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Thursday, September 17, 2020

How to Make the Case for Modernizing Your ERP Solution


The right ERP platform creates a unified foundation for business transformation, expansion, and greater visibility and control.


Introduction

Businesses now face constant disruption and growing complexities. The effects of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) in today’s environment are more challenging than ever, with pressure to continuously innovate, maintain regulatory compliance and grow while optimizing efficiency and controlling costs. As your business faces these VUCA times, it’s important to be ready by having a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in place.

A modern ERP system helps you organize, automate and transform the way you do business, be agile and keep pace with your evolving business needs. It streamlines key business processes and functions like finance, personnel management, manufacturing and procurement. The right ERP platform creates a unified foundation for business transformation, expansion, and greater visibility and control. It allows cross department data visibility with a single source of truth and enables you to take advantage of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to evolve your business.


Building a Strategy for Modernizing Your ERP Platform

A new ERP platform can deliver enormous value: greater flexibility, adaptability, efficiency, control, compliance and other benefits. That said, implementing a new ERP solution is no trivial undertaking, and you’ll need to gain buy-in and commitment from other executives and business leaders.

Preparing a compelling business strategy can help you provide key decision makers and stakeholders with the information they need to understand the strategic importance of a new ERP. Here are some ideas and best practices to help you build your ERP strategy:

Define the vision: Where is the business headed and what’s your vision of how the ERP solution will help enable company strategy? A new ERP platform should become the foundational technology for supporting your business as it grows and evolves.

Describe outcomes: What are you solving for? What sustainable impacts on areas such as productivity, agility and profitability do you want to achieve? Based on top-down discussions with stakeholders and executives, describe what success will look like and use these goals to drive the decision-making and priorities for the project.

Assess internal readiness: Consider staff skills and available resources for supporting an ERP implementation. Do you have an internal champion for the initiative? You’ll need someone with a cross-departmental, cross-company purview, who can understand the issues involved and work to resolve them.

Determine requirements: Understand and create a map of current business processes to identify jams in efficiency and opportunities for improvement and standardization. Articulate the capabilities you will need to support your current and future-state production processes.

Form the business case: While every business case will be unique, consider the areas of greatest value to the business, such as: increased agility, better inventory control, greater efficiencies, ability to adopt new business models, greater alignment of processes to the business and improved visibility into business performance.


CASE STUDY

SAAS COMPANY IMPROVES DEFERRED REVENUE PROCESS AND PREPARES FOR INTERNATIONAL GROWTH WITH CLOUD ERP

Threekit, a 3-D visual effects company, is the go-to software to create, edit, optimize and display product visuals. The company quickly realized that their financial solutions, which included QuickBooks, were limited and would hinder their goal of expanding in the U.S. and beyond. Threekit’s most evident issue was currency conversion between U.S. and Canadian dollars. They conducted transactions in both USD and CAD, but they did all their reporting in CAD.

CHALLENGES

  • Unnecessary hours and error-prone manual process to convert reports between USD and CAD
  • Performing all deferred revenue processes in Excel became overwhelming as they grew
  • Inability to produce flexible and timely financial reports for stakeholders

SOLUTION

  • Sage Intacct ERP solution
  • Integration between ERP and CRM solution
  • Armanino consulting, implementation and training services

RESULTS

  • Eliminated manual currency conversions and other manual financial consolidations
  • Automated tracking of deferred revenue and improved process to scale with growth
  • Integration with CRM and expense system

Since we are a SaaS company, deferred revenue is a huge part of our accounting processes. Performing all the deferred revenue processes in Excel was manageable at first, but we recognized quickly that we were going to be limited as we grew.”
Nancy Rizkallah
VP of Finance, Threekit


Review Your ERP Platform Checklist

As you look to modernize your technology stack, you’ll want to make sure the solution you choose is built to support the unique needs of your company. For example, does your new ERP platform need to support multiple companies, currencies and languages; intercompany buy/sell relationships; global supply chains; and complex production processes, among other requirements?

By choosing an integrated, cloud-based ERP platform, your company can flexibly take advantage of new capabilities and applications, without the need for disruptive upgrades. A cloud-based platform also gives you the scalability you need as your company grows.


Make sure the ERP platform you choose offers these modern capabilities that are becoming increasingly important for businesses:

  • ✔ Works seamlessly with differentiating, next-generation applications
  • ✔ Offers industry-leading uptime, reliability and data security
  • ✔ Delivers business insights and predictive analytics for informed, proactive decision-making
  • ✔ Provides intelligent applications powered by robotic process automation, machine learning and other advanced capabilities
  • ✔ Automates business processes across the entire organization

CASE STUDY

LEADING MEDICINAL HERBAL TEA COMPANY USES NEW ERP AS LAUNCH PAD FOR GROWTH

Traditional Medicinals has more than 60 varieties of wellness teas sold in more than 70,000 stores. As it began expanding its line of wellness products beyond tea bags, the company realized that its 17-year-old ERP system could not keep up with the growth. Working with Armanino, Traditional Medicinals deployed a modern ERP solution to improve efficiency, scale operations, automate manual processes and electronically connect with co manufacturers.

CHALLENGES

  • Legacy ERP solution could not keep pace with their growth goals
  • Inefficient processes were time consuming
  • Lack of data visibility hindered analysis and reporting

SOLUTION

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations ERP solution
  • Armanino consulting, implementation and training services

RESULTS

  • Gained better visibility into inventory and greater efficiency in the warehouse
  • Dramatically improved accounts receivable and accounts payable processes
  • Increased supply chain productivity and accuracy

First and foremost, we wanted to make sure that the ERP system we implemented could grow with us and handle our needs well into the future without requiring any customizations.”
Scott Kenney
IT Director, Traditional Medicinals


CASE STUDY

LIFE SCIENCES MANUFACTURER UPS ITS GAME WITH A MODERN, FLEXIBLE ERP

A-dec, a leading manufacturer of dental equipment, was faced with a fast-changing marketplace and stuck on a legacy ERP system. The company needed to streamline their systems and improve their ordering process. They wanted an ERP with industry-specific capabilities to deliver a superior ordering experience for customers.

CHALLENGES

  • Changing business processes
  • Flat, legacy ERP system
  • Wanted to provide a better ordering experience for customers

SOLUTION

  • Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution
  • Armanino consulting, implementation and training services

RESULTS

  • Intuitive and visually appealing online customer ordering system
  • Barcode scanning to help ensure quality to customers
  • On day one, they took an order, built it and shipped it
  • By 10 months were shipping the highest volume in their history

Armanino will continue to be our support. They’ve been a very, very important part of the success of this project. They were all very invested; they became part of our family, frankly.”
Marv Nelson
Chief Operating Officer, A-dec


Insist on the Right Implementation Partner

Choosing the right partner for your ERP platform is just as important as selecting the ERP solution itself to enable your team. The right partner will help you with the various technology services you need to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

Your partner should understand your specific needs for your business technology ecosystem and have experience in your industry to help you achieve your overall short- and long-term operational strategies. Look for a partner that offers:

  • ✔ Quality services delivered on time and on budget
  • ✔ Transparent and consistent communications for projects today and tomorrow
  • ✔ Expertise that extends beyond the ERP implementation to meet your holistic operational and technology requirements
  • ✔ Deep understanding of the challenges and needs for your unique industry and market
  • ✔ Top technology certifications and up-to-date skills across the delivery team to ensure your project goes smoothly
  • ✔ Post-implementation managed services to enable continued support for your long-term strategic goals
  • ✔ Understanding of the solution back-end to enable customized development for any unique requirements
  • ✔ Optimized pre-built solutions to complement your technology ecosystem alongside your short- and long-term business goals
  • ✔ Flexibility and the capability of working with you on-site or remotely

Implementing a robust ERP for your company is not a do-it-yourself project, but it’s also not something you can hand off to a third party with little to no involvement on your part. Instead, plan to work hand in hand with an experienced implementation partner to achieve optimal outcomes, in the shortest amount of time, at the lowest risk.



Take the Next Step

Selecting and implementing cloud ERP software is one of the biggest initiatives for any finance professional. We can help.

Considering the next step on your organization’s ERP journey?

When you partner with Armanino to implement your ERP software, you can feel confident you are selecting a consulting and implementation partner whose experts have walked in your shoes and will utilize their experience to ensure a smooth transition from your current system to a modern, powerful and integrated ERP solution.

Armanino LLP provides an integrated set of consulting and accounting services to a wide range of organizations—privately held companies, nonprofits and public entities—operating in the U.S. and globally. We are focused on empowering business leaders to achieve strategic goals now and in the future.

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