Sunday, May 29, 2016

Advanced Customer Ranking techniques in modern ERP



In this post I will dive into the waters of Customer Ranking techniques and how they can be supported by the existing Small Business ERP that is in use. By the term “supported” I not only mean extracting valuable info as per the customer’s behavior (and thus be able to make decisions about their credit situation) but perhaps also the software being able run the entire process. Of course, such processes do not apply to all kinds of businesses. In this discussion, we assume the business model of a company selling B2B and in credit. Obviously, for a B2C sales model that is being served by, say, an e-shop where all sales are cash, there is no reason to examine low-volume, private customers.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Invoicing cycle gone web. The tangible benefits



In this post (http://goo.gl/DhcEZp) I have focused on the Invoicing Cycle and the paradigm shift that takes place when the enterprise utilizes a web-based ERP. I showed how specific business process steps within that cycle can be changed in order to invite customers “in”; make them part of the process instead of just giving them “data” or – worst yet – just an invoice at the end of the cycle.
In this post I will continue discussing the same example and calculate tangible benefits, for each of the steps of the process. You’d better first go through the previous post to understand how each step is altered in a web-enabled ERP and then make the comparison with the numbers below.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Invoicing cycle



In an older post (http://goo.gl/jXGmOi) I have discussed the general benefits that a cloud ERP could bring to the enterprise, even to the SMB space. I have given some examples of specific business functions and how they can be transformed or at least assisted by the web technology that the cloud ERP inevitably brings with it.
In this post I will focus more on one specific business process, that of the customer order placement and order fulfillment and show that not only is a cloud platform (such as a SaaS product) able to optimize the whole process but also enhance customer experience and finally bring tangible benefits to the enterprise, such as faster invoice payment and reduction of open receivables.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

To email or not to email. That is the question



We are all accustomed to receiving emails from automated services, such as our social media accounts, mailing lists that we’ve opted-in, e-shops that want to keep us updated about their new offers etc. This activity may cause an avalanche or overload of activity in our inbox. I guess each of us has pondered over overwhelming inbox traffic and has probably decided to opt-out from some services…

Thursday, November 19, 2015

B2B sales portal and SaaS



In an older post (here http://goo.gl/jXGmOi), I scratched the surface of the idea that the cloud ERP could also serve B2B sales, by enabling the enterprise (SaaS customer) to invite its own customers in a “B2B sales portal”. I don’t see this portal as a substitute of the e-shop for B2C sales; nor do I find the idea of the SMB developing a separate system particularly interesting. Implementing a new, separate B2B sales system and having it interface with the cloud ERP would not be a cost-effective solution, or a sustainable one in terms of additional and recurring costs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I.T. departments can become profit centers for the enterprise



When customers are looking into a SaaS offering, they usually overlook the infrastructure that the software is running on; and for good reason: They don’t care in which platform the software runs, what kind of servers it runs on etc. as long as it performs as it is expected to. There are some SaaS vendors that run their service from owned infrastructure and some others that also receive IaaS or PaaS services from third party providers.
Which leads me to the following thought: Anyone (any I.T dept., that is) with an infrastructure robust enough to offer a good Service Level, can potentially offer and host SaaS services for new customers, outside the strict boundaries of the enterprise. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Advanced Collections functionality inside your Accounting Software



From years of experience in Retail Banking systems, I have seen that one crucial business process is the Collections Process; the function through which the banking institution tries to collect overdue claims from its customers, while keeping the process simple, automated and with a high return rate. Obviously, there is a necessity for a System to support this process. Over the years, many software vendors have focused on that area, developing Collections-specific software and offering it “on the side” of the core banking system. Carefully designed and monitored collections processes have been implemented in banks, then in insurance companies and then in other areas of the economy, too.
But, I have yet to see small and medium sized businesses implement well-documented Collections processes, to manage their Accounts Receivable; especially in cases where sales are usually done “on credit” or the business model is not “cash-and-carry”.