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Women in ERP

Women in ERP

It is crucial to realize the importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in small businesses and start-ups as a function that allows for efficiency, scalability and growth. It is equally important to realize the significance of the teams that work hard behind the scenes to drive positive results in ERP. As an ode to Women’s Day, we will in this article, reflect on and highlight the Women in ERP as well as their experiences in the workspace.

What is ERP?

ERP is an acronym that stands for “Enterprise Resource Management” and refers to the consolidated processes of gathering and organizing business data through an integrated approach. ERP standardizes, streamlines, and integrates business processes across finance, human resources, procurement, distribution, and other departments. ERP solutions improve how you handle business resources, whether it’s raw materials for manufacturing or staffing hours for human resources.

The first traces of ERP were found in manufacturing, with the economic order quantity (EOQ) model, a paper-based scheduling system. This was replaced by material resource planning (MRP) tools developed in the late 1960s which eventually became manufacturing resource planning. In the early 1990s, this developed into Enterprise Resource Planning as the function served more and more departments and not just production and manufacturing. Nowadays, resource planning and allocation are done using robust ERP software.

The best ERP software is the one you’ll get the most use out of, and the one that can help make your employees more productive, your operations more efficient, and your reporting more accurate.

Behind these best ERP software is usually a team of proficient female consultants, operatives, and executives that ensure the business’s end to end efficiency, which we will highlight in our Women in ERP series.

 

Women in ERP Statistics

Women are unfortunately still underrepresented in the IT, Tech, and Engineering communities, whether in management, project, consultancy, infrastructure, technical or development roles.

“Women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. The gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering.” Source

 

At Palladium Business Solutions, we are committed to inclusion, diversity and empowerment of women and thus we have a 35% female representation in the workplace and 29% representation in senior and management roles compared to women currently holding only 19% of tech-related jobs at the top 10 global tech companies globally.

– The majority (72%) of women in tech are regularly outnumbered by men in business meetings by at least a 2:1 ratio. 26% of women report being outnumbered by 5:1 or more.

According to WISE, women make up only 16% of IT professionals, a trend that has remained the same for 10 years in a row, the campaign for gender balance in science and engineering.

– 78% of women in tech feel they must work harder than their co-workers to prove their worth.

– Women in tech are 4X more likely than men to see gender bias as an obstacle to promotion. 39% of women see gender bias as a barrier to promotion in 2021.

Women make 85% of all consumer purchases, yet represent just 25% of the computing workforce.

– Women of colour are less confident than white women about their promotion prospects—and that gap has increased by 3X over the past year.

Read more from the 2021 Women in Tech report here.

 

As a firm believer in diversity and equality, Palladium Business Solutions advocates for the continued investment in women.

Below are links to some of the Women we have featured who spearhead our ERP functions in our business:

Lerato Lebogo – Senior Payroll Consultant

Junita Kandasamy- Technical Sales Consultant

Yolanda Van Der Heever –ERP Consultant

Mathapelo Kwadi – ERP Consultant

Uyanda Tshabalala – Junior Payroll Consultant

 

Conclusion

It is high time that businesses understand the importance of ERP and the Women that drive various functions. Skills don’t have any gender and women have proved it several times. They are true inspirations to ladies all across the world.

 

About Palladium Business Solutions

Palladium Business Solutions is a Gold Microsoft partner as well as a Gold Acumatica Cloud ERP partner and is the longest standing Acumatica partner in Africa.

Palladium is a Subsidiary of Rectron, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mustek Ltd, a company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Palladium has been offering highly affordable Software and Services to businesses throughout Africa since 2002.

Palladium Business Solutions’ strength lies in our diversity and ability to adapt systems and processes to suit the precise requirements of our customers’ businesses. We enable clients to enhance their business processes by improving automation and enhancing efficiency without the need to increase the staff complement.

Our products include:

1. Palladium Accounting – Palladium Accounting Software is our own South African product catering for small to large businesses. The product itself boasts features that set us apart from our competitors. Palladium supports wireless networks alleviating the need for clients to be tied down to desks or be required to use network cables and UPS’s.

2. Palladium Payroll – A cloud-based solution offering the most affordable, user-friendly and compliant cloud payroll on the market with a free Employee Self-Service Portal.

3. Palladium Mobile Sales and Warehousing App – An Android, Windows UWP and iOS-based app that enables sales teams to connect to live data on the road to generate Sales Orders and Sales Quotes or check inventory availability.

4. Acumatica Cloud ERP – The Acumatica ERP system delivers cloud and mobile technology with a unique all-inclusive user licensing model, enabling a complete, real-time view of your business.

5. Business Alerts – Business Alerts create a centralised communication hub through monitoring data fields in your Palladium or ERP database for specified activities when a Business Alert is triggered it automatically sends updates connected to those activities to customers or employees via email.

Our comprehensive range of ERP products focus on Increasing Turnover, Improving Margins and Enhancing operational Efficiency. Palladium is MORE than just Accounting Software.

Tel: +27 (0)11 568 2900

Contact Palladium Business Solutions Here

Key factors to a successful ERP Implementation

As the adage goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and this couldn’t be more relevant than when selecting a new ERP solution, regardless of whether you are switching or purchasing for the first time. Critically, this planning is not just related to the implementation process but must also encompass all aspects of the ERP project from selection and implementation right through to the exit strategy.

Most businesses looking to change solutions are either using legacy (end of life) software, are looking for features that their current software doesn’t have or would like to move to a solution that uses more modern technology such as the cloud.

Before embarking on this journey, it is important to fully understand your starting point and the reason why you chose your existing solution in the first place. Understanding past decisions will allow you to evaluate options more effectively. For instance, companies using bespoke software that was developed to meet a very specific business requirement, need to keep this functionality in mind when considering features or the cost of customising existing solutions.

The first step on the road to choosing a new ERP solution should be to first list the non-negotiables or the features that the existing software has that the business is dependent on.

The next step in the planning process is to identify the features, processes and automations that you would like in your new ERP solution. It is a good idea at this point to categorise these into different phases, or even years, as changing ERP solutions isn’t something that you do every year, so you need to take a long-term view when planning. Complex functionality can take more time, to not only develop, but to ensure that it is working in the right way for your business. Consequently, it is recommended that you add minimal complexity at go-live and rather add the more complex processes once the system is up and running. An example of this would be alerts and notifications as, more often than not, businesses that include these at go-live usually decide to switch them off or moderate them post go-live. Choosing instead to make these features a “phase 2” implementation would ensure that they support the non-negotiable processes while also reducing the total cost of the project.

The third step is to identify and evaluate the underlying technologies of the vendors that you are considering.  When choosing an ERP solution, it is important to make sure that the technology is current, and the vendor is constantly developing and evolving the product. This is an area where local is often lekker because choosing a software that is developed in South Africa ensures that it gets updated and maintained more regularly for local legislative changes.

Once you have selected the products that you are interested in, it is important to ask the vendor to conduct an in-depth demonstration that covers all your key requirements in detail. Never accept “yes we can do it” as an answer unless it is in writing. Seeing is believing in this instance.

Choosing a solution is only half of the journey. The next is planning an ERP project with the vendor or the implementation partner. A critical part of this process is the project scoping phase as it details where you are at the moment, key requirements, the system configuration and necessary changes, timelines and expected outcomes. Having a highly detailed scope ensures that there is nothing left to interpretation. Without a proper project scope, you put the project at risk because there are too many unknowns to ensure success. The risk is in what the implementation partner doesn’t know about your business and what you don’t know about the new software. A good rule of thumb is, “if it’s not in the scope document, it wasn’t said”.

From an implementation point of view, it is critical to ensure that there are project owners, both from the company’s as well as from the implementation partner’s point of view, that have an agreed project timeline and easy-to-manage milestones. Having a project owner on the company side will assist in ensuring resources are available when required, reducing the possibility of rework or having to retrain. Once an agreed project plan has been established, it is important that the project owners meet regularly to review the tasks on the plan and manage the critical path to go-live.

The last thing that most businesses overlook in the ERP planning process is the divorce or exit strategy. This relates to two areas, either in changing the implementation partner during the implementation process, or changing the software or partner a few years later because a better alternative becomes available. In the first instance, it is important to have an implementation agreement with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, expectations, and consequences if expectations not be met. For example, your agreement should clearly outline who owns the intellectual property of the configuration and what happens if you change to a different implementation partner. The second exit strategy relates to switching to another solution. These cases are generally quite clear in terms of costs, but most people overlook, particularly with SAAS solutions, how they will retrieve or access their data. In some cases, the data is given to you in some form of data structure which makes migration relatively easy, however, other solutions only provide static reports which will sacrifice your transactional history.

At the end of the day switching systems is not as daunting as you think, provided that you plan it correctly and once you are up and running you will never look back.

Your business may be battling to compete because of this common misperception

Common misunderstandings about functionality and affordability of ERP may well be holding your business back, says Stephen Corrigan, MD of Palladium

Imagine competing in a high-stakes chess game, where your opponent has real-time access to strategic insights as the game progresses – guiding them as to which move to make next.

Your chances of staying in the game would be minimal at best.

But, the scary truth is that competing in any business environment without a true ERP solution to aid your progress is even riskier. And the stakes are much, much higher.

Think of it this way – if you sell a product at the wrong price for just six weeks it could sink your business. 

What you may not realise though is that the technology to avoid this through real-time business management does exist, and it exists in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions that are highly affordable for businesses of any size.

Outdated systems create misperceptions

The problem is that you simply wouldn’t know this, because legacy software providers are still selling outdated and ineffective technology that leaves companies with a completely incorrect perception of what ERP should do and how much it should cost.

Part of the misperception is that as a smaller business you can’t afford a system that manages everything from one place. So you acquire a number of smaller systems which need to be managed manually. You think you can’t afford the bigger, more sophisticated system, but that simply isn’t true.

The cost of software and data is actually coming down every year. With a system like Palladium, for example, the number of features the system provides increases exponentially each year in relation to the cost.

Any business can afford ERP

And your business can get monthly subscriptions to ‘pay as you go’ for ERP. In fact, Palladium hosts software on the cloud, so your company can forego the cost of a server, which has traditionally been a major inhibitor to implementing ERP.

Because ERP systems like Palladium can be deployed on the cloud, they’re also scalable. This means that the system grows with your business, so you don’t have the cost of rolling out a new system when your needs outgrow the current one.

You also may not realise the extent to which ERP can transform your company’s operations and, in turn, even the behaviour of your workforce.  

For example, Palladium has developed a feature that helps your business manage cancelled orders. So whenever an order gets cancelled, the system asks for a reason why, enabling you to improve your win rate. And suddenly employees, who have previously been more admin-focused are more sales-focused, because they know their performance is being monitored.

It’s about creating features to change the game

There are an endless number of similar features that Palladium has created to help your business improve its turnover, increase its margins and enhance its operational efficiencies. From auto-prompts that remind the sales team to upsell complementary items to clients, to a function that automatically sends copies of customer invoices with e-mailed statements in order to increase cash flow, these features bring a great deal of common sense and efficiency into the way your business is run.

But, most companies just don’t realise ERP is capable of half these functions, because legacy systems simply haven’t been designed with the goal of improving business operations in mind.

The result is that you may well be doing reactive reporting rather than proactive management. You acquire an accounting software package because your auditor recommends it to you and become trapped in a process of having to try mould your business around the software. What you may not realise is that in this day and age the software should be able to adapt to your business needs – as is the case with modern systems like Palladium.

Switching over is easy

On the other hand, you might already have realised that your business is being held back by outdated software, but you are wary of rectifying the situation because you know the failure rate of switching over to ERP is high.

In truth though, these failures are largely the result of companies handling implementation badly on broad ERP scales. But, with our data conversion and import utilities, it’s easy for systems like Palladium to import  the relevant data.

At the end of the day, the pressures your business faces on a daily basis – from rising cost pressures to growing customer demands – are only going to increase.

To remain relevant, companies big and small need every available tool at their disposal. And so the question is not whether your business can afford to have ERP, but rather whether it can afford not to?

 

 

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