office-toolsIt’s not uncommon to find large and small companies either using multiple separate systems or using Excel Spreadsheets and emails to run the business. Most likely, what you’ll find at these companies are employees relying heavily on their emails to track and manage important files and information, miscommunication between departments, inaccurate and outdated data being shared, and more inefficiencies.

As per our previous blog on the “Dangers of Running a Business solely on Microsoft Office tools”, companies are likely to experience the following if they rely heavily on Excel spreadsheets and other Microsoft Office tools;

  • Data loss and corruption; Spreadsheets are known to become unstable the more information is added to them.
  • Typos and other errors; Sometimes, small typo errors can be difficult to catch but in the long run can cause major problems and headaches.
  • In most cases, these spreadsheets are being shared between various departments. What can happen is that various versions of the same file can be passed around and saved by each department. At this time, different information is travelling from person to person, which can also cause serious problems in the future.

We do realize, however, that change is not always easy for employees and for management in any company and implementing new processes or procedures and implementing new systems is difficult and time consuming. However, change is also inevitable. The business world is constantly evolving and companies should always be ready to adapt in a moment’s notice. So, before getting overwhelmed by the costs involved or the time and effort involved in this finding solutions to current inefficiencies at your business and implementing those solutions, think about the benefits and cost and time savings in the future.

What are your next steps?

Once management understands or realizes their main challenges and problems, it’s now time to gather all your key employees, from each department and write down their processes and day-to-day tasks. This not only allows management to fully understand what their teams are doing and how they are doing it, but also to help properly document important processes.

Next, it’s a great idea to share this documentation with the whole management team, business consultants, IT consultants and top department heads and determine if teams are working with the best and most efficient processes. If not, now is the time to go through each process and find solutions to challenges and better ways of doing things. In many cases, simply by implementing one system for all departments, like a complete ERP solution, with specific rights and permissions can solve a whole lot of headaches and improve efficiency right from the get-go.

In this case, with ONE software system, using ONE database, all employees will have access to important, accurate information. No need to go through hundreds of emails per day or find the latest Excel spreadsheets to find information related to products, sales, etc. This saves a lot of time, effort and critical mistakes!

So, if you are looking to increase data accessibility and visibility, reduce errors, increase efficiency and improve communication company-wide, contact our consultants today!


End User Training During Software ImplementationFor many business owners or managers, making the decision to implement a new software system is a difficult one to make. Oftentimes, the changes and risks that come with a software implementation can discourage those business managers who are looking to streamline their company’s processes and improve overall efficiency with a new system. There’s a ton of information out there on the advantages of using an efficient, up-to-date ERP system but not that much on how to properly handle an implementation phase. No Software Provider wants to scare their clients right from the get-go but this is definitely the wrong approach. By not educating the new software users and providing all the necessary information right from the start, all parties will suffer during the implementation phase.

Therefore, to begin with, it’s important to know the possible risks involved in such a project. This can include failure, user resistance, employee stress and anxiety, improper use of the system, misunderstandings, problems, doubts, fear of change etc. In order to ensure that these risks are eliminated or reduced, end user training is definitely required. These trainings will provide employees (or end users) with the right amount of attention and skills needed to help them acclimate to new processes (that have been changed by the new system implementation) as well as to the new system itself.

You can begin by creating a training plan then scheduling it accordingly, by department or simply by department heads and managers. Trainings can be given either in small groups or on a one-on-one basis. Documentation of course will also be provided to ensure that employees can easily access a “how-to” guide on using the system.

Once these trainings are underway, its advantages will be quite evident since trainings can alleviate stress, combat fears, bring acceptance to the system, reduce system errors and misunderstandings. Bottom line, when software users are properly educated on new functionality and processes, it’s a WIN-WIN for everyone! The trainings will teach end users the necessary skills needed to prevent problems and to use the system in the most efficient way possible. Individual performance will improve thus increasing productivity. Business managers will be happy as well as Software Providers.

As a Software Provider, our team truly understands just how important it is to pay attention to the USERS (or employees) and their needs during an implementation phase, rather than on solely the system itself. We realize how difficult this time may be for some people, especially if they have been used to working with the same processes and systems for years and have developed habits and routines in their workplace. Introducing a new software management system, with new processes, can disrupt their work life and this most definitely can cause stress and fear.

As a complete ERP software implementation can typically take about 12 months, it’s important that during this time, everyone is working together, as a team, for a successful and smooth phase. No surprises or headaches!

It’s time to ditch those Excel Spreadsheets and long Email threads you’ve been using to manage all of your company projects and tasks. I love Excel, don’t get me wrong – but it simply is no longer efficient and reliable for project and task management.

It’s time to bring efficiency to a whole new level in order to stay competitive and keep up with our ever-changing business environment. Your Excel sheets lack collaboration features and are too time-consuming. Important emails can get lost in the whole mix of project threads and don’t allow project information to be easily searchable. What does your company need then to add value and increase productivity? Project Management Software, of course, that is also optimized for mobile integration. Read more

Ever take a step back to analyze your business workflow and processes? Do you know if your business is efficient? If you aren’t sure, here’s an infographic with a list of questions to help you assess if your business if efficient or if improvements need to be made to allow your company to grow and succeed. If you need more help with this analysis, contact us for a free consultation. Read more

iStock_000025039664SmallAny kind of benefit has an impact, small or large, on a business. Today’s article will list some tangible and intangible benefits executives and managers will see once their business implements an ERP solution, like erpWizard. Read more