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Why Cloud ERP is Right for Your Business

Why Cloud ERP is Right for Your Business

Cloud-based computing allows users to access their software applications on shared computing resources, thus avoiding the costs of managing and maintaining their own data center. It’s an ideal option for those who need guaranteed up-time and want the most up-to-date software applications available. More and more business is turning to cloud ERP software as well, as it provides the anywhere-access of all cloud applications and features a lower up-front investment.

What Is Cloud ERP Software?

ERP software integrates your business processes to foster automated workflows and provides you a full view of all of the various aspects of your business that make it work, including sales, finance, and production. The only major difference between cloud ERP software and on-premises ERP software is the physical location of the software. However, if that physical location is at the vendor’s data center and made available to you through the internet, you are able to access the software from anywhere.

The History of Cloud ERP

ERP software is now entering the phase where data is flowing freely across all aspects of a business and providing the ease and precision of automated workflows. It wasn’t always that way, however.

In the early 1960s, the original ERP was the pioneer computer system installed at a manufacturing plant in order to track materials. Two decades ago, business solutions were maintained on space-eating machines on premises of all types of businesses. ERP software was sold in large, cumbersome packages with questionable functionality.

Customizing that software required hiring someone to configure it through millions of lines of software code. If you had a problem, it would take a team of engineers to figure it out.

There were a number of issues that necessitated the progress of ERP to the cloud. The biggest of those issues is that the expense of the data center, the IT team, space for the computers, the computers themselves, the code writer and the engineers caused the powerful benefits of ERP software to be little more than a dream to everyone but the largest and most profitable companies. Further, the processes of inputting and accessing the information left little room for alternatives, and noncompliance with procedures was high as frustrated employees refused to conform to the system’s process changes.

Benefits of Cloud ERP

In addition to providing a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, without the demands of on-premises deployment, cloud ERP offers many other benefits, such as:

  • No upfront software licensing fees
  • The vendor handles all software updates and upgrades, meaning you and your employees always have access to the latest versio
  • Access to your data wherever you are
  • You pay only for the cloud services you need and you’re easily able to add more as your business grows or your needs change
  • A fixed monthly rate for the software that you rely on
  • Data is backed up regularly and there is a disaster recovery plan in place
  • Your vendor provides data security and your vulnerability to attacks is diminished, as your data is not located on premises
  • A limited amount of time is needed for implementation, meaning you can take advantage of the benefits of your cloud ERP a lot sooner

Why Cloud ERP Is Right for Your Business

Is your business in the process of growing and, therefore, requires a scalable solution? Do you have limited funds to invest in hardware, software, and IT personnel? Do you want guaranteed up-time and the knowledge that your data is recoverable in the event of a disaster? Do you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly how much you’re going to pay each month for the business technology you require? Are you ready to start using your ERP system as soon as possible? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then cloud-based ERP is a great solution for you. Contact us for more information.

Cloud vs On Premise ERP

Cloud vs On Premise ERP

In-House Hosting Compared to Cloud-Based Hosting

When you hear about Cloud vs on premise ERP hosting, the conversation is about the server infrastructure on which your software applications run, and your data is stored. Both on premise (or in-house) and cloud-based options have benefits and downsides, so choosing between the two often comes down to costs, how much uptime you need, and the other specific needs of your company at this time.

What is In-House Hosting and Cloud-Based Hosting?

In-house hosting means that you house your infrastructure on-premises at your company. You have absolute control over your data, including how it is protected. Cloud-based hosting involves having your applications and data stored on a public or private cloud that is accessible to you over the internet.

The Benefits & Challenges In-House Hosting

Pros:

  • Physical control over your data and backup
  • Access to your data is not reliant on an internet connection

Cons:

  • Requires an investment in hardware and infrastructure, which depreciates rapidly — often within about four years
  • Requires dedicated space at your business, as well as a dedicated IT support team
  • Disaster recovery is difficult and there are no guarantees that your data can be recovered

The Benefits & Challenges of Cloud ERP

Pros:

  • A great option for small to medium-sized businesses who cannot afford the large investment needed to develop, maintain, and secure their data
  • Scalable, meaning that your solution grows along with your business
  • Backup, security, restoration, and support are all provided for you
  • You can back up your data as often as you’d like
  • You can access your data anywhere you are, as long as you have an internet connection

Cons:

  • You can’t access your data without an internet connection
  • You’re limited by internet speeds
  • Although your data is backed up, restoring large amounts of data may take some time, even with a fast internet connection

In Conclusion

When it comes to Cloud vs on premise ERP, there are good and bad points to either option. Cloud-based hosting is a good alternative for small to medium-sized businesses who wish to focus on all of the services that make the business great while resting in the knowledge that the data is monitored and secure. Cloud solutions remove the need to focus attention, time, money, and staff resources on building and maintaining your own personal data center that may “feel” safe, but actually comes with no guarantees.

For more information on our Cloud based hosting services – contact EstesGroup today.

Why Buy an ERP Software?

Why Buy an ERP Software?

Why Buy an ERP Software?

Businesses who are happy with the money they’re making and don’t wish to grow or to improve their relationships with their customers often don’t think about the need for ERP software. However, those businesses are few and far between. For the rest of us, the need for streamlined business processes has never been greater. ERP software helps businesses remain competitive by providing tools necessary for operating efficiently.

Why Do We Need an ERP System?

Gone are the days of companies have an employee or a department specifically devoted to manually entering information. Gone are the days when customers only had one choice when it came time to order the products they need. Today’s business processes must be done quicker and more efficiently than ever in order for a company to keep pace with its customers’ demands. An ERP package helps you to provide quick, accurate, and efficient service to your customers by providing a centralized hub in which all of the data from the various departments is managed.

The following symptoms show that your business is ready for an ERP package:

  • You’ve outgrown your business software and it is no longer capable of doing all of the things you need it to do.
  • Your existing business processes often result in missed deadlines, wasted materials, unused machines or labor, and other inefficiencies.
  • You need to track data across existing systems or in multiple departments and you’re unable to do so.
  • You don’t have the transparency you need in all aspects of your business to make informed decisions as to future opportunities.
  • Your employees are often tied up with tasks that could be automated.
  • There is little communication or information sharing between the various groups in your organization.
  • You’re spending too much on licensing fees, staffing, training, operations, and labor all for the sole purpose of integrating multiple applications.

Should Every Business Buy an ERP Package?

The simple answer to this question is: Yes. While small to medium businesses may be able to get by on a patchwork of different software, multiple systems are less effective for your business processes as they quickly become outdated and also require a lot of manual and duplicate entries. ERP systems streamline the various processes you use in your day-to-day operations, working off the same, shared database. This not only gives you a complete view of all of your processes and how they relate to one another, but also improve collaboration and provide you with the analysis you need to make decisions that will impact your bottom line.

Additional reasons why every business should buy an ERP package include:

  • Automated management of business tasks which free up employee time for other critical work.
  • Reducing errors that come with manual entry, saving your company’s precious resources, including money and time.
  • Increased productivity due to real-time coordination between groups within your organization.
  • Creation of a clear audit paper trail that can withstand the compliance regulations of your industry.
  • Reduction of labor costs and IT expenses.
  • Improving customer relationship management by allowing your sales department to have the information they need about the customers they deal with and the information they need to know about inventory and availability.
  • Flexibility to handle organizational growth and its impacts to each individual department.
  • Knowing that your software is up-to-date, secure, and maintained and that there is support available if you should have any questions.

We Can Help

EstesGroup is a certified reseller of Epicor products, including Epicor ERP and Prophet 21. We also provide ERP consultations, regardless of what system you select for your business. We will not guide you toward our own products if they are not a good fit for you. Contact us today for a free, in-depth consultation so that we may discuss your business processes with you and find a solution that will advance your company’s initiatives.

Are you looking for an ERP system, or have questions about what ERP is best for your business? Ask Us.

Why Implement an ERP System?

Why Implement an ERP System?

Why Implement an ERP System?

Implementing ERP SystemIf you asked your IT personnel what the advantages of implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, in all likelihood, they’d tell you that it could be revolutionary or absolutely destructive depending on their past experiences. The key to making it revolutionary revolves around partnering with experienced ERP consultants who know how to implement and manage an ERP system on-time, on-budget, within the scope described to you during the initial phases of the implementation.

Below you will find some of the reasons why implementing an ERP system like Epicor ERP, can be revolutionary.

Increased Productivity

Implementing an ERP system streamlines and automates your business processes improving productivity and organization. This dramatically reduces the time spent on business tasks such as manual entry, tracking time sheets, generating reports, and the time spent trying to fix problems related to using multiple platforms across multiple departments. Because an ERP aggregates data into a single database, you are able to tie information across every department to gain meaningful insights in real-time and automate reporting so that your company’s internal resources can be leveraged for analyzing that information rather than collecting it.

Happier Customers

With the advent of online shopping and services, competition has never been stiffer for businesses. If you don’t keep your customers happy, another company will. Customers who are able to get their questions answered quickly and without much effort are happier customers. This is why implementing an ERP system is important. It not only provides you with instant access to a customer’s ordering history and information, but it also allows greater interaction between you and your suppliers as well as you and your customers. By using the Customer Relations Management (CRM) , customer data can be accessed across business operations, so you’re not only able to better handle the needs and concerns of your customers, but also use the information gleaned from customer order history to refine your sales strategy and improve lead generation.

Increased Mobility

Implement ERP SystemWork is no longer just something that takes place in an office. Today, people are working while on vacation. They’re working from home. They’re working anywhere that life takes them. The Epicor ERP system is mobile-friendly, meaning that you and your employees are able to access important information and continue to contribute in even the most remote places in the world (so long as they have an internet connection, that is).

Regulatory Compliance

Still wondering why you should implement an ERP system at your company? An important factor in a powerful ERP solution is that it can track regulations within your industry and alert you when there are regulatory changes, ensuring that you stay in compliance without stress. While this is helpful at the local level, it is particularly important for businesses with a global reach and varying regulations in the countries where they do business. Additionally, the ERP’s auditing tools provide documentation and generate reports so that you can easily show your compliance to any governing authority that asks.

Reduces Disconnect

Multiple platforms can provide conflicting information and often result in single departments working in a bubble, even though they may be largely dependent upon other departments for important information. This not only creates a disconnect between your departments, but can also result in decreased productivity and time-consuming errors. An ERP system places all of your departments in the same room, with the same access to information and a built-in accuracy that cannot be found in traditional business methods.

Scalability

Businesses require customization within their systems. They grow, they shrink, and their needs change. Epicor ERP provides you with that level of flexibility by incorporating lean manufacturing tools that enable operational best practices.

Not to mention, your ERP solution should scale as well. The team of software engineers at Epicor are constantly updating their systems to address new problems that never existed before, so that all of their customers receive exactly what they need.

Customized Reporting

Reports are necessary for a variety of reasons, and your ERP system uses information stored in the centralized database to generate professional reports for any business reason you may have. Your employees can easily access analytics data needed for the report without help from IT.

These are just some of the benefits of an ERP system. For more information about how you can implement an ERP within your company, contact EstesGroup today!

Do you have a specific question or interested in learning more about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems? Let us know.

The Top 5 Benefits of an ERP System

The Top 5 Benefits of an ERP System

The Top 5 Benefits of an ERP System

As any business knows, the right technology is crucial to success. However, the process of vetting and selecting an ERP software is often a challenging one. Many Small and Medium Business Solutions (SMBS) for instance have yet to adopt a platform as many fear the unknown of what sort of disruption it may cause in their business processes. Yet with an attentive Business Process Review conducted by a seasoned ERP consulting implementation team who know how to fully leverage a platform such as Epicor ERP or Prophet 21, you will be in great hands to advance your business initiatives in a scalable way.

The question we hear most often from businesses is “Why should we migrate to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?” Typically when we discuss this topic further with our prospective clients, the top concerns inspiring this question center around upfront costs, security, data clarity, and maintenance fees. Below, we discuss why you should consider making the move.

The Primary Benefits of an ERP System

1. Exponential ROI Benefits

According to an Epicor-Forrester collaborative study, organizations that deployed the Epicor ERP system for 3 years recognized a $9.3 million PV (present value) benefit. This number was calculated after subtracting the costs of the Epicor ERP implementation consulting. All in all, the ROI was 264%.

2. End-To-End Visibility Across The Organization

According to the Epicor-Forrester report, the most compelling financial benefit of the ERP deployment was realized through improved inventory and supply chain management. With the Epicor ERP software, you get a bird’s-eye view of inventory levels. Data is consolidated and shared from disparate sources, which facilitates improved employee collaboration and better decision-making, both of which lead to cost-effective product inventory levels. Businesses that leveraged Epicor ERP’s real-time data capabilities realized:

  • $4.4 million PV inventory benefits,
  • More than $65,000 PV supply chain management benefits,
  • 10% increase in inventory ordering accuracy,
  • 67% reduction in inventory counting efforts,
  • 5% improvement in buyer productivity,
  • $250,000 annual savings in rework reductions.

Improved data quality facilitates agility and enables businesses to identify new market opportunities. With real-time visibility, data is no longer held captive in siloed sources. Instead, it can be unleashed to extract insights that facilitate greater growth.

3. Strengthened Network Security

Today, cloud-based ERP solutions are popular because of their lower upfront costs. Unlike on-premise ERP solutions, cloud-based ERPs store data in virtual servers. This negates the need to maintain expensive equipment on-site and retain a dedicated IT staff.

Also, implementing expensive, time-consuming software updates become unnecessary with a cloud-based solution since all updates are done automatically. Such a platform also comes with powerful backup and disaster recovery features. Epicor ERP’s Watchdog ISS ensures the security of your databases and network infrastructure through:

  • Virus and spyware protection,
  • Automation of security updates,
  • Centralized backups of critical data,
  • Hacker detection/prevention,
  • Intrusion protection and deep packet inspection of network traffic,
  • Firewall updates and management.

According to the Epicor-Forrester report, businesses that replaced legacy systems with Epicor saved $800,000 in IT maintenance fees and infrastructure costs.

4. Easy Compliance With Regulatory Requirements

It’s no secret that non-compliance to privacy regulations results in alarmingly high costs. For example, businesses that commit infringements of any GDPR article may expect to pay between €2 to 4 million in fines. Similarly, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) infringements can result in crippling fines from between US $100 to $50,000 per violation. With Epicor ERP, businesses realized a $50,000 Pharmacovigilance (PV) compliance, risk, and governance benefit.

5. Increased Competitive Advantage Across The Global Marketplace

As the global marketplace evolves, businesses must leverage new tools to remain competitive. According to Gartner, augmented analytics represents the next wave of technology most likely to impact modern businesses. To that end, Epicor ERP’s latest global version equips businesses with critical real-time insights to drive powerful operational benefits. For example:

  • The Epicor Virtual Agent can use its AI capabilities to adjust inventory and production levels based on market conditions and historical data,
  • Epicor IoT integration with the Microsoft Azure IoT framework allows businesses to extract data from IoT sensors and gain insights to support more agile business processes,
  • With Epicor DocStar, common fields in forms are automatically filled. The reduced need for manual processing will result in accelerated sales and fulfillment velocity.

As the above reveals, Epicor ERP provides crucial benefits for businesses across the global stage. At its heart, the Epicor ERP platform represents 45 years of continued commitment to business growth and success.

The EstesGroup, a certified Epicor partner, stands ready to help your business realize operational efficiencies and solve existing infrastructure challenges. Contact us today for more information!