Category Archives: Insights

A Seat at the Table: 3 Tips to Maximize Effectiveness of a Technology Implementation via Employee Engagement

Our more successful clients understand that their business strategy with digital transformation as the primary driver is a choice. They have bought into a daily commitment to plan, execute, and evaluate how they build competitive advantage into their digital platforms.

However, investing in digital business tools without a long-term vision of how, why and who will use the technology in the future is no better than throwing darts at a list of alternatives. Ensuring that high quality technology obtains the maximum return on investment requires leadership and employees to use it daily, properly and with the right goals in mind. For this reason, I offer my top three tips on how to develop and sustain your long-term vision for success, and it starts with having a seat at the table for everyone.

TIP #1
Inject Passion And Purpose Into Your Culture

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a famous quote from legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker. To be clear he didn’t mean that strategy was unimportant – rather that a powerful and empowering culture was a surer route to organizational success.

Do your employees buy into “WHY” your company must succeed every day? Make believers out of your employees and give them the technology tools to support that vision.

TIP #2
Executive Ownership

A typical problem with digital transformation efforts is that they lack appropriate executive leadership. Many leaders have only a tangential grasp of what it means to be “digital” and shy away from getting their hands dirty.

For this reason, we will sometimes pitch our proposals from the end and work backwards. Highlight the business results they are responsible for, and build a bridge supported by digital business platforms.

TIP #3
Invest in People

We find that client employees need to feel invested — and they need you to invest in them. No one wants to be engineered out of a job. However, 76 percent of employees list learning and development opportunities as a top driver of engagement.

Today’s careers are very certification driven.  Top performers desire a pathway to excellence. Top job candidates will want to see that you value employee development.

NetSuite provides specific tools and training for the various departments at your company and BMI Cloud Solutions ensures that every role is prepared to work as a team during and post- technology implementation. Find the right technology for your company, and the right training and support with BMI Cloud Solutions.

Defeated or Disrupted? Transformative Business Technology Raises the Stakes

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List your top five competitors today.  Chances are, this list will be different in five years. 

The pace of change in virtually every industry is tied to the development and diffusion of transformative business technology in every facet of the value chain.  More than ever, top executives must develop a long-term strategy propelled by strong digital platforms to compete with traditional and new disruptive business models.

Will you become the disruptor or be defeated by one?

Our clients’ executives recognize that technology improvements in the customer experience, operational excellence, employee skills development, and value chain analytics will allow them to compete intensely and fend off market disruptions.  However, these tactics alone will not ensure long term sustainable growth and profitability.

It’s your long-term business strategy that will provide the roadmap and orchestration to sustainable success.  Your best business strategy is about creating the future, engaging the customer, and creating long-term value for all stakeholders in more innovative ways.

What will your future business scope be in 2025?

To frame this, I will use Michael E. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis.  It is a strategic management tool that identifies the most impactful factors in contributing to the competitive landscape of your industry.

  • Threat of New Competitors
  • Threat of Substitutes
  • Bargaining Power of Buyers
  • Bargaining Power of Suppliers
  • Competitive Rivalry

Management teams who understand the market dynamics within these frameworks through the lens of technology will be best able to know where to compete and how.  Further, the idea behind digital transformation as a driver of sustainable competitive advantage is not just about positioning, but about out-thinking and out-performing the competition. Strategic thinking is about making sense of the future better than others, and then shaping that future to your advantage.

The Threat of New Competitors

It’s not just the Internet that levels the playing field for new competitors, it’s their choice of digital business technology platforms that drive rapid product design and delivery, supply chain integrations, and advanced analytics.   The successful established companies will combine well-earned expertise with innovative digital products and services wrapped around their traditional core offerings.

The Threat of Substitutes

Today’s taxi companies have been Uber-ized, and retail store chains have been Amazon-ed.  Do you think they saw this coming?

Those companies who will meet these challenges and continue to grow will be able to evolve or add new business models that complement the core business.  Competitive trends will come and go, but the established survivors will be agile enough to transform without great expense.

The Bargaining Power of Buyers

It’s likely your customers are well researched on your products, your competitors, and your pricing.  However, merely having a nice CRM system is not going to generate happy customers.  The highest performers will:

  • Synthesize big data to understand and deliver an exceptional buying experience
  • Allow the customer a say in custom product or service design
  • Offer alternatives to outright purchases such as subscription or usage-based ownership and sharing with customer communities

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Dominant suppliers can have leverage on your company’s supply chain and profitability.  It’s common practice in manufacturing and distribution for the strongest suppliers to push operational costs downstream.

Companies who can meet these challenges by minimizing the costs with supply chain integration and fast response analytics will generate a competitive advantage.

The Rivalry Among Existing Competitors

Your competitors want your customers, and they are working on higher quality products and services to gain access.  To compete, you will not win by replicating what the competition is doing.  You need a plan to rapidly deploy tactics and infrastructure that will lay the foundation for long term sustainable profits.

Our Bottom Line Message – Be Ready

No business — regardless of industry or size — is immune to digital disruption. It’s up to business leaders to decide: be the disruptor or be defeated by one. The right business technology makes all the difference.

Ready to Disrupt?  Try our NetSuite 30 Day Experience to see how NetSuite business technology solutions fit your organization’s goals.

What’s So Sweet About SuiteSuccess?

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Streamlined implementation.  Faster return on investment.  Time-tested key features, workflows and reporting.

With NetSuite SuiteSuccess you get access to best practices leveraged for immediate use and tailored for your specific industry.   SuiteSuccess was developed with two decades of business optimization experience behind it and the challenge of doing business at lightning speed leading the development.  NetSuite SuiteSuccess Editions offers solutions to your business requirements based on the leading toolsets developed for your industry.

For companies that are looking for a fast-track implementation of a business management tool, NetSuite SuiteSuccess is the answer.   Some of the highlighted functionality includes:

  • Ready-to-use Dashboards
  • Company-Wide Data Available in Real Time
  • Preconfigured Roles
  • Enabled Features
  • 95+ Built-In Industry Specific Reports
  • Embedded Process Workflows
  • On Demand Scalability
  • Seamless Third-Party Integration

When evaluating the optional Editions of NetSuite, it is important to consider subscription cost, implementation timeline, project management effort, and potential disruption to your daily operations. SuiteSuccess streamlines configuration and set-up with a ready-to-go platform tailored for your industry.

Day 1 without SuiteSuccess

Without Netsuite Software computer screen

 

Day 1 with SuiteSuccess

Netsuite accounts payable software for savings

The Visibility to Connect

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 Connections are the most powerful way to expand your business.  Many of our clients have connected with us, looking for guidance when it comes to leveraging the data from their NetSuite CRM solution.  The goal is to connect with the right PEOPLE to drive GROWTH.

BMI-Cloud-Solutions-QsMap-Geographic-Visibility
NetSuite’s QSMap brings geographic visibility to your data.

“Slicing and dicing” the records within your system can be a daunting task when you’re unable to access the data you need.  You can now gain geographic visibility in NetSuite to locate and connect with the PEOPLE being managed within your NetSuite database.

Here are a few ways our clients have been able to leverage this easy-to-use functionality:

  1. Plan for an EVENT
  2. Create a CALL List for a new Campaign
  3. Identify LOCATIONS for Customer Deliveries
  4. Establish new SALES Territories

For complete details, contact us by phone at (888) 351-6335 or by email at info@bmicloud.com.

NetSuite in 100 Days: Your Path to Success

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Driving and maintaining profitable growth continues to be a top-of mind issue for Boards, C-Level executives, and investors in the manufacturing industry. BMI Cloud Solutions provides clients with the next level tools of the NetSuite Business Management Suite to overcome the challenges of modern manufacturers:

  • How will my employees handle increased global complexities of multiple currencies, foreign tax and regulations, and product delivery in a 24/7 market?
  • Is my business ready to connect to emerging technologies such as Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence?
  • Would my current financial and operational systems handle a doubling or tripling of capacity in a growing competitive marketplace?

BMI Cloud Solutions will bring clarity and experience to your decision to implement NetSuite. We understand that a company-wide software implementation is not only a transformative experience, but also a very painstaking journey.  While our discussions always include the promise of how new technology can bring a new level of competitiveness, one common question we receive from C- Level executives is:

When will I be able to translate these greater capabilities to my vendors and customer base?

Transforming Your Business In 100 Days: Let’s Begin This Conversation

NetSuite is the deepest and fastest growing cloud business management solution on the planet. How can you achieve a rapid time to value and extract the competitive advantages of NetSuite so quickly? BMI Cloud Solutions offers a truthful, realistic view of what it will take to get you up and running in 100 days.

60% Faster Go Lives | 18% Lower Implementation Costs

The Benefits of the SuiteSuccess Methodology

SuiteSuccess is NetSuite’s answer that offers maximum performance with minimum set-up. The key benefits users can expect to take advantage of are:

  • Industry-leading best practices pre-built into the system
  • Pre-defined roles for each department, ready to be assumed by your workforce
  • Detailed Business- and industry-specific process flows and KPIs built-in to the system
  • Fluid set-up and employee training

By making the process easy on the user, the invaluable tools provided become that much more approachable. With expedited on-boarding, employees can understand and utilize the system to its full potential faster than with a traditional, full-scale implementation.

Let’s Start a Conversation

NetSuite KPIs to Optimize Manufacturing Operations

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NetSuite’s SuiteAnalytics helps manufacturing managers gain real-time insights into the definable measurements and profitability of your operations.

The alignment of KPIs with organizational goals is the key to realizing bottom-line impact. The challenge is to incorporate metrics that provide a realistic and balanced view of the business.

Contact BMI Cloud Solutions to find out how to create your own key performance indicators providing immediate access to dynamic reports and powerful visualizations.

Aligning to a Strategic Direction

The primary objective in creating KPIs is to gain insight into the organization’s capacity to deliver its mission and fulfil its vision. In other words, KPIs exist to monitor the performance of your current strategic goals or objectives, as well as aligning your priorities with your company’s mission.

Alignment to Business Processes

Aligning KPIs to business processes means three things.

  1. The business process has KPIs that monitor the most important outputs.
  2. The business process has KPIs that monitor the greatest influences on the goals your organization is trying to achieve.
  3. The business process has KPIs that monitor the results of critically important steps in the business process and the in-process drivers of its outputs.

Manufacturing Metrics Improved by NetSuite

Manufacturing Visibility

Below is a representative selection of the metrics that our clients in the manufacturing sector have found most valuable in their KPI strategy.

KPI Metrics

Business Owners – Get Your Head in the CLOUD!

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So many business owners we connect with daily are looking for THE secret to a worry-free solution to their operations.  In our continued experience with technology and business requirements, we have figured out a few keys to your success:

  1. Touch it once – This may seem obvious, but so many business owners overlook the fact that scaling a business with manual process and extra people pushing paper is the “easier” way to do things. They quickly lose sight of the associated costs.  If you are running your business on technology solutions that require duplicate entry, extensive hardware configurations, or complex integrations, look to the cloud.  That approach will leave you limited with time and money required to both clean up a mess AND to then put the right solutions in place.
  2. Settle for less – You’re right, I didn’t include the word “don’t” in there. When you’re looking for a truly unified solution, understand that you’re looking for overall efficiency and NOT to have every bell, whistle, or automation on day one.  This doesn’t mean you need to settle for a system that won’t work. It means you need to prioritize what’s truly important and the timing to make it all happen, so you get the MOST value WHEN you need it.
  3. You needed it yesterday – Most business owners have the notion that their business needs to be at a certain point before they start to leverage the “right” business management solution. Look to create the right foundation BEFORE you expand the sales team… before you open a new location… before you expand that product line… With the future of the cloud moving at a rapid pace, your ability to create a new foundation for your business is right at your fingertips!

NetSuite: Bringing Everyone Up to Speed

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If you peruse the internet it doesn’t take long to find job postings for NetSuite administrators. What will take considerably longer is reading the job description and requirements. Yup, it’s a tough job with a lot of responsibilities that impact the entire operation of a business.

If your company is looking for a NetSuite administrator, the first concern you have besides finding the new hire should be, “How will we bring this new person up to speed quickly so that there is as little disruption as possible?”

BMI Cloud Solutions has worked with a lot of companies during this transition period. We’ve seen what companies have tried to do; what worked and what didn’t. You have some options, but not all are beneficial in the long term. This post will cover them, but first let’s keep in mind the importance and complexity of this position and the impact a good NetSuite administrator can have on your business.

For example, look at this piece of work – typical of most NetSuite postings:

“…responsible for managing the NetSuite platform including strategic direction, training and reporting…develop, improve business processes and information flow…implement NetSuite upgrades…carry out various tasks related to finance projects and coordinate with the CFO, HR, IT and others to make sure they are getting the information needed…”

…and that was for starters. This particular job posting ended up being a very long scrolling page consisting of the:

9 principle duties expected of the administrator, each of which could have been a full- time job (if you didn’t have NetSuite),
8 previous requirements or experiences NetSuite candidates needed to possess to be considered for the position,
7 interests, skills or knowledge sub-sets related to the various NetSuite applications and how a candidate’s background would enhance your role as a NetSuite administrator.

For those of you that are NetSuite pro’s you’d undoubtedly yawn and say, “That’s about right.”

So, for those companies who have just hired or are looking to hire a new administrator, the importance and responsibilities of this position could leave your head spinning. You can look for the most learned and experienced candidate, you can think you’ve considered all the requirements in a job posting, but until that new administrator walks into your building and has had the time to familiarize themselves with your operations, this is going to be a bumpy road.

At Its Core NetSuite is a Powerful, Beautiful Thing…But We Didn’t Say “Easy”

The beauty of NetSuite is that it houses a lot of information; financial, sales data, production data – everything your company needs to keep information current and centralized. Everything is under one roof, so to speak, and everyone has access to the information they need when they need it.

But the daunting task for the administrator is keeping everything managed and ready so NetSuite can give the right people the right access to data when they need it. That’s not easy. Besides the challenges of learning how to implement the right commands and facilitate steps that make NetSuite the resource it has the potential to be, the administrator must think down the road to who will be loading, using and reporting on the information it holds. That’s a thinking person’s game that, over time, can be learned and anticipated for, but it is not something you can quickly pick up from a manual.

The NetSuite Administrator’s Daunting Job

And, of course, as NetSuite pros know, this is just the beginning. Besides the basics, a good administrator will be concerned with creating useful Dashboards for groups of users, assisting with reports and searches, implementation and training for new NetSuite releases, ensuring data integrity and considering techniques for data and system security.

All these things take time to learn and are company specific. As we alluded to, even a NetSuite admin with years of experience cannot simply walk into a new company and take over without expecting a long string of hiccups. Each company is different. Each requires familiarity with the organization, company preferences, company specific nomenclature and various roles.

Your Choices, Your Outcomes

Because this person may be the only person in the entire organization who has access to everything and is supposed to facilitate the collection, storage and reporting of everything, the person you hire needs to be brought up to speed as quickly as possible. You basically have three choices:

Trudge through the learning curve on your own: It can be done, but even for the most experienced it will take a long time to catch up and become familiar with the organization. It is guaranteed that, in the meantime, mistakes will be made, data will be temporarily “lost” because the right formats or roles were not used, searches will not work and people will become frustrated – putting your company’s entire NetSuite experience in jeopardy. While this may seem like a prudent option, in the long run it could be extremely costly.

Hire Outside NetSuite Talent: Hiring an Independent Contractor is an option many companies consider. You have an expert, usually at a comparable rate to a fully loaded FTE, and you may only need them a few hours a week. The challenge we’ve seen is that those people are migrant. They like to move on to new things and once they understand your business, they will be ready to sign on to a new project. You’ll constantly be retraining new people who have to learn your business AND what the last person did to your system

The NetSuite administrator’s role is critical to the flow and security of information in your company. So, when considering that job posting, bringing a new person on board (or for increasing the knowledge and power of an existing administrator), you need to ask, “What do I want out of NetSuite and the administrator? What’s best for my company?”

Do I want what is ideal – someone permanent who knows my business and can facilitate NetSuite usage for my employees? If so, give that person the best chance at success by hiring a trained firm to support them while they come up to speed.

BMI Cloud Solutions can be your transition partner. We know NetSuite – obviously – and we’ll lend you a team of people to help with administrator transitions, bring current people up to speed on the best NetSuite roll-outs and shortcuts, and leave you with fully-functioning, knowledgeable NetSuite administration. It’s your best bet to information storage, access and reporting in the quickest way possible. Talk to us…see what we can do for your company.

The Process of SuiteSuccess – The 3 Pillars

Moving business processes to the cloud is advantageous to companies on a number of levels, but when it takes a full year to get to that point, it can be hard to make up for the initial costs. This is especially difficult for a business that doesn’t have the resources to dedicate to a traditional NetSuite implementation.

The SuiteSuccess methodology was developed by NetSuite in order to get businesses up and running on a single data set, in the cloud, that is ready for future expansion and growth, within 100 days.

By making use of “Leading Practices” developed in response to the thousands of implementations accomplished over the years, SuiteSuccess allows businesses to start realizing value and return on investment much more quickly.

The 3 Pillars of SuiteSuccess

The team at BMI Cloud Solutions can help your business utilize this comprehensive, phase-based implementation methodology, so you can begin improving the way you do business and start seeing tangible results from those improvements faster.

The SuiteSuccess Difference – How The Process Improves Overall Implementation

So how does this methodology actually work? What is changed from the traditional implementation process? How does the end product differ in such a way that the implementation timeline has been cut from a 6 month+ process to full implementation in fewer than 100 days?

The difference when you employ SuiteSuccess:

1 Implementation Consultants are involved from very early in the process.

In the past, the NetSuite sales process has been built on “solution selling.” This begins with a conversation between you and a sales rep where the rep will gather information from you on how your business works that will then be conveyed to an implementation engineer. The implementation engineer would then configure the system based on what has been relayed to him or her.

With SuiteSuccess, an implementation consultant is involved early on in the process, presenting you with the Leading Practice based on previous products and workflows designed for that industry.

2 You can see the Leading Practices rather than utilizing a (lengthy) highly customized process

If you’ve been involved in an ERP implementation in the past, you may be familiar with the “Tailored Demo.” This is a demo of a software that could be configured to fit your specific business and your current workflows.

Instead, SuiteSuccess provides you with an end-solution based on the “Lead Practices” developed as a result of the commonalities uncovered by thousands of previous NetSuite implementations.

Our pre-recorded demos will answer the vast majority of questions people have about working in NetSuite, providing clear visibility into how NetSuite can improve your business processes. Rather than a concept of a software that could be configured to suit your business needs, these demos show you the actual product you will be working with, starting on Day 1.

3 Get return value out of the system quickly.

The SuiteSuccess process helps companies identify where they should focus their energy at the start of the implementation in order to get the biggest return, sooner. This “Value Chain Assessment” is a guided process, which allows us to identify what your current business practices are and to see clearly where they could be improved with NetSuite.

The results of the “Value Chain Assessment” help us to identify those areas that need immediate intervention and which areas can be built over time or held until a future need.

Using a clearly identified starting point and end goal, and having a time tested method for making those changes not only allows users to implement NetSuite sooner, but also makes it possible to focus on the changes that will give you the greatest ROI first, so you see that return faster.

4 Project Kick-Off is more like a rocket launch than a soft start.

The experts at BMI Cloud Solutions have years of experience guiding companies through the NetSuite implementations process. In the past, it might be several weeks after the “kick off” date before digging into the Process Flows and testing to confirm those flows fulfilled that company’s needs.

With SuiteSuccess, you will be familiar with the Process Flows and how they work before the time of kick-off, and you will be using this time to note any special exemptions required for your business, ensuring any preferences or requests are applied at the get-go.

The SuiteSuccess Process Timeline

With SuiteSuccess, your NetSuite implementation will move rapidly with a well-defined implementation process:

Kick Off: Beginning on Day 1, we will be digging in to the Process Flows, looking for any specific

exemptions required for your business.

Week 5: Just 35 days in, we will have outlined every process for your business and validated all

functionality for NetSuite.

At this point, you will have users training on the system and Data Migration will already be well underway.

Week 8: By the end of this week, you will be seeing any specific process workflows that need to

be specially configured to meet your unique business needs.

User Case Testing is defined and being started.

Week 14: By the end of this week, you are live with a full production cut over.

These first 100 days are known as the mitigation phase. Throughout the Mitigation Phase, you will be using your system, rather than simply spending the time building it.

Once the product is up and running, NetSuite is designed to allow for further adaptation along the way; whether you later want to automate the warehouse, enhance ecommerce, mobilize marketing, or better manage your professional services group, NetSuite gives you the flexibility to make these changes as you grow.

And with SuiteSuccess, your business can get to that point quickly and efficiently.

Get Started with NetSuite Quicker with SuiteSuccess, with Help from BMI Cloud

For additional information on SuiteSuccess or to see pre-recorded demos of Lead Practices mentioned above, contact BMI Cloud Solutions at (888) 351-6335 or visit our website.