|Strategic Planning Information|
Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Placement/Recruiting Agency example ? overview for consultant
Microsoft Great Plains does wonderful ERP job for horizontal markets and clientele. However in our opinion placement software market is underserved and needs custom modules to be developed. In the case of Microsoft Great Plains we see numerous examples of in-house or outsourced customization done for Great Plains Dynamics/Microsoft Great Plains in order to automate placement agency workflow and processes. In our opinion Great Plains is good choice, considering the side of placement and recruiting companies: mid-size or even small. Let us give you highlights from our consulting practice.
? Full-Featured custom placement business system. Technically Great Plains gives you functionality to develop integrated custom application, where you could build custom logic, extending Great Plains Receivables Management, Payables Management and other modules. You could implement complex recruiter commissioning schema, based on number of months of the placed employee work, etc. This is the most typical case ? placement agency contracts Great Plains VAR to implement their custom Business Management System.
? Payroll Outsourcer. If you do payroll outsourcing ? this is popular customization for Microsoft Great Plains. You usually have to create new Great Plains company for your client ? who is typically placement agency
? Executive Search. The best fit in Microsoft Great Plains is Project Accounting. You usually have something like Microsoft CRM implemented to log your calls to prospective candidates and you log your expenses against project in Microsoft Great Plains Project Accounting.
? Reporting. In the old days you had to deploy Great Plains Software Dexterity reports to do the job over your custom Dexterity tables. Today you should consider simplification and deploying Crystal Reports, working on Microsoft SQL Server custom views and stored procedures. Consider phasing out Dexterity customization and replacing it with MS SQL Server integration, Crystal Reports, direct web publishing from Microsoft Great Plains company tables
? Commission Calculation. In our opinion the old Dexterity-based commission calculation mechanisms should be replaced with Crystal Reports or Microsoft SQL Server triggers (when customer pays invoice, which is subject to commission)
We encourage you to analyze your alternatives. You can always appeal to our help, give us a call: 1-866-528-0577 or 1-630-961-5918, email@example.com
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), serving Microsoft Great Plains, CRM, Navision to mid-size and large clients in California, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan
Planning For The Slow Season Of Your Business To Increase Sales
Every business experiences slower periods. For some, they sell more during the Christmas season while others move at a snail pace. Some sell more during the summer and others less. The key is being aware of your seasons and alternatives available to solve the challenge and change the results.
How to Develop a Successful Board of Advisors (...and Why You Should!)
In today's rapidly changing and highly competitive markets, many privately held companies are creating outside advisory boards to give owners and CEOs fresh, knowledgeable advice. Even for small businesses, setting up an advisory board can give you a significant advantage over competitors that are relying solely on internal talent. An experienced and well-connected board of advisors can help your business grow and prosper in ways you've never imagined. What is a Board of Advisors? An advisory board is an outside group that is informally organized to provide business owners and corporate leaders with support, advice and assistance. While formal boards of directors have legally defined responsibilities and fiduciary duties, advisory boards have no formal power or binding legal authority. They serve at the pleasure of the business owner or CEO. Benefits of an Advisory Board There are several advantages that companies with advisory boards have over their competition. A board offers your business: An unbiased outside perspective. Increased corporate accountability and discipline. Enhanced CEO and management effectiveness. Greater credibility with investors, vendors and customers. Help in avoiding costly mistakes. Rounding out skills and expertise lacking in current management team. A sounding board for evaluating new business ideas and opportunities. Enhanced community and public relations. Improved marketing results and effectiveness. Strategic planning assistance and input. Centers of influence for networking introductions. Crisis and transition leadership in the event of the death or resignation of the CEO. Help anticipating market changes and trends. Steps to Creating an Effective Board of Advisors: Analyze the strength and weaknesses of your current management team. Look for critical areas of expertise and knowledge that your company could use help with such as marketing, legal, finance, eCommerce, and research and development or information technology. If your company is planning on going public within the next few years, seek out advisors who have successfully taken companies down that path. Set clear, written goals and objectives for your board of advisors. Getting maximum value from a board of advisors begins with clear objectives and goals. Board members must know why they have been asked to serve and what is expected of them. Before establishing the board, the CEO and senior managers should sit down and ask some of the following questions: 1. What are the main areas we need advice and guidance in? 2. What specifically do we need the board members to do for us? 3. Who are a few potential candidates for board membership? 4. How do we avoid giving away too much control to outsiders? 5. What will be the powers and limitations of the board? 6. What will setting up the board cost initially? Annually? Will it be worth the cost? Determine the size and structure of your board. Advisory boards range in size from two members to over thirty. The right size depends on many factors, such as your company's size, complexity, stage of development and individual skills needed. My experience and research has found that for most small to mid-sized, growing companies or start-ups, a 5 to 7 member advisory board is an ideal size. Smaller firms can start with just one or two members and add new members as they grow. Recruiting Candidates Determining whom you invite to join your board is one of the most critical decisions in setting up a board of advisors. Often a business owner's first instinct is to ask friends, family members or professional advisors to sit on their board. This is usually a mistake. Unless your friend or family member is a recognized authority in an area of expertise lacking by your management team or a highly successful entrepreneur, they are probably not the wisest choice. Another reason to avoid asking family or friends to join your board is lack of objectivity. Often advice from a friend, family member or management insider is sugar coated to protect relationships. An outside advisor can give you a much more objective and honest assessment of the situation. Using professional advisors such as your lawyer, banker or accountant as board members has it's own pitfalls. These advisors are already working for you and may not be as objective as you need, due to having an interest in generating future business from your company. Some critical action steps for recruiting a dynamite board of advisors are: Develop a candidate profile. After you have determined the areas of expertise your company is in need of, create a profile of candidates that successfully fit these needs. Take care to address knowledge and skills that your company will need to meet projected growth and future challenges. Seek out experts. Search online and offline for experts and proven leaders that meet your candidate profiles. Contact them and begin discussions about possible board membership. Ask for recommendations. Solicit recommendations from the experts you speak with that cannot serve on your board, of collogues of theirs that they feel would be a good fit for your needs. Begin networking with your attorney, accountant and other professional advisors. Once you have successfully recruited an advisor, he or she can often lead you to another good candidate. Find your candidates motivation. Most of your candidates are not going to be motivated by money alone. In fact, if money is their primary reason for joining your board, they may not be what you are looking for. The most effective board members are motivated by the challenge and intellectual stimulation of building successful companies. They serve because they are already high achievers and enjoy the challenge. Have variety in your board. Try to include experts and successful entrepreneurs from several different disciplines. Often board members who are successful marketers, CEOs and business owners from different industries can bring a fresh perspective to your business. These individuals can often help you incorporate best practices from other industries, into your own industry, creating revolutionary changes and opportunities. Look for a proven track record. Find the leaders in their field. The best board candidates are successful CEOs, business owners, professionals, university professors and consultants who have achieved success in their own businesses and careers. Clearly communicate your goals and objectives. Invest time in talking to and meeting with potential members. Communicate to them what your goals and objectives are. Let them know that you are not looking for "yes men" and that you want advisors who will challenge you and hold you accountable for your businesses growth. Board Compensation Board members expect and deserve to be compensated for their time, efforts and advice. Typical advisory board compensation includes a stipend from $5,000 to $25,000 per member, per year. Some companies pay their board members per meeting, with payment ranging from $500 to $3,000 per meeting, with a monthly retainer of $500 to $2,500. Companies should also cover transportation, meals and lodging for members when attending meetings. Most successful boards also give or require members to buy stock or some form of equity in the company. This gives the board members equity participation and a vested interest in the growth of the company. Pitfalls to Avoid Some potential problem areas to avoid when setting up or working with your advisory board are: Members missing meetings. Because board members are usually running successful businesses of their own, they may not always be available for every meeting. However, board members should be made aware that attendance of board meetings is important and expected. If a member is chronically absent, the value of their membership on the board should be reviewed. Insecurity of senior managers. Some company insiders may feel intimidated or threatened by the involvement of outsiders. The CEO or owner must make every effort to communicate to his staff the benefits and importance of having a board of advisors. Incompatible personalities. This is a challenging situation, because most members of your board will be strong willed, achiever types, who have gotten where they are by taking charge. Many will have strong convictions about their opinions and may find it hard to defer the leadership of the meetings to the CEO. You must determine when a member's personality is "too strong" and becoming disruptive. Excessive number of board members. Because of their strong personalities, if you have too many members on your board, the more assertive members often dominate the debates, depriving you of the contributions the quieter members may have made. Lack of CEO communication. Withholding company information or not regularly communicating with the members of your board of advisors destroys trust and effectiveness. Regular communication between meetings is essential to maintaining an effective board. Inadequate compensation. As I mentioned, you do not want compensation to be the determining factor in a candidates membership on your advisory board, however successful individuals of the caliber you seek expect to be fairly compensated for their time and knowledge. Keys to Board Effectiveness If you build it, use it. Owners and CEOs who invest the time and money in creating a board should be committed to soliciting and using its advice on important issues and decisions. Value their input, even when they disagree with what you want to do. Sometimes a board is at it's most valuable when it recommends against a course of action the CEO wants to take. If you recruit a good board, often they have already been down the path you are on, and their experience (and past failures) can help you to avoid costly mistakes. Communicate with your advisors. Keep the members of your board informed about what is happening in your company and industry. Counsel with individual members on the phone at least monthly and send them information well in advance of your meetings, to help them prepare and keep the meetings productive. Hold regular meetings. Most boards meet once per quarter. However, boards should meet more often during times of rapid growth or if company needs merit additional oversight and guidance. Have an objective for each meeting. Your board members are busy people and their time is valuable. Make the most out of your meetings with them, by having a clear agenda and objectives for each meeting. Make sure to cover the most important items of business first, in case the discussions take longer than planned or some members have to leave early. Annual assessment of board performance. Periodically assessing the board's effectiveness is a critical factor in ensuring a good return on investment. Each year the board should set performance goals and define their criteria for success. At the end of the year the CEO and the board should assess it's performance, compared to its goals and criteria for success. Over 80 percent of all private companies are operating without a board of advisors or board of directors. Odds are your competitors do not have one. Because of this, developing a board of advisors can give your company a distinct advantage over your competition. This is particularly true for start-ups and family run businesses. There is tremendous value in receiving objective, knowledgeable advice from a board of advisors who share in the financial and equity growth of your business. I encourage you to begin recruiting your advisory board today!
Site Selection and Demographic Tips for Establishing Outlets
Many cities have home pages on the Internet. Many of these cities use these sites to promote their town. They use it to attract large corporations who will provide jobs and large retailers who will provide sales tax revenue dollars for city budgets. The first thing you need to do when surveying a town for a likely candidate for a company outlet is to visit their website and that you can do from where you are sitting right now. Websites can be great sources for general and statistical data. Here is some of the information you will find at these Internet sites: Upcoming City Events; Job Opportunities; Library Hours; How To Pay Water Bills; Statistical Data; Basic City Information; Etc.
Financing Business Expansion for Your Small Company
How you finance the expansion of your business is important. Borrowing and understanding the consequences of borrowing for your financing is extremely important. If you are going to borrow the money to finance the expansion of your business, you need to make sure that you are not going to get yourself into a cash crunch situation. This is where you are going to have a lot of money coming in from new business completed and invoiced but not have enough current cash flow. When you borrow you will be financing new equipment, locations, signage, or perhaps a new work truck on a credit line, lease or loan payments. The initial payments are going to be due before you get your increased income from the expansion in. This can be a major critical problem and we do not want this to happen to you.
Advice To Manufacturers Creating A Business Plan
If you are a manufacturer wanting to use your business plan to attract investors, then your plan must do two things. It must:
Home Improvement Construction Project Planning
The first task before hiring a contractor for home remodeling is laying out the details on what exactly you want done. This will ultimately save you time and money, as you will be able to choose the perfect contractor for your construction job, and get the job done correctly the first time. Personally, I have always found that writing out every detail initially will help you think of the task more clearly in your mind. This will also aid in your description of the job to the contractor, and will allow for a better estimate of time and cost, which are coincidentally the two most important things to consumers.
Under Construction During the Storm ? A Hurricane Guide for Businesses that are Under Construction
As a business owner, you've likely created a hurricane plan for your business and your family, but did you overlook your construction project? Don't worry, you're not alone. Most people don't even think about preparing their construction site because it's not written into their "construction timeline." But when a hurricane threatens, general contractors usually get panicked phone calls asking about potential damage, delays and cost.
Business Planning and the ?Bozo? Factor
"Bozo" ? A clown with a forlorn look, always finding negative implications in every activity or event. A person who tries to find a way to prevent you from moving ahead, giving excuses such as "we've always done it this way, or this is not our culture" when presented a new opportunity or challenge. Normally associated with people who are uncomfortable with learning new techniques, processes, or relationships.
5 Strategies That Will Boost Your Business Productivity Today! - Part 1
Building a dynamic small business is a constantly evolving, increasingly demanding role.
ACTION PLANNING: Action Planning is a process to develop strategies for changes in the organization based on an analysis of the problems which precipitate the need for change. It is a collaborative method of planning which involves the people working in the organization and permits the people who will be influenced by the decisions and change to have influence on the product or outcome. Action Planning assumes that people will support that which they help to plan and create. Unless those involved are committed to that which they are changing, the plan does not have much hope for success. Recent studies indicate that employees who are a part of the planning and problem solving/decision making process will take on additional organizational responsibilities to implement the plans.
Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map
With the help of balanced scorecard strategy map, it is very easy to design the organization goals and build business strategies. Balance scorecard and strategy map are interrelated with each other. Strategies map is the foundation to design business strategies or perspective. Using strategy map, you can design the strategies and using balanced scorecards you can build business models.
Clearing the Path: 4 Ways Fear Wreaks Havoc on Your Dream and What to Do About It
Please take a moment before you read any further and answer these three simple questions:
Connecting Your Offline Business to Your Online Business
These may sound like no brainers, but you'd be surprised. No matter how high-tech your business has become, there is no doubt you still have some non-electronic aspects of your company. These are things like your business cards, stickers, and work shirts, to name a few.
Don?t Allow Yourself to Get Burned
I am not a big fisherman, but I do enjoy it whenever the opportunity comes my way. I have some friends who are fanatics and occasionally I will go out with one of them. They have nice boats and it makes for an enjoyable day.
Business Results - Four Critical Success Factors
Pave the Way to a Successful Strategic Plan
Many very successful business owners may never have had a formal strategic plan. Some think, "Why do we need to do strategic planning? We're doing great just like we are."
Strategic Planning Consulting
Strategic planning and consulting is the strategy roadmap to manage business very effectively. To improve the performance in each business level, business strategic planning & consulting is essential. We should draw a clear strategic planning model to dilute the business complexity. If the strategic planning models are clearly set it is easy to find the business solution.
Will and Vision
Remember Chux? The disposable diaper that took the market by storm in 1932?
Vendor Relations Strategies Sample Outline
One of the quintessential parts to any business is your supply chain. To insure that the supplies are there when you need them; in this new day and age of "just in time" distribution where very little sits on warehouse shelves until you order it you will need excellent vendor relations. Without the help of your vendors a small customer need turns into a astronomical problem and if you cannot solve it or serve your customer, you will indeed lose that customer to someone else who will. Someone who has constantly maintained a close relationship with their vendors in fact and can get what they need quickly with a simple phone. You say; "you wish it was that easy!" Yes, I hear you, yet I have seen over the years that with the proper vendor team, you can do anything, build anything, create anything and move forward faster than any competitor ever dreamed of. How do I know? Well, I built a multi-state franchise company with no outside investors from the smallest of small businesses, that's how.
Benefiting from Strategic Thinking
I recently took an organizational behavior class where my professor conducted a strategic thinking exercise in which groups of students were to be a part of a scholarship committee. The purpose of our committee was to use strategic thinking on allocating a scholarship budget to reward several incoming freshmen to our university. I, along with some classmates represented freshmen candidates who would receive the scholarship.
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