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The Revolution Group Blog
Expert Insights to Revolutionize Your Business
At Revolution Group, our cutting-edge managed IT and Plex ERP solutions empower businesses to harness the power of technology, transforming their operations and unlocking new-found potential.
We invite you to stay tuned to our blog as we dive into the latest trends, share expert insights, and showcase how our comprehensive services can help revolutionize businesses like yours!
Hiring internal staff to take care of your company’s technology infrastructure and help-desk needs can be costly. To cut down costs, an increased number of small to medium sized businesses are turning to Managed Service Providers. Managed Service Providers ensure businesses have all of the necessary IT support staff at a fraction of the cost. In this blog, we will walk you through 3 ways to save money with a Managed Service Provider.
If you’re considering an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP), you’ve no doubt come across many options that promise you the best managed services on the market. With all of the possibilities and IT jargon, it is easy to get lost while trying to find the solution that fits your business needs. To make your search easier and more streamlined, here are some tips for choosing an IT Managed Service Provider.
Proper workflows are essential to maximizing your Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform experience. Many customers have not fully explored the benefits that workflow can provide to their organization. For example, one recent customer was not using workflow as part of their purchase order process. Employees with access to the purchase order module were able to freely place a purchase order in an on-order status without any governance. Unfortunately, for this customer, an employee abused this freedom and created fake purchase orders to benefit themselves.
The term “end of life” is often perceived as being abrupt and permanent. Fortunately, Microsoft gave customers the needed time to process and adjust before pulling the plug on the Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) browser. The announcement that Microsoft 365 apps would stop supporting IE11 was to end came on August 17, 2020.
Cybersecurity is a key concern for businesses in today’s digital world. Working from home has become the new norm, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also due to the advancement of technology. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are taking advantage of this by targeting remote workers and growing organizations. As a Managed Service Provider some of the most common threats we protect against and help remedy are Ransomware, IoT related attacks and Cloud Computing vulnerabilities.
Continuous Improvement (CI) seems like a straight-forward concept, but what’s the best way to do that in an ERP environment and why should you consider it? At its most basic level, CI is a way to prioritize smaller projects and initiatives with incremental steps that improve your business processes and the use of the system. It maintains ongoing progression and forward movement. And with that series of smaller improvements, momentum and an attitude to take on more are generated.
I was recently at dinner with a client when he asked the people at the table, “Is cheesecake a cake or a pie?” We all had a good laugh while people pondered. He encouraged us to not overthink this lofty question and just “go with (our) gut.” But, it was hard not to give this one some more serious and deep consideration. Trust me on this – I spent more time than I care to admit searching for the correct answer on Google.
The word “change” can be scary for companies and individuals alike. Without diving into the psychology of change and why it stirs such trepidation, most organizations relate “change” to the last positive or negative experience or interaction they had. In many cases, companies become paralyzed in making a change purely out of “fear of the unknown.”
It’s late Sunday afternoon and you suddenly remember tomorrow is your anniversary. You have the perfect gift in mind, but you have one opportunity to get it before the store closes. Real Time Inventory is a relatively new concept, offering an increased level of convenience and transparency between customer and retailer. As someone who has worked in ERP for many years, I’ve seen the transition from pen and paper inventory to day-old information to the real time inventory offered today.
Ransomware is one of those things that will not go away. Cybercriminals continue to find ways to circumvent the best safeguards in place, and awareness and education are your strongest defense. Understanding and building defenses against ransomware is critical and support from your managed service provider can offer the resources and strategy to best protect your business.
Last December, when we identified the 2020 Cybersecurity Trends, no one would have imagined what 2020 was about to unleash. Who would have thought that we would be facing a world-wide pandemic which will clearly continue into 2021 or longer?! The trends that we identified in the list below for 2020 are still not only relevant, but many of them have become even more important due to the accelerated shift to Remote Workforce Enablement.
Ransomware has been a fear of IT professionals and business alike for many years. No one ever wants to be that business on the news or that individual that clicked on something and instantly regretted it. In recent news the Ryuk Ransomware attacks against primarily Healthcare organizations has been devastating and the Ryuk Ransomware is believed to have made up one third of all Ransomware attacks in 2020.
In my continuing series of blog posts relating to “The Shift in the Modern Day Workplace,” I’m going to tackle the topic of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in an easy, digestible way and explain how it relates to ALL organizations. In the past, DLP was a term primarily associated with organizations that are highly regulated such as healthcare, banking, and insurance. DLP was often identified as a risk or gap during audits and assessments that are common amongst those industries.
A few weeks ago, in my blog post, “The Shift in the Modern Day Workplace,” I discussed the many aspects of business operations that are undergoing a “shift” and causing business owners and executives to scramble to keep up with the changing times. I want to continue the dialog, expand on the different concepts, and give you more depth and understanding of each specific topic. So, over the next few weeks, I will tackle each topic individually, starting with Remote Workforce Enablement.
SOC (System and Organization Controls) is a suite of reports produced by an audit of an organization’s internal controls. These controls are the mechanisms, rules and procedures which ensure the integrity of a company’s financial information, reliable financial reporting, and legal and regulatory compliance. Audits are conducted by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) accredited by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
As nearly the whole business world transitions to a remote workforce, it presents a brand new set of challenges. One of the biggest questions companies are being forced to ask themselves is, ‘What do IT departments need to do when a remote worker leaves the company?’ At Revolution Group, we understand the challenges associated with an employee leaving the company, voluntarily or not.
When the COVID-19 pandemic sent millions of people home from work, businesses were forced to shut down and phone calls for sales and service went unanswered. However, organizations with foresight already had a tool at their disposal which allowed employees to answer phones from anywhere, anytime and were able to effectively keep operations up and running.
Business owners are continuously faced with challenges to grow, to innovate, and to increase efficiency and productivity. Your internal IT team may be able to provide your company’s basic needs at first, but eventually your needs outweigh the time and abilities the IT team has available. Furthermore, business owners and C-level executive take on improvement initiatives that internal IT resources can’t manage in addition to their everyday responsibilities.
As an ERP and business consultant, I am often asked about the value of and need for inventory traceability. Inventory traceability is the ability to trace products and materials through the supply chain. For manufacturers, this feature is of particular concern. Manufacturers need the ability to trace the components and materials used in their finish products back to the source from which they came.
Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) are responsible for maintaining your company’s hardware, software and network infrastructure. However, they are not all the same. How do you know if your provider has the right processes in place to reliably support your organization’s operations AND keep your data secure? What are the characteristics of a good service provider? Does the prospective MSP follow best industry practices?
Inventory Accuracy is the relationship of physical inventory compared to stated inventory. To put in the simplest terms: “Do I actually have what my systems tell me I have?” Inventory accuracy can be managed using spreadsheets or in any system with a method of tracking and monitoring inventory levels. Inventory accuracy is crucial in any industry and affects the day to day operations of the entire business. Do you have what you need to make your product?
In today’s business world, companies are driven by the need to make quick, well-informed decisions. All levels of the organization rely on high quality, readily available data. A good ERP system can provide the data needed to make those decisions and optimize operations, sales, and supply chain functions and maximize efficiency, growth, and profitability.
Until recently, “ransomware” was a technology buzzword that you may have encountered online or heard your IT staff discuss around the water cooler. Unfortunately today, it is not just IT lingo, but instead, a serious threat to businesses around the world. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, it is estimated that ransomware attacks will cost $8 billion in 2018 and up to $11.5 billion in 2019. And, ransomware attacks on businesses are predicted to occur every 14 seconds by the end of 2019.
It’s safe to say that ERP projects don’t always go as planned. Whether it’s scope creep, changing business requirements, or lack of buy-in, specific actions are needed when a project gets off track. Most issues with ERP projects are not caused by the software’s functionality. So, where do you start?
Have you ever considered living life without insurance? You could save a lot of money in the short term without paying insurance premiums. But, eventually, an accident, natural disaster or health issue will occur and could significantly impact you financially. The same is true for technology in your business. While it might seem like you could save money in the short term, having a Managed IT partner will save you both money and headaches in the long term.
Today, ERP systems integrate all manufacturing and business processes, from production and inventory management to accounting and finance. When properly implemented, an ERP system can encompass every facet of the organization. This gives management the ability to see what is happening in “real time” across the entire organization.
Protecting your organizations infrastructure is much like protecting your home. At home, we take precautions such as locking our doors, turning on an alarm system and having a plan in place in case someone attempts to break in. It’s important to take the same kinds of steps when it comes to the security of your organization.
When you hear the term “ERP systems,” production, inventory and quality may come to mind. Few of us would consider financial records or variances because we don’t tend to make the connection between an ERP system and the benefits offered to the company’s financial management system. While an ERP system helps improve departmental productivity and effectiveness, it also offers tools to improve and simplify a company’s finances.
By now, you have probably read dozens of articles about cybercriminal activity and data breaches. Large firms like Equifax, Uber, Anthem, Target, Ubiquiti, and many more have had security breaches that have resulted in the exposure of sensitive customer information. With these massive data breaches, experts calculate that approximately 1.9 billion usernames/passwords have been stolen and are available on the black market. And these breaches are not confined to large organizations.
Having led numerous deployment projects as an ERP consultant, I work with organizations to optimize the use of their software and make their business processes more efficient. I’m constantly shocked by the lack of importance placed upon the procurement function within many of these organizations. In my multitude of discussions with purchasing department employees, I find a majority to be very comfortable with, and dare I say, dependent upon, tedious buying transactions.
Do you feel you get the job done, but your processes are not without some aches and pains? Does your organization struggle with a lack of control with new part introductions? Have you been wanting, just not sure where to start, to implement robust cycle counting of inventory? Maybe it takes far to long for you to process a new order through your business or you experience break-downs in communication between sales and manufacturing.
Do you feel as though the production floor is your worst enemy in the mission for inventory accuracy? This leading cause of frustration and stress around inventory management often comes from a lack of investment and standards on production floors. Inaccurate inventory impacts the ability to deliver customers their parts, borrow money for capital and raw material needs, and produce profits.
MRP – Opening the Black Box Material Requirements Planning can seem like a mystery on how it does its magic behind the scenes. Let’s consider how you can help it work more efficiently and understand why it’s giving you the data it does. MRP is based on “The Big...
We can generally sort Manufacturing Business processes into three groups: Make to Order, Assemble to Order, and Make to Stock. Make to Order is also known as custom build. Assemble to Order is used in repetitive manufacturing. And Make to Stock covers mass production of end products. Let’s look at each one and see where to apply scheduling and planning tools for the best order to fulfillment timing.
Thousands of years ago, when someone needed something, they had to build it themselves. Through the generations, some people began to be recognized for their skills in building and they were asked to build things for other people. A business was born. Eventually, these new businesses got very busy and, in order to maintain their demand, they had to establish priorities in their current processes.
My wife always teases me about being the ‘King of Analogies.’ That doesn’t keep me from attempting to draw parallels between unrelated things. Lately, I have been thinking about the similarities between an ERP project and having a baby. Obviously, two entirely different activities, but indulge me in some uncanny similarities. Here is my take on how ERP and your baby are the same.
To understand two-factor authentication, you will need to know what single-factor authentication is. Single-factor authentication is a common login where you have to enter your username and one password. In this single-factor authentication model, anyone who can obtain your username and password, can get access to your account.
Servers are such a vital part of a company’s technology infrastructure. Depending on how you use your server, your day-to-day operations could come to a halt if you experience issues like server downtime. By not being able to complete your day-to-day tasks, you’re sure to lose money. So, you ask, “How often should I replace my servers?” The answer can vary but below are some ways to prevent the chaos and financial nightmare of having a server die when you’re unprepared.
Once the awareness and consideration stages are complete, there are 5 purchasing stages of the Technology Adoption Lifecycle. The adoption lifecycle was developed by Everett Rogers to describe the different ways people adopt technology and the characteristics those consumers possess at each stage. Which type of technology consumer are you?
When selecting an ERP system, there are multiple decisions and numerous factors to consider. Where do you begin and what are the important criteria elements that you need to know before you start? Our team of ERP experts have put together an ERP Selection Roadmap to help guide your journey. This useful resource will assist you as you try to determine the best ERP solution for your business. Follow these 10 steps, and you will discover the ERP solutions that best fits your needs.
Manufacturers today are seeking technology solutions that optimize complex processes, reduce costs and give them more control. Intelligent analytics or ‘manufacturing intelligence’ offers the key to solving many of these problems. Pulling meaningful analytics from your ERP system can give your company the ability to make smarter decisions and propel your business forward.
Do you have technology alerts set up for your company? Even having basic monitoring and alerting systems can save your company time and money by notifying you before a problem gets too big. Being prepared can mean the difference between a small, fixable issue and a catastrophic event that could lead to downtime and money lost.
Many companies today are transitioning to hybrid IT, so some of our customers are asking us: “What is hybrid IT and will it change the way I currently do business?” Hybrid IT is a combination of cloud and on-site technology services and support. It is mixing the two somewhat conflicting ideals into one smooth operation that allows the best features of onsite offerings to be used in conjunction with the best features of cloud offerings.
It is estimated that most companies spend up to 25% of their budget on supply chain management costs. The flow of information, materials and dollars across a complex supply network presents many challenges. Efficiently managing activities and processes to meet customer demand can be difficult. And, most companies realize that there is a huge opportunity for improvement in managing their supply chains.
To be competitive in today’s global economy, manufacturing companies need to streamline processes, cut costs, and improve efficiency. Many manufacturers are achieving these business objectives by implementing new ERP solutions. Modern ERP can usher in a new way of doing business for your company with tangible benefits that impact your bottom line. Here are 3 big benefits of modern ERP you will see after deploying a cloud-based solution.
What is a managed IT service provider? A managed service provider (MSP) is now a widely accepted technology term for a team of IT specialists that take responsibility for a company’s hardware, software, and network infrastructure maintenance and support. The type of maintenance that an MSP typically offers is a proactive approach by monitoring and alerting potential threats and weaknesses in the technology structure.
Cloud-based ERP solutions are one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry, and in manufacturing, we see a notable shift from on premise ERP to cloud-based ERP. In a cloud solution, your software, data, and related infrastructure are hosted remotely and accessed via the Internet. Why is the case for cloud so strong? Because cloud ERP offers significant benefits over traditional ERP.
Whether you employ an in-house IT team or outsource with a Managed Service Provider, keeping up with changing technology is imperative. Choosing infrastructure solutions for your company can be difficult enough, but the number of options available can confuse even the best IT team. And, once you’ve chosen a solution, updates, expansions, and new releases are becoming more and more frequent, making maintenance time consuming and expensive.
A successful ERP implementation requires effective project management. Like any complex project, you will need proven processes and techniques to guide your work. In today’s blog, we outline 6 of the major components to successful project management.
For those who use technology, backing up your data has become second nature. On a personal level, social sharing is taking over – live streaming, selfies, and social media updates are forcing data storage to become a top concern. Data storage is a constant concern for companies as well. Businesses of all sizes are asking themselves, “What’s my data worth and can I afford to lose it?”
Technology is transforming the way we do business from consumer goods to industrial machinery. As the manufacturing environment becomes more and more complex, businesses are examining their system processes to determine if it’s time to upgrade their ERP. In today’s blog, we highlight 4 keys to aligning your business and your ERP strategies. These tactics help to ensure your ERP system will meet your business needs now and in the future.
The process of selecting a new ERP solution can be a daunting task and with so many options, features, and vendors to choose from, starting the process can seem overwhelming. In today’s blog, we highlight 5 important to-do’s when started your search for a new ERP system. Taking these steps before calling your first ERP vendor will help your search run smoothly and achieve great results.
From the smallest mom and pop coffee shop to the most technically advanced international corporation, the internet has changed the way the world does business. Today, a reliable internet connection is just as important as common utilities like water and electricity. And yet, most businesses have little understanding of their actual internet usage or bandwidth requirements. Nor are there tools in place to determine why your internet is slow.
Value-add is a common phrase in today’s business world, but it’s also an important question. As manufacturers investigate new technologies and look to implement ERP solutions, they often ask value-add questions about third-party consulting companies. Executives wonder if it is worth it to bring external consultants in to manage their projects or help them with the challenges that come with growth, competition, and globalization. What is the value-add of partnering with an ERP consulting firm?
In one of our recent webinar “Leading People Through Change,” Revolution Group was asked: Why ERP implementations fail and what proactive steps do you recommend to get ahead of these? Since this is such a great question, we asked our one of our ERP consultants Mario Lopez to address it in a blog.
Over the last ten years, personal technology devices such as smartphones, tablets, and notebooks have advanced to a point that people rely on these devices for everyday tasks. Employees rely on these devices to answer emails, check their calendar, set reminders, or access enterprise resource applications. As a small or medium sized business, keeping up with the advancement of technology can prove to be an expensive burden; especially considering there are new releases for these devices every few months.
With the preponderance of crime investigation shows on television, it seems we have a fascination with the use of technology to determine the nature of a crime, its time and place of occurrence, and ultimately, the culprit. Now imagine the chief investigator stating, “After days of investigation, we have come to the conclusion that a crime took place within the last three weeks by somebody in the afternoon. We still do not know how many victims may be involved.” Obviously, that response would not be acceptable.