Xperia has been a leader in ERP systems for well over twenty years. Initially focusing on ERP for the apparel industry, the company now has a full-range of ERP products that are being used effectively by companies in the manufacturing, importing, and distribution sectors.
Though all businesses have a general idea of its basic components, it is still a fair question to ask: What is ERP?
It means Enterprise Resource Planning, and ERP's true ambition is to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those different departments' particular needs while also satisfying the functional, informational, and financial reporting needs of the organization. Yes, it is a tall order to be able to build a single software program that serves the needs of people in finance as well as it does the people in customer service and in the warehouse and the manufacturing floor.
That is what ERP does and Xperia does ERP best. Just because you may not have heard of us does not mean that we are not the best in the business with both the software capabilities and the services team to make ERP work in your organization.
ERP from Xperia combines the above business functions all together into a single, integrated software program that runs off a single database so that various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other to get the total job done for your business.
ERP is on the minds of many if not all businesses right now and for good reason. The integrated ERP approach can have a tremendous payback if companies install quality software correctly. Take a customer order, for example. Typically, when a customer places an order, that order begins a mostly paper-based journey from in-basket to in-basket around the company, often in manual or PC based systems, being keyed and rekeyed into different departments' computer systems along the way.
All that "lounging around" in in-baskets, inside and outside of small computers, creates delays and lost orders, and all that keying into different computer systems is unproductive and it invites major errors into the business process. Meanwhile, no one at the company truly knows what the status of the order is at any given point in time. There is no way, for example, for the finance department to get into the warehouse's file cabinet or computer system to see whether the items have been shipped. "You'll have to call the warehouse," is the response frustrated customers hear when they come to inquire about their order any other place in the company than in the warehouse. It sure doesn't make a company appear to know what it is doing.
Top-level information is no easier to get without ERP. Before ERP software systems, when a CEO wanted to get the big picture, he or she would have to get into the heads of each business division chief to get the data, and then the CEO would have to figure out how to manually integrate the information as provided into paper or Excel-like spreadsheets for analysis. One might argue that never made sense, but it makes even less sense today when modern ERP systems, such as Xperia can provide all the information that management needs as a by-product of running the business.
How can ERP improve a company's business performance?
ERP automates the tasks in performing a business process - such as order fulfillment, which involves taking an order from a customer, making the products, shipping the order, and billing for it. With ERP, when a customer service representative takes an order from a customer, he or she has all the information necessary to complete the order (the customer's credit rating, order history, company's inventory levels and/or manufacturing schedule, and the shipping dock's trucking schedule.)
Everyone else in the company sees the same information. They see the same computer screens, and they have access to the single database that holds the customer's new order. When one department finishes its work on the order, the ERP system automatically routes it to the next department. On the plant floor, the work in process moves right along with the order. To find out where the order is at any point, one need only query the ERP system and track it down. In Xperia's ERP system, after the initial startup, the order process moves like a bolt of lightning through the organization, and customers get their orders faster and with far fewer mistakes than ever before. ERP can also apply that same magic to other key areas of the business process including employee benefits and financial reporting. Like the spaghetti ad says, "It's in there!"
What things will ERP fix in your business?
Business executives undertake ERP projects for many reasons. In almost all ERP decisions, executives relate that those reasons almost always include these three pieces:
1. To integrate financial data
As the CEO tries to understand the company's overall performance, he or she may find many versions of the truth in different file cabinets or on different PCs. Finance has its own set of important financial numbers, sales has another version, and the different business units have their own version of how much their contribution has been to the firm. ERP creates a single version of the truth that cannot be questioned because everyone is using the same system with the same data.
2. To standardize manufacturing processes
Manufacturing companies - especially those with an appetite for mergers and acquisitions - often find that multiple business units across the company make the same product using different methods and different computer systems. Standardizing those processes and using a single, integrated computer system can smooth operations thereby saving time, increasing productivity, and reducing headcount.
3. To improve customer satisfaction
When customer lead times are improved due to the marrying of production and customer orders, customer satisfaction soars as does repeat business. ERP will also help to improve managing customer interfaces, allow you to suggest and meet delivery promise dates as well as shorten order-to-ship lead times.
Xperia Guarantees a Successful ERP Implementation
Execution of a successful ERP project provides the backbone for a company's internal and external operations - from integrating back-office financials with business performance data to building a launch platform for an extended enterprise and collaborative commerce. This foundation serves the organization as its competitive weapon of the future.
Roberta Ann Jones, in an article titled "Spotlight on Mid Level ERP Software" in the Journal of Accountancy Online Issues in May 2002 strikes a balance between humor and reality as she offers her take on ERP software:
"In many ways, the attributes you want in enterprise resource planning (ERP) accounting software resemble those you're likely to seek when choosing a spouse. You want a faithful (accurate) helpmate who grows with you (capable of being scaled up). You want someone you can cherish through sickness (financial loss) and in health (profitable growth). You want the candidate to be capable of intimacy (keep confidences) yet be open to recognizing his or her faults (an audit function to find and fix errors). And most important you want the relationship to be long lasting-without the need for expensive and debilitating upgrades. If truth be told, it may be easier to find a spouse with these credentials than an ERP product."
At Xperia, we like to think that since you have now found us, it may now be much easier to find a spouse, if you are so inclined. We think we are special. We think our software is special. We treat our customers as special by offering quality software with a 100% guarantee and by promising faithfulness to the project and to the marriage that will ultimately occur after the project is successful.
ERP Can Be Quite Expensive
If money is no object and you do not have to worry about ERP sticker shock, maybe it doesn't matter what you buy. Then again, maybe it does. The fact is that almost all ERP packages are enormously expensive, anticipating that you will buy the package because the dollar savings in efficiencies gained are also enormous. Despite how enormous the cost of the package may be, astonishingly, there are companies that give the benefit of the doubt to all ERP software companies and therefore are not enormously careful about choosing the right package and the right services partner - preferably one and the same.
It is well documented that many companies buy multimillion-dollar software packages only to find out that they don't work - or at least don't work well - for one or several of their key business processes. There are many stories about companies that have pulled the plug partway into an ERP project because of functional or even philosophical problems. How about the Dell Computer story?
Back in the 1990s, Austin, Texas-based Dell Computer Corp. planned to roll out one of the leading ERP software manufacturer's full suite of software, but stopped after implementing only the HR modules. Why didn't Dell know sooner? In Massachusetts, a large retailer sank $55 million into an ERP rollout and then scrapped the project because it just didn't work for the business. Can you afford a $55 million dollar failure? If your answer is no, then it pays to get the right software and the right partner.
At Xperia, we are not suggesting that choosing the right package for your company should be easy. It is not a simple task. However, choosing the wrong software can be a costly disaster. So if you can't afford to make a mistake (and who can?), we encourage you to take a good look at Xperia. Our prices are not through the roof. They are actually low compared to the other players in our industry and yet Xperia does quite well financially with our new customers and with the return business we get from our existing customers. We guarantee our software 100% because we believe in it, and through our experience, we know how to make every installation a success. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with your company in your ERP project.
The Top Ten ERP Mistakes
"All men are created equal, but off-the-shelf Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is not."
Derek Slater, writing for CIO Magazine offered this key summation of the ERP software industry way back in February, 1999. Since then, the validity of this conclusion has not changed.
The top ten mistakes in ERP implementations are well documented. The team at Xperia using its high-quality, proven software along with twenty-plus years of ERP expertise, is poised to keep you from experiencing even one of these mistakes. Xperia believes that these documented mistakes belong as reading material in academic textbooks or an implementer's documentation folder rather than ever appearing in customer service, the shop floor, the accounting office, or any place else in your business.
The value of ERP to a business is even better documented than the top ten mistakes and therefore more and more companies are making the decisions to move forward with ERP in their organizations. There are no industry analysts who would advise you to go it alone. Most suggest proceeding with caution. As valuable as ERP can be to the future of your business, in order to achieve the value, and avoid the mistakes, ERP is too complex an undertaking to go it alone. With a combination of superior software and industry-leading support services, Xperia has been orchestrating successful ERP projects long before the term ERP was even coined. We stand ready to get your company over the implementation humps and hurdles and on the road to smooth operations, better information, and higher profits.
Xperia Runs on the Best Hardware in the Industry
If you have never heard of the IBM AS/400, the iSeries, or the new i5, you are not alone. Computer industry analysts call the IBM i5, the company's best-kept secret. It is designed for small-medium businesses who do not want to hassle with cheap hardware and downtime. It is designed for companies who want their system to run day-in and day-out without locking and without needing a cadre of techno-geeks assuring that Microsoft's daily update does not cause the machine to disrupt business operations. Some call the IBM i5 an all-everything machine because there are few tasks that it cannot do, and what it does, it does well and by doing its job well, it enables its users and developers to be very productive.
The i5 itself is a technical wonder and that is one of the reasons we at Xperia selected it as our development and implementation platform. The IBM Power processor that serves as the engine of the box has used 64-bits since 1995. To put this technical superiority in perspective, Intel just recently moved its Pentium to 64-bits after years of trying to build a box called the Itanium to compete against IBM's i5.
Nobody would buy a machine just because it is 64-bits. The IBM i5 also has an integrated relational database and integrated workstation facilities. For security, it uses industry-leading capability-based addressing and for storage management, it stands alone with a feature called single-level storage. I5 customers rave about the machines inherent reliability with hundreds and thousands of users on one machine running around the clock 24 hours per day, every day. These i5 shops keep coming back to IBM for the latest and greatest models of the i5 as IBM serves them up.
Xperia combines the highest quality ERP software with the finest, most advanced, most reliable computer system in the industry to provide our customers with the best ERP solution in the industry - bar none. .
Why should you trust your ERP project to Xperia?
Xperia has been providing highly sophisticated solutions in the ERP market for over 20 years. During that time, we have built a solution that is highly functional, and affordable for the small to mid-sized manufacturer, importer and distributor. Our clients have experienced significant cost savings with the implementation of our solutions.
Importers, Manufacturers and Distributors need the firepower of a seamlessly integrated, affordable suite of business solutions for small to mid-sized companies.
A properly integrated ERP solution provides many benefits:
· Reduce inventory costs and associated inventory carrying costs
· Reduce material costs
· Reduce labor and overhead
· Increase customer satisfaction and sales
· Improve accounting practices
Xperia provides the highest quality ERP software in the industry and thus, the above benefits become easier to realize when Xperia is your ERP software supplier of choice. In addition to software that more than does the job, when you do business with Xperia, you take on a partner in your ERP project with the means and the will to make you successful.
Who is Xperia?
· An IBM premiere business partner
· Providing ERP software since 1984
· Solution is highly flexible and very easy to use
· Provide high quality and highly affordable total solution
· Lower than average initial cost
· Lower than average on-going service costs
· Software modifications done by us
· No outsourcing. We do not farm out our programming services
· Our customers work with Xperia solution architects
· Each customer is equally important to us - large or small
· 100% satisfaction, guaranteed - and we are not kidding
· We have a stake in our customers' successes
· We do everything we can to keep our customers successful.
One of many customer testimonials
"The Xperia system touches all aspects of manufacturing, order entry, shipping, warehousing, bills of lading, letters of credit and just about everything else a world-wide importer /manufacturer needs to deal with."
"…work in progress, finished goods, tracking numbers, inventory - this system has it all. Even an entry-level clerk can get at the information he or she needs because of the system's ease of use."
Chief Financial Officer
Astro Apparel, a valued Xperia Customer
Trade Press Testimonial
As a reasonably small software shop (30 software developers), we are being noticed by the IT world. We believe that we are the best there is and we strive to be the best we can be. Brian W. Kelly, a computer industry analyst took a look at what we do at Xperia and he was compelled to write this short piece offering SAP, Oracle, and MAPICS his condolences:
SAP/R3, Oracle (PeopleSoft), MAPICS, move over. There's a new guy in town.
By Brian Kelly
Gene Bonett's company Xperia took the mainframe portion of Apparel Business Systems, the premiere package for apparel developed in the 1970's by Paul Harkins and others, and brought it to the AS/400 platform and with continual enhancements from his 30-person firm of analysts and programmers created a very successful software business for himself. Based in Allentown PA, about 75 miles from Wilkes-Barre where I live, Bonett has taken this leading edge package designed for apparel manufacturers and importers and has recently created a generic ERP package from it with many of the avant-garde features that were the hallmark of its success in the apparel industry.
Having designed cut and sold systems and accounting systems for apparel manufacturers myself in the 1970's, I know how much more difficult it is to design and write software for the apparel industry than any other industry. Apparel requires more because of the many dimensions of a product, such as style, color, fabric, seasonality, and size. Adding dimensions to a generic manufacturing system (the ERP version) can only serve to increase its utility in function and implementation.
Years ago in the vaudeville days, the traveling troupes had a little saying about Scranton, Pennsylvania. It went like this: "If you can play Scranton, you can play anywhere." Astro Apparel uses Xperia's apparel software to be successful. They are from Scranton. I would like to add my own little ditty from experience. "If you can play apparel, you can play any industry." If you can play apparel and play Scranton, you've got to be doubly good.
That's why I am convinced that Gene Bonett's generic ERP package has the potential to take on the biggest and the best, and win the ERP satisfaction game. Gene is a pro. Xperia is a professional outfit, and their ERP software is just waiting for a few good trials to become a major force in the manufacturing segment.
It's nice to see David fighting Goliath. In this case, Goliath, played by Larry Ellison does not even know there is a Davey out there that can make his life miserable. Maybe it's time we tell him.
Brian Kelly retired as a 30-year IBM Midrange SE in 1999. He formed Kelly Consulting in 1992 as an IT education and consulting firm. Brian has written twenty-six books and numerous magazine articles about current IT topics. In 2002, along with Joe McDonald, former publisher of the Scrantonian/Scranton Tribune, he formed the Lets Go Publish company. The company's emphasis area is AS/400 technical books. Brian is currently on the faculty of Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he also serves as iSeries technical advisor to the IT faculty.
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