FAQ

What is ERP?

ERP software integrates all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that serves each department’s particular needs. Building a single software program that serves the needs of employees in finance, human resources, and warehouse, is a tall order. Each of these departments typically has its own computer system optimized for the particular ways that the department does its work. But ERP combines them all together into a single, integrated software program that runs off of a single database so that various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other. This integrated approach provides critical information in real time, which will assist businesses optimize efficiency and enhance profitability.

Take a customer order, for example. Typically, when a customer places an order, that order begins as a paper-based journey from inbox to inbox throughout the company, often being entered and reentered into different departments’ computer systems along the way. All that lounging around in inbox causes delays and lost orders, and all the keying into different computer systems invites errors. Meanwhile, no one in the company truly knows what the status of the order is at any given point because there is no way for the finance department, for example, to get into the warehouse’s computer system to see whether the item has been shipped. "You’ll have to call the warehouse" is the familiar refrain heard by frustrated customers.

ERP vanquishes the old standalone computer systems in Finance, HR, Manufacturing and the Warehouse, and replaces them with a single unified software program divided into software modules that approximate the old standalone systems. Finance, Manufacturing and the Warehouse all still get their own software, except now the software is linked together so that anyone in Finance can look into the Warehouse software to see if an order has been shipped. ERP allows trace-ability of an order from the point it is entered to the point it is shipped, by anyone from any department. Thus, customer service is truly enhanced.

TSS sells ERP as a complete pack or as individual modules. For example, clients may acquire only an ERP finance or HR module and leave the rest of the functions for another day.

How can ERP improve a company's business performance?

ERP improves the ways businesses take orders, manufacture goods, ship products, and bill for goods. Businesses see value from TSS ERP software.

ERP is often referred to as back-office software. ERP takes a customer order and provides a software road map for automating the different steps along the path to fulfilling the order. When a customer service representative enters an order into an ERP system, he/she has all the information necessary to complete the order (the customer’s credit rating and order history from the finance module, the company’s inventory levels from the warehouse module and the shipping dock’s trucking schedule from the logistics module,). Users in these different departments all see the same information and can update as necessary. When one department finishes with the order, it is automatically routed via the ERP system to the next department. To find out where the order is at any given point, you need only to log into the ERP system to track it. The order process moves like a bolt of lightning through the organization, and customers get their orders faster and with fewer errors. ERP can apply that same magic to the other major business processes, such as employee benefits or financial reporting. With ERP, the customer service representatives are no longer just typists entering someone’s name into a computer and hitting the return key. The ERP screen makes them businesspeople. It flickers with the customer’s credit rating from the finance department and the product inventory levels from the warehouse. Did the customer pay for the last order yet? Will we be able to ship the new order on time? These are decisions that customer service representatives have never had to make before, and the answers affect the customer and every other department in the company.

How long will an TSS ERP project take?

ERP project is dependent on number of modules to be implemented and requirements to be accomplished. Usually, an ERP implementation gets delayed due to failure in understanding two things--- “Must have” and “Nice to have”-- and companies that aim to install ERP, struggle between the “Must have” and “Nice to have.” Implementation time is reduced if a company is decisive in what they want implemented. TSS Software, with the help of proven best practices has been successful implementing an ERP application within 90 days.

What can TSS ERP do to leverage my business?

  Integrate financial information: As the CEO tries to understand the company’s overall performance, he/she may need to look at reports from various departments to get the true picture, and the information may vary from each department, giving conflicting results. Finance has its own set of revenue numbers, Sales have their own version; different business units may each have their own versions of how much they contributed to revenue. TSS ERP creates a single version of actual data from each department that cannot be questioned because everyone is using the same system.

  Integrate customer order information: — ERP is a system where customer orders are tracked from beginning to end---from the time a customer service representative receives the order, to the loading dock ships the merchandise, to finance sending the invoice. By having access to this critical information in one software system, rather than scattered among many different systems that cannot communicate with one another, companies can keep track of orders more easily, and coordinate manufacturing, inventory and shipping among many different locations simultaneously.

  Standardize and speed up manufacturing processes: — ERP systems come with standard methods for automating some of the steps of a manufacturing process. Standardizing those processes and using a single, integrated computer system can save time, increase productivity and reduce headcount. TSS ERP systems are designed to be used by discrete and process manufacturing companies.

  Reduce inventory: ERP helps the manufacturing process flow more smoothly, and it improves visibility of the order fulfillment process inside the company. This leads to reduced inventories of raw materials (work-in-progress inventory), and it helps users better plan deliveries to customers, reducing the finished good inventory at the warehouses and shipping docks.

  Standardize HR Information - Especially in companies with multiple business units, HR department may not have a unified, simple method for tracking employees time and communicating with them about benefits and services. With TSS ERP, all the standard and client specific issues can be addressed because it has the facility to implement any complex / customized procedures and induct multiple business validations.

Will ERP fit the ways I do business?

No ERP can fit 100% out of Box but the customization available through external module integration called Application Programming interfaces (API) would allow TSS ERP to fit to the way you do business. TSS Software conducts a detailed study of client requirements to determine the customization required to be deployed within TSS ERP to offer a complete solution which will enable the clients to run their business with their standard operating methods.

What does TSS ERP really cost?

TSS ERP is designed to meet the requirements of small to mid-size businesses. We offer the most cost-effective solution and the quickest ROI in the industry. The cost of ERP depends on several variables, such as: the number of divisions it will serve, the number of modules installed, number of users, number of locations, the quantity of integration that will be required with existing systems and data migrations. Cost of an ERP application can be bifurcated to 4 important segments: a) Product Cost b) Licensing c) Implementation Cost d) Customization costs. The Total Cost of Ownership depends on the above-mentioned factors.

When will I get payback from ERP and how much will it be?

ROI normally varies from client to client with reference to their business activities and the effective implementation. Based on our current study of our client base, the typical ROI is twelve to eighteen months.

What are the hidden costs of ERP?

Companies who have implemented ERP packages agree that certain costs are more commonly overlooked or underestimated than others. Following are the most common hidden costs, and information on how TSS addresses these concerns:

  Training Employee training can be very costly to the business, as users have to spend time to learn a new set of processes along with the new software system, TSS addresses this concern in a unique way. We include the training cost in the Project Cost, thereby avoiding surprises to our client. TSS utilizes Business Process Study methodology, which provides a bird’s eye view about the business requirements, licenses, training, customizations, and implementation time required. Therefore, training is not a hidden cost.

  Integration and testing Integration and testing of ERP with 3rd party application are always an extra cost in general. It is fact that there is no standard / generic procedure which can be built to integrate a 3rd Party application as the database structure and the software designing will be unique. We offer connectors specially designed as per the clients need to connect with the existing 3rd party applications and thereby achieving integration between them.

  Customization Customization is typically required while deploying business specific requirements. This process requires detailed analysis and dedicated resources to accomplish. With TSS ERP, the customization process is handled efficiently, and the implementation team, using GUI TOOLS, can do it on-site. We offer highly experienced technical staff to take care of your complex customizations, but without charging exorbitant fees.

  Data conversion There are financial implications to move corporate information, such as customer and supplier records, product design data and the like, from old systems to new ERP database. TSS Software takes this as an additional requirement and the cost is dependent on case to case basis. Cost factor depends on number of year’s data to be imported and the volume of information. Our fees for data conversions are highly competitive, perhaps the lowest in the industry.

  Implementation In many cases implementation is a never-ending process, due to un- planned implementation schedules by vendors or lack of built in utilities to customize certain requirements upfront. Therefore, there will be a fare chance of overcharging a client for the extra time consumed to complete implementation, which is otherwise due to product limitations or due to implementation team inefficiency. TSS Software ensures on-time implementation and avoids unnecessary charging to client. Also, TSS ERP has a built-in-tool, which helps implementing consultants to do real time customizations after understanding the requirements.

Why do ERP projects fail so often?

At its simplest level, ERP is a set of best practices for performing the various duties in the departments of your company, including in finance, sales, manufacturing and the warehouse. To get the most from the software, you have to get people inside your company to adopt the work methods outlined in the software. If the people in the different departments that will use ERP do not agree that the work methods embedded in the software are better than the ones they currently use, they will resist using the software or will want IT to change the software to match the ways they currently do things. This is where ERP projects break down.

Also ERP will fail if the vendor is unable to understand the business process of the client and therefore fails to replicate the same in the ERP. It is not the vendors alone who are responsible for the failure but at times there are cases reported where the client’s users fails to communicate important business requirements of their department. Proper coordination, requirements gathering, scrutiny of requirements by the clients TOP / Decision making management and proper planning of the project will avoid failures and misunderstandings.

How does TSS organize their ERP projects?

Stage 1

Proposal Stage: TSS responsibility starts from the time when the client is interested in the software and willing to receive commercial proposal. To achieve this we conduct Bird’s Eye View Study of the business requirements and other factors, which would affect the cost of the project. Proposal is then submitted for the clients review with all the indications where the cost may go up due to defined reasons.


Stage 2

Business Process Study: This is a detailed study, conducted by interviewing different department users indicated by the client (Users interviewed are the decision makers and non decision makers). After interviewing process, TSS consultants then collect all the important documents, which are used in the business process to understand the business process and the requirements of each department. A standard input questionnaire is submitted to all users to identify the requirements. Also, we collect information regarding the frequently viewed reports and the reasons for viewing, this list also includes the wish list of reports that users would like to have. After the process of interview, collecting internal documents and reports required, TSS Software team summarizes the requirements and prepares a detailed document mentioning the Documentation flow, Authorization flow, Requirements by each module, requirement of reports for each department and the business rules to be included. This document gives an overview of the proposed implementation.

Implementation Planning: Once the BPS (Business Process Study) is approved and authorized by the steering committee for ERP, the planning of implementation schedule is designed. A detailed plan of Implementation is produced, which includes number of hours and days required to accomplish the whole project bifurcated by each module.

Customizations: Upon the approval of BPS, TSS Software will submit a document indicating the customizations required, which are specified by the authorized users of the client. A special report, which includes customizations required and reasons for the requirements is presented to our client. Once the users accepts the customizations required then development team of TSS Software will submit the time frame for development, testing / debugging and integrating with ERP.

TSS Deliverables Report: Before starting the implementation, TSS Software will submit the deliverables report indicating the things to be delivered to the client to accomplish the project which includes software, licenses, training, customization, integrations and data import.

TSS Requirements Report: Before starting the implementation, TSS Software will submit the requirements reports indicating the things which are required from the client to accomplish the task which includes identifying the decision making users by department, users list, payments, IT support, functional support and resources.


Stage 3
  Implementation execution as per the plan.
  Delivery of customizations as per the plan.
  Integrations as per the plan.
  Authorization Flow configuration.
  Stage wise Approvals.

Stage 4
  Testing.
  User configuration.
  Training.
  Go Live.

How difficult is it to upgrade ERP software?

Having signed SLA, TSS offers all the updates free of cost and it can be easily updated. Client will get complete instructions online, through email or by any electronic format intimating the updates and things to do to update. Apart from release updates, TSS would also release new versions which changes the way the ERP functions. These upgrades are provided at the differential cost of earlier version and the new version to existing clients. TSS assures data compatibility between versions.

How does ERP fit with e-commerce?

TSS provides access of its database for both reporting and accepting orders from web site through its API. TSS supports both suppliers and customers of TSS User by providing inventory list and order list to suppliers and acceptance and reporting of Sales Order Status to the customers. Let us clarify that TSS in itself is not an e-commerce application.

Can I use ERP to manage a network of foreign suppliers?

Yes. TSS solutions are equipped with multi location facility and these solutions works on WAN or LAN or it can be partly on LAN and partly on WAN. Please request for a technical fact sheet to know more about Multi Locations and technologies used / required.

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