Harmonize Your Business

Harmonize Your Business

Paladin Rule-Based Configurator Rev. 1.1

By on Jun 3, 2015 in Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

The moment you have all been waiting for has arrived!  The newest version of the Configurator – PRBC 1.1 – is now available!  Not to go all “features and benefits” on you, but the new stuff is: Added the ability to specify an option as the default option in the category for the purposes of ordering. Added the ability to specify the order in which options appear on the quote and sales order screens. Added support for MSRP. Added a new method for calculating option prices as a pricing schedule discount from the MSRP. Added new display features on the quote/sales order screen: Single or two-column layout Settings to show/hide the option Cost, MSRP, and Price of each option while ordering. Setting to display the option description in place of the option name while ordering. Setting to display options on the side of the quote/sales order screen rather than in a tab. Setting to modify the appearance of the option widget using CSS. Added a setting to determine whether option adjustments should create child work orders by default. Wow!  With interest in the PRBC at an all-time high, you might be wondering what we were going to do to celebrate this most auspicious event.  For a limited time … very limited time … the month of June, actually, we will be offering PRBC 1.1 at an introductory discount of 20%.  So, if we receive your PO by June 12th, you will only pay $10,000 for PRBC 1.1 plus the usual $1,250 for maintenance. Act now, while supplies last! Info,...

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How to Manage Inventory in 10 Steps (with Pictures)

By on Jul 24, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

How to Manage Inventory with a System The first step in managing your inventory is recognizing that it needs managing and that it isn’t being managed now (at least not as it should be).  I won’t say this is half the battle…more like 25%.  One might be surprised at how long a business will struggle along in inventory denial before taking responsibility and admitting there is a problem.  Often awareness that inventory is not being managed well comes in the form of a (hopefully) minor disaster surprise in some operation on your inventory.  Examples might include: Not being able to deliver items on schedule because they had to be ordered unexpectedly (I could have sworn we had five of those on the shelf!) Delivering the wrong items by mistake (Oh…you wanted the 5C1-Zero-3 not the 5C1O3!) Simply being overwhelmed by quantity. (I know it’s around here…somewhere!) The second step is to characterize your specific inventory issues, deficiencies, and needs.  Not all inventory problems are the same–though they are related.  Make a list of the symptoms you are experiencing.  Don’t be afraid to ask other stakeholders what issues they encounter that make their lives difficult. Review your list with other stakeholders. An example list might include: Receiving leaves entire palettes of goods on the warehouse floor and we don’t know to which projects the goods are allocated. Expensive materials come in, but no one checks them for quality assurance until months later…only to discover that the materials are defective. Supply doesn’t keep up with demand because purchasing is ordering the wrong quantities or the wrong products If you already have an inventory system, find out if it is actually being used the way it is intended.  Are the users keeping system data up to date?  If now, why not?  If you don’t yet have a system, you probably should invest in one.  We have our own recommendations, of course.  Why use an inventory system?  Well, the short answer is we are human beings with finite brains.  Eventually, we can no longer keep up with complex management problems.   Oh yes…a brief note about spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are wonderful tools, but they’re not designed to manage inventory. You really, really need a...

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Optimizing your Processes: CRM and Big Data

By on Mar 27, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

As social media grows ever deeper in the business and personal spheres, so does the need for the spheres to adjust to them. With a few exceptions (e.g. Turkey recently banning Twitter), they have become pervasive: even more so than the Motorola RAZR V3 flip phone in its heyday. Businesses in turn have picked up on the trend and are starting to realize its inherent power, giving them reach beyond their wildest estimations. Now, CRM is dependent not only on people, but also on the Big Data that they create for your business. What’s more, integrating Big Data with CRM will improve the processes within your CRM solution immensely by virtue of manifesting correlations, patterns, and trends among your customers. These three aspects will better inform you on the way you should build the customer experience, and thus maximize your profits. We will present five reasons from TIBCO Spotfire’s Business Intelligence Blog to integrate: “Better Customer Understanding. CRM analytics can integrate all customer data points including call center, the Internet, email and social media to group customers according to their behaviors. This allows a company to identify the most profitable customers who should receive special offers or get preferential treatment to boost their lifetime values.” “Better Understanding of the Customer-Facing Operations. Analytics will provide proof of how the company is performing in terms of service, sales and marketing. Most CRM projects are launched to drive down costs in these areas; without analytics to demonstrate the ROI of CRM, moving into new areas, like linking CRM with social media, will be hard to justify.” “Decision Support. After defining the value of customer-facing operations, changes can be made to drive operational investments. Companies can answer questions around building new call centers or outsourcing based on this analysis.” “Predictive Modeling. Predictive analytics will allow a company to forecast how customers are going to respond in the future based on their past behaviors and their segmented demographics. For example, a telecommunications company could find out how likely a customer is to turn to another carrier when his wireless contract expires.” “Benchmarking. CRM analytics will allow a company to track over time how well it’s performing related to a strategy or to competitors. Benchmarking analytics in areas...

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5 Reasons to Look for a Cloud-based ERP Solution

By on Feb 27, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business, High Technology | 0 comments

Today’s ERP systems are evolving at a breakneck pace, leading traditional methods of bookkeeping to retire from service for good. Records for purchases, production, sales, and even the dreaded returns are no longer at home in bulky file cabinets. Your staff are frustrated that they can’t access your data on the road. Even the top-of-the-line ERP systems from the late 2000s have seen better days. Having observed some indications of a need to upgrade your ERP system (or to get one in the first place), it’s time to consider five reasons to level it up to the cloud. 1. Savings abound in an upgrade. When you’re unloading your data from any and all of your in-house servers, you’ll enjoy an immense lift in upfront costs, operating costs, and time spent waiting on upgrades and services. How? Your servers draw electricity constantly, your IT managers install updates and features on them and maintain them at a relatively high price, and you may buy even more of these servers to commission and maintain. You’ll save some sanity from the unthinkable loss of your data from failed servers. And, if you want to save your IT professionals, they can oversee the status of their cloud-based database, assist other staff on connectivity and usability issues with the system and other IT-related inquiries, and ensure that any local database backup you choose to keep is secured and up to date. 2. Cloud systems are scalable and robust. You can claim as much or as little space as your business requires, and it can grow with your business. Even though you’re buying into a subscription model for large-scale storage, other ERP system owners like you are buying into the same scheme, which means that hosting comes in at a collectively low price. Chances are that even the larger space will still be cheaper than what you could feed your own server for the same time period. A good cloud ERP provider will even back up your data regularly and frequently to prevent any massive loss of data in a disaster. 3. Your staff will be relieved…mentally and physically. Rather than your staff grow more and more frustrated over modules that try too hard to work...

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5 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your ERP

By on Feb 17, 2014 in Blog, Harmonize Your Business | 0 comments

Technology is always improving, and ERP software is no exception.  For manufacturers and distributors, having efficient, smart, and integrated ERP technology can make the difference between surviving and succeeding.  Gone are the days of hand-written records of production, purchase, and sales.  Dusty file cabinets are not the way to maintain your data reports.  But ERP is more than just keeping your data on a computer. Here are 5 signs that it might be time to upgrade your system. 1. You don’t have an ERP system. Don’t be discouraged – this is more common than you think, but it’s never too late to shift from physical record-keeping to something more efficient and consolidated. And the good news is, ERP software is much more advanced today than it was even a few years ago, so jumping on board now means you will have to spend less time and money upgrading an old system. 2. You have an ERP system, but it’s not in the cloud. Older ERP systems offered some good functionality, but were unfortunately tied to your local machine. There was a huge risk associated with these systems, since if anything happened to them, the data essential to your business could be lost. New cloud-based ERP systems offer a layer of insulation, providing routine backups as well as secure off-site storage. Not to mention, having your data in the cloud means that you can access it anytime, anywhere. 3. Your ERP system doesn’t do what your business needs. Many ERP systems provide basic services and functions of general use, but these are often not useful to businesses with highly specialized needs. If your manufacturing business has unique requirements, it might be time to look for customizable ERP software. When you’re looking for a new system, try to find something that can be readily adapted to your needs. Many closed-source ERP solutions are resistant to customization. Open-source software like xTuple can be more agile. Ideally, you will find an expert who is willing to get to know your business’s needs and develop a solution that’s right for you. 4. Your ERP is too hard to use. The whole point of getting good ERP software is to minimize the amount of time...

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