Why CRM is a must-have tool for your Business?

Although it’s true that everything boils down to the winning and retaining customers, the end results require an organized process and approach that would also help manage customers in a better manner. Customer Relationship Management, better known as CRM is one such approach that has evolved over the years, along with its embedded technologies, and the various practices and strategies associated with it. The objective of this blog is to emphasize the importance of having a CRM tool for every business, and with some insights on the best CRM tools in the market.
The Need for CRM Software for Every Business.

Initiating transactions with the customer result in the production of analytical data that further helps in understanding customers in a better way. This serves two purposes, one of which is customer retention as you now know the customer well, and the other, in a way, is adding to the sales, as clients are serviced in a better manner. Besides, every customer, right from the lead generation to placement of orders undergoes a lifecycle, which is another important aspect to be looked at while dealing with CRM. All in all, better customer management is where the need for CRM software surfaces.

Capabilities of CRM Software

While the conventional tools involved the use of files and folders, CRM tools are a modern and a more technological approach towards cementing every customer’s analytical data. Unfortunately, not every company realizes or acknowledges the time and efforts that CRM tools save, and also the analytical information that CRM tools offer. Such businesses are more vulnerable towards turning redundant in the market. But, as a happier fact, most of the modern-day entrepreneurs step in with a CRM tool and use it optimally.

CRM tools, based on the technology used and customized capabilities developed, can automate several activities including marketing, sales force automation, workflow automation, human resource management, lead management, social media marketing, contact centre automation, and so on. CRM software is capable of automating almost every administrative and sales and marketing associated task, thus making it simpler for organizations to organize the related information and save a lot of time as well as resources otherwise incurred into the man-managing these tasks.

Types of CRM Software

CRM software has evolved over the years from being mere tools to comprehensive software capable of managing the entire vertical. Implementing CRM software requires an upfront investment, which in the case of smaller businesses, could be quite of a challenge. However, as a wise and focused business owner, one must take a rational call on the type of CRM to be implemented and also the extent to which the CRM must be customized or scaled. Some of the most prominent CRM software types currently available in the market are as follows.

Open source CRM

Open source CRMs are highly need-based CRMs as in these CRMs the source code is available to the public. These CRMs allow organizations to make changes at no cost to the organization that has employed the system. Besides, these CRM tools also help append and customize data links on various social media platforms. This proves to be a better alternative for companies who look forward to improving their social media practices and quotient. Some of the most commonly used open source CRMs are Opentaps, Concursive, SplendidCRM, Compiere, etc. It is necessary that open source CRMs are used wisely, and must customize only after a thorough review of the business requirements.

Cloud-Based CRM

CRMs aren’t an exception to the Cloud revolution. These CRMs are also termed as SaaS. The Cloud-based nature of these CRM tools involves data storage on an external or a remote drive, thus enabling easy access to the information at all times, provided the device is connected to an internet connection. Nevertheless, these CRMs could come with security issues as the company cannot exercise physical control over the storage and maintenance of the data generated.

Moreover, concerns such as service providers going out of business or taken over by other service providers could result in data loss or compromise. Other issues including compatibility ones, could also crop up during initial data migrations. Cloud-based CRM is an apt choice for small enterprises that have got limited technological access or expertise. Some of the most prominent Cloud-based CRMs are Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, ZohoCRM etc.

On-Premise CRM

Further, some companies go for on-premises CRM, wherein the responsibility of activities such as administration, security, control, database maintenance is managed through the CRM software. On-premise CRM requires business owners to make an upfront license purchase, rather than going the yearly subscription way. On-premises CRM software, however, dwells on the company’s own server, and usually, users borne all the upgrade costs. Besides, installing and implementing it would guzzle up time, as a complete integration of the company’s data could take time. On-premise CRM proves useful for enterprises that have got an intricate CRM requirement. The most popular CRMs in the market from this category are Sage CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, etc.

So, once again, business owners must be careful and sensible enough to choose smart choice for their investment and also the one that is the best fit for their business volume and requirement.

Denying modern tools, especially when it comes to CRM, could prove detrimental to the organization in the long run. This is because if the market does it, your business, as a part of the market, cannot keep itself out of it for a long time. Not implementing a CRM could eternally cost you money and time, let alone the hassles of manually managing every CRM aspect. Having a well implemented CRM software, on the other hand, brings several benefits. Contact us today to learn more about how CRM software could you enhance your customer relations and have a positive impact on your revenue.

Evomatiq helps small & medium size businesses to adopt innovative integrated software solutions to solve most common business challenges and support business growth. If you have are interested in learning more about business software and how they impact your business positively, explore our solutions & services.

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What’s New in Sage 300 v2019

Learn about new exiciting features of Sage 300 v 2019

Brand New year is around the corner, so is a brand new version of Sage 300. Sage 300 v2019 is released recently so we thought we would spread a word about the latest enhancements, changes and new features with Sage 300 fans.

There are a couple of additions to existing feature in most talked functionality within Sage 300 community, that is Web Screens.

So, let’s get started.

Global Search

Sage 300 Global Search Feature

Global search in Sage 300 was a much-anticipated feature among its users. Global search makes it easier for users to search for information across the Sage 300 database. A user can now type name, description, number, or code in Global Search to quickly find transactions or records in their database. So now, search for people, companies, transactions, accounts, and many other types of records and find information quickly.

Improved Inquiry Tool

Inquiry tool in web screen is a great way to find most frequently accessed information from Sage 300 database. Sage 300 web screen has been redesigned to be more powerful and versatile. With many standard queries being shipped with software, you can create your custom queries and save for future needs.

Besides improvements in Web screens, there are few general additions to both classic and web screen interfaces. Let’s have a look at them now.

Note: The A/R Documents and A/R Customer Documents queries that could previously be opened from the Inquiry tool on the web toolbar are now opened from the navigation menu instead.

Changes in Export Declaration Number

In some jurisdictions like Australia and Malaysia, Export declaration number is a field is required for Tax purposes. Now, this field has been made available now on individual invoice details. You can enter Export Declaration Number on both AR & OE Invoice entries.

An Export Declaration Number field is available on the:

  • Details table on the Document tab of the A/R Invoice Entry screen.

  • A/R Detail Accounts/Taxes screen (in classic screens).

  • Details table on the Invoice tab of the O/E Invoice Entry screen.

  • O/E Items/Taxes screen (in classic screens).

  • Redesigned Sage CRM Integration

    Sage CRM integration with Sage 300 version 2019

    Along with improvements in core features, Sage 300 v2019 brings completely re-designed new Sage CRM integration with Sage 300 web screens to increase usability and improve user experience while using these two Softwares together.
    Now Sage CRM screens shown within Sage 300 web screens through Integration will have the same modern look and feel as Web screens, allowing users to interact effortlessly with both systems. Besides, it has been made consultant friendly by simplifying the Installation process.

    New integration screens load faster and perform better on all browsers.

    For more information, see the Sage CRM Integration Guide for Sage 300 2019, which is available on the Sage 300 Product Documents website.

    We are excited to get first hand on newer and sleeker version of Sage 300 in coming days as we are still waiting for official release here in the Middle East. As soon as we get access to it, we will be sharing our impressions and some video demonstration to help you understand these features more in detail.

    Important Notes: If you are existing Sage 300 customer, using any third-party application and planning to upgrade your software to latest version, please contact your Sage Partner or Sage representative for learning more about the compatibility of the new version with third-party applications. Information published here is based on release notes published here.

    Evomatiq is Sage Partner based out of UAE. We help SMEs to solve their most common business challenges through the adoption of technology & effective software implementation. Leverage on our 25 years of collective experience to transform your business. Whether you’re existing Sage customer or considering to deploy Sage Solution, Speak to our Solutions Specialist Today to discuss a potential partnership in your digital transformation journey.

    5 Tips For Successful ERP Implementation

    ERP Software Implementation projects are tarnished for their failure rate & mysterious ROI. Although there is plenty of information and resources available for companies who are embarking on this journey, failure rate doesn’t seem to be declining.

    Today, we are discussing five things that will help you succeed in your ERP implementation project.

    Here is my top 5 ERP Implementation tips to complete your ERP project like a champ.

    Set Goals

    Many ERP projects in Small or Medium Businesses begin with either inadequate goals or goals which are not SMART enough.

    In Tony Robins words, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”.

    Having a list of well thought & realistic goals will help you stay on track and successfully execute your ERP project. E.g. Save the time of accounting staff on reporting work by X % in next 6 months. It would also help in tracking potential ROI in the post ERP implementation stage. If required, take help of independent consultants to plan your “mission ERP”.

    It’s important that you start seeing expected results in few months after deploying the new system as you would have invested significant efforts by this time and you deserve the fruit of your labour.

    Plan Thoroughly & Track Progress

    Plan, Plan, Plan and stick to the plan.

    Unarguably, planning is the most critical stage of any project. ERP projects require time, resources & efforts. Usually SMEs struggle with resources needed for ERP implementation. Be it in-house experts or the regular involvement of the key stakeholders. You will need to plan for everything that might affect this project schedules. It may not be directly associated with a project. For instance, the annual conference of your industry or opening of your new branch office would require the attention of your team hence ERP software could put aside to gather dust.

    Keep some dedicated time aside for update meetings and watch the progress closely. Checking on progress status on regular basis would help you avoid any potential delays & pitfalls.

    Engage Everyone from the team

    Now we understand that Small businesses lack time and resources which are easily available with their larger counterparts. Not engaging your entire team in this project could turn out to be a bad idea. After all, ERP is going to touch everyone’s work-life in your company. Buying the end user’s interest in the early stage of ERP system implementation will be a huge plus for success of the project. Quite often, end users are kept in dark till the ERP training stage where they get surprised by finding the new system does not work as per their expectations and the resistance to change kicks in.

    It is also important to consider the nitty-gritty of your business during the early stage of ERP system implementation as these small changes in workflows could have a significant impact on the overall business efficiency.

    So, have everyone participate in this project and listen to all of their ideas to come up with a solid ERP strategy.

    Focus on Need Analysis & End User Training

    ERP Projects usually has 5 key stages. Business Requirement Analysis, Software installation & Configuration, Conference Room Pilots, End User Training & Transition (commonly referred to as “GO live”).

    Identifying key business requirements and aligning them to the software of choice is crucial. In the first stage of the project, there will be many meetings and discussions. This could feel overwhelming, especially when you are implementing ERP for the first time. But stay focused and invest time and attention in this stage as you will be setting the foundation for your ERP initiative. You would also be able to identify if there are any gaps that exist between your process and the chosen software. Knowing the gaps and workarounds early on would eliminate discussions & changes in later stages.

    You would also need to reserve more time for training your staff. With a new ERP system, your team not only has to learn new software but also get adapt to the newly incorporated business processes. This is something that cannot be ignored.

    If your team is well trained on how to use the new software and they’ve understood the importance of changes made to the business process, it will be much easier to transit from the old system to the new one, and also, it will eliminate glitches when the ERP goes live in full force.

    Be in control of Change

    By nature, we humans are resilient to change. One of the most common reasons for ERP project failure is not managing the Change effectively.

    ERP system implementation brings that change to your organization which devastates employees. So be in charge of the change and help your team to understand the importance of it. Share your vision and objectives of implementing the new system and provide the necessary training so that it becomes easy for people to adapt to the improved circumstances.

    The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress – Charles Kettering

    Evomatiq is on a mission to help small & medium size businesses to adopt innovative software solutions to solve most common business challenges and support business growth. If you have any questions about business Softwares, contact us today.

    Also, if you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in comments.

    Choose Right not the BEST Business Software

    Often people ask me, what’s the best ERP software? And my answer is “None”. It is impossible to rate any single ERP software as Best software. Many companies end up choosing business software based on brand or price which often turns out to be WRONG CHOICE.

    So how do you go about choosing the RIGHT software (AND NOT THE BEST ONE).

    Buying business software is quite similar to buying a new car, it could be overwhelming in most cases. All car has 4 wheels, but all cars aren’t the same. Choosing software (or car for that matter) from hundreds if not thousands of available options could be extremely confusing and exhausting.

    Here are 5 tips to simplify your business software selection.

    Consider all your current business requirements

    Before you even think of any specific software, ask yourself what exactly you are expecting from it. Why do you need one? How new software is going to improve your business? What problem do you want to solve?

    Having a clear idea about your current needs and wants would make software selection process much easier. Few companies take help from seasoned professionals or independent consultants in the software selection process where they prepare a comprehensive business case for Software implementation. Due to lack of time and resources, SMB’s don’t seem to be taking that path.

    Even if you are not able to create such detailed business case or RFP for software vendors, having a ready list of pain points & your Software Implementation goals would certainly help you in identifying right business software.

    Consider future needs & make wishlist

    Usually Business software investments are huge and there is no easy way back after investing in the wrong one. You’ll have to make sure the chosen software not only fulfil current needs but is capable to scale as your business grows. You could find that some features are not necessary at the moment, but you could hit a roadblock earlier than you expected if future requirements are not considered in the software selection phase.

    Some software takes a modular approach where other offers all-in-one functionality. Assess software for both current and future business needs.

    Evaluate & Decide – Buying vs Renting

    Cloud Vs On-premise has been a hot topic in the business software industry over the last few years. Although more and more business moving towards cloud, deciding what suits your need is more important. Cloud and on-premise, both have pros and cons.

    SaaS solutions can certainly take some burden off the cash flow but could turn out to be expensive in long run. Whereas on-premise deployment can give you better control over your data and how everyone accesses information as well overall management of system.

    But also remember, the third option exists. If you don’t wish to invest in hardware infrastructure & spend on related costs, you may decide to opt for private cloud where cloud service provider lease infrastructure to you, but you keep control of your application & data.

    Making your mind about deployment early on will make product shortlisting easier.

    Get feedback from Industry peers

    Although you don’t necessarily have to drive the same car as your neighbours, getting feedback from your industry peers for business software could be valuable for your project.

    Most software vendors build industry-specific solutions which have out of the box features and addresses the requirement of that industry. Choosing software that is used by companies from your industry would make implementation smoother as most processes should be built out of the box and shouldn’t require much customization.

    Numbers Matter – Calculate TCO & Potential ROI

    Again, think long-term and know the total cost of ownership for each shortlisted software. If you’re leaning towards cloud solution, calculate total subscription fees for at least 5 years. Also identify implementation fees, annual support charges, customization related costs or even addition of new modules & user licenses.

    If you’re planning to deploy new software on own infrastructure, consider new hardware requirements or upgrades, cost of database software, implementation fees, maintenance of hardware etc.

    Choosing software with lowest TCO would not always be beneficial in long run but tie this number back to your GOALS and see how you could achieve maximum returns with the lowest cost of ownership.

    Prioritizing needs is key here.

    Also, you must know these 5 things before initiating your ERP or any other business software project.

    If you find these tips helpful, please like & share this post with your network. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts & experience. So please share them in comments below.

    Important Things to know before Implementing ERP

    You have seen your business evolving & growing over the period and has reached the stage where you think it needs to be more organized.

    Congratulations, this is a great place to be in.

    You’re thinking about adopting tools like ERP software but not sure how to go about implementation and ensuring your project will be successful.

    We think you should consider below things before starting your ERP journey.

    First thing first, don’t consider this as merely IT Project

    Although ERP is often considered as IT Investment, it is not the same as buying a piece of hardware or installing some productivity software. ERP is going to touch almost every corner of your business. Most people in your team and the way they work would be affected by this change. Bringing all member of your team in this project would certainly help you in getting the best out of your investment. So, treat this as a business transformation initiative and engage everyone.

    ERP Project requires careful planning

    ERP projects fail due to poor planning. It’s not only about ERP consultants schedule & onsite visits or number of days of training would be conducted. ERP Project requires planning of time, resources & budget.

    You must consider, how much time will be spent with consultants for discussing current and proposed business processes, how much time is required in preparing or cleansing data which will be migrated to new system, when is the best time to switch from legacy system to new software, what would be investment in infrastructure (e.g. buying new server)

    You should also consider other planned or unplanned events that could affect the timelines of your project. E.g. Your sales force are attending the annual conference of your industry or upcoming holidays when some of your team members would be out of office.

    In Richard Marcinko words, More you sweat in Training, Less you bleed in combat.

    ERP project requires efforts from both you and your ERP Consultants. You will have to keep motivating your team and yourself throughout the project as there will be a lot of work to be done. Be it conducting requirement gathering sessions or preparing master data or reading & approving project documentation or even training your staff for that matter. To avoid any potential pitfalls, you must work on strategy and plan your resources accordingly.

    Not only ERP evaluation or selection but also the implementation of new software takes time. There are many tasks involved in executing the ERP project and most of them are dependent on each other. On average ERP project in small businesses takes 4-6 months, therefore, setting right expectations about Go live date is crucial.

    Prioritize Business Process Improvements Over Software Features

    Most ERP Softwares are built on basis of industry best practices or at least has developed based on industry experience. Leveraging that experience and adapting to standard processes would be much benefit in a long run. This would also help you in streamlining your business and avoiding costly software customizations.

    Whether you’re implementing ERP for the first time or you want to do a better job than previous software implementation project, you must keep this list in mind. This will help you ensure your project is completed on time and deliver benefits to your organization. In case you need assistance with gathering and documenting business needs, preparing ERP blueprint or Implementing complete solution, Evomatiq has got you covered. You can learn more about how we could help your business here.

    How ERP helps your business

    When you hear word ERP, what do you think of? Most probably some famous software company names. And we have always associated ERP Implementations to Softwares only. Truth is, ERP is not only about software or technology but also about business strategy. The core of ERP is RESOURCE PLANNING, and ERP Software just makes that easy for businesses. Now each business is unique and operates in a different way although there are similarities in legal structures, processes, operating methods etc.

    I strongly believe that every business has personality, much like human beings.

    Therefore, utilization of ERP can differ from business to business, however, there are 7 benefits you can expect from successful ERP implementation in your business.

    Increases Productivity

    Computer was invented with an intention to automate things so was ERP systems. The most common benefit of ERP system implementation in any business is improving productivity by automating tasks.

    ERP systems automate workflows, store data at the centralized repository, exchange information across the company and provide accurate reports as and when needed resulting in improved productivity of your employees.

    People do not need to go anymore through files to search records or spend hours in preparing manual reports which typically has higher chances of errors and discrepancies.

    Streamlines Communication

    Precise & faster communications are essential for business success, be it interactions among the people working in your business or externally with your customers and vendors. This is another key advantage of implementing ERP system.

    Since ERP system has a central database for all information your business is processing, it much easier to exchange this information precisely with various stakeholders in a timely manner.

    Also, whenever your employees are talking to external parties they can clearly communicate and keep track of conversations. That results in building stronger relationships.

    Reduces Cost

    In today’s highly challenging business environment, making profits has become tough for small & medium size business. Especially when you are contending against muscular competitors.

    Implementing ERP System will help you, monitor, & reduce costs in your organization. You may not be able to reduce all costs, but you can certainly control some. With the help of information processed by ERP software you will be able to negotiate better pricing with vendors, avoid stocking slow moving goods in your warehouses to reduce capital expenditures, or even control overheads in your manufacturing or distribution operations.

    ERP system also tracks your spending against budgets which are usually set at the beginning of financial year. Having Budget vs Actual information available in real time can be a huge advantage when it comes to saving money.

    Streamlines Workflow

    Your business doesn’t have to be chaotic all the time, all though there are situations where we can’t avoid chaos.

    ERP system helps you to streamline your workflows so that you don’t have to worry about messy situations. ERP systems are process driven therefore you can decide & set sequence of actions to take place after certain events. For example, your prospective customers ask to send a quotation for one of your products. Email has landed in sales coordinators mailbox, how would you want this internal process of creating, approving and sending quotation should take place.

    Not having a proper process and ERP system to track the workflow, is surely going to increase the chance of errors eventually causing muddles.

    Improves Reporting

    Every business has unique reporting needs to monitor business health and make strategic decisions. Without a centralized ERP system and proper process of storing information, it’s quite difficult to get reports in real time. Even worse, when reports are prepared manually from different data sources, chances of errors are likely higher which means you may not be even making decisions based on the right data.

    ERP system helps business to get accurate reports in real time. Today’s modern ERP Software’s provide intuitive graphical reports which allow slicing and dicing of information and view reports dynamic formats.

    Help in Increasing Revenue

    Don’t get me wrong, ERP systems don’t make direct money for your business, however, it enables the opportunities to increase your revenue.

    ERP systems help you track history of sales upon which you can plan your strategies. Also, if you produce and sell seasonal products, ERP system can tell you which products are selling most in any given season.

    It can also help you with finding your best customers, top salespeople and growing territories so that you can be more strategic in your sales approach and keep winning in the market.

    Improves Cashflow Management

    Unarguably cashflow management is the most common challenge faced by Small & medium size companies across the globe.

    Nearly 82% of closed businesses reported that cash flow was the main reason for closing down the shop.

    ERP systems can help you stay in control of your cash flow and save your business. With help of software, you would be able to closely monitor your receivables and collect money on time from your customers.

    Also, you can see where your spending most and how it can be controlled. Leaving more working capital for business will give you peace of mind and leave you free to grow your business.

    These are some of the common benefits of ERP systems most businesses can enjoy. With proper ERP implementation strategy and selection of right software & implementation partner, your business can significantly benefit from invaluable tools offered by ERP systems.

    Evomatiq is on a mission to help small & medium size businesses to adopt innovative software solutions to solve most common business challenges and support business growth.

    If you have any questions about business Softwares, contact us today.

    Also, if you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in comments.