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Navigating the Challenge of Choosing ERP Software

  
  
  
  
  

The following is an article excerpt, written by Manufacturing.Net's Bridget Bergin, discussing how best to approach the challenge of selecting the right ERP for your organization, as well as the substantial benefits that an ERP can deliver. Enjoy! 

Finding and utilizing the right ERP system is a great way to streamline a company’s manufacturing process, minimize miscommunication and disconnect amongst your employees, and decrease the resulting errors. An ERP system puts all the data—from supplier to production to consumer, from executives to managers to supervisors to line workers—on the same database, providing a thread that connects the entire process.

Disconnects are a major issue for many companies, and without an ERP system, they are almost inevitable. An example of a common source of disconnect is that a successful manufacturing process requires the input of many people from many levels, and each of these people has a vision, agenda, and focus specific to his or her role in the process. As a result, line workers, the individuals who produce the company’s goods, often receive conflicting messages. They may prioritize minor aspects and ignore the major ones in an effort to meet perceived expectations.

Also, when employees feel isolated in their ownDiCentral ERP specific tasks, they are unable to see the whole picture. Therefore, it is difficult to see the full impact of errors or inaccuracies. This disconnect is also fueled by unnecessary complexity. Many companies have inadvertently built in complexity by creating processes or acquiring systems to tackle specific problems. When a company has a unique system assigned to each leg of the process, it may streamline each small step while slowing down the overall operation by leaving more room for miscommunication and errors.

Whether or not to get an ERP system is a huge decision, but it can benefit a company in numerous ways. For example, while employees are extremely valuable to the manufacturing process, an ERP system can help eliminate the types of errors that all humans are bound to make from time to time. For instance, manual data entry leaves room for errors because people will enter their own perception or estimate of the data, rather than the reality or accurate amount. A forty-four minute pause in production may be entered as a forty-minute pause, or eleven scrapped items may be entered as ten.

ERP systems eliminate this hassle by putting everyone in a company on the same page. While this sounds simple, choosing the right ERP can be challenging. Before assessing options, it is important to assemble a committee with members from all levels and departments, along with an external consultant who is knowledgeable about the available systems.

Consider size, product, consumers, and the challenges faced in the past. This is important to keep in mind before looking into options. For example, in a small or mid-sized company, you will derive greater value from a system that is designed specifically for the kinds of goods produced instead of a top-tier system.

Along with assessing the company, also discuss what is important to the company when selecting an ERP. Is it price, or particular features? Does the company highly value customer support and expertise in a specific industry, or is it about a system’s proven success or cost-efficiency? This process may also help hack through the reasons why an ERP is a good decision in the first place.

After working through these considerations, it may be time to research the ERP systems available and schedule brief phone conversations with product experts and sales representatives. Narrow down the options to a reasonable number of potential fits, research the vendor’s past successes and failures, and start contacting those vendors.

In the end, ERP may not be right for every company. However, an ERP system that matches a company’s size and product can streamline the manufacturing process.

You can read the complete article here. If you'd like to have a conversation with a DiCentral EDI integration expert about your organization's ERP needs, simply give us a call or send us an email.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

Last Day of 2014 SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference

  
  
  
  
  

Today is the final day of the SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference! We have gained valuable insight from the attendees and made new relationships—thank you to all who came by our booth and attended the DiCentral keynote presentation! As the preferred EDI integration provider for SAP Business ByDesign users, we offer a comprehensive solution and support to the Business ByDesign community. Want to hear more about our trusted Business ByDesign integration solution? You know how to reach us!

SAP Business ByDesign

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

Cocktail Reception + Dinner Tonight at SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference

  
  
  
  
  

If you haven't already made dinner plans, be sure to RSVP for tonight's cocktail reception and dinner, taking place at 5:45-7:15, sponsored by DiCentral. Click here for more information and to sign up to attend.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

DiCentral Presenting Today at SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference

  
  
  
  
  

The SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference in Las Vegas kicks off today! Jacques Vigneault, CSO for DiCentral, will give the keynote today at 10:00 a.m. PST. Tiffany Gregson, channel manager for DiCentral, is presenting our EDI integration solution for Business ByDesign at 2:30 p.m. As the trusted EDI provider for Business ByDesign users, we are thrilled to be at the premier Business ByDesign conference!

DiCentral SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

 

Disaster-Proofing Your Supply Chain: A 5-Question Checklist for Execs

  
  
  
  
  

The following article excerpt features a great discussion on how worse-case scenarios can become teaching opportunities for businesses, challenging them to implement processes that improve overall efficiency and better prepare for disaster. The article is written by Jon Hall, executive vice president of FM Global, and originally appeared here.

It is true that not all damage or business interruption from extreme weather or natural disasters can be avoided, and to some commentators, this is something to be celebrated. As Nassim Taleb wrote in his book Antifragile, frequent non-catastrophic exposure to negative events actually makes us more resilient. Events such as the floods in Thailand, when successfully managed, are not only an opportunity to gather critical information about how to manage through disasters—they also provide priceless information that can be useful under normal circumstances.DiCentral disaster

For instance, when systems temporarily seize up, alternative processes are spontaneously created that can serve as models for doing things more cheaply and effectively under ordinary conditions. Sometimes, ad-hoc solutions invented during extreme events and under duress lead to industry-transforming ideas that please customers, put competitors at bay and make an organization that much more resilient.

In the case of manufacturing, some businesses have learned that having auxiliary distribution centers in multiple regions are the best way to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster at primary facilities. Those firms have seen how an expanded distribution center network can minimize supply chain disruptions and lead to quicker delivery times to customers as well as reduced transportation costs compared to normal business conditions.

Effective planning in a resilient business not only requires us to set aside our bias for wishful thinking, but also asks us to find the confidence to confront worst-case scenarios and address risk in a more strategically thoughtful way, by posing these types of questions:

1. How will we do business if our critical systems—manufacturing, storage, electronics and distribution—are rendered inoperable?

2. How can we resume operations quickly following a business disruption, and what will we need to do so?

3. Are there any particularly vulnerable aspects to our business that we can eliminate as opposed to harden?

4. What are the pieces of our business that are so critical that a major investment in hardening or redundancy would be justified?

5. Despite taking many proper precautions, are we still vulnerable to disruption due to outmoded infrastructure in the region?

This brief list is merely a sample of the kinds of questions a truly resilient business should ask itself. The answers are often surprising. They reveal unexamined opportunities to enhance business efficiency, develop innovative solutions and even uncover new markets.

If you would like to speak with us about what DiCentral's supply chain solutions can do to disaster-proof your business, simply email or call.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

QuickBooks Connect 2014 Was a Blast! See You Again Next Year

  
  
  
  
  

Thank you to all who visited us at our booth at QuickBooks Connect 2014! If you are still interested in viewing a quick demo of our QuickBooks EDI integration or DiOMS solution, please call or email; we would love to share!

QuickBooks Connect DiCentral

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

 

QuickBooks Connect 2014 Kicks Off Today! Stop By DiCentral Booth 323 for Great Prizes

  
  
  
  
  

QuickBooks Connect 2014DiCentral QuickBooks Connect kicks off in San Jose today! Our QuickBooks team is putting on a heck of a show! Stop by the DiCentral booth #323 and see what they are stirring up. They will be showcasing the latest DiCentral solutions for QuickBooks and giving away prizes, including a GroPro Hero3 camera!

See you in sunny San Jose at QuickBooks Connect 2014.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

DiCentral Delivering Keynote Presentation at SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral is happy to announce that Jacques Vigneault, chief sales officer for DiCentral, will be giving a keynote presentation at the 2014 SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference taking place October 26-29 at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The SAP Business ByDesign community is comprised of industry leaders and influencers from a wide range of industries,” says Vigneault. “It’s a great honor to be in the position we are; to deliver a keynote to such a well-represented group of professionals is a great opportunity for us to collectively work to drive advancement across the Business ByDesign community and its enthusiastic users.” 

DiCentral SAP Business ByDesign

The SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference will provide four full days of networking and education for Business ByDesign customers and resellers. 

Tiffany Gregson, channel manager for DiCentral, will also be delivering her “Enhancing Your Supply Chain: Advanced EDI Integration with SAP Business ByDesign” presentation on Monday, October 27 at 2:30 p.m. PT and Tuesday, October 28 at 2:30 p.m. PT.

The SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference is comprised of a community of professionals with common business interests, experiences, challenges, and pursuits. A dynamic forum that has for many years facilitated the sharing of insight and information among Business ByDesign users, the events have helped countless people and companies discover answers, explore new ideas, solve problems, and develop professional relationships.

For more information on the SAP Business ByDesign Users Conference, please visit sapbydesignconference.com.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

DiCentral Celebrates National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  
  
  
  
  

The DiCentral Houston team celebrated National Breast Cancer Awareness month by hosting Dr. Jagjit Khairah for a lecture on early detection and prevention of breast cancer. Dr. Khairah is a Houston OB/GYN specialist who works with patients on treating and preventing breast cancer, as well as other cancers specific to women. The Houston team also showed support for breast cancer awareness by wearing pink—even the food truck that catered lunch was sporting a bright pink paint job! To learn more about National Breast Cancer Awareness month, visit nationalbreastcancer.org.

DiCentral Breast Cancer Awareness

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

SupplyChainBrain Features Story on BabySwede & DiCentral DiIntegrator

  
  
  
  
  

SupplyChainBrain is currently featuring an article onDiCentral BabySwede BabySwede and how DiCentral DiIntegrator has played a critical role in helping the company to grow and better satisfy customer demand.

BabySwede is the exclusive US distributor of BabyBjorn, a Swedish company that specializes in manufacturing a popular line of baby products, including the BabyBjorn baby carriers.

From the article: “'The implementation of DiIntegrator was a lifesaver,' says Greg Infante, CFO for BabySwede. 'It created huge gains in EDI document processing efficiency. The import process also increased order entry accuracy. Additionally, DiIntegrator enabled us to create a process where backorders could be managed via EDI without having to cancel orders that had out-of-stock product. Also noteworthy, DiIntegrator has allowed us to continue to add EDI trading partners while keeping our internal overhead at the same level.'”

Check out the SupplyChainBrain article here.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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