add on charges erp

Beware of Add-On Charges When Selecting an ERP System

add on charges erp

Beware of Add-On Charges When Selecting an ERP System

Cost is always an important factor when running your business, yet controlling it is not always the easiest thing to do.  This is especially true when you decide to purchase something and find out that there are add-on charges that you had not initially accounted for.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are something no different from other things.  In many cases there will be both upfront and recurring charges that increase your costs well beyond the standard usage charges quoted by the salesman.  This article will describe some of those charges and we recommend that you investigate them thoroughly before finalizing your choice for a new ERP system.

Email and Telephone Support

ERP systems can be complicated and you will always have questions on various aspects of how the software operates.  Almost all vendors will provide you with email and telephone support, but the costs for this could vary.  Some vendors will include this in the basic charges for the software, while others may charge significantly for this.  A common approach is a software support contract they may have different tiers depending upon the level service and the response time guarantee.  Support that is available 24/7 will be more expensive than support that is only available 5 days/week during business hours.  These charges can range to as high as 37.5% for the highest level of premium support.  When negotiating your contract, it is very important to determine what level of support your company will require and ensure that the price for this is well understood.

Extra Cost Add-On Modules

To attract prospective customer attention some ERP vendors will quote a basic package with minimal functionality at a low price, but then offer the additional add-on modules that are often necessary at an extra cost.  In these situations it is possible for the cost of the add-on modules to exceed the initial cost quoted for the basic package.  When selecting your ERP system it is important for you to fully identify not only what additional modules that you will need initially, but also the additional modules you may need sometime in the future.  Once you have done this you need to make sure that you receive a full pricing quotation from your vendor to make sure you are not surprised with these additional costs after you have made your selection.

Many ERP systems have the capability of providing an interface to another vendor’s software package to provide functionality not included in the basic ERP system.  This capability can be quite useful, but you should watch out for additional integration charges when it comes to utilizing it. Although some of these charges may be reasonable for a new integration that the ERP vendor had not previously supported, if it’s not, some ERP vendors will include this at no extra cost.  These charges can add up, soyou should review the costs closely before finalizing on your ERP system selection.

Implementation and Customization Fees

Once you have selected your ERP system, it is not unusual to require some help from the vendor in order to make it operational in your business.  Not only will this require transferring data bases of Customers, SKUs, Vendors, etc. into the vendors system, but it will also involve employee training and other activities before you go live.  Vendors will typically offer these services at an extra cost, but it could get quite expensive.  Getting a quotation for this may be a little complicated because unlike some of the other costs mentioned above, determining the amount of effort for implementation support can be hard to estimate, and may vary considerably for different companies in various industries.  See if the vendor can provide you a reference from a customer who is most similar to you and find out what their cost was for having the vendors help with their implementation. Also, watch out for vendors who will pass you off to a third party for additional help if the implementation gets too complicated.  You will need to include the estimated costs from that third party in your selection analysis.

Associated with implementation costs are customization fees.  All ERP systems are created with certain assumptions of the processes that companies use to run their business.  However, your own business may not fully match the layout and structure that was programmed into the default ERP system.  At this point, you can either decide to change your own processes to match the way the ERP system is set up or else you can ask the vendor to customize certain aspects of their software to match your structure so you don’t have to change.  Many vendors will agree to provide customizations in their software to make it easier for you, but none will do it for free.  During the negotiations, we recommend you do your best to understand what software customizations may be required and how much they will cost.   In some cases, you may not fully realize what customizations may be needed until you are in the middle of your implementation so even if you don’t think you need any, it is wise to at least get a budgetary estimate of customizations from the vendor based upon the amount of work, or to ask them to provide examples of customization costs on other customer projects.

Miscellaneous Odds and Ends

One useful function is to provide a sandbox that a customer can use for training and practice of their employees.  This would include access to the ERP system using a practice data base.  Once employees become comfortable using this sandbox data base they could then start using the ERP system with the real data base and start processing real transactions for your business. Some ERP vendors will charge extra for providing this while other vendors will include it at no charge.  This is another factor which can increase your costs and should be evaluated carefully.

Finally, vendors may think up various up charges to cost you extra and improve their profitability.  Does the vendor charge you for extra storage costs to hold all your data?  Or perhaps they charge extra to back-up your data on a regular basis in case of a system crash?  Some cloud vendors may offer backup data centers that can host your ERP system if the primary data center goes out.  But they might charge you extra to keep this available.

 

The bottom line, is that determining the total cost of a new ERP system takes a lot of thought and some research.  If you hear a sales pitch that just quotes a basic cost on a per month/per user basis, take it as a starting point, and just one element for calculating your total costs.  A vendor with a high basic cost that provide many services and functions at no extra charge, may very well turn out to be a better option than one who quotes a low basic cost and then adds on many additional charges that will cost a lot more money.

Schedule a demo for more information, or give us a call at +1 (714) 486-1487 to learn more today!

 


save money erp affordable

Don’t Overbuy When Selecting an ERP System

overbuy selecting erp software

Don’t Overbuy When Selecting an ERP System

Would you buy your teenager a $250,000 Ferrari to drive to school?  Of course not!  But some small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) consider using the very large ERP systems that are best used by multi-billion dollar global corporations.  Don’t get me wrong; these large ERP systems are packed with features and can support all sorts of complex business processes that the very largest of corporations need to have.  But there are serious disadvantages with these systems for those that just want something that can give immediate help in providing visibility and control to their business.

Here are some reasons why an ERP system designed for small and medium sized businesses may be a better choice.

  • The most obvious one is cost. Installing a large ERP system can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.  There isn’t only initial acquisition cost; you also need to consider monthly software maintenance fees, consulting fees, the cost of your own IT team to keep the system running smoothly, and even the cost of the floor space, electricity, and cooling if you decide to go for an on-premise installation.
  • Another disadvantage is complexity. Many installations of large ERP systems can take years.  This is due to all the extra features and configuration options that an SMB may not even need.  Many companies will put together implementation teams and draw employees from their normal assignments for extended periods of time to work with outside consultants who can help them figure out how to map their existing business processes into the structures already programmed in to the large ERP system.
  • As a small and medium sized company, you may not be able to have the flexibility working with a large system vendor than you would working with someone with a product optimized for your sized business.  Many companies end up having to change their existing business processes to fit the large ERP system.  Rather than doing that, some smaller ERP vendors will customize the software to how you want to run your business.  So you won’t need to change your business processes.
  • Employee training and productivity may also be better with a less complex system.  Modern, next-generation cloud-based systems offer intuitive interfaces so that new employees can learn how to use the system in minimal time.  Some of the very large ERP systems will not be as easy to use.  This may be due to the fact that they have so many complex features (which you won’t be using) and many of them were developed years ago when intuitive interfaces were not as high a priority for software developers.
  • For an SMB, maintenance is always a concern.  They won’t have a large on-site IT staff that keep the system happy.  For most SMB’s, we recommend going with cloud-based systems.  In these situations, the vendor will take care of activities such as data backups, applying software updates, supplying floor space for the server, and all the utilities.  Since the cloud vendor will be doing this for multiple customers, they will achieve an economy of scale and charge you much less than if you were doing these activities on your own.
  • Typical installation times for SMB companies selecting a right-sized system are more often measured in weeks, instead of several months or even years.  This is primarily due to the reduced complexity.  If you need to pull employees out of their normal duties to finish the installation, the sooner you can get them back to their regular work, the better off you will be.

save money erp affordable

There is one other caution we suggest when selecting an ERP system.  Although we are recommending that an SMB should not choose a system meant for multi-billion dollar corporations, we also would not recommend going too far and choosing a system that has no or limited growth capability.  One should look for systems that are scalable and can grow along with your business.  Perhaps these systems won’t be a good choice if your business gets all the way to the billion dollar level, but they should allow support business growth of 10X-100X so you would not have to switch to another system in only a few short years.

If you want to learn more about how an ERP system optimized for SMBs can improve your business, My Office Apps has business specialists available who can help you evaluate your business and uncover improvement opportunities.  Most of our team have been using ERP systems for many years under all sorts of different situations.  Our expertise within the SMB market, can provide insight into choosing the best ERP solution to help you streamline your business operations.


Benefits of an Integrated ERP system

9 Benefits of an Integrated ERP System

Benefits of an Integrated ERP system

Benefits of an Integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System

Many companies will get started with a very basic internal management system to track their business processes such as sales orders, invoices, inventory, etc. In fact, many companies will initially perform these tasks using an Excel spreadsheet because it is quick to implement and most people already know how to use it.

However, as companies grow they often start adding software to their management systems one at a time and end up with a patchwork of different unconnected programs that do not communicate with each other. These can be separate Excel spreadsheets or special purpose programs such as customer relationship management (CRM), inventory tracking or other auxiliary programs that are installed to help with specific activities. Each time a new unconnected program is added, a company will need to consider how they will communicate needed data from one module to another. This will usually be done manually, but other times they will need to purchase or create additional software to make sure this communication occurs.

Too many companies will just evolve into this situation as their company grows, instead of realizing that there can be a lot of drawbacks running a company with a patchwork of different, incompatible programs. These drawbacks can hurt a company in various ways.
With multiple systems, a company can end up in a situation where employees have to enter the same piece of data into multiple places because they depend upon different programs that don’t talk to each other. All extra data entry activities take time, reduce productivity, and increase the chance of error that a mistake was made when entering data into one of the programs.
Another problem with multi-systems or solutions is that they can get out of sync. Companies encounter situations where a prospect wants to order something, they check your inventory system and it says that inventory is available. But when the order comes in, they find out that the item was sold earlier and that the inventory system had not yet been updated when the previous order shipped.

Training can be an issue with any system. One of the problems with using separate systems is that the user interfaces can be different. Not only does it take time and effort for employees to learn different systems, but it can also be quite confusing. Employees may not remember which commands go with which system and start entering the wrong commands into a particular system and find it doesn’t work. Not only is this frustrating and causes employee dissatisfaction, but it can hurt your business because these errors will take extra time to fix, and will slow down your overall business operations.
The solution to these overbearing problems is to move to an integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution from a software vendor that offers different modules within the same overall program that automatically communicates the data to each other in real time. These programs will typically include customer relationship management (CRM), sales order entry, inventory, procurement, manufacturing, shipping, invoicing, finance, and other functions all within under the same roof. When specific events happen, like shipment of an order, the event is automatically communicated to the invoicing program in order to start the invoice, as well as the inventory program which will automatically adjust the stock level for the item that was just shipped.

There are many benefits of an integrated ERP solution, including:

  1. Purchasing an ERP solution that is already integrated is much easier than purchasing various pieces of software and implementing your own solution to connect them together.
  2. As your business grows, the integrated ERP solution will be able to grow with your business with no additional changes. A business that uses multiple pieces of software may find that some of them will not scale and necessitate replacement of that portion and reintegrating the new software into the rest of the system.
  3. System access and data security is much easier to control with a single piece of integrated software. Logon ID’s and passwords only need to be added once and there will be less chance of error.  Access to individual modules within the integrated software can be controlled with a single access page controlled by a system administrator who can select each user’s access rights on a module-by-module basis.
  4. System updates will be simpler because the update for all modules will occur at the same time. ERP solutions built from many different pieces may receive many different update packages that may need to be applied at different times.  This also increases the risk of an update not being implemented and result in a security hole or a software bug not being fixed on a timely basis.
  5. The same piece of data does not have to be entered in multiple times. It is automatically communicated to the other modules and the accuracy is guaranteed.
  6. The information will be accurate in real time. You won’t have to worry about different modules getting out-of-sync and causing other errors.
  7. Employees using several different modules in the system will see a consistent user interface and won’t require much training to switch from one function to the next. Employees can get up-to-speed with the system a lot quicker and they will make fewer errors in using it.
  8. Not only will your employee’s productivity increase, but they will have less frustration and higher job satisfaction.
  9. Your customer satisfaction will increase because orders will be processed more quickly and accurately.

Even though it may seem to be a quick fix in the short term to build up an ERP system from many different software packages, over the long run it will require more work, increase potential for errors, and force your company to implement more frequent updates and upgrades to the various packages. Carefully consider these extra indirect costs when deciding upon a strategy for implementing the ERP function in your company.

If you want to learn more about how an integrated ERP system can improve your overall business, My Office Apps has business specialists available who can help you evaluate your business and uncover improvement opportunities. Most of our team have been using ERP systems for many years under all sorts of different situations. We have been in your shoes and we can leverage our experience to show how a reliable integrated ERP system can make a big difference in your operations.


press release 3 my office apps

New Release of Kechie ERP Provides Enhanced Financial Modules and Additional Integrations

New Release of Kechie ERP Provides Enhanced Financial Modules and Additional Integrations

 SANTA ANA, CA, USA – February 1, 2018 – My Office Apps, Inc. (MOA), an innovator of next-generation, cloud-based inventory management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions, announced today, Release 3 of its Kechie ERP solution.  This release adds additional financial management capabilities to the software including General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Credit/Collections, Financial Reporting and other financial related modules. Kechie will continue to be offered on a subscription basis using the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to help customers cost-effectively streamline and manage critical areas of their day to day operations.  By providing these new financial modules in addition to the previous inventory, manufacturing, supply chain, and sales modules, customer will have an even better integrated platform for more efficiently managing their business.

In keeping with MOA’s design philosophy of maximum flexibility, users will be able to configure the software to match the way they run their business.  Measures and processes that are unique to a customer’s business can be configured quickly, while others built into the software which a customer does not use can be turned off to minimize distractions and maximize the ease of use for a customer’s employees.

Mariam Komeili, MOA co-founder and CEO commented, “We are pleased with the continued evolution of MOA to make it even more powerful.  Customers have indicated to us that they really want to consolidate their ERP software to one integrated system that is both scalable and flexible to serve all their needs.  By having a consistent user interface for their employees to deal with, training for new employees can occur quickly and the benefits of introducing a new system can pay back quickly.”

For information about MOA, to discuss how Kechie may help streamline your business inventory management, or to request a product demonstration, please visit our web site at https://www.myofficeapps.com or email us at info@myofficeapps.com.

 

About My Office Apps, Inc. (MOA)

For more than 25 years, My Office Apps (MOA) co-founders saw the challenges companies have, purchasing and implementing Inventory management and ERP software solutions.  One of the co-founders served as the Chief Information Officer of a leading publicly-based technology company with both domestic and international locations.   They experienced firsthand the need for efficient and cost effective inventory management software.  Today, the MOA vision is to create unique cloud-based Software as a Service and move forward to a full ERP solution.  With the advent of today’s cloud and subscription economy there is no need for a company to invest in expensive hardware, software or to incur significant upfront costs.  MOA software solutions adapt to the customer’s business requirements regardless of size, or industry.

Kechie and My Office Apps are trademarks of MOA. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 

Media Contact:  Doug Finke, Vice-President of Marketing

Email: doug.finke@moaerp.com

Tel: (714) 486-1487

Cell: (949) 302-2488

Web: www.myofficeapps.com


Inadequate business management tools

The Hidden Costs of Inadequate Business Management Tools

The Hidden Costs of Inadequate Business Management Tools

When a business is first formed, the management needs to put in place some method of managing their business operations so they can keep track of sales, orders, inventory, invoices, purchase orders, and all the other activities needed to run the business.  At first, the business will probably be quite small and there probably won’t be a lot of capital available to purchase and install a complex ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. Many business startups will often use very simple software tools such as Excel or Quickbooks to keep track of these activities.

This may be adequate for the initial startup of the business, but difficulties start to occur when businesses grow. The volume and complexity increases. The management of the business may believe that the tools they initially installed are still “good enough,” but what they may not realize is that their company has outgrown these initial tools and this inadequacy is creating hidden costs which is hampering the growth of the business.

Examples of hidden costs of inadequate business management tools:

  • Not enough inventory available, causing lost sales
  • Too much or wrong types of inventory that can’t be sold, leading to waste and scrap costs
  • Poor customer service, creating dissatisfied customers
  • Pricing which is either too high, or too low, causing either lost sales, or lost profits
  • Slow collection on invoices causing potential cash flow problems

Many of these problems can sneak up on you and you may not realize the extent that they are occurring.  So it is wise to periodically step back from the day-to-day activities for a brief period and really take a look at these problem areas and see if bringing in more sophisticated software tools is appropriate.

In the past, installing a sophisticated ERP system would require you to install hardware on your site to run on-premise software. And this would entail creating a whole new infrastructure to maintain this software and perform things like data backups, software updates, bug fixes, etc.  In addition, to the costs of the software itself, there will be additional capital and operating costs for the computer hardware itself and the necessary power, cooling, and floor space.

Fortunately, with today’s modern cloud-based software tools it is no longer necessary to pay an arm and a leg in order to obtain a good performing ERP tool. My Office Apps offers Kechie ERP, which is a complete, easy-to-use ERP software that runs on the cloud and gets implemented quickly. Kechie does not require any hardware or software installations, or the attendant infrastructure to support it. Since it runs on the cloud, we take care of the servers, backups, software updates, data security, etc.  Better yet, using Kechie does not require any up-front capital costs since payment for this Software as a Service (SaaS) only entails a very reasonable, per-user monthly access fee.

So, although you may initially feel that your customer business management software is good enough, we urge you to take a closer look to truly understand the costs of some of the operational problems mentioned above.  We think that these hidden costs may actually be larger than you think, while the costs of implementing a cloud-based ERP system like Kechie may be smaller than you think.  So you may be able to improve your business’s sales and profits by upgrading your tools.

My Office Apps has business specialists available who can help you evaluate your business and uncover improvement opportunities. Many folks on our team have been using ERP systems for many years under all sorts of different situations.  We have been in your shoes and we can leverage our experience to show how much difference a reliable ERP system can make in your operations.


press release 1 my office apps

My Office Apps, Inc. Announces Kechie™, A Next Generation Cloud-Based ERP Software Solution

SANTA ANA, CA, USA – April 10, 2017 – My Office Apps, Inc. (MOA), an innovator of next-generation, cloud-based inventory management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions, announced today the release of its Kechie™ ERP software product.   This product will be offered on a subscription basis using the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to help customers cost-effectively streamline and manage Sales & Marketing, Inventory Management and other critical areas of their day to day operations.  The SaaS, cloud based nature of the software significantly reduces the capital and operational cost of ERP software compared to on-premise choices.

 

Kechie’s key module offerings are:

  • Customer Relations Management (CRM)
  • Order Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Supply Change Management
  • Multi-warehouse
  • Logistics
  • RMA

 

These customizable modules provide a flexible, highly scalable and user friendly interface that can streamline operations and provide real-time alerts for critical conditions in your business.

 

Mariam Komeili, MOA co-founder and CEO commented, “MOA has taken a fresh approach for providing a modern cloud-based ERP software.  Instead of taking an ERP software originally developed for on-premise legacy server installation and converting it to run on the cloud, we have created a ground-up design that has been optimized for use on the cloud that also fully supports mobile devices.  The software is designed with flexibility in mind and can be easily customized for a customer’s particular business.  This allows for very quick user implementations so customers can rapidly start reaping the benefits of having a better tool to manage their business.”

 

For information about MOA, to discuss how Kechie may help streamline your business inventory management, or to request a product demonstration, please visit our web site at https://www.myofficeapps.com or email us at info@myofficeapps.com.

 

About My Office Apps, Inc. (MOA)

For more than 25 years, My Office Apps (MOA) co-founders saw the challenges companies have, purchasing and implementing Inventory management and ERP software solutions.  One of the co-founders served as the Chief Information Officer of a leading publicly-based technology company with both domestic and international locations.   They experienced firsthand the need for efficient and cost effective inventory management software.  Today, the MOA vision is to create unique cloud-based Software as a Service and move forward to a full ERP solution.  With the advent of today’s cloud and subscription economy there is no need for a company to invest in expensive hardware, software or to incur significant upfront costs.  MOA software solutions adapt to the customer’s business requirements regardless of size, or industry.

 

Kechie and My Office Apps are trademarks of MOA. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Kechie and My Office Apps are trademarks of MOA. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.