Welcome to Sabre Limited. Our business is all about helping and consulting with manufacturing firms to improve their organizations through better technology. We sell the Microsoft Dynamics product line, specializing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We have been implementing ERP in the manufacturing space in South Western Ontario since 1998, when we began helping companies with failed implementations of Visual Manufacturing ERP. Since then we have become experts with the Dynamics line, continuing to help struggling companies with their software.
You will find our latest blog postings below, news articles and reposts from interesting sources as well as links to Video we found relevant to ERP and Sabre. We hope you enjoy.
There are many companies running very old and outdated software systems to manage their operations. Often they do this because their IT person is comfortable with this system and doesn't want to change, or they are balking at investing in a new ERP based on perceived cost. What they neglect to identify is lost opportunity cost and the inefficiencies this is causing.
I worked with a manufacturer/distributor running on a very old AS400 batch update system. Inventory was not “live” but updated every 2 hours. Their customer service department did not have easy access to customer information or inventory. They could not drill into information to help their customers buy more as the system did not utilize Windows, requiring them to remember the customer number in order to leave the screen they were on to access additional data. Alternatives were in the customer service reps’ heads, not in the system. The inventory was not updated and was often out of stock due to the batch method and lack of forecasting abilities in the system resulting in many lost sales opportunities and a decrease in customer satisfaction. Plus, their employees were frustrated and unhappy.
Many in this company realized they needed a new system but were waiting for their IT Director to retire so they wouldn't have to rock the boat. But when? Don’t fall into this trap. Assess all the costs of retaining your current system. Talk to your employees. Talk to your customers. Make sure you can deliver the best customer experience and that you are optimizing each interaction by having an ERP system that fits your organization’s needs.
One of the most important elements of fitting a manufacturing ERP to a manufacturing company is identifying their MODE OF MANUFACTURING. Since I started working with manufacturing ERP here in Ontario in the mid 1990's - I have seen more failed implementations from a misunderstanding of these business needs than from any other. The Mode of Manufacturing is a term used commonly in APICS and other training materials, and refers to: how they get orders; produce product; and sell their product. I often find that the mode that best describes a company is a little hard to put my finger on, as many of these definitions have shades of grey between them.
One of the biggest problems managing computer science staff in a manufacturing business is that few if any in management are in a position to measure the quality of their work. Management generally relies on gut feel and reports from the very staff they are trying to measure.
Sabre recently added a new junior analyst to our team, John. John was present today in a presentation of some manufacturing processes in Microsoft Dynamics NAV (in particular, he was witness to an implementation training session of the ETO module we've developed for the ERP).
The definition of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System is “A process by which a company (often a manufacturer) manages and integrates the important parts of its business. An ERP management information system integrates areas such as planning, purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, etc.” (taken from www.investopedia.com). Just the definition alone implies that your business will gain improvements, but add a proper process for implementation and the right team to manage it, and the benefits are even greater.
Many businesses are run in silos. Each department does their own thing and often there is a big lack of communication between them resulting in errors and duplication of efforts. When implementing a new ERP your implementer will bring all the stakeholders from each department together to help make the decisions for set up of the system. The system cannot work unless your employees understand that what they do or don’t do in the system has a huge impact on other employees’ jobs.
A good implementation provider will map out your ‘as is’ processes and identify your ‘to be’ processes then work with your project manager and your team to ensure the system set up represents your goals. They will ask questions to force you to look deeper into how and why you do things as you have. They will remind you that the excuse ‘that’s the way we always did it’ is not a reasonable statement. They will ensure all the system set ups and required reports are completed so you can test run your system before going live.
As you go through this process and these many discussions with your provider, you will realize new insights and improvements that can save you money or provide new opportunities for your business. ERP done right really does pay.
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