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CTS Guides
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Risk-Free Software Selection: Construction, Medical, Accounting, Manufacturing
Risk-Free Software Selection: Construction, Medical, Accounting, Manufacturing

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What's up with the Oracle acquisition of Netsuite?

Besides Oracle acquiring a company that was funded by Larry Ellison  who still  owns close to 50% of the stock, what was the reason Oracle bought i?

Some say it's about complementing Oracle's suite of financial and manufacturing solutions, others say it is about getting a deeper profile in Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud solutions.

it is well known that Oracle is late to cloud.

A couple of observations on my part:
Netsuite is a really solid product for financials, CRM and distribution. But manufacturing is another story. It's really not special for that. In fact most installations require some significant custom changes and there have been plenty of disappointments with it.

It's hard to rationalize spending $9.3B on software that is not more capable than what you are now selling into the small to mid-sized ERP market which is already saturated.
 
So, i have to assume it's about getting their hooks into the cloud wave more than anything else.

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User buy ERP based on emotion

Not one would admit it, but prospective buyers of ERP manufacturing solutions will be swayed more by sizzle than the steak.

What i mean is that buyers get excited about the nature of the sales presentation and things like custom reports, how well screens are laid  out,  and the how convincing the salesman sounds.   They take away the "feelings" they have after seeing a demo more than the practical capabilities of the software itself.

Evaluating the practical side takes a lot more thought.

Of course, they would never admit that later. They will insist their purchase decision is on the merits of the product. However, my experience tells me most, but certainly not all, of purchases are based more on emotions than anything else.

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Aerospace manufacturer trying to decide between Epicor 10 and Infor Visual

Epicor has  a much prettier interface and strong salesmanship

Visual is a more complete product but not as pretty

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Dexter Chaney's exceptional project management application

Dexter Chaney is one of a handful of cloud providers of construction solutions. Their product is not simply hosted like Foundation, Computerease or Viewpoint but, instead, a true browser-based system. It includes support for  Chrome as well as Explorer and FoxPro.

Dexter's project management application  integrates the  operation side of the company with the accounting staff to get necessary tasks and follow-up done n a timely way. 

Here are the of some of its features
- dashboards for items out of compliance, like expired insurance  certifications
- document imaging to capture subcontractor documents
 that can be plugged into sub records
- info bar by job,  instead of menus and modules to facilitate immediate access to tasks (e.g. list of subcontracts on a job
job setup)
 - import budgets against a job, set up job on the fly
-  Quick Job setup templates  fixed price, T&M, etc.
-  workflow along with all possible phase codes, subs,  imported to choose from
- import budgets, billing items, subcontractors,
- can update basic contract or a change order
- For job analysis you  can track open commitments
- Document tracking includes  affidavits, insurance certificates, lien releases, inclusions, exclusions, scope of work
- ability to look at approved and pending change orders, with associated documents, costs, markups, add-ons,
- job to date hours, projected, over /under budget
- drill down to invoices with scanned images, PO's receiving history
project log:
- ability to send submittals with due dates and alert as needed
- integration with outlook to maintain a thread of communication for a particular  job or document automatically filed by folder.
- WIP schedule, contract status report by groups, divisions, project costs etc.
- projected costs, revenues, billed vs. earned = over or under billed

Summary
Dexter's project management covers all phases of the accounting and job tracking operation to track documents, alerts, filing, and all pertinent job data on a real-time basis

As a real-time cloud product you have the added advantage of doing anything from anywhere with any device (smart phone, tablet, PC) as long as you have a web connection

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How many ways can you fail with a new manufacturing software solution?

Quite a few actually given that the failure, or major disappoint,  rate is about 40%

here are some of the more notable reasons:
- too much reliance on demos, these are meant to charge up your emotions but really don't tell you how the software works in the real world

- failure to test - the most frequently mentioned regret buyers have

- inadequate time spent on defining requirements

- fail to do a a process improvement review -  known as "as is"  "to be"  way they want to process information

- inadequate due diligence on the vendors - who are you buying from, what is there reputation?

- fail to provide adequate internal resources for managing the project, implementation and training.

- company politics where the CEO or CFO hijacks the project and decides what the company should buy for personal reasons

Did you notice how many of the above items have to do with the buyer  and not the software itself?

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What Software is good for contractors between $3 - 20M?

for general purpose job accounting Foundation and Sage 100 are the best options.

for specialty contractors with service dispatch  $10- 80M we like Dexter Chaney

For small contractors under $7M  with tight budgets look at Job Power,  Smart Contractor

For $50M+ contractors who serve the oil and gas industry, check out Microsoft Dynamics SL. It works for specialty contractors and also can do some manufacturing and distribution.

Avoid QuickBooks for Contractors. it's just QuickBooks with different documentation. Everything is a workaround.

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Is there such a thing as the best ERP software?

it's really a case by case situation depending on user priorities, internal resources to learn and use effectively, and cost

Have said that, the following are among the best values on the market for these specific profiles:

ECiM1 - for mixed-mode job shops,  janitorial supplies and distribution  $5 - 40M

Infor Visual for great scheduling, QMS, SPC, inventory management, ISO compliance for aerospace manufacturers between $5 - 60M.

Infor Cloud Suite - for $25 - 200M MRP, configure to order,  multiplant international languages and currently compliance. A true cloud product

Sage X3 and Syspro  - for recipe batch food and beverage packaging, distribution/warehouse management between $20 - 100M

E2, JobBOSS for custom job shops who do mostly custom work between $2 - 15M

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Software options for contractors 20M +

The leading software for General Contractors and  Heavy Construction are Sage 300 (Timberline), Viewpoint Vista, Dexter Chaney and Explorer Eclipse

Dexter and Explorer are true cloud products which means you can do anything from anywhere with any device (such as field data collection) as long as you have a web connection.

Sage 300 still has a large installed base due to its enormous success in the 1990's and early 2,000's but it way behind of technology and integration of applications.

Viewpoint Vista is a very strong product which is web enabled but not cloud based so you still need special hardware and software to connect to the on premise server for purposes of data entry or reporting.
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Are you and your company ready to start looking for new ERP Manufacturing software today? Answer the following questions with your company in mind.

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Who should consider outsourcing their medical billing software?
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