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How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

The active decentralisation of workforces is something that has been gaining momentum in the past decade, and even more so recently. As technology and internet infrastructure has drastically improved so too has a businesses ability to empower their team to effectively work remotely.

A combination of technologies including video conferencing software, VOIP phone systems and cloud business management platforms like NetSuite gives businesses a unique advantage over competitors who are wedded to legacy on-premise systems and infrastructure that mandate the need for teams to work from a dedicated location.

While ‘work from home’ arrangements are becoming commonplace we are increasingly seeing organisations wanting to align their IT strategy in order to simplify network infrastructure and the efficiency and effectiveness of access to their key business systems, such as accounting, warehouse management and field service and mobility. Their goal is to maximise mobile access for their teams, minimise security risks and streamline the flow of information and data throughout their various business departments.

%

Australian’s have adopted smartphones into their everyday lives

The Communication Revolution.

It is hard to believe that the first mainstream smartphone released to a mass-market occurred in 2007, just 12 short years ago. The Apple iPhone, which would go on to become the most popular smartphone device on the planet opened a world of opportunity by giving people access to business systems, such as email anywhere, anytime.

Shortly after, in 2008, HTC released their G1 model and in 2009, Samsung, the world’s now second-largest smartphone manufacturer came to market with their competitive offering the Samsung GT-I7500 Galaxy.

As features and functionality of smartphones continued to grow exponentially more and more business and individuals made the switch from dated telecommunication technology to modern smartphones.

Fast forward to 2020, it is estimated that 18.44 million Australian’s have adopted smartphones into their everyday lives which is a staggering 72.5% of the population, and 50% of Australians use devices other than a phone or computer to connect to the internet.

There’s An App For That.

By 2012, the smartphone race was on. With leading manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and HTC holding the majority of the market after investing billions of dollars in R&D to ensure that their latest release trumped other players.

One of the biggest revolutions in communications and devices is the concept of App Stores, which give people the ability to configure and expand the usefulness of their devices to their own needs.

Whether in business content, or private use, the smartphone changed people’s expectations of technology both at home and at work.

Video Conferencing Software

Colleagues and customers are connecting in ways not seen in past decades.

Mobility Madness

Between 2010 and 2020, we have seen a change in the way people interact with each other and access information.

In 2020, employees expect that will be able to be as connected to their companies, colleagues and key business systems, as they are in every other aspect of their lives.

Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype and Teams are connecting colleagues and customers in ways I am sure no one ever imagined. Whilst for some businesses and individuals this has required a significant and pivot, for the majority these technologies had already been adopted in some way.

However, this is not as true when it comes to the average businesses key systems, such as accounting, warehouse management software or field service management software.

Cloud Technology, But Not As You Know It.

If you follow Klugo, you will probably have heard us talking about True Cloud and Fake Cloud Technology in the past and why it is imperative to understand the difference. We are dedicated to helping Aussie businesses transform their technology footprint by simplifying their multitude of disparate systems into a single business management platform, NetSuite.

Ultimate NetSuite Buyers Guide

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your business adaptability strategies.

True Cloud Systems, such as NetSuite and NextService offer our clients teams the ability to access their organisations unified software platform, anywhere, anytime on any device. More than that, however, because of the True Cloud nature of our solutions, they are able to access the system quickly and simply, without the need for complex infrastructures such as DaaS Solutions or Virtual/Remote Desktop technology.

Put simply, Hosted Cloud Technology adds complexity to a business’s IT Strategy. In addition to the work required to design, implement and keep software systems running, there is the added workload of ensuring that teams are able to log into your systems through complicated VPN’s and Portals as well as the burden of ensuring that relevant data is interfaced between systems in a timely and accurate manner.

Comparatively, Klugo’s NetSuite customers enjoy a much simpler experience and have been able to pivot very quickly when businesses requirements change, and we think that is powerful. The fact that NetSuite is a single true cloud platform, the need to manage hosting and access is eliminated and data does not need to be interfaced or uploaded to different systems, as it is a single software solution managing all aspects of financial and operational control.

In Summary

Modern businesses need modern technology in order to be agile and adapt in rapidly changing industries. If you are interested in learning how we are helping Australian Field Service Companies, Construction Service Providers, Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Retailers, and more modernise their system strategy, then reach out to one of our NetSuite experts.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support your business’ adaptability strategy.

How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

Technology decentralising the workforce has been gaining momentum in the past decade, and even more so recently, efficiently enabling remote workers.

Business Norms vs Business Necessity. The Four Key “Why’s” Industries Are Now Revisiting.

Our customers tell us how they have been leveraging the power of NetSuite to pivot quickly and get back to business. Read their stories.

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Business Norms vs Business Necessity. The Four Key “Why’s” Industries Are Now Revisiting.

Business Norms vs Business Necessity. The Four Key “Why’s” Industries Are Now Revisiting.

Over the past few weeks, we have been speaking with our customers in order to understand how we can help them leverage the power of NetSuite to pivot quickly and get back to business. Through discussions with many business owners and C Levels, we are finding an interesting commonality in these conversations.

As leaders in their industries, our customers are looking at ways they can evaluate what in some cases has been decades of ‘business as usual’ and transform their strategies to make the most of the ‘new normal’.

1. Communication – Technology Supporting Collaboration Between Customers and Colleagues

It is no secret that at this point in time, Video Communication Platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams are keeping the world turning. Both in business and in people’s homes, these cloud technologies are helping people connect, communicate and collaborate. Whilst this technology is not new, its place in everyday life has been hugely amplified and is making it easier for everyone to go about their work, education and personal lives.

This is largely possible due to the leaps and bounds we have made in recent years when it comes to internet speed and infrastructure and the lowering of costs to high-speed internet and data. In addition to this, the quality of camera lenses and the prevalence of video recording technology in most smart devices means that accessing this new communication channel is very much possible for the majority of people.

2. Travel – Risk vs Reward

At Klugo, travel is very common across our teams. From our Business Development Consultants who fly around Australia to conduct on-site discovery sessions and software demonstrations through to our NetSuite Consulting Team who regularly attend customer sites to run training sessions and provide Go Live support, travel is a part of the job.

Whilst face to face contact with our customers is highly beneficial, we have found that by changing our processes we have been able to maintain a high level of service and customer satisfaction.

Similarly, our customers in the interest of the safety of their team’s have welcomed the way we are currently delivering NetSuite implementations and appreciate that we are able to push forward despite the challenges.

3. Physical Presence and Productivity

Another common conversation item is the impact that a lack of physical presence of team members in their offices has had on their productivity and efficiency of communication. In most cases, our customers have reported that they were able to quickly mobilise a ‘work from home’ plan for any non-essential staff since NetSuite can be accessed anywhere, anytime on any device.

Whilst face to face contact is hugely important in building relationships and ensuring clarity during conversations many business owners are exploring the potential benefits of expanding their legacy ‘work from home’ policies such as a reduction in required office space, increase in productivity from team members and increase in their ability to support work-life balance.

Are you interested in NetSuite?

Download our Ultimate Buyers Guide to NetSuite and learn more about how NetSuite can help your businesses to take control of your systems, make quick changes in operations and automate workflows.

4. Technology – Mobility, Adaptability and Agility Are Key

In some cases, our customers have chosen to maintain some legacy systems that often times are either cloud-hosted or on-premise. This could be for a number of reasons such as prioritising mission-critical functionality at go-live or needing industry specialised functionality. Interestingly, we are now hearing a number of our customers are wanting to use the NetSuite development platform in order to bring this functionality into NetSuite and move towards their desired end-state of a single platform of technology.

We are excited to be able to help our customers get back control of their businesses very quickly, whether through new NetSuite module implementations, or custom development. If you are interested in learning how our team of NetSuite experts can help your business, feel free to reach out and discuss your requirements with one of our NetSuite professionals.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how NetSuite cloud-based technology can make your retail business an agile and flexible support for your business.

Business Norms vs Business Necessity. The Four Key “Why’s” Industries Are Now Revisiting.

Our customers tell us how they have been leveraging the power of NetSuite to pivot quickly and get back to business. Read their stories.

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Benefits of ERP: When is the right time to move to Cloud ERP?

Benefits of ERP: When is the right time to move to Cloud ERP?

Choosing which software systems your company should invest in can be challenging. For many businesses knowing when to move to an ERP system can mean the difference between growing their businesses or getting throttled by software that no longer supports your team and your company.

For many businesses, moving to a Cloud ERP system is an excellent choice, as investing in modern technology gives the benefit of automation, live information and data as well as a single simplified system to manage all departments. There are only a handful of true cloud ERP’s on the market in 2019. By ‘true cloud’ we are referring to the technology that the software system is built on. Older ERP’s such as Epicor, Pronto and Microsoft Navision were designed to be installed as a single instance to a server located in your premises. To make these into “cloud” ERP’s they have simply connected them to a hosting server, which is good because you can access the software through a browser, but it is not a true multi-tenanted cloud solution, and users of these systems can expect to have the same issues that are created by on-premises technology. These main problems that are caused are:

  1. Expensive and lengthy implementations.
  2. Need for customisations that break when trying to upgrade.
  3. Expensive report writing and customisation.
  4. Poor performance as these systems are not designed to be delivered over a browser.
  5. Dated database structures and functionality.

For a small business wanting to make the move to ERP, they should be considering the real impacts of this as they grow. What starts as small problems today can often turn into bigger problems in the future.

What is ERP?

ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning” software, and traditionally this was used by manufacturing companies to plan their resources, manufacturing schedule and demand planning. However, the term ERP has now become more widely accepted to categorise any software that provides a business with a wide range of functionality across many different departments and operations.

Software products like MYOB, Xero and QuickBooks are accounting systems, and have not been designed to allow for any robust functionality around managing sales and CRM, inventory, warehousing, work orders or WIP and routing. Traditionally, when small businesses needed more functionality in these areas, they would look to invest in a “best of breed” solution, such as Salesforce for CRM, Unleashed or Fishbowl for inventory management or MRP’s like M1 for managing the manufacturing process. To attempt to simplify data entry and data consolidation they would either invest in ‘integrating’ their different software packages or rely on Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to consolidate data and attempt to get reporting and insights.

Unfortunately for many businesses, they realised that this IT software strategy is expensive, complicated and fraught with problems. Integrations are great if they work, but as many business owners will tell you, integrations are very prone to ‘breaking’ when one or more of the software’s being used is updated. And so, starts a never-ending cycle of system updates, break fixes, and reimplementation.

Why is ERP different?

A true cloud ERP, like NetSuite, gives businesses a single platform to manage their entire business. Sales and CRM, Accounting and Finance, Inventory and Warehouse Management, Manufacturing and MRP, Project Management, Workflows, Automation, Dashboards and Reporting. Everything a small business currently needs or will end up needing as they grow.

The good news is, that recently NetSuite has introduced a version of their ERP software called SuiteSuccess Starter Edition, which is designed for small businesses with less than ten users, who are wanting to upgrade from MYOB or Xero and move to a single business management platform.

ERP Software Myths

If you ask anyone who has used or implemented ERP software, you will find that there is a wide range of opinions. Over the years, many misconceptions and myths have come from people’s experiences with ERP software. What is important to understand is that not all ERP is equal. There are some excellent ERP systems in the market and some not so great ones. As a business owner, it is important that you evaluate several different options to ensure that you are choosing an ERP software that suits your businesses requirements.

Credit Cards sitting on a keyboard.

1. The Cost of ERP Determines the Quality

Most people would be familiar with the major ERP vendors being SAP Software, Microsoft Software and Oracle ERP. These three major players were early entrants to the market in the 1990s and dominated the ERP industry for many years. These systems are highly complex, can be very expensive and difficult to maintain and often provide the same functionality that modern ERP’s offer for a much lower investment.

Many of the world’s largest organisations still run on these systems, largely due to the expense and difficulty that moving to a new system would cause. Many companies now realise that legacy on-premise technology is preventing them from growing and increasing the cost and complexity of managing their IT systems. We are now seeing these companies migrate to modern ERP, as the benefits that it offers through simplifying IT strategy and divesting responsibility for maintaining servers and networks is invaluable and set to save them millions of dollars per year.

As an owner of a small or medium-sized business, you can decide to invest in modern technology and not risk getting stuck on dated on-premises ERP platforms.

Business people having a meeting about the benefits of erp

2. You Need an ERP Consultant to Help with Your Evaluation

Whilst some businesses benefit from getting help from ERP consultants, most companies should be able to manage the process of evaluating ERP in-house with their department experts. An ERP consultant can help you define your requirements, structure this is a way that ensures you have a thorough RFP for ERP vendors to respond to, and enables you to evaluate ERP product demonstrations to this checklist of requirements. In some cases, they may also be able to assist with vendor negotiations on pricing and advise on best implementation working partners. However, this can all be achieved internally with preparation, planning and organisation.

In most cases, the ERP vendors or ERP development partners will be able to help you define your requirements based on their experience in delivering ERP solutions to your industry.

businessman using cloud erp on his laptop

3. ERP Selection Process Should be Run by IT Managers

The truth here is that ERP has minimal impact on what a traditional IT manager does. With True Cloud ERP, responsibility for maintaining the servers and uptime of the system is the responsibility of the vendor and is included in the annual license fees as a service. Your selection of an ERP system should be about your business’s operations and team’s requirements to help them do their jobs more efficiently.

The ERP selection process is an opportunity to take pause and look into how your business is running and how it should be running. When evaluating ERP, you should create a small steering committee of your most knowledgeable and experienced team members who will be able to clearly articulate what their department needs in terms of functionality and explain how things are managed currently, what problems are being caused and where there is opportunity to save time, money and resources.

gears

4. More Functionality Equals Better ERP

This could not be further from the truth. Companies looking to evaluate an ERP system should focus on the functionality they need, not the functionality the system offers, as more often than not, products that an over-engineered tend to be clunky, give poor user experiences and clutter the system with fields and forms that you are never going to use. The reason that this happens in legacy on-premise software is that when customers need more functionality or custom fields, the vendors often had to build this into the source code of the ERP. That means, that when a few companies using the system needed extra fields, then every user of the system had those fields rolled out to them in an update whether they needed it or not.

Modern ERP’s don’t do this, because they have a set of inbuilt tools that allow users to quickly add new fields and forms to the database, without ever impacting the source code. NetSuite does this particularly well and is by far the leader in the ERP market for providing tools that let users learn ERP, take control of their system and continually improve to meet their changing needs.

Benefits of ERP

Now that we have clarified some common misconceptions about ERP systems and explained a little more about why Cloud ERP is different, we can move on to discuss the benefits and advantages that ERP offers users.

ERP systems are one of the most important assets for any business as they provide the foundation for managing your businesses data and operations and give your team the tools, they need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

A good ERP system will do five major things for you:

netsuite dashboard on a laptop

1. Centralised Management

Provide functionality across all departments, so you only have to manage one system.

netsuite dashboard on a mobile phone

2. Real-Time Data

Give you access to live information and data as it happens.

netsuite analytics on a laptop

3. Business Analytics

Give you insights into your business’s performance through dashboards and reports.

netsuite kpis being shown on a laptop

4. Automation

Automate tasks and processes so your team can focus on generating revenue rather than data entry.

netsuite being used on a mobile phone

5. Alerts

Alert you when something goes wrong, rather than waiting to discover there was a problem in the past.

The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to NetSuite

Interested on NetSuite, the leading ERP in Australia for SMEs? Save yourself hours of research by downloading Klugo’s Ultimate Buyers Guide to NetSuite.

gears s placed on a wooden table

Fixed Monthly Cost for ERP

Most ERP systems now have a SaaS (Software as a service) pricing model, which means that you can plan and budget for the cost of your ERP with certainty. SaaS pricing also includes support and maintenance of the application, so you can be sure that as you grow, the only additional costs you need to worry about is adding more users when required.

Whilst ERP is a serious investment for a small or medium sized business, the benefits and ROI are definable. NetSuite for example, depending on the edition you subscribe to can cost as little as $1200 per month for a small to medium-sized business with under five users. The amount of resource time that a system like this saves is often the equivalent of 1-2 full-time administration resources, so when comparing the cost of additional salaries to the cost of a suitable ERP solution, it makes a lot of sense.

It is also important to note, that Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a single investment, rather than investing in a number of different ‘best of breed’ software packages and integrating them. When you choose a good ERP, the cost is fixed, there is no need for complex integrations, and you have the functionality to cover every department of your business. For anyone who is looking at investing in an ERP solution, it is a good exercise to detail how much you are spending currently on your IT strategy. Make sure you include:

Cost of ERP
1. Cost of each software package that will be replaced.
Cost of Infrastructure
2. Cost of hosting, networking or physical infrastructure like on premises servers.
Cost of Support
3. Cost of support.
Cost of Upgrades
4. Cost of upgrades.
Cost of IT Staff
5. Cost of IT staff.
Cost of Software Upgrades
6. Future upgrades and cost to reimplement.

A product like NetSuite provides one platform to manage everything. Sales and CRM, Accounting and Finance, Inventory and Warehouse Management, Work Orders and Assemblies, Project Management and Job Costing, Field Service Management, Dashboards, Workflows, Automation and more.

Netsuite being used by worker on multiple devices.

Total Visibility in Real Time on any Device

True cloud ERP is a website with a powerful database. As long as a user has access to the internet and a web browser, then they have access to the system. There is no need to be in the office, connected to a network or using remote desktop to see and transact in the system. It’s a simple way to access all information, data and dashboards and minimises time and effort associated making sure your IT infrastructure supports your business.

Also, modern ERP systems can be accessed on many types of devices including laptops, tablets and even smartphones, which means that users have more flexibility when it comes to using the system and is not tied to a desk. With remote workforces becoming increasingly popular this means that when you invest in ERP, you are allowing yourself to support flexible work arrangements and meet the expectation of true mobility that is now becoming a standard for the millennial workforce.

Netsuite dashboard on a apple mac

Improved Business Intelligence, Reporting and Planning

When you invest in a single system to manage your business, your ability to report, get business intelligence in real time and plan for the future is massively increased. You are also able to get better insights into business drivers as information from different departments can be linked, related and reported.

When you have multiple systems that each hold their silo of information, it is difficult if not impossible to get true 360-degree visibility of your business. Many businesses currently rely on excel to consolidate data and then spend hours if not days formatting and reformatting this information to try to understand what is going on in their business. This detachment becomes a massive drain on resources and wastes time and effort, when simply having the information stored on one system will completely negate the need for this.

Improved Efficiency

ERP systems are there to do one thing. Increase the efficiency of your team and help them do their jobs better. Whether your sales team need access to stock levels or customer information, or your warehouse manager needs to streamline the operations on the floor, then a good ERP system will have all the necessary functionality and fields to make this as easy as possible.

Improving Sales Visibility

ERP solutions have an integrated CRM, so all marketing, customers and sales data can be kept on the platform. For salespeople, this means that their pipelines are managed proactively and for sales management, visibility of sales forecasting and performance is standard.

Improving Accounting and Financial Control

A good ERP system will help your accounting and finance team by providing a simple way to administer all transactions. Systems like NetSuite, also allow you to manage multiple entities in one platform, so multi-entity accounting and consolidation, as well as managing intercompany transactions becomes an easy and automated process.

Inventory and Warehouse Control

Keeping a close eye on your inventory brings the opportunity to increase your cash flow by using data to make better purchasing decisions. Also, you can speed up the amount of time it takes to turn a received customer order into a delivery which means happier customers and better output from your warehouse team.

laptop being used in a factory

Logistics and Business Productivity Improvement

ERP systems improve business productivity in a number of ways that are not necessarily easy to quantify. While all the productivity and quality improvements help contribute to the ROI of the ERP investment, some companies overlook these productivity gains:

1. ERP Supports Better Customer Service

In 2019, the customer is King. Like no time before, customers have access to a massive amount of information, including product and service reviews online. If you are not giving your customers excellent service, they will easily be able to find a better provider, or worse, actively tell people about their poor experience.

Good ERP systems allow you to take control of your customer service strategy and implement ways to continually improve your product and service offering, as well as manager after sales support. Also, because all customer sales and CRM information, along with accounting and financial management information is linked, then getting reports on customer performance becomes easy.

Systems like NetSuite are also able to alert you if a customers behaviour changes or if a VIP customer lodges a support case or makes a complaint which means that sales and customer service team members are able to instantly see when there is a problem and take the opportunity to rectify this as quickly as possible.

2. ERP Data Security and Quality

One of the most common questions we are asked is whether cloud ERP is secure in terms of data and privacy. The truth here is that Cloud ERP vendors spend hundreds of millions of dollars protecting their servers and customers data and that the security of these types of systems is far greater than what a small to medium-sized business would be able to implement trying to protect their in-house services.

Other benefits of this are that the vendor also takes responsibility for data redundancy and backups which again minimises a small business’s need to manage this type of thing internally.

3. Improved Collaboration and Workflows

Another major benefit of cloud ERP is that your team get the ability to collaborate on a single system, which improves the transparency of information and streamlines communications. A single system to manage your entire business means that there is no starting and stopping, uploading and downloading or duplicating data entry.

Good ERP like NetSuite also provides workflow engines to automate processes, manage approvals and alert users as things are happening in real time.

Leading practices when it comes to good businesses processes suggest that if a task can be automated, then it should be automated because it allows your team to spend time servicing your customers and generating revenue rather than doing repetitive administrative tasks.

A lot of time and money can be saved by thinking about things in your day-to-day work life that could be managed by an ERP system. With modern Cloud technology, you can ensure that what you invest in the system gives you an easily definable ROI, and automation is just one way of achieving that.

4. Standardisation of Your Business Processes with Leading Practices

Many cloud ERP solutions have been developed to provide solutions to specific industry requirements. Whether you are a wholesale distribution company, field service business, manufacture or professional services provider, there are many cloud ERP system that has been built with your industry in mind.

NetSuite, as an example, has over ten different industry-specific editions. These editions bundle many different modules together based on the standard requirements of a business operating in that industry.

More recently, with the introduction of NetSuite’s SuiteSuccess editions, we are seeing many pre-bundled solutions coming to the market that provide a ready-made ERP solution for businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing software, food and beverage, services and specialty subcontracting markets. For an average small to medium-sized business, implementation and rollout of a new NetSuite Cloud ERP is quick and easy and provides a framework on which to grow the business through the adoption of leading practices that have been implemented by the best-performing companies the industry.

5. Regulatory and Tax Compliance in ERP

Compliance with government and ATO regulations is paramount for a growing business. The truth is that as you get larger, the need to be compliant and the complexity of what is required to be compliant increases. When you are trying to manage this manually, without the support of an ERP system, this can be near impossible and expose your business to the risk of being audited or fined.

Good ERP systems are localised to your country and will offer a range of functionality to allow you to manage your business in line with all regulations, laws and tax models in the countries where you operate. NetSuite, as an example, has localisations for over 100 countries and has been the major ERP platform in the Australian market.

6. Better Supply Chain Management in ERP Model

For any business that manages inventory, managing your supply chain more efficiently means that you can save time and money by making good purchasing decisions based on historical and forward-looking data.

Good ERP systems will have Demand Planning built in, which capitalises on the wealth of inventory and sales data and help you to understand better the way that you can make your inventory planning and supply planning more efficient. Inventory sitting on the warehouse is a cost. Not just a cost for the COGS itself, but also the cost of rent, insurance, managing stock and making sure that your warehouse is organised in an efficient way.

Similarly, not having stock on hand when you need is an opportunity cost to the business in more than one way. It might be that you miss making a sale because the customer isn’t able to wait for you to order the item in, or it could be that your manufacturing processes cant take place because you are missing a key input that is required on the bill of materials. In any case, if you are experiencing any of these supply chain issues, then it is time to consider cloud ERP.

7. ERP Scalability to Support Business Growth

An important thing to consider when investing in setting up your businesses core systems is how you plan to grow over the next 5 to 10 years. Whilst implementing Cloud ERP like NetSuite Success is much easier and quicker than traditional on-premises ERP systems, doing this every couple of years is disruptive and can cause unnecessary costs.

A good cloud ERP, like NetSuite offers users a platform that provides them with a core set of functionality to manage their business in its existing state, but also allows you to grow the system by adding more users, modules and functionality as your needs change.

At Klugo, we are advocates for keeping things as simple as possible and focusing on the core functionality your business will need at go live for you to trade. After that point, you have the opportunity to continually improve the system and add all the ‘bells and whistles’, but the core ERP platform is what is important on day one. We have helped hundreds of businesses to design a NetSuite solution that not only meets the immediate requirements but also has a plan to improve and expand the system in future phases continually.

netsuite mobile and netsuite desktop screens

So, Should You Invest in implementing an ERP?

When your business starts to be affected by the limits of your existing cluster of software systems, it is probably time to consider a modern ERP solution. By doing this, you are allowing yourself to define your current and future technology requirements and invest in a system that will help you simplify your IT footprint, take control of your business processes in ERP services and grow without having to add additional headcounts or overheads to your business.

At Klugo we are experts in helping small and medium-sized businesses evaluate, guide them through steps of ERP implementation and continually improve their use of the NetSuite system. Since 2013 we’ve helped hundreds of Australian businesses across a wide range of industries and verticals to leverage the power of the world’s leading ERP tools, NetSuite.

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How the On-Premise ERP Model killed itself slowly.

How the On-Premise ERP Model killed itself slowly.

Brief Recent History of Cloud ERP.

Over the past 15 years, most “On-Premise” software vendors have clamoured to come to market with a cloud offering to satisfy the needs of increasingly savvy CFO’s. Interestingly, we now find ourselves in a critical junction where the difference between true-cloud solutions and fake-cloud solutions is starting to become more apparent.

Many customers who have invested in upgrading their existing on-premise ERP solution to their software vendor’s “new and improved cloud solution” are beginning to realise that the differences between hosted cloud and true-cloud are quite significant.

Software developers realised quite a few years back that cloud technology was going to change the industry permanently. When evaluating whether or not they too would look to develop a true-cloud version of their products offering, the reality of such an undertaking became apparent. A number of software companies had multiple failed attempts; they invested millions if not billions of dollars in trying to not only migrate their technology platform to the cloud but also:

1. Re-skill internally to handle a new type of technology.

2. Market their latest offering in parallel to their legacy on-premise offering.

3. Attempt to migrate large portfolios of clients onto largely unproven new “cloud” versions.

4. Continue to try to acquire new customers onto platforms without referenceable customers.

Indeed, it was a tough time for traditional ERP software companies with no easy solutions or answers to the problem.

So, what was the problem?

Simple, their technology suddenly became obsolete and in the long-term could not compete with the features, platform and benefits that the emerging true-cloud technologies, such as Salesforce and NetSuite could offer to their customers.

These true-cloud vendors seized the opportunity to invest the money that other older software companies were spending on moving to the cloud, and instead poured this into R&D for better features and functionality for their users. In addition, the SaaS model of pricing meant that a true-cloud vendor’s focus was and continues to be on new customer acquisition and long-term customer retention.

Benefits of the SaaS Model.

The SaaS model is like an insurance policy for customers. If the software is no longer fit for purpose (either through growth, changes to a company’s operations or some other factor), they can simply leave and select another vendor.

Furthermore, because Cloud ERP takes far less time to implement and go-live (Klugo have had client’s go live on NetSuite in as little as eight weeks), migrating to a new product isn’t the protracted and painful process it has been in the past.

How on-premise Perpetual Pricing turned out to be slow suicide.

You see, the traditional On-Premise module of pricing meant that customers had to pay a higher once off licensing cost. The problem is that they had to pay ongoing “maintenance” and support annually, to continue to have access to the latest updates and necessary support from the vendor.

Here’s the second problem, because on-premise software is a single instance on their server, more likely than not, businesses chose over consecutive years to not upgrade, which meant their yearly maintenance fee was wasted and their version neared a point where it would become unsupported.

A growing business in 2019 needs to understand the difference between True Cloud Technology Model and the Fake Cloud Hosting model used by the majority of legacy applications.

Is your cloud software True-Cloud or Fake-Cloud?

We would suggest if you aren’t using Xero, NetSuite or Salesforce, then probably not (with a few exceptions).

An easy way to tell is to ask yourself the following questions:

Optional Upgrading

Can I choose when my software gets upgraded?

Upgrading Downtime

 Does the vendor need to take the system offline for a period to upgrade?

Customisation Risk

Is there a risk your customisations will break after an upgrade?

If you answered Yes to any of these three questions, then you are using fake cloud technology.

What does that mean?

So, what does this mean as your business grows? Well, it says you’re probably going to face the same challenges as customers with legacy on-premise software.

 

  1. Time-consuming upgrades that impact the businesses day to day operations.
  2. High risk of Customisations, Reports and API’s breaking upon upgrade.
  3. Partial re-implementation to get the system back online.
  4. High costs associated with Professional Services for upgrading projects.

What benefits can true cloud software bring to your company?

The low cost of cloud software has contributed to its widespread adoption. Cloud computing can save a company massive amounts of upfront and ongoing IT expense. Compared to on-premise software, cloud-based software reduces hardware requirements and the need to spend money on an internal IT resource. According to McAfee, cloud usage is now over 90%, suggesting that companies still using on-premise software are falling behind. With its short implementation time and fast deployment rates. Storing data in the cloud allows for flexible working, and this means that company data is accessible to employees anywhere both in the office and remotely, with easy access on mobile devices too.

At Klugo, we help customers understand the real impact of the decisions they make regarding cloud technology. We assist in the evaluation process of moving to a modern cloud platform and can help you understand the long-term impacts of the type of technology you choose to invest in.

We’d love to help.

We have one of the leading Business Consultant teams in APAC ready to help our customers leverage the power of NetSuite. Realise the full benefits of what you can achieve with true-cloud technology. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to reach out for an obligation free discussion with one of our business consultants

All there is to know about NetSuite

Interested in knowing more about NetSuite true-cloud platform? Download our NetSuite Ultimate Buyer’s Guide and find if this ERP is fit for you business and can help you to centralise your CRM, finances, inventory, accounting, human resources and all systems into one centralised powerful solution.

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How the Right Software Implementation Strategy Supports Success in Growing Businesses.

How the Right Software Implementation Strategy Supports Success in Growing Businesses.

The words “IT strategy” are usually enough to make most Business owners roll their eyes. However Smart business owners understand but when it comes to designing an IT strategy the decisions that are made early on in the businesses life-cycle have a far-reaching impact as time goes on and business requirements change.

Most businesses start out with a core need in two main areas.

  1. Accounting and Financial Management
  2. Sales and CRM.

There are literally thousands of software packages on the market that aim to provide cost-effective solutions to specific areas of the business’s needs. In most cases, business owners look at potential IT problems through a very narrow window. More often than not, and quite unintentionally, business owners create a cluster of systems with the goal of solving immediate problems rather than looking at the bigger picture.

Typical symptoms of this approach include:

  • Duplication of data entry, often across three or four different systems.
  • Separate silos of information.
  • Inability to gain access to live data.
  • Multiple spreadsheets being kept to manage information that is not covered by existing software functionality.
  • Increased staff numbers to cope with increased demand.

For a growing business these symptoms not only waste valuable time that could be spent in improving business processes but also cost a lot of money when you consider the amount of time and effort that goes into trying to manage a disparate cluster of software systems.

At Klugo, we help businesses assess the current IT and software strategy and design ways to not only improve this immediately but also plan requirements in the future. More often than not we see businesses that started out small and have either experienced rapid growth or industry changes that have impacted the way they need to capture data and report on information.

“A typical NetSuite customer is either a small to medium-sized business (up to 1000 employees) who has experienced rapid growth or is gearing up for planned growth.”  says Michael Dean, Klugo’s Business Consultant.

Similarly, other businesses that look to make a system upgrade to NetSuite might have some new requirements, such as new reporting for government or administrative bodies, and their current systems cannot support the business’s needs.

In either case, the need to have a holistic software solution to manage the needs of the entire business becomes evident. That’s where NetSuite comes in. For over 20 years, NetSuite has been the leading cloud-based business management platform and has grown to managing over 40,000 businesses worldwide.

NetSuite is different to most traditional or legacy ERP’s as it offers users the ability to start small, with just the modules they need to manage their current business problems, but also gives them piece of mind that they will be able to continue to expand NetSuite’s functionality as the business continues to grow and change.

The Phased Implementation

As a NetSuite partner, Klugo helps customers define which NetSuite edition and module mix is right for their immediate needs as well as putting a continual improvement plan in place to ensure the wider needs but the business has been considered during the evaluation process.

Phase 1. The Sprint to Go Live

Typically, customers will look to “go live” with the core functionality that will allow them to trade and provide a replacement to the legacy systems the business have been using previously. In most cases this phase 1 but implementation will provide a robust and highly automated solution that manages:

  • Core accounting, financial an inventory control.
  • Sales, CRM, and customer support.
  • Procurement and purchasing automation.
  • Dashboards, core reporting and business workflow automation.

Phase 2 – Expanding the Solutions Footprint

After a few months of using NetSuite, we revisit the implemented solution and original goals of the project to identify any areas of core business operation that still needs to be improved.

Phase 2 implementation often provides functionality and automation for:

 

  • Marketing campaigns and lead source management.
  • Warehouse automation including barcoding, scanning and printing solutions.
  • Payroll, including timesheet entry, expense management and employee purchase requests.
  • Work order management and assembly builds.
  • Work centre reporting, WIP and job routing.

Phase 3. Continual Improvement through Managed Services

Once customers have implemented NetSuite across all departments of their business, they now look to undertake continual improvement activities to ensure that their users are improving their use of standard NetSuite features as well as making the most of new features and functionalities that become available at each new release.

At Klugo, our Customer Success Team works closely with our clients’ key NetSuite champions to ensure that there is a clear plan for continual improvement and to guarantee that they are getting the most out of their investment into the world’s leading cloud technology. NetSuite is a very comprehensive management platform, and we encourage our customers to always look for new and better ways to use NetSuite across the different departments of their businesses.

If you’re new or an existing NetSuite customer, we would like to discuss how we might be able to help you improve your current implementation as well as partner-up to continually improve it in the future. Feel free to reach out to one of our business consultants for a confidential and obligation free discussion.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

We’re one a 5-Star NetSuite Solution Provider, and we are dedicated to help our customers leverage the power of NetSuite. Feel free to reach out. We’d love to help.

NetSuite Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

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ERP Terminology Demystified

ERP Terminology Demystified

For any business starting the process of evaluating ERP for their companies, one of the biggest challenges is understanding the unique industry terminology that ERP professionals use to explain their products, their industry and their offerings.

Like most industries, the ERP world comes with a lexicon of terminology that we take for granted, and often forget are not commonly used in the day to day running of small to mid-sized enterprise.

In this article, we simplify and explain ten terms in the jargon you will come across when evaluating new systems. If you want to demystify the seemingly never-ending supply of acronyms we invite you to download our list with more than 40 useful terms that will help you understand better the common abbreviations and words used by the industry.

Searching for “ERP” on the web can be overwhelming, the amount of information that comes up is limitless and confusing. Different websites mention ERP and technical terms that can vary from one implementation to the next. To get a deeper understanding of how ERP solutions can transform your business, it better to have clear what an ERP actually is and the parts that compose it. Here are the first ten terms of our downloadable guide:

ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning software provides a comprehensive suite of functionality to suit the broad requirements of businesses in their areas of specialisation. ERP delivers functionality to look after customers and their orders, vendor details and purchasing and procurement, accounting and financials, warehousing and inventory management, work orders and assemblies, WIP and routing, project management, job costing and more.

Allocation Schedule

An automated way to allocate costs or income based on predefined rules in the system. E.g. Allocating rent expense to each department by headcount. Particularly useful for more granular profit and loss reporting.

CMS

A Content Management System is the software used to build, maintain and display your website.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Usually refers to dashboards and reports that draw data from different modules in the ERP and present this as live information to the user.

Cycle Counting

Functionality of ERP software that allows for singling specific inventory items or categories for frequent stock take counting. This functionality eliminates the need for full warehouse stock take processes and provide more accurate real-time inventory valuations.

MRP

Material Requirements Planning software is designed to provide a systemized approach to turning raw materials into finished goods. MRP will also look after how a work order that is in progress is routed throughout the production floor to ensure optimal use of labour, equipment and storage.

Mobile Data Collection

The ability to collect data on a mobile device through a mobile optimised, usually simplified interface.

Backflush

Backflushing delays the GL impacts of costing work order production until the work order is complete. Once complete, the ERP automatically ‘flushes’ back to assign individual costs to the finished goods. The opposite of this would be “WIP” or Work In Progress costing, where inventory and overhead costs are attributed to a WIP account in real or close to real time as work is in the process of completion on the work order.

RAS. Resource Allocation Scheduling

Functionality that automates resource and materials capacity planning as well as providing suggestions for optimum scheduling and resource allocation, usually in the context of projects.

UX

The User Experience. Elements in a system such as utility, ease of use and efficiency that add value to the customer’s journey and experience of a software.

Download the Complete Guide.

Get your copy of the ERP TERMINOLOGY DEMYSTIFIED. A list with more than 40 English terms commonly used in the ERP Industry.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can make your business a real technology beast.

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