Connect with us

Business

Exclusive: ERP Selection: Find the Best Option Using Software Reviews

Published

on

ERP Selection: Find the Best Option Using Software Reviews

#ERP #Selection #Find #Option #Software #Reviews

ERP isn’t another legacy strategy.

In fact, enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) have embarked on the software battlefield fighting for businesses facing a “pivot or perish” situation.

Leveraging cloud technology and tapping into the SaaS model of post-modern ERP has allowed companies to maintain intelligent and strategic continuity even in the face of adversity.

And as ERPs become the linchpin to success, they expand beyond end-to-end business operations, encapsulating various touchpoints and stakeholders. These powerful and capable tools act as a bridge between businesses, customers, suppliers, partners, and more. Such data centralization benefits companies across industries and digital maturity.

Given this growing importance and resulting mission-critical role, it’s no surprise that the ERP software market is slated to touch USD 93.34 billion by 2028 while registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2%. 

And with nearly 33% of CIOs keen on investing in an ERP platform, one of the key contributors to the purchase decision automatically becomes software reviews.

Using software reviews for ERP selection is indispensable. Let’s look at how companies can use this “customer feedback” to keep ERP selections on track.

Advertisement

Role of software reviews in the buyer’s journey

It’s easy to presume that buyers write reviews primarily during their journey’s “decision phase”. Such an assumption is further from the truth. If anything, buyers can write reviews even during the awareness and consideration stages.

Search and discovery

As a business committed to embracing an ERP solution, you don’t want to waste your time learning the under-the-hood mechanism of ERP. 

Of course, you need to go through the features and functionalities to know what’s best for your business. However, once this preliminary research is over, you should delve deeper into the various ERP solutions on the market.

This search will lead you to review-driven platforms (like G2) that host a comprehensive list of options. And to make your task easy, you can find these solutions sorted by customer ratings.

Source: G2

You can even hover over the G2 Grid, which ranks ERP solutions based on market presence and user satisfaction. Different grids give you granular control to use them broadly or filter out the options based on your industry.

G2 Grid

Source: G2

Searching and exploring different ERP tools via a software review platform gives you a top-level view of the various possible solutions. They also help visualize how a specific tool can align with your business.

Long list options

After the search and discovery stage, you may be left with an unending list of options. Here’s where software reviews chime in again to cut out the noise and shine a light on options that matter.

You can use filters based on customer ratings and reviews to prepare your long list of options. Say you only want the best of the lot, and nothing less than a five-star rating would suffice. This could limit your choices, leaving you with only a handful of options.

Advertisement

However, if you’re a little more flexible (and forgiving) and consider lower-rated ERP solutions, you give other competitive tools a fair shot. Either way, you use software reviews to separate the wheat from the chaff and only proceed with practical and viable options.

Shortlist ERP solutions

After weeding out the irrelevant ERP solutions, you’re left with a few suitable contenders. Software reviews help you compare and contrast the remaining ERP platforms and make an informed decision.

Online reviews provide a general overview of different ERP platforms and their key features. They also allow you to compare various solutions with your expectations. You get an overview of the glamorous and not-so-glamorous parts of the ERP platforms – where they deliver and don’t so that you can justify those expectations.

Customer ratings G2

Source: G2

Check references

Before requesting quotes and signing up for product demos, it’s best to do a quick background check on software reviews. You can start by delving into the details provided by the reviewer to understand how their insights fit into the context of your pain points. Most reviews often include snippets of why the customer chose a particular service over its competitors.

Review the responses and submissions and analyze them from your industry perspective to see how reviewers’ issues relate to yours.

Do their problems match those plaguing your business? What are your key considerations, and how do they align with those of the reviewers? Would you enjoy the same results as the reviewer?

You can also use contact request forms to get in touch with the reviewers. When contacting them, ask them to explain their experience with a specific ERP solution.

Contact reviewers G2

Source: G2

Informed product demonstrations

Product demonstrations uncover an ERP solution’s capabilities. However, it may be daunting to test its usability and applicability within a tight time frame in your business environment.

Customer reviews facilitate maximizing insights from product demonstrations, even with limited time. They put your focus on two key segments: a feature or functionality that seems too good to be true and the one that may act as your major pain point. This helps you assess how well an ERP platform is performing and what the resulting compromise (if any) would be.

Advertisement

Pricing and negotiation

If you’re running out of ERP solutions with expected features and performance, it’s time to compare prices. After all, it all comes down to budget.

As frustrating as it may be, most ERP solutions don’t transparently display pricing and plans on their websites. You need to request individual quotes from these vendors. Pricing-related reviews spare you even this effort. A well-crafted comparison and value for pricing a solution will help you weigh solutions and decide your budget.

Pricing-related reviews G2

Source: G2

Besides comparing whether you’re overpaying or saving on your investments, you can also check customer reviews for discounts. Thorough due diligence saves you additional expenses.

Justify and illustrate the value

Customer reviews also come in handy when integrating an ERP solution or moving to a new ERP platform. These reviews can highlight the benefits of integrating your business software and systems using an ERP platform. 

Some reviewers effectively list the pros and cons of each solution available on the market. Other reviewers even go as far as conducting a detailed cost-benefit analysis to show more tangible costs and benefits. Customer reviews emphasize ERP solutions’ value and how they improve an existing system. 

How can ERP reviews help validate selection?

Eighty-six percent of B2B consumers look to peer-review websites to make an informed purchasing decision, whether hiring a mobile app developer or purchasing a software solution. Of course, customers are more likely to trust other customers who have used a product or service than the seller trying to meet their quota.

Software reviews play a key role throughout the buyer’s journey and act as a North Star to keep ERP selection on track. Here are some ways software reviews can help validate your ERP product’s choice.

Reinforce trust

Paying customers primarily write most of a product’s reviews. Because 88% of buyers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, you can base your decision on their research, selection process, and experience rather than working from scratch.

Recent findings emphasize how reviews build trust and directly correlate to conversion rates and sales. Having 50 or more reviews per product increases conversion rates by 4.6% and sales by 18% on average.

Advertisement

Simply put, online reviews are proof of a product’s credibility. Online reviewers give you more confidence while choosing a solution, simply saying, “We tried it, and you should too!”

Pros and cons

Unlike business case studies or customer testimonials that primarily serve the vendor, most reviews are written objectively by customers who may be appreciative or critical of their choice. Software reviews cut down the grunt work of using the product first to analyze its advantages and limitations. 

You can turn to these reviews for pros and cons to help you decide whether to try an ERP service. By eliminating the guesswork and trial and error, you can reduce time-to-decision, set realistic expectations, and derive more value from your ERP tool on day one.

Evaluate for relevance

While software review sites may give you equal and unbiased access to a large number of providers; they can be overwhelming. In such a case, you can use the sites’ reporting and analysis functionality to sort the solutions based on their relevance to your industry.

G2 Grid for ERP systems

Source: G2

Buyers no longer need to read lines and lines of text and can refer to digestible insights with data visualization in the form of charts and visual reports that bring greater meaning to the unstructured data. You can use these parameters to assess how an ERP solution performs in your industry.

Taxonomy and categorization

Software reviews help companies understand how an ERP solution translates to real-world performance. As you analyze the reviews, you’ll notice recurring patterns that usually fall into the following categories:

Keywords used

What they convey

Central theme

Learning curve, user interface, installation, deployment

Advertisement

How easy it is to set up and work with the software

Ease of use

Glitches, lags, bugs, delays, trouble navigating

The problems that you may encounter while using the software

Usability

Feature names, API, integrations

How the ERP software will meet your niche business needs, and whether its usability can be extended with third-party integrations

Capability

Expensive, cheap, cost-effective, monthly/annual fee, one-time licensing, per-user pricing

The solution’s cost or pricing model and whether it’s justified

Pricing

Advertisement

Customer support, knowledge base, phone support, live chat, FAQs, tutorial, onboarding, online ticketing

The kind of resources and support you can expect from an ERP solution provider

Support

Use these cues to gain essential information from customer reviews.

Signs of being heard

Not only reviews but the vendors’ responses to these reviews can tell a lot about their attitude and what you can expect from the ERP solution. A proactive vendor responds to even the most critical reviews and treats them with grace and empathy.

Review response

Source: G2

If they find that the reviewer makes a compelling argument, they use their feedback to improve the product in future releases. Their answers offer a preview of what customer support would be like if you chose them.

Unlock new features

While online reviews don’t “unlock new features” per se, they certainly list some features that you might otherwise have overlooked or not considered. This allows you to see an ERP product in a whole new light, especially if relevant to your industry.

Here’s how you can use software reviews to dive deeper into ERP offerings and see how they fit your organizational needs.

Tips for verifying the authenticity of software reviews when making ERP selection

Businesses now understand the power and value of reviews. They turn to online reputation management (ORM) service providers to improve public perception. While most ORMs would insist on responding to reviews and escalating recurring customer issues, some may resort to posting fake reviews to boost the software’s rating.

Advertisement

The following tips can help verify reviews when selecting an ERP software:

  • Negative and positive emotions: While it’s not a litmus test, extreme negative or positive emotions can raise questions about a review’s authenticity. An insightful review balances the negative and positive and illustrates why the reviewer thinks that way.
  • Recency: A review’s recency also shows whether it’s genuine.
  • Emotional weighting: Reviews that use emotional weighting to influence decisions may indicate insincerity. They can be analytical and negatively focus on the product rather than on the actual problem or solution.
  • Vague context: Again, reviews that go into tantalizing detail without raising the value or showing how the effects came about can also be fake reviews. Most fake reviewers feel the need to falsify the details and present the solution as the be-all and end-all to all their problems.
  • Unreliable reviews: Genuine reviews read as if an average user wrote them. Therefore, reviews that “try too hard” by relying solely on impeccable grammar, relatable humor, or even outright sarcasm could mean they’re not reliable.
  • Auditing reviews: Most review websites offer transparency by showing whether the reviewer bought the product and, if so, from where. You can use this feature for auditing only those reviewers who have purchased and used the ERP solution.

video review G2

Source: G2

  • Rating analysis: When it comes down to it, you can even use a feedback analytics tool that can algorithmically evaluate the ratings based on various parameters and share informative metrics. Some tools can even filter out the seemingly suspicious reviews and average the authentic reviews to get an accurate picture.

Believe, but not too much

Software reviews can influence your ERP selection process. Reviews shouldn’t be your only source of information. Gather as much detail as possible from different sources to create a holistic picture of what each ERP solution has to offer.

Practice due diligence as you weigh your options, and use software reviews as a medium to validate your decisions and the rationale behind them. A well-thought-out methodology ensures that your choices always hit the mark.

ERP implementation can be tough, and proper implementation prevents you from making the same old mistakes. Find out more about ERP implementation and how to get it right. 


Business

Exclusive: 3 Home Improvement Stocks That Can Renovate Your Portfolio – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

3 Home Improvement Stocks That Can Renovate Your Portfolio

#Home #Improvement #Stocks #Renovate #Portfolio

During a bear market, home improvement stocks have historically been solid defensive plays

The housing sector is slowing down. Rising mortgage rates are having the predictable effect of cooling down demand.



MarketBeat.com – MarketBeat

Or are they? While homeowners may not be able to get the same premium they could command just one year ago, there is still an ample supply of homes on the market. And once these homes change hands, new homeowners will be ready to make their new house their own.

However, that’s not the only catalyst for home improvement stocks. Homeowners who are deciding to “love it” rather than “list it” are likely to put some money into one of their largest investments as they wait for the housing pendulum to swing back in their favor.

In this article, I’ll give you three home improvement companies that continue to generate strong revenue and earnings. And two of these companies are also members of the exclusive Dividend Aristocrat club. These are companies that have increased their dividend for at least 25 consecutive years.

If that’s the kind of balance of growth and income that appeals to you, it may be time for you to consider these three home improvement stocks.

Lowe’s (LOW)

Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) stock is down about 30% in 2022. That’s larger than the broader market. But in the last month, the stock is showing signs of forming a bottom. And with the stock near its 52-week low, it may be time for investors to take a closer look at the stock.

The driving force for that sentiment may be the company’s earnings. In May, Lowe’s closed out its fiscal year. Revenue growth came in at an uninspiring 1% growth. But earnings were up 19%. Even if companies are heading into an earnings recession, a P/E ratio that is slightly below the sector average means it’s likely that Lowe’s will be able to post growth, albeit perhaps slower growth, in its next fiscal year.

And Lowe’s offers investors a rock-solid dividend that it has increased in each of the last 48 years. The current payout is $3.20 per share on an annual basis, and the company has averaged 17% dividend growth over the past three years.

Advertisement

Home Depot (HD)

Just as investors can debate Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) versus Pepsi (NASDAQ: PEP) among consumer discretionary stocks, they can frequently plant their flag with Lowe’s or Home Depot (NYSE: HD) when it comes to home improvement stocks.

To be fair, neither of these stocks looks like a bad selection for investors who are concerned about a recession. Home Depot delivered a strong earnings report in May 2022. Revenue was up 3.8% and earnings per share were up 5.8%. The company delivered strong same-store sales growth that was due in large part to its relationship with professional contractors.

Of the three stocks in this article, Home Depot has the largest dividend yield (2.68%) as well as the largest payout ($7.60). And while it’s not a dividend aristocrat the company has increased its dividend in each of the last 14 years.

Sherwin Williams (SHW)

Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to give a house a refreshing update. And as we move into the fall, homeowners attention turns to finding that perfect swatch of paint to transform a room. That’s enough to put Sherwin-Williams (NYSE: SHW) on my radar and perhaps yours as well. Historically the current quarter and the following quarter are the company’s strongest in terms of revenue.

But the skeptics will point to the fact that earnings have been a mixed bag. The company has missed analysts’ expectations in two of last four quarters and in the other two the gains were on the tepid side. And I’ll concede that a mixed earnings outlook will probably bring current price targets down from their 30% upside.

That being said, SHW stock offers both growth and income which is appealing in this volatile market. Sherwin Williams dividend yield of 1% isn’t likely to make income investors swoon. But the company does payout $2.40 on an annualized basis. The company also sports a three-year dividend growth of 24.26% and has increased its dividend in each of the last 44 years.

Continue Reading

Business

Exclusive: VW and Goldman-backed battery maker Northvolt gets $1.1 billion funding injection – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

VW and Goldman-backed battery maker Northvolt gets $1.1 billion funding injection

#Goldmanbacked #battery #maker #Northvolt #billion #funding #injection

Northvolt’s most recent funding announcement comes at a time when major economies are laying out plans to move away from vehicles that use diesel and gasoline.

Mikael Sjoberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Electric vehicle battery maker Northvolt on Tuesday announced a $1.1 billion funding boost, with a range of investors — including Volkswagen and Goldman Sachs Asset Management — taking part in the capital raise.

In a statement, Sweden-based Northvolt said the $1.1 billion convertible note would be used to finance the company’s “expansion of battery cell and cathode material production in Europe to support the rapidly expanding demand for batteries.”

Other investors in the raise include Baillie Gifford, Swedbank Robur, PCS Holding and TM Capital.

Northvolt recently said its first gigafactory, Northvolt Ett, had started commercial deliveries to European customers. The firm says it has orders amounting to $55 billion from businesses such as Volvo Cars, BMW, and Volkswagen.

Gigafactories are facilities that produce batteries for electric vehicles on a large scale. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been widely credited as coining the term.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Northvolt’s most recent funding announcement comes at a time when major European economies are laying out plans to move away from road-based vehicles that use diesel and gasoline.

Advertisement

The U.K., for instance, wants to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030. It will require, from 2035, all new cars and vans to have zero-tailpipe emissions. The European Union — which the U.K. left on Jan. 31, 2020 — is pursuing similar targets.

As the number of electric vehicles on our roads increases, the competition to develop factories capable of manufacturing EV batteries at scale is intensifying, with companies like Tesla and VW looking to establish a foothold in the sector.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Northvolt’s CEO and co-founder, Peter Carlsson — who previously worked for Tesla — was bullish about the future. 

“The combination of political decision making, customers committing even more firmly to the transition to electric vehicles, and a very rapid rise in consumer demand for cleaner products, has created a perfect storm for electrification,” he said.

According to the International Energy Agency, electric vehicle sales hit 6.6 million in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, EV sales came to 2 million, a 75% increase compared to the first three months of 2021.

Continue Reading

Business

Exclusive: Activating Purpose Inside One of America’s Largest Banks – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Activating Purpose Inside One of America’s Largest Banks

#Activating #Purpose #Americas #Largest #Banks

In 2022, Purpose has moved from the periphery of company strategy to its core. The Purpose Power Index 2022, the first empirical study of Purpose based brands, confirms that Purpose significantly contributes to increasing people’s willingness to buy from and work for a company. 

Despite this growing understanding, a big challenge remains. Only 10% of CMOs have activated their Purpose inside and outside their organizations (Kantar). And among those who do, recent studies indicate that 80-85% of Purpose initiatives fail in execution. 

So, who is doing it, and doing it well?

Vinoo Vijay is Chief Marketing Officer at Truist, one of the largest commercial banks in the nation. He also happens to be one of the top CMOs in the country who is activating the company’s purpose effectively. This interview puts Vijay at the center of activating purpose. He agreed to talk to me, and he relishes the opportunity to pass on what he has learned in the process. 

1.   What is Truist’s Purpose?

Our purpose is to inspire and build better lives and communities. This purpose has been our core grounding from the inception of Truist three years ago. It’s clear to us that scaled modern banking is just table stakes.  What drives us, and makes us distinctive, is our absolute commitment to our shared purpose, mission, and values. Our belief is that a reimagined combination of touch and technology, combined with our deep teammate, client and community focus, puts us on the path to live our purpose every day.

2.   When you were considering the offer to come to Truist and how did you know you’d be collaborating with leaders who believe in building a purpose-driven bank?

Your question includes an important and correct assumption. I had no interest in being the CMO of just another bank. I had already served as CMO at TD Bank, as well as created and ran brand and marketing at Ally Financial.  What was, and is, important to me is having an active and positive impact on colleagues and communities, and it was obvious as I spoke with Truist leaders that they were deeply driven by purpose. Even now, we center our work in purpose. It’s a constant reminder of our why.  And because we are a wholly new brand and reimagined bank, we have an incredible opportunity to translate our purpose intention into a genuinely different kind of banking experience.

3.   Knowing that Truist’s Purpose is larger than simply increasing the number of new checking accounts, why does it need a purpose?

Advertisement

For the longest time the key focus and message of banking was around security. Imagine the imposing bank branch with six-inch thick walls protecting your money. That era was followed by one that emphasized scale. The sheer power of size. Think 60-story buildings. And for the last 15 years or so, the industry focus has been digital utility as digital became ubiquitous. Maximizing utility within our mobile six-inch screen. In the last couple of years, we are seeing a shift towards a focus on the communal. What I mean by that is, we’re recognizing that we don’t live in a vacuum. That we have shared experiences. And our actions impact others, and the actions of others impact ours. Think six degrees of separation multiplied. Our collective wellbeing is inexorably linked. This era demands that we find and create shared, common purpose beyond ourselves. In fact, we crave it. Whether as a teammate, or as a client. So the question now is not whether we need purpose, but how well can we deliver on purpose for our teammates, clients, and communities. Just as security, scale, or digital utility was the hallmark of our past, purpose is the blueprint for our future.

4.   Communicating that purpose must be challenging. In a new study, less than 25% of CMOs are not activating the company purpose; what’s been your strategy? 

Challenging, yes. Impossible, no. Activating purpose presented wide open whitespace for Truist. Banks do well meeting the functional banking needs of clients and communities. We get the functional job done. But the emotional needs. The more human needs. The needs that, if met, reinforce trust and commonalities. That inspire and build better lives and communities. Those needs aren’t typically being met by financial services providers. We knew that if we could find a way to both reinforce internally and, establish externally, our legitimate claim of being a more purposeful bank, we could stand apart. To your point, however, the language and visualization of purpose can lack believability and feel trite. It’s easy to be cynical about emotional attributes. Truist’s approach has been to go at it from the inside out starting with leadership. Our Truist Leadership Institute specializes in leadership development that focuses on the whole person and how their beliefs, especially their purpose, influence their leadership style. Leaders are tasked with not only identifying their purpose, but writing it down and leading from their personal purpose.

As we thought about how to translate our intention into an external narrative, we looked at language we already use internally. One of our key values is Care. Care is an encompassing word. It’s intentional. It’s focused on others. It alludes to a belief in and departure from industry indifference. It speaks to how we show up for teammates, clients, and communities.  So we leaned into that word, and framed our position that “When you start with Care, you get a different kind of bank.” And we believe that to be true.  Care can affect how people experience the brand.  And if we can apply the power of a safe, scaled, digitally capable bank – with Care – then we will create a different kind of bank. That promise is how we think about our strategy, our experience development, our teammate development, and a  vibrantly local community approach.

5.   Truist today is everywhere, on TV, on billboards, on social media, on sports stadiums, how important is it to build your brand?

We are a new brand. And our scale demands we are in the top 3-5 bank brands in terms of awareness and consideration. Given there are several industry brands that have close to 100% awareness, we have our work cut out for us. As we journey there, our approach is to lean into what makes us unique – our purpose, a relentless pursuit to activate our purpose through Care, our focus on human touch and technology, and our vibrantly local emphasis on community engagement. 

6.   It seems like the CMO function is undergoing change.  What do you see in the future of Marketing and the role of a CMO?

I’ve been in the marketing function for almost 30 years and have been head of marketing or CMO for more than a decade. The marketing function has gone through a couple of key evolutions and is going through one now. Thirty years ago, the big shift in marketing was enabled by the emergence of relational databases. That put marketers on the front end of direct marketing acquisition strategies.  The emergence of digital was the next transformational moment, driving marketers to become CRM and client experience champions. Now, I think the shift is toward deepened integration of brand and purpose. Marketers need to be the champions of purpose, always connecting the work to the deeper “why.”

7.   So when you’re sitting around the table with Bill Rogers, the CEO and Chairman of Truist, talking about strategy and what to do next, what keeps you centered? Do you think about the purpose on a daily basis? 

I do. My personal purpose is to elevate the power of care and joy in my daily life. For me that means using every interaction to exchange a little bit of care, a little bit of joy with whomever I am with. I find the more honest and authentic I am, the better my chances are of having interactions that result in successful exchanges of care and joy. At the end of the day our lives are made up of millions of individual moments. The more of those moments have heart and happiness, the more I think our life is one well lived.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Advertisement

Continue Reading

Exclusive

Copyright © 2022 Talk Of News.