Sabre Limited's Article RoundUP - July 2023

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What is vCIO? Differences between vCIO Services and MSPs

Our article, "What is VCIO?" explains the contrasts between vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) and MSP (Managed Service Provider) roles, both increasingly relevant in the technology-driven landscape of manufacturing. A vCIO is portrayed as a strategic partner offering valuable IT expertise, acting as a trusted advisor to align technology with business objectives. Their responsibilities encompass staying updated on industry trends, devising tailored IT roadmaps, and aiding growth by efficiently navigating technology complexities. In contrast, an MSP manages day-to-day IT operations, ensuring system stability and availability through outsourced services.

The distinctions between the two roles are highlighted: vCIOs excel in strategic planning, industry insights, and long-term alignment, while MSPs specialize in operational support, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The article emphasizes that vCIOs engage at a higher level within organizations, collaborating with senior management for strategic guidance, whereas MSPs interact operationally with IT teams for technical issue resolution. By comprehending the unique advantages each role offers, businesses can determine the ideal fit for their IT needs, whether they require strategic direction or operational efficiency in their technological journey.

Read the full article here.

ERP Upgrades and Reimplementation – What’s Right For You?

In the realm of ERP systems, the choice between upgrading an existing setup or opting for a reimplementation can be perplexing. Our article on ERP upgrades vs reimplementation breaks down this decision-making process, catering to those in manufacturing and using ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. Upgrades involve migrating data, processes, and customizations to a newer system version while preserving the structure, ideal for those seeking continuity with added features. Reimplementations, on the other hand, encompass a more extensive transformation, involving process optimization and data cleanup.

While upgrades maintain familiarity, reimplementation offers a fresh start with potential for enhanced efficiency. The article emphasizes thoughtful consideration of factors like historical data importance, process optimization goals, customization necessity, budget, and adaptability to change when deciding between these paths, highlighting the importance of expert advice for an informed decision.

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What Should Be in a Business Central Phase One Project?

The focus of this article is on effective phase one implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, particularly tailored for manufacturing companies. The primary objective of phase one is to establish a sturdy foundation by incorporating essential core components such as accounting, inventory control, production orders, purchasing, sales, and assembly orders.

The article emphasizes the significance of prioritizing business needs over wants during this initial phase. By concentrating on existing operational aspects and avoiding unnecessary complexities, companies can ensure staff adaptation, efficient project completion, and the potential for unforeseen improvements. Accounting integration is highlighted as crucial for optimal system utilization, and the benefits of streamlined inventory management, purchasing, and sales modules are underscored.

Additionally, the article stresses the importance of selecting the right ERP implementation partner, advising careful evaluation based on industry experience, expertise, client references, cultural alignment, and support offerings. By creating a strong foundation in phase one and collaborating with a suitable implementation partner, manufacturing companies can pave the way for a successful ERP system that supports growth, efficiency, and long-term success.

Read the full article here.

Supply Chain 101 for Manufacturing Companies

In the realm of manufacturing, the supply chain serves as a crucial framework that coordinates the intricate flow of goods and information, spanning from raw materials to the final product in customers' hands. This collaborative network involves suppliers, manufacturers, and customers, with accurate documentation and streamlined ERP processes playing a pivotal role. This article emphasizes the importance of documentation, where key documents like purchase orders and invoices facilitate a transparent and organized flow of goods.

ERP systems serve as the backbone of this documentation, automating tasks and enhancing efficiency in managing inventory, demands, and information exchange among stakeholders. The article also highlights the customer and supplier interactions within the supply chain, mirroring each other's processes to ensure a harmonious flow. It underlines the significance of production orders, which guide the manufacturing process and maintain control and visibility. Overall, the article stresses the interconnectedness, standardized practices, and ERP-driven approaches as essential components of a successful and adaptable supply chain in the dynamic manufacturing landscape.

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Benefits of Having an Internal IT Team (Answered)

This article delves into the world of IT management, exploring the compelling reasons why manufacturing companies should consider maintaining an internal IT team. Contrary to what might seem intuitive, this approach offers numerous advantages that can significantly benefit businesses. Having an in-house IT team equipped with specialized knowledge of legacy or unique technologies, in-depth familiarity with custom ERP systems, and industry-specific software and hardware can be a game-changer. These experts can seamlessly integrate technology into product development, enhance internal projects, provide immediate support, and contribute to a smoother operation for larger organizations.

However, the article also highlights counterarguments that warrant consideration, such as the need to evaluate computer refresh cycles, assess outsourcing costs, and balance company culture. While having an internal IT team can be advantageous, outsourcing may offer cost-effectiveness and specialized expertise. Moreover, the article provides insightful advice for companies with internal IT teams, emphasizing the significance of providing the right tools, implementing comprehensive backup solutions, addressing communication styles, and fostering a supportive work environment.

Read the full article here.

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