News & views

WnChickenEgg

What come first – an ERP system (the chicken) or lean management (the egg)?

Lean management is all about eliminating any waste by identifying each step in a business process and then revising or cutting out non-value added steps. The question is whether this should be done prior to selecting an ERP system. Proponents of doing it first assume that the implementation of an ERP system would be merely improving the automation of the existing process and better to eliminate the waste first. However, this approach (sometimes called repaving the cow paths and extending the chicken and egg analogy) is not best practice. The implementation of an ERP system is the best opportunity to […]

Read More…

2017 ERP Survey

September 2017 from CPA Magazine – “Welcome once again to our annual vendor survey on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Every year we have a different theme for the article that accompanies our ERP survey results. This year we decided to look at the fine print in ERP contracts and the good, the bad and the ugly about requests for proposals (RFP) used in software selection….” Read More […]

Read More…

What’s happening at 180 Systems?

Michael Burns was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment last year. The good news is that it all worked and Michael is healthy again, so much so that he recently rode a bicycle from Toronto to Niagara Falls in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Lawrence Young, B.Comp.Sc., C.Adm, CMC, I.S.P. joined 180 Systems last year. He brings over 15 years of ERP system selection experience to our team and is based in Montreal.   Jeff Zygouras, MMPA, CPA, CA recently joined 180 Systems. Jeff was a TA (Teaching Assistance) at UofT for Michael Burns for many years for a graduate course […]

Read More…

Are newsletters a waste of time?

Many of us get so much email that we don’t have time to read newsletters even from trusted sources. So why write a newsletter if it’s deleted by many if not most readers as soon as it is received? Over the past year, we have opted not to potentially waste our time. But we have now decided to resurrect our newsletter partly because we don’t want you to forget about us but also because it’s good for Search Engine Optimization. Another reason is that the primary writer of our newsletter is healthy again… […]

Read More…

How Do You Compare A SaaS Annual Fee To A One-Time License Fee?

We have found that on average the one-time (on-premise) license fee is 3 times the annual fee based on our experience in evaluating RFP responses from vendors. One might think that the ratio between license and annual fee should be greater but that does not take into account the additional hosted services provided by the SaaS vendors including maintenance fees which are billed annually by on-premise vendors at approximately 20% of the license fee. It’s still early days for SaaS and as competition heats up the license ratio: annual fee will increase as SaaS fees are reduced. We recommend that […]

Read More…

Cloud security: fact or fiction?

June 1, 2016 from CPA Magazine – “As our cloud survey article showed, data is moving to the clouds at high speeds across all kinds of organizations. But is the data safer than it was when these organizations kept it locked away on their own premises…” Read More […]

Read More…

Reduce Risk of ERP Implementation Failure: Pre-Contract Business Needs Analysis

You naturally want to minimize risks and avoid cost overruns before signing a long-term contract for a new ERP system. Your prospective vendor also wants to minimize risk, but is usually not in a position to do anything other than give an implementation estimate based on lots of assumptions about scope, roles and responsibilities. These assumptions could be fairly accurate, but could also be way off, which could lead to surprises and costly change orders during the implementation.  Neither you nor the vendor want this to happen.  Wrong assumptions that lead to change orders will create frustration, friction and could […]

Read More…

Prophix Interview

I recently spoke with Andy Amalfitano CPA, CA, Director of Sales Central Region for Prophix about changes at Prophix and his perception of the cloud. Prophix (http://www.prophix.com/) is one of the leading solutions for Corporate Performance Management (CPM). Prophix includes: Budgeting, analysis and forecasting Financial, statutory and management reporting Financial consolidation Profitability modeling & optimization, cash flow and revenue planning Operational and strategic planning Prophix targets organizations with revenues between $50M and $2B who want to evolve from being dependent on Excel for their key financial processes. Prophix recently announced the latest version of its CPM solution, one that will […]

Read More…

Statement of Work (SOW) Stoppers

The SOW is a key document from your vendor that can make or break the implementation. The vendors will do their best to reduce their risk by limiting scope to a high level list, assuming that you will follow best practices, and making a lot of other assumptions about you doing work that you don’t know or understand the effort to complete.  As the vendor risks go down, the customer risks go up.  We recommend the following: Scope is tied to the requirements in the RFP which need to be specific Best practices should only be applied to processes that […]

Read More…