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11/6/2010
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How Does ERP Benefit SMBs? Navigator's Greg Woodward Counts the Ways

The benefits are starting to roll in at Torelli Bicycle Company as employees begin to hit their stride with the new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution from SAP. InformationWeek SMB checked in again with implementation expert Greg Woodward, who is leading the project for SAP integrator Navigator Business Solutions.

The benefits are starting to roll in at Torelli Bicycle Company as employees begin to hit their stride with the new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution from SAP. InformationWeek SMB checked in again with implementation expert Greg Woodward, who is leading the project for SAP integrator Navigator Business Solutions.Woodward sees major breakthroughs in store for Torelli's business management processes, "Especially with the ability to go through and take a look at historical transactions that occur within the application, (letting them) adjust their inventory levels based on the seasonality of demand," Woodward said. "I think that will be a huge step forward for these guys."

Another advantage Woodward mentioned in a recent video interview is Torelli's newfound ability to have its native financial software track real-time fluctuations in international currency exchange, something that required time-consuming workarounds with the company's old bookkeeping system.

"They do purchase out of country, so getting a true understanding of exchange rates - what the inventory valuation is and what the profitability is on a per-item basis - that's another huge step forward for the folks at Torelli," according to Woodward.

However, the real payoffs will result from the integrated, all-in-one approach that the ERP solution provides, he said. "One of the very most beneficial things about SAP is having that information aggregated in one system."

Typically, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) such as Torelli "might have QuickBooks, and an Excel spreadsheet, and they may have an Access database - and then somehow [they'd] try and cobble all these disparate systems together to derive a somewhat iffy number," Woodward explained. "Now with SAP being a purpose-built, aggregate system, the amount of information has been something that was almost in the exclusive realm of the Global 1000 and . . . we've really brought it down to the `masses,' this ability to drill down and mine the data that's within the application. It really is pretty impressive."

How impressive? Find out what members of Team Torelli had to say about their new SAP implementation in the exclusive webcast, "On Location Makeover: Torelli Races for the Finish Line with New ERP System."

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