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NGR's Blog

A weblog is an online, semi-personal journal offering the opinion and commentary of the authors.

Our blogs feature thought leadership on a wide range of business issues, with a particular focus on helping companies grow. Here you'll also find blogs about emerging technologies and career experiences from select employees. The opinions of the writers do not necessarily reflect the position of NGR on these subjects.

NGRERP: the right answer for small business

For a business person, accounting is a backwards-looking activity. Looking forward, out the ‘front windscreen’ of your business, you see the next customers to win, to next orders to fulfill, the next payments to collect. By comparison, accounting is what you see in the rear-view mirror: a mundane recording of what has already gone by.

Depressing as it may be for the more sales-oriented types, accounting is still a critical ingredient for business success. Businesses who ignore it or screw it up don’t last very long.

So, getting accounting right is critical for a business, and this means that getting the accounting software right is critical too. And here is where things are now becoming tricky.

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Every Manufacturer Can Think in “The Cloud”

Cloud computing once was considered only for large enterprises. Learn what's driving more small and mid-sized firms to transition to a cloud network.

Does your organization view the cloud as technology for the future? Or a sophisticated networking and industrial computing prospect available only to large enterprises? It's time to rethink what's possible. Every manufacturer can confidently make the move to cloud-based computing.

This article explores the characteristics that enable a manufacturer to deploy a cloud network for storing, accessing, sharing and leveraging data from Internet-connected devices.

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Push Vs Pull Systems - Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is a philosophy to reduce waste in an organization. One tool to accomplish this is the implementation of a Pull System, which dictates that a product is not made or moved until it is consumed, and the authorization to move or build the product is through a Kanban replenishment signal. The Lean concept to reduce waste and remove non value-added activities can be applied throughout an entire organization and applies to every department. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on manufacturing and inventory.

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4 Ways Cloud-Based Manufacturing Solution Benefits Operations/IT

The manufacturing industries are constantly looking for ways to cut costs, increase revenue, efficiency, speed, and so on, and advancements in technology are key to furthering this cause. Today, there are several emerging technologies that are having a significant impact on how companies operate. And one that is being embraced with increasingly open arms is cloud manufacturing software.

Cloud, or software as a service (SaaS), based solutions offer many benefits to end users that are making it attractive to manufacturers. There are of course still the ever-present security concerns and the question of data ownership, as well as the more cut-and-dried issue of network connectivity. And it should be noted that one of the keys to making a cloud-based manufacturing operations solution viable is to ensure that that architecturally there is enough redundancy that production will not be affected if access to the cloud is interrupted.

Nonetheless, the rise in adoption rates shows that many manufacturers are seeing enough advancements in cloud technology and the associated quick ROI for implementing cloud-based software solutions today, along with an anticipation for even larger considerations for tomorrow.

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Still Wondering About That Cloud Tattoo?

Just because it’s in fashion and a young trend, does not mean you should jump and get that cool scar. Unless of course…….

ERP on Cloud! That could have sounded as outrageous as torn jeans or wrinkled shirts or tangerine hair streaks. Such uber-stylish stuff is better left for experimentation of teens, is what you would have thought, and rightly so.

But is some bottom-up adoption of SaaS variants crawling into your office? Is it poking and hinting that indeed a big young lot of developers, sales/marketing or IT folks in your organization have since long started using cloud with full frenzy and oblivion to what you prefer?

So are you already too late? Should you follow something just because it is in fashion?

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ERP Upgrades: Don’t Turn the Upgrade Process into Another ERP Implementation

To continue to achieve a return on investment in the years following ERP implementation, manufacturers and distributors should be sure to take advantage of future software enhancements and upgrades to their ERP application. All too often, the organization becomes bogged down in the company’s daily operations and puts software upgrades on the backburner. When this occurs year after year, the software that serves as the information and transactional backbone of the enterprise becomes outdated and puts the organization at a competitive disadvantage, as technology and the mechanisms in which businesses interact with customers is constantly evolving.

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Fully-integrated ERP software suite vs. a best-of-breed solution. Which one to buy?

This article will explore the relative advantages of acquiring and implementing a fully-integrated ERP software system rather than buying application software based on a best-of-breed solution approach.

A typical manufacturing or distribution enterprise will need the following types of functionality:

  • Financial management and reporting;
  • Inventory management, purchasing, and order management;
  • E-commerce;
  • Customer relationship management;
  • Manufacturing planning and execution;
  • Warehouse management;
  • Forecasting and planning; and
  • Decision support and business intelligence.
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4 Ways to Use ERP to Lower Costs

ERP is all about control. An ERP system creates a clear picture of the flow of materials, labor and equipment utilization across the enterprise. This improved communication allows the organization to fine-tune processes, identify and eliminate waste, and streamline scheduling. Below are four specific places where effective use of ERP can capture real savings.

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NGRERP's Multi-Level Bill Of Material helps electronics manufacturers reduce costs and increase efficiency

Manufacturing processes have evolved significantly over the last 40 to 50 years.  Gone are the days when it was common practice to produce items in bulk, only to be stored in inventory until they were needed.

The primary objectives of a production facility during that time were:

  • To keep employees busy
  • To keep production up
  • To minimize variations in standard products
  • The industry has changed quite a bit since then.  Today's environment of rapidly changing and variable products recognizes that excess inventory means reduced liquid capital and obsolete materials. Why have money tied up in products that aren't being used?

The industry has shifted towards dramatic reductions in work in process levels, avoiding the wasteful expenditure of resources and increasing manufacturing efficiency. A key feature in these improvements is the Multi-Level Bill of Material.

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The top five accounting mistakes you can avoid with NGRERP

You can make faster, better business decisions to improve profits and cash flow with NGRERP. By integrating your accounts with your orders and inventory you can get real-time revenue and profit analysis. Our clear, easy-to-access reports show you where you're making money (and where you aren't) by SKU, channel and customer.

Accounts and bookkeeping tend not to be everyone's favourite aspect of running their own business. That's why we are bringing you the top five accounting mistakes which you can avoid.

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Don't forget the end user when selecting your ERP software system

When deciding to implement new ERP or Business Management software, a lot of consideration goes into selecting the correct solution.  Key factors would include:

  • Ensuring all processes and requirements are fully catered for
  • Verifying all critical information is easily accessible/retrievable from the system
  • Determining the longevity of the system for the future of your business

In addressing and fulfilling these points, you will be in a significantly better place for making the right choice than if you were to rush into the "easiest option".

There is however another important factor that is often overlooked - the end-user. So, much time can go in to choosing the right solution that businesses often forget to consider the people who will be using the software on a daily basis.

In some cases, the end user's opinion and involvement in the decision are bypassed altogether. This can lead to the rejection of the new system in favor of outdated, but tried and tested options, such as the old reliable spreadsheet!

End user opinion should not be ignored or taken for granted but should be acknowledged from the outset.

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Lead Nurturing – Uncover a Gold Mine of Opportunities

Nurture is very simple word that means to supply with nourishment. Today, lead nurturing is immensely popular with marketers because it is a simple yet extremely powerful marketing automation solution. Lead nurturing can be compared to a garden that will produce a good harvest only if tended well. Similarly it is not enough to just generate leads, it is important to nurture them to be converted into customers.

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Introducing New Milk Procurement Functionality

One of the single biggest challenges dairy producers face is the set up and maintenance of how they pay their milk suppliers. As part of our ongoing commitment to the dairy industry, we are releasing new milk procurement functionality that is fully-integrated with the NGRERP platform.

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Cyber Monday, The Cloud and Mobile will make Black Friday a thing of the past

On Black Friday last year, 308 million people braved the crowds and the chaos at brick and mortar retail stores. $59.1 billion was spent throughout that weekend and $11.4 billion ended up being spent just on Black Friday 2012. This number is projected to increase by 3.1% in 2013. That’s a lot of commerce going on. Oh, and only 47% of the shoppers said they actually enjoyed it.  So how will anything make shopping like that ever disappear?

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Modern ERP Systems and what they can offer your business today

As ERP systems continue to develop and modernise, today's businesses have become un-recognisable from those of twenty or thirty years ago. Paperless offices are commonplace, fully integrated systems are a prerequisite and access to real-time data is a necessity.

While traditional ERP applications have served us well, their built-in limitations, aging capabilities and difficulties linking to 3rd party applications have often seen them unable to evolve with changing business requirements.

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How Marketing Automation Facilitates Lead Management

Marketing automation is an approach that automates the management of timing, target and content of outbound marketing messages. Effective marketing automation is made possible when timely and appropriate outbound messages are delivered in response to prospects’ online behavior. This is also the very essence of lead nurturing. However, with the ever-increasing bargaining power of customers, effective lead management and nurturing also require understanding and responding to a prospect’s position in the buying cycle.

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21st Century CRM and Customer Experience: Challenges and Benefits

The 21st century economy leaves no room for slowdown. Customers are moving at lightning speed – be it keeping pace with racing technologies, staying informed about everything that’s going on, or constantly demanding that transactions are executed at the speed of an eye blink. Obviously, 'lagging' translates directly to customer churn, which further escalates to bottom line damage. The big question is - how do organisations run in this crazy rat race and successfully retain their customers, when competitors are just a mouse click away?

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5 signs your ERP/Business Management Software might be failing your business

Managing a business can be quite demanding so it is essential to have the right systems in place to help you run it as efficiently and effectively as possible. One way to ensure you do this is to have the right business management software in place.

Essentially what you need is a system that gives you access to accurate, real-time financial, accounting and business management data.  It should be flexible enough to enable you capitalise on the latest technological advancements. It must include some sort of customer relationship management to ensure you can offer superior customer service.  It needs to be adequately supported by your provider for when issues arise.  And finally, your system needs to be able to grow and adapt with your ever-changing business needs and processes.

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B2B Email Marketing: Still THE Killer App!

Email marketing is faraway from dead, regardless of what the so called experts say. In reality modern-day software applications are putting the ability of Fortune 500 companies within the  hands of Main Street businesses - leveling the playing field at last.

You have challenges to make sure, which include creating and maintaining an opt-in list - which means you won't jeopardize your organization's respectable name plus your established goodwill within the  marketplace. Delivering the message you need to the people you desire to receive it - in all probability a unique offer for individuals renewing their service contracts that's only there for people beyond the very first year after purchase. And correctly managing responses so the proper actions are triggered automatically!

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10 CRM Software Features for Building a Strong Competitive Advantage through Customer's Trust

Customers all over the world are nowadays spoilt for choice. To book a flight, they will be besieged by options, discounts and offers with each airline vying for their attention! Even buying a simple pair of shoes puts them in a dilemma, as every brand not only offers variety in colors and types, but, also offers seasonal discounts. However, loyal customers that have had a good experience with one brand will be more inclined to buy again from the same brand, even if the price is slightly higher. So, what is it that makes customers come back and prove their loyalty over and over when it comes to brands? It’s the fact that they’ve developed a certain trust factor. They trust the brand to be worth the money they spend on it - sometimes waiting a long period of time for a delivery to get their hands on the item they chose. So, what is it that helps build this trust and why, at the end of it all, does this prove to be the deciding factor? Trust building is a long and never ending process, which is why, to stay a step ahead of the competition, one needs to put some conscious measures into place to make this happen.

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