Archive for the ‘Consulting’ Category

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Intelligence Store – Inventory of Solutions in Store

December 5, 2011

Inventory of Solutions found in the Intelligence Store are as per groups below:

(Click to download copy)

  1. Sage Accpac
  2. Sage Pastel
  3. SagePeachtree
  4. Sage Simply Accounting

………….find these solutions @

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Inventory Ordering Tool – Sage Pastel

November 20, 2011

APPLICATION 

This solution is used to make quick, effective inventory ordering and replenishment decisions. Current SalesOrder, PurchaseOrder, and QuantityonHand are factored in with Minimum Order Quantities as well as Inventory Turns based on a user-defined number of periods.  Even Inventory Turnover Qty, along with Minimum OnHand and Preferred Supplier are displayed.  This handy tool makes Inventory Management a streamlined and efficient task for the purchasing manager.
SOLUTION FEATURES
This solution has three performance variants:
V1.0 Recommended Order Quantity, which considers stock necessary to fill orders as well as factoring in Supplier Discounts by satisfying minimum order quantities.  All necessary and current inventory statistics are present for the 1st 30 items setup in your inventory module
V1.1 Recommended Order Quantity, which considers stock necessary to fill orders as well as factoring in Supplier Discounts by satisfying minimum order quantities, Purchase Orders and Sales Orders.
V.1.2 Recommended Order Quantity, which considers stock necessary to fill orders as well as factoring in Supplier Discounts by satisfying minimum order quantities.  Taking Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Avg Sales Qty over a user-defined date range, Stock on Hand and Minimum Levels into consideration.
All of these variants contain common dynamic features:
• Items, with Description and Preferred Supplier grouped by Item Type
• Current Stock Level details including QOH, QOPO, QOSO
• Quick Glance at Required Stock and off you go to place a Purchase Order and satisfy all open Sales orders
All variants available here.
Platform: Pastel Partner
Excel Version: 2007+

 

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Consultant Clock

April 16, 2011

I apologize for referring to the same article in two consecutive blog posts but I feel compelled to share this for the benefit of of consultants and their customers.

Ed Kless wrote an article containing a link to the Lawyer Clock which is shocking reminder to me of how the business habits that we acquire over time can become counter-intuitive our stated business objectives. For instance, managers, customers, consultants seem to love to call meetings, and my objection is that 1) very seldom are the objectives of meetings well defined, communicated and followed up on and 2) very seldom does our internal dialog ask the question ‘all things considered, is this the very best use of ‘me’?’

Now I know that in the comment above I might have strayed from the obvious message of the lawyer clock – that the billable hour creates very little value for the customer – and in response to the obvious message, I have witnessed 3 recurring approaches to meetings with customers:

1) bill per hour and provide some specialized information to the customer during this session

2) the customer is not billed for the session because the consultant does not believe that her time is valuable unless focused on a technical set of tasks; this approach does nobody any favors because the consultant’s subconscious mind is nagging to get back to some billable tasks and therefore prevents any meaningful engagement

3) the customer’s needs are fully embraced by the consultant and the output of the meeting is a centralized record of the customers needs and the recommended approach to a solution; the customer owns this record and the investment in this record is a predictable amount from the start.

It is times like these when I am so grateful for the free market that permits us to choose the approach that produces maximum shared value…….the choice for me is obvious.

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Selling a Return on Investment

April 15, 2011

I often remind my team: ‘if we are not selling a ROI for the benefit of our customers, then we are in the wrong business’

Every solution should be birthed in ROI. When a customer approaches us for a Business Intelligence solution and they say ‘I need a report’, the subtitles that I read are ‘I have identified an area in my business that would benefit from automation; I need rapid access to customized information to make profit driving decisions; word on the street is that you can make this happen for me and within a reasonable period of time, I would like to see a ROI’

So Financial Managers will teach us that they use NPV or IRR to calculate an acceptable projected ROI for capital investments. In doing so, the confidence and peace of mind of management with respect to the project is directly proportionate to the trustworthiness on the inputs, viz a vie, total cash outflow for the project. In the Accounting / Business Intelligence Solutions space, companies employ consultants to get the job done.

But getting the job done may have different meanings to the customer than they do to the consultant. Many times the consultant believes that the customer will be impressed by all the technical skills brought to the project but in fact the customer wants to assurance that the outcomes be fully understood and that the solution is delivered within the project constraints and contains all the features that will ensure a the expected ROI. One of the unspoken expectations that I believe customers have of consultants is that they buy into the ultimate objective of a target ROI and that this guide the sections within the project. So, if this is true, then as consultants it is important to understand that part of what we are being employed to do is to mitigate the downside risk of our customers underestimating the true cost of projects.

And for those consultants who believe that this forms part of their responsibility to the customer, you know all to well that you are now compelled to abandon any of these phrases: 1) ‘let’s see how the project goes and in the meantime we will just bill you for the time spent’ 2) ‘We do not fully understand the desired outcome but I estimate this solution to cost $x’ 3) ‘we should give you a software demo asap’ 4) ‘we will order the software so long and concurrently assess what it is you really need’ 5) ‘I estimate the solution to cost $x but will bill you for actual hours spent’

As a customer, what I want to hear is ‘Mr. Customer, we appreciate your trust in our abilities; we want to fully understand your desired solution and how exactly it will benefit your organization; once we understand this, we intend to commit ourselves to that end by providing a solution and recommendations based on our expertise in this field; all investments into this solution will be quantified by us and communicated to you after gaining a common understanding of the desired solution and before building the solution.’

I found an article written by Ed Kless referring to a Sage business partner (Aries Technology Group) who to date I have not yet had the honor of working with. This article and associated video summarizes a few of the concepts above very well.