Expatriate managers are used to rely on ERP systems to control the business. However, they commonly face a dilemma choosing inventory management systems in China that meet all their requirements.
The design and usability of ERP functionalities have a great impact on the smoothness of operation, and thus the productivity of the company. Being used to the best design of international products, expatriates managers tend to make flawed assumptions on what they can obtain in China. One of the Axel Standard advisors used to work as implementation consultant of Kingdee Systems, a dominant Chinese ERP vendor. Their experiences revealed consistent frustrations by foreign companies adopting local ERP systems, as a result of suboptimal product design causing inefficiencies and redundant works in every functional areas.
On the other hand, replicating headquarter inventory management system in China also poses a series of headaches. Products like SAP and Oracle are very expensive in terms of both license and implementation. Furthermore, the sheer complexity of such monolithic systems demands highly skillful staff to operate, and it is always difficult and costly to recruit and retain such human resources in China. If your headquarter system is not a mainstream product with a localized version for China, you are doomed to face up the big challenge of Chinese interface translation and adjustment for Chinese local accounting and taxation imperatives, which are significantly different from overseas.
AxelStandard, the marketplace for cloud based applications
In recent years, a new generation of cloud based business productivity and management applications proliferated. These tools cover multiple vertical sectors and functional areas such as inventory, POS, CRM, Timesheets, e-Commerce, Mobile Expenses, Business Intelligence etc. Although they are built and marketed by independent and vertically specialized small software vendors (ISV), they can operate in seamless integration with each other over the cloud through open API.
These SAAS tools are designed with intuitive usability, and can bring about tremendous efficiency and productivity gains for small business. Axel Standard is a marketplace for such small business SAAS applications in China, Axel Standard picks, imports, localizes and markets the best-of-breed SAAS applications from countries like Australia, U.S. and U.K., and make them available to Chinese small business.
Significant cost savings are achieved by applying these SAAS applications, in terms of product purchase (pay as you go by subscription fees), implementation and ongoing usage costs.
Comparison between Kingdee and Stoqo
Stoqo (www.stoqo.cn), originally Dear Inventory (www.dearsystems.com), is one of the best sellers of cloud inventory applications from Australia localized into China by AxelStandard. Stoqo features smooth supply chain process design and user-friendly functions, which fully meets the application requirements for small-scale trading companies and simple assemblies companies.
The following one example of comparison in design between Kingdee and Stoqo. You can see how process steps of a business cycle is addressed in completely different ways.
Kingdee: A typical business cycle normally encompasses multiple steps. For example, sales normally consists of quotation, order, goods picking and shipping, and invoicing. In Kingdee system, the data entry and inquiry for different steps in a business cycle is performed in independent transaction forms; therefore, users are unable to address all transaction information of the whole business cycle at one single page. (Shown below)
Enter purchase receipt when processing receipt of goods (Shown below):
Enter purchase invoice when processing invoice (Shown below):
Enter accounting entries list if the inquiry for purchase related journal entries are needed. (Shown below):
Stoqo: In small business, connected steps in a business cycle, such as order, inventory and invoice, are usually tightly linked and managed together at one time. Stoqo intuitively combines all the related transaction forms into one page so that users can enter and inquire data of the entire business cycle on one interface.
The system does not set up different data input steps menus for a business cycle on the function menu. Instead, it provides only one “New Purchase” menu (Shown below):
The system put all related transaction forms of the purchase cycle on different tabs in one interface. (Shown below)
After transaction forms are approved in Stoqo, corresponding journal entries will be generated automatically. It will also show as a tab in the same page of the purchase transactions so that the internal staff and external accountant/CFO can view, inquire and analyze the entire chain of transactions information and accounting entries organized together.
The graph below is the accounting entries information inquiry interface:
The role of SAAS advisors
Business clients are usually looking to packaged solutions for their operation. In an attempt to solve the challenges of SMB clients, the advisor provide cloud integrator service to select and assemble from a wide variety of SAAS applications to shape business solutions.
Our specialized knowhow and experiences in vertical sectors enable us to professionally judge the business requirements and recommend appropriate SAAS tools for clients. Then, we help with the implementation and setup for such tools, where we make sure best practice and sound controlling procedures are configured into the systems.
As these SAAS tools are integrated with MEGI online accounting, the transactions inputted by our clients’ staff are converted into financial journals automatically. Therefore, we are saved from data entries work in compliance service, and can redirect our attention to monitor the execution of works against predefined procedures for our clients, to ensure the operations and numbers are always on track.
Furthermore, by closely watching the financials in MEGI and SAAS applications of our business clients, our business advisors spot key areas of concern and offer timely and insightful advices to help them discover potential opportunities and risks, as well as improve business performance.
For more on Megi visit www.megichina.com.