Below is the transcript to this week’s ERPodcast – prior to alerting us to each grammatical irregularity, please recognize it is written for the spoken word, not text, and with a conversational tone, while not always grammatically perfect – the audience tends to understand quicker.
Let’s go for Profit from ERP (MFX)
Welcome to this week’s episode of ERPodcast – I’m your host Gene Hammons and this week we’re going to the Mailbag!
So, what is the Mailbag you ask, well, there’s a popular website called Quora.comQ-U-O-R-A .com and the idea is, if you want to talk to an expert on any topic, you can go to Quora.com and ask the expert.
I don’t really know how they define who’s an expert … but over the years, I’ve found answering questions on Quora about things I deal with all day every day has been helpful to folks who don’t actually live-breathe-eat-sleep ERP software.
In 2018 I was named a Top Writer by Quora, with the #1 Ranking in the ERP software category, as well as top 5 rankings from time to time in SAP, Microsoft,Sage, Intacct,NetSuite, Ross,Lawson and Infor– which are all categories of ERP publishers if you’d not guessed.
By the time you’re hearing this, my viewer count will top the 1 – million reader mark. I remember when I called my wife in to show her that 40-thousand people had read my answers because that sounded like a big number. But 1 Million readers. As they used to say, THAT and a dime will get you a cup of coffee. Of course they didn’t have Starbucks when they were saying that.
We’re going to pull up some of the ERP related questions people from around the world are asking and go over how we answered those questions – Maybe you have some of the same questions. Maybe you can’t believe someone asked that question. Maybe there is such a thing as a stupid question.
We’ll find out today – Hey a million readers can’t be wrong – at least not all of them at the same time – It’s the Mailbag episode of the ERProfit podcast – right here in our endless quest to help you – Profit From ERP.
MFX Post and Out
The Podcast is brought to you by Eide Bailly Technology– you know it’s relatively easy to become an expert in social media – you can even label yourself a ‘guru’ or better yet, a ‘product evangelist’ Since I run the Profit from ERP website, I can call myself a Prophet of Profit – you know like a prophet- with a PH – like prophet of old, talking about financial profit – I guess that’s all in the PH balance if you get those sorts of jokes.
But Eide Bailly is not like that – they earn their labels the hard way – by doing the actual work.
Eide Bailly is a 100+ year old CPA firm – not many companies have that kind of track record.
The Eide Bailly Technology Group is a NetSuite reseller, Salesforce.com partner, they handle Sage Business Software and much more.
And they don’t have to label themselves a ‘guru’ when others are recognizing them for more impressive accomplishments like NetSuite top 5 Global Consulting Partner and NetSuite Partner of the Year for several years running – even the coveted Worldwide Partner of the Year – now that covers some ground.
And while I might be a so-called social media Expert, when it comes to consulting for my client companies – if they need NetSuite, I turn to Eide Bailly – because I want realexperts working for myclients.
NetSuite is great – it’s one of the hottest ERP’s on the market and there’s a ton of resellers and implementation partners all across the nation – but I want the best – so I go with Eide Bailly and you should too.
You know NetSuite doesn’t absolutely fit every company everywhere – but when NetSuite is the right ERP, Eide Bailly is the right partner. No gurus. No evangelists. Just experts. Eide Bailly – that’s E I D E B A I L L Y.com
Now onto the podcast
Going to the Quora Mailbag, which of course is an online portal so no actual stamps were harmed in the making of this podcast
Some of our questions come in anonymously, some tell you names and where there’re from – this one just popped up yesterday
Which would you recommend, Quickbooks online, Xero or MYOB?
(Those are all entry level bookkeeping programs for small businesspeople – well, the people aren’t small, but the businesses are just getting started – small businesspeople)
QuickBooks (QB) is more common. You’ll find more people to hire that know it, your CPA and auditors will likely be familiar with it. And it’s great for starting out, until your company is three people in the business office or $5m in revenue.
Many forward thinking CPA’s like Xero – great new technology – it’s trending up but miles to go before it becomes as ubiqitous as QB.
MYOB has been around for years and hasn’t really broken out as a better mousetrap in terms of marketshare.
All that said – what you need for your business and how these software platforms work should drive the decision. MYOB will be the absolute best for some businesses, others see Xero as a hero, and most end up with QB.
But whatever you do, don’t grow your business past the capabilities of these entry level programs. It’s really easy to add a person or two to the office because the workload gets intense – instead of moving up to actual accounting software from Sage, Microsoft or others.
It’s like this – Start out on QB, and after a while the workload adds up. Your choice is software to automate or more staff to manage workarounds. So you add one person in year one, you’re now spending $50k in salary to avoid a $50k ERP system. Fine. Year two, a couple more people, now you’re spending $150k in salaries this year, plus last year’s $50k – $200k to avoid a $50k software project. Next year you add another FTE and now you’ve sunk $400k into labor to avoid that one-time $50k software package. Really? Yeah, Really.
Last week had lunch with a guy running a $30m company with 17 people in the back office running QuickBooks. A $300k ERP package would have saved him 10 employees – probably 12 but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings too bad. And he waited three years to really check into finding the right ERP. I didn’t even do the math on that one but I’m sure we’d both have been cringing. Don’t be that guy.
SAP ERP costs about $3m to start so not many small businesses hop on board.
SAP Business One (B1) is a platform that was originally developed by an Israeli firm and purchased by SAP to serve the mid market.
While some smaller companies use it, it’s normally priced a bit high even for emerging companies and tends to play better in midmarket, $50m and up companies.
But as with all ERP – there are exceptions for certain businesses that are more complex than others, so it doesn’t mean you won’t find a few $20m companies really happy with B1.
Another alert Quora reader asks:
Is the FDA approval required for canned dog food made outside the USA before it is imported?
And the answer
Pet food falls under a whole different category than food for human consumption. That is why your pet products represent the biggest risk to salmonella contamination of anything in your kitchen – best to keep Rover’s doggie dish separate from the fine china – or run any plate/spoon that’s come in contact with dog food through the dishwasher.
EDIT – As Van says in the comments below – Pet and Livestock food falls under the Dept of Agriculture – not the FDA – I do a lot of pharma stuff and F&B – and my specialty is knowing about FDA regulated environments – so I learned something too.
But back to petfood, we leave the reader with a script from a Commercial that never ran:
We open on a Scene – smiling woman dishing out canned dog food into pet bowl marked ‘Rover’
Woman: New BeefPo – this smells like DOGFOOD!
Man: That’s pure salmonella goodness coming through in every bite!
Disclaimer – Not all pet food companies have low manufacturing standards, but we’re using a little humor here to differentiate between food for human consumption and animal products.
What is the link between a funnel and sales pipeline in a CRM?
Gene Hammons, Director – www.ProfitFromERP.com
Thinking of the sales pipeline as funnel shaped helps salespeople understand that ‘I need to put a lot of prospects in at the top to get a few sales out of the bottom’.
There may be more to it, but I don’t think so – that said – I’m sure to be corrected by someone who is better at overthinking things than I am.
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Does NetSuite offer vertical industry-specific solutions?
So, NetSuite does not offer vertically branded industry specific ERP – it’s not like they offer say – DonutSuite for donut shops.
They do offer micro-vertical support strategies to targeted industries.
I’ve worked in process manufacturing since about 2006 – specifically in Food and Beverage (F&B) and Pharmaceuticals. NetSuite recently launched a F&B micro vertical and from what I can gather from LinkedIn, I know about 3/4ths of the people who make up the internal NetSuite F&B team because I worked with them when we were both at Ross ERP, Lawson M3 ERP, Microsoft Dynamics partners and so on over the years. I competed with the other 1/4 when they were with Syspro, Infor, Just for Food or whatever – so they’ve brought in some talent.
Suite Success What it’s NOT – Suite Success is commonly thought of as a ‘quick implementation’ strategy which slams in a generic, in this case, food-based implementation project – THAT has been tried by several other ERP groups over the years and usually fails – Suite Success IS NOT that.
What Suite Success does is study current NetSuite users in a certain vertical and amass detailed information regarding how the user successfully factors NetSuite features for better efficiencies and productivities. Then armed with real world data, there’s no doubt some input into future core NetSuite development, but there is also an understanding of the industry – which can lead to quicker implementations (less costly too).
In our consulting practice, we’ve been employing the same strategy with our clients for years – making sure whatever ERP package our clients select, we connect them with the most experienced implementation team in that vertical. It does save time, money and has far better outcomes.
Adding Suite Success to the already strong NetSuite advantages from made for cloud ERP with it’s much quicker implementation and time to go-live, and NetSuite becomes even more compelling.
Caveat – I don’t work for NetSuite and everything I’ve written here would likely make the NetSuite Marketing Team snatch themselves bald – but I do have real world experience with our clients who elect to go with NetSuite – probably over half of the 25–30 ERP projects a year we do end up with NetSuite – so it’s just my experience and understanding – so don’t hold me to the details.
I did start working into the emerging pharma vertical with NetSuite early on – some more detailed info here: ERP vs Quickbooks for the Pharmaceutical Industry: Should You Upgrade?
And in podcast form here: ERPodcast Episode 2 – Emerging Pharma Manufacturers | Profit From ERP
Do we have time for more questions?
Here we go
Tarun Tripathifrom New Delhi writes
Thanks for asking Tarun – we also notice you’re selling NetSuite consulting and you’ve made it a habit of answering your own questions – but hey, Quora’s a free website.
But my answer to Why do we require NetSuite (ERP system) for life sciences organizations
NetSuite is not ‘required’ in life sciences organizations – nor is ERP in particular.
There are requirements for the industry – I’m not sure exactly what side of ‘life sciences’ you’re referring to – but for pharma manufacturing and device manufacturing quality records are required, GMP Good Manufacturing Practices are required with version controlled SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) calling out specifics of the process of production and supply chain. Much of this can be handled by NetSuite in conjunction with other quality software.
In the life sciences research area, grants call out specific levels of workers required to be on a project and maximum salaries that can be charged back to the project – financially setting this up and reporting accurately on it is something NetSuite can accomplish (with added apps).
Those are just a couple of the more common issues life sciences companies bring to us when they’re considering their software infrastructure – we line up all the popular options and present the various ERP and related software platforms and more times than not, our clients tend to go with NetSuite by choice.
10 years ago, most life sciences organizations had to run Oracle or SAP at a cost of several million.
5 years ago, smaller ERP offerings from Microsoft, Infor, Sage Aptean and others were able to replicate this functionality for smaller life sciences orgs at costs under or around $1m.
Today, NetSuite again cuts previous prices in half, with cloud advances and functionalities saving a great deal of money.
So, not required, but maybe preferred?
More info here:
And I shamelessly plug my own podcast, which Tarun, the original questioner is also a shameless plugger but I notice he refers to NetSuite as ‘the NetSuite’ and consider revising my taxonomy – but in the end think better of it.
From Iceland we have a question by Kristjan Kristjansson– which means if I lived in Iceland my name would likely be Haman Hammonson – but anyway Kristjan Kristjansson asks:
How is blockchain being used in ERP now? How do you think blockchain will advance in ERP? What can we expect to see?
Gene Hammons, Director, ProfitFromERP.com
So, while Blockchain has been very popular in the buzzwordery of the tech press – as far as I can tell, from inside the ERP industry – it’s a technology in search of a reason for being.
IBM has done some work with Blockchain tracking in the Food industry – which could be a workable solution if – and that should be a big IF – the smaller players in the food chain, thinking specifically here of shippers and packers – if those guys can afford IBM prices – which normally they cannot. So in this case, Blockchain’s purpose would be as a market protection device designed to allow the larger producers who can afford IBM to block out smaller participants from even playing.
Now that said, remember I’m working ‘on the street’ with ERP users who are implementing today – that means technologies like Blockchain are not something I’m readily researching – thus I haven’t found the need to know situation that would prod me to fully understand and get up to speed to implement blockchain driven technologies – but I keep tracking it in case it starts to show up on my radar –
And I saw this several days ago a link to MIT Technology Review Titled – Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked – which does not bode well for the blockchain technology going forward.
So, multi entity supply chain tool? Perhaps. Internal ERP technology? Haven’t seen it. Yet.
Eric Daniels upvoted this
Eric Daniels– Systems Analyst and ERP Software Developer comments
I remember having a conversation with someone about blockchain and they kept saying how it was unhackable, which I kept reassuring there is no such thing as unhackable. Hackers just haven’t figured it out yet. Thanks for posting the article, I hadn’t come across it yet!
And thanks for your comment Eric
That’s it for this week’s ERPodcast brought to you by Profit From ERP – coming up in future episodes our roadmap calls for
How recent developments mean Pharma Manufacturers can use Cloud ERP for the first time.
We’ll look at the American Manufacturing Renaissance and how picking technology picks the winners.
Reviewing the new Microsoft Cloud ERP products an episode we’re calling “Microsoft what the hell?”
And one more time, how QuickBooks isn’t real accounting software but it’s costing small businesses real money – real wasted money.
(MFX up and under)
And just like any roadmap in the software industry, just because we’re developing it doesn’t mean we’ll hit the release dates.
Thanks for listening to our Mailbag episode – I’m Gene Hammons your host – and really if youhave questions about ERP, you don’t need to go on Quora.com and hope we one day see it – contact us directly at info@ProfitFromERP.combecause our business, our only business is helping you, Profit, From ERP – whatever your industry, whatever the ERP, we don’t sell the licenses, we don’t implement the technology we just sell the Profit From ERP