The Attivo Blog

Nov 20 2015

Integrating Your E-Commerce and ERP Software can Save You Time and Make You Money

The holiday shopping season is almost upon us, which means e-commerce sales are about to spike. Even manufacturers and distributors see a surge in sales activity around the holidays.  But so few small to midsized businesses have e-commerce platforms that integrate with their ERP system. While it’s great that more and more companies are taking advantage of online storefronts, the fact that so few of these are integrated solutions creates extra work and really fails to help you take advantage of potential revenue streams.


Nov 18 2015

An ERP Implementation….I don’t Have Time for That

There are a few very real and impactful truths about an ERP implementation.  They are time consuming, they require a full investment of both human and financial capital, and there are going to be speed bumps along the way. It’s a daunting proposition that often times can scare a business away from the process all together. I don’t have time for that is a common reason we hear from companies we consult.  Despite the fact that many businesses have stretched their current software systems to the point where there are obvious holes in their processes, surviving as is seems like the lesser evil when compared to a full scale ERP project.


Nov 13 2015

POP or Shop Floor – When Should You Use Them?

Manufacturers that use Macola have a choice as to which method they should use, but I often see clients using POP where Shop Floor is required and vice versa.  It gives you plenty of flexibility in managing production.  So what’s the right answer?  First, a few facts of interest:


Nov 06 2015

Launch Applications Directly Within EM10 Workspaces

When Exact Macola 10 (EM10) was first launched, it was built around the concept of workspaces.  It was an innovative and intuitive way for users to interface with the software. The idea behind workspaces was that no two users will utilize ERP software the same way, so why should their workspaces all have the same starting point?


Nov 04 2015

ERP Doesn't Have to Mean More IT: How Hosting Can Help

So, you would like to take advantage of ERP software. You'velearned that ERP helps you gain better control of inventory, reduce those leadtimes, improve quality and compliance, and even get ahead of the competition.But you don't want to invest in new hardware, upgraded computer systems, andmore IT staff to maintain the software. Does that mean you have to give up the perks of ERP? Not at all. Witha hosted ERP solution, you can have that cake and eat it, as well.


Oct 30 2015

Take the 'Ouch' Out of Demand Forecasting With ERP

Customers seem to surprise you every time. Either they shock you by failing to order when you're expecting it or they slam you with a gigantic order out of the blue. Both are difficult to deal with. ERP Software can be incredibly useful for taking the surprise out of your demand forecasting. ERP software is designed to allow you to collect and analyze a whole host of factors that can help you make better predictions and more accurate ordering and production scheduling of your own. Here's how.


Oct 29 2015

Training is Key to Achieving ERP ROI

A good rule of thumb when budgeting for an ERP implementation is to take the cost of the software and multiply it by 1.5.  That number is what you should budget for implementation and training. Unfortunately, a lot of companies looking to trim some fat from their budget tend to cut from the training budget.

While the idea of training a few power users who can then turn around and train other users seems like a good idea, in practice, this rarely works out for the best.  Lack ofsoftware training can also be the biggest hindrance to achieving long term ROI as well, and might cause you to unnecessarily invest in a new ERP implementation down the road.


Oct 22 2015

EMV Chips Have Not Solved Your PCI Compliance Needs

You may have noticed recently that the way you pay for items at retail locations has changed.  Instead of swiping your card, terminals are now asking you to insert your card into a slot that read a smart chip on the front of your credit card.  Often referred to as EMV (European MasterCard Visa), these chips are designed to eliminate physical credit card theft.  Physical is the key word in that sentence.  While the chips make it virtually impossible for credit card thieves to simply swipe your information via the magnetic strip on the back, smart chips won’t protect customers who make online purchases or pay over the phone. What does that mean for businesses who process credit card payments, without a physical credit card terminal? Basically it means that nothing has changed for you.  If anything, it means your need to be PCI compliant has just gotten more urgent.


Oct 20 2015

5 Ways for Manufacturers Can Succeed With ERP

Today's marketplace is astoundingly competitive. Sometimes just the tiniest bit of savings, improvements in customer service, or smart marketing can make the difference in profitability. This is true whether you're manufacturing cars or smartphones or industrial equipment. One way that many manufacturers are getting a jump on the competition is withERP software.


Oct 08 2015

Crystal Reports vs. SSRS: Where is the Industry Headed?

If you are running an ERP software system, odds are that you have used Crystal Reports to some degree or another.  While ERP software is phenomenal at aggregating data, just about any ERP user would tell you that the reporting functionality of their system leaves something to be desired.  That’s where Crystal stepped in, offering users the ability to create custom reports that pulled information out of their database and gave them a real-time look at what was actually happening in their business.

Recently, however, the ERP industry has started to experience a gradual shift away from Crystal Reports into SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) reports. We are going to take a deeper dive into why this transitioning is happening.


Oct 07 2015

Putting the "C" back in CRM

When CRM software was new, all the buzz in the office was about how great it was going to be to get all that neat data, create accurate customer profiles, and blow them away with stellar customer service. Over time, the enthusiasm waned a bit. The data was used more for operational intelligence or to be passed to C-level executives who wanted to know how sales were going.

What happened to the customer? Where is all that excellent customer service the CRM software was supposed to generate? The problem is not likely the CRM software, it might be the company's focus or a lack of proper training on using the software, or even a bad software setup. How can your organization put the "C" back in "CRM"?


Oct 01 2015

Understanding the Importance of Lot Control

If you are a small to mid-sized manufacturer or distributor, having lot control systems in place can sometimes be the difference between staying in business and shutting your doors. Even in not so extreme scenarios, having a good inventory management system in place can save you several thousand dollars per year. Understanding how lot control can help you manage your supply chain, both upstream and downstream can help you make a determination whether or not warehouse management software is right for you.


Sep 30 2015

3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Distribution ERP

Before a distribution company even begins down the road of a major ERP implementation they need to first go through a lengthy software selection process.  These days there are dozens of different software packages that all promise the same things, but often times fail to deliver.  What are some of the main factors that a distribution company should look at before making a decision?


Sep 25 2015

3 Ways CRM Can Help Your Organization Get Lean

Like most automation and workflow software, CRM had long been mostly the property of the large enterprise. With the advent of tier 2 level solutions that offer a lot of the same functionality as larger CRM systems without the Fortune 500 price tag, these products have gained popularity within the small- to mid-size businesses. What are these organizations looking to gain from CRM? Here's the scoop.


Sep 23 2015

Understanding the Importance of an ERP Disaster Recovery Plan

The worst case scenario has happened.  Your systems are down.  Whether you are implementing an on-premise solution or have a cloud hosted ERP solution, identifying how much data has been lost and getting your systems up and running as quickly as possible can save you tens of thousands of dollars.  In order to do this it is important to take a proactive approach to having a disaster recovery plan.  And no, screaming into the phone with a mixture of tears and anger at your IT department isn’t a disaster recovery plan.