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Volume 8 | Spring 2017

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Defining Employee Engagement & What it Means to Your Company


2017 SMB Software Buyer’s Guide


Peer Reviews: How Do Employees Really Feel About Them?


Spring 2017

Letter from the Editor


Human Resources




Buyer’s Guide


Cover Story


Corporate Finance


Industry News


Customer Profile


40 22

How to Prepare to Implement HR Management Software

How Shifting Your Organization’s Culture Increases Productivity

bell•weth•er -noun:


one who takes initiative or leadership

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BELLWETHER Volume 8 Spring 2017 EDITOR Apryl Hanson COPY EDITOR Denise Renee Phinn ART DIRECTORS Gary Dahl Jennifer Vo ADVERTISING SALES Denise Renee Phinn SUBSCRIPTIONS Or contact Denise Renee Phinn (949) 583-9500, Extension 2209 Bellwether Magazine is published by Blytheco with principal offices at: 23161 Mill Creek Dr., Suite 200 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 If you wish to be removed from the mailing list or to add names to the mailing list, send your request, including name, business name, and mailing address to the above address or to This is a copyrighted publication and all articles herein are covered by this copyright. Any use of the content for commercial reasons or other form or reproduction of material herein is strictly prohibited without prior, written approval of Bellwether Magazine.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


Technology and Your Employees: The

Good, The Bad and The Ugly

by Siobhan Finders


echnology has been changing the workplace since the 18th century with the advent of the industrial revolution. Today, it is the digital revolution that is driving change and efficiency both at home and in the workplace. And change is occurring at a much faster rate than in the past. How are technology changes in the workplace affecting your most important asset, your employees?

The Good: Technology in the workplace can bring many benefits starting with the ability for instant communication with co-workers, customers and suppliers. Software and applications such as SMS messaging, texting, email, and instant messaging all bring significant benefits to the office by not having to wait hours or days for answers and information. It ultimately saves time, and makes employees and processes much more efficient. Another positive impact is video conferencing which has made the workplace a global environment allowing greater flexibility for employers and employees alike. Mobile technology has contributed to the global dynamic, enabling employees in the field to stay in touch not only by phone but also by utilizing the myriad of applications that share information between the field and the home base. Technology has brought many beneficial changes that are positive for both employers and employees.


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HUMANRESOURCES The Bad: Are there truly any bad aspects to improved technology? You bet. Reliance on text, email and instant messaging to correspond with others requires better than average writing (and, more importantly communication) skills, which many people are lacking. Relying 100% on condensed written communication can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretation due to lack of visual cues such as body language and facial expressions, or audio cues such as tone of voice. Writing skills are very important to minimize the occurrence of these issues. Lower productivity is another offshoot of today’s technology. With incoming texts, instant messages, email pop up notifications, employees are constantly being interrupted throughout the day with “urgent” messages that “require” instant responses. Social media also contributes to the disruptions due to the sheer volume of incoming information. In an age of constant communication, some employees struggle with prioritizing interruptions and lower productivity is the result. Finally, with employees of all demographics from Baby Boomers to Millennials, there will be those who are resistant to change and will struggle with the constant transformation of the workplace working alongside those who thrive on change. How can you minimize the negative impacts? Managing expectations of both employee and employer can minimize the effects of the “bad” aspects of technology in the workplace.

The Ugly:

Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

You may be thinking, “What can possibly be ugly about technology that improves efficiency, saves time and money?” Employee perceptions and stress is at an all time high. With the ability to log on from home, company provided cell phones and email, instant messaging and text pinging 24 hours a day, employees feel pressure to be available 24/7. The “electronic leash” is a reality for many employees whether or not the employer expects 24/7 availability. With the global environment we are in today, many employers actually do expect employees to respond most any time of the night or day. Good, bad and ugly! That can be a little intimidating to employers and employees. With all of the efficiencies enabled by new technology, it leaves time to think about employee satisfaction. As Sir Richard Branson says, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

About the Author Siobhan Finders is the senior product manager for MAPADOC, a tightly integrated EDI solution for Sage 100, Sage 500 and Sage X3. Her background in accounting and ERP systems help her align a seamless product experience for MAPADOC’s users – most of whom have very unique businesses!

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


Will Technology and Big Data



xplosive technology advancements since the 1990s have created radical shifts in the way we do business today. Robotics and software innovations along with automation have revolutionized task oriented job functions. Integrating systems and the “big data” they generate has ushered in a new wave of productivity and profitability, especially in the eCommerce space. Many companies now enjoy lower labor costs, greater customer satisfaction, and more efficient employees, to name a few benefits. It is a big win for the company. But what about the long-term effect on the workforce? Will technology ultimately make employees obsolete?

Automation is on the Rise E-commerce integration is just one small piece of the greater impact automation is making on today’s workforce. Automation and the jobs it eliminates isn’t a new issue. Worker’s jobs have been replaced since the Luddites in the First Industrial Revolution during the early 19th century. What has changed is the rapid pace of technological advancements. We now have self-driving cars, 3-D printers, drone delivery systems and robots in hospital operating rooms. Not only are repetitive, manual jobs being supplanted by automation, but many routine cognitive tasks are being replaced as well. According to the 2016 Economic Report of the President, there is an 83% chance that a $20 an hour or less job will be replaced by automation in the future. But those who are in the $20-$40 an hour range 10

Bellwether | Spring 2017

are also vulnerable, with a 31% chance of having their job eliminated due to new technology. Whenever new business software is implemented and integrated, especially in the eCommerce sector, the business areas that may see the biggest change are data entry roles, sales and customer service. With today’s integrated systems, data is seamlessly exchanged, reducing the need for dedicated data entry specialists. The impact on sales and customer service may be less obvious. Integrated systems can make customers selfreliant and could mean that smaller sales and customer service teams are needed. thinkJar’s annual survey reports that 78% of customers surveyed expect to get an answer from self-service.

HUMANRESOURCES Automation Causes Workers to Learn New Skills While one of the main benefits of e-commerce integration is to eliminate manual tasks, it is not to eliminate people. Automating certain tasks so that they can be faster and cheaper increases the demand for workers to do the other tasks surrounding it that have not been automated. Rather than eliminating jobs, it changes the mix of work away from routine tasks toward things that are not cost-effective for a machine to do. There are still tasks that are much better done by humans than machines such as those jobs that require empathy or social interaction. For example, the inability to get a human when contacting a customer service department, after failed attempts to find their answer via self-service, is one of the greatest sources of frustration to customers.

sales channels, increasing market presence, and improving the customer experience drives growth. Companies that move to internet sales and online self-service portals are seeing greater revenue increases than those who remain in traditional channels and use a traditional sales force. This revenue growth comes from expansion into new markets, but also because accurate recommendations and an easier shopping process encourage people to buy more. E-commerce integration enables greater revenue at a lower cost.

Repurposing and Equipping Sales

E-Commerce Integration and Automation Enables the Customer Experience Model

Those companies selling a simple product with short sales cycles may replace their sales teams with e-commerce. Buyers increasingly use the web to evaluate their purchase options and to place orders. But in many industries, buyers still rely on salespeople to help them through the buying journey. Potential customers can reference websites, whitepapers, blogs, and social media to understand and compare products. While the traditional sales person is no longer the sole source of information about a product or service, it does not mean they are no longer necessary. Their role must shift to help buyers navigate the unknown. While some buying steps may be completed online, in more complex sales cycles, buyers can still have uncertainties. Innovative products may require sales representatives to suggest uses that are not apparent to buyers. Having a knowledgeable sales person available can make the crucial difference that closes the sale.

Another important statistic from thinkJar’s survey is that 84% of organizations are now embracing the customer experience model. The CEO of thinkJar, Esteban Kolsky likens a “company-centric experience design to a sledgehammer and a customer-centric experience design to a magnet - the power of pull is greater than the power of push.” Even when employees are retained after e-commerce integration, companies should expect to see an increase in profitability. Why? Because opening up new

Preparing to integrate an e-commerce management system with your various software (ERP, CRM, website shopping cart) is a worthwhile undertaking. Done right, your company will certainly enjoy increased sales productivity and effectiveness as a result of having better, real-time data at your team’s fingertips. But be sure to plan to help your team members advance their skills so your workforce can keep pace with these rapidly changing times.

In fact, automation creates an opportunity to enable employees to take on bigger challenges and have a greater impact than they did before. However, data entry employees may need to switch from their routine, unskilled job to a non-routine, skilled job. To overcome this skills gap, it is more important than ever to help workers attain new proficiencies quickly. When hiring, it is critical to employ those who can adapt to change easily since technology will continue to advance.

About the Author Ruth Richter is the Customer Experience Director for ROI Consulting, Inc, the market’s leading Sage 100 integration specialist, maximizing Sage 100 customer’s technology investment through integration and customization since 1997. Learn more at or by calling Ruth Richter at 402-934-2223x1.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether




What It Means to Your Company by Michelle Klein


mployee engagement is a hot topic in today’s business world. It is a key factor in activating high performance and maintaining a low turnover rate in your company. A high performing team generates more sales, better customer service and greater profitability. But what exactly is it?

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment that an employee has with the company they work for. A critical component is that the organization’s goals are aligned with the employee’s personal life or career goals. According to Gallup’s Retaining Employees report, just 37% of engaged employees would consider leaving for a 20% raise or less, compared to 54% of actively disengaged employees who would jump ship. When an emotional commitment is ignited, personal care for the well-being of the company increases, and therefore engagement improves. So what steps can your company take to improve your employee engagement? Here are a few ideas.

All Aboard: Perfect Your On-boarding Process Do you remember your first impressions of the company you now work for? Although cultural norms were hinted at during the interview, an employee’s first day is when their initial perceptions get cemented into reality. Assign a key contact to your new hire to welcome them. This mentor will be able to help them adjust into their new


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environment, show them around, and set the tone for developing cross-team communications down the road. This can provide an avenue for the newbie to ask questions that they may hesitate to ask their manager. Ultimately, this process sets your new hires up with the tools they need to succeed.

Celebration Time: Acknowledge the Team, Not Just Accomplishments Recognition is huge, especially for Millennials, the largest generational group in today’s workforce. Take the time to recognize a job well done. The more valued an employee feels, the more motivated they are to excel in their position. Calling attention to accomplishments is not the only way to produce recognition. Studies have shown that engagement is rooted much deeper if you take the time to recognize the person, not solely the work itself. Other ways to implement this is through celebrating birthdays and recognizing any milestones such as graduations or weddings. When you get down to the root of it, recognition is about taking the time to show that you care.

HUMANRESOURCES Water Cooler Moments: Get Social

Culture: Set the Pace for Your Company

Coinciding with celebrations, socializing outside of work is an effective way to increase engagement. Having a holiday party, or the occasional happy hour after work, encourages coworkers to get to know one another. Spending quality time in a relaxed setting builds teamwork and collaboration while also establishing a personal level of respect for one another. Most importantly, socializing will increase employees’ job satisfaction level.

Create a unique office environment that will fuel the culture of your company. Make the workplace a space where employees enjoy spending time. Some easy fixes are bright colored walls, open work-stations, break rooms stocked with coffee and snacks, music, comfortable chairs, and items that represent your culture. Another great tip for building culture is to create a committee that will ensure they set the culture tone for the rest of your organization. This will help determine a solid structure for your culture to fall into place and permeate the company.

Loud and Proud: Show Off Your Team Demonstrate to your employees how much you value their commitment. Showcase your team’s fun events (such as holiday parties or conferences) by creating a bulletin board with their photos. One way to take this virtual in the digital age is to create a unique “About Our Team” page on your website. Include a couple fun facts along with their title. Not only are you engaging your employees, but you’re attracting prospects and future team members by branding your unique culture.

Collaborate and Listen: Ask Your Team for Advice The best way to gauge how an employee is feeling is to ask. To do this effectively, it’s important that you ensure all answers are confidential when requesting feedback. With anonymous engagement surveys, you’ll be able to check in on the alignment of company goals, personal and professional issues, and analyze team workflow. Consulting with your employees will show that you respect their opinions and that you’re looking out for the best for the company. You can start this process by initiating one-on-one individual check in meetings with each of your team members.

Gamification: Make Work Fun Is it a game changer or a fad? Gamification alters the rules of engagement and inspires employee behavior, ultimately driving results. Not only can it help make the workplace more engaging but it also improves productivity. Behavior is a hard thing to change. By leveraging gamification, you’re able to motivate from the employee’s point of view. Revolutionize your organization through gamification and supercharge the excitement of hitting goals.

Conclusion Employee engagement largely impacts a company’s bottom line. Higher engagement correlates to increased productivity, boosted sales, better collaboration, and customer loyalty. Think of employee engagement as insurance for long-term success. While it may be a small investment upfront, that investment will have a large payoff. Take the time to create significant moments with your team, listen for advice, and make an impact with your culture. By making the effort, your employees will believe that your company genuinely cares about them, not just the work they produce.

About the Author Michelle Klein is a Marketing Manager at Blytheco. She is passionate about digital media and technology, with experience in a variety of Industries. Connect with Michelle at

Spring 2017 | Bellwether



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How Do Employees Really Feel About Them by Denise Renee Phinn


eer reviews in the workplace is a trend steadily on the rise. Although the earliest known uses of a multi-rater feedback system in companies dates back to the 1950s, the current growth of 360-degree styled reviews has been fueled by online surveying technology. As a result, more and more major corporations, such as Microsoft, GE, and The Gap have let the traditional year-end review fall by the wayside, according to If your company is considering moving to this type of feedback system, do your homework first. Google “360-Degree Feedback” or “Peer Reviews” and you will find a ton of articles singing the practice’s praises. You can also find just as many warning against it or at least highlighting pitfalls. But amidst all the scholarly research and thought leaders pontificating, what can easily get lost is the answer to the question: How do employees really feel about giving and receiving peer reviews?

Have you ever been in a work place that used Peer Reviews/360 Degree reviews?

Blytheco has been using a 360-degree review process for the last two years, powered by Custom Insights. Overall, it has been a transformative experience for our team members and our organization. We can’t lie; the process hasn’t been without its growing pains. We have made adjustments based on our team members’ feedback and we continue to evolve.

CPA, Sage 100 Consultant

But instead of giving you a pasteurized summary of their feedback, here is what a few of our team members have to say about our peer review process – in their own words.


“Yes, this is the second company I’ve worked in that did 360 reviews. “ – Kathy McCoy, Demand Generation “While I have been in a work place that used manager reviews along with self reviews, I have never been in an organization that did a peer review/360 review.” – Billy Balser, “This is the first place that I have ever worked at that used Peer Reviews/360 Degree reviews. “ – Amber Hubbard, Solutions Specialist

“Yes, on a few occasions.” – Jaime Salvat, Business Solutions Manager

“No I have not. In my past jobs I only received reviews from my direct manager.” – Shaina Canlas, Executive Assistant

HUMANRESOURCES What do you think is the most unique aspect of Blytheco’s review process? “It includes a variety of team members (not just your own department), peers and management.” – Kathy “The ability to see your review results with or without your supervisor and to see how you stack up against the company as an average. Also, I appreciate that we are then put into groups with “like-challenged” individuals in order to overcome our issues.” – Billy “I think that one of the most unique aspects of the review process is that fact that it is anonymous.” – Amber

“One of the things that I like most about receiving 360 reviews is the feedback. I love feedback and see it as an opportunity for growth.” – Amber “The ability to see where and why I need to improve.” – Jaime “What I like about the 360 is that rather than getting feedback from only my direct manager, I get to also receive feedback from my peers who I work closely with. It is nice to see views from other people’s perspective.” – Shaina

What do you dislike the most about getting and/or receiving 360 reviews?

“The desire for detailed descriptions, and not just scores.” – Jaime

“I think that doing the assessment online in our intranet is unique. I also think our ‘EXCEL’ attributes are unique because it is something that the company created to make the 360 assessment fit our culture.” – Shaina

What do you like most about getting and/or receiving 360 reviews? “It’s interesting and helpful to find out how your co-workers feel you’re contributing.” – Kathy

“It’s difficult when you’re asked to review someone you don’t work with that closely. I think it might make sense to ask employees who they work with the most so they can review those people.” – Kathy “I get a little nervous before receiving them in anticipation of finding out something about myself that I didn’t know. I worry about discovering areas of improvement previously unknown to me.” – Billy “I think that the thing that I dislike the most about the 360 review last year was not having enough comments to understand the rating.” – Amber “The time it takes to be detailed.” – Jaime

“It’s a chance to get REAL feedback on how I’m doing from a broad perspective of people. Like any review, it gives me a chance to compare how I think I am doing against how others think I am doing.” – Billy

“I don’t necessarily dislike it, but it is challenging to rate my peers and manager. I want to help them improve, but at the same time, I do not want to offend them.” – Shaina

Want to learn more about the software that enables our 360-degree peer reviews? Visit We also consult with companies who need help re-designing their company culture. Give us a call at 949-268-4371.

About the Author Denise Renee Phinn is Blytheco’s Content Marketing and Social Branding Specialist. She is a copywriting geek who likes to share motivational thoughts, personal branding, and career tips on social media. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @MeetDeniseRenee and on LinkedIn at

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


6 Changed HR Forever

Ways Data & Knowledge Work


by Joni Giaradi

ave you ever heard the term “knowledge worker?” Guess what? You are one! And so is everyone you work with, thanks to the proliferation of data and the technology that helps you transform your knowledge into value. Knowledge work hasn’t been around a long time, though. The trend is still knocking out old assumptions — such as in human resources. The job of hiring, managing, and retaining skilled people has been affected by six major data technology shifts.

1. “Gut feeling” Has Given Way To Data Hiring managers once had little more to rely on than a gut feeling and common sense when it came to hiring new team members. Some call center managers at Xerox used what seemed like common sense until they lived through one nasty surprise. To hire a new group of call-center workers, they used criteria that seemed straightforward and obvious: experience first. But to the managers’ surprise, the new employees quit so soon that the company lost money on the $5,000 spent training them. Then one manager looked at the data. She saw that experience and performance or retention had no correlation. Instead, the data showed that better candidates were creative types and social media users Now with the right data available, they were able to ask different questions and identify useful criteria that helped them hire the best team. No manager or worker is happy with under- or over-staffed shifts, departments, or projects — and no organization is a happy place to work without long-term buy-in by the wet-brained and fundamentally transient humans. Conducive knowledge environments depend on good knowledge-based management and to ensure productive use of knowledge. All any mid-sized business has to do to optimize the workplace is to have access to the right data platform, and an analytical mindset.


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2. HR Metrics Data also helps reveal a picture that is bigger than any individual. The stereotypical, ‘finger-pointing’ style of HR management has changed to a data-empowered one. Today’s workplace environment is a fine-resolution portrait based on multiple data sources that provide robust insights which round out standard metrics like monthly turnover rate, revenue per employee, yield ratio to gauge recruitment sources, and human capital cost. In our impatient, 24/7 world, speed of recognition has become more important. One organization came to me recently with a problem. They had lost touch with rapid changes within their operation. Everyone could see things changing fast after a major customer defected. In the next month, they onboarded two smaller clients to fill the revenue gap. In the process, however, it threw the production and warehouse staffs into momentary chaos. Managers couldn’t parse their Excel-based data fast enough. But we were able to provide them with a technology solution which gave them the visualization and instant insight to reform their processes, get ahead of demand and save the company from disastrous customer relations.

3. Knowledge Workers Thrive on Data Knowledge workers always want more knowledge and data. They absorb it, combine it, and evaluate it. Sometimes they dispute its validity, an exercise that strengthens data quality. Sales people prep themselves with customer data before every call: what the client has purchased in the past, needs they’ve expressed, what the company’s doing and how fast it’s growing. That pre-call knowledge typically helps them win new orders. One sales person told me after a month using properly visualized data, “I actually make more sales calls now because I can scan order history and inventory so much faster. But my calls are also better tailored to my

customer’s needs because I have a much clearer picture of my clients’ historical trends. It is satisfying when I ask a client about a trend and they say, ‘Wow, I didn’t even notice that!’”

4. Data Helps Detect Hidden Trends HR involves subtle work, such as investigating the available data and determining the underlying story it reveals. In some cases, it may also involve uncovering what the data is indirectly implying. The best leaders are sometimes just too modest, or just too busy, to make their successes known. They let others shine instead. Often, the only way such things reveal themselves is through data.

5. Mass Motivation in the Break/Lunch Room HR’s responsibilities also include making company-wide announcements. Some companies have mounted large monitors where employees gather. They display information such as monthly sales accomplishments to date or warehouse shipments. One manager said to me, “When people see the data, they feel the data in their bones. Seeing this information motivates and inspires them to work harder.” Intelligently displayed data also sparks competition, such as when sales people see who is gaining on them. That data also infuses intelligence into everyday decision-making. Ultimately, it sparks excellence throughout the organization.

6. Reliable Tech vs. Hype The most knowledgeable workers want good, reliable, mature technology tools. They tend to scoff at cutting-edge tech, knowing from experience how being too early of an adaptor has made them bleed. Sure, Artificial Intelligence is all the rage right now. But until it has proven it’s worth, most knowledge workers would rather their technology and data to be straightforward and able to help them do their jobs with speed and accuracy.

About the Author Joni Giaradi is the founder and CEO of DataSelf, provider of DataSelf Analytics, which features a data warehouse, embedded Tableau, dashboards, KPIs, and 5,000 ready-for-work reports. He launched the company 16 years ago to help small and medium sized businesses get value from their data. Learn more about DataSelf at

Spring 2017 | Bellwether




to Integrating Your ERP and eCommerce Solutions by Jason Madison


nline sales and eCommerce are fast becoming the most important source of revenue growth for businesses everywhere. Many companies have an online presence but fail to compete in eCommerce, which is growing at an astounding rate. These businesses are learning that they must improve their business procedures in order to maximize earnings. Integrating your existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems with your eCommerce presence is a practical way to initiate those improvements. An eCommerce/ERP integration plugs your eCommerce website directly into your ERP system, allowing you to easily access need-to-know information like inventory, financials, HR, manufacturing, and much more. It also tracks information like pricing, payment and shipping details for each of your customers. Our team at Kissinger works every day to help companies across all industries bridge the gap between their ERP and eCommerce systems, and our customers tell us what changes have had the biggest impacts on the bottom line. Here are the top four advantages we’ve found:


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TECHNOLOGY Achieve Cost Savings with Automation Perhaps the biggest advantage of having your webstore integrated with your ERP system is the cost savings associated with automation. You can automate almost all customer and employee interactions related to placing orders, checking inventory, tracking shipments, requesting return labels, researching products, and paying invoices, which saves your team time and reduces the need for head count. Most importantly, integration ensures that the customer can access their information from any device with an internet connection, which significantly reduces demands on your customer service.

Improve Customer Service and Satisfaction Employees who have access to updated and accurate product and inventory information will be able to provide a superior experience to your customers. ERPintegrated systems allow for automatic updating, which is a necessity in a world where customers expect information in real time. Numerous studies have suggested that as the number of shipping information updates increase (i.e., giving the customer an update on order status or location), so does customer satisfaction. Providing timely and accurate order and shipping notifications is essential to secure a customer’s trust and brand loyalty.

Integrating your eCommerce store with your ERP ensures that sales orders move seamlessly from your website to your warehouse in seconds, eliminating the time and administrative burden of manual data transfer. Employees can transition from spending hours on redundant customer interfacing and manual data entry to focusing on acquiring new customers and growing the business.

A fully integrated eCommerce system will be equipped to give customers individualized accounts with up-to-theminute information on pricing, discounts, tax schedules, shipment tracking, and payment information. Customers will also be able to manage different aspects of their accounts without needing an employee to access and enter their information.

Reduce Data Redundancy and Error

Open New Markets

Study after study shows that when employees are manually re-keying web orders into an ERP system, they naturally make errors. It’s easy to accidentally transpose numbers, enter the wrong quantity, enter the wrong shipping address, or even lose orders completely. As data breaks down, so does the entire operation, causing missed sales opportunities, frustrated customers, and a compromised bottom line.

The eCommerce market is huge, totaling over $1.95 trillion worldwide in 2016. Adding a streamlined web sales channel to your existing sales arsenal immediately expands your potential customer pool beyond the customers, retailers, and dealers you already reach. eCommerce has the potential to open new opportunities for you around the world and increase sales as your company moves into 2017.

By integrating ERP and eCommerce, you can eliminate manual data entry and dramatically reduce the number of data entry-related errors. Regardless of how many orders you process, an integrated system provides a fast, consistent, and error-free process every single time.

As the online market grows and changes, getting the most out of your eCommerce solution is becoming increasingly important to the bottom line. Integrating your ERP with your eCommerce website will have an immediate impact to help you do more with less.

About the Author Jason Madison is the Web-StorÂŽ Solutions Manager at Kissinger, where he helps businesses grow their sales and increase efficiency with leading eCommerce solutions for Sage 100 and 100c. Kissinger has been providing cutting-edge eCommerce solutions for 30+ years. Learn more at

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


How Shifting Your Organization’s Culture

Increases Productivity by Apryl Hanson

The Current Culture Crisis If you are reading this article, it is highly likely that you are witnessing some challenges in your company. These issues are probably in the areas of customer experience, declining revenues, and employee retention. Many leaders mired in these problems have anecdotal evidence that hint to poor employee engagement being the root issue. But they typically lack quantifiable data that would help them make a strong case for addressing the issues with C-level management or devise an effective plan for course correction.

Can you relate to any of the following scenarios?

• Some of your managers and leaders don’t

think that there is an issue related to employee engagement. As a result, it’s not part of the larger business conversation on a regular basis.

• Your organization does not have a clear way to

measure what your employee engagement is or how it correlates to your business’s bottom line.

• Your company may have tried various methods

for managing employee engagement in the past with no success. All efforts and conversations surrounding the topic were abandoned.

• The methods of employee engagement your

company tried in the past resulted in a ton of work to analyze the results. You were left scratching your head, trying to figure out what it meant for your business and what steps you should take next.


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What Stops Companies from Moving Forward? If any of the above sounds like your business, you are not alone. Many organizations in the U.S. are struggling with how to keep their employees engaged and it is impacting their bottom line, whether they realize how or not. Too often, companies abandon attempts to make changes because of the cumbersome process of trying to get accurate data that ties employee engagement to results. To be fair, this data connection can be hard to produce without help. What most companies want (and need) is a way to have actionable information that will tell them the specific areas in their business that need improvement and suggestions on ways to achieve that. The question on every leader’s mind: is this even possible to achieve without all the frustrations? Another challenge: most organizations are unsure about how much they should invest in a project like this because the return is unknown. It’s no surprise that it’s hard to get buy-in from senior level leadership. The C-Suite’s biggest fear is that this type of project won’t move the needle. Another fear stopping companies from moving forward with culture shifting project is that they feel if they ask people’s opinions, receive the feedback and don’t make any changes, it will impact the business negatively. If there isn’t a clear champion of a culture-shifting project and too many other business priorities, it simply ends up being an unsuccessful initiative, if it’s even attempted.

TECHNOLOGY The Employee Engagement Reality

“63% of employees are not engaged, meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest effort in organization goals or outcomes.” – Gallup 2013, State of the Global Workplace Study

Most companies don’t believe that the issues they are experiencing in sales, market share, and customer experience are related at all to employee engagement. But there is much data to support that a highly disengaged workforce causes issues like retention, negativity, and lack of goal achievement. If this happens to be the majority of your workforce, it can be difficult for you to grow, let alone service your existing clientele well.

The top elements that impact your company’s workforce engagement or disengagement are:

A Path To Success The need to be able to measure these areas of employee engagement inside our business became critical to our team. We needed something easy that would help us see the exact levers we needed to pull in order to improve our employee relationships and our bottom line. We searched for a new tool that could assist us in doing this in a costeffective way. In our experience, working with a company that had been through a similar transformation we were seeking to make was helpful. Measuring against other businesses that had been through the same process gave us the necessary pathway to success. We were able to deployed this survey method to our employees four years in a row and now have raving results. The results our survey provided gave us were specific areas we needed to work on as a leadership team to improve our overall engagement. We put plans in place and were very transparent with our workforce about the feedback they were giving us and the action we were taking because of it. The act of transparency and movement continued to improve our scores. Each year, there is new data in our survey, and we continue to refine our employee experience. As a result, it has improved our business results; we have had the highest revenue, and profitability in our company’s 36-year history.

• The work itself and the management environment (your leadership team)

• People’s ability to learn and grow (are there

growth plans and outlined learning tracks to improve?)

• The flexibility and inclusion of the workplace

(Where people sit, equipment conditions, and is your environment fun?)

If you are interested in seeing a transformation like this in your organization, visit or give us a call at 949-268-4371 to see if we can help you shift your team into a high functioning, goal achieving goldmine!

• Trust in leadership (Do they trust the leaders in your organization?)

About the Author Apryl Hanson is Blytheco’s Senior Director of Customer and Partner Strategy. She has more than 15 years of management experience within the software industry, including service as Director of Partner Programs and Development and Director of Sales at Sage. Connect with her on Twitter @AprylHanson.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


Good news: your business is growing Is your sales tax compliance keeping up?

Get To Know Your Employees Measure employee engagement and satisfaction. A Cloud-Based Survey Solution That... Measures Engagement & Alignment

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Includes 20 Years of Benchmarking

Engagement with the Organization

Engagement with “My Manager�

How do employees feel about the organization?

How do employees feel about their direct supervisors?

High Performance Strategic Alignment

Competency Do managers have the skills to get the job done and motivate employees?

Is employee effort focused in the right direction?

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Spring 2017 | Bellwether




he beginning of the year is always a time of doing away with the old and ushering in the new. With fresh budgets, it is also a time when businesses consider which investments they will make in the coming months that will have the most positive impact on the bottom line by the end of the 4th quarter. That is why now is the perfect time to consider your business software needs. And we’re here to help with our annual Software Buyers Guide. There are so many software offerings (and various ways to integrate them) that can help your processes flow smoother, cause productivity to soar and enable sales to reach all time records. In this year’s edition, you’ll find hot, new software upstarts making waves alongside time tested brands. You’ll also discover unsung gems you weren’t aware of and refreshing reminders of stalwart solutions. Whether you are looking at software to manage your whole enterprise or just one small segment, our guide covers the gamut and you’re bound to find something that peaks your interest. Browse the guide, and continue your exploration via the handy URLs we’ve provided. If you think you might be in a position to make a major purchase soon, keep in mind that you don’t always have to part with your cash in one lump sum. You can finance business software purchases. Consider financing from Dimension Funding; visit to learn more. Got questions about the products featured in this guide? We have free resources available. Give our friendly and knowledgeable team a call at 949-268-4371.


Bellwether | Spring 2017


Employee Engagement - Custom Insights

Human Capital Management Software

Employee Survey

Ascentis is a feature rich, fully integrated Human Capital Management software designed for the mid-market. It automates and streamlines core business processes that save time and money. Within this suite of software, you can manage major functions such as employee data and benefits, time and attendance, payroll and tax filing, applicant tracking and on boarding, talent management and ACA compliance.

Custom Insights is a cloud-based employee survey solution that is easy to setup and administer. Vastly different than a simple employee satisfaction survey, it goes deeper with time-tested survey questions written by psychologists. Measure your results against thousands of other companies who have answered the same questions.


Garnishment Manager

Human Resources Information Management

Garnishment Manager Works with: Sage HRMS

Sage HRMS is the most complete human resource management solution for small and midsized businesses. With the ability to add on and integrate modules such as recruiting, employee self-service, analytics, and check printing capabilities, Sage HRMS helps you to maximize every dollar you invest in your employees.

Sage HRMS Garnishment Manager, a Sage Endorsed Solution, relieves the payroll staff of the tedious, time-consuming, and often error-prone tasks of calculating and prioritizing complex garnishments for child support, tax levies, student loans, and creditor liens.

Sage HRMS HR ( allows you to integrate and streamline your HR processes and closely monitor employee records and personnel actions, HR compliance, benefits administration, absence management, reporting (standard and custom), and data import/export actions. Payroll ( is fully integrated into Sage HRMS. It provides a comprehensive and flexible solution that includes the all the payroll functionality needed by midsized organizations to process their payroll in-house accurately and quickly every time.

HRMS Add-on Products Cyber Recruiter Recruitment Management Works with: Sage HRMS

HR Actions Paperless Forms and Workflow Works with: Sage HRMS Streamline the collection and approval of employee data using the web. Sage HRMS HR Actions lets you easily create paperless forms using any fields from Sage HRMS. Process any action for request to hire to termination and everything in between including status changes and performance appraisals.

iConnect Applicant Onboarding Works with: Sage HRMS

Improve your hiring efficiency with an end-to-end recruiting and onboarding process automation solution that scales and adjusts to your unique needs. Cyber Recruiter by Visibility Software allows you to easily create and approve job requisitions, schedule interviews, handle offers and much more.

iConnect is intuitive and user friendly. Your new hires automatically receive the appropriate hiring package via email and can sign in securely to the iConnect Applicant Portal to complete the forms and upload any supporting documentation. You can track and monitor the status online, send reminders, and approve or request changes before the forms are finalized.

Cyber Train


Training Management Works with: Sage HRMS

Applicant Recruiting Works with: Sage HRMS

Sage HRMS Cyber Train, a Sage Endorsed Solution, empowers supervisions, instructors, and employees by making information regarding classes, courserequirements, programs, and certifications available through the web and not just through the HR department.

iRecruit is a cloud-based, powerful and flexible applicant tracking and recruiting software. Attracting and hiring top level talent has never been more efficient and cost effective.

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Payroll Tax Forms and eFiling Payroll Management Works with: All Sage ERP, Sage HRMS With Sage Payroll Tax Forms and eFiling by Aatrix, you can meet all State and Federal reporting and payment requirements right from your Sage HRMS Payroll software. It is easy to use and saves you time by eliminating the need to create reports manually. Reports are automatically completed, reviewed and edited on screen, then eFiled in minutes for processing.

Sage Active Directory Conduit IT Data Synchronization Works with: Sage HRMS Employee data is often housed in multiple systems: an HR management system and Microsoft Active Directory Repository. Staffing changes, as well as changes to an employee’s data usually requires redundant entry efforts by both HR and IT. The ADC eliminates the need for manual re-entry by automatically populating attributes from your Sage HRMS database into the Active Directory data store.

Sage Benefits Enrollment Benefits Management Works with: Sage HRMS Sage Benefits Enrollment takes the powerful benefits management solution of Sage HRMS to the next level by enabling employees to make their own benefit elections through the Internet or intranet. Setup wizards in Sage Benefits Enrollment support multiple open enrollment projects making BE flexible to your needs. Employees and administrators alike can enjoy a host of features, such as 24/7 access to data via the internet, election comparisons, automated workflows and more.

Sage Benefits Manager Benefits Management Works with: Sage HRMS Sage HRMS Benefits Manager simplifies the process of communicating with benefits carriers. It automatically reformats the data already in your Sage HRMS HR system and sends it to your carriers on your behalf. HRMS Benefits Messenger also eliminates the costly errors associated with duplicate data entry and “missed enrollments” both during annual open enrollment periods and for employee changes throughout the year.

Sage Employee Self Service Employee and Manager Self Service Sage ESS provides a central location for employees, managers, and administrators to view and manage important personal


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data and company information. Instead of the HR department wasting time fielding routine inquiries about time off, current benefits or other job details, you can empower your employees and managers to be selfsufficient. Give them access to their information any time, any place over the Internet or company intranet with ESS.

Sage HR Actions Dynamic Forms Checklist Onboarding Forms Management Works with: Sage HRMS Streamline your on boarding process through a guided online checklist of forms designed to make the routine completion of required forms easy for employees. Sage HRMS HR Actions Dynamic Forms Checklist by Delphia Consulting, a Sage Endorsed Solution, lets you easily create specific forms that must be completed by each employee that will dynamically appear within Sage Employee Self Service (ESS).

Sage HRMS OrgPlus Organizational Charting Works with: Sage HRMS With Sage HRMS OrgPlus, employees and managers have easy access to up-to-date organizational charts that give them the information they need to understand your business and plan for the future. Managers can strategize for different business scenarios and measure their impact using built-in formulas to measure headcount, salaries, or other important planning information.

Sage My Workforce Analyzer Data Analysis tool Works with: Sage HRMS MWA helps you answer critical questions concerning the Affordable Care Act. It is a unique dashboard and analysis too that tracks and analyzes your company information so you can make informed decisions about healthcare and the requirements of the ACA. Conveniently offered as a cloud service and delivered through the Sage Source platform, My Workforce Analyzer is an affordable way to streamline your ACA decision making, meet your ACA reporting obligations, and manage costs.

BUYER’SGUIDE Sage Payroll Services

Sage Time and Labor Import by Delphia

Managed Payroll Service Works with: Sage HRMS

Time Management

Companies with more than 10 employees can enjoy the outsourced ease of Sage Payroll Full Service. You’ll enjoy a full range of payroll, HR and time management solutions. Sage Payroll Full Service comes with dedicated support from a certified payroll expert including being on call for questions. You’re covered with filing and payment of your payroll taxes.

Sage HRMS Time and Labor Import streamlines the process of validating and importing data from almost any data source into the Sage HRMS Payroll file using an easy user interface. Importing time, data validation, code translation, and reporting are standard capabilities of Sage HRMS Time and Labor Import.

Sage Time and Attendance by Insperity


Time Import Manager Works with: Sage HRMS

Work Opportunity Tax Credit Processing Works with: Sage HRMS

Sage Time and Attendance is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art workforce management solution that enables you to collect, analyze, and take immediate control of your employees’ attendance and labor data—online and in real time. It automates your processes by integrating seamlessly with Sage HRMS, through a secure Microsoft Windows® environment.

Allow CMS Tax Credit Services to help your company maximize your tax credit savings. Their team searches all new federal and state legislation to optimize the employment tax credits so you save more. CMS’s secure WOTC web portal provides a simple tool to collect all required forms & information. CMS’s push technology notifies your administration team of events. You’ll easily stay in compliance with all federal and state policies including the 28 Day Rule.

Works with: Sage HRMS


Sage 500 ERP

ERP/Accounting, CRM, eCommerce


Run your entire business with the #1 cloud business management software suite. All your data is in one place: accounting, ERP, CRM and ecommerce in a fully integrated SaaS solution which drives your accounting, sales, service and fulfillment. Expensive and disruptive upgrades are a thing of the past and agility is the name of the game with this flexible tool which adjusts with you as the needs of your business change.

Based from the ground up on Microsoft Sequel Server, Sage 500 is a complete enterprise management solution developed to help progressive companies streamline operations, and springboard to the next level. From supply chain management to innovative e-commerce solutions to the latest .NET-based applications, Sage 500 continues to deliver solutions that increase user productivity and lower overall costs.

Sage 100 ERP

Sage X3 ERP



Sage 100 ERP is a fully integrated business management solution with superior architecture that grows with your business. It offers full-featured accounting, manufacturing, and distribution functionality, with the ability to add integrated e-commerce, HRMS, and CRM solutions and more. It gives you the foundation for connecting your business to provide a better customer experience, increase revenue and the ability to make better business decisions.

Sage X3 offers big ERP capacity without all the cost and complexity. Sage X3 gives you the tools to reduce your costs, grow your revenue and win new customers. You’ll be see increased productivity with a faster, simpler, and flexible enterprise resource planning solution with Sage X3.

Got questions about the products featured in this guide? Call us at 949-268-4371

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


ERP Add-On Products Avatax


Sales Tax Automation Works with: Netsuite, Sage X3, Sage 100, Sage 500

Field Service Management Works with: NetSuite

Avalara’s Avatax is a hosted, web-service-based sales tax automation solution that automatically performs address validation, sales tax jurisdiction research and rate calculation – all on the fly within your accounting application, with no change to your existing workflow. Fully detailed reports are always at your fingertips and returns are automatically repopulated and generated.

FieldAware’s open API makes integrating field service management into your ERP system practical and profitable. Give your field technicians the ability to generate new quotes and work orders in the field. They can also easily update customer and financial data in real time, from the field… and that’s just the beginning of how Field Aware can transform your business!

B2BGateway Electronic Data Interchange Works with: NetSuite

Ice Edge Business Solutions

Since 2000, B2BGateway has been providing easy to use fully integrated EDI solutions for NetSuite. Orders are received by B2BGateway, translated into a NetSuite format and automatically put into a NetSuite user’s account. When you log on, your new orders are simply there for you to review and accept. B2BGateway can also automate your outbound transmissions to your trading partners as well.

Ice Edge Business Solutions developed ICE® software, a 3D design and communication platform with product expertise that allows you to solve design and specification challenges. ICE software delivers complete graphical designs and a full bill of materials with pricing to communicate clearly, resolve conflicts and facilitate real-time decision making. ICE software is currently employed by a number of companies to sell, visualize, specify, price, manufacture and deliver product to market. Ice Edge Business Solutions increases revenue and reduces costs, while allowing greater control of business systems and a fluid flow of information across the entire enterprise.

Century Business Solutions Credit Card Processing Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500 Does your business accept credit cards? Century Business Solutions brings you an integrated solution for Sage 100 and Sage 500 business software. Our integrated solutions do not require you to change your processes or retrain staff as the look and feel of the software is identical. The eBizCharge credit card module in Sage 100 (formerly Sage MAS 90) and Sage 500 will reduce your processing costs significantly and increase profitability.

EZContentManager Document Manger Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3 EZContentManger from Acom is a powerful Document Management and Process Automation solution uniquely integrated with Sage to capture, manage and streamline processing of all business information. It provides a secure compliance-ready repository which is immediately accessible directly for Sage screens.

eRequester Procurement Management Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3 eRequester makes procurement and expense management simple with its powerful approval workflow engine, support for multi-company, detailed reporting and deep integration for supported Sage ERP systems.


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3D Design & Proposal

Mapadoc Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Works with: All Sage ERP, Sage HRMS Mapadoc is SWK Technology’s easy to use to use EDI software solution that integrates seamlessly into Sage 100, Sage 500 and Sage X3. Mapadoc will help your company dramatically reduce data entry time and costs, eliminate duplicate entries, reduce mapping time by over 75%, and help you improve communication with trading partners. You can use Mapadoc as an easy turn-key EDI solution or as a highly configurable end-to-end supply chain solution.

Multi Currency Multi Currency Add-On Works with: Sage 100 Developed by DSD Business Systems, this add-on is for international and multinational companies that transact business in multiple currencies. It provides a comprehensive solution, with flexibility and ease of use, for companies that operate in multiple currencies and need greater flexibility for their operations abroad. Five core functions are available: Currency, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Bank Reconciliation.


Sage Managed Payroll Services

Field Service Management Works with: Sage 100, NetSuite Works with: Sage 100 v2016+

MSI Data is the developer of Service Pro®, the “All-in-One” Field Service Management Software solution integrated to Sage 100 ERP and NetSuite’s cloud ERP. Service Pro® automates office to filed communication in the areas of work orders, dispatching, scheduling, labor time, parts/inventory, assets, warranties, maintenance contracts, tasks, inspections, photo & signature capture, service history and more.

Outsource your payroll so you can focus on your business. Whether you are looking for a full-service payroll solution or you want a better experience than you have with your current provider, Sage 100 2016 offers enhanced integration with Sage Payroll Services so you can upload general ledger account numbers and bank codes to Sage Payroll Services and easily download payroll transactions back into Transaction Journal Entry.


Sage Manufacturing Automation

Print Management Works with: Sage ERP, Sage HRMS

Formerly JobOps Works with: Sage 100

PrintBoss makes your live check and DDA (or direct deposit advice) documents smarter. It adds the intelligence and extra security to the printing of critical bank and live check required data such as the MICR line, bank fractional code and live check signatures. It also allows for secure archiving and the ability to save PDF versions of any HRMS payment from printed from the PrintBoss application.

JobOps Job Management Software is an integrated job management tool for companies that build products, provide insiallation or perform services. JobOps gives users the tools needed to get accurate job cost estimates out quickly by determining part, material, labor and subcontractor costs. JobOps also works to automate incoming order and purchasing functions within your Sage 100 system.

S2 Project Accounting

Sage Payment Solutions

Add-on Module Works with: Sage 100

Credit Card Processing Works with: NetSuite

Developed by NRT Business Solutions for businesses that sell to the Government, the S2 Project Accounting™ module offers a complete solution. The S2 Project Accounting™ module delivers features such as cost-collection, multi-tier project setup, unlimited pool setup, costallocation, reporting, automated billing and other powerful attributes so necessary for government contractors. The resulting benefits make this solution the preferred choice of mid-market government contracting firms.

Sage Payment Solutions offers your business more ways to accept and process payments, so you can provide your customers a superior experience. Accept payments wherever you are—your retail store, a customer’s location, on the phone, on the web, or by e-store—and say hello to improved cash flow, expanded sales channels, and reduced transaction costs. Plus, you can synch all payment transaction data to your back-office accounting and ERP software with ease.

Sage 100 Payroll Add-on Module Works with: Sage 100 Payroll makes in-house payroll preparation easy and efficient, providing you with the ability to process at a fraction of the cost and time of a manual payroll system or outside service bureau. Payroll automatically applies earnings and deductions, calculates employee and employer payroll taxes, and prints checks and vouchers complete with year-todateearnings and tax information. All current federal and state tax tables are included, and updates are provided as an on-plan Business Care benefit.

SmartClient Excel-NetSuite Integration Works with: NetSuite The Celigo SmartClient provides a seamless integration between Microsoft Excel and NetSuite. SmartClient users can access and edit NetSuite data directly from within Excel, in real time and with a single click. Take full advantage of Excel’s data manipulation functions to retrieve, update, add and delete NetSuite data from multiple record types.

Got questions about the products featured in this guide? Call us at 949-268-4371

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


TrueCommerce EDI Electronic Data Interchange Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3, NetSuite TrueCommerce EDI Solutions from HighJump is everything you need to easily and fully implement and EDI system from one source. Whenever your business grows and you acquire new customers that require EDI, you all need to do is request an affordable software plug-in that allows your current system to interact with a new customer or vendor. Simple!

Vertex SMB Sales and Use Tax Automation Solution Works with: Sage 100, NetSuite With seamless integration to several ERP systems, Vertex SMB’s TaxCentral handles sales tax calculations and returns in one comprehensive solution, completing the fully-automated process with a signature-ready PDF ready for filing and remittance. Benefits include access to the most recent tax rates and rules, real time reporting for more productive operations, and efficiency in producing signature-ready returns with immediate integration to your tax calculation detail.

ERP Add-On Products - Distribution ACS Multi Bin & Manufacturing Automation Manufacturing Management Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500 ACS Multi-bin and Warehouse Management provides a seamless multibin and warehouse management system WMS functionality integrated for Sage 100 ERP. It is flexible, easy to set up and it’s design facilitates ease of use. It can also be setup for more advanced needs utilizing WMS features. It is compatible with most extended solutions, developer enhancements and business object integration.

JOScan Barcoding + Scanning Solution Works with: Sage 100, JobOps JOScan from JDB Solutions is the handheld and/or desktop barcode scanning and data collection solution designed to allow manufacturers and field service organizations to minimize costs, maximize productivity and maintain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.

Odyssey Logistics & Technology Transportation Management WINTM (Web Integrated Network) is the no-cost, no-fee transportation management system offering shippers savings opportunities, visibility,


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efficiency, and carrier choice (their incumbents, or WIN network’s). A product of Odyssey Logistics & Technology, a global logistics solutions provider with a freight network of over $2 billion, WIN supports virtually all modes in North America and quickly and easily integrates with shippers’ existing ERP systems. WIN also leverages the latest technologies for carrier communication including APIs or carrier web-services.

ONE Software Solution Warehouse Management Works with: Sage 100 Three industry leaders (Scanco, ACS and JDB Solutions) joined forces to create ONE Software Solution. It is an integrated warehouse management, automation and manufacturing solutions. Streamline every aspect of your manufacturing with the latest technology. Warehouse automation on IOS, Android and Windows Mobile

RF-Smart Barcoding Solution Works with: NetSuite You’ll be able to increase your inventory accuracy and customer satisfaction with RF-SMART’s bar coding solution for NetSuite. RF-SMART is an industry leading product that meets NetSuite’s highest standard for SuiteApp Solutions. Works with Advanced Bins, Bin Management, and Even No Bins. And the cherry on top: it was voted 2014 SuiteCloud Developer SuiteApp of the Year!

Sage Inventory Advisor Inventory Management Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500 Sage Inventory Advisor is an affordable cloud solution that helps companies reduce excess inventory and working capital, while eliminating stock-outs. It slashes time spent on forecasts and ordering. It connects to Sage ERP data to deliver real-time health-checks on the inventory that makes a difference to the bottom line, reduce the time spent on forecasts, and resolve the optimal investment required to achieve target fill rates.

Scanco Warehouse Solutions Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, NetSuite Scanco specializes in an extensive line of products designed to increase warehouse productivity. From basic barcode label printing to wireless inventory management, there is a solution to fit every budget and need. Users can also use iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices with Scanco, lowering hardware costs significantly.


SPS Commerce

Shipping Management Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3

Supply Chain Management Works with: All Software

Count on SmartLinc to help you reduce costs while processing shipments accurately and on time. It is a flexible solution that can help you streamline shipping activities for all Parcel Carriers, Less than Truckload (LTL) shipments, Truck Load, and your company vehicles.

100% Cloud based, SPS Commerce provides omnichannel supply chain solutions for retailers. From fulfillment (EDI) to sourcing, to analytics and beyond, SPS Commerce’s suite of tools has made them a recognized global leader in retail.



Shipping Management Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500

Barcode Data Collection Works with: Sage 100

vTechnologies’ StarShip is a trusted solution, and makes the entire shipping process more fluid. Plus, when combined with the pick, pack, and ship feature built into the Sales Order module, StarShip helps your company become a more competitive business and even has the potential to reduce shipping and shipping-related expenses.

WOScan for Work Order from JDB Solutions is a highly flexible, adaptable wireless data collection solution, ideal for manufacturers using the Sage ERP 100 Work Order module.

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE & PROCESS MANAGEMENT Alerts & Workflow Business Process Automation Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, SageCRM, Sage HRMS Monitor your business data, automate the production and delivery of documents and automatically trigger workflow to update applications, schedule tasks and move information between systems.

Avercast Business Forecasting Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, NetSuite Avercast has become the supply chain planning tool of choice for many companies in both the small/midsized as well as the large business marketplace. Products include Inventory Forecasting, Demand Planning, Sales & Operations Planning, Rough Cut Capacity Planning, Salesperson Collaboration, Vendor Collaboration and Retail Store-Level Analysis.

BizNet Business Information System Works with: Excel The BizNet™ product suite is a business reporting and analytics platform that provides real-time access to your business data from Microsoft Excel®. It delivers simple, yet powerful capabilities to anyone who uses spreadsheets to gather and analyze business information. It allows users

the ability to get immediate answers to questions without the usual challenges of gathering and refreshing the source data.

Budget Maestro Budget and Forecasting Works with: Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, MS-Dynamics Budget Maestro® by Centage is an automated budgeting, planning, and forecasting application that integrates directly with SAGE 100, 300, and 500. Designed for small to mid-market companies, it automates many of the time-consuming and error-prone activities associated with using spreadsheets to generate budgets and forecasts. Budget Maestro features built in financial and business logic to collect and consolidate P&L data with confidence and automatically create a synchronized Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow.

DataSelf Business Intelligence Works with: All Sage ERP, Sage CRM DataSelf provides best-of-breed and easy-to-use analytics and business intelligence solutions for medium-sized businesses (SMB). Its solutions simplify and amplify Tableau and Microsoft BI technologies by providing thousands of reports, dishoards and KPIs plus ultra light data warehouses for ERP and CRM systems.

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FAS - Fixed Assets


Fixed Assets Works with: Sage 100

Business Process Management Works with: All Sage ERP, Infor CRM /SalesLogix

Sage Fixed Assets software has undergone extraordinary changes over the past few years, resulting in a product that is easier to understand and use than ever before. Easy to install, customize, and use, Sage Fixed Assets (formerly FAS) is a comprehensive, seamlessly integrated fixed asset accounting program perfectly suited for businesses of any size.

Imagine an all-in-one solution that offers alerting workflow, and that enables you to easily integrate your ERP with e-commerce, marketing automation, website, and CRM. Don’t imagine. Learn about Orbis Software’s TaskCentre.

Sage Business Intelligence Business Intelligence Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3 With powerful reporting features, many opportunities to customize the system, and integration with third party products, Sage Business Intelligence helps you gain valuable insight into your business data and operations, allowing you to make more effective decisions. You will have the tools you need to analyze your operations to better understand and manage key aspects.

Workplace Spend Management & Workplace Automation Works with: All Sage ERP Paramount Technologies’ Workplace automates requisition, procurement, inventory management, project accounting, and time and expense transactions to make internal workflow processes more efficient, improve employee productivity, reduce time and errors and save money.


Infor CRM (Saleslogix)

CRM / Customer Relationship Management

CRM / Customer Relationship Management

Salesforce is an industry leading, cloud based client relationship management and sales tool, customizable for business of any type and size. Salesforce helps you to sell smarter and faster than your competitors by helping you make stronger connections with your clients and prospects.

Infor CRM, (formerly known as Saleslogix) is the CRM platform of choice for companies strategically focused on customer engagements. Infor CRM delivers a complete view of customer interactions across your sales, marketing, customer service, and support teams so they can collaborate effectively and respond promptly and knowledgably to sales opportunities and customer inquiries – both in the office and in the field.

Sage CRM CRM / Customer Relationship Management Sage CRM is optimized specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. It is customizable, mobile and easy to use. Sage CRM enables improved business processes, closer management of customer relationships, increased revenues and decreased inefficiencies. Ultimately, it provides management with timely and reliable insight to guide important business decisions.


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BUYER’SGUIDE CRM / Add-on Products Conga Composer

CRM Contract Manager

Document Generator Works with: Salesforce

Contract Lifecycles Tool Works with: Sage CRM

Conga Composer © makes it easy to create and deliver sophisticated and fully customizable documents, presentations, proposals, account plans, invoices, quotes, contracts, reports and more featuring your Salesforce data. The app also allows for flexible delivery options including: automatic delivery via email; download locally; store in Salesforce, Google Drive, or SpringCM; or send for eSignature with DocuSign, EchoSign or Sertifi.

Enbu Consulting’s CRM Contract Manager will enable you to optimize the lifetime value of your business relationships by centralizing, standardizing and systemizing the entire contract lifecycle. No part of the process, from contract creation through expiration or renewal, will ever slip through your fingers again. Program allows you to create any number of customized documents based on your contract information.

CRM Mobile Service Signature

Clicktools Customer Feedback Tool Works with: Salesforce Clicktools from CallidusCloud helps you to truly understand your customers by requesting and responding to input at key points along the entire customer journey. You can transform your customer’s experience and ultimately consistently improve processes and profits.

Commercient Data Integration Works with: Salesforce Commercient SYNC is not your average data integration application. It eliminates the need for third-party toolkits for a quick and easy integration experience. Commercient SYNC is set up to synchronize your ERP and CRM data in real-time, whenever you want. You’ll have real time access to your customer data.

CRM Budget Planner Budgeting Tool Works with: Sage CRM The CRM Budget Planner from Enbu Consulting takes all the main concepts of Budget Planning and Allocation and delivers a pragmatic and highly effective management tool which is installed on top of the Sage CRM platform. It is completely integrated into Sage CRM so that it leverages all the benefits of CRM including design of user interface, searching, reporting and document management.

Remote Access, Updates & Sign-offs Works with: Sage CRM Ebu Consulting’s CRM Mobile Service Signature seamlessly integrates with Sage CRM and is compatible with Android tablets and phones, plus iPhone/iPad. It enables Consultants to get approval and actual Client sign off of a Job, (with signature) while still on the Client site. The Client can see the details of the Job listing on the Consultants mobile device and sign off the job sheet, on the touchscreen, there and then.

CRM Project Manager Project Management Software Works with: Sage CRM CRM Project Manager by Enbu Consulting takes all the main concepts of Project and Time Management and delivers a pragmatic and highly effective management tool which is installed on top of the Sage CRM platform. It is completely integrated into Sage CRM so that it leverages all the benefits of CRM including design of user interface, searching, reporting and document management.

CRM Resource Planner Resource Planning Tool Works with: Sage CRM CRM Project Manager by Enbu Consulting takes all the main concepts of Project and Time Management and delivers a pragmatic and highly effective management tool which is installed on top of the Sage CRM platform. It is completely integrated into Sage CRM so that it leverages all the benefits of CRM including design of user interface, searching, reporting and document management.

Got questions about the products featured in this guide? Call us at 949-268-4371 Spring 2017 | Bellwether




Data Integration Works with: Sage 100, Sage CRM

Cloud Data Loader Works with: Salesforce

Bridge the gap between your Sage 100 ERP and Sage CRM data. Get real time, usable ERP information inside of your CRM. You’ll enjoy pre-built dashboards, user friendly reporting, linked modules and comprehensive cyber security through Sage.

Jitterbit helps Salesforce users simplify their data management by allowing them to automate the import and export of data between flat files, databases, and Salesforce. Jitterbit reduces the amount of time and effort required to automate imports and exports. Designed for Salesforce administrators, this app helps relieve some of the burden on IT resources. Data loading tool Works with: Salesforce MuleSoft’s is the most popular data uploading tool for Salesforce. Use it to quickly and securely import, export and delete unlimited amounts of data for your enterprise. It features intelligent data mapping, login with existing credentials, reduces redundancies and direct import capabilities from Box, DropBox, FTP and SFTP.

Dynalink Platform Integration Tool Works with: Sage 100, Infor CRM /SalesLogix BITtelligent’s Dynalink is an integration platform providing bi-direction synchronization capabilities from Infor CRM/SalesLogix to Sage ERP 100 products. You’ll be able to benefit from having your information tightly woven between your platforms and generate data critical work-flows and much more. Enhancements are added to either the LAN client or your CRM Web Client to view various ERP datasets.

Riva CRM Data Integration with Email Works with: Salesforce Riva syncs CRM systems directly to all Exchange, Office 365, Hosted Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IBM Notes and Domino, and Novell GroupWise email applications and mobile devices. Riva has the capacity to sync all types of data, from contacts, leads and persona accounts, to appointments, meetings, tasks and reminders. Centrally manage integration for hundreds or thousands of CRM users and mobile sales reps.

Rollup Helper Data Aggregator Works with: Salesforce Passage Technology’s Rollup Helper aggregates any Salseforce data. It allows easy access to real-time data, no matter the format. Rollup Helper will help you create data roll-ups that will provide insights you could never have before, all while saving your organization precious time.


Sage Pay for CRM

CRM Integration and Migration Works with: Infor Salesforce

Payment Management Integration Works with: Salesforce

InaPlex understands that CRM integration is not simply about moving data, it’s also about transforming it - screening, cleaning and modifying - and ensuring data integrity at every step. It also takes the hassle and risk out of CRM migration with quick, clean and reliable transfer of client details and history.

Sage Pay is Europe’s most trusted payment system and now, Enbu Consulting has created a powerful extension, allowing you to accept and process credit and debit card payments directly from your Sage CRM dashboard. You’ll enjoy cost efficiencies, faster transaction processing time and enhanced data security, just to name a few benefits.



Computer Telephony Integration Works with: Infor CRM, Sage CRM, Microsoft Dynamics

Data Migration Works with: Salesforce

QGate’s intelli-CTiTM allows your CRM software applications to be integrated with your phone system. This will allow you to increase your call efficiency, personalize your customer service and deepen your client relationships.

Starfish ETL is a powerhouse CRM data migration tool, but it’s also so much more. Starfish ETL can move many other types of data without losing, jumbling, or duplicating it. Some of these data types include: ERP, Email, Marketing Automation, Social media, QuickBooks and SQL.


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BUYER’SGUIDE CRM / Sales Management InsideView


Sales Productivity Works with: SalesLogix, SugarCRM

Mobile Sales + Business Intelligence Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3

InsideView maximizes sales team productivity by delivering a one-stop shop for your prospecting needs and accelerates the sales cycle by enabling sales people to call the right prospects at the right time. It’s no longer just who you know that will make business deals happen but “what you know about who you know” tightly synched with “when and where you should know it.”

Xkzero creates technologies to further the success of companies with supply chain management and distribution needs. Featured applications are Mobile Sales App for Sage 100 and Sage X3, eCommerce solutions for Sage 100, Transportation Logistics for Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3 and Universal Search for Sage 100.


Fusion RMS


Retail Management System Works with: Sage 100, Sage 500, Sage X3

eCommerce Data Integration

Fusion Retail Management System is a suite of applications extending the reach of your ERP to meet the operational needs of SMB Retail Market. Fusion RMS is the only infinitely scalable, fully integrated retail platform i.e. Point of Sale, Inventory / Warehouse Management, eCommerce and Accounting, which can be deployed in the cloud or locally using either a SAAS or perpetual license model.

WebsitePipeline enables bi-directional communication between your eCommerce website and your ERP system. It allows you to keep pace with customer demands by streamline the process from online order to fulfillment. WebsitePipeline also offers eCommerce website solutions, making it a one-stop-shop for your online sales needs.

Web-StorTM IN-SYNCH Website Database Integration Works with: Sage 100 IN-SYNCH allows you to pull sales orders from a website; the product is customizable and can be expanded to accomplish many more Sage 100 ERP integration and synchronization needs.

E-Commerce Integration Works with: Sage 100 Web-StorTM solutions give you everything you need to create Sage 100 optimized webpges which you can integrate with your own existing website. Use any host. Use any shopping cart or our own e-commerce environment. Your customers will experience a beautiful, mobile-optimized check-outs while you’ll enjoy seamless integration with your Sage 100.

WebJaguar Cloud-Based Commerce Solution AdvancedEMedia’s WebJaguar is a modern cloud based commerce platform. It is scalable, customizable, and is built on an innovative technology and architecture that enables your business to excel forward. WebJaguar also is designed from the ground up with advanced B2B and B2C specific features and business workflow.

Got questions about the products featured in this guide? Call us at 949-268-4371

Spring 2017 | Bellwether




Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation

Act-On’s fresh approach to marketing automation and email marketing gives you full functionality without the complexity other systems impose on you. Our streamlined user interface puts first-rate marketing tools at your fingertips, making campaigns and programs easier and faster. Integrate your CRM, webinar management and other tools too, most with one click.

Marketo is known as a leader in digital marketing software and solutions for organizations of any size. With integrations with your CRM, E-Commerce, ERP and other data sources, Marketo helps you engage with clients and prospects when and how it matters most to them so that you can build lifelong customer relationships.



Inbound Marketing

Marketing Automation Works with: Sage CRM, Infor CRM (SalesLogix), SugarCRM

HubSpot is an inbound marketing system that helps you get found online by qualified prospects, capture more leads, and convert them into customers. It is accessable with any web browser and easily integrates with your current CRM strategy. With over 4,500 customers and growing, HubSpot is transforming online marketing for companies of all sizes.



Direct Lender with Competitive & Creative Terms Lease or Purchase Structures Little or No-Money Down Available Application only up to $350,000

Equipment, Software & Working Capital Financing


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Salesfusion is an enterprise B2B marketing automation software platform designed to support the business, technology and process needs of B2B marketers. Salesfusion specializes in integrating key marketing and lead generation processes to your installed CRM system.


Make stronger connections & drive success across your entire company To drive success across your entire company, it is crucial to build on the right foundation. Choose Salesforce to be your foundation and let Blytheco’s team of professionals build upon it.


Spring 2017 | Bellwether




Management Software by Nathan Triplett

As business process and software consultants, we work with a variety of clients every day. While many companies – even small ones – have invested in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, a surprisingly large number have not made a similar investment in a sophisticated management system for their HR data. Whether they think HR solutions are too expensive, too hard to learn, or have more features than they need, some SMBs are hesitant to make the leap, even though their HR departments face many unnecessary challenges just to do their job well every day.

9 Common Challenges of Paper-Based HR Management It is not uncommon for organizations whose HR departments still use paper filing systems and lots of Excel spreadsheets to suffer from major workflow issues. Here are nine common challenges many of our clients experience: 1. Disconnected or “Siloed” Information It’s not uncommon for HR, payroll, time or recruiting information to live on separate spreadsheets or databases. Without a centralized system, accessing the needed information takes extra time.

2. Incomplete Information

4. Time Consuming Audits or Employee Verifications With data in various spreadsheets and paper files, any type of verification takes time.

5. No Data History

Without the ability to run a query in a centralized system, critical employee information gaps (like a missing W4) may not be caught until it’s too late.

When working in Excel, there is no way to see how data has changed over time. Often, it is important to be able to see the progression of an employee within an organization, especially when it comes to pay and job history.

3. Inconsistent Information

6. Manual Compliance Reports

When data is housed in multiple locations and multiple people use the data, details like job titles, naming conventions, or EEO classifications based on job descriptions may be different in each data location.

Reporting (like Affirmative Action reports, EEOC and OSHA reporting) is big part of HR department’s responsibilities. Without a centralized system that can run the necessary reports, aggregating the data for and populating critical compliance reports can be time-intensive and error-prone manual tasks for an HR staffer.


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COVERSTORY Questions, Questions, Questions! How to Evaluate an HR Management Software System Without a doubt, HR management software can solve for all these issues and more, but figuring out which solution best meets your company’s unique needs can be a challenge. Before you start shopping for software, it is imperative that your leadership seriously considers the following high-level questions:

• What are your key business challenges today,

specifically surrounding the management of your employee data? How do you anticipate this will change or evolve in the next three to five years?

• What is your projected growth in the next three to five years?

• Do you have a technology preference (cloud vs. on-premise)?

• What items have shown up on employee surveys, 7. Manual Benefits Reconciliation Without a centralized repository, a company may have a different headcount of employees enrolled in the various benefits plans than a carrier has on their books. Since carriers invoice based on enrollment numbers, auditing spreadsheets and paper files it is a critical and often cumbersome process.

performance reviews, or engagement surveys that can be addressed with an HR system?

• Have you engaged different departments within your organization to understand their employee data-related needs and challenges

• Have you prioritized your needs and requirements? • What other systems (ERP, Fixed Assets, Time and

8. Visibility into a Total Compensation Statement Manual records make it challenging and timeconsuming to calculate the true cost of an individual employee, taking into account details like base salary, employer contributions and PTO. Once calculated, merging this data into a format that can be shared with an employee is even more time sensitive. Generating these statements at the push of a button is a key benefit of a centralized HR system.

9. Information Security Not everyone, even within the HR department, should have access to all employee information (such as HIPPA information, salary, etc). Spreadsheets that aren’t permissions-based can be easily emailed to the wrong person, causing confidentiality risks.

Attendance, etc.) do you currently have that will require integration with your HR data?

• System implementations will require time for your

team to successfully complete. Who will be involved in this implementation? Is there a particular time during the year when you team can best handle this additional workload?

• What is the general process that you will need to go through to identify, evaluate, and gain approval for an HR management system purchase?

There are many other self-evaluating questions to ask, but these can start you down the path of thinking about your company’s need for HR software as a whole (and not just focusing on one department’s wish list). In general, we recommend asking the big questions first to ensure alignment with overall company goals, then drilling down to the specific needs of the HR department. Additionally, when you start the project with a high-level picture of your goals, it helps the vendors supporting you make the best use of your team’s time.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


Preparing to Make the Leap Typically, clients come to us when they’ve reached a breaking point; their current processes are no longer serving them well or mistakes, errors, and time-consuming tasks have become costly. The decision to invest in business software should not be taken lightly. Engaging a software consultant to help you navigate the upcoming decisions and implementation process will usually result in a smoother transition from a paper to an HR management system. Blytheco has helped many clients switch from paper-based HR management to an HRMS system, and our clients have shared that Blytheco delivers the following benefits:

• We take time to understand your company’s

primary challenges. We take a deep dive into your current processes, and we spend time learning what employees, managers, and HR administrators are hoping to gain from the new software. From the first conversation through an implementation, we focus on the results our client expects when implementing a new system.

• We examine your current processes. Together,

we examine which processes can and cannot be changed, as well as what can be improved for greater efficiency. We also identify the strategic action items HR team members can employ (that will help advance the company’s mission (with the extra time they find after routine tasks no longer take hours). If the capabilities of a software system are not aligned with a company’s processes, the implementation will struggle or ultimately fail.

• We consider your current technology. You

likely have other business software in operation throughout your company. What information needs to be shared with other software systems?

• We identify your company’s capacity for change. Implementing a new software and training the new users can be a bumpy transition if the transition is not carefully planned. We make sure to gauge your environment and create a roll out plan by determining: Priorities Risks and benefits Capacity for change management

• We help you prepare your data for migration.

We provide spreadsheet templates for the data that will pre-populate your new system. We help you determine what historical information (such as payroll) you want to import, how much history is appropriate, and which areas would be more appropriate for a fresh start.

• We help you plan the best time to implement. We can help you identify inopportune times for significant implementation milestones (such as company-wide events, open enrollment periods, or year-end madness) and we plan your implementation around them.

If your company needs further assistance making the transition, my team and I are here for you. Email us at or give us a call at 949-268-4371.

About the Author Nathan Triplett is Blytheco’s HRMS Practice Leader. He brings more than seven years of software sales and consulting experience to the role. He is passionate about creating successful outcomes and helping our customers thrive.


Bellwether | Spring 2017

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Streamline HR Processes by Peter Glenn

Modeling Accounting Efficiency Methods in HR HR departments can learn a thing or two from their Accounting counterparts: namely, process automation. There is no denying that spend management process automation has saved many organizations (possibly even yours) time, money and frustration. Companies that have implemented spend management have automated its approval workflows to streamline processes and remove time drains like confusing requisition email threads, missing paper requisitions, and lost approvals. The time previously spent managing outdated manual processes has been reclaimed and redirected towards more business critical matters. Along the way, overall costs associated with lost requests or late payments are down. The same style of process automation that accounting departments enjoy can also help your HR team manage their daily tasks, too. In this article, we will explore a few common HR requests and see how these tasks can be


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simplified leveraging software your organization already uses. But before we dive in, let’s take a look at the two main components that will combine to help streamline and automate your HR office.

Requisitions These days when most people think about requisitions, they think purchasing. But a requisition is merely an employee’s official request for something they need. In spend management terms, a requisition can be for purchasing, expense reimbursement, interdepartmental resources like IT equipment, and the like. HR has its own common types of requests: time off/vacation, alternative work arrangements, new hire and new hire setup, to name a few. In many organizations, these requests are handled via a paper-based process, or is facilitated through spreadsheet forms. Automating these requests not only boosts efficiency, but also reduces errors when using the same kind of notification and tracking system that is trusted by accounting users.

CORPORATEFINANCE Approval Workflow The approval workflow is the route each request takes to final approval. Each request may have a simple or complex approval workflow based on the nature of the request and its’ defining factors. There may be multiple approval levels and, at any step along the way, the approver may request additional information or associated documentation. In a manual process, these types of requests become difficult to track and management of multiple requests becomes exponentially more cumbersome.

How to Hack Your Process Not every company has implemented a full HRMS/HRIS/ HCM system and still rely on paper filing systems and Excel spreadsheets to manage their data. If this is your company and your accounting team is already using a Spend Management system, you are in luck. We have a great, cost-effective hack for you. Using your existing spend management software and processes as a model to boost overall efficiency in HR requests can be a great way to get more value out of software you already own. You’ll get bonus points because your users will already be familiar with the software. Now let’s look at a few common HR requests that can be streamlined using your existing spend management software.

Time Off/Vacation Request Time off/vacation requests are very common and are often tracked via a manual approval process that usually starts with a paper request, spreadsheet form or email. You can easily leverage a preset approval workflow, all request details, and approval steps inside your existing Spend Management system. The associated documentation can be captured in one centralized location for easy access and review.

New Hires Hiring new employees comes with a host of requests and approvals that can be associated with the process. An automated approval workflow built inside your Spend Management system can streamline the entire process. Everything from the initial request to fill a new position,

through multiple position requirements reviews, ad copy, routing resumes for review, and all the way to IT setup requests (computer, phone, email, network permissions, etc.) can be managed in a way that endures no details are neglected during the hiring and on-boarding process.

Alternative Work Arrangements From time to time, employees may need to request an alternative work arrangement. These requests can now be automated to include some or all levels of the organization. In most cases, managerial approval may not be necessary, but they still need to be made aware of the temporary change. Using automation functions within your Spend Management tool, most approval workflows can include notifications so other department managers can be brought into the communication process without requiring a direct approval.

The HR Office of the Future These are just a few scenarios which can be improved with a streamlined process and the aid of approval workflow automation software. It also illustrates a way to gain more ROI mileage from software you already own. Don’t be afraid to look into more ways your approval workflow automation software can be used to increase efficiency and tracking, and help bring your HR Office into the future. In the case of eRequester, customers have been finding creative ways to use the Approval Workflow Engine for more than just spend requests for several years. Now, with the introduction of a Forms Module, users can go even further by creating forms from scratch for virtually any request scenario: HR, IT, Sales and Marketing, you name it. The Forms Module uses the same easy-to-use interface and lets you build a form, then get the form reviewed, approved, and saved for use. Users only need to select the form and fill it in. The approval workflow engine takes it from there and automatically routes their response for approval and any further handling. Ask your software provider how your organization can boost or introduce HR automation for very little cost with a software suite you’re already familiar with.

About the Author Peter Glenn is a Senior Level Manager for Paperless Business Systems, Inc. and Product Manager for eRequester Purchasing and Expense Management Software. He has been a key player in the recent growth and direction for the eRequester platform and has been an integral part of the team since 2009.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


Payroll Check ?


by Greg Went


hether you are already outsourcing your payroll or processing in-house, it may be beneficial to give your method of paying employees a checkup.

Payroll is one of the most time-sensitive and demanding functions of any organization, large or small. It must be accurate plus follow local, state and federal regulations or face fines, penalties, and disgruntled employees.

To keep your employees and the government happy on payday, you have a couple of options to choose from. You can choose to process all your payroll functions in-house, or send it all out to a payroll service bureau. Each solution has its own set of benefits and drawbacks; what may work for one organization may not work for another. While choosing to outsource is usually a cut-and-dried decision for very large organizations, it is not that easy for small- to medium-sized businesses. If your business is facing this decision, here are some things to consider to help you make the best choice.



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CORPORATEFINANCE Some Key Considerations for Your Checkup • Flexibility: Is your payroll typically smooth each period, or do you find that you are regularly making last-minute changes each cycle?

• Accountability and Accuracy: Which of the

options is going to allow greater control to correct errors BEFORE employees get their paychecks?

• Compliance: If choosing in-house, how will you

ensure that your company is in compliance with current payroll legislation and labor laws?

• Customization: Is one option better suited

to meet the unique needs of your individual company? Is customization allowed?

• Data Security: Are you OK with your payroll data

being processed and housed at a 3rd party payroll service bureau? What are the liabilities involved?

• Integration with Your Business System: What are the in-house payroll options for your ERP system? How well will the data flow between the outsourced bureau and your ERP system?

Outsourced Payroll Benefits:

• Ensure Compliance: Outsourced payroll service bureaus are specialists and experts around payroll tax and labor laws. They are up-to-date on all the changes in local, state and federal requirements.

• Reduce Administrative Burden: If you don’t

have a dedicated payroll specialist in your organization, then this burden is falling on someone and keeping them from their core, hired responsibilities. Outsourcing frees up your employees to focus on what they do best.

Due Diligence Whatever you decide, make sure you put in the time to research both methods of payroll processing. Ensure that you are comparing apples-to-apples to avoid any surprises in the long-run. For example, there would be no joy in finding out last minute that you will be nickeland-dimed by your bureau for every special report that your company needs for end-of-the-year reporting to stakeholders, or extra charges for W2 printing and mailing that got missed in the fine print.

What Are Your Options? In-House Payroll Benefits:

• More Flexibility: Allows for control over all

aspects of your payroll, such as timing and the flexibility to make changes easily and quickly.

• Long-Term Savings: Initial costs for systems and

knowledgeable staff for in-house payroll tend to be higher than outsourced. However, processing in-house will likely have an overall lower total cost of ownership between 2-4 years post implementation.

If you need help, call the business solution professionals that implemented your system. They can answer your questions, and help you with questions you need to be asking. A business system consultant with intimate knowledge of your processes will be able to help guide you to the best payroll choice for your organization. If you don’t have a business partner, consider giving us a call at 949-268-4371.

About the Author Greg Went is Blytheco’s HCM Marketing Specialist and Project Manager. He has been on the Blytheco marketing team for over 16 years and written numerous blog and magazine articles in the ERP, CRM and HCM industries. You can connect with Greg at

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


How Millennials & Mobile Apps Can Help Overcome Labor Shortages in the

Manufacturing Industry by Tess Boros


he American logistics sector is facing an unprecedented labor shortage. According to the Economic Policy Institute,US manufacturing employment was stable between 1970 and 1998. But between March 1998 and 2013, we lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs. Thankfully, the news isn’t all gloom and doom. According to Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (as reported by the National Association of Manufacturers), nearly 3.5 million jobs will be needed in the next decade and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. The manufacturing industry, which comprises 8% of the GDP (gross domestic product), is still important to our economy. Modern customers demand more out of their purchasing experiences from the companies that provide their goods and services. For businesses in the logistics sector, the industry’s upswing, paired with a continued decrease in unemployment rates, could actually turn out to be a curse. How can you save your business from the looming crisis of a worker shortage? Consider tapping into an unlikely workforce while upping your technology game.

The Curse of Warehouse Workers Shortage In essence, though the warehouse and logistics industry continues to need employees, Baby Boomers (persons born in the US between 1946 and 1964) are retiring at alarming rates, and no one is stepping in to take over. Decreased unemployment rates are already making seasonal hiring difficult, and studies show that 79% of 3PLs are worried about the negative impact the coming worker shortage will have on their supply chain. Fact: If your company doesn’t focus on hiring now, that labor shortage may take a large chunk out of your company’s profits and put you out of business.

Tapping Into an Unlikely Labor Pool It may sound melodramatic to call a labor shortage a “curse,” but warehousing operations that can’t hire enough employees will certainly feel as though a malignant force is plotting against them. As the breakneck-paced industry 48

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runs ever faster, they’ll experience continually slower fulfillment speeds, which will push their customers towards their well-staffed competitors. The great news is that you can avoid all this curse nonsense entirely. How? By getting the #1 fastest-growing workforce sector to work for you. Yup, I’m talking about Millennials. Despite how they have been characterized by the media, they can be a huge asset to your organization. If you think Millennials wouldn’t be interested in the manufacturing industry, think again. One of the best ways to attract the newest generation to hit the workforce is to give them access to the technology and work processes they already love to use.

3 Ways a Warehouse Management App Can Stem the Looming Crisis In case you haven’t noticed, warehouse manufacturing software has more than kept pace with trendy technology. Critical warehousing data is no longer chained to the desktop computer in the manager’s office; there’s now an app for that. You can attract Millennials with warehouse management software that:


Works with a smartphone. It is no secret that Millennials get unhappy fast when they can’t use their smartphones. No matter what they are doing, Millennials prefer to do that task on a smartphone. Over the next decade, it will become increasingly important to offer warehouse management and inventory technology that runs on a smartphone, such as mobile-based inventory software and smartphone-based barcoding solutions.


2 3

Provides a handy warehouse management app. If smartphones are the most important thing to a Millennial, apps are the second-most important thing. After all, well-made apps are easy to use, easy to navigate, and let Millennials get right to the task at hand without wasting time. Warehouse management apps, like other apps, provide relevant information at a glance, anywhere and any time. Helps you automate your warehouse. Of course, the best ways to combat the upcoming labor shortage is to reduce your reliance on labor. Though warehouses and fulfillment centers are traditionally very labor-heavy operations, especially around the holidays, new automation tools can streamline your warehouse’s pick, pack, and ship process, as well as other complex inventory management tasks so you can get more done with less people.

Build a Stronger Workforce with Warehouse Management Apps Though Millennials suffer a bad reputation in the workforce, the truth is that once you’ve get them on your team, they tend to be extremely loyal, hardworking employees who are skilled with technology and interpersonal communication, and who constantly seek better, faster ways to do their jobs. It’s time to overcome the looming labor-shortage curse by giving those talented, young, motivated Millennials a chance. And when you offer them technology they love to use, such as warehouse management software on smartphones, they’ll be happy to give you a chance too. ONE Software Solution can help you implement ERP, mobile warehouse and advanced manufacturing automation solutions that can run on a smartphone. For a single solution with one sales process, one contact and one personalized system, learn more at

About the Author Tess Boros is a Partner of ONE Software. Tess has been in the supply chain management space for over fifteen years and is the owner of the leading barcoding solution for Sage 100 and Sage 500.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether


SAGE MAS 90 ONLINE TRAINING (Best of all, it’s FREE) Visit: Still using Sage MAS 90? There are a lot of Sage MAS 90 systems still in use so we’re releasing our extensive library of over 100 MAS 90 training videos−ABSOLUTELY FREE! These training videos cover everything you need to know, in detail, to stay proficient in Sage MAS 90 (currently known as Sage 100).

Visit: • 949-268-4371


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Spring 2017 | Bellwether




Attract or Repel Top Talent? by Kathy McCoy

You may not realize it, but the technology your company uses has a big impact on your organization’s ability to attract and keep the best talent in 2017 and beyond. Your technology impacts recruiting in two ways: 1. Having the right human resource management technology (HRMS, HRIS, HCM, etc.) enables and streamlines your recruiting efforts, along with your day-to-day HR tasks. 2. Having up to date, user-friendly business management software that helps employees be successful in their role is important to incoming talent.

Use Technology to Improve Your Recruiting Efforts While this point may seem obvious, many companies still haven’t made the leap to implement an HRMS or similar system, preferring to invest their technology dollars elsewhere. But as the employment market has improved, talent acquisition and retention has become more of a challenge. As a result, investing in new (or updating old) HRMS technology has become a priority. HRMS systems help accelerate and streamline recruiting with features such as:

• An Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which assists in automating a company’s overall recruiting needs.

• Training solutions that help smooth on-boarding, address identified skill gaps, and develop relevant training.

• Paperless workflows that simplify the employee on-

boarding process, change process, and performance assessment process.


Bellwether | Spring 2017

Beyond HRMS systems, there are other technologies that can help you manage the recruiting, hiring and resource management processes which many companies have not yet considered. A recent article on said, “HR departments will…use more recruiting technology to promote their employment brands and open jobs in 2017. For example, they will incorporate employment videos into both their career sites and job postings to further engage job seekers.” A great example: virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and wearable tech can provide candidates a real day-in-the-life look at their potential job, allowing them and you to make more informed employment decisions, or take training to the next level, giving employees on-the-job training before actually being on the job.


Up-to-Date Business Technology Attracts and Retains Top Talent Meanwhile, how does your other business technology affect your recruitment efforts? Millennials grew up with technology and they have very clear expectations around the use of technology in the workplace. As the largest segment of today’s work force, it is important to attend to their needs. Millennials expect the companies they work for to provide them with up to date, user-friendly tech. They also expect to have the opportunity to learn new things, including newer software solutions. “This generation has grown up with the internet, computers, and smartphones, and so they have greater expectations than Baby Boomers or even Gen X,” according to an article on “Manufacturing ERP and the Rise of the Millennials.” “They also have a different view of the workplace, with a greater emphasis on mobility and collaboration. Millennials expect advanced technology in the workplace, and manufacturing can attract young workers by emphasizing how much technology is used.” A Nielsen survey revealed that Millennial respondents cited technology use as the most unique and significant aspect of their generation, a substantial change from the baby boomers who cited their work ethic instead. Millennials, who are those born between 1980 and 1996, have spent their lives watching cable television, searching information on the Internet, and communicating through

smart phones. They have had access to more data, knowledge and resources than any previous generation even knew existed. Particularly in a tight labor market, if a new prospect learns that your company is using out of date software, they very likely will choose to accept another job offer. Why? Because (A) older technology makes their job harder rather than easier and (B) they want to learn new technology that will help them move forward in their careers. Need proof? A recent study by Udemy showed that 46% of employees cite limited opportunities to learn new skills as the top reason why they are bored in their current roles and looking for a change. A Fortune article on “What Employers Will Worry About in 2017” pointed out that “Training and development opportunities can help companies not only with retention, but also with developing their next generation of leaders.” Finally, a Forbes article entitled “10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2017” stated, “The technology that employees are experiencing outside of work will naturally influence them to desire the same tech at the office.” If your employees have better, more sophisticated technology at home than at work, they are going to be open to offers to move on to another company, either during the recruiting process or after they are hired. Be sure to consider how your technology is influencing your recruiting efforts as you determine and implement your business strategies for 2017 and beyond.

About the Author Kathy McCoy, MBA, is the Demand Generation Manager at Blytheco. She has written on software and business management for more than 8 years and has 17 years experience in continuing education.

Spring 2017 | Bellwether



HR Process Improvements:


Tackling Today’s Problems Prepping for the Future by Denise Renee Phinn


Professionals don’t have easy jobs. With the various personalities they must interact with, plus all the compliance activities they must stay on top of, time is something they really can’t afford to waste. So when the software they need to help them protect the company’s most valued investment can’t be relied on, that’s a huge problem. It’s a set up for monumental time drains and frustrating work-arounds piled on top of already packed days. This is exactly where Blytheco client Western States Lodging and Management found themselves when they first came to us. But read on to learn how Blytheco has been able to solve their immediate challenges to put much needed time back into their day, and how we’ve help them prepare for the future.



Western States Lodging and Management. Learn more about them at

Western States Lodging and Management were experiencing a variety of challenges with their HR system. For one, their payroll data was not exporting properly with the General Ledger in their ERP. They also had trouble with the configuration of their third party time and attendance software. They had created time-consuming manual work-arounds, which included extra reports being run.

Background Western States Lodging and Management is a real estate development and management firm specializing in the hospitality industry. They’ve expanded their services to provide senior home health care.

Software Sage 100 ERP, Sage HRMS, TimeStar

Consultants Nathan Triplett, Susan Jimenez, and Kristina Norgaard


Bellwether | Spring 2017

With several interconnected parts, updating any one part of their system was always a painful endeavor. Invariably, some components would stop working, slowing down their workflow. Overall, they also knew they were not using all aspects of their system (for example, the HR Actions module) to its fullest. With all these challenges, Western States Lodging and Management knew they had to find permanent solutions. They are anticipating significant growth in the next few years; they need their technology infrastructure to work dependably and to be able to maximize every feature available to them.

Solution Nathan Triplett, Blytheco’s HRMS Practice Leader, shared that previously, the client was working directly with the software publishers and was having trouble getting the results they were seeking. “Since switching to Blytheco as a business partner, I think the greatest impact we’ve had on their business is being an advocate for them,” Nathan shared. “We’ve provided an outlet for them to get quick assistance by leveraging our relationships and helping them to fully understand their challenges and communicating with all parties involved to get their system working the way they want it to.”

“Blytheco works as my advocate with our vendors. They think outside the box when the vendors are reluctant to. Blytheco wants us to succeed and that shows through my interaction with their team.” Blytheco started by conducting an onsite review of their system and provided documentation of the findings. All the system challenges were laid out and a prioritized roadmap for solving each issue was created. Although some work is still ongoing, Blytheco has been able to complete smaller projects which have improved the system’s speed and brought immediate turnarounds (for the better) in work flow. Not only has Blytheco assisted with immediate needs, but planning for Western States Lodging and Management’s future is also vital. Currently, Western States has about 1,500 employees but they expect to double in two years. The consulting team has been working to help them revamp their on-boarding process, recruiting and putting the right processes in place that will allow them to scale their growth without sacrificing a quality experience for both new candidates and the HR team.

About the Author Denise Renee Phinn is Blytheco’s Content Marketing and Social Branding Specialist. She is a copywriting geek who likes to share motivational thoughts, personal branding, and career tips on social media. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @MeetDeniseRenee and on LinkedIn at

WHAT THE CLIENT HAD TO SAY We asked key team member Alli Wasserman to comment on her Blytheco experience and here’s what she had to say when we asked four key questions. What was the last major project that Blytheco assisted you with? “Since the beginning of our relationship, Blytheco has recommended several improvements to prepare us as our company grows. The project that I am most excited about is automating employee profile fields through Delphia in order to limit manual processes. We had no idea these options were available. This will save our company endless hours of manual entry.” Describe your satisfaction level with Blytheco’s work. “Blytheco has deep knowledge of the products and vendors we use. Some of their employees worked for these vendors in the past. This knowledge and relationship is priceless for us. My only regret is that we didn’t partner with Blytheco in the beginning of our payroll conversion!” What do you like most about working with Blytheco? “Blytheco works as my advocate with our vendors. They think outside the box when the vendors are reluctant to. Blytheco wants us to succeed and that shows through my interaction with their team.” What do you like most about working with your Blytheco representatives? “I feel extra special because I work with several amazing professionals at Blytheco. Kristina Norgaard reaches out and reminds me that she is there to help. She is not afraid of anything that I send her way. And I cannot say enough positive things about Nathan! He is so professional and dedicated to our success. He has proven himself continuously, earning our trust. The relationships he built with our vendors allow him to get resolutions that we can’t get on our own. With Blytheco’s team of genuine professionals in our corner, our future is bright!”

Spring 2017 | Bellwether




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Bellwether Spring 2017  

The Future of HR

Bellwether Spring 2017  

The Future of HR