Linkfresh enhances ERP software

By Fred Wilkinson

Dec 21, 2015

Ventura, Calif.-based Linkfresh — a provider of supply chain enterprise resource planning solutions designed for the fresh food industry — has updated its software with new features including catch weight, case management, the incorporation of Global Trade Item Numbers and archiving enhancements.

The additions are compatible with Linkfresh ERP on the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Platform and also offer functionality across mobile platforms, according to a news release.

The enhancements for Linkfresh ERP:

  • Catch weight capability allows operators to use ERP to measure their produce in a base and secondary measure. For example, produce can be managed across the supply chain and invoiced in kilograms or pieces, creating a primary and secondary invoice ledger and offering versatility.
  • Case management allows for individual cases to be managed through Linkfresh software.
  • The incorporation of GTINs enhances traceability by primary manufacturer, supplier and retailer.
  • New archiving capability allows for a less cluttered approach to supply chain management, removing un-needed information from view quickly and easily.

Original article: http://www.thepacker.com/news/produce-ops/linkfresh-enhances-erp-software

Linkfresh enhances ERP software

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software suppliers – Essential Guide

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software suppliers come in all shapes and sizes, with the vital business process software available as a client server application, a hosted ERP service or even via a web-based portal.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software suppliers come in all shapes and sizes, with the vital business process software available as a client server application, a hosted ERP service or even via a web-based portal.

What is ERP software?

ERP software has its roots in the Nineties manufacturing industry, where earlier forms of the applications were used for manufacturing resource planning (MRP) and computer integrated manufacturing (CIM).

However, ERP has grown to cover all core functions of a business, regardless of its industry sector. As a result, both private and public sector organisations now use ERP systems in some form or other.

ERP applications tend to be modular in nature, sharing vital business information which is held on a central database repository, or repositories.

What does ERP software do?

ERP systems typically carry out financial and business planning functions, which might formerly have been carried out by many smaller standalone applications.

Examples of ERP system modules include: product lifecycle management, supply chain management (for example purchasing, manufacturing and distribution), warehouse management, customer relationship management (CRM), sales order processing, online sales, financials, human resources, and decision support system.

 Why use ERP software?

One major benefit of having a single modular ERP system is that it can unite and link together multiple processes and parts of the business, making the business run more efficiently.

By automating various functions, you can also benefit from having, for example, good order tracking, from acceptance through to fulfilment. In terms of the revenue cycle, you can track invoices through to cash receipts.

ERP systems also centralise the data in one place, which can eliminate the problem of synchronising changes between multiple systems, and allows business managers to get a more accurate view of the business’s information.

Having a single data repository can also lower the risk of losing sensitive data, if you use appropriate data security and authorisation.

What are the drawbacks of ERP systems?

ERP systems can prove to be complex and difficult to customise, keeping in mind the actual complexities and idiosyncrasies of each individual business itself.

Many firms fail to adequately invest in ongoing training for the involved IT personnel, and there is often a lack of corporate policy to protect the integrity of the data in the ERP systems and the ways in which it is used.

Business processes frequently have to be re-engineered to fit the new ERP system, and this can lead to problems with processes and staff.

Also, ERP systems can be very expensive. This has led to a newer breed of simpler ERP systems for smaller enterprises which carry a lower cost, and many established ERP vendors now offer managed ERP services, offered over the web.

Finally, the fact that ERP systems centralise the data in one place can increase the risk of loss of sensitive information in the event of a security breach.

Original article: http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Enterprise-Resource-Planning-ERP-software-suppliers-Essential-Guide

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software suppliers – Essential Guide

Aptean Expands ERP Software Suite and Geographic Reach With Acquisition of Computron

ALPHARETTA, Ga., Dec. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aptean announced today the acquisition of Computron Software, LLC, a leading supplier of accounting and finance enterprise resource planning software to mid-market and multi-national organizations. Computron’s flexible software enables its global customers to manage a wide variety of mission critical business and financial processes, including revenue management, business performance management, budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting.

“Computron has a long history of providing world-class enterprise software solutions to its loyal customer base, aligning it well with Aptean’s growing suite of vertically-focused, trusted ERP offerings,” said Kim Eaton, Aptean CEO. “Computron’s strong global presence also complements Aptean’s global footprint, strengthening Aptean’s opportunity for continued growth.”

“We are pleased for Computron to join the Aptean team and to benefit from their depth of knowledge and expertise in delivering relevant and trusted ERP solutions to customers globally,” said John Baldwin, Computron CEO and Parallax Capital Partners partner. “Aptean’s experienced leadership team and proven operational capabilities will support Computron’s ability to deliver a comprehensive suite of solutions, as well as world-class support to its customer base.”

Computron services a large global customer base including financial institutions, government and municipalities and other focused industry verticals.  Through their solution offerings, Computron helps their customers successfully navigate the very complex and highly regulated world of accounting functions and security controls while managing an unlimited number of fiscal entities and currencies as well as the process of producing standard periodic operational analyses. Computron enables its customers to extract current information on an ad-hoc basis using EIS-like analytical graphical tools, making currency translation, automatic consolidation, run-time report parameters, and cross-company and ledger activities routine processes.

About Computron
Computron was established in 1978 when it introduced the first version of Enterprise Financials, an accounting software application suite. With steady sales growth based on solid and durable software solutions deployed at global customers like AIG and Raymond James, Computron went public in 1995, changing its name to AXS-One in 2000. In 2006, the Enterprise Financials division of AXS-One was acquired by Parallax Capital Partners. Computron has offices in Australia, England, South Africa and the United States.

About Aptean
Aptean is a leading provider of industry-focused mission critical enterprise software solutions. We build and acquire solutions to support the evolving operational needs of our customers. Our solutions help nearly 5,000 organizations stay at the forefront of their industries by satisfying their customers and continuing to operate more efficiently. For more information, visit www.aptean.com.

Original article: http://www.singaporenewstribe.com/aptean-expands-erp/

Aptean Expands ERP Software Suite and Geographic Reach With Acquisition of Computron

Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme- Common Mistakes

PIC Scheme- Common Mistakes to Avoid and Things to Take Note of

Excerpt from IRAS

Businesses must exercise due care when claiming PIC benefits. IRAS takes a serious view of any non-compliance or abuse of the scheme. In particular, you should be mindful of those who misrepresent the intention of the PIC scheme and look out for signs that you could be asked to participate in an unacceptable PIC arrangement.

In addition, if you decide to engage a PIC consultant to help you submit your PIC Cash Payout claims, you need to take note of the correct procedures and common mistakes to avoid when submitting PIC claims.

Measures To Curb PIC Abuses

IRAS takes a serious view of any non-compliance or abuse of the scheme. Offenders convicted of PIC fraud will have to pay a penalty of up to four times the amount of cash payout fraudulently obtained, and a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years. This includes any person who wilfully assists another person to obtain a cash payout or PIC bonus which he is not entitled to.

‘Abusive’ PIC Arrangement

IRAS adopts a commonsensical approach towards interpreting the law on the anti-abuse measures. When ascertaining whether an arrangement is abusive and/ or an offence has been committed, we will consider all relevant facts and circumstances and conduct in-depth investigations where necessary. Please refer to the following scenarios which, in our view, contain abusive features:

Common Mistakes To Avoid when Claiming PIC

The most common mistakes businesses should avoid are explained below.

Claiming PIC on Overpriced Expenditure

Businesses can claim PIC only on the market value of qualifying PIC expenditure.  IRAS notes that some businesses have claimed PIC on inflated values, particularly in the area of training costs, mobile application and website development.  Businesses found to have over claimed PIC benefits may face a penalty for the cash payout overpaid or would have been overpaid, or tax undercharged.

Claiming 400% Tax Allowance for Expenditure on Equipment Not Under the PIC IT and Automation Equipment List

Businesses can only claim expenditure on prescribed IT and Automation Equipment i.e. equipment listed in the PIC IT and Automation Equipment List (232KB).

The following items are not prescribed IT and Automation Equipment and cannot be claimed :

  1. Air-conditioning unit purchased from retail store
  2. Closed circuit TV (CCTV)
  3. Digital camera
  4. Freezer/chiller/refrigerator
  5. Furniture and fittings
  6. Motorcycle
  7. Motor vehicle
  8. Refrigerated display
  9. Renovation and refurbishment cost (e.g. cost paid to install office workstation)
  10. Uninterrupted power supply (UPS)
  11. Audio Equipment

Businesses that invest in equipment not in the prescribed list but that automate or mechanise their business processes and enhance productivity may apply to IRAS to have their equipment approved for PIC benefits on a case-by-case basis.

Claiming both PIC Cash Payout and 400% Tax Deductions/ Allowances on the Same Expenditure

Businesses can either convert their qualifying expenditure into a cash payout or claim the 400% tax deductions/ allowances against their income. They are not allowed to claim both the cash payout and 400% tax deductions/ allowances on the same dollar of expenditure.

Claiming 500% instead of 400% Tax Deductions/Allowances

Businesses can receive a total of 400% tax deductions/allowances (comprising 100% normal deduction and 300% additional tax deduction) on their qualifying expenditure.
You are not allowed to claim 400% additional tax deduction on expenditure that has already been deducted as an expense (100% normal deduction) against the income; the additional tax deduction is restricted to 300%.

Claiming PIC on Non-Qualifying Expenditure

Businesses should check that an expense qualifies for PIC before making a claim.

Non-qualifying expenditure includes the following:

  1. Course fees on training attended by the business owners;
  2. Consultancy fees and PIC audit fee claimed as training expenditure;
  3. GST paid by a GST-registered business on an item qualifying for PIC (GST component is not claimable for income tax purpose as the GST-registered business can claim input tax in its GST return);
  4. Cost of PIC IT and Automation Equipment not incurred during the relevant accounting period of the Year of Assessment (YA) of claim;
  5. Cost of PIC IT and Automation Equipment (i.e. principal repayments for equipment acquired on hire-purchase terms) not incurred during the relevant accounting period of the YA of claim;
  6. Cost that is not applicable to the PIC IT and Automation Equipment such as warranty fee, service maintenance fee or consumable;
  7. Consulting fees unrelated to the development of the PIC IT and Automation Equipment; or
  8. Expenses that have been defrayed by a grant or subsidy received from the Government or any statutory board. Qualifying expenditure for PIC Benefits is the expenditure amount minus the grant or subsidy.

Submitting Incomplete PIC Cash Payout Application Forms

All cash payout application forms are to be properly completed and duly signed. If you apply for PIC cash payout via the PIC cash payout e-Service, you will not face this error as the e-Service contains validation checks that will prompt the applicant to correct the error before submitting the application to IRAS.

Insufficient Records to Substantiate Claims

Businesses are required to maintain all supporting documents for a period of 5 years.  These should be submitted to IRAS upon request.

What to Look Out for When Engaging Consultants

A PIC consultant is a person or a business entity that provides advice or assistance to businesses on PIC matters for a fee (flat fee and/ or a percentage of the PIC cash payout received). IRAS has not appointed or endorsed any private consultant to provide advice or assistance to businesses on PIC matters.

As the PIC application process is simple, most businesses can complete the application in 10 minutes, without aid. Nonetheless, if you need assistance from PIC consultants when submitting your PIC cash payout claims, please consider the background of these consultants and engage only those who are competent to provide factual advices.

We recommend you:

  1. Obtain the consultant’s advice in writing and verify the accuracy of the information in the application form (e.g. check that the description of the PIC item and the amount incurred stated in the form match the invoices) before signing the applicatio
  2. Be mindful of advertisements that misrepresent the intention of the scheme. Examples of misrepresentation include those that grossly over-exaggerate the benefits of the scheme, promise that businesses can “profit” from PIC, or suggest that the government will “pay” the business.

Full article: https://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/Schemes/Businesses/Productivity-and-Innovation-Credit-Scheme/Common-Mistakes-to-Avoid-and-Things-to-Take-Note-of/

Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme- Common Mistakes

ERP Software: Highly Social Or Unsophisticated?

By  / on January 7, 2015

ERP NEWS – erpnews.co.uk – Despite a 25 year lifespan many ERP systems were recently derided as ‘unsophisticated and ineffective’ by their UK users, suggesting that many organisations are still struggling to get what they need from these pivotal software systems designed for business management.

The research study in question, conducted by Redshift, surveyed over 200 UK business professionals and found that overall, ERP was considered to be ‘state of the art’ by just 11% of them. In contrast, 60% rated their ERP as just adequate, or lower. Moreover, the lowest performing aspects of ERP amongst UK businesses – cited as ‘very simple and basic’ – were finance, accounting and invoicing (by 27%), maintenance and overhaul (by 25%) and HR and payroll (by 24%).

So what exactly is the problem? It’s certainly not one of irrelevance as, despite these performance challenges, ERP is considered important by most businesses; over 80% in the UK said that it was important or very important to their operating successfully.

There were however some hints to how ERP needs to change, when the study turned to examine the software’s future effectiveness. For example 52% in the UK thought adding social media and collaboration tools was an important development, although the number in China with this view was much higher at 80%. This suggests that ERP platforms must become more collaborative and responsive to users’ needs if they are going to meet future demand.

So it seems that social media tools, which were originally developed for personal use, will soon be at the heart of business processes too. But currently only 10% say that their systems are able to exploit the benefit of social media platforms to a great extent, with UK respondents below average at 7% compared to China at 26%. And that’s despite 60% of respondents having made recent major investments in their software – in the last 2 years.

The study’s respondents also said how they think social media can improve their business processes in the future. Top of the list was enhanced communication with customers cited by 49%, followed by 40% saying internal communication and 39% wanting better communication with partners. 91% of UK respondents also said that social collaboration tools would play a role in future business communication, again with customer communication the top priority of all cited by 56%.

It’s clear that ERP has an image problem and despite its long evolution and great value there are still a lot of people who aren’t fully happy with its performance. At Epicor, a provider of next-generation ERP covering all enterprise functions in one system, a common issue we come across when talking to companies is that they do not have an integrated approach and will be using different tools for different purposes.

Often, this is due to them running older versions of their software, or using older technology platforms which don’t support the latest flexible working practices. This in turn makes it harder for them to meet the important needs of the future.

In the future ERP systems clearly need to facilitate easy collaboration and give users choice of access to their systems from any place or device. Social ERP also needs to be done simply so that people can understand and interpret information from systems that are responsive and allow people to access them when and where they need it.

Original Article: http://www.erpnews.net/erp-software-highly-social-unsophisticated/

ERP Software: Highly Social Or Unsophisticated?

How cloud-based ERP can give your business a boost

Duplication of effort and a lack of integration led Unionwear to move to an ERP system. The company’s experience with Salesforce.com – plus the appeal of avoiding upgrade costs and the benefits of a regularly updated system – made cloud-based ERP a natural choice.

How cloud-based ERP can give your business a boost

ERP Implementation Strategies: Big Bang vs. Phased

Published by on October 26, 2014

ERP NEWS – erpnews.co.uk – The “big bang” ERP go-live, where all of the main modules of an ERP system go live at the same time, is a widely-known approach for ERP implementation projects. The alternative approach is to adopt some level of phasing – whether by region, country, site, line of business, functional area or by business priority.

For most small organisations a big bang approach is feasible, while for larger and more complex organisations some degree of phasing is inevitable. Many organisations fall somewhere in the middle and choices will need to be made. It’s helpful to consider the main advantages and disadvantages associated with the two approaches from six different perspectives.

1. Risk

The general consensus in the ERP world is that big bang implementations are much riskier than phased implementations.

There are a few good reasons for this:

  • It’s more difficult to revert to the old system if everything goes wrong. Within a few hours of operating on the new system it can become impossible to reverse out. There’s often a point of no return after which the option of going back becomes unfeasible.
  • There’s a higher risk of serious damage to the business, simply because there are more things that can go wrong. The integrated nature of ERP systems means failure in one part of the system can have serious knock-on effects elsewhere.
  • Full end-to-end testing is much more difficult to achieve; despite extensive testing there is always the risk that the individual elements won’t work together when the new system is switched on.
  • A big bang go-live places a huge strain on all parts of the organisation, as well as the IT department and the system vendor, and dealing with a large volume of go-live issues with insufficient resources can become a nightmare.

In contrast, phased implementations tend to involve discrete business units or functions, so there’s a better chance that any serious issues at go-live can be contained. For the same reason it can be easier to revert to old systems if necessary. One of the main disadvantages of phased implementations is the potential need for temporary interfaces. Interfaces between systems can be difficult to get right and are a high risk point of failure, therefore the lower the number of interfaces the better. Another major risk with phased implementations is that rework may be required if assumptions made during earlier phases prove flawed when later phases are implemented.

2. Multiple sites / business units

The complexity introduced when dealing with multiple sites or business units often drives implementation strategy decisions.

As a general rule it tends to be easier to manage multi-site and multi-business unit implementations in a phased manner. There is no right or wrong here: it all depends on the circumstances.

For an organisation with multiple large sites across a region it would generally make sense to start with a pilot site and then roll out the template to the other sites. That’s very often the approach taken by large multinationals. The same thinking would apply for multiple business units.

One exception to this would be a scenario involving a hub site with satellite or regional sites dependent on the hub. A central factory and head office with regional sales offices and distribution centres might be an example of this. In this case, it may be easier to go big bang for this full group of sites due to the interdependencies involved.

3. Temporary Interfaces

Phased implementations often require temporary interfaces to provide an interim working solution. A temporary interface is a link between two systems that is only required on a short-term basis until the full solution is implemented. If we think of big bang as being “the full solution” then by definition temporary interfaces aren’t part of the picture.

By contrast a phased approach may involve the prospect of building interfaces between the new system and the remaining parts of the legacy systems until they are eventually replaced.

Temporary interfaces are costly to implement, and, by their nature, have no long term value: they’re simply a stopgap measure.

4. Time

Every project is subject to time constraints of some description. In the main, phased implementations tend to take longer (in terms of elapsed time) than big bang implementations. Where a project’s duration is measured in years rather than months then project fatigue can become an issue, and it’s also worth noting that having an organisation in a constant state of change or transition for an extended period of time can have negative consequences. Staff burnout and a general loss of focus are definite risks.

The ERP project isn’t likely to be the only thing going on in the business. Factors such as regulatory compliance, acquisitions, new product introductions and other capital expenditure programs can influence the required timescale for an ERP implementation. Planning the project will need to take these other factors into account and could well influence the big bang versus phased decision.

5. Impact on the organisation

Any project of this nature takes a toll on the project team and on the wider organisation, and the choice of implementation strategy can make a difference.

A concentrated effort is required from the project team for the duration of a big bang project, while the rest of the organisation will really only become involved to any significant extent shortly before the go-live. In contrast a phased approach generally means a little less pressure on the project team as there’s less activity happening in parallel. That may mean there’s more time to devote to other activities, whether that’s other business projects or the day job.

System support during the cutover and early live period (sometimes known as the stabilisation period) of any system is always an important factor. A big bang approach exerts additional pressure on the business and the project team during the cutover – simply because there’s so much activity going on all at once. It’s vital to consider how much the project team can handle when contemplating a big bang approach over multiple countries, regions or business units.

Big bang projects can create a sense of urgency in the whole business and gather a level of momentum that can be difficult to achieve in long-running phased projects.

A phased approach can lead to quick wins (for example where a pilot business unit quickly sees some of the benefits of the new system), which provides confidence and helps in selling the advantages to the rest of the organisation. On the other hand, poor experiences in early phases can lead to negativity around the ERP project – in a worst case scenario it could even undermine a rollout plan.

6. Costs

The question of cost always comes into play in any decision of this nature. Phased implementations often take longer and may require more time from ERP consultants.

This translates into:

  • Additional external costs (on ERP consultants)
  • Additional internal costs (where staff are seconded to the project team for longer, with the associated costs of backfilling that staff)
  • Additional costs for temporary interfaces

There can be situations where a phased rollout can actually save on external consultancy costs. For example, implementing a full ERP rollout country by country means that the project team builds up a level of expertise and experience, reducing the reliance on ERP vendors as the rollout proceeds.

-Original articles:

http://www.erpnews.net/erp-implementation-strategies-big-bang-vs-phased/

http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/erp-implementation-strategies-big-bang-vs-phased/

ERP Implementation Strategies: Big Bang vs. Phased
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