ERP Software Sales: trick or treat?

October 30, 2014

ERP-Software-SalesAs we get ready to dish the Halloween candy, I’m seriously contemplating dressing up as the nefarious “ERP Snake-oil Sales” guy. While they’re not as common as they used to be a few years ago, they’re still out there. It sometimes seems like choosing an ERP Software system is a little like trick or treat – some will trick you, and other will treat you well.

 I was reviewing the post on how to select an ERP Vendor, and doing so reminded me of a couple of stories that prospective customers have shared with me recently about the “other” type of ERP salesperson – the “promise them anything to get the sale” type – thankfully a diminishing breed.

In one case, the salesperson answered “yes” to every question about functionality. The prospect was suspicious, so after doing a little research and finding something the software did not do – according to the vendor’s website – he asked the question, and again got a “yes”. TRICK! Happy ending here – he knew he should run away from this sales person as fast as possible.

The other one is not such a happy story. To close a sale (and make quota for the quarter), the salesperson deeply discounted the monthly fees, and got the customer to sign on the dotted line. However, the fine print stated that the monthly fee would increase (by close to 100%) in year 2, and imposed a minimum 3 year commitment. TRICK!

My recommendation is this: an ERP salesperson who tells you what you want to hear, who always answers “yes”, is more likely to be a trick. One who tells you what you need to know, and is willing to answer “no” when necessary – now that’s a TREAT!

 

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POS Functionality & eCommerce Integration for Wholesale Distribution Companies

October 16, 2014

POS and eCommerce ERPAs B2B and B2C eCommerce continues to increase in popularity, the line between wholesale, retail and eCommerce channels has started to blur. Wholesale companies, previously restricted to buying product from the manufacturer, storing in a warehouse and then selling and shipping to retail and distribution companies, are now starting to offer their product through other sales channels and to different consumers. With eCommerce sales expected to reach US $1.5 trillion by the end of this year, it’s no surprise that wholesale companies are interested in a piece of the eCommerce pie. Many wholesale companies have also branched into the retail space, by opening showrooms for their product, exhibiting at trade shows and building actual brick and mortar retail stores.  In order to account for these new sales channels in an all-in-one system, it is important to look for proper inventory and accounting ERP software, with point of sale (“POS”) functionality and eCommerce integration options. This way all data can be stored in a central database, and consequently inventory levels and availability will be accurately reflected no matter which sales channel an order comes in from.

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Understanding the Challenges of Credit Card Processing

October 8, 2014

credit card processing

Guest Post by Robert Hyman of HiTech Merchants

E-commerce and the trend to replace paper checks with electronic payments is quickly driving credit card acceptance to the forefront of B2B commerce.  As such, there are a number of challenges that must be dealt with when your business starts accepting card payments.  Three of them are discussed below.

One challenge is determining the true cost of credit card processing.  Complicated pricing models make it difficult to understand the real cost of accepting card payments. For example, interchange differential pricing charges a qualified rate, a non-qualified rate and an interchange differential fee all on the same transaction.  Calculating costs with this model is understandably difficult and time-consuming.  Interchange plus pricing represents a more transparent pricing model.  Interchange plus pricing charges a simple mark-up above the base cost set by Visa and MasterCard allowing for a common price structure to compare one processor to another.

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4 Popular Features to Look for in Wholesale Inventory Software

October 1, 2014

wholesale inventory software

When your business decides to take the crucial step to invest in wholesale inventory software, it is imperative that you make a thoughtful and well-informed decision that satisfies your business’s specific needs. With an abundance of features and customizable options available, achieving this task can sometimes be overwhelming. Although no two companies are exactly the same, there are several popular features that add value to basic inventory software and allow companies to better manage all business operations. These include; landed cost tracking, barcode scanning, sales rep applications, and lot tracking.

Landed Cost Tracking

Landed cost refers to the total cost of an inventoried product, taking into account expenses incurred to collectively purchase, transport, and import goods. Costs accounted for include such items as border fees, duties, taxes, transport costs and insurance, to name a few. Software that effectively manages landed costs has the ability to automatically account for and reconcile the costs mentioned above in order to arrive at the true cost of the goods. This ultimately enables businesses to protect margins and make better purchasing and pricing decisions.

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