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The Value of Hybrid Cloud Solutions

There is a reason that cloud computing is the hottest topic in ERP solutions. With the cloud, valuable data becomes available to employees throughout the organization whenever and wherever they are, thereby boosting productivity. With more and more of IT dollars being put toward devices other than PC workstations (think mobile), the computing structure of the organization must be available 24/7/365. The cloud also promises to scale quickly as an organization grows, including the ability to connect distributed employees into a cohesive team.

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Communications, Scheduling, and ERP

ERP can be a valuable tool for communication. People throughout the enterprise use common language and understand each other. Money is always related to the financial statements. Backlog is always related to sales orders on the books.

Scheduling is an important part of that communication system because every customer order has a due date. All the material components will be on hand as needed, and the production centers all have capacity to produce the order on time.

At least that is how it should work.

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How Does ERP Relate to S&OP?

Sales and operations planning is a formal exercise many businesses practice to bring their supplies into balance with demands and best utilize their capital and other resources.

To make it all work, a company’s ERP system must be up to date with all transactions and the information must be accurate. Sales orders and forecasts need to be netted against each other for a true picture of demand. Purchase orders, receiving, materials inventory and work in process inventory also must be very accurate for a comparable view of supplies.

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White Paper: BPI, BPM, and How They Relate to New ERP Implementations

When a company is considering replacing their existing or acquiring a new ERP system there is part of the entire process that sometimes is left out or left to chance: business process improvements and business process management. This is really a crucial part of any successful ERP implementation.

What are Business Process Improvement (BPI) and Business Process Management (BPM)? How are they different? How are they similar? What are the challenges and best practices with BPI and BPM? And why are they important to a global enterprise ERP implementation?

The purpose of this document is to outline the challenges and best practices associated with BPI and BPM initiatives - and how they related to new global ERP investments.

Read the white paper by Jack Toland, Senior Consultant at Merit Solutions: Business Process Improvement (BPI), Business Process Management (BPM), and How They Relate to New ERP Implementations 

Your Distribution ERP Should be Tracking These Metrics

There are hundreds of possible metrics in the textbooks that your distribution operations could track. Having a grasp of each metric can provide some sort of value to the company. But there are a few that are critical to your business performance and goals. Those few are known as key performance indicators (KPIs). They need to relate to your goals, they should be available automatically from your ERP as transactions complete. Everyone should know how the metric is calculated and how their jobs affect those metrics.

Here are a few I like.

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Maintain Your ERP System Efficiently

Your ERP is a powerful tool. You need to keep it sharp or the performance will drop away and if it really gets bad, you will have to replace the tool.

Here are some tips to keep your tool sharp. I will write these as annual events, but your maintenance might be more or less frequent.

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Your Decision Making Tool is Your ERP System

Decision making requires that we recognize a need, analyze appropriate data, and select the best alternative and take the right action. There is psychology in action here. The right action for one business will be the wrong action elsewhere. The people who will need to take action must be comfortable taking suggestions from a machine. They also must be confident that the rules we set up in the machine are almost always the right action to take. And users should understand where the suggestion might not be best.

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Use Your ERP to Achieve Supply Chain Resilience

When the demands to a supply chain are smooth and predictable and the supply always matches the demand perfectly we can all live the life of Riley. Who is ready to take off work early this afternoon?

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Inventory Management and ERP Systems

Inventory management is central to getting the results you need from your ERP. At the same time, your ERP helps provide the good inventory management you need.

Inventory management allows you to properly plan your replenishment orders. Your inventory quantity is accurate so when the signal to buy or make more is received, you have confidence that you need to take action. Your ERP allows you to categorize parts which will help easily order the right quantity. One item is ordered only when there is a specific demand in exactly the quantity to meet the demand. Another item is lower cost and easily procured. Your goal here is fewer transactions so you order enough to satisfy all the demands seen in the next three months. Optimizing replenishments means fewer transactions and that leads to better inventory accuracy.

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ERP Workflow will Improve the Quality of your Business Transactions

What is workflow in the context of ERP systems? Simply put, it is the capability that many ERP systems have to link together several transactions or queries to guide a user through the steps necessary for a task.

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