As per our last few posts, ERP used to be sexy, but hasn’t been that way in a while. That needs to change, because ERP should be sexy. Fortunately for us, BizSlate has decided to do something about it. They agree that ERP should be appealing, exciting, glamorous, trendy, and just a little risqué and are doing something about it.
Built from the ground up to be 100% web-based SaaS, and taking lessons from best-of-breed SaaS e-Supply Management solutions, which themselves took lessons from best-of-breed B2C consumer e-Commerce solutions, the system is friendly, streamlined, easy on the eyes, and useable. Realizing that success stems from use and use stems from desire to use and desire to use stems from knowing it’s easier, and more satisfying, to use the system than to bypass it (which is a common problem among all types of systems in a modern organization), BizSlate put a lot of effort into designing a system that
was not only easy to use, but that a person who needs an ERP would want to use.
New catalog season used to mean new headache from hell. As per our recent post on how It’s Time to Bring Sexy Back to ERP!, if your new product line contained 20 pairs of footwear in 7 different sizes and a minimum of 2 colours each, and each needed its own SKU, that was at least 280 products you needed to create one at a time! With all of the coding and cross-coding required, it was probably 15 minutes a product, or 30 products a day, or two weeks of data entry for some poor intern just to create a starting product catalog! But not with BizSlate. With its batch create capability, you define a template, define the characteristics that define the variations, define the different instantiations of those characteristics (e.g. size, 6-13, and colour, black and brown), define the starting SKU, define the ending SKU pattern, and press a button and — BAM! — it generates all 280 draft product entries. If you’re happy, press another button, and — BAM! — 280 products created and added to your ERP. If not, go back, alter the template, characteristics, and variation rules and go again. If there are custom values that need to be defined, you can populate just those fields in a spreadsheet view during the validation step. Retail and distributor customers that used to spend weeks and weeks creating new product entries for new product lines now spend a few days and generate hundreds of entries in just a few hours. It’s an exciting development in ERP usability.
As per our last post, traditional ERP is unsophisticated. This means a number of things. First, as per our last post, if you wanted to define multiple, sophisticated, commission plans for internal and third party sales people based on category, product, volume, and stock-type, you had to buy an ERP from Imaginationland, because that was the only place an ERP exists where such a task is possible. But not with BizSlate — they’ve thought through this need and built a commission definition and management system to support even the most demanding client. But this isn’t the only feature that makes this modern take on an ERP glamorous compared to the dinosaurs it is competing against.
Traditional ERP is quite dumb. Typically it’s not even as smart as the relational database it is built on. For example, let’s say the value list for shoe sizes is the same as the value list for sneaker sizes, think you can abstract that list and re-use it? Not a chance — create it every time you need it, buddy. Building a goods receipt and the value is already in the purchase order and want to re-use it? Copy and paste.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Want to re-use similar types of reporting structures or entry forms, because you use the same data in inventory management, order management, invoice management, etc. and don’t want to re-invent the wheel? Fat chance! Rebuild for the use-case and repopulate as above.
But not with BizSlate, who have built their streamlined ERP around repetitive mechanisms. Value lists, forms, and report components are all implemented as reusable components that can be reused wherever they are needed. Need that size list across your clothing line? No problem. Need that discount percentage by spend across your electronics category? No problem. Want to re-use the same entry form template for entering order details for your suppliers and invoice details for your customers? No problem. Repetitive Mechanisms take the repetition out of your job and allow you to focus on the job and not the data. That makes ERP glamorous.