A Look into the Life of an Exact Macola ERP Consulting Team
The hot topics and new projects from Exceptional Software Solutions LLC
Exceptional Software Solutions LLC is a leading Exact Macola ERP channel partner which sells, services and trains customers on each product line offered by Exact, including:
- Exact Macola 10 ERP
- Exact Macola ES ERP
- Exact Globe ERP
- Exact Macola Progression ERP
- Exact Synergy CRM
- and companion solutions
Exceptional Software Solutions LLC was founded in 2009, but our team’s experience reaches back to the initial days of Macola enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. With over 300 combined years of experience in Exact Macola solutions and in the manufacturing industry in general, the Exceptional Software Solutions LLC team is comprised of former Macola end users, former Macola and Exact employees, business owners, manufacturing executives, software engineers, project managers, accounting gurus and educators. It’s these experiences, combined with a flair for problem-solving, ability to think outside-the-box and long-term vision for partnership that’s been the key to our customers’ success.
In this blog, we show you a glimpse into the life of an Exact Macola consulting team, including the hot topics, new projects and exciting adventures in ERP and CRM that our team has embarked upon recently.
A New Look for Exact Synergy Enterprise
In mid-2015, Exact released Exact Synergy Enterprise update 255, which includes a complete redesign of the Synergy interface. While more modern and streamlined, the layout of this latest version of Exact Synergy Enterprise is vastly different than the Synergy that our customers have grown accustomed to. In addition to the new look, new updates provide fresh, exciting functionality.
However, updates can also cause changes to a customer’s system that they weren’t necessarily anticipating. As our customers wear many different hats and are responsible for multiple duties within their organizations, we understand that they don’t always have time to keep up with literature or release notes that go along with a software update.
That’s where our team comes in. Our consultants know that it’s important to keep up with the many software updates so that our customers can focus on their primary job duties. We stay abreast of the latest changes and features so that we can communicate these regularly to our clients so that they may avoid unexpected interruptions in their day-to-day, critical processes.
As one of our consultants and Exact Synergy experts, Frank Ezinga, puts it, “There’s lots of cool functionality that goes along with Exact Synergy, but it’s not all documented within the help text.” Our team acts as a dynamic help text, guiding our customers so their business can thrive and take advantage of the latest technology.
For example, Frank recently created a video tutorial for a customer who upgraded from Exact Synergy ASP to the latest version of Exact Synergy Enterprise — new interface and all. The video demonstrates how to use the new Synergy interface and points out where to find frequently-used functionality and data that the customer uses to run their business on a daily basis.
Also big in Synergy: SSRS integration
Another hot topic among our customers is Exact Synergy Enterprise’s integration with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). This integration allows Exact Macola and Exact Globe users to create insights and reports right within Synergy using customer data, project data, HR data, etc.
For example, one of our consultants and Exact Synergy experts, Leslie Bather, assisted a customer who was looking to restructure its customer contacts — namely those contacts with multiple shipping addresses. By extracting the old customer data from Synergy, Leslie was able to re-sort the data, modify it so that it reflected the new desired format, then import the restructured customer data back into Synergy. This customer next looks to utilize Exact Event Manager’s ability to automate processes and email statements directly to their customers according to preset conditions.
The Bridge Between Business and IT
Though we pride ourselves in our 300+ combined years of experience in Exact Macola ERP, simply possessing these years of knowledge and experience doesn’t provide value to our customers. Our customers find true value in our company when our consultants use this knowledge to:
- Create the connection between a business problem and a software solution
- Bridge the gap between a business executive and an IT executive
- Thoroughly understand a business or process issue because they’ve been there before
- Create an out-of-the-box solution independent of an customer’s internal issues or processes
Checking In and Keeping Up vs. Fighting Fires
In business and in life, unexpected issues are bound to arise. However, our team recognizes the importance of regularly checking in with our customers and keeping up-to-date with the health of their businesses and systems in order to stay ahead of potential issues rather than always “fighting fires.” We realize that regular and open communication is key to a successful relationship.
For example, one of our customers experienced an issue with their Macola material requirements planning (MRP) module. Recognizing that an update had been made to the software, one of our consultants, Leslie, was able to remedy the seemingly larger situation with a simple fix of an updated reporting calendar. “Sometimes the addition of something as small as a new checkbox added within a software update can cause changes to the customer’s system that they are not aware of,” says Leslie. “Consultants have to be on the ball to keep up with the updates and what has changed.”
Upgrades and Installs
While there is often much creativity and out-of-the-box problem solving involved in our team’s work, we also employ tried-and-true practices and processes that have been proven over time.
For instance, our team is frequently involved in upgrading our customers’ software — from Exact Macola Progression to Exact Macola ES; from Exact Macola ES to Exact Macola 10; etc. When a customer decides to upgrade from one system to the next, the Exceptional Software Solutions LLC team utilizes a detailed, tested project plan to guide our customer through the update.
Especially when multiple systems are involved — such as in the case of one customer who chose to upgrade from Progression to ES and was also using WiSys WMS, a companion solution — the customer does not always know what the move from one system to another will entail. This requires the detailed planning, organization and communication of an experienced consultant to ensure that each necessary step of the upgrade is followed and communicated effectively.
Additionally, a new Exact Macola or Exact Globe ERP software install is typically much more involved and complicated than the customer is willing/able to do themselves. As our implementation expert Nick Danza says, “Installing Macola is not the same as running Word or Excel on the servers; it needs fine tuning.” We understand that many of our SMB customers do not have the staff on hand to devote to complex software installs, so our consultants bridge the knowledge and experience gap by evaluating our customers’ environment and hardware to make sure that servers are not overburdened, security procedures are correctly followed, and implementation is performed successfully and without interrupting our customers’ normal flow of business.
Our consultants often handle upgrade and install processes on Friday evenings through weekends to make sure that any of our customer’s online business, customer service duties and other processes are not interrupted during normal business hours.
Utilizing Before Customizing
The Exceptional Software Solutions LLC team not only understands and respects our customers’ business processes and works diligently to not interrupt the flow of business, but we respect and bear in mind our customers’ resources.
Utilizing our customers’ current resources before creating a customized solution is another cornerstone of our services. Exact Macola ERP, Exact Globe ERP, Exact Synergy CRM and all of the other Exact products and companion solutions that we sell and service are both vast and powerful. It’s very rare that our customers know the full capabilities of the software that they have, and the ways in which its features can be utilized to solve an issue, achieve a goal, streamline a process or simplify a complexity.
When a customer has an issue or a specific goal to tackle, our consultants work to utilize the tools at hand before creating a custom solution. This is where our team’s creativity comes into play.
For example, one customer had been facing an inventory control issue. This customer, a manufacturer, also had a separate company that sold the manufactured products. Each time a sale was made from one company to the other, many transactions had to take place, causing burdensome administration. Our consultant, Frank, came up with a creative solution.
Frank created a separate “intercompany” function with a general ledger, through which the customer could move inventory from one company to the other. Then, once a month, the transactions that took place for the month within the intercompany would be balanced. This solution involved using modules already available in Macola and SQL rather than creating a customized solution. “This way, the solution becomes independent of one individual,” says Frank. “Customers are happy to know that they already have the resources available to solve a problem. They just don’t always know how to use all of the features of the software to get there.”
A Legacy of Knowledge Transfer
At Exceptional Software Solutions LLC, we approach each customer relationship with a long-term mindset, building partnerships not just for today but for the future. We are comprised of extremely knowledgeable, tenacious, seasoned Exact consultants who understand the desire, the processes and the ingenuity required to start something from scratch and build it into a highly productive, successful business. Whether a customer has a cut-and-dried issue or a highly complex problem, we have the experience, drive and compassion to create solutions that are efficient, effective and lasting.
We love to share our knowledge and passion for manufacturing, ERP and Exact Macola software.
For more information on our team and customers’ success, view customer stories on our blog:
And for more information on our products and services, visit our website at www.esoftsol.net or email us at email@example.com.
Copyright 2016 Exceptional Software Solutions LLC