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Visual South's 10 Most Popular ERP Articles From 2018

1/2/19 10:00 AM



Enough ERP articles to compose a novel

We published a lot of blog posts over the last 18 months—85 posts and over 75,000 words, to be specific. (Just for context, the average novel is about 90,000 words, as long as it’s not Harry Potter.) We had a lot to say, and we tried to keep everything relevant and helpful. This is the bar we set for ourselves and I’m proud of the content we published last year.

Of all those great ERP blogs, which were the most popular? Here are the top 10 for 2018, along with a short quote from each post:

  1. ERP Implementation Roles & Responsibilities: How to Build Your Team (Author: Nick Mendolia)

“Implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be a humbling challenge for any company. Four critical factors will determine the success of your new ERP implementation:

I. Defining proper ERP implementation roles and responsibilities for your internal team

II. Selecting the best enterprise solution for your business

III. Choosing the right ERP vendor to guide your implementation

IV. Defining proper ERP implementation roles and responsibilities for your internal team

Repeating number one and four isn’t a mistake. The importance of your ERP project team can’t be stressed enough -- everyone needs to be 100% committed to the success of the project.”

  1. 5 Steps to Include in Your Business Process Review (Author: Nick Mendolia)

“Every organization should have an ongoing plan for continuous improvement. In a competitive environment, any chance to improve upon a process can provide the edge a company needs to survive—and ultimately thrive.  A good Business Process Review template is a valuable first step in that plan.”

  1. A Full ERP Terminology Dictionary: 159 Terms Defined (Author: Jack Shannon)

“3rd Party Application – Software that has not been developed by the author of the ERP.

ABC Analysis – ABC analysis classifies part IDs by the value and the usage of the item. Parts that cost the most and/or are used most frequently are "A" items. Parts that cost the least and/or are used least are "C" items. All other parts are "B" items.”

  1. Infor VISUAL ERP Review: An Exhaustive Look at Functionality (Author: Jack Shannon)

“Why would any manufacturing company want VISUAL ERP? Actually, that’s an easy question to answer. There are three reasons:

I. Value: You will not find an ERP product with more depth and breadth of functionality at the same price point.

II. Ease of use: VISUAL is built by software developers, but the interface was developed by designers to focus on ease of use. The screens are simple and intuitive, yet answers to your next question are in a secondary (child) window or are a simple click away.

III. Focus: VISUAL is designed for small-to-medium sized manufacturers who create work orders to make or repair items. If this doesn’t describe your company, Infor VISUAL will not be a fit for your manufacturing company. If this does describe your company, keep reading—VISUAL may be exactly what you're looking for.”

  1. ERP Implementation Timeline & Project Plan (Author: Nick Mendolia)

“Creating an ERP implementation timeline can be a difficult process. There is no standard template that will magically fit all projects, as every one is unique. No two businesses, even in the exact same industrial segment, are alike. Each has a different scope, team, and availability. However, what’s typically the same for just about all small to medium-sized ERP implementations are the core phases and tasks to get from purchasing your new solution, to going live with it, and beyond. This blog will discuss Visual South’s methodology for an ERP implementation project plan.”

  1. Infor vs. SAP: Why Visual South Chose Infor (Author: Jack Shannon)

“SAP is arguably the most recognized name in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and it is ranked number one in ERP revenue. Its ERP product is designed to serve the Tier 1 market. The best way to define the Tier 1 market is to think in terms of a Fortune 1000 company. The revenue of a company that makes this list is defined in billions, not millions. In 2016, the company that ranked last on the list was Briggs & Stratton, with revenue of $1.8 billion.

Infor is arguably the least recognized name in ERP software. At one point its marketing campaign used the tagline, “The largest ERP company you never heard of.” Large it is—its annual revenue is $3 billion making it the third largest ERP company in the world. It serves customers in the Tier 1, 2, and 3 markets.”

  1. Most-Used Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Modules and Their Functions (Author: Jack Shannon)

“The roots of today’s ERP systems were pretty humble. They were originally designed to take and ship orders, figure out what had to be made and bought, track who owed who money, and produce financial statements. Today, an ERP modules list covers all of that and so much more. Customer relationship management (CRM), scheduling, barcoded transactions, dashboards—the list goes on.

However, the most-used modules today are still the ones that were used at the start. It’s not surprising because not every manufacturing company has a scheduling problem, but I’ve never known a company that didn’t need to invoice its customers. ERP modules and functions that are used the most help you understand the difference between functionality every company needs (that’s why they are most used), and functionality or modules you currently don’t have but may need to solve business issues. In other words, invoice functionality shouldn’t be the reason you buy an ERP. You are invoicing today. If you are going to invest in a new ERP system, set your goals higher.”

  1. Infor SyteLine Review (Author: Tim O’Brien)

“Infor SyteLine (recently rebranded as Infor CloudSuite Industrial or CSI) ERP software is Infor’s ERP offering for small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors. For more than 30 years, SyteLine has been used by manufacturing-centric companies for managing their business activities. SyteLine scales from as small as a 15-user single site up to hundreds of users across multiple sites, divisions, and multiple companies.”

  1. How to Implement an ERP System Step-By-Step (Author: Jack Shannon)

“In my years of working with companies looking for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, there is usually a lot of emphasis placed on buying the right system along with declarations on how the new system is going to help run the business better. Other companies have achieved this, your company can also.

All that excitement and careful planning is well worth the effort. The right ERP can transform a company by providing data which wasn’t previously available. In many cases, life before ERP consisted of looking for problems and then figuring out how to solve them. A good example of this is the production meeting, where supervisors and managers sit in a room and go over every job. Most of the meeting is spent looking for problems. Imagine going into the meeting knowing the problems—and starting with possible solutions. That’s what ERP can do.”

  1. The 5 Keys to ERP Training Post-Implementation (Author: Nick Mendolia)

“During implementation, ERP training primarily focuses on how the company will utilize the software to perform its daily functions, as well as processes necessary to replace the current system. Key users and team members work with their implementation partner to develop a plan and define the training requirements for the new ERP solution.

Post-implementation ERP training is just as important as the initial training to achieve continued success. Every company needs an ever-evolving plan for continuous improvement. Ongoing ERP training should be a significant part of that plan!”

There you have it, the top 10 posts for 2018. If you’re looking for other ERP articles, there are plenty more blogs to review. Enjoy!

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Topics: ERP research

Jack Shannon

Written by Jack Shannon

Jack is the President of Visual South and has been working with ERP since 1996 when he bought it in his role as a Plant Manager. Since 1998 he has worked for Visual South with roles in consulting, sales and executive management.