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process-improvement-checklistIt’s already nearing the end of 2016. Crazy how fast time flies! For many people, this time is the busiest, filled with corporate events, family gatherings, holiday shopping, vacations and more. For many businesses, especially in the retail industry, it’s also one of their busiest times of the year. However, there are those industries or companies where December is a quiet month, making it the perfect time to look ahead and plan for the upcoming year. It’s when executives can finally set aside a few hours or days to establish and finalize next year’s budgets, prioritize upcoming projects, assess employee performance and review goals and benchmarks for the following year. What our consultants always encourage is to also set some time aside to review business processes and determine which ones aren’t working well anymore. For example, are you noticing an increase in unhappy customers, an increase in manual data entry, duplicated work, an increase in costs, missed deadlines, frustrated, and unproductive employees…? If so, it’s definitely time to improve the processes that don’t work and are leading to these problems.

In today’s world, things can change in an instant. Therefore, your business processes may have been efficient 5 years ago (or even one year ago!), but today, they are considered inefficient or outdated due to new technology, new goals, industry or consumer changes, etc.

So what can you do about it?

We’ve compiled an End-of-Year Checklist for you so that you can overcome challenges and improve outdated processes for 2017;

  • Write down the main problems/challenges you’ve noticed this past year;
    • Where are costs going up? Where are most of the delays occurring? How come customers or suppliers are growing more unhappy? Why are deadlines constantly missed? Why are errors increasing? …
  • Analyze these processes. Focus on either one or many of these problem areas and make them your priority for 2017. A great way to really understand what’s going on is to speak directly with the employees who are affected by the processes and get their feedback on why things aren’t working so well anymore. Perhaps they have an idea on how to improve them. It’s critical that you and everyone involved understand exactly what these specific processes are meant to do before addressing the problems and redesigning the processes.
  • Restructure those inefficient processes; brainstorm with your team and jot down all the ideas to solve these problems. Many companies refer to a consultant during this step, to help them find possible risks and points of failure of each possible solution.
  • The next step involves securing the resources required to implement change (change = new processes or process alterations required to improve efficiency & solve current challenges/issues). Do you need to hire someone new? Do you need to implement new software applications or outsource an IT provider for their services? Whatever it may be, now’s the time to set the budget (make sure it’s a realistic budget!).

For example, let’s say you realized that costs rose with the increase in incoming purchase orders in 2016. Perhaps this was due to hiring more sales reps to input all of these orders into the management system. Now you have more salaries, more manual data entry, and in turn more errors (human errors are likely to occur with data entry). With more errors in customer orders, there are more unsatisfied customers. What is a possible solution to this problem? Reduce the manual data entry or human intervention when it comes to incoming purchase orders through the use of an automated and integrated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) service. With EDI, incoming Purchase Orders (POs) can be integrated directly into your management system. No human intervention required! This then reduces errors, plus improves the speed in which orders are processed and delivered to customers. A new budget will then be required for 2017 for an EDI integration project.

Going through the above checklist before the New Year will allow you to see real improvements next year. Now’s the time to ensure that your processes are effective and streamlined, your employees are productive, happy and properly trained, customers are satisfied and the technologies used are up-to-date, simple and a good fit for your business. We find too many businesses with complex software solutions, at which point their executives then wonder why their processes are so complex. By 2017, companies will look to have more affordable, flexible and simple solutions in order to have more agility for change. Set your plan and realistic budgets in order to benefit from efficient, streamlined processes.

In today’s business world, the right technology can make a world of difference. IT experts are always pushing to install the best hardware, software, IT services and cloud applications to simplify the lives of business people. This year has been another big year for IT advancements and we couldn’t be more excited about that. We love seeing businesses leverage technology with the right solutions for them, in order to benefit from efficiencies and cost savings.

Here are our most popular and most requested management software solutions and services.

EDI2XML Translation Service

Year after year, we keep seeing an increase in demand for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) services. Business executives don’t want to hire a full-time in-house EDI specialist anymore to handle their EDI transactions. Nor do they want to hire more customer service reps to manually enter all incoming purchase orders anymore. Many retailers and suppliers are now requiring that any company they do business with must send and receive documents, like Purchase Orders Invoices and Advance Shipping Notices, via EDI.

Companies today are looking not only to implement EDI but to automate this entire process with an outsourced EDI provider. This is why our EDI2XML Translation Service has been one of our most popular services this year. We handle our customers’ EDI requirements from A to Z; we convert their incoming EDI documents into their preferred file format, such as XML (and convert their outgoing XML documents into EDI), as well as handle all new Partner and document setups and manage their continuous communication with their Trading Partners. Our service is affordable, our setup phase is quick and our EDI support team is easily accessible and available; making it the perfect EDI service for any business.

EDI2XML Translation Service

Try it for yourself today!

 

QBR Business Continuity

With ransomware cyberattacks increasing worldwide, it’s not unusual for business executives to come running, asking about our QBR solution. Using the latest technology on the market, this Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery solution is THE best way to protect your data from hardware/software failures, human error, natural disasters, ransomware, computer viruses and more.

No matter the disaster, QBR allows you to recover your data quickly and easily. Businesses can no longer afford to incur downtime that lasts days or weeks, only to later realize that their old, dusty backup tapes haven’t been working for months! With on-site and off-site virtualization, ransomware detection, advanced screenshot verification emails, infinite cloud retention, unlimited agent licensing, instant recovery of entire servers/workstations and more, a company’s data is well protected!

QBR Business Continuity

Learn more about QBR here.

Management Software Solutions – The ErpWizard Suite

We are definitely still seeing a demand for complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in the business world. The demand comes from companies that either don’t currently use IT systems to manage their business operations, but instead still use Microsoft Office tools like Excel and Word, as well as companies looking to update their outdated, complex, expensive ERP software.

The transition to a simple, modern ERP system, like our homegrown system – The ErpWizard Suite, has allowed companies to increase visibility into their operations, improve data quality, reduce manual data entry, improve customer service and increase productivity. At the end of the day, when a company has found the right ERP system and Software Provider for their business, they can automate and streamline their processes and improve business agility and performance. That’s the goal of any ERP system. Unfortunately, not many companies realize these benefits at the end of their software implementation (you’d be surprised how many companies don’t even successfully make it to the end of their implementation!).

Technology in the workplace is meant to make business people’s lives a whole lot easier, which is why executives are realizing the importance of a helpful, available, and accessible support team, a flexible, easy-to-use system, and affordable IT costs.

ERP system qualities

Here are some of the main qualities of an ERP system that business executives are looking for:

  • Flexibility
  • Can easily integrate with other systems
  • Is effortlessly accessible from anywhere, at any time to allow users to stay in touch with business operations, even while on vacation or on a business trip
  • Easy to use, with a simple, modern interface
  • Is continuously updated to accommodate to the ever-changing business environment
  • Is well supported by an available and accessible IT support team
  • Is affordable !!

This year we have been especially excited about our newly improved ErpWizard Suite. Now, with its new modern, sleek interface, end users will actually enjoy using an ERP system. It’s about time companies moved away from those complex, boring looking, out-dated systems and towards simple, visually appealing management applications, that won’t break the bank.

What do you think of ErpWizard’s new look?

WIMS 2.0 – Warehouse Management

 

Warehouse Management is another popular software solution, usually integrated within a company’s ERP system. This system allows for better visibility and control of all warehouse activity, which is an absolute must today. A Warehouse Management system allows businesses to know;

  • What’s been delivered and when

  • Where all items are stored in the warehouse facility

  • Which items to pick and how much to pick for delivery

  • The right items to pack using the right shipping cartons and materials

  • What items to ship and where to ship them

All of this is exceptionally important in order to reduce operating expenditures, increase data accuracy, shorten fulfillment lead times, move inventory faster and increase data accessibility. By using wireless scanners, this inventory data collection system is truly bringing better control and insight into warehouse processes. If a company’s warehouse is in order, customers are better served and happy!

Business Intelligence & AnalyticsBI

A big favourite among our customers is our Business Intelligence offering. Our Business Intelligence experts are integrating Tableau Software’s BI solution into our customer’s management system in order to provide detailed analyses with customized drillable dashboards, using all real-time data. Our customers are now able to identify hidden trends and strategic information, turn raw data into visual graphs and tables, identify new business opportunities, spot areas of weakness and avoid problems. The insights that our customers are getting from this Business Intelligence solution is giving them the ability to stay ahead of competition.

Contact us to see how our Business Intelligence experts can help you!

The Best Management Software Solutions

mobile-app-1We are certain that demand for these management solutions will only increase, as executives are actively looking to transform their businesses using the latest technologies on the market. We predict that mobile business applications will make this list next year, as business owners are looking to supply their on-site teams with access to their management system to input and review real-time data. Modern, visually appealing, easy to use applications don’t just have to be for personal use; companies should be benefiting from these types of applications as well! One thing is for certain; businesses are looking beyond the brand name when it comes to software systems and taking the time to ensure that the Software Provider and offerings are a good fit for their company.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help YOU.

 

We are true ‘Cloud’ lovers here at Namtek Consulting Services! We have seen first-hand the many benefits that our customers, big and small, have realized with our cloud offerings – from our EDI2XML service to our ErpWizard system in the cloud. Read more

User Training for New ERP Implementation – Done Right!

In many of my previous articles, I repeatedly mentioned the term “user resistance” when it came to implementing a new software solution at a company (no matter its size). I tend to put quite a bit of focus on user resistance since this happens all too often at companies and it can easily be stopped (with a bit of work of course)! Read more

What’s the most important aspect when choosing a new Software Solution

Choosing a new, upgraded ERP Management System for your company can be a long process – usually lasting about 12 to 15 months, depending on the size of the company. Most top-level managers dread this process, which is one of the many reasons they tend to stick with their out-dated systems for so long. Read more

Software UpgradeWe know signing on to do a major software upgrade at your company is a big deal. We make sure our customers do not treat this process lightly as there are many factors that need to be considered prior to any software implementation (download our White Paper on everything you need to know about ERP Implementations). However, nothing should stop you from going through with this improvement, since, after all, it IS an improvement. Read more

Software Implementation LearningThe implementation of any new software system can always seem a little daunting at first. What’s important to remember (and keep reminding yourself) is that this phase of any software project doesn’t have to be so terrible. Typically, what can take the most time is the initial transition from the old system to the new (or in many cases, from NO system to A system – this is when companies have been relying primarily on using Excel Spreadsheets, Word documents and Email). During this initial transition we have a ‘Learning Period’, where, of course, employees need to learn how to actually use the new software application. Read more

Namtek Consulting Services' Top 10 Blogs from 2015We’ve compiled a list of our most read and shared blog posts in 2015. These posts cover tons of different topics ranging from EDI communication to Productivity Apps to ERP Implementations to IT Business Tools.

False Advertisement: The Truth about ERP Implementations

This article really touched upon the negative experiences of ERP implementations at businesses. It goes on to answer the question: “Why do companies have such terrible software implementation experiences?” Our experts’ conclusion was that either their ERP Provider is only providing them with half-truths about implementations to sell their own products OR business executives make their own assumptions and do not do the proper research required beforehand. Getting the RIGHT and TRUTHFUL information from IT Providers as well as doing your own research on implementations is absolutely critical. Read more to get the real story behind those false statements about ERP Implementations. Read more

We compiled a short list of business technology terms that are useful to keep on hand when looking for software solutions for your business or when speaking with an IT Service Provider. We grouped them in 4 categories – ‘Cloud’, Software, EDI and Business Continuity. Check out the 2-part infographic below: Read more

Disaster RecoveryTraditionally, Small Business and Business Continuity do not go in the same sentence. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans and solutions were typically designed and offered to larger enterprises. These solutions were simply out of reach for the smaller players. However, just like many other software systems on the market, we are seeing big changes in accessibility and affordability due to the emergence of the cloud and new technologies. Read more