Abas ERP

Sterling,  VA 
United States
http://www.abas-usa.com
  • Booth: 1319

abas is an innovator of ERP solutions for mid-size businesses aspiring to be leaders in their industry. We use our 30+ years of experience to deliver exactly what our customers need – software that is agile, intuitive, sustainable for the long term, and that works anywhere around the world. Headquartered in Sterling, VA, abas focuses on three primary sectors; custom manufacturing, industrial machinery, and the electronics industry. abas also serves customers in the automotive, distribution, metal fabrication, biomedical and process Industries. Whether your firm operates in a make to order, make to stock or job shop production environment, abas can readily be adapted to meet industry or company-specific requirements without impacting the standard functions of limiting upgradability. Optimize every sector of your business with software that is flexible, customizable, and made uniquely for your company.


 Press Releases

  • The Internet of Things and the Manufacturing IndustryOne of the most talked-about topics in today’s world of manufacturing is the Internet of Things (IoT). The term refers to the embedding of sensors and computing devices into physical “things” that traditionally haven’t had any kind of connectivity, such as a light bulb, an infant’s pajamas, or even a cow. The things are then connected to wired or wireless networks, giving them the ability to communicate with one another, other systems, users, and/or manufacturers. Essentially, the IoT is a bridge between the physical world and the digital world.

    The IoT's potential in manufacturing
    The potential for the IoT in manufacturing environments is vast. As it pertains to production, for example, an Internet-connected machine would be able to communicate directly with the manufacturer in regards to performance. If a certain component or subassembly is performing at a suboptimal level, the machine would be able to alert operators and floor managers right away. Additionally, the machine would also send an automated message back to its manufacturer, which could either send someone to perform maintenance or simply ship the part needed.

    The IoT could also have a transformative effect on the extended supply chain. On the supply side, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) could see a dramatic boost to efficiency in terms of managing ever-changing relationships with a global array of suppliers. With the rise of lean manufacturing, OEMs need to have the perfect amount of inventory on hand at all times. One potential benefit of the IoT is for inventory systems to automatically alert suppliers when a particular item needs to be replenished, allowing them to prepare and ship the product exactly when the manufacturer needs it.

    On the customer side, OEMs can build connective capabilities directly into their products, allowing for post-sale service. Consider a car: With IoT capabilities, the onboard system can let the manufacturer and end user know when it's time for a repair, before the car actually breaks down. This kind of service can open significant post-sale revenue streams for OEMs and provide a better overall service experience for the customer.

    In spite of all that's been written and discussed regarding the IoT, many manufacturers are still figure out how to best integrate it into their operations.

    Bugra Derre, technical consultant for mobile applications and the IoT at abas ERP, noted that despite the promise of the IoT, the technology really is still in its infancy. "Even though we've seen some of what the Internet of Things can do for businesses, it's still a young concept,” he said. “There could be many benefits and creative uses that arise in the future that haven’t even been thought of yet."

    The developers at abas ERP have taken a forward-looking approach to the IoT by adding a layer of flexible middleware that can provide an interface for Internet-connected devices, equipment and products to interact directly with the company's ERP systems. This flexibility means that regardless of the innovative new uses that businesses come up with for the IoT. abas will be ready to support them.

    Manufacturing and the Internet of Things

    The Internet of Things will play a major role in manufacturing in the near future, and manufacturers should be looking for ways to prepare for it now.

    abas ERP has made it possible for manufacturers to integrate the IoT into their operations without having to completely overhaul their ERP systems when making the new technologies work together with the existing system.

    Although many organizations are still thinking through how to integrate the IoT into their businesses, it's clear that now is the time to start. Because the IoT has a direct impact on everything from the supply chain to production and post-sale service, the key thing manufacturers can do now is to ensure that their ERP systems are able to anticipate the proliferation of connected "things."

    "The IoT will establish new data sources and connected things will talk a lot with each other.," said Derre." "To get a valuable revenue for your business, data analysis will need to play an important role."

  • 5 common mistakes in ERP selection Selecting a new ERP system in any business can be a monumental challenge, and with any big challenge come some major pitfalls. In this post, we discuss some of the most common mistakes he has seen in the selection process and how companies can avoid them.
     

    Mistake 1: Relying solely on brand recognition

    How it happens: Sometimes, when organizations are shopping around for a new ERP system, they rely heavily on brand recognition as a key deciding factor in making a purchase. The problem with this thinking is that often the best-known brands are synonymous with the most generic solutions – enormous companies building one-size-fits-all software solutions for the masses. If you have more specific requirements, you might need a more specific, lesser known ERP package.

    The fix: Avoiding this mistake is as simple as casting a wider net at the outset of your selection process and scheduling demos for vendors that are a good fit for your industry or company size, even if they are unfamiliar to you. You will likely find that smaller vendors are more responsive to your questions, goals and challenges, and can tailor a specialized solution that can improve your business processes.

    "The ERP world is full of smaller vendors that offer high quality specialized software systems that help companies go from good to great," abas ERP sales manager Joe Vecchio said. “Being open minded about these ‘Hidden Champions’ could really help companies find the right fit with an ERP system.

    Mistake 2: Getting too attached to the status quo

    How it happens: It’s natural for people to resist change, especially in a busy workplace. But sometimes the desire to pick a system that feels comfortable or “not too different” can seriously hamper a selection effort.

    “The goal of changing to a new ERP solution is to find untapped business opportunities and create value through process improvements,” said Vecchio. “Sometimes that means being willing to make a major change.”

    The fix: Making sure the entire selection team understands and supports the goals of the software change can go a long way towards avoiding this pitfall.

    There may be some processes and functions that can and should be brought over, but in general, a new ERP system should signal a change in how the business operates as a whole.

    Mistake 3: Starting with too generic of an RFI

    How it happens: One of the most common errors organizations make when selecting a new ERP system is sending vendors generic requests-for-information. These forms are often very long and fail to ask for the data at the heart of what the company is really looking for.

    The Fix: Vecchio explained that businesses should closely examine their processes and figure out exactly what they need from their new system.

    “Structure your RFI around a limited set of must-have components and the features that will allow you to clearly differentiate the packages from each other,” he said.

    In addition to the role this step plays in your decision, it is also crucial for helping the vendor deploy your system quickly and in a way that improves the business as a whole.

    Mistake 4: Having unclear evaluation criteria

    How it happens: Building on Mistake 3, the excessively generic RFI, Vecchio also said unclear or poorly defined evaluation criteria can lead to problems in the selection process.

    The Fix: Consistency and a clear process are key. According to Vecchio, the best way to avoid confusion with your evaluation criteria is to be sure you document and agree on a concrete list of requirements before you start working with vendors. Then use the same score card for evaluating all of the options. This will not only help keep tabs on which solution is best for you, but it will help potential vendors tailor their demos to what you really need.

    Mistake 5: Looking for too much consensus

    How it happens: One of the biggest pitfalls that can arise during the ERP selection process is that, in trying to include opinions from all involved functional areas, an organization can get bogged down in a never-ending decision-making process. The complexity of the decision can intimidate or even paralyze a management team.

    The Fix: Instead of going at the problem on your own, allow vendors to simplify and help you through a reasoned selection process. Rather than giving all involved parties an equal vote – or worse, the power to veto – appoint a trusted team leader who can gather opinions, and make an informed, yet timely decision. 

    abas Expert Joe Vecchio

     Joe Vecchio, sales manager at abas USA,  described a few of the most common mistakes he has seen in the selection process and how companies can avoid them.

  • the best ERP system you've never heard ofHow do you decide which product to buy? It’s easy to base a purchase decision on brand familiarity, and this works well for low-cost, low-risk items like laundry soap or sunscreen, when a fast decision can be more important than a good one.

    But what about big-ticket, complex purchasing decisions, like a new ERP system? In these cases, selecting based on which product is a household name could be an expensive mistake. In the ERP world, big-name companies like Microsoft and Oracle are known for offering cookie cutter solutions for the masses. And chances are, you’re not running a cookie cutter business. It’s the smaller, more agile players – some you’ve likely never heard of -- who take the time to truly understand your business and are able to develop highly specialized, flexible ERP solutions that can take your business to the next level.

    "The question you always have to ask is, 'Are you selecting an ERP system because it's the most familiar, or are you really looking for the best solution for your plans, goals, and objectives?'" Alan Salton, president of abas USA, explained.

    If the software is so good, why haven’t I heard of them? 

    Have you ever heard of Baader, a company that holds a 90% share of the world market for food-processing machinery? How about Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of automotive interiors who made more then $28 billion last year? Many of the world’s most successful companies keep their focus squarely on providing a highly specialized product and less on brand recognition. Sometimes referred to as “Hidden Champions,” these innovative companies tend to stay out of the spotlight, but provide superior solutions for a very specific need.

    Hidden Champions abound in the ERP world. In fact, some of the most innovative ERP solutions fly under the radar, providing a solution that is exceptionally well suited to one particular industry or type of customer. These companies are focusing their efforts on products, people, and superior solutions for their customers.  

    "Our investment is in our product. Our investment is in our people. It's not in marketing," Salton said. "If you go to Yankee Stadium, there's a big SAP sign. Imagine if SAP had put the money that they invested in that sign toward improving their product instead. What if they had put it into customer support? At abas, investments are based on a philosophy that what customers want and need is substance, not sizzle.”

    There are so many choices and I don’t have time to research all of the small players. If I can’t base a decision on name recognition, how to I narrow down my options?

    Creating a list of 5-10 ERP vendors to investigate, then narrowing down the section to the most promising 2-4 options seems like a daunting task, but a few key data points can tell you a lot about companies you may not have heard of before:

    • Customer loyalty – how long do companies stick with an ERP system?
    • Customer satisfaction – how happy are customers with the solution?
    • Long-term costs of operation – Can the software grow with your business? How much do upgrades cost?
    • Vendor-Customer relationship  – Do the people at the software vendor understand your business well enough to really help you grow and achieve your goals?

    Should I consider abas ERP even though I haven’t heard of them before? 

    abas ERP is not right for everyone, but if you are a mid-sized custom or industrial manufacturing company with unique processes and requirements, there are some significant reasons to put us on your short list.

    • Our customer loyalty rate is 92 percent.
    • A high percentage of abas ERP users stay with the company long-term. In fact, a 2014 Tech Consult survey found abas ERP to have the longest average usage time (6.7 years), higher than Microsoft, SAP, and others. 24 percent of our customers have been using abas ERP for more than a decade.
    • The 2014 Tech Consult study also found that abas ranked highest in ability to support customizations and changes.
    • In a 2013 i2S Survey, abas ERP ranked best for customer satisfaction, most recommendations, and the most successful international projects.
    • An exceptionally high 75% of abas ERP users are on one of the two most recent software releases, an indication of customers’ willingness and ability to upgrade regularly.

    "We want to be the best in the mid-size manufacturing market. We focus all of our development, implementation, training and documentation to make ourselves the best choice," Salton explained. "When you have a product specifically tailored for a certain market, it allows you to surpass the vendors who try to be everything to everyone."

    abas also offers a unique approach to working with customers that many larger companies can’t. “Large ERP vendors might be satisfied with meeting your requirements, but at abas ERP, we consider that the bare minimum,” Salton said. "What we really want is to bring clients to a place they didn't expect to be. Better products, better operations - everything. The real value-add a vendor should provide is to challenge your assumptions and show you what you didn't know. Our teams don't just solve problems, but find new opportunities to help your business grow," he added. 


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