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ERP System for Service Company

Lisa Wu's Profile

best erp for service industryCan some body recommend a good ERP system for a service company?

A system good in tracking work orders, time and material.

thanks!

Answers

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

More like an integrated Project Management and Project Costing system. Look at Oracle, depending on the size of your company.

Oracle has integrated design to handle all the concerns of HR, expense reports, Project Management and project billing, etc.

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

Lisa, if you haven't already, you should definitely get your free copy of Proformative's...
"ERP Selection & Implementation Guide"

https://www.proformative.com/whitepapers/erp-selection

Also, take a look at this free webinar with CPE here at Proformative titled,

"From Theory to Practice: Guiding Principles for Effective Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)"
https://www.proformative.com/events/theory-practice-guiding-principles-effective-enterprise-performance-management-epm-best-open-source-for-service

I think you'd get a lot out of it.

Enjoy!

Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

We used Oracle in a consulting firm. It proved to be very good at helping us manage hours and costs for projects. I would recommend it if your company is large enough.

Christine Colangelo
Title: Accounting Director
Company: Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
(Accounting Director, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP) |

Does anyone have recommendations in SQL for service firms?

Steven Olson
Title: Managing Partner
Company: New Venture Support, Inc.
(Managing Partner, New Venture Support, Inc.) |

Microsoft Dynamics GP has strong project accounting/management functionality. I've used it successfully for a large professional services organization.

Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

The Professional Services Management (PSA) solutions can be part of your ERP - or they can be linked to your CRM solution as well. There are a number of good offerings in this area - looking at the ERP solutions they are integrated with and how they integrate would help you move forward.

There are categories of the types of solutions out their for services management:
1) Project Accounting. These solutions emphasize cost (and cost allocations) and job revenue. These are most often used in A&E, Construction, Aerospace/Defense, or huge project cost/revenue efforts.
2) Professional Services Automation (PSA). These solutions emphasize time and billing, resource scheduling and allocation, and do not focus deeply on individual project P&L statements. This is how most technology companies manage their services organization.
3) Technician Services / Facilities Management. These solutions get into R&M maintenance schedules, work tickets, in the field data collection, customer satisfaction monitoring, technician scheduling, etc.
4) There are Advisory Services (help desk, maintenance, system administration, etc) where services are not billed unless limits / tolerances are exceeded. These systems definitely more closely align with support solutions in CRM with extended capabilities for work management.

There are a few other categories - but those are some major ones for people provided services. It would be helpful to have a bit more clarity on the type of services you are providing.

Bob Scarborough
www.tensoft.com

Rajiv Ahuja
Title: Director of Account Management
Company: CrossConcept Inc
(Director of Account Management, CrossConcept Inc) |

Changepoint is the most comprehensive end-to-end solution in the market today for Professional Services Automation (PSA). The system that puts you in control of your resources and service-related business processes by providing a detailed dashboard-view of all tiers of your services organization, from business, resource and customer perspectives.

Christine Speedy
Title: Global Business Development
Company: CenPOS
(Global Business Development, CenPOS) |

I think the service ERP can be one of the least complicated and thus one of the most likely to benefit from an open source, cloud ERP like OpenBravo. The newest version is very robust and flexible to integrate with other products. 18 months ago I made the decision to go to opensource SugarCRM Pro, an underdog to Salesforce at the time, but it was a LOT easier to modify, which is why they're now a big competitor. I believe OpenBravo is on a similar path for ERP's with the flexibility to modify if what's in the box isn't precisely what you need.
I'd add it to your list. I recommend ClearDrop to consult if it's right for you, quote etc.

Chuck Boecking
Title: Open Source ERP and Business Intelligenc..
Company: Chuck Boecking
(Open Source ERP and Business Intelligence, Chuck Boecking) |

Hi Lisa,

First of all, I am a big fan of Vudu. My family uses your service all the time. Thank you!!

Secondly, since you are a software-based service delivery company, you might want to consider looking at open source ERP. Products like iDempiere are free regardless of the how many concurrent users you have, and they have been used by some large companies (hundreds of concurrent users). Since it is open source, your accounting and software teams have the ability to customize it to meet your specific needs without paying a large Oracle or SAP analyst team to support the effort.

Based on my user experience with Vudu, your customer facing side is very much transactional. Pretty much any ERP can handle this part of the business (Sales, payments, returns, ) so long as it can handle your volume. This is one of the reasons I recommend open source ERP. There is no reason to pay $2K+ per user per year when you can get free software that supports your needs.

In my experience, time tracking plays on two sides of the accounting world: (1) payroll and (2) absorption activities.

-- Payroll (1) is pretty straight forward. If you have lots of employees logging time to make a paycheck, you need a well polished time entry system. Unfortunately, iDempiere would not be a strong contender here. There are more polished payroll time tracking systems out there.

-- Absorption activities (2) is where iDempiere will shine. If you have internal projects or support activities where you need to tie resource time entries (payroll absorption) and expenses to balance sheet accounts, iDempiere will support you nicely. Product and service activities relating to a project or support ticket get tagged all the way down to the GL. This fact makes financial reporting on single or group of projects and support functions much easier.

I hope this helps!

Chuck Boecking

Michael DeCamillis
Title: President
Company: Dolvin Consulting
(President, Dolvin Consulting) |

Lisa,

There are a lot of helpful answers here and options for solutions. I am sure everyone is well meaning in their answers by sharing their experiences.

To get you pointed in the right direction it would be helpful to know what problem(s) are you trying to solve. What solution are you using now or is it a manual process? How well is the current solution working or is this an effort to address a new business challenge? How will the new solution need to fit with what you are currently using or will it run stand alone? How many people are affected by this software solution? What kind of volume and growth do you anticipate? What is the work flow like?

There are a number of questions and answers that should be discussed so that you get a solution that fits your company's culture, addresses the current challenges and provides room for growth.

I would like to invite you to a high level discussion where we can learn more about your needs and help you find the right solution.

Best regards,
Michael

Lisa Wu
Title: VP of Finance
Company: Mirantis Inc.
LinkedIn Profile
(VP of Finance, Mirantis Inc.) |

Thanks, everyone for the valuable information.

Gregory Halprin
Title: Controller
Company: U.S. CAD, Inc.
(Controller, U.S. CAD, Inc.) |

My company is a service company and uses NetSuite as its ERP. It is quite capable and serves us well. We have not taken advantage of all it has to offer, but I am certain it could meet your needs regarding workorder and time/material tracking.

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