Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP, Computers, Systems,

Best-in-Class vs ERP Suite

Below, please find a blog posting from a referral partner of L6S Business Consulting, Josh Szakal of Black River Technologies.

The age old decision between choosing a Best-in-Class software solution vs an All-in-One Suite package is a heated topic that should be at the forefront of your mind when selecting a software solution.

Before making the decision, you first need to understand what the key differences are. The aim of a traditional suite software package is to provide businesses with one stop shopping for all their software needs. In the world of ERP software, suite vendors provide solutions that handle everything from financial management, and point-of-sale, to CRM.

The benefit of moving forward with a suite software package is that all of your data is located in one place, and integration between applications is handled by one developer. On the flip-side, the biggest downside to suite packages is that they are usually ‘a mile wide and an inch deep’. You may take comfort in the fact that you have an all-in-one solution that handles your entire business, but might soon find that the functionality you really wanted is seriously lacking. Restricting yourself to a suite software package restricts you the R&D efforts of its software developer, which is likely spread over a wide range of products, instead of focusing on one specific area that makes them best-in-class.

A Best-In-Class software solution on the other hand strives to be the best in one area of significance and focuses all of its efforts in this one area. Choosing a best-in-class approach allows you to choose the best solution for each part of your business, enabling you to get the most out of software automation. Using Intacct as an example, financial management is the #1 priority of software development. The solution provides greater functionality and flexibility with respect to your finance and reporting needs, and offers integration to other software systems where applicable. Take Salesforce.com as an example. This software is the leader in providing CRM solutions to its customers, and seamlessly integrates with the Intacct Quote-to-Cash process, allowing the experts to focus on their respective areas of functionality where they each do extremely well.

We at Black River Technologies believe that a best-in-class approach is the direction your organization needs to take to truly excel in your business processes. This is the approach that is going to allow you the freedom to make the right decisions with respect to software automation at each stage in your business’s growth cycle.

Want to learn more about what best-in-class ERP software has in store for your organization? Click here to learn how to elevate your ERP experience!

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Book Review: The Remedy

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The Remedy

There are few business concepts which are applicable across any company in any industry. From solopreneurs to multi-national conglomerates, the principles of Lean Management are a tool to improve the culture of a company.

I recently got the chance to read “The Remedy” by Pascal Dennis, which is a real life story about how lean was applied across a large car manufacturer.

Lean is predominantly known to be a process to decrease waste within manufacturing processes. Through the travels of Tom and his sensei Andy, stories are told on how Lean Management is applied within non-manufacturing settings.  The reader is taken through a journey where common obstacles of dealing with a company that is heavily placed into silos, non-communitive, and insular culture are dealt with. You get the opportunity to see how Lean Management can be applied in the non-manufacturing departments of Human Resources, Marketing, Product Development, and Accounting.

The reader is introduced to many of the basic concepts and terminology of Lean Management (for example the 8 types of waste) in the style where Tom, the plant manager of the shining star of Taylor Motors, is taken from his current role to lead the development and launch of a new car, originally known as the Defiant.

If you want to learn more about Lean Management, this would be an ‘average’ book to pick up. The Japanese terminology is used throughout the book which can make things confusing at time. There are great animations throughout the book, but at times, too many. It gave the feeling that you were reading a Pictionary book at times.

I personally don’t see this book as being a good starting point if you are a novice to Lean Management. Lean is best learnt within a manufacturing setting since the subject matter can be visibly seen. The author previously wrote “Andy & Me” which details the journey of transforming a manufacturing plant towards being Lean. This book would be a good starting point.

Do you have any books about Lean and Lean Management that you recommend?

Have an awesome week.

Kevin

Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for the South Edmonton Business Association, the Fringe Festival, Goodwill Industries of Alberta and donates blood at the Canadian Blood Services.