BEST BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE INFORMATION” One of the hazards of a growing small business is a software upgrade. If you pick the wrong horse, you may find yourself riding in the wrong direct- rion. Correcting your course may mean not only writing off your first upgrade selection but then going through the agonizing process of finding a better software solution for your company.
That’s what happened to Wolf Peak International of Layton, Utah, which designs and manufactures eyewear for the safety, sporting, driving, and fashion industries. Founded in 1998, the privately held small to midsize enter- production, ing, importing, and promotional distribution services.
In Wolf Peak’s early days, founder-owner Kurt Daems happy using Quick Books to handle accounting chores. friendly and allowed him to drill down to view transaction details or combine data in a variety of ways to create desired reports.
BEST BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
As the company prospered, however, it quickly outgrew the capabilities of QuickBooks. “As Wolf Peak got bigger, the owner felt the need to the sophisticated accounting system,” says Ron Schwab, CFO at Wolf Peak International. “There were no financial people in-house at the time the decision was made to purchase a replacement for QuickBooks, and the decision was made without a finance person in place prise (SME) also specializes in overseas Source- was The package is user get into a more to review it.”
Wolf Peak selected one of several accounting:-
Software packages promoted to growing SMEs. By the time Schwab joined the company, the package had been installed for six months, following full year.
The biggest difficulty for QuickBooks users is to go from very friendly information easily oriented accounting system that became an absolute nightmare to get data out of,” notes Schwab. “So the company paid a lot of money to have this new accounting system,
But nobody knew how to go in and extract financial or operational data used to make critical business decisions.” implementation period that lasted a user interface and the ability to find sophisticated, secured, batch- to a more There were other problems.
Developing reusable reports was difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. The company paid IT consultants to develop reports for specific needs, some of which still had not been delivered, months after they larly intractable. Furthermore, the company’s prior-year his- tory in QuickBooks could not be converted into the new accounting package.
A situation like this creates serious problems. Accustomed to keeping close tabs on the company’s operations, Daems found that he simply could not get the information he wanted. He began got so fed up he finally was simi- were commissioned. Ad hoc reporting to lose track of his business.
He to ready came to me and said he was looking at an SAP software alternative he’d heard about,” Schwab recalls. “He wasn’t ready to buy it, though, because he’d just sunk a lot of money into the new accounting package.
One year after Wolf Peak:-
had switched over to the new accounting software, Schwab called the offices of Journey TEAM, a local SAP services partner, and asked their software consultants to demonstrate the SAP Business One software suite. SAP Business One is an integrated business management software package designed specifically for SMEs like Wolf Peak.
The application automates critical operations including sales, finance, purchasing, inventory, and manufacturing and delivers an accurate, up-to-the-minute view of the business. Its relative affordability promises a rapid return on investment, and its simplicity consistent, intuitive environment that they and use mean users have can learn quickly effectively.
We had a wishlist from various company employees asking for a variety of capabilities,” recalls Schwab. “The JourneyTEAM people functionalities and more reports that we had spent several thousand dollars and several months trying ants and had not yet received.
Based on our data that they had input into Business One, JourneyTEAM put those reports together in an afternoon.” .Daems still had a few reservations: He needed the buy-in of his VP of sales and was concerned about cost.
He still wasn’t ready to write off the recently installed accounting software. came in and demonstrated all those They generated four or five even to get from our other software consult-
Came in and gave another presentation for the Wolf Peak sales team and, following that, came back with an acceptable quote. With some pain, but also considerable relief, Daems wrote off the existing accounting package. “We felt the benefits of SAP Business One far outweighed the costs and time already invested in that software system,
Daems says. Implementation of Business One took just seven weeks from the day of the initial sales presentation. “We implemented SAP Business One during our busiest period of the notes Schwab. “It went a better year with no than I expected, in particular, the cutover and conversion to Business One.
JourneyTEAM did an all our old records converted with no real problems We met our June 30 deadline and cutover during the succeeding long weekend without incident.” Schwab’s enthusiasm for SAP Business One is high “This is the best accounting program I’ve ever worked with,” he says.
I can díll down to with the XL Reporter too, I can build reports on the fly.” Business One includes a seamlessly integrated reporting and financial analysis tool called XL Reporter that works with Microsoft Excel to provide instant access to financial and operational data.
It reports on live data drawn from a variety of sources ables, sales, purchasing, and inventory software. “Now we’re disruptions,” amazing job of getting at all anything I want. And including general ledger, receivables, pay-
CASE STUDY QUESTIONS:-
- What problems occurred when Wolf Peak upgraded from QuickBooks to a new accounting software package? How could these problems have been avoided?
- Why did SAP’s Business One prove to be a better choice for Wolf Peak’s management than the new accounting software? Give several examples to illustrate your answer.
- Should most SMEs use an integrated business software suite like SAP Business One instead of specialized accounting and other business software packages?
This case demonstrates failure and success in the software research, selection, and installation process, as well as some major differences among business application software packages in capabilities, such as ease of use and information access for employees and management.
Search the Internet to find several more examples of such success and failure for software suites like SAP Business One or Oracle E-Business Suite and specialized business packages like QuickBooks or Great Plains Accounting.
Break into small groups with your classmates to discuss several key differences you have found on the basis of your Internet research. Then make recommendations to the class for how these differences should shape the business application software selection decision for an SME.