“The latest funding will enable Acumatica to accelerate its already aggressive growth and work with its robust partner channel to make its offering the Cloud ERP solution of choice for SMBs worldwide.
‘We have a solid product roadmap loaded with new innovative additions, and a partner channel that continues to grow faster than we ever could have expected,’ said Larichev. ‘We do not need more funding because we are already making money.’ “
A managing partner of Almaz Capital is quoted in the press release as saying, “We see Acumatica growing to more than a billion in revenue in less than 10 years”.
Monday, September 25, 2017 North Bend, WA PC Bennett Solutions is pleased to announce the release of Payroll Version 2 for Acumatica. We packed this version to the brim with more features for our popular integrated Payroll solution for Acumatica.
The PC Bennett Solutions’ Payroll system uses the rock-solid Symmetry tax engine for payroll tax calculations. This is the same tax engine used by Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Walmart, JC Penney, AT&T, Google and other corporations.
Some of the highlights:
New comprehensive payroll register inquiry.
PTO tracked by year (Calendar, Fiscal, and Anniversary).
Detailed PTO inquiry shows exactly how PTO Benefits were derived.
On day two, as the 2013 Acumatica Partner Summit ramped up, the focus was on clarifying the overall direction of the product as well as equipping partners with tips on marketing this new and advanced system.
With a partner-only channel that is rapidly growing, Acumatica is moving on the crucial need to continually invest in the success of these partners. These, businesses that are selling Acumatica are coming from many different backgrounds such as Sage, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics GP and SL, and many more. After speaking with many of them, it is clear that they are here because they want to provide their business communities with a more modern solution that will last for decades to come. Because Acumatica approaches consolidated business software solutions in completely different than legacy vendors, it’s definitely important for partners to tweak their messaging approach when it comes to sales and marketing.
The day kicked off with Co-founder, John Howell reflecting on the 2007 formation of the innovative cloud business management software provider and the strategy involved. He mentioned Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law being the foundation for Acumatica’s revolutionary pricing structure and deployment flexibility, and partnership program. Next we saw presentations by the Founder of PostcardMania, as well as Acumatica’s own Product Marketing Manager, and Channel Marketing Manager. Acumatica will be increasing their marketing efforts and supporting and encouraging their partners to do the same at a more focused scale in their own backyards. Today, the Channel Marketing Manager, Charlie Horton introduced a new extensive co-marketing marketing program that will help partners take advantage of targeted marketing campaigns and strengthen their websites.
Increasing Revenue, Increasing Partners
After that, Acumatica Co-founder and Owner, Serguei Beloussov spoke. He told partners about his own story and perspective on growing Acumatica. He was followed by CEO Yury Larichev who finished up the session some more light on the company’s goals from a financial perspective. Acumatica plans to double revenue each year for the next two years, and eventually reach 1,000 partners.
NetSuite, Intacct, MS Dynamics, Acumatica
Partners Learning From Each Others’ Specialties
Following that session, 4 Acumatica partners presented and demonstrated competing products that they were experienced with. The systems that were demonstrated were Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), SL (Solomon), Intacct, and NetSuite. This was a great learning opportunity where the audience was able to ask questions and really test Acumatica against the competition.
Forrester published a recent study citing results from hundreds of medium-size business leaders of organizations with 20 to 500 employees. The research revolves around understanding thoughts and preferences on cloud ERP – a trending topic throughout all industries today. As LinkedIn and various blogs buzz with debates on topics like security, costs, and speed of cloud based ERP applications, solid numbers like this are helpful in seeing what businesses are really looking for in 2013.
Cloud Based ERP
Here are just some of the interesting results from the study:
57% of mid-size businesses pointed out that choice in data storage location and choice in deployment as elements that an ERP should include.
“Lower overall costs” was the #1 reason that businesses adopted or planned to adopt SaaS, followed by to “Reduce spending on traditional applications”.
Also, when 358 decision makers were asked about the level of concern with various issues around using SaaS, the top 3 areas of concern were:
Security and Privacy
Integrating with other applications
Financial lock-in to a single vendor – which is interesting, considering that NetSuite, “the #1 Cloud ERP Software Suite” operates with that very lock-in
Even the most customer-centric company has experienced times when one of their customers becomes dissatisfied. How you handle complaints can make or break your reputation and affect your brand.
Today’s digital world gives your customers a lot of power. One post can sour other potential customers from engaging with you, so it becomes even more important today to act quickly to resolve any complaints.
Keep in mind that your clients only complain about what they care about, so you can look at negative feedback as a gift to really understand your client. If you don’t have an avenue for your customers to give feedback, some of them will never tell you until they have gone elsewhere with their business.
I have found a step-by-step process helps diffuse the heat of a negative customer experience.
First, thank them for telling you. “I appreciate your feedback.”
Validate their feelings. “I hear you say that this has been a bad experience for you.” Repeat their complaint and take notes, so they know you are giving this your full attention.
Apologize. Don’t admit blame or throw your colleagues under the bus, just let them know their feedback is important for how you want to operate as a company. “I’m sorry for your bad experience.”
Take action. Don’t dwell on how the problem happened, as this is seen as excusing the behavior. Convey your confidence that “we,” as a company will resolve this issue with an action plan. Get your customer’s agreement on what you propose to do. Ask them, “Does this action plan make sense?”
Take responsibility. Honor any promises you have made to your customer. Follow up to ensure the plan is working well from their point of view.
Most often, the issue you are having is due to the customer feeling that their expectations are not being met. Researchers have suggested that our brains really detest unanticipated outcomes. If you build in a process for setting the expectations up front, this may mitigate hard feelings in the future.
For example, customers often feel they shouldn’t have to pay for project management. By setting the right expectations during the sales cycle, you can eliminate discussions about what they are being charged for. Project Management is an integral part of the implementation and drives the success of the project so, for us as a company, it is non-negotiable.
Ultimately, you are in business because of your customers. Respecting their opinions, yet coming up with a plan that is fair to both parties will ensure that you remain profitable, and are there to support them in the future.
What strategies do you have when dealing with customer complaints? Please continue the conversation and share in the comments below.
Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA – just a few minutes away from Washington, DC – hummed with activity late Sunday night and all day Monday. Nearly 300 professionals representing 98 partners, 20 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) from 12 countries, gathered there to celebrate the launch of Acumatica 4.1, “the best and most usable version of of Acumatica to date” according to Jean Gea, Product Marketing Manager. Partners will be training all week there – fully committed to the cutting edge Cloud ERP company that has grown by over 300% in 2013.
Acumatica 4.1, 5.0, and Beyond
The focus of the first day of the event was educating partners on exciting changes regarding pricing, partnerships, and product functionality. Partners were also introduced to the product roadmap to version 5.0 and the latest available 3rd party software integrations.
Acumatica CTO, Mike Chtchelkonogov spoke to the crowd about features coming soon to the product such as integrated business intelligence, simpler customization and integration, mobile application framework, Office 365 Integration, more streamlined implementation, and overall more functionality out of the box. The company’s development team has significantly increased in size and has built up a lot of momentum over the last year. Testing processes have become much more efficient – reducing bugs and speeding up development time.
The Acumatica team is also focusing on continuing the progress they’ve already made in Acumatica University – the partner training program dedicated to establishing a strong community of salespeople, implementers, and developers.
We had the pleasure of sitting through a fantastic live demonstration of an Acumatica eCommerce tool. “CurveCommerce has partnered with Acumatica to deliver a fully integrated ERP and eCommerce Platform. The CurveCommerce System incorporates all of the flexibility and functionality of Magento® eCommerce software with time-tested usability and state of the art marketing techniques. The result is a user-friendly website framework which generates superior sales performance and outstanding conversion rates while seamlessly passing information quickly and securely between Acumatica and the website.”
Retail Management System with Acumatica
Another application we got to see in action was FusionRMS. Like many of the ISV products, this RMS seemlessly integrates with Acumatica. That is, a user will never even see where Acumatica ends and the ISV product begins. The client installed POS does have a different feel, but is said to be redesigned to fit the Acumatica style in the future. “Fusion Integrated Software application suite includes retail applications: point of sale, customer service, call center, scheduling, etc. Restaurant applications address the need of both counter sales as well as sit down dining. Wholesale / distribution applications include high volume order entry and warehouse management complete with Fedex / UPS integration.”
Services Management Module for Acumatica
We were blown away by the functionality of this application. It was good to see that it was fully embedded in the Acumatica UI. M5 also shared with us their SCRUM development process.
“M5 software brings over 20 years in accounting and ERP software implementation and customization, IT consulting and development. The backgrounds of M5 Software key staff include Industrial Engineers, CPAs, CMAs, Senior Developers and Consultants.
This depth of management and operations knowledge, coupled with software-implementation expertise, results in the best-practices approach to give your business a real top-quality and versatile solution.”
Most people start by talking about the various components of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems. I’ll get there, but first a little background. In the 1980’s software companies came out with MRP systems that ran on mainframe systems initially. MRP at that time was an acronym for “Materials Requirements Planning”. These systems were focused on reducing material shortages and excesses on the manufacturing floor.
At that time, and still today, MRP calculations generally look at demands and supplies of inventory items. Demands include forecasts, sales orders and manufacturing orders. Supplies are inventory, purchase orders and manufacturing orders, which both consume inventory and produce it. The final factor was a bill of materials, which in complex products can be multiple levels deep. When MRP runs it looks at demands, supplies, bills of material and other planning parameters and then suggests that buyers and planners take actions to place, adjust or cancel purchase orders and manufacturing orders.
Next software companies and manufacturing companies moved to include resources, such as production workers and equipment in the planning process to help manage capacity and production levels. They also linked inventory related activity to the accounting systems so that there was a closed loop, integrated system which enabled manufacturers to better manage and account for the business.
In the 1990’s Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, systems started to catch on. These systems allowed companies to manage the sales process and track activity with customers. They started as standalone products but eventually MRP companies and CRM companies merged, or MRP companies developed their own CRM systems. That left the marketing with a challenge of what to call the combined systems so they ended up with Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP as a label for the combination of MRP and ERP systems.
Software companies that did not have a manufacturing option picked up on the ERP label as well (and don’t necessarily have the “P” or planning component). These days the ERP term is used to label accounting and operations software no matter the industry.
Perhaps a simpler way to explain what ERP systems are is to think of them performing several functions:
What does ERP do?
Lead to Cash
Lead to cash starts with the process of acquiring new customers, securing orders, delivering products and services and finally invoicing for and collecting for those products and services. Typical software components include:
Sales order entry
Procure to Pay
Procure to pay starts with ordering things like services, inventory, expense items and assets and then receiving them followed by recording the invoices and paying for those items.
Purchase order management
The lead to cash cycle and procure to pay cycle both generate financial transactions that end up in the “books” or general ledger, which is the foundation of financial reporting. In addition the other cycles can also provide information for reporting and analysis of business performance. Some systems include report generation tools that are used to define and produce financial statements such as income statements and balance sheets. But some systems require an additional external tool to design and produce those reports. Most systems have a query tool that allows users to create their own views of the data. And most of ERP systems support exporting data to Excel for further analysis and some allow for the automatic refreshing of the Excel data without logging into the ERP system.
In the end, the primary objective of ERP systems is to enable companies to better manage their operations and provide better information to decision makers at all levels. So if you are looking for a system make sure the systems you consider meet your information needs and company objectives.
Seattle, WA February 28th, 2013 – PC Bennett Solutions is experiencing rapid growth since their mid-2012 partnership with Acumatica, a promising new player in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software industry. Currently, PC Bennett is the only Acumatica partner in the Northwest.
Patricia Bennett, founder of PC Bennett Solutions addressed her network at the Seattle Executives Association on February 27th to build awareness of the functionality of the Acumatica system. Mrs. Bennett reported substantial growth of the PC Bennett Solutions team, plans of expanding the workspace at the company’s North Bend office, and recent re-launch of the company website to reflect their new product shift.
Now, in addition to selling, implementing, and supporting Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM and other products, PC Bennett Solutions includes Acumatica’s cloud-based ERP solution in their versatile products offering. The company has increased their team of professionals by nearly 100% in the last six months due to increased sales and plans for continued growth stemming from Acumatica 4.0 which is scheduled to be released on March 5th.
“Acumatica sells itself”, stated Ms. Bennett. “We are thrilled to be a partner of this powerful business management system. It allows us to serve other businesses with a level of functionality and flexibility that cannot be found in any other ERP system.”
“Presenting Acumatica to prospects is interesting, in that, they are often surprised by the number of features that are available readily right out of the box” said Art Olsen, Systems Architect.
Business leaders interested in learning more about services offered at PC Bennett Solutions or functionality of Acumatica, can visit www.pcbennett.com or call 425-831-7924.
PC Bennett Solutions has been providing business management software solutions to businesses since 2002. Their mission is to provide end-to-end system evaluation, implementation, support, and customization solutions to small and midsize businesses in various industries.
There’s been so much activity at Acumatica these days it’s been difficult to keep up. With a rapidly growing network of excited partners the innovative tech company plans to aggressively disrupt the business management software industry over the next few years. Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen in August 2013 so far:
Acumatica’s Whirlwind of Announcements
On the 14th, Acumatica was recognized with the Silver Stevie award in the Best New Product category in the 10th Annual International Business Awards. According to this press release, the company received this “for taking ‘financial management for SMBs to the next level’”.
Then, on August 19th, Acumatica announced a record annual growth of over 300% and potentially hitting 350% by year end. In the past year they’ve moved their headquarters to Kirkland, WA and doubled their staff.
Eva Idom, President of AIM Solutions was named Partner of the Year
PC Bennett Recognized for Outstanding Achievement
With over 280 partner attendees, we were honored to be one of the 10 partners recognized for outstanding achievement at the annual summit. PC Bennett has seen “Acumatica-like” growth since joining them in 2011. Due to our committed and highly trained team, PC Bennett Solutions was named a Gold Certified Partner in April 2013.
The design stage is the part of the implementation where the focus is on creating a system configuration that will maximize the system benefits and ROI received by the client. The design phase starts near the end of discovery and planning, where project team selection and much of the documentation and planning has already taken place. The implementation team will work to translate the client’s system requirements into potential configuration options. Then, they will work closely with the project team to establish those configurations and implementation strategies that will then lead into the development phase of the project.
6 Steps of ERP Implementation Design
The design phase of an ERP implementation project can be broken down into these 6 steps:
Gather and Review Master Records
Early in the design phase the implementation team will want to review the client’s master records. This is data that is the foundation of the current system such as:
Chart of accounts
Subaccounts if applicable
This information along with the discovery information will form the basis for the implementation team to begin discussions with the project team about how to start configuring the new system.
ERP System Orientation & Walkthrough
Now the implementation team is ready to begin training the project team on the functionality of the new system by walking through the application. This usually follows the flow of various business cycles and starts the process of mapping out the procedures identified during discovery. This can take a few hours to a couple of days depending on the complexity of the business.
For example, we would open the accounts payable module and walk through setting up a vendor (contact info, payment methods, terms, etc.), entering an accounts payable invoice, showing the approval processes and the payment cycle steps. This allows the project team to see how they would do their jobs in the new system. During this session, project team members may identify areas where the new system differs in approach from the old system. In designing how to use the new system some compromising might take place between having to make slight changes to processes themselves or customizing the actual software.
A few years ago during the discovery process I asked a project team member to explain their current steps to generate an invoice for product shipments. She smiled and said, “Don’t laugh. We get the shipping documents from the shipping department, then take a 7 part invoice and insert it into a typewriter and type the invoice”, all the while watching the incredulous look on my face. She went on to explain where the copies went and that they then entered all of the invoice information onto a 13 column pad. She concluded by saying that they had been using this procedure for 25 years and were looking forward to changing their approach. They were very excited to see how the new system would eliminate the typewriter and 13 column pad and they went on to a successful implementation.
Establish Initial System Configuration Settings
Establishment of the initial configuration settings includes tasks like designing the chart of accounts in combination with the subaccount structure. This is a key decision point and should be done with the goal of supporting the reporting requirements that arose from the discovery process. Done correctly the proper configuration can support things like companies, divisions, departments, product lines and so on.
This is also the time to decide what the format of customer and vendor id’s – should they be simple numeric values, abbreviations for the names or some combination thereof? Advanced ERP systems like Acumatica and should support both to give you full flexibility in running your business.
If the client is a distributor and/or manufacturer, design of the item numbering scheme and bill of materials and resources is also critical.
Create a Prototype
The teams will work together to build a prototype system configured to meet the client’s business needs. The system will consist of sample customers, vendors, items that feed financial activity into the accounting system using the first pass at a chart of accounts and subaccounts. Again the teams should look to see that the client’s reporting requirements can be met. This version of the system will be used to train the project team members and prove out some of the decisions made earlier in the design process.
Define User Roles
Modern ERP systems rely on user roles to control security. These role-based systems can be simple or complex depending on the size of the business and internal control requirements. For example, a sales person should not have access to the cash receipts function, or an AP person to be able to cut a purchase order. The project team will define these roles and users who will be using those roles. This especially applies to Acumatica, which has particularly sophisticated security functionality.
Document ERP Procedures
Along the way the project team will document how the system should be used by creating procedures for each function. The procedures should include which position submits the initial invoice, how it is reviewed and how it is approved. The project team puts these types of procedures in place to support initial end-user training and the training of new people in a consistent manner. This is probably the most difficult part of the design process for most project teams. Some more advanced systems, such as Acumatica, allow client-specific procedures to be easily incorporated into the “Help” system as part of the user interface so that they are always a click away for the user’s reference thereby allowing for the consistent use of the system.
I have been brought into numerous companies to review how they were using their current system after a few years and frustration levels with it were very high. In all cases there had been significant turnover and many if not all of the original project team had left the company. In many cases users are shown about 10% of the functionality of the system. They get frustrated with it and start building workarounds usually in spreadsheets. Having current and readily accessible procedures helps reduce this problem.
What do you consider to be the most difficult part of the design process?