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ERP and CRM system – rearview mirror or a periscope?

The role of ERP and CRM systems is shifting. Traditionally, the emphasis was on improving the internal efficiency. With separated systems per department, business unit and/or subsidiary. While that may be practical for these entities, it didn’t really help to create an accurate overview. Since it showed what happened in the near past – not in the near future. In today’s fast changing markets, companies must use integrated business software to manage their entire business in a pro-active way. So if your current ERP and CRM system still function as a rearview mirror, you’d better exchange it for a periscope!

ERP and CRM – the key is to connect the entire company

Anyone who has to draw their information from sub-systems that are not (wholly) connected and also communicate moderately with each other must work hard to arrive at relevant steering information. And that is exactly the process that is taking place in many companies at the moment! In the process of compiling management information, these companies have to perform many repetitive actions every month. Which, as a result, requires a lot of processing time and avoidable costs.

ERP and CRM system - rearview mirror or a periscope?

Let’s take a project. For a healthy project result, it is important to monitor costs tightly. So you can intervene if the costs are out of step with the progress. But that requires up-to-date information all the time! After all, anyone who only finds out afterwards that action should have been taken is too late. Anyone who relies on outdated information for the controls of your company watches a rearview mirror all the time. And so can wait for accidents! After all, both opportunities and problems come to light too late.

ERP and CRM system in a company should be like a periscope

Fortunately – modern, innovative and well-integrated ERP systems are available today. Tailored to your industry, affordable and relatively easily adaptable. These solutions take care of the transactions at the operational level for you. But also help you with up-to-date steering information. In addition, you save on administrative operations, which already contributes directly to a better margin.

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Are you currently automated based on island solutions? Then the choice of such a modern solution means replacing your rearview mirror with a periscope. One that can look backwards and forwards as desired. And which also displays the current position of your company at any time. This improved view is sure to help your business move forward!

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    RamBase – a system for manufacturing companies

    Is RamBase the best system for manufacturing companies? We ask Odd Magne Vea, RamBase’s CSO, and Paweł Prymakowski, CEO of IT Vision, how RamBase supports manufacturing companies. We answer the question of why it supports production better than other solutions. And explain how it is possible that the system can be implemented in just 8 weeks. Odd Magne and Paweł also answer whether the system is ready to support companies on the Polish market.

    Maria Olszańska: Good morning. Today with me is Odd Magne Vea, CSO of RamBase Company and Paweł Prymakowski, CEO of IT Vision.

    A brief history of RamBase

    I would like to start this interview with quick introduction. RamBase system is an ERP born in Norway. It was originally created for Hatteland company. But when its creators saw the success of the system, they decided to share it with another entrepreneurs. So RamBase entered other markets, but when RamBase entered Polish market they joined forces with IT Vision. And it’s how IT Vision became the first implementation partner in Poland.

    We have started this year’s first RamBase implementation in Poland. I think it a great opportunity to talk a about the system. And to let people know the system a little bit better.

    Odd Magne, we can find in many places and resources information that RamBase is a perfect fit for manufacturing companies. Is it true? And if yes, why? What makes it special?

    Odd Magne Vea: Hi, yes, as you said Maria. One of the special things about RamBase is it was originally made to support our own manufacturing company. And this also means that we have experienced the needs of the industry, first time ourselves. Unlike many other systems RamBase is built with a detail focused on manufacturing and the supply chain, where the finance system then is the result of all of these activities done in the manufacturing and the warehouse.

    RamBase – a system for manufacturing companies

    RamBase is not made for all types of different companies. We focus all our efforts on manufacturing and distribution companies. And the result is that we have deep and extensive functionality for our target industries.

    RamBase - a system for manufacturing companies

    My last point here is that RamBase is continuously updated automatically. That means that our customers don’t have to worry about technical installations, and updates, and all off these things. It also means that our customers automatically receive new and updated functionality.  And that their system is never out of support.

    Maria Olszańska: You mentioned several times that the specific functionalities of RamBase are the systems’ big advantage. And what are the functionalities that facilitates manufacturing? Are in RamBase some functions that other systems do not have (but should)? What are the advantages in production over other solutions?

    Odd Magne Vea: A very important distinction with RamBase is that it is a fully ERP system with the specific functionality in the whole work process from the shop floor to the financial. Within the same system. And this gives our customers a great control of the whole business in one system.  It means that finance can drill down into the transactions on the shop floor and have control over the full work process.

    Complex needs of manufacturing companies

    When it comes to functionality, we have focused on companies with complex needs in what we called regulated businesses. This means that our customers often have demanding customers themselves or regulatory report need. And very concrete examples are extensive support of traceability, serial numbering and documentation. That fits very well with many manufacturing companies and electronical manufacturing companies for instance. There is also very good integrated quality and deviation system built in to all the processes. The result of this is that our customers can realize lots of standard functionality within the same solution. And not have to use a lot of time and money to develop and modify other functionality.   

    Maria Olszańska: So, it is really good that we’re focusing just on manufacturing companies because we can give them what they really need. Because you as RamBase and Hatteland understand those needs.

    RamBase vendors boast about the quick implementation of the system. Paweł, is it really possible to start running this system in just 8 weeks?

    Paweł Prymakowski: RamBase and its projects methodology helps us to reduce significantly the time needed for the system implementation. Of course, the cloud model is also helpful. You don’t need to focus; you don’t even need to touch any technical problems. But what is important that most manufacturing functions that in typical ERP system requires some customization or add-ons. In RamBase are available just out-of-the-box so the time and cost are reduced.

    Functionalities for production available “out of the box”

    Also, I can add to what Odd Magne said about unique features for manufacturing. It is the fact that if you take a look onto sales order or production order you can see all the connected documents, you can see all the workflow, your status in the workflow, where are you, from one point.

    So, on one screen, you need to have a big screen, but on the one screen you can see everything whatever is need for your everyday work. And what is the most impressive, what I have seen in the companies that uses RamBase in everyday work, is that on the production floor the guys have two boards in the work center. The one is with the tools like screwdrivers, drillers, or keys. And on the other is the big screen with RamBase. So, they are just all they need for everyday work. So that is really impressive that RamBase is available and helpful on each and every center on the production floor. Not only in the office.

    RamBase - a system for manufacturing companies

    Maria Olszańska: That’s really good. It supports not only the paperwork and the planning but also the real manufacturing and producing goods and items. But RamBase is accelerating on Polish market. As I mentioned before it was born in Norway. So, is the system prepared for Polish law, tax, and accounting requirements?

    Paweł Prymakowski: I can say that together with system vendor we invested a lot of time to prepare the localization package that is not just minimal basic feature. But it covers also good practices and some optional functions that make the accounting work more efficient.

    A system for manufacturing companies adapted to Polish requirements

    We made use of our long experience in implementing the global systems in Poland. So, we could see what the shortages are sometimes comparing to the local solutions and we managed to create really good localization. We used our knowledge and experience in consulting the production and development of localization packages.

    This is the common work of the Polish and Norwegian teams. And really good piece of collaboration, good piece of work in my opinion.  So, I’m sure the localization is really top-quality model even if its continuous work that still requires a lot of time or effort to be compliant and up to date to the changes that are implementing by our regulator and also are upcoming in the near future.

    Odd Magne Vea: If I can add to that. We had customers in Poland for quite many years now. And we stared to develop this localization together with those customers. The big change here came when we also got IT Vision with us. To have this local experience implementing finance for a lot of Polish companies from before. And we could kind of take system further. Not being just the foreign system with some Polish functionality. But actually, performing like local Polish system. And together with IT Vision that has been, a lot of work has been put into it, and probably will be to put in the future as well to keep it updated. But that means that our goal is to kind of, to perform like a local Polish system on all of this issues.

    Maria Olszańska: That’s great! So, we have for Polish customers Norwegian system, which is really prepared for Polish requirements. Which can be implemented in just 8 weeks and is the perfect fit for manufacturing because the manufacturing company was the first one for which RamBase was created. I hope that it will encourage manufacturing companies to get a little bit more interested in RamBase system to support their everyday work. Odd Magne, Paweł, I’m really glad that we had a chance to talk a little bit about the system. And thank you for your time and the interview.

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      ERP and CRM systems – distributed and platform approach

      In a traditional approach, many installed solutions meet IT needs. They often operate independently, and support given areas by performing specific functions. The company has various solutions, including ERP and CRM systems. This approach to systems works well only in a situation where the employee uses only one of the subsystems in his work. However, the reality is usually different. One person uses several solutions. This approach causes problems not only for employees. It also has a negative impact on contact with the client.

      In recent years, many companies have decided to install ERP and CRM systems. Some larger companies have even installed multiple ERP and CRM systems – by department, country or industry. Some systems were taken over as a result of mergers or acquisitions.

      ERP and CRM systems should communicate with each other

      ERP and CRM systems - distributed and platform approach

      ERP systems support back-end processes. On the other hand, CRM solutions are dedicated to front-end processes focusing on building relationships with customers. Often, the compatibility between these processes and systems is insufficient and negatively affects the quality of work. Not only your employees (who have to work with different solutions, interfaces, logics). The lack of cooperation between the systems also affects relations with customers, current and the future ones. Your two systems are like two hands and one has no idea what the other is doing! Your customers will notice it!

      The described situation doesn’t only apply to ERP and CRM systems. It is important to integrate not only these two solutions. But also, all office tools, point-of-sale systems, document management and an online store. These are just a few examples of solutions that should be integrated with each other.

      What might concern you is that customers are becoming more and more cautious about data processing these days. However, we can assure you that they don’t pay attention to whether you are processing data in a CRM or ERP system. They care about the security of this data. And that you provide them with the highest quality product or service, with excellent support and “hassle-free experience”.

      The platform approach supports the company’s success – ERP and CRM systems

      If you want to achieve success in digital transformation, and you want your business to become a customer-oriented enterprise, you should move away from distributed systems. The platform approach to management systems will be much better. This approach is possible with the installation of Microsoft solutions. All systems, tools and extensions communicate perfectly with each other. Thanks to this, you will not only improve the quality of customer service. You will also improve the daily work of employees. It will take your business to a new, higher level.  

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        Company success with RamBase system

        Did you know that in Norway awards the smart industrial companies? The award is granted by representatives of the industry and the Siemens company. Why are we writing about it? Because Aarbakke AS, which uses the RamBase system, was in the final of the competition. One of the systems we offer to our customers. See the company success with RamBase system.

        Difficult road to success

        Company success with  RamBase system

        The history of Aarbakke AS is special. First, the company has traveled a long way in changing industries. Aarbakke started out as a horseshoe maker. However, the market was changing, the demand was falling. So, the company started producing equipment for the maritime industry. The company’s main products in recent years have been offshore drilling equipment and equipment that helps pump hydrocarbons from wells to land or ships.

        Restructuring and digitization guarantee success

        But the necessity to change things was not the end of Aarbakke’s difficult journey. A few years ago, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. This situation required bold steps. The company decided to restructure and digitize. The change, which lasted 3 years, was a success. Today, the company aims to become the greenest producer of the oil industry in the world within 5 years.

        Today, the company is achieving amazing results. The turnover in 2017 was 420 million Norwegian crowns, and in 2020 it was almost 1.1 billion.

        The RamBase system, which Aarbakke chose, definitely helped in its digitization. We believe that it was also thanks to RamBase that the company could reach for the nomination for the award. The CEO of Aarbakke, Inge-Brigt Aarbakke, explains that the RamBase architecture facilitates the use of all the needed functionalities from the very first day. He also emphasizes RamBase’s ability to easily connect with other systems, via the platform’s open APIs.

        Company success with RamBase Your company’s success is possible too!

        Aarbakke AS is a great example of success. Success requires change, sacrifice and support. However, with the right mindset and the support of proven tools such as RamBase, success and growth are possible.

        Would you also like your company to record changes and be successful? Contact us and arrange a free system presentation.

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          Data security in the cloud

          The world is getting more and more digital. In addition, the pandemic generates the questions of moving systems to the cloud and concerns about data security in the cloud.  It is obvious that companies want to fill the highest standards of data security.

          Cloud-based solutions are gaining their supporters every year. And the number of cloud installations is growing. However, many people still wonder if the data in the cloud is safe.

          Are cloud solutions safer than on-premise?

          During the expert panel organized by 1ClickFactory, all speakers agreed that cloud solutions are safer than local system installations (on-premise). Below we present a few arguments proving data security in the cloud.

          Data security in the cloud

          Why cloud is safer than on-premise?

          1. It is hard for companies to build by them owns built database with the same (or highest) safety level as they are offered in cloud solutions from large vendors.
          2. For independent data security it is necessary to have a well-developed security strategy. In Poland, only 37% of companies have such a strategy.
          3. For SMP sector cloud solution is better and safer, because it does not require assets and resources to create security strategy.
          4. Customers don’t need to take any additional steps to ensure security. All functions are built into the system.

          Data security in the cloud– what you have to remember

          Some people are concerned that third parties will have access to company data. It is about both the system supplier, and other companies using the system. However, this is an unnecessary concern. Even Coca-Cola uses cloud solutions offered by Microsoft.

          It’s worth to emphasized that security accidents will always happen. Regardless of having a security strategy. It is all about how we will react to those attacks. Can we track them and have adequate security? Our system and security should lead to a fall of the attacks.

          Very often we gain trust in a solution if we see that others are using it. And when it works for them. 1ClickFactory, which is an IT Vision partner, has over 1,300 customers who use the cloud version. This is great proof that cloud solutions are desirable and secure.

          If you still have doubts about the quality of security and real data security, arrange a free consultation with an IT Vision specialist.

          Costs in ERP system selection – what we mostly overlook

          During ERP system selection, the various costs and possible benefits are analyzed in considerable detail and then assessed for each vendor. But it’s worth to emphasize that one important factor is often completely missed during this process. Which one? The cost of the next system!

          The selection of a new system is never done as a back-of-an-envelope exercise. We know very well that companies want to use their solution for many years. A lot of potential customers says:

          “From a bookkeeping standpoint, the investment’s
          term of depreciation is 5 years. But ideally, we want
          to work with the new solution for 10 years or more”

          Costs in ERP system selection – look into the future

          Costs in ERP system selection

          Anyone who wants to work with a system for that long must have a fortuneteller in the team. Because in 10 years’ time, a lot can change! What will the world look like in the year 2030? Which devices will we be working with then? How far, and how much will the technology be developed and changed? And which parts of our future have yet even to be invented, developed, and marketed? So there are plenty of questions, and from today’s vantage point we can only guess at the answers.

          Recall the past

          One of the ways you can work with this challenge can be recalling the time 10 years ago. Do you remember what technology looked like? Can you remember the exact state of technology in 2010? Nobody heard or used tablets in those times. Let alone the verb ‘swiping’! Those are times when WhatsApp didn’t exist and Google still was a really small company. Cloud solutions was on the beginning of development.

          Costs in ERP system selection – focus on development and vision

          Costs in ERP system selection - focus on development and vision

          Perhaps this comparison provides you a bit of perspective into what we can expect in terms of new developments in the coming 10 years. But far more importantly – can you comprehend what all this means for your potential suppliers? Consider the required competencies, for example, or the required R&D budgets, the availability of international sales channels or the necessary entrepreneurship and decisiveness, of course.

          If you think about the future of ERP technology, you conclude that you are selecting more of an ERP concept these days than an exact ERP solution. A concept you choose will be developing at a furious pace. And you should choose the concept which must develop! Because vendors that are left behind or loses the direction at any time are quickly lost in this market. And the most painful bit: their customers are lost, too!

          Bet on development partners

          Companies that are considering new solutions would do well to test their vendors’ degree of futureproofing rigorously. Do the vendors on your shortlist have any chance at all surviving this rat race until 2030? Are they (sufficiently) profitable these days, for example? Do they have sufficient international scale? What is the size of their R&D budget? How innovative are they? And is a formal product roadmap available for the solution on offer?

          By getting a good understanding of the prospective vendors’ commercial legitimacy during the selection process, you can prevent many unpleasant surprises in the future. However, if you fail to look to the future, then just make sure you include a huge sum in your budget for your next ERP system!

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            The choice of your implementation partner

            A traditional vendor or a real sparring partner?

            The choice of implementation partner

            Are you’re considering the implementation of a new ERP software solution? So the choice of implementation partner awaits you. Then you have the choice between two kinds of implementation partners. On the one hand, there are the traditional vendors who – in a nutshell – activate the software just the way you work today, train your end-users and leave. On the other hand, there are those partners who see the new software solution as a catalyst for initiating and supporting organizational change. And for putting your customers in the center of everything you do. They seek mainly to improve and modernize your current processes and to ease the current bottlenecks.

            Categorize your potential implementation partners

            It is of course interesting to consider which sort of partner your organisation requires. And to categorize your potential implementation partners in this way too. Clearly, this second category of partners needs to possess different qualities and knowledge from the first. The courage to discuss nettlesome issues for sure is one of those qualities. And it’s good to know that, on the average, these partners are also more experienced and charge higher fees.

            The choice of implementation partner

            Despite COVID-19, the new buying behavior and the successes of disruptive business models, most software buyers today still tend to re-automate their existing processes and ideas. Sometimes as a conscious choice, but often unconsciously. As a result, they are not seldom guiding their organisations based on out-of-date principles.

            The choice of implementation partner – benefit from the possibilities

            To really benefit from the possibilities of new technology, you must be prepared to change. Even when it hurts on the inside. In this situation, an implementation partner who is a competent sparring partner is indispensable!

            So you really want to get the most out of your next ERP system or digital transformation initiative? Don’t choose your implementation partner based on the lowest cost. You will be much better off when you are looking for the best sparring partner. That choice creates a stable foundation for a successful project with a positive return on your investment.

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              Better support for company management

              You use a system that supports company management. However, you can see that the solution is not what you expected? It’s not modern? Would you like it to efficiently handle Polish tax obligations? So that the solution is simple, intuitive to use and reliable? Better support for company management is possible!

              If you answered YES to any of the questions, it is high time to think about changing the system. Talk to an IT Vision specialist and find out what solutions can better support the company’s daily work.

              Support for company management with IT Vision

              We offer modern solutions that are constantly developed and improved. Our systems integrate seamlessly with the Office 365. In addition, they also integrate with the Microsoft Teams application – so much needed and often used in the era of remote work. Importantly, you can use the system on any device (computer, laptop, tablet, or phone), just turn on the browser.

              Expert support

              We offer modern solutions and support for company management

              With IT Vision, you will not only gain access to an efficient system that will meet your requirements. We will provide you with a solution that supports Polish tax functionality – JPK, split payment and postponed VAT. We can assure you that these solutions will improve your work – we have prepared these functionalities ourselves. The implementations of our solutions are carried out by experts who have several years of experience in the implementation of management systems.

              IT Vision is a team of professionals who will be at your disposal all the time. We also offer a helpdesk, where our consultants can help with any doubts regarding the use of our solutions.

              We care about our customers. That is why we provide the necessary updates and adjustments to changes in regulations. We offer several solutions, so we can match the system that best suits your company’s requirements. By working with us, you will receive support for company management at every stage.

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