Anderson Yates wins new business in the US

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Global Summit on Women Empowerment 2016 | Anderson Yates
Global Summit on Women Empowerment 2016 | Anderson Yates

Independent consultants Anderson Yates has won new business from Houston, Texas-based Global Summit Group to advice on cloud business platform for global event management and fund raising.

Anderson Yates, independent business transformation consultants, project and change managers, today announces its first significant US contract win to advise Houston, Texas-based Global Summit Group on the selection and implementation of a cloud based event management and fund raising platform.

The Global Summit Group, organiser of key United Nation allied events such as The Global Summit on Women Empowerment in New York, needed a solution for its global user base to book events and make donations.  Payments for both will be via all major Credit Cards, bank transfer and Paypal.

Princess Moradeun Ogunlana, Chair & CEO, Global Summit Group appointed Anderson Yates based on the firm’s proven ability to deliver successful projects in a short period of time.  “We have been impressed by the company’s (Anderson Yates) responsiveness, its change management approach and ability to review and understand our organisation needs.  In a few weeks, we have a solution shortlisted and tested. The pilot for our first event is now in place”

Yuwan Effendi, Principal Consultant commented “It is an honor for us to be involved with a progressive global company with a single aim of improving its organisational effectiveness.  The company understands the need for automation in handling its global events and donations management and the benefits a single platform brings.”

Within six weeks, Anderson Yates delivered a single platform solution that manages all aspects of Global Summit Group’s management needs, including a website for events, event booking and management, donation management, project  management,employee module, accounting, invoicing, time sheet, expenses, purchase order, stock control and e-commerce merchandise shop. Payment gateway is linked to Paypal with an option to pay by bank transfer.

Anderson Yates is Gold Sponsor at the Anglia Business Exhibition in Ipswich, 15 June, 2016 to showcase their event management and donation management solution for non profit organisations.  Registration is free.

For further information, please visit www.andersonyates.co.uk or call us on +44 1223 257769.

Join us on Twitter: @ayatesconsult

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Part 3 – Is cloud based ERP an extremely risky project for SMEs?

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Part 3 – Is cloud based ERP an extremely risky project for SMEs?

Anderson Yates consultants have been asked to rescue three ERP projects in the past two months, all involving companies that employ less than 250 employees – deploying cloud based ERP. What went wrong for them and what lessons can be learned that will ensure your company doesn’t fall into the same traps? (Part 3)

This week’s article and case study is the final in the series asking if ERP implementation is an Extremely Risky Project for SMEs to undertake.  Our final ERP implementation rescue is for a financial services company providing advice on various products.  They have been implementing their ERP system for 18 months but have not yet adopted the solution for finance.  The front office team has been using the Customer Relationship module to meet regulatory and internal sales management needs.

Case study 3 – Lessons from a Financial Services company ERP project rescue

Why has the solution not yet adopted after 18 months of implementation?  That’s a great question and it was the same question the board was asking.  I am unable to go into great lengths in disclosing this case as it is still ongoing.  Sufficient to say that initial review of the implementation uncovered a number of basic errors.  An example is the use of a text field instead of a drop down list which would have ensured data integrity.  Additional entries can be added to the drop down list if an option was not available.  There were in excess of 100 custom fields added to the Relationship Management module mainly in the Customer and Contacts records.  Automation was deployed to create tasks and activities to support the business processes.

Do you have a System Design Document for the implementation?  If you have read part 2, you know that this is one of the first questions our consultants would ask when reviewing an implementation.  Unfortunately – no.

Do you have a documentation of your To Be Business Process?  Again no.  So how would they know once the system has been implemented if that’s the optimized business process?

Transformation delivered? No not yet.  After discussing with the management team and explaining the implementation best practices that we use, we agreed that a re-implementation was the best solution.  A fixed fee and fixed scope fast track implementation program was agreed with clearly defined scope, deliverables, timescale and tasks to be carried out.

Here is our Sales pitch ……

Are you in the process of setting up your ERP system and need additional resources?  Do you need a fixed fee fixed scope ERP system implementation to ensure certainty and reduce risk on your part?  Our consultants are experts in Netsuite, Sage, Deltek Vision, Microsoft Dynamics, Sales Force & FinancialForce CRM, ERP and Business Intelligence solutions.  Call me on 01223 257769 or email:help@andersonyates.co.uk  if you need an impartial advice and assistance.  We will carry out an initial ERP health check review.

Key lessons learned from 3 case studies :

  1. ERP Project failures are not limited to location, size, industry or sector.
  2. Ensure you have a clear understanding of your optimum To Be Processes and reports and KPIs needs.
  3. Team training is important to set expectations and promote buy in from the start.
  4. Ensure you involve and focus the ERP project on all departments.  Even if you do not intend to roll out the system for certain departments immediately, explain the timescale and why decisions at the initial stage have impact on every department.  Engage all process owners throughout the project lifecycle, right through to go live and do not make assumptions on their behalf.
  5. Do not skip or short cut on User Acceptance Testing stage. Ensure that a thorough User Acceptance Testing is carried out before go live.  It must include all current and potential scenarios.  Run an end to end process testing not just segment tests.
  6. The choice of consultants matter for your ERP project success.
  7. We cannot over emphasize the importance of training.  It reduces frustration and stress. Get help early if you think the system is not behaving as you expect. If you think something is wrong – you are usually right.
  8. Ensure that you or your supplier documents your new ERP processes including details of the configuration options and the reason why they were selected.  Update the document after go live as soon as possible and carry out final configuration check.
  9. Ensure that you examine the consultants’ implementation methodology and plan to ensure they make sense and provide sufficient time and attention to adoption as well as implementation process.  Flag up any concerns or issues early and seek another independent advice if required.
  10. Choose fixed scope and fixed price fast implementation option if possible to reduce uncertainty and risk and to get the ERP solution ready for testing as soon as possible. Any potential issues can be identified earlier and addressed.

Summary

SMEs have the opportunity to upgrade their often non-integrated business management solutions with cloud native fully integrated ERP.  These systems offer lower cost of ownership, less risk, increase efficiency and provide flexibility and scalability to meet increasing business complexities.  Implemented and adopted properly, ERP provides a great Return on Investment (ROI) for fast growth and internationally focused SMBs.  However, as lessons learned above shows,there are pitfalls and “gotchas”. As SMEs place increasing demands on suppliers and resellers to implement ERP solutions to meet their needs, there will be a shortage of experienced consultants, project and change managers.  The choice of consulting firm will become more important to ensure successful outcome.

Read Part 2 – Is Cloud based ERP an extremely risky project for SMEs?

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Part 2 – Is cloud based ERP an extremely risky project for SMEs?

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Part 2 – Is cloud based ERP an extremely risky project for SMEs?

Anderson Yates consultants have been asked to rescue three ERP projects in the past two months, all involving companies that employ less than 250 employees – deploying cloud based ERP. What went wrong for them and what lessons can be learned that will ensure your company doesn’t fall into the same traps? (Part 2)

This week’s case study is based on an ERP implementation rescue for an E-commerce company selling luxury wear in several countries.  Their ERP system has been running for 12 months when we were appointed following a change in its operations team.

Case study 2 – Lessons from an E-commerce ERP project rescue

Surely if it has been running for 12 months, it must be working properly?  You would have thought so wouldn’t you?  Yet in reviewing how their stock items were set up for items with different sizes and colours, they were not correctly done.  Consequently, when sales invoices and delivery notes were printed, there were missing information relating to the size and colour of the product.  Could they have picked this up at User Acceptance?  Yes, definitely.  The UAT phase should have involved creating new stock items of all types.

Was that it? Anything else?  When we were reviewing questions and anomalies regarding the system and how it behaved, it became clear that the new operations team has had little training in the use of the software and some of these anomalies may have been by design.  An example question was can we hide or default the VAT column when users enter sales orders.  Whilst the system can be configured to do so, it was not practical as orders were created for sales to different countries for the same client.

Do you have a System Design Document for the implementation?  This is one of the first questions our consultants would ask when reviewing an implementation.  I got a blank stare and a question of what is that? The system design document contains details of configuration options.  It explains the reason why the system is set up as it is.  Unfortunately, none was available.  Our recommendation to clients is that a System Design Document should be updated at the earliest opportunity after go live.  It is the system administrator(s)’s role to do so.  This allows the administrator(s) the opportunity for final review.

Our stock valuation is incorrect – it should have been higher than what is being reported? Our suspicion was confirmed by this very statement.  We didn’t think the system was correctly implemented with the right stock valuation method in place.  I was further puzzled by why I was also asked to help them correct stock numbers and valuation.  It was like opening a can of worms.  It appears that the process of stock ordering, receiving, sales order processing, despatch and sales invoicing has not been strictly followed through.  The finance team has been adjusting stock valuation to compensate for the incorrect valuation method in use.  Frustrations and stress level was high as reports of sales through and valuation were being questioned.

What we did?  Following a review with the Operations manager, a plan of action was agreed.  Correct stock type, correct stock valuation as at the end of the previous year.  Review previous sales orders and close those already fulfilled or partially fulfilled if no more despatch is to be made.  We provided the operations team with training on the correct use of the system and the effect of each step of the process on accounting.  We also provided training on the use of reporting tools to report on transactions, to carry out analysis and the use of Dashboard for KPI reporting.

Transformation delivered.  The corrective work took three days to complete and training was provided “on the job”.  The operations team is now able to maintain the system correctly and understands the impact of their action on accounting.  The stock valuation is now correctly reflecting the purchase cost of items made up of several components including packaging and additional work purchased from multiple suppliers on a number of purchase orders.  We are now six weeks since the remedial work was carried out.  Stock Valuation at the end of May was to be compared to physical stock count.  The team is now preparing for the launch of a new range for the summer season.  They are now using the import routine devised for adding new stock lines which included style, size and colour.  “We are delighted by the care and attention provided by your team.  You have in-depth knowledge of the product and we have no hesitation in recommending yourcompany” was the comment from the operations manager.

Here is our Sales pitch ……

Are you in the process of setting up your ERP system and need additional resources?  Have your business model changed since your ERP was set up?  Are you now struggling in using your ERP system?  Would further optimisation or training be helpful?  Our consultants are experts in Netsuite, Sage, Deltek Vision, Microsoft Dynamics, Sales Force & FinancialForce CRM, ERP and Business Intelligence solutions.  Call us on 01223 257769 or email: help@andersonyates.co.uk  if you need an impartial advice and assistance.  We will carry out an initial ERP health check review.  Our mission is to assist SMEs to successfully adopt business management solutions that help them win more business, improve efficiency, increase profitability and provide flexibility to maximise opportunities.

Key lessons learned:

  1. Ensure that a thorough User Acceptance Testing is carried out before go live.  It must include all current and potential scenarios.  Run an end to end process testing not just segment tests.
  2. We cannot emphasise the importance of training.  It reduces frustration and stress.  Get help early if you think the system is not behaving as you would expect it to.  If you think something is wrong – you are usually right.
  3. Ensure that you or your supplier documents your new ERP processes including details of the configuration options and the reason why they were selected.  Update the document after go live as soon as possible and carry out final configuration check.
  4. The choice of consultants matter for your ERP project success.

Next week will be our final instalment and conclusion to the question “ Is Cloud based ERP an Extremely Risky Project  for SMEs?”  We will share with you what lessons can be learned from a financial services company implementing Services focused ERP (SRP – Services Resource Planning).

Read Part 1 – Is Cloud based ERP an extremely risky project for SMEs?

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Cegedim Analytics and Anderson Yates to present at Project Challenge 2014 in October

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Cegedim Analytics and Anderson Yates to present at Project Challenge 2014 in October

Cegedim Analytics and Anderson Yates will present a Master Class at Project Challenge 2014 on “How Agile Business Intelligence(BI) supports the Project Management Office (PMO)”. The event at Olympia, London, on 14-15 October is the UK’s largest independent show for project and program managers.

Companies are adopting Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics tools today to gain valuable insights into company performance and facilitate revenue growth. The presentation discusses how the PMO can use these tools to best effect within the project lifecycle and how agile BI platforms such as Cegedim Analytics’ Reportive automatic reporting, dashboard and analytics platform fast track the PMO’s stakeholder reporting and communication tasks.

The presentation also acknowledges the technical complexity and costly corporate systems incumbent within many companies such as IBM Cognos, Oracle & SAP offerings can benefit from adopting a 2 tier BI startegy which include agile BI solution for automating reporting at departmental level.

Agile BI platforms such as Reportive co-exists with and utilises data from corporate BI & Analytics tools to enable departments such as the PMO to combine data from multiple sources to produce and distribute stakeholder updates and reports without coding. These agile BI platforms are designed for business users in mind and can output results in multiple formats including Excel,Pdf, Word, PowerPoint and Html.

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