6 Costly Software Selection Mistakes

September 10, 2015

Software Selection MistakesFor many wholesale and distribution companies, replacing internal inventory and accounting ERP software is like going to the dentist; necessary, but potentially painful. Even for those businesses who consider the software purchase as a strategic investment, it can still cause stress and anxiety among employees.  Often, you can stave off the need for replacement with preventive action such as upgrades. This is why it is important to invest in software maintenance, and to find a software vendor that will also upgrade any customization work you have done – without charging more.  However, if the system you’re using will no longer be supported, or if there has been a change in the business that renders it inadequate, you have no choice but to go to market. And when you do, it’s easy to make big mistakes. Here are the biggest ones.

  1. Requirements not defined properly (which can lead to nasty surprises).

This mistake is often the result of a rushed sales and implementation process, and poor communication with the software vendor.  It is as much your responsibility as a company to define your requirements as it is that of the vendor you work with to spend the time learning about your business, and asking the right questions.  Be wary of vendors who try to rush your company to the demo and proposal stage and especially of those who offer price incentives based on specific timeframes.  To avoid this mistake, find a vendor who spends the time getting to know you and your business in order to make sure that their software is the best fit for your needs.  Lastly, never assume that certain features will be available; always check with the vendor to make sure you’re not missing functionality critical to business operations.  Once again, this should not be an issue with a vendor that does a detailed job during the sales process.

  1. Lack of buy-in.

If the people who are going to use the system are not motivated to make it a success, you’re headed for trouble.  This includes those employees in management positions with decision making power and those who will be using the system at various levels within the company.  Resistance from employees is a natural reaction, however there are certain steps you can take as a manager to ease the transition to new software.

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SaaS and On-Premises Software Disaster Recovery Plan

September 8, 2015

SaaS and On-Premises Software Disaster Recovery

You can’t predict when your offices will experience an event such as a power failure or a bigger disaster, such as flooding, however you can protect it to minimize the damages that can occur as a result of such a situation.

Many companies rely on their Accounting ERP software on a daily basis for managing their business, and any time without access to it can result in loss of sales, loss of income and loss of ongoing business.  Having a disaster recovery plan (which does not have to be complex or costly) can mitigate the damages caused by downtime.  Yet many small to mid size businesses do not have such a plan in place.

While a full blown plan should start with a risk assessment, followed by complete documentation of procedures and steps to follow, the key components of a basic plan include immediate backup power, data backups and facilities from which to access the data.

Immediate Backup Power

It is critical that servers hosting key data, a workstation and a printer all have an un-interruptable power supply (UPS).  In the case of a power failure, depending on the power of the UPS this should give a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes of time to save documents, complete transactions which are in the middle of being processed, download any spreadsheets or other documents onto portable storage and print any key documents which will be needed.  If using a laptop, as long as the batteries are charged this acts as a built in UPS.

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3 Trends Driving Growth in the Wholesale/Distribution Industry

September 3, 2015

Wholesale Distribution TrendsDistribution businesses have become increasingly complex with ample opportunities to serve many different customers globally. In the United States alone, wholesale/distributor sales equal approximately $3.2 trillion, which also accounts for roughly 7% of private industry GDP since 1987[1]. The reason for such staggering numbers is partially because distribution spans many large market segments, ranging anywhere from grocery and food-service to furniture and home furnishings. Driving this growth are 3 factors that distributors are finding increasingly important:

(1) Investment in Technology:

Many distribution business owners are beginning to realize the importance of making data-driven business decisions. Unfortunately, many companies are currently stuck using older software systems which are not providing relevant information in a timely and effective manner. As a result, the focus has shifted to implementing truly integrated software that will tie the different facets of the business, (such as order taking to warehouse management to accounting) together. The result for companies who move in this direction is a system that provides real-time information across departments in a timely manner to facilitate effective decision making. For example, a salesperson on the road will need access to updated pricing, product availability, and customer information among many other pieces of information. This highlights the importance of a system that will provide information to all areas of an organization, be it in the warehouse or on the road at a customer’s location.

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Blue Link ERP – Product Spotlight Video

September 1, 2015

News Release: Blue Link speaks with TechnologyAdvice.com about Blue Link’s Inventory and Accounting ERP software.

The following summary post is from TechnologyAdvice.com, a website that provides reviews and rankings of business software, including customer relationship management tools, the best ERP software, and more.

Recently our very own Samantha Hornby, spoke with Eric Perry of TechnologyAdvice to go over a few features, best practises and what makes Blue Link ERP software unique.

Samantha described how Blue Link ERP is an all-in-one inventory management system and accounting ERP system targeted at small to medium sized businesses with approximately 5-100 people. Check out the full interview video or read below for a transcript of the conversation.

TA: Welcome Technology Advice viewers to this week’s product spotlight.  I’m joined today by Samantha Hornby, the marketing manager of Blue Link, an ERP software provider.  Samantha, describe Blue Link ERP in one sentence.

Hornby: Blue Link ERP provides inventory management and accounting ERP software for small to medium size businesses, primarily those in the wholesale and distribution industry.

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