SYSPRO's Einstein strategy makes the equation work for SMBs.
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Very clever messaging reinforces a message, and I have to admit, SYSPRO’s S=MC² sticks with me. Why? Because it is super relevant to today’s small and mid-size businesses (SMBs).
SYSPRO is now more than 30 years old and so far they are not showing signs of age—huffing and puffing on the technology migration stairs. Rather they are staying energetic, transforming their architecture, adding more services, and staying relevant to their customers, which gives them one of the largest customer retention rates in the industry.
Manufacturing at its heart
So what’s S=MC² all about? SYSPRO is primarily focused on supporting the business needs of the customer. Therefore, they are about supporting Material Management, Cash Management and Cost Controls for their customers.
Material management today is an extremely broad concept, encompassing more than just managing inventory on the shop floor and purchasing material. Today, global supply chains are so dynamic that suppliers and raw material components can change daily. Further, demand-side variability and customers’ order changes make managing production and inventory perpetual problems for so many companies.
Today, material is a global, inter-enterprise, dynamic challenge. Case in point: in our recent produce supply chain series, we talked about the challenges of tracing back in the supply chain. With changing supply, recipes are often ‘tweaked’ to address the chemical conditions of each batch. Seasonal ingredients, for example, may have a different sweetness, necessitating adjustments in sugar or water in a recipe. Without a really great batch and recipe-management solution, you can’t accurately label the product, or if bad things happen, isolate one lot or one supplier.
The fact is that few ERPs for the SMB work at the level required by the industry. The data model for food manufacturing continues to evolve beyond a small manufacturer’s ability to keep up. The food industry, in particular, keeps morphing label requirements, industry standards and global regulations, what to say of individual customer requirements and interests. However, the system and the database have to ‘be there’ as companies grow into them.
Figure 1 - Database (Source: SYSPRO)
And for any manufactured good, compliance varies by channel/customer, requiring an extremely good data model to traverse through sourcing (Country of Origin), manufacturing (Batch/Lot/Expiration Date), and the warehouse (order/ship date and ASN). (See Figure 1.) See our Challenges in the Produce Supply Chain. So without that data model, companies can’t reach a best-in-class standard, or compete in their markets, in the long run.
So what about Cash and Cost? SYSPRO is a big advocate of best-in-class EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) methods such as Deming's PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), Lean/Six Sigma, etc. The challenge for many companies that strive to implement an EPM strategy is aligning data and reporting in order to support process and performance measuring, analysis, change, and value realization. So various metrics—from quality to financials to supply chain metrics—have to be embedded in the solution. SYSPRO’s financial dash boards and SYSPRO Reporting Service come standard with the software purchase. The Business Intelligence (BI) business is big business in the IT market, and SYSPRO’s customer friendly, non-greedy attitude means that they do not charge extra for the EPM analytics. 3 Cheers!
I would add another C to SYSPRO’s formula (besides 3 cheers)—Collaboration. Finally, we see an ERP incorporating collaboration and social networking features into the applications. Not only can my contacts be IMd (Figure 2), but SYSPRO has incorporated Microsoft Lync to facilitate instant web meetings and content and application sharing.
Figure 2 - Sourcing Screen Shot (Source: SYSPRO)
We have been advocating for this for a while and see this as the future for application providers who truly want to promote inter-enterprise or cross-functional collaboration. Because no matter how good the data and transaction systems get, it’s all about the people!