“Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” – Stephen King
Okay. This blog is going to be counter intuitive. This blog is not going to discuss innovation as innovation is typically defined. And, this blog is not going to crow about the cloud. It’s going to talk about what works. And, it’s going to talk about what works at a reasonable cost.
At the end of the day, the key things you want from your ERP software (in no particular order) are:
- It works.
- It’s fast.
- It integrates with other stuff that’s important to you.
- It’s easy to use and easy to learn.
- There are a variety of support options.
- It can be accessed from anywhere.
- It runs in the cloud or can be hosted in the cloud.
- It has a reasonable up front cost and a reasonable ongoing cost.
- It has a ton of canned reports and has an easy to use report writer for the rest.
- It can be easily customized to meet the 10%-20% of your requirements that are your “secret sauce”.
Sage 100 ERP works. Depending on how you track time, it’s been around in one form or another since the late 1980s or early 1990s. It’s interface has naturally gone through an evolution, but under the hood it still works. This is important. The bugs have been worked out, little (and big) things have been added over the years to improve performance, usability, functionality, and customer satisfaction. Sage is a huge company that continues to invest in Sage 100.
Fast relates to several areas within the software. These include: fast data entry – are the screens logically laid out, can they be easily manipulated to streamline data entry for your users, are the updates fast, is reporting fast, etc. Sage 100 ERP has customizable data entry screens so your data entry folks only have to type in the fields that matter. In addition, depending on your requirements and the Sage 100 version, updates and reporting can be speedy.
It Integrates with Other Stuff that’s Important to You
You want your ERP software to be able to connect to the rest of your business — shipping, documents, expense tracking, sales tax, CRM, warehousing, your customers, your vendors, your website, asset tracking, budgets, and more. Because Sage 100 has been around in one form or another for more than 20 years, there are literally hundreds of connections with other software. Some of the software is in the Sage family, and some of it is external. Either way, because of the flexibility and tools available with Sage 100, it can be integrated with almost anything.
It’s Easy to Use and Easy to Learn
Sometimes I think the definition of ease of use is “you know it when you see it”. However, what I like most about Sage 100 ERP in this area is its consistency. Each module is laid out exactly the same. Functions are named the same across modules. Screens have similar layouts across modules. If you learn how to enter a sales order, you won’t need a lot of training to enter a purchase order. It’s logically the same. The menu structures are easy to comprehend and easy to follow. Some software is so “powerful” and so “flexible” that it can be easy to get lost. No one ever gets lost in Sage 100 ERP.
There are a Variety of Support Options
With Sage 100 ERP, not only is support available directly from Sage, but there are more than 100 Sage partners in the US. This means you have options. In addition, there is a plethora of online support resources and groups. This only happens when you work with a mature product that’s been around for 20+ years.\
It Can be Accessed from Anywhere
If you have Sage 100 ERP hosted by any one of a number of hosting providers, you can access it via a browser from any computer that can access the internet.
It Runs in the Cloud or Can be Hosted in the Cloud
Notice I didn’t say it has to be “cloud software”. The point of this is that you don’t have to have an on premise server to run the software. I’m definitely not in favor of implementing any software today that requires you to purchase or maintain an on premise server. However, any software that runs on someone else’s server is fair game for me. Sage 100 ERP has a number of reasonable hosting options.
It has a Reasonable Up Front Cost and Reasonable Ongoing Costs
“One man’s reasonable is another man’s outrageous.” – David Faye. That being said, compared with other ERP software packages designed for mid-market companies, costs for Sage can only be described as “reasonable”. Costs are based on user count and on the particular bundle of modules you select.
It has a Ton of Canned Reports and has an Easy to Use Report Writer for the Rest
Sage has hundreds of canned reports, and a tool called Sage 100 Intelligence that allows you to build almost anything you need. In addition, because we’re a Sage Certified Master Developer, there’s nothing our developers can’t do.
It Can be Easily Customized to Meet the 10%-20% of Your Requirements that are Your “Secret Sauce”
Let’s face it – no software is likely going to meet all of your needs out of the box. The trick is which software will meet most of them, and which software is customizable enough to fill in the gaps. Sage has a Custom Office Module which gives you the ability to add custom tables, custom fields, and custom scripts to address a lot of this. In addition, our development team has done hundreds of deeper customizations over the years to address the rest.
While Sage 100 ERP may not fit the classic definition of “innovative”, the combination of the factors above does make it an innovative solution. Implemented properly, it’s a strong software that can meet the needs of many mid-market companies.