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key payment processor features

Transform Your Business with the Right Payment Processor

Transform Your Business with the Right Payment Processor

More than meets the eye

Swipe your credit card, grab a receipt. Type in some numbers, receive an order confirmation. As a consumer, it’s easy to run your errands and do your online shopping without thinking about how a credit card transaction actually works. But as a small business owner, understanding the process is key to choosing the best accounting solutions and keeping your costs as low as possible.

Every credit card transaction involves several different entities: the cardholder (or customer), the merchant (or business), the network, the bank that issued the card to the cardholder, the card brand, and the payment processor.

When payment information is exchanged between the cardholder and the merchant, the network routes that information to the card-issuing bank for authorization. The network clears the transaction, and at the end of the day it collects funds for all the transactions that occurred in a given 24-hour time frame.

key payment processor features

The card brands—Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, etc.—regulate the industry with standards and fees and establish channels through which information passes. For the services they provide, card brands exact payment in the form of assessment charges. The network leverages authorization fees, and the card-issuing bank imposes interchange rates. It falls to the merchant to pay these processing fees, which can add up to a significant percentage of your credit card sales.

It doesn’t have to be that way

There’s only so much you can do to alleviate the pressure of credit card processing fees, but streamlining your accounting procedures and integrating a trustworthy payment processing platform can transform your business, save you time and money, and prevent headaches.

Manual invoicing and accounting is a long, tedious, error-plagued process. Cloud-based accounting or ERP software, like Kechie ERP by My Office Apps, simplifies small business operations by providing an easily accessible information hub from which users can quickly retrieve accurate information. Rather than storing sensitive information in filing cabinets, toggling between numerous spreadsheets, and manually tracking inventory, you and your team can manage your logistics in one secure location.

Even with accounting software, however, invoicing remains a pain point. Merchants have to create an invoice, run the transaction through their virtual terminal, create a cash receipt, find the invoice, and, finally, post the payment to the invoice. That’s a lot of time-consuming steps! And the more steps there are, the more potential there is for data entry error.

Enter the sixth entity in the transaction process: the payment processor. Some processors provide an integrated payment application, which automates the invoicing process, automatically posts payments to invoices, and updates your general ledger to keep your records accurate and eliminate the need for duplicate data entry.

inventory management payment integration

The payment application integrates directly with your accounting or ERP software for a simple, seamless transaction experience. Some payment applications can even save you money by lowering your interchange rate and qualifying you for reduced processing fees. And if you choose a processor that offers an online customer payment portal, your customers can pay their invoices on their own time.

Look before you leap

A wide array of companies offer payment integrations, and they each tout their own list of enticing promises—attached to complicated conditions and ensnared in industry jargon. How do you know which companies you can trust to deliver?

Here are five key features to look for to help you choose the best payment processor for your business.

  1. Fees and payment structure: Many processors will tempt you with low costs, but they’re probably not being upfront about additional charges or shoddy customer service. If it sounds too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. Ask for a cost savings analysis and be wary of tiered pricing payment plans. Flat rate and interchange plus plans are much more transparent and likely to lower your processing rates.Long-term contracts are giant red flags. Reputable companies are confident in their product and committed to earning your business month after month by providing continual value and excellent customer service.

 

  1. Security: Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can fly under the radar. If you process credit cards, you need to maintain PCI compliance to keep your customers’ data protected. Look for a payment processor that implements encryption, tokenization, and off-site data storage. Additionally, a processor that offers Level 3 processing can save you money on interchange fees by lowering your risk of fraud.

 

  1. Integration: When you have a small team, you need your business tools to work as efficiently as possible. A payment solution should integrate smoothly with your accounting software to minimize the time your employees need to spend on payment collection and avoid technical difficulties. Best-case scenario: Find an integration built specifically for your software, like EBizCharge for Kechie ERP.

 

  1. Support: No one wants to waste valuable time sitting on hold, waiting to talk to a support team that may not be based in the United States. Ask a potential processing provider what kind of customer service they offer. It’s worth taking the time to find in-house, live support.

 

  1. In-house development team: Your business is unique, and your payment processor should be willing to accommodate your individual needs when it comes to your integrated payment application. In-house development teams can offer you customization options and fix bugs to prevent a minor snag from becoming a major setback.

ERP payment integration

Using an integrated payment application with your accounting or ERP software can revolutionize your workflows and lower your processing fees—if you invest the time and resources in finding the best option for your business. The more you know about credit card transactions, associated fees, and the functions of the processor and integrated payment application, the better equipped you’ll be to make a smart decision. Don’t be discouraged by the search! Your business deserves a payment processor that will help it reach its full potential.


upgrade inventory management system

How to Upgrade from QuickBooks to an Inventory Management Software

How to Upgrade from QuickBooks to an Inventory Management Software

upgrading quickbooks

A step by step guide on upgrading your inventory management solution.

If you’d like to upgrade your business management system to something more capable than Quickbooks, but have hesitated due to the time and effort to make a change, we have news for you.  It really is not as difficult as you think. Our Kechie ERP software is designed for small and medium sized businesses in your situation and has built-in features that make this transition easy.

We made it simple by dividing up the process into the following phases:

  1. Migrate your data from the old system to Kechie
  2. Train your staff on how to operate Kechie
  3. Run the systems in parallel for a short period of time to make sure there are no problems
  4. Once you have gone live with Kechie and everything is running smoothly, you can explore the additional functionality that Kechie can provide to increase the automation and efficiency in your operations.

Transferring All of Your Data

To start with the first phase, most businesses have a few different data-bases that help them manage their business. They usually revolve around:

  • Customer Master Data
  • Product Master Data
  • Inventory Master Data
  • Accounts Payable Data
  • Accounts Receivable Data
  • Current Balance Sheet
  • Historical Completed Customer Orders
  • Customer Orders, yet to be Completed
  • Historical Vendor Purchase Orders
  • Vendor Purchase Orders that have yet to be Completed
  • And perhaps a few others

Transferring this data manually, could be very time consuming, but Kechie has a great Data Import feature that will automate most of the work. As long as your old system can export the data into either a CSV or XLS spreadsheet format, the team at Kechie has functionality that can import these files into the Kechie system during implementation.  These software routines will save considerable time. While doing this, some customers may use this as an opportunity to clean up their data and eliminate obsolete products or customer information, but it’s important to get this done before the import for your sake!

Using Your New Software

Kechie Software

When using a new software system, people are always worried about training and getting used to the new system.  Kechie has been carefully designed to provide an intuitive menu system that can be learned very easily. In addition, once someone has been trained to use one Kechie module, they will find that the menu arrangements for other Kechie modules are quite similar and learning how to use these is even quicker. When lost or stuck there are help videos within each of the major modules, as well as, a help desk to submit any questions or problems you might have.

When converting to a new system, it is always wise to run the two systems in parallel for a short period of time.  It is always worth the extra effort to make sure that something major hasn’t been missed in the transition, because the cost of fixing a problem later can be much higher.

The Initial Transition

For the initial transition, most of our customers will just concentrate on starting to run Kechie with the same functionality that they experienced with their previous system.  This is a good strategy, because it allows your team to focus on the initial transition and doesn’t introduce too many changes. However, we emphasize that is just a way to get started.  The real value of Kechie is that it will enable you to scale, by providing you more modules and functionalities as you have need of it. You can activate some of the additional features available in Kechie and improve both the efficiency of your operations, as well as, your visibility into how well things are going.  

For example, your old system did not support functionality related to manufacturing or purchasing.  Once you are comfortable the other Kechie modules are running smoothly, you can then start automating these additional functions to achieve even further streamlined benefits of the system. Since the software has been designed to be highly integrated, once you do activate these additional modules, relevant data from them will start appearing automatically in the modules you were previously using. 
A great example might be; when a manufacturing job is completed, the inventory module is automatically updated to show the additional inventory.  Your team won’t have to manually enter in this data from an Excel spreadsheet or other ad hoc method you were previously using.

upgrade inventory management system

Let's Get Started

The team at My Office Apps will work with you every step of the way.  Because our team has great experience working in a multitude of different manufacturing and service companies, we have been in your shoes.  Our philosophy is not just that we are providing software, but we are helping our clients improve their business through automation and enabling more efficient procedures.  We can advise you on how best to make this transition and offer suggestions on how you can improve your internal operations to get the maximum advantage of our software features.  With Kechie, our customers can typically make the transition in weeks and not months, so they can look forward to enjoying the benefits of a more modern, easy, integrated ERP system.  To learn more about Kechie and how you can upgrade, contact us. We’d love to show you how we can help you gain visibility and efficiency to grow your business. 


Kechie Financials Software

Why You Need to Upgrade From QuickBooks, and What to do Next

Why You Need to Upgrade From QuickBooks, and What to do Next

outgrown spreadsheets inventory
Do you feel that your business is outgrowing basic accounting software like QuickBooks? Well, it may be a sign that you’re doing something right – your business is growing. While QuickBooks is undoubtedly the first choice for business startups, and warehouse management due to its affordability and simplicity, it has its limitations. This popular accounting software was not built for heavy lifting. When your business expands, and you start racking up clients, the software quickly changes from an asset to a reporting hindrance. If your warehouse is facing this challenge, it may be time to upgrade to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Why are you Outgrowing QuickBooks?

In reality, QuickBooks might not have the scalability and functionality to efficiently handle more transactions (past a certain threshold) and complex processes. As your warehouse expands into multiple locations with a higher traffic of goods, you’ll have to upgrade to a software that can handle these inventory processes, because with QuickBooks – change is inevitable.

Below are some of the telltale signs that you’ve outgrown QuickBooks:

    1. Slow Processes

      • Are users waiting too long to reconcile/balance books, bill clients, and generate financial statement? 
      • Or are your employees forced to purge data and use manual data entries in Excel? As data sets expand and the supply chain becomes complex, your old warehouse management system will hinder your growth potential. 
      • If your processes are slowing down, then the system might be overpowered with too much data.
    2. Inventory Management Challenges

      • If you need to view shipped orders, have a large amount of transactions, and need to track inventory in multiple warehouses by location, it won’t cut it. 
      • If you’re selling online, you may need eCommerce integrations and a CRM. Without these, some companies can’t even run.
    3. Serialization & Lot Tracking:

      • If you have multiple SKU’s, you won’t be able to see where your products are when it’s time to pick, pack, and ship them. It’s important to utilize serialization to track the products’ movement, giving you the insights to know if they were returned or replaced in the right places. 
      • Are you being asked to upgrade because of a lack of these features? This is an obvious sign you need to transition to a fully capable software.

    4. Anywhere Access and Software Maintenance 

      • Are you stuck working from a single, on-premise, location? This means not being able to take it with you wherever you go. 
      • Are you needing to have an IT infrastructure and staff to help streamline inventory and software processes?
      • If you’re having to purchase updates, or staying with outdated software that doesn’t measure up to your current needs, you may need to upgrade.

    5. Perishables with expiration dates:

      • If you have expiration dates, you need to be able to track your perishables when storing and tracking inventory. This is a huge problem for someone turning over a lot of inventory that may have an expiration date, and can make or break your business.
    6. Business Transparency:

      • Is there a lack of in-depth reports outside the field of accounting? If you don’t have an in-depth analysis of inventory levels/ locations that a company needs to streamline a business, you won’t get an accurate measurement of your inventory.
      • You need to be able to identify stock movement patterns, use previous sales history to predict future inventory reorders, of course, gain insights into customer and sales trends. 
      • If business leaders are having trouble accessing vital business data such as average sales margin, cash forecast, and cash position, it’s time for an upgrade – unless you want to risk hurting sales and alienating customers with inadequate service provision.
    7. Software Security Features

      • Are you constantly modifying or deleting existing transactions (invoice journal entry etc) that don’t follow the best-practice protocol in your financial statements? 
      • Do your software users have too many permissions you can’t control? Can they see and change content they shouldn’t have access to? This is a huge security risk, and may lead to errors or mal intent that can cause major issues with your data being manipulated if you’re not paying attention. It’s important to have a solution that can control user permissions to limit the capabilities of individuals, and require approval before making changes.

Kechie Financials Software
QuickBooks Doesn’t Fit, Now What?

If you have experienced some of the accounting challenges above, you should seriously consider leveraging a complete inventory management solution. An optimal system should solve & answer the following questions:

  • Does the solution offer scalability? 
  • Does it address the existing inefficiencies of QuickBooks?
  • Does the solution have automatic updates and access from anywhere?
  • Does it offer online training, easy to use software, and remove the need for extensive IT staff?

To give you an idea of the kind of inventory management software you should focus on, consider Kechie ERP. Kechie is a fully-integrated inventory management solution that includes; bin location, multi-warehouse management, built-in CRM, inventory management, cycle count, eCommerce integration, RMA, lot and serial tracking; a lot of features growing companies need that’s limited by your current solution. The cloud-based software uses an intelligent inventory tracking system to coordinate shipping from multiple warehouses with minimal inventory conflicts, and it’s accessible from anywhere! Best of all, Kechie ERP’s software adapts and grows with your business with easy implementation, and customizable solution - down to the user-level, making the transition an easy one. 

Now that you know you can utilize an inventory management software that can expand with your business, what steps will you take to maximize productivity, and help your business grow? Will you continue suffocating your business with your current solution, or upgrade to a scalable solution like Kechie?


Quickbooks Requires supplemental spreadsheets

Signs That You Have Outgrown QuickBooks

Signs That You Have Outgrown QuickBooks

outgrown spreadsheets inventory

QuickBooks is a popular introductory accounting system for new and small businesses.  Its ease-of-use, affordability, and basic functionality, allow you to start using it without an in-depth knowledge of standard accounting procedures. As a business begins to grow, significant imitations become apparent and at some point the business management has to start thinking about converting to a more capable system.

Extensive Supplemental Spreadsheet Use is a Sign That You Have Outgrown QuickBooks...

One sign this is happening to your business, is when your team starts requiring the use of many external spreadsheets to supplement the capabilities provided by QuickBooks.

A goal of any well running business is to automate and become as efficient as possible. One way of achieving this is to utilize well-integrated software tools that can minimize the amount of manual labor needed to track and report on your business operations. Any process that requires the use of external spreadsheets should be immediately reviewed to see if it can be improved.

 

Some of the issues that can arise using QuickBooks, or accounting tools/ manual spreadsheets include:

  • Many pieces of data will require duplicate entries reducing employee productivity
  • Errors can arise when data needs to be manually entered rather than automatically
  • Data backups, audit trails, and data security are often quite weak when using spreadsheets
  • Sharing data between employees may require sending emails, uploading and downloading from a shared server, or even manually passing it on physically with a USB thumb drive
  • If different employees are using the same spreadsheet there may not be suitable enforcement to ensure that they are entering the data in a consistent manner

Quickbooks Requires supplemental spreadsheets

The reason that some companies may end up requiring many supplemental spreadsheets when using QuickBooks is because it was originally developed just as a basic accounting system. For many companies, the ability to track inventory, and manage production is a vital requirement. The QuickBooks support for this is insufficient. Certain required functions such as; lot tracking, bar-coding interfacing, running MRPs, and support for multiple warehouses may require supplemental solutions, which isn't how a business should be run. In addition, the reporting functionality in QuickBooks is focused only on providing accounting reports. They're the type of reports a user might need for managing inventory, or tracking production,which is something they don't provide for.

Other issues that a growing business may experience with QuickBooks, include; certain file size and data limitations, lack of suitable integration and automation capabilities with other software packages, lack of personalized support, and the inability to implement customization so that the software can work better for a particular business. A successful management approach is to adopt the philosophy of continuous improvement.  So things that may have worked okay when a company first started may no longer be the best approach as a company grows. One exercise recommended is to review your operations, and count the number of external spreadsheets that are used by your staff to help run the business. You may be surprised at the result! And if you are, call us at My Office Apps to see a demo of how our Kechie ERP software can provide a more capable, integrated solution that will allow you to eliminate the manual spreadsheets, improve efficiency and gain better visibility into your overall operations.

 


cloud security for ERP

ERP Systems and Cloud Security

ERP Systems and Cloud Security

cloud security for ERP

A significant concern held by CIOs and top managers at companies of all sizes is the risk of a cybersecurity issue at their company.  Their concern is justified and many are actively working to improve their software, systems, and procedures so that they will not have any problems.

A common misconception of ERP systems is that on-premise systems will have better security than a cloud-based system since it can be closely monitored.  The fact is, the exact opposite is true!  A cloud-based system will actually be MORE secure than one that you might operate on your own premises.

Reasons why Cloud security is better than on-premise

First, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers are particularly focused on excelling in this area.  They know that a breach in their security will cause customers to lose confidence them and severely impact their business.  Their staff is particularly trained to identify and eliminate any potential security threats, and have a broader experience warding off these attacks. On the other hand, a user company’s internal IT staff will have too much on its plate trying to manage all of these responsibilities, while not being experts in cybersecurity.

In additional to having staff and internal procedures focused on providing great cybersecurity, having the right software to utilize is just as important. At My Office Apps, we partner with the Progress Software company for the back-end database functionality of Kechie ERP software.  Progress Software was founded in 1981 and is one of the largest providers of database management software used by over 150,000 enterprises worldwide.

cloud ERP security

Security features that are built into this ERP software:

  • The Authentication of Users: Who is allowed to get in either via a User Interface (UI) or directly to API’s?
  • Authorization: Once a user logs into your application, what data are they allowed to access?
  • Auditing: What did the user change?
  • Data-at-rest: Is the data secure when it’s stored in the application?
  • Data-in-motion: Is the data secure when it’s flowing through various architectural components of your application?
  • Network connectivity: How do you make sure that the various ways in which a user can access your application are safe, both inside and outside the application boundaries?

 

The Kechie software takes advantage of these features by creating a smooth interface to this functionality that can enhance its capabilities.  For example, different permissions can be programmed in the system for each user for either NO ACCESS, VIEW, UPDATE, or ADMIN privileges. These allow you to keep employees on a need to know and prevent unauthorized viewing, deleting, or changing of data by someone who shouldn’t be doing so.  Another feature in Kechie is the CHANGE LOG function.  This means that if a hacker ever was able to get into the system and change something, it could be detected.  The hacker would not be able to cover their tracks.  This feature is also useful in recovering from inadvertent errors in your staff.  If something is mistakenly changed, an administrator could go in, figure out what happened and take corrective action. In addition, the cloud-based system also will have automatic data replication functionality. So if a data base becomes invalid due to a hacker or some other reason, the replicated information would be available for restoration of the data and maintaining functionality for the end user.

If you’re worried about communicating your data over the internet, precautions must be taken to ensure that a bad actor can’t tap into the connection, read the data, and cause mischief with this information.  The internet standard for this is called Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Kechie software fully complies with this.  All data transmitted between the end user and the server is encrypted, meaning if someone were able to intercept the data, they would not be able to decode it or do anything with it.  Simply put, the data sitting at rest on the server is encrypted, and if someone were to physically break into the server room and steal the storage hardware, they also would not be able to decode the data or do anything with it.

Your company’s data has been at the forefront of Kechie’s creation from the start, to make sure that it is kept secure by both My Office Apps, and its partners. With the Kechie ERP system, you won’t have to worry about cybersecurity. You can instead focus your efforts on running and building your business with peace of mind.

 

 


What to Think About When Selecting an ERP System

What to Think About When Selecting an ERP System

When companies start thinking about acquiring a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, they typically assess their activities, processes, and evaluate their current resources. This is a good starting point, but much more needs to be considered when selecting an ERP system.

 

What to consider when selecting an ERP system?

The two key characteristics that will determine whether a company ultimately succeeds or not, are scalability and flexibility. Business managers are often surprised in finding that either their businesses grow at a much faster pace than anticipated, or that they do not achieve the growth originally forecasted.  Both of these situations can create significant problems if using an inflexible ERP system.

In a fast growing company, it’s imperative to have visibility and traceability of your Inventory, Sales, and the overall profit-and-loss of your business.  Choosing an ERP system that empowers you with the knowledge and freedom to manage the overall health of the business is crucial.  A majority of the ERP offerings have limitations such as the number of Inventory Items, transactions, vendors, etc.  Others may lack functionality with bar coding capabilities and advance warehouse management including a robust Materials Resource Planning (MRP) solution.  Oftentimes, when you select the wrong type of ERP software, it will inevitably require you to look for additional solutions and / or integrations to compensate for the lack of these functionalities.

 

How does an ERP system help you determine your growth?

One common strategy to service a future business growth is to purchase a larger ERP business software believing an expensive enterprise solution is better and contains more features.  However, not only is the software itself expensive, but it will require additional costs such as unwarranted implementation charges, consulting fees and IT infrastructure for an on-premise system.  Adding to this, the difficult change process for your employees due to the complexity and lack of flexibility to match your business requirements will present additional challenges.

 

Individual packages or a complete ERP system?

Have you decided on purchasing multiple pieces of various software or going with an all-in-one solution? You may have not considered this as an option. Wouldn’t it make more sense to purchase all of the pieces you need, and try to integrate all of the best ones together? It would be like choosing all of your favorite actors to make your favorite romantic comedy movie. The problem is, you don’t know about their romantic chemistry. They might just absolutely hate each other, and give you the worst performance you’ve ever seen! The same thing happens with ERP software. When purchasing separate modules, they can tend to have a hard time integrating with each other. Especially when it comes to the most essential roles, like inventory management, finance, and sales. With a complete ERP system, you have the confidence of knowing that these were built in tandem, for the purpose of working efficiently together. This not only changes the way you use the software, but it actually makes it easier and more intuitive! By using an inventory management software that automatically tracks and updates the customers information, you are saving yourself precious steps, in turn, streamlining your operations.

 

True Cloud ERP vs On-Premise Conversion

What is a true Cloud ERP system? Why is it different than a system that utilizes both on-premise, and ERP? The answer revolves around where the software originated from. A lot of ERP software was created in the early 1990’s, before the cloud was a popular area of expertise. Many companies had an in-house server, where they would use an ERP system that was only accessible within the walls, with a wired connection attached. When cloud became widely utilized, these ERP providers decided to try to jump into a cloud conversion from their original on-premise solutions. Sounds simple enough, right? Well they had a huge set of problems when they first started this, to say the least. The software wouldn’t work the way they wanted, and their users had a hard time even getting into the CRM’s! The reason was, it was coded with the intention of an in-house server. Transferring that code is like trying to speak native Australian to a native Californian. Their lingos won’t intertwine, and they won’t be able to communicate efficiently. It’s important to consider a system that was built in, and for, the cloud, so that the software will be able to speak the same language, instead of trying to convert an out-dated system, hoping there aren’t too many bugs. Read the full comparison white paper on, The ROI of Cloud ERP Software to learn more.

 

What if you choose the wrong ERP system?

Frustrated accounting guy

What happens if you choose the wrong ERP system? Are you tied to a 5 year commitment? Can you start over once it’s been implemented, and you’ve spent 25% of the total cost of the system because it doesn’t work for your needs? The answer is probably, no, you can’t just throw it away and start over. So it’s important to do all of your research before-hand, knowing which modules you will need in 5 years, as well as, the ones you will need today. The nature of ERP software is a huge commitment regardless of contracts and pricing. The main factor is time. Your whole organization is switching from their current business management processes, to this new one, and it has to work out. Otherwise, you just wasted a lot of time when it comes to educating your employees on the software, and when it comes to how long it took to get it up and running. What if you’ve already been using some type of inventory management software for a few years, and you know it’s not going to cut it in the long-run? Then, you should definitely look for a solution that fits your needs. Choosing the right ERP system is not only important for your company, but for your team. It’s essential to make sure your employees can use the software, and actually like it, before making this type of commitment. Find a software that’s easy-to-use, intuitive, can be accessed from anywhere, and is ready to grow with your business.

 

In Conclusion

Unfortunately, operating a business is not always 100% predictable.  At least on the software side, there are ERP systems that are designed for maximum flexibility and scalability with your business.  Many of the newer and modern ERP systems are based in the cloud and use the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model.  An idea solution will include; Inventory Control, Sales Orders, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Purchasing, Finance, Pick, Pack and Ship, Manufacturing, Production, and an MRP engine all in one software. This type of cloud ERP system provides full functionality in a scalable manner with real time visibility and traceability.  It’s important to find a cloud ERP software for small businesses that is engineered to provide great support for SMB's & enterprises, while also growing with your business.


time to choose new erp system

Signs It's Time to Upgrade your ERP System, and How To Do It

Signs It's Time to Upgrade your ERP System, and How To Do It

team-sales-business-meeting-thank-you

What do you do when you know it’s time to choose a new ERP system?

ERP systems interconnect and automate key business functions such as; inventory management,order processing, production, and finances in one, easy-to-use software.

It’s essential to any growing business to make sure their software isn’t holding them back, rather, propelling them forward.

You have to have the latest all-in-one solution that meets all of your company’s needs.

Or, You Have Outgrown QuickBooks

How do you know if it's the right time to upgrade or replace your ERP software?

It's time to upgrade your ERP system if:

  • Your  ERP software isn't cloud-based, or accessible from everywhere.
  • It's not customizable, and catering to your company's way of doing business.
  • There aren't automatic updates to your system from the back-end.
  • You have a bad user-interface, and your employees find the software difficult to use.
  • Your ERP system doesn’t meet the needs of today’s workplace, where users expect on-demand availability from any location and device.

how to choose an erp software

What Should You Look for When Choosing an ERP solution?

  • Software Compatibility
  • Learning Curve
  • Functionality
  • Overall Cost
  • Ease of use
  • Deployment Options
  • Scalability
  • Adaptability

How do you choose the right one?

  •  Draw up a definite list of requirements
    • The key is to map out processes that your ERP should support
    • (80% of customers are unhappy with their current ERP)
  • Decide on a delivery method
    • Cloud ERP vs the outdated, on premise ERP
    • (78% of American small businesses will have adopted cloud by 2020)
  • Review the Project Budget

Efficiency is the most important factor of ERP selection; find an ERP that is cost-effective and will improve your existing processes, (or establish new ones) to select the best ERP solution for your company.

Receive a free demo of the best cloud ERP software with the most cost-effective price with no risk at all!


Benefits of an ERP system

What are the Primary Benefits of an ERP System?

What are the Benefits of an ERP System?

There are many advantages to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution. Though there are some perceived disadvantages such as increased costs, (we dispell that myth,) the benefits outweigh the perceived disadvantages. Many companies are unaware of what an ERP system can do. ERP software is used to create visibility into the company data, simplify operations, and streamline your business processes. We prepared an analysis of the most important benefits of an ERP software.

1. Total Visibility

To be able to see into your business processes is more valuable than an everyday commodity. Every business needs to be able to look at data from various departments, and how they are interacting. This is the main benefit of ERP software. It allows a business to control inventory levels based on the data they receive. This provides the company access to information that will allow them to forecast, and make better decisions when purchasing future inventory, in turn, saving money. Using reports generated from the system, you can analyze and compare production, tracking, and workflow within every department. A huge aspect of any successful business is the ability for the different departments to interconnect. This is done through collaboration that is provided by an integrated ERP solution.

2. Simplified Business Processes

A simplified business process allows a company to streamline their business operations. When a company can standardize their processes, it provides a greater efficiency and potential ROI. Because the processes are automated, there’s no room for common errors, duplicated content, or forgetting the necessary processes with the right ERP solution. Employees get to have access to data whenever they need it, so they can make informed decisions without having to wait for time-consuming, costly email responses. With customizable features, each department can see what they need to, without seeing a flood of irrelevant information. Some ERP solutions like Kechie, even provide customizations down to the user-level, so that you can get into the software and see only what you want. Real-time data, with real-time access allows businesses to focus on what really matters in their companies.

3. Fully Integrated ERP Solution

An ERP solution that is already Fully-Integrated is much easier to work with, than purchasing various pieces of software, trying to connect them together. You get real-time data, automatic updates, and accurately communicated data. This is important when it comes to streamlining any business. Employees need a consistent user-interface from an easy to use software that won’t require much training. You might think that all ERP software is fully integrated based on the definition, but not necessarily. When a software is fully integrated, that means you don’t have to have different software to try to accomplish your everyday tasks. While it is important to have third party integrations (ex. Shopify, Woo Commerce,) it’s also just as important to control your inventory without having to customize the software with a separate module, hoping it will work.

 

ERP software has many benefits that let you get insights into your business to make the best decisions. By streamlining your operations, you are increasing your ROI and improving your workflow, as well as, the collaboration of your departments. When your business is fully optimized by an ERP solution like Kechie ERP, it can drive increased profitability, streamline operations, and let you focus on what matters to your business.


Don’t Waste Your Time Integrating Different Warehouse Software Programs Together

Don’t Waste Your Time Integrating Different Warehouse Software Programs Together

Running a business requires coordinating the work of several different departments.  Fortunately, there are many software programs available that can help you manage, measure, and control these activities to help achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency.  There are different ways of doing this, however. If you choose the wrong way, it could result in low productivity from your IT staff and may not provide you with the best results.

Some of the business management programs available on the market may only be designed to support one function, such as; Customer Relationship Management, Inventory Control, Manufacturing, Shipping, etc.  One path you could take would be to buy separate programs for each function and try to get all of the different programs to work together (fingers crossed).  However, this will most likely result in a lot of problems that will leave you stuck with a lot of customizing, and software that doesn’t integrate.  The different programs may use inconsistent data base formats, have problems synchronizing the data on a timely basis, utilize different user interfaces, and require many different individual software upgrades during the useful life of the programs.  When updating one program, the software upgrade may break an interface that you previously created to communicate data to one of the other programs.  Although great IT personnel can eventually resolve these problems, it will take up a lot of their time and leave less time for them to work on other activities that could be useful for your business.

 

There are significant efficiency advantages to be gained when a company chooses a fully-integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution.  First, the issues of inconsistent data bases won’t exist because the system will use a common data base for all modules that was designed in from the start by the ERP vendor.  Your team won’t have to worry about writing interfaces that convert a data item from one format to another.  You also won’t need to worry about performance issues or whether all the data is in sync.  Since all the functional modules use a common data base, synchronization will happen in real time, automatically.  Other advantages will accrue because an integrated ERP system will have a common user interface between modules.  This provides a company with significant training and employee productivity benefits. The specific transactions will differ for different departments but the look and feel to the user will remain the same. If you transfer an employee from one department to another, they won’t have to be trained to use a completely new IT system and they can be up and running in a timely manner.

When you first start out...

you may be tempted for financial reasons to only acquire one software program to get started with your most critical functionality and use manual processes for everything else.  However, as you grow, you will end up paying more when you are start adding in additional programs to automate additional functions.  If you compare just the acquisition and maintenance costs of paying for several different non-integrated programs to an acquisition of a fully integrated ERP program that can provide the all the functionality, the fully integrated ERP program will likely come out less expensive.

If you do want to start out small and really need to keep your initial costs low by only utilizing one module, perhaps there is a better way.  You can ask your vendor to install an ERP system but only enable the functionality on the one module that you need and disable the ones you don’t immediately need. In return for this reduced functionality, you can ask them to quote you with a discounted price.  This may provide you with a low cost entry to get started but also provide you with room for growth.  As you need additional functionality, you can ask the vendor to turn it on access to it.  But it won’t require that you write software to interface to the new functionality because that was built-in to the original design of the system and adding in the new functions can occur almost immediately.

The Kechie ERP system from My Office Apps was designed to provide an integrated ERP system yet also provide a cost effective growth strategy as described above. To learn more about how Kechie can help you and eliminate the extra effort you IT staff would require to glue together different software programs, schedule a demo or contact us by phone at (714) 486-1487.

 

 

 

 


What Viewpoint Did Your ERP System Originate From?

What Viewpoint Did Your ERP System Originate From?

If you had a very experienced finance manager, would you want them to head your production department? Or would you rather have someone with deep experience in production and inventory control do that job? The same questions should be raised with the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software that you choose.

Like many software systems, ERP software is developed in stages with an initial release that provides a specific function. Later releases will add additional modules that add more functions, support other functional areas and broaden the scope of the software. Eventually, after many additional releases, all of these modules will be put together and called a complete ERP solution.

The problem is, most of the ERP software on the market was not started with the intention of creating inventory management software in the form of a full ERP solution. They started with accounting. This bias may be an optimal one for the first module developed, but it definitely does not work well in the long run for ERP creation. Other functions can be very much different!

When an accounting software tries to expand to provide functions for different departments, or even other industries, it does not go smoothly. It lacks support for specific aspects of inventory control, specifically item class and location tracking, because it is trying to get use the software in ways that were not originally intended. You can’t use oranges to make lemonade. You can try, but everyone will notice the difference.


ERP developers make attempts to get around this, however. They try to integrate completely different software with their own hoping that it will be “good enough” for the common warehouse manager. The issue with this is that it almost always fails. The largest ERP providers that you are familiar with (yes them) may not highlight this to their customers until the customer has signed up for a very expensive deal. The providers then add on these “integrations” hoping the customers won’t notice that the base software was originally created with an intended purpose different from the inventory management function that was the customer’s primary requirement.

Kechie ERP, by My Office Apps, is a little different. Unlike other ERP systems, this software was developed from the start to support production and inventory control. It was created and developed with all of this in mind, by a team that has decades of experience creating and working with ERP software before off-the-shelf ERP software existed. Additional support for finance was added later on, but it was originally designed in a way to enhance and support the production and inventory control functions. Kechie, for example, has strong MRP functionality that is often lacking in other ERP implementations because it’s actually built-in from the beginning with the intended purpose of providing a strong solution for this area.

If your biggest management concern is getting better control of your production and inventory control activities within your company, don’t choose an accounting software to manage your inventory. Kechie may be a better solution, because unlike the most known brands on the market today, it was designed from the very beginning to solve these problems. To learn more about our production and inventory control modules and how Kechie can help you, schedule a demo or call us at (714) 486-1487.