated CRM system.
CRM software empowers your employees by providing the ability and flexibility of defining their best practices. Each member of the team has a flexible user interface screen when dealing with internal and external customers. Most executives already know the benefits of stand-alone CRM software in organizations, but they are yet to discover the benefits of fully integrated CRM and ERP.
How could your organization most benefit from using integrated CRM and ERP software? What are the benefits of CRM and ERP integration? Integrated CRM and ERP system is virtually always the right thing to do.
ERP software is used for your finance, accounting, shipping, invoicing, inventory controls, billing, financial reporting, and auditing. Enterprise Resource Planning software controls your cash, budget, cash flows, expenses, and revenue. CRM controls your customer information, employee communications, sales operations, marketing, marketing campaigns and much more. CRM and ERP systems exist to serve your customers in the most efficient way by giving the ability to your employees to store consistent, relevant, correct, up to date, real time data across your entire organization. Imagine when you integrate these two systems the power your employees and management team will have.
One centralized database that is available to all of your employees is the key to organizational productivity. For example; a customer may phone and ask about the estimated delivery time of a specific product. With an integrated ERP and CRM, this information will be available to your customer service representatives in real-time. Your customer service representatives can record a purchase request as they are talking to customers and that information will be never be re-entered by another person, eliminating all chance for data-entry errors. Having one integrated system will reduce the time spent on entering information more than once.
Successes of sales departments are vital to your business. Sales departments benefit from ERP and CRM systems integration. Sales representatives will have access to as much financial information as they need to maximize the sales revenues. For example, your sales team will have access to inventory control information. This way your sales and marketing team can focus on selling the over stocked items versus a product is just being shipped to your warehouse.
Marketing departments are there to produce qualified leads, gain new customers, and keep existing customers with product promotions and advertising. With an integrated CRM and ERP system, your marketing team can execute more focused campaigns with the information provided by ERP and CRM system. They can quickly create reports on the previous purchase history, or up sale and cross sale.
Your organization will benefit most when you purchase ERP and CRM together and integrate these two systems in your entire organization. You should be talking to an experienced dealer to help you make the right software purchase. Please contact us to benefit from our free consultation if the ERP and CRM right for you.
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Author: Aylin Barnes
Every Enterprise Resource Planning system will require upgrade after five to seven years due to changing technological trends and business practices.
Upgrading of your existing ERP system is good for businesses in the long term. The upgraded system will be more powerful and easier to use. Further, it will provide much greater support in areas such as analytics which are becoming increasingly important in modern organizations.
What about the short term benefits? Not so much. An upgrade is effectively installing a new ERP system with all the difficulties that imply. While it is easier the second time around, it is still expensive. For the expense and the difficulty, organizations tend to cling to their ERP systems even after they are outdated. It often takes a major cause, such as loss of support by the vendor, to make companies make the move.
It is important to approach the ERP upgrade process with the right attitude which means managing reactions from employees and management for both positive and negative.
There are usually two mistakes in expectations when Enterprise Resource Planning system is being upgraded. The first mistake is expecting a major improvement in business processes without re-engineering the business. Business Process Re-engineering aimed to help businesses fundamentally rethink how they do their work in order to dramatically improve client service experience, reduce operational costs, and become world-class competitors.
Re-engineering aimed at encouraging full-scale recreation of processes rather than iterative optimization of sub-processes. If you want your business to achieve major changes than re -engineering should be considered. The other common mistake is to expect the implementation to be an IT project with minimal disruption of the other departments of the business. Upgrading your ERP will have an effect on the entire organization.
Upgrading your ERP system will represent an opportunity to improve both your ERP system and the overall process of the business. But like ERP in general, the magnitude of the benefits is directly related to the changes it makes in your business.
Part of this is the unavoidable changes that have occurred in the business since the Enterprise Resource Planning system was implemented. Part of it is the major efforts by ERP vendors over the last few years to make ERP systems more feature-rich and user friendly.
An Enterprise Resource Planning upgrade is an opportunity to re-examine your business processes as you did when you installed ERP in the first place. Unfortunately this is not significantly easier than it was when you implemented ERP system for the first time. It still means going through and analyzing each process and looking to see how you can improve it. It is this business process re-engineering that provides most of the power boosts that come with upgrading ERP.
Upgrades will help your business have an opportunity to reassess what you can do to get more functionality from your system, both by looking at existing processes and by taking advantage of new features and advanced capabilities of the upgraded system.
Like the original implementation, the upgrade will probably involve major changes to your employees business’ processes. Just as you did for the original implementation, you need to communicate with your employees and management about the changes and what the changes will mean for the workers.
In summary an Enterprise Resource Planning system upgrade should be a positive experience for the organizations. It will take nearly as much effort as the original implementation, but it should bring a significant increase in capability and efficiency of your businesses.
CRM Systems is a full-service professional service provider of end-to-end ERP and CRM solutions for the SMB business market.
We are experts at what we do.
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CRM Systems serves all of the United States and Canada with particular emphasis on the south-western USA, Ontario and western Canada.
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