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Bellwether Magazine - Customers 1st Issue - Q1 2015


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Don’t we all want to be “sticky” with our customers so that they buy from us time and time again? This issue is dedicated to honor those that are servicing their customers in a way that is fruitful for both parties. We wanted to highlight those stories and give you tips and tricks for how you can step up your customer service game.

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Bellwether Magazine - Customers 1st Issue - Q1 2015

  1. 1. Volume 6 | Issue 1 | First Quarter 2015 BELLWETHER Customers
  2. 2. vs. Inventory management just got a face lift Our 25 year old vision of a truly mobile warehouse is now a reality With a live connection you never have to worry about syncing again. Manage Sage 100 inventory from your pocket with Scanco Warehouse and see the difference. What’s not to love about the new Scanco? Visit for more information ` SYNCING... SYNCING... PLEASE WAIT
  3. 3. 3bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership TRENGTHEN Customer Service Across the Supply Chain 3 Ways to sections Letter from the Editor 5 Leadership 6 Sales & Marketing 8 Corporate Finance 14 Industry News 16 Cover Story 24 Customer Profile 26 Technology 30 18 “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but LEGENDARY.” Sam Walton - Founder of Wal-Mart 12 30 CORCOR6 Customers 24
  4. 4. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 20154
  5. 5. 5bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership LETTERFROMTHEEDITOR BELLWETHER A Blytheco Magazine Volume 5 First Quarter, 2015 STAFF EDITOR Apryl Hanson CREATIVE DIRECTOR Greg Went CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Devin Ambron Alicia Anderson Avalara Patty Benitez Careena Dudic Joni Girardi Denise Renee Phinn Kelley Starr Kelvin Takhar Christi Whipple Paul Ziliak ADVERTISING SALES Ginger Kittinger SUBSCRIPTIONS Or contact Ginger Kittinger - (800) 425-9843, Extension 2501 Bellwether Magazine is published by Blytheco with principal offices at: 23161 Mill Creek Road Suite 200 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 If you wish to be removed from the mailing list or to add names to the mailing list, send your request, including name, business name, and mailing address to the above address or to This is a copyrighted publication and all articles herein are covered by this copyright. Any use of the content for commercial reasons or other form or reproduction of material herein is strictly prohibited without prior, written approval of Bellwether Magazine.
  6. 6. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 20156 TRENGTHEN Customer Service Across the Supply Chain 3 Ways to LEADERSHIP Your business starts and ends with one thing: your customer. Without your customer, your business has no rhyme, no reason, and a whole lot of unused products and inventory sitting in the warehouse. In the day-to-day activities involved with running a smooth and efficient warehouse operation, it can be hard to keep this important concept in mind. Your customer gets lost in the shuffle – placed on a shelf until the final product arrives at their door or until they raise such a clatter they become hard to ignore. by Devin Ambron Truth is, the customer is not the focus in most of today’s warehouse environments. Warehouse managers are too busy trying to improve productivity numbers, increase efficiency and streamline processes to think about the ultimate reason for doing these things. While the customer holds a significant role behind the scenes, their stage time in the warehouse is limited (if they make an appearance at all). Over the past 20 years of working with warehouses across the country, our employees at Scanco have made it a priority to help our clients see the value of their customers in every area of the supply chain. We have found that companies who are customer-focused in all they do are not only more successful in terms of profitability, but they also experience an increase in customer satisfaction across the board. True Customer Service Occurs at Every Stage in the Game In 2012, a survey was taken of American consumers to gain an understanding of what is most important to customers when choosing and interacting with businesses. The survey revealed that 98% of respondents said that customer experience is among the top three factors in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. So if the customer’s experience is such an important factor to them, shouldn’t it be just as important to the company? One of the greatest misunderstandings about customer service is that it begins and ends in the customer service department. While it’s true that customer service agents shoulder much of the responsibility for keeping customers happy, the burden does not lie on them alone. If you truly want to keep your customers happy and coming back for more, you need to place an importance on customer service in every department, including the supply chain. Over the past 20 years, Scanco has helped many companies improve the way they manage their warehouses so they can better serve their customers. As a result, we have learned some tried-and-true methods designed to bring a customer- focus to the supply chain. Here are three ways you can begin to strengthen customer service right from your warehouse floor:
  7. 7. 7bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 1. Streamlinedatatransferacrossyourorganization so everyone has access to the information they need. Does your customer service department know what’s going on in the supply chain? Are they aware of delays in shipping before the customer calls to complain? Is your warehouse aware of last- minute changes in customer orders? Having access to real-time information is crucial for providing superior customer service. In fact, according to the survey, 40% of customer service calls could have been avoided if the company had a thorough and accessible system of documentation. 2. Remind your employees of the bigger picture. Rather than harp on the importance of increased productivity numbers, let your employees know why these numbers are important. Ultimately, high productivity means getting your products into your customers’ hands faster, which translates into more satisfied customers who are willing to continue doing business with your company. By showing your workers how their jobs (no matter how menial they may seem) impact the customer, you can start creating a customer-centric culture in your warehouse and across our organization. 3. Do your job fast, and do it well. In today’s economy, your customers have a lot of options. If you cannot meet their expectations and fulfill their orders in a timely manner, they will take their business (and their money) elsewhere. That’s why it is so important to master every step of the supply chain – from receiving to picking, packing, and shipping. Automating time-consuming processes and eliminating repetitive tasks is not just beneficial in the warehouse, it’s beneficial to your customers too! The Answer to Your Customer Service Woes is in Your Pocket Creating a customer-centric culture in your warehouse doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be incredibly easy if you have the right tools and technology. This year, Scanco created a mobile app designed to help companies better serve their customers. Scanco Warehouse, our first fully mobile warehouse management solution, integrates seamlessly with Sage 100 ERP and grants every department in your organization access to the information they need to answer customer inquiries. Designed to work with your smartphone or tablet, Scanco Warehouse gives you the same capabilities as a full warehouse management solution – just in the palm of your hand. Users can use the solution to automate key warehouse management tasks and bring order back into the warehouse. Being proactive about your customer relationships is key, so why not start in the supply chain? Learn about how Scanco’s products can help deliver the service your customers expect and need by visiting
  8. 8. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 20158 You can tell when an organization has its eye on the ball. If you’re a customer, you feel that you’re known and appreciated. If you’re a supplier, you respect the business-like ordering. If you’re an employee, you always have the data you need to meet customer needs intelligently. User-Centric Business Intelligence: The New Way to Put People First and Send ROI Soaring by Joni Girardi
  9. 9. 9bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership Joni Girardi is the founder and CEO of DataSelf Corporation, an innovative leader in business intelligence and analytics solutions for SMBs. DataSelf solutions simplify and amplify Tableau and Microsoft BI technologies with 5000+ out-of-the-box reports, dashboards, and KPIs, plus an ultralight data warehouse for plugging into different systems. Learn more at and connect with Joni on Linkedin at About the Author It all comes down to putting people first, and it’s just plain good business. Despite all our new technology, nothing has dampened our craving for attention. When we feel it, we’ll do anything to keep it. Smart executives know this. They make sure they have a business intelligence system that lets them keep their eye on a few critical ways that gives people that feeling. Knowing Customers Through the Data Every customer is an individual, keenly aware of his or her own history and needs. And a business intelligence system worthy of the name lets decision makers at all levels see through the data to the customer. “Customers don’t care about the other hundred or thousand different customers we may think about,” says the Vice President of Marketing at a Midwest-based online retailer who asked to be anonymous. “It’s as if each customer wants their needs anticipated as if they’re the only one alive.” Sweating the Small Stuff Customers need to have confidence in your operation, especially if their only contact is through a website and phone calls. They want to know that your organization operates efficiently and can respond to their needs promptly. It’s Good to Put People First, but Which People? Let’s be frank. When you’re in a crunch, you make tough choices. You may not have time to put all your customers first. A user-centric system provides the clarity you need at times like that. Freeing Employees to Do the Highest-Value Work There’s no worse drudgery than coaxing technology and data to do what it’s meant to do effortlessly. Well designed, user-centric data systems free everyone to do the highest value work they can do. That sends ROI soaring. Managers analyze data easily, and IT escapes report-configuration to do real IT work. Give knowledgeable employees smart tools. When data’s easy to analyze, answers come faster — followed by more questions that might never have been asked otherwise. They can modify reports without waiting for the IT department. When they’re not even sure what question to ask, they can perform free-wheeling data discovery to home in on value. It Comes Down to One Thing: User-Centric Design of Software The company that provides smart, user-centric tools tells people that it cares. Knowing that, how can people fail to work harder and smarter? Employees find the user-centric business intelligence system so intuitive that they jump in with most functions right away, with no help from experts. They create and modify reports, dashboards, and KPIs from scratch or modify them simply and quickly. Customers feel the difference. Suppliers enjoy the smooth, intelligent ordering that makes their job so much easier. There’s simply something in the air when people feel taken care of. A user-centric data analytics system also puts executives first. It sends labor cost plunging, usually 80% or more, and ROI soaring. The system deploys in hours instead of weeks or months, and connects automatically to a wide variety of ERP and CRM systems. It frees IT people to do high-value work. Across the organization, people feel competent, confident, and productive. “I don’t know how we ever operated without our business intelligence system,” says a call-center executive at a mid-sized manufacturer in Florida. “With DataSelf Analytics, I can hear a smile in every voice.” SALESMARKETING
  10. 10. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201510 Need Approvals?
  11. 11. 11bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership Travel & Expense Project Time Requisition Procurement APInvoice Automation Materials Management w w | 800.725.4408 Purchase Requests | AP Invoices Expense Reports | Timesheets
  12. 12. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201512 by Careena Dudic Historically, marketing initiatives were based on contacting as many relevant customers at a time through a myriad of methods, usually based around television and print advertising or cold-calling. Generally, the cost of these endeavors required fewer campaigns to be managed throughout the year. While something such as a Super Bowl advertisement had the potential to reach millions of potential customers, the enormous cost of $4 million for a 30-second slot causes this marketing tool to be out of reach for smaller companies and can deplete a great portion of a larger organization’s marketing budget. Enter the advent of social media which has the potential to reach an enormous client base either for free or by managing costs for advertising and advanced features. With over 75 percent of adults utilizing at least one social media platform, the impact of social media on the client experience is undeniable. It has been identified that there are in fact seven psychological needs that can be met when an individual logs onto a social media platform including: acknowledgment, attention, approval, appreciation, acclaim, assurance, and inclusion. These needs are also integral to businesses elevating their customer experience. As described in Forbes magazine, “Social media is here, and is the preferred mode of communication by a large segment of your customers, so make it a positive differentiator for your business. Don’t force them to use an automated phone response system, or a faceless unresponsive form. Customers are not all like you, and they have choices, so “one size fits all” customer service is no longer a viable option.” So then exactly how are businesses using this marketing tool to reach out to their client base and put value in their brand? Below are four pertinent examples of organizations creatively using social media platforms to reach out to their customers: Oreo (Nabisco) During the 2013 Superbowl, a power outage caused the lights at the Super Dome to go out for 34 minutes. While Oreo did not purchase Super Bowl advertising space, they did have a 15 person social media team to respond to any event of the Super Bowl. Oreo’s response to the power outage was a tweet of a dimly lit, solitary Oreo that read: “Power out? No problem! You can still dunk in the dark.” The solitary tweet was retweeted over 15,000 times and received more than 20,000 likes on Facebook. The customer base was reached and return on investment were impactful without purchasing advertising space. Target Target’s data breach in 2013 could have been a total disaster for the company’s wider image and customer trust. However, the company’s swift and effective social media campaign effectively controlled the customer reaction and reasserted confidence in the company. With clear and concise updates provided via social media on the data breach status, customers had ease of access to information and were able to have questions quickly answered with little effort on their part. Intuit Intuit has successfully bridged the gap between traditional marketing and the use of social media. By enrolling small businesses in a social media contest, Intuit is offering the winner a Super Bowl advertisement, engaging thousands of businesses at once. Furthermore, the company regularly provides support and answers questions through Facebook and Twitter boasting $6 million in revenue from their social media presences. Dollar Shave Club Dollar Shave Club was a startup that generated almost its entire client base from a single YouTube video. The viral video generated more than 12,000 sign-ups for the company’s monthly subscription-based razor service, with more than 4.75 million views in the following three months. The social media presence, The introduction of social media has had an impact beyond affecting the way humans communicate. Utilizing social media has now become a critical portion of business’ marketing strategies. While social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were originally seen as a pastime outside of the workplace, the recent move of large companies and startups creatively implementing social media campaigns has created a new concept of marketing with tools that are surprisingly free to get started with. By Careena Dudic Improving the Client Experience with Social Media
  13. 13. 13bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership which cost the startup $4,500 to create, generated $9.8 million in venture capital funding following its upload. Are these isolated cases or is the overall impact of social media on the client experience tangible? While the “new age” of social media dominance cannot be denied, digital marketing spending is increasing by more than 10 percent and traditional marketing contracting by almost five percent. Yet, marketing executives still find the overall monetary impact of social media hard to measure. Qualitative impact is significantly easier to discern than quantitative impact due to the fact that it is impossible to know exactly how many people are viewing a campaign due to restrictions of Internet usage privacy law. That being said, this does not offset the fact that companies plan on increasing their social media budget by at least five percent for the coming year. The average company polled by Duke University states that they have an average of three social media experts on staff to take full advantage of the newest trend in marketing. While the exact effects of social media cannot be easily extracted at this point, it is still considered imperative for companies to have a social media presence. Martin Zwilling, a contributor for Forbes Magazine commented, “As I visit the websites of many startups, as well as more mature businesses, I still too often see a “contact” page offering nothing but a sterile form for customers to submit, never to be heard from again. Social media connections, if they exist, are buried elsewhere or reserved for monitoring purposes only.” With the use of social media still a burgeoning marketing tool, it is recommended to start small and then expand. With the majority of social media platforms being free to set up a profile and get started while more advanced features and advertising comes at a cost, this marketing device is one of the most accessible marketing options for all businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies. These are the recommended steps for companies to begin their social media presence: 1. Organize your business information on social media. Make sure that all your company information is visible and easily accessible. 2. Create content that reflects your company brand. Brainstorm marketing campaigns that truly represent the type of business you are and the client you want to attract. 3. Ask your customers how they found you. Target which social media platform your customers use the most and focus on that. 4. Accept customer feedback and questions. Do not be afraid of negative comments, but respond to them appropriately and timely. 5. Put time into your social media presence. Companies that have the strongest social media presences, respond to more than 65 percent of the questions asked by their client base. Social media is still a new player to the marketing field, so being able to use it well does not have a strict definition at this point. However, its growing influence is undeniable and the potential for business growth, company branding and ultimately revenue generation make it a key marketing tool. Using a social platform that allows customers to feel connected and cared for by a company should become an integral part of every marketing strategy no matter how big or small and organization may be. As commented on by Jeff Bullas, “Through the use of social media, customers and prospects now have an almost instantaneousplatformfordiscussionoftheirideas,experiences, and knowledge. Increasingly, the use of social media is playing an important role in the professional lives of decision-makers as they utilize the tools and mediums before them to engage their decision-making processes. The social nature of decision- making has increased with impressive strength, connecting generations of professionals to each other—changing the dynamics of customer relationship management, marketing, and communications – forever.” SALESMARKETING
  14. 14. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201514 3 Ways Manual Sales Tax Management Customer Satisfaction Many ERP systems, while amazing at streamlining business functions, still rely on legacy processes (which tend to be manual) to manage transactional tax - even though they have the ability to automate tax compliance via out-of-the-box integrations. If you don’t add automation capability to your ERP system, calculating sales tax basically requires you to upload rate tables, enter and track sales tax schedules in each applicable city, county, and state as well as rules, rates, and boundary changes. Here are 3 tax-related issues that could negatively impact customer satisfaction: 1. Address Validation - Traditional address validation functionality is limited to ZIP codes, which aren’t always accurate. This leads to wasted time tracking down correct addresses and contact information and charges from carriers for undeliverable items. Moreover, a single ZIP code can have up to 20 different tax rates in it because taxing jurisdictions and postal codes do not align. This can result in overcharging sales tax to your customer which increases the final amount on their invoice. 2. Changing Product & Service Taxability - Sales and use tax rates and rules are constantly changing at local, state, and federal levels and the definition of nexus has changed substantially in the last few years. What once was not taxable now is – particularly things like business services and products that were once tax exempt. This all varies by state and taxing jurisdiction. The last thing you want to do is have to go back to your customer post-transaction to collect tax because you realized your rate tables were inaccurate. Your staff will spend inordinate amounts of time researching rates and updating tax tables. 3. Tracking Tax Holidays - Have you seen the most recent list of tax holidays by state? It’s daunting and incredibly difficult to be proactive about. Sales tax holidays are the best time for consumers . . . but for those in charge of tax compliance, it can be anything but a holiday. Often times, consumers use these tax holiday periods to stock up on specific items. If you’re not current on accurate product taxability and tax holidays, you could find yourself with an upset customer at the register when you accidentally charge them tax during a tax holiday. The truth is, if you are attempting to handle sales and use tax compliance manually, you are expending valuable time, energy, and money on activities that are not generating revenue and unnecessarily adding a level of complexity to customer satisfaction. At the same time, you expose the business to unnecessary financial risk from an audit. Learn more about the relationship between tax compliance and customer satisfaction by reading the results of a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research at: HURTSHURTS CORPORATEFINANCE By Avalara Transactional tax compliance is a critical task for almost every business. Yet, most businesses don’t realize that manually managing tax compliance can create issues with customer service that are otherwise preventable. This is primarily due to companies not fully realizing the impact ERP tax compliance tools can have on their business and underestimating their value.
  15. 15. 15bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership For more information: | | 877.979.5462 MAPADOC EDI is a fully integrated, easy-to-use electronic data interchange (EDI) solution that integrates seamlessly with Sage 100 ERP, Sage 500 ERP and Sage ERP X3. MAPADOC EDI IS A COMPLETE AND TRULY INTEGRATED SOLUTION When trading partners institute new rules, you will be ready. MAPADOC provides a user-friendly way to map to and from Sage ERP fields, preset variables and user-defined fields (UDFs). With MAPADOC, you will be able to: Receive inbound documents Process orders Send out the necessary outbound documents MAPADOC EDI is a powerful and flexible EDI solution that enables you to: Integrate seamlessly with Sage 100 ERP, Sage 500 ERP and Sage ERP X3 Access integrated documents which include: 850 Purchase Order, 810 Invoice, 856 Advance Ship Notice, and many, many more Create UCC-128 labels Use Visual Process Flows to receive in- bound documents, process orders and send out the necessary outbound documents Dramatically cut data-entry time and costs by eliminating duplicate entry Improve communication with vendors and customers Save time and money • • • • • • • • • • UPCOMING WEBINAR Get MORE with the Newest Release: MAPADOC for Sage 500 ERP Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET Attend our upcoming webinar to learn about the new, exciting features in MAPADOC for Sage 500 ERP. MORE Visibility MORE Automation MORE Documents
  16. 16. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201516 by Patty Benitez The Retail Challenge These days, retailers are demanding more from their suppliers than ever before. In the past, a company may have shipped a large order to a retailer’s distribution center; now a typical order is likely to be shipped directly to hundreds of individual store locations. One late order may mean hundreds of thousands in lost revenue dollars and chargebacks. As complex orders pour in from retail customers, suppliers can now only keep up by maintaining adequate stock at all times and responding quickly to every retailer demand, no matter how minor it seems. An Increasing Need for EDI Successful big-box retailers have always understood the need for business-enhancing technology such as EDI systems. Now that the smaller companies are growing bigger, they are also realizing the many benefits that EDI brings. For larger companies or for companies with no time to waste, EDI can be a life saver. EDI empowers suppliers to automatically process customers’ / trading partners’ incoming orders, send order acknowledgements, generate advanced shipping notices (ASNs), and deliver invoices automatically. When a supplier chooses to use EDI, they can exponentially lower their risk for chargebacks. Here’s an example of how EDI helps reduce chargeback risk: in a typical month, a company may ship millions of units. A single order from a retailer may result in 3,000 individual orders for the supplier, as they must send the units to scattered individual store locations. In the past, processing and shipping such a large order could have taken close to a week. With EDI, companies can pick, pack, and ship orders of that size - all within a single day. Because there are now so many shipments, and because late or incorrect shipments can result in large chargebacks (often per box), many companies are choosing to rely on EDI technology to ensure that they meet their retail customers’ detailed compliance rules. Within today’s dramatically changing retail landscape, manufacturers and distributors must meet strict labeling, packing, shipping, and invoicing protocols… or risk being forced out of business. With these high stakes, how can you ensure that your company continues to grow and flourish in this new marketplace defined by tight margins and increasing regulations? Many bigger suppliers are now choosing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software as a way to survive—but that option doesn’t work for every company. How can you tell if EDI is the right choice for you? Some Companies Aren’t Helped by EDI Are You? Some Companies Aren’t Helped by EDI - Are You?
  17. 17. 17bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership INDUSTRYNEWS We are all now part of a business environment in which retailer requirements, including labeling directives, EDI mandates, and penalties for missed or incorrect shipments threaten to overwhelm many distributors. As such, EDI has become the new competition differentiator: those who use it are raising the bar in the supply world. Does Your Company Need EDI? As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Following that maxim, it would seem that the clearest way to compete in an EDI-centric world is to add EDI to your own business. But EDI isn’t the right choice for everyone. Many companies choose to strategically determine the costs vs. benefits of implementing EDI at their company with an EDI Assessment. How an EDI Assessment Works An EDI Assessment is a service that reputable EDI providers will offer. The aim of a good assessment is to objectively determine whether EDI will help a company enough to justify the software and implementation costs. When performing an assessment, your EDI consultant will first help you calculate whether or not the cost of being compliant adds value to the business relationships you share with your customers / trading partners. A consultant will usually begin by asking a series of questions to learn about your business needs. Questions include: • What are your transaction volumes? • Are you spending too much time with manual entry? • Is your business process becoming more and more complicated due to chargebacks? • Is your bottom line fading away? After your consultant analyzes and reviews your business requirements, you and the consultant will work together to determine whether or not EDI is the ideal solution for your needs. Sometimes EDI is the right choice… but sometimes it isn’t. With an EDI Assessment, your company will know the facts before you make a commitment. Assessment Options I work for MAPADOC, a company that values customer service so much that we offer EDI Assessments for free. Because we value our customers’ time, budgets, and business goals, we are happy to donate our time to your company in order to determine if our EDI solution, MAPADOC, is right for you. We don’t want you to waste your resources on something you don’t need. If EDI isn’t the right choice for your company, we will tell you that, honestly and clearly. The MAPADOC Difference Our honesty with our free EDI Assessment customers isn’t a fluke; we at MAPADOC have built our whole business model on putting our customers first. For us, customer service isn’t a strategy, it’s a culture. WhenyouchooseMAPADOCforyourfreeEDIAssessment, you’ll know that the MAPADOC team will always put your priorities ahead of anything else. This helps us to provide a personalized customer experience for you every time— which is important when we’re helping you solve those highly individualized retailer compliance requirements. We make it a point to know all about our customers: who they are, what they want, and when they want it. Not only do we know our customers, we are also constantly developing improvements that help us consistently deliver increased value for all of our customers, in all of the markets in which they operate. About MAPADOC With MAPADOC, you can always expect: • A powerful, easy-to-use EDI tool that integrates with Sage 100 ERP, Sage 500 ERP, and Sage ERP X3 • Fast, efficient, and accurate service • High-quality products at a competitive price • Friendly, helpful service staff to provide information and answer questions • Prompt responses to inquiries, whether online, by phone, or in person • A trained staff that can handle EDI questions for integrated Sage ERP systems without referring them on Schedule Your Free EDI Assessment Visit Patty Benitez is the Senior Channel Sales Executive at MAPADOC and SWK Technologies. With over a decade of Sage-centric experience, she is the person to contact when you have questions about time-saving software that integrates with your Sage ERP system. About the Author
  18. 18. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201518 The secret to improving your interaction with your customers is also the key to saving your employees time – and it starts when you decide to eliminate your paper filing system. If a customer called right now demanding immediate assistance and you found yourself needing to search through file cabinets or piles of documents on your desk, that would be frustrating for your client and it would damage their impression of your organization. Consider instead investing in a paperless system that allows you to access the documents you need immediately from wherever you are. There are different options available as you begin your paperless journey. You can start by scanning and saving documents in a network file share or using the functionality inherent in your accounting system. Each of these options will give you serious cost savings benefits and save you some time in searching, though the functionality will be limited when compared to a full integrated document management system. Investing in a solution like Sage ERP Document Management adds multi-dimensional search options, automated document capture and archival, workflow, and sophisticated reporting capabilities. If you decide to invest in a fully integrated solution, you gain the ability to access documents in any of the following ways: • Sage ERP: If you spend most of your time within the Sage application, you would have the ability to drill down to documents related to the record you’re on directly from the Sage ERP screen. • Document Management Application: For those who want to access documents outside of Sage, you can search from your desktop for any of the documents you have the proper security privileges to view. You’d be able to easily drill down to related documents and immediately send the documents in question to your customer via email. • Mobile Device: Employees that are always on the go can access the documents they need directly from the web or a mobile device no matter where they are. Immediate access to information is critical to provide a seamless customer experience. It’s also vital to making the best use of your
  19. 19. 19bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership File Cabinets are Coming Between You and Your Customers employees’ time. The amount of time each of your team members currently spends filing, copying and searching for documents would be better spent on more proactive, strategic tasks. One thing stands in the way of your ability to provide superb customer service and it can easily be alleviated by going paperless. Sign up for a webinar to learn more: by Christi Whipple INDUSTRYNEWS Christi Whipple is the Channel Program Manager at Altec, a leader in mid-market enterprise document management solutions. Learn more at About the Author
  20. 20. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201520 Is Your Supply Chain Ready for 2015 and Beyond? Your Supply Chain serves as a crucial connection to your customers. Understanding how to drive improved performance throughout your entire Supply Chain is critical to growing your profits year over year and outperforming your competition. Knowing what areas to improve, how to measure the proposed improvements and drive Supply Chain Value for maximum results in 2015 and beyond is a key consideration for all manufacturers and distributors this year. by Kelvin Takhar Take Action to Get Your Supply Chain in Gear for the New Year
  21. 21. 21bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership To help your company drive greater Supply Chain Value, it is necessary to take the following actions: • Identify all the Supply Chain Challenges you are currently experiencing. • Trace these challenges to the specific root causes. • Identify the key solution for each issue that achieves the right results for your company. Identify Your Supply Chain Challenges How many Supply Chain Challenges do you need solved now? Go through the following Supply Chain Challenge Check List to determine your gaps and pain points: (Check all that apply) —— Automation Gaps: Re-keying of ERP Order Data and Shipment Data (i.e. tracking number and freight amounts) —— Automation Gaps: Manual Printing of Labels/Packing Slips —— Compliance Issues: Invalid Barcodes, Incomplete ASN (Advance Ship Notices) —— Preventing Late, Early & Incorrect Shipments —— Improving Communication between the Front Office and Back Office (Warehouse) —— Creating Added Visibility into the Status of Orders/Shipments in the Warehouse —— Creating Reports to Evaluate Supply Chain Costs (i.e. customer freight costs or net margin per order) —— Incorrect Labels, Packing Slips, VICS BOL, and other required reports. —— Incorrect Freight Amounts Posted/Quoted —— Costly Software Upgrades —— Costly Software Customizations —— Other - Please specify _____________________________________________ Action = Results Whether you have checked one or all of the above, direct action must be taken to maximize your Supply Chain’s performance both short term and long term. Here are 3 ways to take action to get your Supply Chain in gear for the New Year: 1. Review your current Supply Chain technology to determine whether the software you have in place is adequately supporting and in alignment with your Supply Chain’s KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). 2. Discuss your Supply Chain technology options with your software Reseller. 3. Request a Supply Chain Evaluation with a Key Solutions™ Provider Supply Chain Specialist (Edisoft® offers a complimentary in-depth Supply Chain Performance Consultation for manufacturers and distributors; email to request yours.) Every day you rely solely on your Supply Chain to deliver value to your customers. For a most promising start to the New Year, be sure there are no weak links by taking the necessary steps to ensure your Supply Chain is ready and able to take you successfully through another productive and prosperous year. INDUSTRYNEWS
  22. 22. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201522 Service Pro® is an end to end system for automated repair center and field service management, including mobile, scheduling, back office & integration with Sage 100, NetSuite and other ERP systems. Learn how Service Pro® can help your field service business at Better field service requires better service management tools. Service Pro® software can help. 262.241.7800 Calls, Assets, Parts, Contracts, RMA & more Mobile Technician Service Dashboard Real-Time Scheduling “Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” -Og Mandino ( in field service, easier said than done )
  23. 23. 23bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership 800.462.4016 StarShip is the GOLD standard when it comes to Sage ERP integrated shipping. Twenty-five years and thousands of Sage customers later, StarShip has been trusted to get over a billion packages out the door! WORK LESS. SHIP MORE.
  24. 24. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201524 Mitch launched his career while still in college, interning with Toyota during each summer, then entered their management training program upon graduation. After about six years, he left to work at a friend’s IT firm to run their sales team. When that company decided to change direction, Mitch was still intrigued by the networking side of the business. So he left and became a partner with two college friends in a venture they had launched called Spinnaker Network Solutions. Spinnaker started as an IT infrastructure consulting firm which specialized in both Novell and Microsoft at the time. But after being introduced to Pat Sullivan, creator of both ACT! and SalesLogix (now Infor CRM), Spinnaker shifted the direction of their organization to follow sales force automation and SalesLogix. They would go on to become the top selling partner globally for SalesLogix and receive numerous awards and recognition for their leadership in the industry. As a result of the success, Mitch was invited to be one of the founding members of the SalesLogix Business Partner Advisory Council. Later, he became part of both NetSuite’s CRM Partner Advisory Board and Microsoft Dynamics partner advisory council and contributed to shaping the trajectory of what ultimately became offered to the public. So what was the CRM landscape like in 1997 when he began as a sales partner with SalesLogix? “Well, that was well before the industry was called ‘CRM,’” Mitch clarifies. “By definition, CRM is sales, marketing and support.” “Pat Sullivan was the original guy that started the contact management side of the business by creating ACT! An early leader in the industry, ACT! was the first automated ‘rolodex’ of contact information inside of an organization where you were able to actually track customer notes and history. Mitch credits the beginning of a transition from contact management software to sales force automation with Pat Sullivan selling ACT! to Symantec (for a pretty nice sum!) by Denise Renee Phinn To sit down with Mitch Cannady and trace the development of modern CRM software landscape is to be given a bird’s eye perspective from someone who has not only had a front row seat to the action for almost 20 years, but also had a hand in shaping said action. One of the newest additions to Blytheco’s Executive team as the Vice President of the CRM Practice, Mitch’s unique history with CRM software is like few others. A History of The Modern CRM Landscape With Mitch Cannady Mitch Cannady Blytheco Vice President of CRM
  25. 25. 25bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership COVERSTORY and proceeding to take 2 years off to play golf. “In those two years,” Mitch says, “Sullivan asked a lot of business owners about what they liked about ACT! and what they didn’t. Around that time, the networking side of the role really started to grow and that was one of the key grievances Sullivan heard over and over. Business owners were looking for not just a desktop application but one that was set up for the network environment and was also able to truly automate the sales process.” Sullivan reentered the market and founded Interact Commerce, the company which developed SalesLogix CRM.” Sullivan wasn’t the only one noticing what business owners were asking for. The industry responded with programs like GoldMine, Maximizer CRM, Pivotal, and Onyx CRM. “They did a lot of great things by continuing to develop the applications at the time to the point where they adding on both marketing and support functions, which took sales force automation programs into what we currently know as CRM. To complete SaleLogix’s timeline (or at least bring it to current), while a principle at Interact Commerce, Sullivan went back to Symantec, repurchased ACT! and integrated it into Interact’s offerings. He would later sell both ACT! and SalesLogix to Sage in 2001. In 2013, Swiftpage acquired both SalesLogix and ACT! from Sage and then in August 2014, sold only SalesLogix to Infor and the product is now called Infor CRM. As technology evolves and businesses adapt, customer demands change over time which causes software creators to adjust accordingly. “I would say one of the key things you’re seeing in CRM programs today and what customers are asking for – which 2 years ago, they weren’t asking for – is cloud-based solutions,” Mitch offers. “Another big trend on the marketing automation side is being able to track and implement internet based marketing: email marketing, social media marketing, and search word optimization. What is also very big is being able to track when somebody goes to your website and being able to relay that information back to your CRM so you can go to a contact record and see where they went, what they did, and how they interacted with your website. You can then develop highly customized campaigns and follow-ups around that intelligence.” “There’s a number of applications out there that have some level of interactions with all of those features but there are also a lot of add on products – especially on the internet marketing side – like HubSpot, Salesfusion and Marketo, which provide a very high level of technology and integration back into CRM applications.” Today, having moved on from Spinnaker and being an expert in selling SalesLogix, Mitch has great ideas he plans on implementing at Blytheco which will help enrich our client’s businesses. Under his leadership, anticipate an increase in CRM product offerings and knowledgeable staff to support the growth. Better still, Mitch plans to bring his expertise in marketing verticals to the table, which will mean greater industry focused insights and an understanding of how to tailor software solutions for company’s unique challenges. “The one thing I want to say about verticals is that it changes the way we actually go to market and the way in which we sell applications,” Mitch contributes. “In the past when we would go to a customer or prospect, we would sit down and ask them what they needed and what they were looking for a CRM system to do to benefit them. It is still something we do ask but being in specific verticals, you go in with much more knowledge and as an educated, trusted advisor.” For more information on the current CRM landscape, visit If it’s time to re-evaluate your current CRM needs, start the conversation today with one of our Regional Account Managers by calling 800-425-9853.
  26. 26. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201526 “Customers First” In Action: A Client Profile E yeQ Eyewear is a B2B distributor of eyeglass frames. They describe themselves as being in the value segment as they sell a lot of insurance frames, supply for Medicaid and they even service correctional facilities. A self proclaimed “lean and mean” operation, EyeQ is small enough to be able to give personalized attention to independent doctor’s offices that sell glasses to their patients and single location glasses stores. Simultaneously, they are agile and capable enough to count Walmart, Sam’s Club, VisionWorks, Washington State and North Carolina State among their large volume customers. They handle such a diverse clientele with their Florida based warehouse and a sales team that is dispersed across America. by Denise Renee Phinn THE STORY
  27. 27. 27bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership CUSTOMERPROFILE How They Put Their Customers First With Speed and Agility Jaclyn Frumkin wears many hats at EyeQ, from in- house sales manager to customer service. Across the board, her clients’ biggest need is for speedy, almost on demand service; they want their orders when and where they want them. “We can get our customers their product when they need it,” shares Jaclyn. “If they’ve kept a frame in stock, and their customer wants it but it’s on back order and can’t get it for months, it creates a big issue.” “We’re a small company so we’re able to do things other companies can’t,” says Jaclyn. “We have very low back orders, which makes us competitive in our industry. Every order that is placed that day is shipped that day. Most companies in our industry don’t do that just because they are so much bigger. We think of ourselves as lean and mean.” Customers First Through Software Support Part of what allows EyeQ to operate at super human speeds is their technology support. At the center of it all is their Sage 100 ERP system. One way they use it to help customize their clients’ experience is by using each contact record to the fullest. Jacklyn shares: “When we open a new customer, we’ll input detailed notes such as who we should talk to, the office contact, the buyer, the owner, plus all their inquiries so that when we go to call them, we have all that information handy. Then we can add price codes for everyone. Each customer gets individual pricing based on how much they order and then we’re able to do customized promotions for them as well.” Utilizing EDI is how they keep the ordering and processing pipeline zippy for their big box store customers like Sam’s Club and Walmart. Their smaller customers either call in orders or connect with them through their website, which is about to be overhauled. Jacklyn shares that some of the planned upgrades include clients being able to choose their favorite frames and reorder with a click of a button. Ultimately, the website will automatically feed important sales details back into their Sage 100 ERP system. Customers First Through Personal Touches One of the benefits of being a smaller company is that EyeQ can still keep a personalized touch with their clients. Holiday cards are one way. Throughout the year, the customer service department sends out invoices every week and they are stuffed with flyers and promotions so they can be reminded of new releases and other relevant information. Jaclyn also brings a personalized touch to her face to face meetings as well. “I know what my customers want when I go to see them because I know them really well. For example, some customers like a personalized report of how they are doing that year or what’s selling/what’s not selling so I’m able to add more value into their experience with us. I really just get a feel of each client’s personality. Ultimately, it’s a very individual kind of thing.” WHO THEY ARE: EyeQ Eyewear WHAT THEY DO: Eye Glasses Frames Distributors WHO WE TALKED TO: Jacklyn Frumkin, Customer Service Manager BLYTHECO ACCOUNT MANAGER: Christa Krompolcas WHERE THEY’RE LOCATED: St. Pertersburg, FL WHEN ESTABLISHED: 1993 WHY THEY’RE FEATURED: They’re a “Lean and Mean” Operation! THE STATS
  28. 28. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201528 We Make EDI Painless We Make EDI Painless 888.205.1531 | Watch this to learn more. Look for the Sage X3 integration coming in 2015! | 1-877-727-9528
  29. 29. 29bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership
  30. 30. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201530 Financial/Tax/Corporate Avatax Dimension Funding Sage Payroll Tax Forms & eFiling Vertex SMB Reporting/Analytics/Budgeting BizNet Budget Maestro DataSelf Supply Chain/Procurement Avercast Edisoft® eRequester Paramount Technologies TaskCentre Alerts/Workflow Management Alerts & Workflow/Knowledgesync Paramount Technologies TaskCentre Barcode/Warehouse Management bly:Warehouse JOScan Scanco Scanforce WOScan Document Management ACOM Altec EDI – Electronic Data Interchange Edisoft® HighJump/TrueCommerce MAPADOC eCommerce InSynch SeeVolution TaskCentre Websitepipeline xkzero Field Service Managment MSI Data Shipping Automation bly:Carrier Edisoft® Smartlinc Starship xkzero Mobile bly:Mobile Paramount Technologies Scanco xkzero Sales Intelligence InsideView SeeVolution xkzero Human Resources Alerts & Workflow Cloud Payroll Employee Engagment iConnect iRecruit Learning Management Performance Management Printboss Sage Cyber Recruiter Sage Cyber Train Sage Garnishment Manager Sage HR Actions Sage HRMS Payroll Sage HRMS Talent Management Sage Time and Attendance Sage Time and Labor Import Sage Payroll Tax Forms & eFiling WOTC Marketing Automation HubSpot SalesFusion Swiftpage CRM to ERP Integration bly:Connector Guided Selling/Quote to Order Smart Catalog xkzero 2015 Software Buyers Guide
  31. 31. 31bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership ACOM Sage 100 ERP, 300 ERP, 500 ERP EZContentManager is a powerful Document Management and Process Automation solution uniquely integrated with Sage to capture, manage, and streamline processing of all business information – providing a secure compliance- ready repository immediately accessible directly from Sage screens. Starts at $18,000 Alerts & Workflow Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, SageCRM Sage HRMS Monitor your business data, automate the production and delivery of documents and automatically trigger workflow to update applications, schedule tasks and move information between systems. Starts at $4,000 Altec Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, ERP X3 Sage ERP Document Management (doc-link™) software is an integrated document management system that integrates with your business system to effectively eliminate paper from your office. Sage ERP Document Management enables you to archive, process through workflow, retrieve and report on document transactions from the desktop. Starts at $4,500 Avatax Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP A hosted, web-service-based sales tax automation solution that automatically performs address validation, sales tax jurisdiction research and rate calculation – all on the fly within your accounting application, with no change to your existing workflow. Fully detailed reports are always at your fingertips and returns are automatically repopulated and generated. Starts at $10,000 Avercast Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, NetSuite Avercast has become the supply chain planning tool of choice for many companies in both the small/midsized as well as the large business marketplace. Products include: Inventory Forecasting, Demand Planning, Sales & Operations Planning, Rough Cut Capacity Planning, Salesperson Collaboration, Vendor Collaboration and Retail Store-Level Analysis. Starts at $25,000 / Cloud-based starts at $995/mo BizNet Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, X3 ERP BizNet makes Excel better. It provides reporting and an analytics portal with real-time access to your business data from Excel. You can create reports 5x faster and reduce the time you spend in Excel. With BizNet you will reduce errors in your spreadsheets and always be able to work with the most current data. You can send 100s of reports with 1 click and it enables you to make decisions based on data you can trust. Starts at $1,000 bly:Carrier Sage 500 ERP bly:Carrier brings tightly integrated shipping into your Sage 500 ERP system. All shipping tasks are done from right within ERP. You can rate shop and get real-time carrier pricing between major carriers. Shipments are tracked within the system so reps can find shipments at a glance. Shipping detail flows automatically to operations, finance, and executives. Starts at $30,000 bly:Connector Sage 100 ERP, SugarCRM It allows the two software packages to “talk with each other” by synchronizing customers, inventory items, non-inventory items, and service items, invoice and sales receipt history, and sales orders/estimates between SugarCRM and Sage 100. The synchronization between the packages is set to run on a scheduler, typically every 10 minutes. Starts at $1,499/year bly:Mobile Sage 100 ERP bly:Mobile brings Sage 100 ERP to smartphone, tablet and internet browsers. Starts at $3,800 bly:Warehouse Sage 500 ERP bly:Warehouse is a Windows CE (Embedded Compact) application for a wireless interface with Sage 500. This solution, coupled with the use of handheld RF Wireless devices, provides mobile workstations with the capability of updating Sage 500 with the following warehousing functions: Bin Transfer, Preferred Bin Setup, Physical inventory, Picking, Receiving Starts at $45,000 TECHNOLOGY
  32. 32. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201532 Budget Maestro Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP Budget Maestro works with your accounting or ERP system to enhance your business budgeting and forecasting capabilities and improve budget and forecasting accuracy. It is designed to work with any G/L application. It models your financial and organizational views, and supports multiple G/L structures so you can generate financial statements independently or at a consolidated level. Starts at $6,000 Cloud Payroll Sage ERP, Sage HRMS Sage makes managing your payroll easy and convenient by providing a range of options to fit your needs. Whether you choose to process payroll in-house with Sage HRMS Payroll or outsource payroll processing with BenefitMall, Sage has the solution to handle payroll your way. Pricing based on # of employees DataSelf All Sage ERP, Sage CRM DataSelf provides best-of-breed and easy-to-use analytics and business intelligence solutions for medium-sized businesses (SMB). Its solutions simplify and amplify Tableau and Microsoft BI technologies by providing thousands of reports, dashboards and KPIs plus ultralight data warehouses for ERP and CRM systems. Starts at $260/month Edisoft Sage 100 ERP, 300 ERP, 500 ERP, ERP X3 Edisoft® optimizes the Global Supply Chain of Manufacturing and Distribution companies with Key Solutions™ for ERP Integrated EDI and Warehouse Automation. Edisoft® delivers optimal Order Automation, Order Management and Warehouse Automation for Manufacturing and Distribution companies without the need for software customization. Starts at $6,500 Employee Engagement All Products Focal Employee Engagement (Focal EE) is a cloud- based employee survey solution that is easy to setup and administer. Vastly different than a simple employee satisfaction survey, Focal EE goes deeper with time-tested survey questions written by psychologists. Pricing based on # of employees eRequester Sage 100 ERP, 300 ERP, 500 ERP, ERP X3 eRequester makes procurement and expense management simple with its powerful approval workflow engine, support for multi-company, detailed reporting, and deep integration for supported Sage ERP systems. Starts at $10,000 HighJump TrueCommerce EDI Sage 100 ERP, 300 ERP, 500 ERP Additional EDI Integrations for ERP X3 & NetSuite TrueCommerce EDI Solutions – everything you need to fully implement an EDI system from one source. Implementing EDI with TrueCommerce is simple. Whenever your business grows and you acquire new customers that require EDI, all you need to do is request an affordable software plug-in that allows your current system to interact with a new customer or vendor. Starts at $13,000 HubSpot SalesLogix, SugarCRM Attract scores of high-quality leads with blogs, social media and search. Nurture sales prospects with the right content at the right time. Measure it all. HubSpot makes it possible. Starts at $12,000/year iConnect Sage HRMS iConnect is intuitive and user friendly. Your new hires automatically receive the appropriate hiring package via email and can sign in securely to the iConnect Applicant Portal to complete the forms and upload any supporting documentation. Even before their first day on the job! Hiring Managers can track and monitor the status online, send reminders to new hires, and can approve or request changes before the forms are finalized. Pricing based on # of employees InsideView SalesLogix, SugarCRM InsideView maximizes sales team productivity by delivering a one-stop shop for your prospecting needs and accelerates the sales cycle by enabling sales people to call the right prospects at the right time. It’s no longer just who you know that will make business deals happen but “what you know about who you know” tightly synched with “when and where you should know it”. Starts at $29-$99/user/month
  33. 33. 33bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership In-Synch Sage 100 ERP IN-SYNCH allows you to pull sales orders from a website; the product is customizable and can be expanded to accomplish many more Sage 100 ERP integration and synchronization needs. Starts at $11,000 iRecruit Sage 100 ERP iRecruit is an easy-to-use, powerful and flexible applicant tracking and recruiting software. iRecruit’s set-up and implementation is quick and easy. Configurable pricing options JOScan Sage 100 ERP, JobOps JOScan is the handheld and/or desktop barcode scanning and data collection solution designed to allow manufacturers and field service organizations to minimize costs, maximize productivity and maintain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. Starts at $4,000 Learning Management Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Learning Management provides a single point of access to e-learning delivery, instructor-led training (ILT) administration, virtual classroom sessions, social learning, and content management. Pricing based on # of employees Mapadoc Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, X3 ERP MAPADOC is a fully integrated, easy to use electronic data interchange (EDI) software solution for Sage 100, Sage 500 and Sage X3 that will: dramatically cut data entry time and costs, improve communications with trading partners and reduce mapping time by over 75%. Starts at $5,500 MSI Data Sage 100 ERP, NetSuite ERP MSI Data is the developer of Service Pro®, the “All- in-One” Field Service Management Software solution integrated to Sage 100 ERP and NetSuite’s cloud ERP. Service Pro® automates office to field communication in the areas of work orders, dispatching, scheduling, labor time, parts/inventory, assets, warranties, maintenance contracts, tasks, inspections, photo & signature capture, service history and more. Subscription Pricing Paramount Technologies Sage ERP Paramount Workplace automates requisition, procurement, inventory management, project accounting, and time and expense transactions to make internal workflow processes more efficient, improve employee productivity, reduce time and errors and save money. Starts at $20,000 Performance Management Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Performance Management by Cornerstone OnDemand helps identify and track high-performing employees, increase the quality of employee performance reviews, develop critical skills, and cultivate the leadership pipeline across your business. Pricing base on # of employees Printboss Sage HRMS PrintBoss makes your documents smarter because it adds the intelligence to print, email, fax and digitally file your documents anywhere on your network. PrintBoss seamlessly integrates with your accounting software. Configurable pricing options Sage Cyber Recruiter Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Cyber Recruiter by Visibility Software, a Sage Endorsed Solution, helps recruiters and hiring managers manage and communicate during the entire recruiting process to fill open positions more quickly and efficiently. Pricing based on # of employees Sage Cyber Train Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Cyber Train, a Sage Endorsed Solution, empowers supervisors, instructors, and employees by making information regarding classes, course requirements, programs, and certifications available through the web and not just through the HR department. Pricing based on # of employees Sage Garnishment Manager Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Garnishment Manager, a Sage Endorsed Solution, relieves the payroll staff of the tedious, time- consuming, and often error-prone tasks of calculating and prioritizing complex garnishments for child support, tax levies, student loans, and creditor liens. Pricing based on # of employees TECHNOLOGY
  34. 34. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201534 Sage HR Actions Sage HRMS Streamline the collection and approval of employee data using the web. Sage HRMS HR Actions lets you easily create paperless forms using any fields from Sage HRMS. Process any action from request to hire to termination and everything in between including status changes and performance appraisals. Pricing based on # of employees Sage HRMS Payroll Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Payroll provides a comprehensive and flexible solution that includes the payroll functionality needed by midsized organizations to process their payroll accurately and quickly every time. Pricing based on # of employees Sage HRMS Talent Management Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Talent Management covers the employee lifecycle, from onboarding through learning management and performance measurement to succession planning (and even outside to your customers and partners) Pricing based on # of employees Sage Payroll Tax Forms and eFiling Sage ERP, Sage HRMS With Sage Payroll Tax Forms and eFiling by Aatrix, you can meet all state and federal reporting and payment requirements right from your Sage HRMS Payroll software. It is easy to use and saves you time by eliminating the need to create reports manually. Reports are automatically completed, reviewed and edited on screen, then eFiled in minutes for processing. $500/year/unlimited filings Sage Time and Attendance Sage HRMS Sage Time and Attendance is a comprehensive, state-of- the-art workforce management solution that enables you to collect, analyze, and take immediate control of your employees’ attendance and labor data—online and in real time. Pricing based on # of employees Sage Time and Labor Import Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Time and Labor Import, a Sage Endorsed solution, streamlines the process of validating and importing data from almost any data source into the Sage HRMS Payroll timecard file using an easy user interface. Pricing based on # of employees SalesFusion Sage CRM, SalesLogix, SugarCRM SalesFUSION is an enterprise b2b marketing automation software platform designed to support the business, technology and process needs of B2B marketers. SalesFusion specializes in integrating key marketing and lead generation processes to your installed CRM system. $500/month Scanco Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, NetSuite Scanco specializes in an extensive line of products designed to increase warehouse productivity. From basic barcode label printing to wireless inventory management, there is a solution to fit every budget and need. Users can also use iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices with Scanco, lowering hardware costs significantly. Starts at $10,000 ScanForce Sage 100 ERP ScanForce combines the affordability of a batch upload solution with the cutting edge technology of wireless communication. Warehouse Automation, Sales Automation, Remote Sales Automation and Labeling. Starts at $5,000 SeeVolution SeeVolution’s Real-Time Tools display analytics and heatmaps directly on YOUR website. No complicated dashboards - everything is simplified and easy to understand. Starts at $79/month Smart Catalog SalesLogix SmartCatalog™ is a best-in-class guided selling and configuration platform. To achieve the optimal quality level, the internal complexities and nuances of your business cannot be the burden of those who do business with you. Starts at $2,000 SmartLinc Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, X3 ERP Count on Shipping by SmartLinc. Reduce costs while processing shipments accurately and on time, every time. Starts at $13,000
  35. 35. 35bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership Starship Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP StarShip is the trusted shipping solution; integrating with Sage ERP systems for over 14 years to streamline shipping, accounts receivable and customer service. Rate and ship both small parcel and LTL directly from Sage. Starts at $6,000 TaskCentre Sage ERP, SalesLogix Imagine an all-in-one solution that offers, alerting, workflow, and that enables you to easily integrate your ERP with e-commerce, marketing automation, website, and CRM. Don’t imagine. Learn about TaskCentre. Starts at $3,750 Vertex Sage 100 ERP, 300 ERP, NetSuite Vertex SMB offers a scalable, comprehensive, cloud- based solution for sales and use tax with no upfront costs and a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Vertex has seamless integration to several ERP systems. Configurable pricing options Websitepipeline Sage 100 ERP, 300 ERP, 500 ERP, X3 ERP If you are a manufacturer or distributor using Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, or Sage X3, then you will benefit from Website Pipeline’s cloud-based, Sage-integrated ecommerce and B2B customer self-service portal. W Starts at $16,000 WOScan Sage 100 ERP WOScan for Work Order is a highly flexible, adaptable wireless data collection solution, ideal for manufacturers using the Sage ERP 100 Work Order module. Starts at $4,000 WOTC Sage HRMS Recent legislation renews the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which allows for employment tax credits for both For-Profit and Non-Profit companies under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program “WOTC”. Pricing based on # of employees xkzero Sage 100 ERP, 500 ERP, X3 ERP xkzero creates technologies to further the success of companies with supply chain management and distribution needs. Featured applications are Mobile Sales app for Sage 100 and X3, eCommerce solutions for Sage 100, Transportation Logistics for Sage 100, Sage 500 and X3 and Universal Search for Sage 100. Multiple Price Options TECHNOLOGY
  36. 36. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201536 Service Just Got Personal: According to The Service Council’s (TSC) report, The 2014 Service Outlook: “service organizations are looking to get ahead via improved customer relationships and enhanced customer loyalty.” In fact, “Improve Customer Satisfaction” came second only to “Increase Revenues” in the study’s 2014 Priority List. by Kelly Starr So we all know finding ways to improve customer satisfaction is important. But today’s customers are demanding more than ever. And with ever- advancing technologies to help businesses provide better service and give customers more accurate ETA service windows, why wouldn’t they be? I mean, just put yourself in their (your customers’) shoes… Their heater is broken in the middle of winter. They’ve been freezing for 24 hours. They get hold of a service company who gives them a six hour window during which they need to wait at home. When the tech finally arrives (in the seventh hour of the six-hour window), he doesn’t know anything about the problem so it takes him forever and he has to drive back to the office to get a part. What an annoying experience! I don’t think they’ll be doing business with that company again because, frankly, they don’t have to. There are dozens of HVAC service organizations who could fix the heater faster and provide a better service experience for a similar price. While this is just one anecdote, this is the sort of problem service o r g a n i z a t i o n s everywhere are facing in every industry. But, have no fear! You don’t have to be that company. By investing in the success Customers today have high service demands. Arm your field workforce with the tools and information to wow your customers with a strong service performance every time. How Mobile Service Management Software Helps Service Organizations Personalize Customer Experience
  37. 37. 37bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership of your technicians with integrated mobile service software, you’ll prepare your field workforce to give your customers the personalized, quality experience they’ve come to expect. Technicians are the face of your organization; give them the tools to represent your company well. Your field workforce is quite literally the face of your service organization. They’re the ones interacting face-to-face with customers day in and day out. Don’t you think it makes sense to invest in their ability to make a great impression? With access to customer information and data collection capabilities through a service management app, good techs can become great techs by arriving on site prepared with the right parts and information to get the job done quickly and explain it to the customer, all with a smile on their face. By providing your team with the mobile tools they need to fix a problem the first time and provide more transparency to your customers, your organization will start to see increases in customer loyalty and revenue. Customers notice the expertise of your service t e c h n i c i a n s more than anything else about your business; don’t drop the ball when it comes to supporting worker performance. How a Mobile Technician App Improves the Customer Experience Equipping field techs with a service management app opens the door for many ways to improve customer satisfaction and make the experience more personal. Here are some of our favorites: • Inform technicians in the field with service history and equipment information to make the best impression in the field. • Improve first time fix rates (service customers’ #1 concern) with access to accurate parts inventory and strong communication and knowledge sharing base. • Eliminate billing surprises with mobile signature capture, warranty transparency, and onsite billing. • Help technicians make sales, upgrades, and contract renewals in the field with mobile picture-taking capabilities. • Give customers access to equipment and performance statistics through a stakeholder service portal. Conclusion: Time to Get Personal Your service organization can no longer afford to remain distant from your customers. If you expect to keep them coming back, you need to prove they can trust you by giving them a quality experience, personalized to their service needs. Learn more about how a service management app can start improving your customer satisfaction and loyalty today by visiting: TECHNOLOGY Kelley Starr is Director of Business Development at MSI Data , a provider of field service management software, and developer of the enterprise field service app, Service Pro. Connect with Kelley on LinkedIn About the Author
  38. 38. 1-855-562-6874  Don’t risk unhappy customers. Isn’t it time you automated your sales and use tax processes? In a recent study by Wakefield Research, 28% of companies said they’ve invoiced customers with incorrect sales tax rates applied to the transaction. WHITEPAPER Read the report >
  39. 39. 39bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership
  40. 40. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201540 In a challenging technology market, the growth of CRM continues to defy the trends. The number of companies leveraging technology to improve sales and customer service has grown dramatically in recent years. In a 2014 study on Sales Performance Optimization performed by CSO Insights, 83% of sales organizations report using some type of CRM solution. This represents a huge increase from even a decade ago, when companies reported a 49% rate of adoption. With over 400 CRM offerings on the market, not including accessory solutions such as marketing automation, choosing the right one for your business can be a paralyzing exercise. Criteria for CRM selection usually include functionality, cost, technology, usability, and support. As a first step, we recommend our clients prioritize those based on their specific business needs. To get you started, let’s take a quick tour through three levels of solutions in our market to understand basic areas of solution fit: Smart business leaders know that automation of sales and customer services drives business growth. For any business with customers, CRM systems are a must. by Alicia Anderson
  41. 41. 41bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership by Joni Girardi Agility for Growth The small to mid-sized business typically seeks a solution to deploy quickly and cost-effectively out of the box, with little customization. SugarCRM is affordable CRM for the small business that envisions growth and demands agility. Their mobile offerings are solid and social apps are built- in so users can quickly make use of vital customer information at a glance. Sugar is deployed in the cloud, enabling fast track implementation and rapid user adds as your business grows. With an ecosystem of hundreds of integrations and add-ons, Sugar is flexible and versatile. The software is intuitive to use and personalize – many businesses choose to deploy it on their own successfully, though larger and more complex implementations make use of the extensive partner network for support. Middle Market Player SageCRM has evolved into the signature CRM offering for mid-sized companies who seek a flexible solution that plays well with ERP, thus enabling a connected business from end-to- end. Deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, SageCRM offers full functionality out of the box as well as customizability and personalization – it’s the best of both worlds in terms of cost-effective CRM that is as simple or complex as it needs to be. SageCRM is highly usable so adoption is typically fast and relatively painless. Most customers prefer to engage the services of a CRM partner to assist with deployment, and many quickly become self- sufficient on maintaining the platform. Enterprise Stability The recent transition of SalesLogix CRM from Sage to Infor resulted in a name change on the product line to “InforCRM,” but no changes so far in publisher investment in the future of the solution. Built to run in a traditional on-premise infrastructure, InforCRM can also be hosted. It offers robust functionality and full customization capabilities for the business with unique processes or needs and the resources to support those needs. Deep analytics and workflow frequently result in InforCRM becoming the “brain” of the enterprise, making it the central repository for critical transactional business data as well as more typical sales information. The system is highly configurable with strong bi-directional ERP integration. Most customers require support and service to implement, customize, and maintain the system, and user training and adoption goals are included in these service engagements. Hopefully you can begin to see yourself in one of these categories. Starting your CRM search with an idea of solution fit should position you to quickly short-list solutions and make a decision. Only then can you begin to enjoy the benefits of a more productive sales force and better customer relationships. If you would like more detailed information on availablesolutions,pleasecheckout“TheForrester Wave”, a guide to comparing seventeen CRM offerings on the market. Download the guide at TECHNOLOGY
  42. 42. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201542 Omni-Commerce: A Customer-First Approach With Mobile ERP It makes sense, then, that retailers are so obsessed with a new idea you might think of as ‘Omni-Commerce’. The idea of marketing and selling to customers wherever they are (and whenever) is no longer a nice-to-have feature; it’s an essential strategy. To appreciate the business value of mobile technology, we need to pay attention to the way mobility has shaped consumers’ thinking. Keep in mind that carrying smart phones and tablets everywhere has led us to expect instant gratification on many levels. When a consumer experiences a sight, sound, or smell which triggers a desire, mobile devices have the tools to satisfy that urge with the appropriate product right then and there. To win the sale, businesses need to anticipate these compulsions and be more immediately accessible than their competitors. Fortunately, this is possible with mobile commerce, which is well within reach for small and mid-market manufacturers. But all mobile solutions are not alike. Users embrace a mobile ERP and specialized apps when they have a very high level of trust in the reliability of the data presented. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to learn and easy to use for individuals with varying levels of technical proficiency. Ultimately, it must create a far better experience than ever before. This takes an app that is a good fit for your company’s needs, which might even be found right in the app store, aka “off the shelf.” WEB STORES FALL SHORT To illustrate how omni-commerce might work, let’s say a consumer named Sally is driving down the highway and spots a billboard advertising a pair of shoes that would look absolutely amazing with the dress she’s wearing to a big party the next day. She pulls off the road (of course) and uses her smart phone to do a Google search for those perfect pumps. In a flash, she finds the shoes on the retailer’s web site! Sally is smiling, and so is the retailer. You, not so much. Your company doesn’t have page 1 ranking so you didn’t get that sale. But hold on! Sally hasn’t submitted payment yet. There is another way to become her retailer of choice. Sally sees the overnight shipping cost and can’t justify it so she continues browsing till she finds your site. If your store has a good mobile app, you can enable her impulse purchase and still win the sale! The app can help her find the closest location with the shoes in stock. Even better, with a tap on a map, she automatically links to directions to where she can pick them up now. Sally is one happy customer, and you both win! The greatest incentive to migrate to a mobile ERP stems from the powerful impact of creating new processes altogether. It is also a smart way to overhaul specific business functions, such as sales. by Paul Ziliak
  43. 43. 43bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership TECHNOLOGY WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS’ CUSTOMERS CARRY PHONES, TOO Mobile ERP can provide similar opportunities for small and mid-sized distributors and manufacturers. Here’s an example: Suarez Brothers (name changed for privacy) is a wholesale distributor of beauty supply products serving approximately 600 retail and re-distribution customers scattered far and wide throughout Central and Southern California. The sales reps support their customers with a direct sales force of 8, each assigned a territory of customers who they visit on a regular basis, with the primary purpose of taking new orders. Our company, xkzero, equipped Suarez with iSales 100, our native iPhone-iPad sales app for Sage 100 ERP a couple of years ago. This app allows the sales reps to place orders on the spot, which are electronically fed directly into Sales Order Entry for next-day picking and delivery. However, despite the increased productivity afforded by the mobile sales app—and perhaps because of it—a consistent theme of business problems started to become apparent. Suarez Brothers had been struggling to keep the shelves stocked with inventory demanded by customers. They simply did not have enough salespeople on the street to visit every single customer each week. Consequently, they were losing orders— and market share. One logical solution could have been to hire another salesperson or two, forcing labor costs higher. It would have also worsened another problem—the increasing travel costs to visit the rural customers. CHARTING AN OMNI-COMMERCE SOLUTION Suarez’s goals were clear. First, hold the line to maintain customers. Then, increase customer loyalty, increase market share, and reduce costs. To achieve these goals, the owners turned to xkzero for help. We were able to solve their problems in a way that didn’t require them to buy any additional software. Suarez merely took advantage of the flexibility inherent in iSales 100 and moved toward an omni-commerce approach, providing the customer with unprecedented freedom in the way they purchased goods. Customers could now buy product without the distributor’s assistance, and no longer had to wait for a sales rep to visit or pick up the phone to call a customer sales representative. Here’s what Suarez Brothers did to meet their market share, loyalty, and cost goals: • Assigned a user ID and password for each store • Restricted customer access to information from only their own account • Filtered the list of inventory items available to each particular customer • Changed settings to indicate that a customer cannot override calculated price (the app already follows pricing rules established in the ERP.) • Set preferences to require customer signature • Set defaults for each customer’s available warehouse(s) • Set a default to automatically place customer- initiated orders on hold • Orchestrated a campaign to orient targeted customers to the new ordering option iSales 100 has every control needed to provide Suarez Brother’s customers access to a mobile app. They were even able to implement everything on the back-end set up in Sage 100 ERP within a few short hours. Now Suarez Brother’s customers have the independence to make purchases from Suarez directly from the store aisle, using their smart phone or tablet. The results were restored customer loyalty and improved market share, plus the added bonus of reduced travel and sales costs. These small steps make it easy for retail customers to reduce or eliminate out-of-stock situations, and keep inventory levels just right–for final consumers like Sally. Customer freedom to shop and purchase from anywhere, anytime—that is the essence of omni-commerce. That is the promise of iSales 100. Paul Ziliak is co-founder of xkzero, developers of mobile and web commerce solutions for small and mid-sized B2B manufactures and distributors, specializing in Sage ERP. Reach Paul and xkzero at or 847-416-2009. About the Author
  44. 44. Bellwether Magazine | First Quarter 201544
  45. 45. 45bell•weth•er -noun: one who takes initiative or leadership
  46. 46. 16 Issues! 17 Have You Read Them All? COVER2COVERCOVER2COVER
  47. 47. Why Should Your Company Do an Employee Engagement Survey? 800.425.9843 x2500 A E w In W a e T S m tu to 2. 1. 3. AlignEmployeeswithCompanyStrategicGoalsEmployees are more likely to focus their energies in the right direction when they understand and are aligned with strategic goals. IncreaseProductivityWhen employees are engaged they are simply more productive. They are more willing to give what it takes to get the job done accurately and efficiently. ToReduce‘’(wrong)employeeturnoverSome turnover is healthy. Employees who are not a good fit leave, which makes way for fresh perspectives and energy. By contrast, unwanted turnover happens when a company loses talented employees they want to keep. In Take a test drive at Focal Employee Engagement (Focal EE) is a cloud-based employee survey solution that is easy to setup and administer. Vastly different than a simple employee satisfaction survey, Focal EE goes deeper with time-tested survey questions written by psychologists. Focal EE gives you the tools to identify, understand, and fix employee engagement problems through actionable results. Key features include: Over 53 pre-written questions, benchmarking data, tight confidentiality protocols, a dashboard housing deep probing analytical tools and step-by-step help.
  48. 48. PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Post Falls, ID PERMIT NO. 32 23161 Mill Creek Dr. Suite 200 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 800.425.9843 ERP anywhere. An unmatched mobile ERP experience that provides immediate customer conversions and flexible intelligence. Exclusively for Sage 100 ERP. For more information, visit | @ERP_apps | 847.416.2009 Goodbye “I’ll send you a quote when I get back to the office on Monday”. Carrier 100%10:00 AM iSales 100 Contacts 2 1 42 28 12 0 Customers Items New Orders