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Save Your Money! Why Writing Your Own ERP Is a Terrible Idea!

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Save Your Money! Why Writing Your Own ERP Is a Terrible Idea!

Write your own ERP? Are you Crazy!

I have been in the ERP space for many years, and I have had more than a few customers tell me that they had written their own ERP or they wanted to.

I sell Microsoft Dynamics, so you may say that I have a vested interest in discouraging this. It is bad for business if customers go write their own! Well that is true in a way. It’s bad for the customer’s business for sure.

There are more than enough customers who need ERP systems (especially cloud ERP like we sell) that one more ERP sale would make a huge difference to my business.

I wrote about this years ago with my article (here on Ezines) about ERP vs Microsoft Access. This is an updated version.

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The 2 Reasons People Try and Write an ERP

One: They had a bad experience before and feel like they need control over their ERP. The idea of creating their own seems less risky that picking another bad ERP.

Two: They think ERP is to expensive and they can write their own more cheaply.

Let’s deal with reason 2 first.

Writing your own ERP is not cheap!

ERP systems are built from 1000s and 1000s of hours of programming. I don’t think most small businesses really appreciate this. Many hours of programming effort needs to go into building a system.

Even really basic MRP systems would take 2 to 3 “man years” of effort to build out to be usable.

An average ERP implementation in a small or medium business takes about 800 to 1000 hours. That’s your staff time (about half that of the consultants).

To write your own good ERP, you need a programmer.

Let’s use $80,000 a year as a salary. That is a VERY modest salary plus benefits for a programmer. You are either not getting a great developer (if they were great they’d be working at Google) or someone has no idea what they are worth.

To be realistic, it will take 3 man years of effort to build the ERP.

That is $240,000. You can get a really good ERP delivered and installed for $240,000.

Isn’t it Cheaper than a regular ERP Implementation in the long run?

Let’s take Dynamics Business Central as an example – since I know that really well.

No – it’s not.

I’ll post a link to a Dynamics 365 ERP pricing guide at the bottom of this post. Let’s consider a more or less “average” small or medium manufacturing company.

Implementing something like Business Central is going to be in the:

 

  • $2000-$3000 a month for the software
  • Maybe $100,000 for the implementation.
  • It will take about 6 to 8 months to do.

Your home made ERP won’t be usable for at least a year. Maybe two. You might have some incremental capabilities, but 80% or more of your team will still be using manual systems for a minimum of 12 months.

 

The reason you need an ERP is to get away from Excel sheet hell and manual processes.

There are even less costly ERP systems like Oodo, but whether you choose Dynamics Business Central (which is cloud based and starts at $70 a month per user) or Oodo which has a weird price model I have yet to really understand – you need a lot of users to break even on the $240,000.

Your ERP Never Stops Costing you Money

The trouble is you own your ERP system. You break it, you fix it. You can never fire your $80,000 a year programmer. You must have them because they are the only source of technical support you will ever have.

And there will be an endless list of requests. They exist because you are writing your own ERP. The vast majority of employee wish lists will exist in any out of the box system you were to get. Your DIY ERP system will not have any of those features to start. So you are paying your $80,000 a year staff member to write them one by one.

Flexibility and Customization

The second reason that people want to write their own ERP is because they have a bad experience the first time. This leads them to distrust the ERP process and feel like they’re better off writing their own.

This is what I wrote in the original article about creating a DIY ERP system in Microsoft Access.

 

Soon after your database is created and your purchase orders are going out to vendors, you realize you need to receive things. Vendors are annoying, sometimes they ship exactly what you wanted, in exactly the quantity and at the price on the PO – but often they don’t. So as time passes the simple access database begins an insidious march towards something deadly – COMPLEXITY!As time goes on it gets more and more complicated.

 

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Find an ERP you can Customize Yourself

So what to do about this? You really do not want to be backed into a corner where you don’t have options.

Get an open source ERP of course.

Open source means that you can modify and customize the ERP yourself. The source code of the ERP system is available for a programmer to make changes. There are two models of open source. The free open source (nothing is ever really free) and the commercial open source.

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central – Commercial Open Source

Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is actually more of a ERP programming language than it is an ERP. It is written in a newly modernized language called AL – which is constantly being enhanced. This is derived from the old Microsoft Dynamics NAV C/AL language.

We’ve had a few customers learn the AL language. They have done this almost entirely on their own. Within a few weeks the were writing code in it.

It is not hard to learn and not hard to code in. It would be WAY less costly to start with a finished ERP and enhance it. Your alternative is to start with a blank page and spend 6000+ hours programming. Then you might have something super cool and totally unique and very, very expensive!

Conclusion

Get a real ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. The effort you need to creat your own full featured ERP will be shocking. Get a “seed” ERP system that you can modify.

You will never save money writing your own system.

You’ll either provide a job for life to a programmer or you’ll end up like a lot of customers. With a barely working mess that you replace anyway.

 

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

Simple Way to Get Rich – Reinvesting Your Earnings

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What are some of the reasons why reinvesting your earnings is the simple way to get rich?

  1. Increased efficiency increases earnings

One way of cutting costs in business is by increasing efficiency. Elimination of redundancies not only reduces expenditure, but it also increases output or quality depending on the strategy at hand. This can be done through the acquisition of better tools, equipment or service providers

  1. Sustainability comes from knowledge

For the professionals, and also business persons, reinvesting in education is key to ensuring sustainability and to increase competence. Knowledge about your investment not only prepares you how to handle growth but it also prepares you on how to deal with emerging challenges. The process of becoming wealthy depend on how well you respond to both to ensure there is the continuous flow of earnings in the long-term.

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  1. Reinvesting frees up your time

Time is money. Earnings are profits, this shows that the investments are paying off. By reinvesting into the business, you are increasing the amount of input, and hence the output will correspond to the input. This means that if you invested $100 and it earned you $100 in profit in one week, reinvesting the profit will give you an investment of $200 and the earnings for the subsequent week will be $200. You would have reduced the time it took you to earn the extra $100 by at least a half. A repeat of the same will result in more money made in less period’s hence more free time to pursue other ventures.

  1. Financial freedom

The most common ways of raising capital are debt financing or equity financing. These two come with their own disadvantages including loss of stakes in the case of equity funding and interest paid in the event of debt financing. Consequently, these sources of financing may strip away your independence in running the investment, and the risk of defaulting in the case of debt financing may add undue pressure that may affect our health or business. Reinvesting your earnings ensures that you remain financially independent and debt free, hence raising your investments financial health and hence a boost in your journey towards getting rich.

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Reinvestment of your earnings provides you with a guaranteed path towards getting rich because it ensures that you build on your capital and your commitment to your investment.

 

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

Top Ways Traders Lose Money

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Did you know that 1 out of 10 traders loses money in the financial markets when trading?

Despite the damning statistics and the inherent uncertainty in the outcomes of trading, traders continue to take the risk and invest their money with the hopes of getting a return.

Experienced traders and stakeholders have highlighted several ways in which traders lose money. From this information, we have selected top ways traders fail that can assist you to avoid making the same mistakes.

Trading to learn

Most traders who have sustained losses from their trading experience acknowledge that they started trading without receiving any formal training from a professional. Armed with only the basic information about markets, some people invest and start trading hoping, ignorantly, that luck will be on their side. Instead of learning how to trade, these investors begin trading to learn how the markets work. This reversed prioritization of events leads to insurmountable losses, making it harder for the trader to ever recoup the lost money.

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Risk management

Understanding the risk level of a trade and the risk category that investments are placed is the first step to avoiding losing money when trading. Conducting a risk assessment of the investment opportunities in the market enables a trader to determine the leverage that they hold against the investment and whether it is worth placing a wager using the leverage. Without a risk assessment, a trader may place a wager on a portfolio that has a high-risk premium and ends up losing the leverage among other losses.

Money management

Lack of money management skills, traders hold on their stakes for either too long or release them too fast. Therefore, despite making a profit from a transaction, the trader ends up losing money.

Transaction costs

Like any other investment, trading has its operational costs that have to be factored when generating a profit and loss statement. A trader may lose money despite having a positive return in a trading period based on the costs incurred over the period. The adjusted transaction costs deducted include taxes, commissions, and utility bills, among other resources including time spent trading and conducting other activities related to the trade.

Tools of the trade

Markets are time sensitive and data-intensive platforms. Traders who have appropriate data at the right time are more likely to win than the others in the same market. Lack of tools for efficient data analysis and communication causes some traders to make trade decisions ex-post. For example, having a slow internet may hamper the trader’s efficiency and hence a trader will make decisions using delayed data feed.

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Discipline

Lastly, traders lose money because they lack a trading strategy or if they have one, they deviate from the plan. For example, a trader without a diversified portfolio is likely to lose money because of lack of risk spreading. Consequently, trading without a limit order or a take-profit order exposes the trader’s positions to further risk of losing money with the hopes of a ‘miracle’ at any time.

So how do I avoid losing money?

With the basic information on how traders lose money, it is paramount that you understand the best way to avoid these predicaments by learning how to become a successful investor.

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

Why You Should Be Getting More Than Money From an Investor

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On the new streaming show Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, founders step into the Entrepreneur Elevator and have just 60 seconds to present their idea, product or business to a panel of investors. Whether an entrepreneur gets invited into the boardroom or sent back to the ground floor depends on what our experts think in that first minute. Here, we break down the lessons aspiring business owners can take away from each episode’s pitches.

There are many reasons entrepreneurs seek funding for their businesses. They may be ready to ramp up manufacturing and lack the resources to do so. They may need the capital to invest in getting the word out about the new product they’ve developed. Often, they simply need access to the many valuable resources investors have at their disposal.

For many business founders, though, investors bring a far more important asset to a startup. Most investors are experienced professionals who can bring experience and insight to a particular business. In the sixth episode of Entrepreneur’s new streaming series Elevator Pitch, we meet a group of founders who were desperately in need of this type of expert guidance. Here are three important lessons entrepreneurs can take away from the episode.

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Investors are consultants

First up in the episode were Jared and Karina Rabin, the husband and wife team behind Hang-O-Matic, a popular picture-hanging tool. At first these two drew “bait and switch” concerns. They spent most of their pitch talking about their already-successful product, and then suddenly revealed they wanted investment in a newer tool. Know that in these situations investors will usually want a piece of the original, successful product before considering anything else. They’ll probably send you packing otherwise.

So, the investors agreed to let the Rabins up to the boardroom, but if the investment wasn’t specific to the original tool, they weren’t interested. After all, the couple already made clear they had more than enough in earnings to fund their planned new product.

Fortunately Jared and Karina revealed quickly their primary interest was in finding a business partner who could advise them as they moved their company forward. That means they were just fine with investors taking a stake in the original product, not just the newer one. The investors were immediately interested, agreeing to serve as a team of consultants in exchange for equity in the company. This was a perfect fit for the couple, who were exhausted after years of working nights and weekends to build their company. The success of this pitch clearly shows that investors can be highly valuable advisors to their portfolio businesses. Be open to the idea that this could be just the relationship you need as well.

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Conduct market tests first

Dawn Maslar, author of the book Men Chase, Women Choose, approached the panel with a product called a Devotion Test. After sampling a man’s saliva, she said, the test can detect whether a man is committed to the woman he’s currently with. The panel was feeling a bit unsure about Maslar’s product but they were curious enough to invite her into the boardroom anyway to hear more.

Once inside the boardroom, Maslar failed to win over the investors. Their biggest objection was they simply weren’t convinced there is actual customer demand for her test. With a sales history or proven market research, she may have been able to debate this objection. She didn’t have that though. All she actually had her own opinion. The investors’ decision to opt out demonstrated the importance of having market data in place before approaching investors.

 

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

How to Start Investing Today With the Money You Spend Right Now

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Many people enter a job market right after school and jump right into life feet first. Money comes in from a job, then goes right out to liabilities, food, entertainment… all necessities and pleasures in life. This is often called being stuck in a “rat race”. Every month is the same thing… money comes in, money goes out. Once you’re stuck in it, it’s very difficult to get out. But not impossible.

Now, money you make in your job is dependent on your ability to perform a task or function and amount of time put into that task or function. Essentially, it is trading time for money utilizing a learned skill. But this can’t possibly go on forever, can it? What happens when you get too old to perform these same tasks required for a job?

Unfortunately, for some people it goes on for a very long time. And when people who don’t invest in things that will bring in income whether they work or not can’t work any more, they don’t have anything to help them live as comfortably as they are today.

Until most people get into a career job that offers good benefits (including a 401k), money is rarely put toward investments. Money is made and spent as fast as it’s made, giving a person necessities and comforts of life at the time – and then some, but not allowing much for a prosperous future once job income stops.

Everyone at some point in their life must face the reality that a job is not going to give them everything they want or need in life – especially a life after retirement age. Investing is something best figured out early in life.

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To understand how important investing is, you must first understand what investing is. An investment is a method of making money from a one-time effort. Sometimes this effort can be intense and take some time, but it can provide income for many years to come without having to put forth that same effort or time.

If you do a bunch of research to buy a house to use as an investment, you only have to do that research one time. Once you buy an investment, it will make money for you with very little effort. If you write a book and put it on a website to sell, you only had to write a book one time and it will make money for as long as it is active on the website or in a book store. If you research a company stock and find a perfect one, investing some money in it, money then starts doing work and making money without you having to do anything.

These are just simple investment examples that do take some effort. The point is that making money from investments is a lot easier than making money at a job if you know what you’re doing. A huge difference between an investment and a job is how much time and effort someone has to put into making money. Cool thing about investing in the stock market (whether it be traditional buy/hold/sell trading, 401k investing, or options) is that you only have to learn how to do it once, keep repeating what you learned, and let each dollar you invest do all of the rest of the work for you so you can enjoy life as it was intended.

Of course there is one HUGE problem that everybody faces before they can invest. Where do you get money to use to make money? When living life in a “rat race”, you eventually get caught up in an impossible circle that is very hard to get out of.

Don’t worry!

You have money… you just don’t know it yet!

There are ways to make a few changes in your life to start building up “capital” for investing – no matter what type of investing you are looking to start. It will be slow at first, but it will definitely morph into something you won’t believe possible.

One way to build up investment capital fairly quickly is opening a “Round Up” Savings Account. This type of capital growing account actually helps you save and build money based on your every day purchases. You attach your checking accounts or credit cards that you spend money on to your Round Up account and for each purchase you make, this account rounds up to the nearest dollar and deposits that rounded up cash into an investment platform that helps your savings grow faster. Not much work, is it? This special investment account does the rest.

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For example, if you spent $20.57 on something, it rounds that up to $21.00. The round up, or $0.43, is placed in your account which is divided among several stocks based on account settings.

If you make 50 purchases from your checking account in a month averaging $0.35 a round up, you will save $17.50 in that month. That’s $210.00 in a year saved just by rounding up these purchases.

Money invested in this round up account goes up and down with stock market movement. At 5% gain in a year, it will go up by $10.50 more. And some stocks that your money is invested in earn dividends that are automatically reinvested into your account.

This doesn’t sound like much, but over time, it will continue to grow. This is an investment in itself and can grow pretty fast if you are consistently adding to it. If you have extra money you’d like to save during a month, you can also make deposits to apply them to your account to grow your account even faster.

A Round Up Savings Account is simply a stepping stone to get you to a higher level of investing, which can be a stock trading, option trading, a retirement investment account, real estate, or anything else you can invest that money in to make more money.

Once you build up some good investment capital in your Round Up account, you can withdraw it whenever you want and use it to purchase assets (things that earn you money – unlike liabilities) or to invest in stocks to make even more money over time.

 

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

Importance of Credit and Financial Services for an Individual and Business

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Just like money, the importance of credit and financial services cannot be ignored. We know that money is like the backbone of any economy. Plus, the functionality of an economy is dependent on the financial system of the state. In this article, we are going to find out more about the importance of credit and financial services as far as individual investment and growth are concerned. Read on to find out more.

Importance of Credit

In any economy, the role of credit is of paramount importance. Basically, credit is a form of trust that allows someone to provide resources or money for another person. Moreover, it is the credit system that gives support to the economic activities of a state.

If you want to achieve your professional, personal or financial goals, you have to understand the importance of credit. Today, commercial banks keep the savings of their account holders and provide these funds on credit to needy people and businesses.

Smart people use credit money in order to run a business successfully. If they are not provided money by banks, they won’t be able to use their talents and abilities. Bank loans help a lot of businesses produce goods and services for the economy.

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When people buy a house for the first time, credit plays an important role in these transactions. The lending bank needs a surety that the borrower will be able to pay off the loan in a timely fashion. Therefore, they check the ability of the borrower to make sure they earn enough money to pay the installments and meet their day-to-day expense.

Importance of Financial Services

Financial services are an important section of any financial system. This financial system offers different types of finance using different credit instruments, services, and financial products. With the help of these services, it is possible to increase the demand for certain products and services.

With the help of financial services, it is possible to improve the economic condition of a state. If people in a state enjoy a higher standard of living, it means that the financial services of the state are up to the mark.

With financial services, people get different types of consumer products, such as cars, through a process called hire purchase. Apart from this, mutual funds allow individuals to avail of opportunities, such as saving options. This allows them to enjoy a reasonable return on investment, which is the dream of any business.

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As far as promoting investment for raising capital is concerned, merchants can borrow money from a bank. Apart from this, insurance companies allow producers to reduce their risk caused by natural calamities and changing business conditions.

Businesses can get different types of financial assets that allow them to get the maximum return from their investments. For instance, some factoring companies can use financial services in order to increase their profit and turnover.

In short, this was a description of the importance of credit and financial services for an individual or economy. Hopefully, you will find this article helpful.

 

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