After I wrote that headline I started wondering whether I was exaggerating. Based on nearly 30 years of implementing mid-market Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, I would have to say "no". There are a few, and it is very few, companies that can find a solution so uniquely tailored to their industry and requirements they do not need to consider expanding the solution by adding third party products. It may be a major enhancement, such as our equipment rental module for Dynamics NAV, or it might be something relatively minor such as an integration to a FedEx shipping portal, but there is almost always something you will want or need to add.
With governments pushing to increase the basic minimum wage to $15 by 2021 or earlier, many businesses are not only feeling challenged by the news, they are wondering if they will have to shut down. While there are some businesses who have a high percentage of minimum wage employees, CNN recently reported 91% of small business employees already earn more than minimum wage. So why all of the fuss?
The Directions NAV conference in Orlando, Florida finished with those of us from the great white north headed back to a winter of snow and frigid temperatures, something like what was experienced by Microsoft’s representatives when they proposed a new branding adjustment for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Everyone sees this at times. Your response should depend on whether this is a long-term challenge to your business and not a reaction to a one-time event. If you operate a small department store in a mid-west town and you hear that Wal-Mart is coming, you have a different set of challenges than if you unexpectedly lost a deal because a competitor underbid you. The latter situation could be a red flag for a bigger problem, which means you do need to constantly analyze these events.
What to do if you don't want to use an RFP
As we discussed in part one of this blog using an RFP (Request for Proposal) is most often a flawed process. Unfortunately, organizations frequently feel backed into a corner because they don’t know any alternative. This blog will provide you with a step-by-step action plan for speeding up your system acquisition, reducing the cost of the process, and guaranteeing better results.
There is a lot of exciting news as Microsoft continues to integrate its productivity and business applications, expand their cloud offerings, and put more power in the hands of the end user.
When is an RFP "expert" not worth it?
The issue of whether to utilize an RFP (Request for Proposal) when looking for a new computer system arises because most people looking for new computer systems are not systems experts. So how should they source new systems?
In many cases, an RFP is utilized because a systems analyst or integrator recommended that choice. That expert, though, may have a conflict of interest in that they stand to gain some serious consulting fees if the RFP process is chosen. The expert may not have the industry background to provide real value to the organization seeking the new system and is relying on the following principle.
“We are the experts. We will employ a process to ensure only the best products and vendors are considered and then walk you through a process to ensure you purchase the system that best suits your requirements.”
Sound a bit too good to be true? Sometimes.
Unless you are an accountant, the two terms “TCO” and “ROI” can be confusing at times, which is unfortunate as they are important concepts in running your business. Let’s see if we can explain them without you having to be a finance major. We’ll start with definitions.
Do I have to use only one software system for my equipment rental business or can I run several?
This is not a simple question to answer. I have been working with mid-market accounting and ERP systems since 1989 and I can tell you from personal experience there is no simple answer to this question. This document does provide several guidelines to help you in your search and a link to a checklist to help you evaluate your particular situation.
Repeat customers are great, but how do you get them in the first place.
Advertising is expensive, and with a few exceptions, has become increasingly ineffective. Direct mail has its challenges. This blog will give you a few ideas on five out of the box ways to attract new customers and how to promote those ideas, which hopefully will get you thinking about others that may work for you. Retaining customers will be the subject of another piece in the future.