The Oakley ERP Blog

Sage 300 Buyer’s Guide
Monday June 2, 2014

Outgrown your current accounting solution? Been tasked with finding an ERP system to implement into your organisation?

 

We have devised the following Sage 300 Buyer’s Guide to give you an overview of one of the leading International ERP systems by Sage.

Selecting an accounting solution to take your business forward is a project never to be taken lightly. You must consider a number of factors and price is not the be all and end all… go for the budget route and you may save your business money today, but how about a year down the line, or perhaps 3 years down the line? Similarly viewing the most expensive as the best can leave your business accounts empty and your business no more streamlined than before.

 

Why are we looking at Sage 300?

The most common reasons we find businesses turn to Sage 300 ERP are usually due to the multi-currency reporting and consolidations for businesses operating across borders.

 

If you have come from a small business solution such as Sage 50, you will notice instantly that with ERP systems you get a number of new functionalities from an accounting perspective, such as Business Intelligence, but also from a business unit collaboration aspect with CRM software, which stands for Customer Relationship Management.

 

A growing business often looks to invest in new staff to help cope with the increased demands on business units. However an area often overlooked is to actually invest in streamlining business processes for improved productivity.

 

If you are running a multi-national company you need to have a reliable and dependable system to be at the heart of your enterprise. You need an international ERP solution.

 

How is Sage performing in the marketplace?

More than 23,000 of the largest UK businesses, including more than one third of the FTSE 100 choose Sage mid-market software to support their businesses. Sage products are designed to cover the full business growth cycle from start-up to multi-national.

 

Sage is the third largest ERP solution provider to businesses around the world.

 

What is Sage 300 ERP?

Sage 300 ERP is an international Enterprise Resource Planning solution that complies with both GAAP and SOX, meaning it conforms to the international standards set by the accounting practices.

Including a powerful module set providing functionality such as Financials, Project Accounting, Business Intelligence, Commercials and many more official and approved add on modules.

The rich functionality and enhancements provide your business with a scalable solution to ensure every corner of your business is accounted for.

 

Financials includes a 10 segment Chart of Accounts to provide detailed reporting for comparative analysis and a sophisticated multi currency manager for handling international transactions. Not only can you get the latest exchange rates into your accounts data but you can also set up your consolidations across multiple reporting currencies.

 

With the combination of Sage Intelligence Reporting you will not only be able to input all of your financial data through the system but you will benefit from the ability to drill down and run sophisticated financial reports into your business. This is particularly useful when it comes to spotting any anomalies in your data and identifying how well your business is truly performing.

 

Allan Schmidt, President at Vineland Estates Winery commented “Since we implemented our new Sage 300 ERP solution, we are saving 20-30 hours each month in accounting tasks, and we have increased revenues.”

 

Access to an integrated Sage CRM solution ensures not only your financial operations get the chance to improve but also the vital business units that make up your organisation. For instance your sales team can look up order history for key customers and see when they have been paid or if an account is on hold. But not only is CRM useful for the integration between departments it also provides a dynamic sales and marketing database to communicate, compete and deliver a first class customer service.

 

Providing your employees with a full sales cycle management solution ensures you can compete and collaborate. Sales teams can work their pipeline from lead to customer and keep on top of daily tasks and schedule call backs. Marketing teams can track marketing campaigns and keep to overall budgets, while also scheduling campaigns based on actionable insight such as order history of key accounts and determine segments to focus sales and marketing efforts towards for the best ROI.

 

Account managers can keep track of customer support cases and ensure high levels of customer support are always provided and logged through the system for compliance and auditing.

 

Implementing Sage 300 – The first step

The first thing you will notice about purchasing Sage 300 is that you are not able to buy the solution direct from Sage. The software is far more configurable than small business software such as Sage 50 and requires a knowledgeable business partner with expert knowledge into the industry to implement and support your systems.

 

Therefore in order to adopt the Sage 300 Solution you will need to locate an accredited Sage Business Partner that suits the philosophy of your organisation.

 

Implementing Sage 300 – The Requirements Analysis

Implementing a new technology into your organisation doesn’t mean forget about the business processes it is to replace. The existing way of doing things has likely developed and grown over the years and all of this needs to be scoped out and documented to ensure the new technology will increase efficiency, not hinder it.

 

In bringing Sage 300 into your company you should look for a business partner that will conduct a thorough requirements analysis to determine how best to implement your new solution.

The requirements analysis documents out the project ahead and includes vital information such as project timescales, review of existing business processes and setup information. Although this setup may be an unfamiliar process to smaller businesses that have grown, it is actually the most important step in the Sage 300 Implementation process.

 

How much will Sage 300 cost?

Sage 300 is available with an outright upfront software purchase, or a finance approach for those organisations which prefer to spread the cost on budgets. The implementation of the software will be charged via the number of estimated project day’s implementation outlined in the requirements analysis and you will only be charged for the number of days the project actually takes. If you are choosing a hosted deployment for Sage 300 with your business partner you will be charged a monthly hosting fee.

 

Functionality vs. cost

If you are stepping up from a small business accounting solution you are likely to find the project costs a significant increase to what you are currently paying. It is important to look at the whole picture and the efficiency savings you will be making on automating processes and reducing costly human errors.

ERP software is an investment and with a considered approach should significantly streamline your business process. However it is vital to look at the best long term solution for your organisation with what you can afford to invest into your business and what is achievable and realistic.

 

You should watch out for being drawn towards the cheapest ERP solution however as the Aberdeen Group’s Industry report highlights those top performing “Best-in-Class midmarket organizations place a greater emphasis on two other factors —functionality and usability—when selecting an ERP solution” (Nick Castellina, Aberdeen Group).

 

It is important to undergo a full Functionality Vs Cost Analysis  and remember the right ERP solution may require an initial outlay in resourcing, but the long term gains are vital to future company aspirations.

 

Remember sometimes you just have to see it

In order to help determine the potential ROI levels from Sage 300 and to understand how it can integrate with your business, it is advisable to see the product in action and get the chance to talk to an accredited Sage Business Partner. We provide a range of ways to see the Sage 300 solution. You have the choice of either a Sage 300 Webinar or a Sage 300 demo at your premises or at our Essex location.

 

So to fully weigh up the decision and be sure you are investing in the right long term accounting solution for your business, contact us to find out more information and see the Sage 300 Solution in action. 01268 724005 or email sales@o-net.co.uk

Written by David Weaver at 00:00

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