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Run Your Business more Confidently with BI

Running a business is challenging enough, especially during periods of growth. Don’t be sidelined by outdated or inaccurate data. Here’s how to run your business with full confidence by ensuring leaders are armed with real-time, accurate business intelligence (BI).

Disparate, specialty software systems are often chosen for specific business tasks. At the start, it seems to make perfect sense to manage financial and accounting processes in an accounting solution, inventory in an inventory management solution, and so forth. The software may make these specific tasks easier; however, data becomes trapped within that software solution. Only those employees  managing accounting operations or inventory processes can enter and access that information. The c-suite and other managers without access to these systems must request updated reports and wait for information to be compiled and shared. Extracting data and creating meaningful reports takes time, introducing delays and aging data. As a result, business leaders are left with outdated information when making business-critical decisions. This process is risky and can lead to costly mistakes.

Gain Visibility Across Your Organization with ERP

Disparate systems can’t provide the one thing businesses need to be successful – visibility across all core business processes and the organization as a whole. Business leaders need access to all different types of data in order to uncover how individual processes impact other areas. An integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution offers the quick access to current data your leaders need when making these important decisions.

Modern ERP typically offers the same functionalities specialty software offers—and a whole lot more. You can manage core business processes within a single solution, including financial and accounting processes, inventory and supply chain, manufacturing and distribution operations, human resources and payroll tasks, etc. Centralizing data puts critical information within easy reach for those that need it. In addition, you want ERP with BI features, such as role-tailored dashboards, innovative reporting options, and powerful analytics. These tools offer leaders the insight they need to identify trends, take advantage of new opportunities and respond faster to exceptions.

Today’s ERP offers employees an easier way to enter data and provides leaders with a more efficient way to monitor, measure and analyze important business information. The faster you can access real-time data, the faster you can use it to drive productivity, profitability and business growth. Let us know if our ERP experts can help you evaluate your options.

By OTT, Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics Partner out of Minnesota

By |2021-02-18T15:10:56-06:00September 6, 2017|

Now Is the Time to Fortify the Supply Chain

Small and medium-sized businesses may be able to manage inventory and suppliers with little more than basic software, for a short time. However, inventory control can become more time-consuming and difficult with growth and changes in product lines. You may begin to experience stock-outs and backorders, which can cause customer frustration. As we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, this is the time to fortify the supply chain and the technology you use to manage inventory and suppliers.

A small product line requiring minimal inventory might not be difficult to manage with spreadsheets or specialty software. But for growing businesses, this situation won’t last for long. An expansion of product lines or an increase in demand, as with the upcoming holiday shopping season, the volume of inventory movement and production will increase. As raw materials and finished products begin to move about the warehouse and production lines with increasing volume and frequency, it becomes very easy to lose track of the items you have on hand. Stock-outs impact production schedules and when customers are forced to wait for backorders, your reputation and customer loyalty is at risk.

Control Inventory and Strengthen Supplier Relationships with ERP

Strengthen your supply chain by deploying a robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, like Microsoft Dynamics GP. You can manage your core operations within this single, integrated solution including financial transactions, inventory management, supplier and vendor relationships, manufacturing and distribution operations, as well as human resources and payroll activities.

With Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can track inventory with barcodes as it comes into the warehouse and is used in production, as well as when final products are picked, packed and shipped to customers. Dashboards and business intelligence features highlight key metrics, such as volume of inventory on hand or product popularity. Automatic alerts will notify procurement when raw materials have diminished to the safety buffer level. Using this data, leaders will be able to forecast inventory needs to avoid stock-outs, while maintaining what is needed to satisfy customer demand. The procurement team can also identify trends in product preferences or customer buying behaviors and save money by strategizing procurement decisions, such as buying in larger quantities.

Basic software can support certain business processes, but often only for a small window of time. Position your business for successful growth by deploying ERP. Contact OTT, Inc. for more information about fortifying your supply chain with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

By OTT, Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics Partner out of Minnesota

By |2021-02-18T15:10:56-06:00November 2, 2016|

Tired from Chasing Inventory? Dynamics GP is Your Solution

Tired from chasing Inventory?  Here’s your Solution.

Managing inventory can be like chasing a moving target, especially when using outdated, inefficient business systems.  Walking up and down the rows of stored inventory and conducting physical counts is time-consuming and tiring, and can lead to major errors.  There is a better way to manage inventory and it starts with replacing legacy systems with more modern technology.

There may have been a time when keeping track of inventory wasn’t as time-consuming or challenging as it is in today’s fast-paced marketplace conditions.  A successful business is a growing business and, over the years, you’ve likely added or changed product offerings and increased the number of customers that you serve.  However, during this time, your business software hasn’t changed and it’s starting to cause problems.

Streamlined, Accurate and Intelligent Inventory Management

Keeping track of inventory as it’s coming into the warehouse, being used in production, and shipped off to customers is taking too much time and you never seem to have real-time inventory numbers.  Without this insight, you can’t stay close to strategic inventory levels and could be wasting money with overstocking the warehouse or frustrating customers with stock-outs.  Get control over inventory by replacing inefficient software with a stronger business management solution.

Microsoft Dynamics GP is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that includes powerful inventory management features.  You can manage all core business processes from this single, centralized solution, including:

  • financial transactions
  • supply chain and vendors
  • inventory
  • manufacturing and distribution operations
  • human resources
  • payroll

Robust business intelligence and reporting features included within Microsoft Dynamics GP also make it easier to monitor key metrics, like inventory, in real time.  With these features, you can identify trends within your data.  For example, separate fast-moving from slow-moving inventory and set up the warehouse to streamline the pick, pack, and ship process.  You might also identify products or product lines that are increasing in popularity or those that could soon become obsolete.  Armed with this insight, you can strategize procurement decisions to take advantage of cost-savings or avoid buying inventory that won’t sell.

Inventory management can grow more complicated as your business grows.  Increase control and insight over inventory management processes so you can make the data-driven decisions that keeps business moving forward.  Contact OTT, Inc. for more information about replacing inefficient software with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

By OTT, Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics Partner out of Minnesota

By |2021-02-18T15:10:56-06:00April 5, 2016|

5 Ways the Cloud Can Save You Money on Dynamics GP in 2016

Microsoft Dynamics GP pricing is going up on January 1, 2016, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your budget has to go up with it. With Microsoft Dynamics GP in the cloud, you can actually save money on your deployment.

Whether you’re looking to migrate your on-premise Dynamics GP deployment to the cloud or considering a transition to Dynamics GP for your accounting needs, leveraging the cloud offered by our partners at Myappsanywhere delivers key cost savings benefits, including:

1. Eliminate Your Hardware Costs

With your Dynamics GP in the cloud, there is no need to buy hardware or find the space in your office to store servers. Everything is provisioned directly to your web browser

2. Put an End to Annual Maintenance Fees

Cloud-based Dynamics GP has a difference licensing structure, which means no more shelling out cash for annual maintenance fees on Dynamics GP, SQL or your Windows Server.

3. Extra Security at No Extra Cost

With the Myappsanywhere Cloud, extra security controls, like protection from cyber attacks, viruses or intrusions, is included in your Dynamics GP deployment at no extra cost.

4. Cut Down on Audit Fees

If your business is subject to regular audits and/or compliance restrictions, Myappsanywhere’s regulated cloud environment can deliver documentation on security controls for a variety of requirements, including PCI, FDIC and HIPAA.

5. Add or Subtract Licenses as You Need Them

If you don’t already own your licenses, Myappsanywhere’s Cloud will allow you to add or subtract GP users on a monthly basis, meaning you’re only paying for what you use each month, not for what you might use in the future.

Want to try the cloud on for size? Myappsanywhere offers your first 30 days of Dynamics GP free. Sign up by clicking here.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:56-06:00November 20, 2015|

Connect The Data With An Integrated Business Management Solution

Using disparate, specialty solutions can lead you in several different directions and waste valuable time.  It takes longer to find data when it’s buried in different systems and can take even longer to analyze and use.  Turn data into insight that you can use by deploying an integrated business management solution.

Many businesses rely on specialty software to manage unique operations, such as inventory management or customer relationship management software.  While it may seem efficient for departments to learn and use only the technology that applies to their unique needs, it also separates important data.  As a result, managers may need to wait for updated reports from the various departments, then piece the data together in order to make strategic business decisions.  At that point, the data is likely aged, which means they could be making decisions based on outdated data and that could lead to big problems.

Replace disparate systems with an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics® GP.  A single, centralized solution can provide greater control and insight over all of your business operations from the front office to the back warehouse.  You can manage finances, inventory and supply chain, manufacturing and distribution operations, human resources and payroll activities, and other core business processes with greater efficiency from one integrated solution rather than several disparate solutions.  You and your team can enter, access, and analyze data quicker and easier, which means you can use it faster when responding to changing customer demands or marketplace conditions.

Robust ERP solutions, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, offer built-in business intelligence and reporting features.  Customized RoleTailored dashboards put key metrics right where you need to see them. For example, inventory managers can monitor inventory in real-time and identify trends within your data.  You may discover certain items are increasing in popularity, which offers an opportunity to buy raw materials in bulk to cut costs. Similarly, you may discover items that are becoming obsolete and reduce the chance for stocking up on items you may not be able to sell.

The faster you can access key metrics, the faster you can use data to your competitive advantage.  Contact OTT, Inc. for more information about using ERP to gain the control and insight you need to take your business in the right direction.

By OTT, Inc.

By |2021-02-18T15:10:56-06:00August 27, 2015|

BlackBaud vs. Microsoft CRM? Which one is best for YOU?

I am interested in feedback from the internet community on BlackBaud fund raising applications, and reasons why a non-profit would not prefer a platform product like Microsoft CRM. Blackbaud appears to offer four different (& apparently non-integrated) products to the non-profit sector:

  • eTapestry
  • Raiser’s Edge
  • Blackbaud CRM
  • Altru

Differentiation between the products appears to be based on size of the non-profit being served, which would indicate that all these products have limits to their scalability. There appear to be limits to the number of records a given application supports (pay by the record?), and it appears that things like Outlook integration are optional features that need to be purchased.

Out of the box MS/CRM has deep integration with Outlook and handles an unlimited number of records. It can easily be configured to track Gifts, Pledges, Grants, Appeals, Events, and Volunteers. It is completely web based, and integrates with most of the bulk email and on-line payment services. Sophisticated features relating to Connections and Activities allow us to tune the relationship structures with great precision. Above all that it costs next to nothing for qualifying 501c3 corps.

By: Bob Hoium, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant at OTT, Inc. in the greater Twin Cities Area

By |2021-02-18T15:10:56-06:00August 25, 2015|

Getting To Know Customers Can Lead To Lifetime Value

In many retail settings, customers have value and some offer more value than others. The longer you can retain a customer, the more value they can have to your business. Getting to know your customers is an important part of retention and you can strengthen customer relationships with stronger technology.

Just as your business grows and changes over time, so can your customers’ needs. What they once needed could easily change in response to marketplace conditions or their own business fluctuations. In order to maintain these close business relationships, you need to be able to adapt and anticipate their changes, which you can do with the support of today’s business management solutions.

A powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics® GP, provides a solid foundation for business operations. You can manage finances, inventory and supply chain, manufacturing and distribution activities, human resources and payroll, and other core business processes from this single, integrated solution. You can use the RoleTailored dashboards and built-in business intelligence to identify trends within your data, such as the products that your customers are purchasing. You may identify which products sell faster than others and which are increasing or decreasing in popularity. This information can be beneficial in forecasting inventory needs, making sure you have the right products, in the right quantities, for your customers.

You can also integrate a customer relationship management (CRM) solution with your ERP solution. A robust solution, like Microsoft Dynamics® CRM, can streamline marketing and advertising campaigns and automate lead management. As you release marketing campaigns, you can track responses and learn which efforts yield better leads or sales. You can then route leads to the sales representative that may be most knowledgeable about that product or customer and use automatic workflows to make sure appropriate follow-up activities are completed. As you learn how your customers and new prospects prefer to be engaged and which products they favor over others, you can use this insight to strengthen customer ties, which can lead to long-term loyalty.

Replace entry-level or inadequate business systems with today’s more insightful technologies and gain the insight you need to support your business and your customers. Contact OTT, Inc. to learn how ERP and CRM can strengthen both business operations and customer relationships.

By OTT, Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics Partner out of Minnesota

By |2024-05-16T14:12:39-05:00June 2, 2015|

The Cloud Offers Options & Chance To Make Changes

The cloud offers a new opportunity for businesses to make changes to their existing business management solutions. Moving from an on-premise software solution to the cloud (or implementing a hybrid solution) can save money, time, and offers the chance to make your business solutions even better.

Over time, businesses go through changes. You may add or change product and service offerings, experience operational changes, or modify strategic goals. Going in a new direction can be great for the business; however, it often means making tweaks or big changes to your business management solutions. Whether you need to replace inadequate solutions with one of today’s more powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions or just need to make changes to the solution you have in place, the cloud offers options.

Cloud-computing involves using a business management solution, such as ERP, that is either hosted on your own or on a software provider’s cloud network. You can also chose a hybrid solution where some data remains on-premise while some is in the cloud. There are many benefits to pursuing cloud-based services:

  • Affordable: Save money in upfront costs such as having to purchase or modify existing servers and other hardware that can be expensive. In addition, cloud costs are predictable with consistent monthly costs that you can build into your budget.
  • Scalable: Add or remove users as labor needs change such as with seasonal hiring, for example. You can also modify features and functions as operational needs change over time.
  • Rethink IT resources: Your IT department can focus on other important issues while your cloud services are being managed by your software provider. Your IT team can save time from having to perform backups, updates, and other maintenance tasks, and focus on strategic IT improvements that can save money and improve customer service.
  • Mobility: Strengthen communication and collaboration with your sales and field services teams that are out of the office, as well as at other business locations. Entering and accessing data from nearly anywhere, at any time, can provide real-time insight that you can use.

If you are considering making changes to your business management solutions, then remember that you have options. Contact OTT, Inc. to discuss your best options when choosing ERP solutions and cloud offerings. Together we can find the right tools that support your business growth.

By OTT, Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics Partner out of Minnesota

By |2024-06-03T14:01:41-05:00February 9, 2015|

Best Methods of Processing ePayments: Part 2

In the previous blog, we discussed the best methods for processing ePayments: using secure solutions, handling your customers’ data correctly, and tying your transactions to your other accounting processes.

Nodus Technologies specializes in electronic payments and accounts receivable because we know how important it is for your company to manage your collection processes in a secure and efficient manner.

Here are 3 ways that Nodus can help you simplify and improve your method of processing electronic payments:

1. Trusted and Certified Payment Applications

Nodus Technologies works with the PCI Security Council to ensure that all of our applications are safe and secure. We never release a new product or version to our customers without first having it PA-DSS certified. This will significantly help you with the challenges of becoming and remaining compliant with Security Standard regulations.

2. Multiple options to store and process data

With our solutions, you have the ability to store your customers’ credit card data through the use of encryption. You can also choose to store the information off-premise and only save a token in your database for future references. Both of these options provide different benefits, and we can help you decide what best fits the needs of your business.

3. Full integration of your ePayment Processing into Dynamics GP

All of Nodus’ solutions seamlessly integrate into Dynamics GP, which allows you to tie your entire A/R collection process back into your accounting system. This in turn reduces labor and overhead costs, simplifies the collection process, and improves customer satisfaction.

Nodus Technologies is a leading provider of PA-DSS Certified electronic payment, e-commerce, and business process automation software integrated with Microsoft Dynamics™ ERP. Known for superior integration and flexibility, the Nodus product suite enables companies to streamline their business processes.

To learn more about how Nodus can help you with electronic payments, register for our webinar:

Wednesday, November 19th from 11AM – 12PM CST

By |2024-06-07T07:42:49-05:00November 5, 2014|

Best Methods of Processing ePayments: Part 1

Electronic payments, or ePayments, provide a convenient way for customers to make purchases and pay their bills. For Merchants, this can make buying your products or services easier, more efficient, and more probable.

Unfortunately, along with the benefits of accepting ePayments, there comes the risk of fraud. Merchants are responsible for protecting the card holder’s data, and companies can face huge fines for not handling their customers’ payment information correctly. To avoid this, it is important to be aware of and utilize the best methods for accepting these payments:

1. Choose a processing software that is PCI certified

The Payment Card Industry, or PCI, was created to ensure that any company thatprocesses, stores, or transmits credit card information adheres to Data Security Standard (DSS) requirements. One of the top reasons for compromise is the use of payment applications that are not compliant with these standards. To find out whether a software solution is PCI certified, go online to

2. Reduce the need to handle and store data

Merchants can decide to store their credit card data on-premise or off-premise. Both of these methods have their own benefits, and it is important to choose the one that best fits your business’s needs. If you need access to the credit card information, you can choose to store the information in your database, as long as you comply with the Data Security Standard regulations. You can also decide not to store the sensitive information in your environment in order to greatly reduce the consequences of a security breach.

3. Integrate your transactions with your accounting system

Using a processing method that is not integrated with your accounting system can create unnecessary trouble by increasing the likelihood of double entry and other manual human errors. In addition, it takes up more time and effort to enter the information multiple times. Instead, look for a processing solution that is integrated with your accounting system. This will help you speed up the payment processing cycle and give you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.

Nodus Technologies can help you achieve all 3 of these best practices! Find out how Nodus can help you process payments in part 2 of this blog series!

Contact Eric Sheehan at to get connected with Nodus Technologies.

By |2021-02-18T15:13:43-06:00October 28, 2014|
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