supply chain blog

Checklist: Do You Need a Project Management Solution? 

Project management (PM) software plays a critical role in the successful implementation of a new solution or task resolution. In fact, a study by Hive found that 77 percent of high-performing projects use project management software. So, if projects are more successful using PM software, why aren’t more companies using it?

The answers are as unique as each company, with one of the top responses being that there is a general misunderstanding of how project management impacts your services. But, how do you know if a project management software solution is truly right for your business?

Start with the questions below, checking off any you can say YES to:

Do you have visibility on each step of a product or process deployment? 

Do you have a way to tell who is responsible for each task? 

Can you organize your tasks into projects to eliminate chaos and confusion? 

Can you easily track time spent on a project for accurate billing? 

Can your team see which deadlines are approaching and prioritize their workload? 

Can your team collaborate and share information in a single location? 

Do your team members know their timeline before they begin a project? 

Can you or your team quickly identify gaps in your deliverables? 

Can you identify projects holds and quickly determine why they occur? 

Do you have a way to generate reports based on the completed projects? 

How many did you check off? The answer will determine how immediate your need is for a project management solution.

0-3: You need a project management software solution ASAP. You’re likely losing valuable time, money and resources on projects that you don’t quite have a handle on. You’re missing deadlines and struggling to get the entire team on board with process changes. By adopting a PM solution, you’ll gain visibility and control over your projects and deployments – helping you keep on schedule and budget.

4-7: You have a handle on some things, but you’re likely losing valuable visibility when it comes to where projects are being held up or how your team’s time is being spent. Don’t let a deployment come to a screeching halt because your teams don’t communicate about when a task has been completed and when another task should begin. A PM solution will help your team stay on the same page and work towards a common goal – total project euphoria.

8-10: You have a handle on most things, but do you have a comprehensive solution that lets you assign tasks, track time, create project reports and manage timelines all in one place? A PM solution makes it easier to monitor and manage your team and work together across different departments. Cut out the costs of adopting multiple software programs when a single solution can help you streamline and optimize your business.

To learn more about project management software, which solution is right for your business and how we can help, contact LSInextGen today.


supply chain blog

Leveraging SAP Diversity & Inclusion Solutions for a Stronger Organization

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just feel-good corporate buzzwords – increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels has been proven to increase employee engagement, drive innovation and enhance organizational success. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, gender-diverse companies perform 15 percent better and ethnically-diverse companies perform 35 percent better than their less-diverse counterparts. 

But it’s no secret that many businesses find the process of diversifying their workforce overwhelming. Despite your best efforts, diversity and inclusion initiatives can fall by the wayside without a simple way to set expectations, create an accountability structure and track progress. That’s why LSInextGen is using SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help companies manage their diversity and inclusion goals across organizations, regions and hierarchy. 

Here are three steps to leveraging SAP diversity and inclusion solutions in your organization: 

Set Attainable Goals 

The first step to reaching goals is defining them. You can designate an overall goal – say, 20 percent diversity and inclusion by 2020 – as well as more specific goals based on the type of diversity (e.g. women, Hispanic, African American), the number of jobs, and the level (e.g. manager, director, VP). SAP diversity and inclusion solutions can also be customized to manage initiatives such as HR diversity, supplier diversity and sustainability. 

Assign Responsibility 

Once diversity goals are defined in the SAP SuccessFactors Goals Library, they are assigned to an HR head, who delegates them to regional managers. Regional managers can further assign goals to the heads of various departments. By including each department in meeting diversity targets, you ensure that diversity and inclusion extend throughout the organization. You’ll also have a clear view of who should be held accountable for reaching or failing to reach those goals. 

Attract, Train and Promote 

With your goals and accountability structure clearly in place, you can focus on recruiting and training diverse talent. SAP diversity and inclusion solutions help you identify and mentor both internal and external candidates. You can even track recruitment efforts for students graduating from historically diverse colleges and universities. Aids such as Learning Management Systems and training and employee development tools help you measure and grow their capabilities. 

LSInextGen’s SAP diversity and inclusion program helps businesses set and reach goals for a stronger, more innovative and more resilient workforce. Are you ready to make progress toward your diversity and inclusion initiatives? Contact us now to learn more.

 

 


supply chain blog

Identifying the Right SAP Solutions Partner

SAP Partner

Streamlining productivity and improving processes is an extensive journey and – without the right partner at your side – can be full of distractions. You need someone who not only helps you overcome obstacles but acts as your guide to business growth. 

SAP offers top-of-the-line technology solutions designed to make your journey easier, but knowing which solutions you need and having the right resource to deploy them can make all the difference for the success of your implementation. That’s why identifying the right SAP solutions partner for the job should be one of your first steps.  

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before signing any contracts: 

What’s your budget? 

Simply by partnering with the right business, you can experience significant savings on the solutions you need to propel your business forward. Monthly payments are flexible, but annual payments save you more money on average. That’s because most companies bundle multiple services when you purchase an annual plan – giving you more for less. 

SAP provides two different tiers of partnerships – Silver and Gold. By affiliating with an SAP Silver or Gold Partner, you can receive SAP solutions for a lower price because these businesses leverage long-standing business relationships to win you deals and help you avoid solutions that won’t actually resolve your roadblocks. 

How involved do you need your partner to be?   

You’re an expert when it comes to your business, but how well can you navigate uncharted waters? A reliable SAP solutions partner leads you through every step of the implementation process – from the first consultation meeting to post-project deployment.   

That’s because a reliable partner knows your success is directly related to how closely your process is monitored. They sit down and listen to your goals and needs, then create a strategy that leverages the latest technology to help you meet and exceed your objectives. But their involvement doesn’t end there. They meet with you quarterly and annually to establish the next steps for your business.  

Is diversity important when choosing a partner? 

Sometimes you can become so focused on a problem that you overlook the different ways to overcome it. By adding diversity to your partnerships, you’ll gain opportunities for new and improved ways of resolving your toughest challenges. 

With a minority business enterprise value-added reseller, you can rest assure you’re not only getting the best-of-the-best professionals, but you’ll leverage a variety of ideas positioned to boost your business success. A diverse group of professionals bring different backgrounds and expertise to your growth strategy and use that experience to drive fresh ideas for your business challenges. 

As an SAP Gold Partner, LSInextGen can help you leverage real-time data to enhance your analytics and streamline your processes. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses in all industries enhance their infrastructure through the power of SAP. Plus, we’re the only minority business enterprise value-added reseller in North America. For more information on how LSInextGen can boost your business, contact us today.  


Is It Time for a Rebrand?

 

Competition is everywhere, and you need more than a great service offering to break through all the noise. You need a strong reputation and a corporate identity – this is your brand. If you’re not being heard in a crowded field of competitors, revamping your identity through strategic branding can help you thrive. But how do you know it’s the right time for a rebrand? 

Rebranding typically takes place when there is a significant change within an organization. It can be driven by something as obvious as a name change prompted by a merger, or it could be the result of a change in an organization’s business model, mix of products or target audience. With almost every company, a rebrand is bound to happen eventually, yet a successful rebrand depends on timing. Here are five major signs it might be time for a rebrand: 

 

  1. You’re Failing to Differentiate Yourself  

Branding is all about competitive differentiation. Creating an identity within a niche doesn’t require a revolutionary idea. It simply needs to have one special thing that separates it from the competition. What’s your unique product, service, or selling point? Once you take the time to figure out what that is, you can center your brand around it to gain recognition over time.  

 

  1. Your Brand is Overly Complicated  

What information and feelings does your branding give at first sight? If people are confused about what youre trying to portray, they won’t stick around to figure it out. The only thing more confusing than not having a unified brand is a brand that sends multiple messages. When it comes to branding, increased complexity means decreased cohesiveness – and for the prospect, that’s confusing. The best way to fix this problem is with a rebrand. Make sure your new message is clear, cohesive and consistent.  

 

  1. Your Business Strategy Has Changed 

When you started your business, you probably established a set of values that served as the foundation for your strategic objectives. However, as your business grew, your values also evolved. Whether it’s unforeseen market opportunities or changes in technology, business models change – and that’s a good thing. The key is making sure your brand keeps up. Whether your company moved away from the original vision or merely expanded on it, your brand needs to reflect these changes. Adapt everything, including your HR policy, customers, products, and identity to be in line with your new philosophy and strategy.  

 

  1. Your Company Merges with Another 

Mergers and acquisitions are always new opportunities for a rebranding. Yet 70 to 90 percent of mergers fail due to poor brand alignment, which ultimately creates confusion. The key to a successful rebrand is uncovering the shared DNA of the two companies. Think about the “why” and “how” two separately successful companies can bring value to your clients and prospects as a single entity. A successful rebrand focuses your company’s vision and portrays who you are now as a unit.  

 

  1. You’re Struggling to Raise Your Prices 

Your brand ultimately boils down to customer perception. An effective brand can influence the market price of its goods or services because of the reputation it has developed in the minds of customers. Why do we pay double for Starbucks coffee when we could get it much cheaper elsewhere? The ingredients may be slightly different, but fundamentally, their reputation and supporting brand are responsible for the premium we’re willing to pay. By rebranding, you can reshape the way your customers perceive you and raise the asking price of your services accordingly.  

 

Building a brand is tough, and repositioning your brand can be even more challenging. However, if you take the time to think about why you need to rebrand, the process will be practically seamless. Remember, your brand is a story that’s always being told. You have the power to not only drive that story but to change it if your message isn’t quite right – the pen is in your hands.  


supply chain blog

Tips on Successfully Motivating Millennials in the Workplace

motivating millennials in the workplace

In popular media, the word Millennial is thrown around as a synonym for young people in general. But in reality, the term Millennial specifically speaks to people who are born between 1982 and 2000 (ages 19-36).

They’re defined by historic, technological and cultural events including:

  • Having an Internet connection in their home as a child
  • Growing up in the post 9/11 era and the Great Recession
  • Feeling impacted by the rise of Google, social media, online dating and e-commerce
  • Growing up in after-school sports, arts or educational programs instead of being latchkey kids
  • Being raised in a more egalitarian household than previous generations

This is a generation with high expectations of their employers – but they also set high standards for themselves, and by 2020, millennials will account for nearly half of the workforce. Baby Boomer, Flower Children and Gen Xer business owners need to have strategies in place to help develop the leaders of tomorrow.

Take a look at these tips for guiding the next generation and how to adapt the modern workplace to set Millennials up for success:

Allow for Self-Directed Growth Opportunities

Millennials enjoy a workplace that demonstrates a commitment to employee growth. A tip for companies is to create a compensation or organizational structure that allows Millennials to set business-based and personal goals. Creating a personal development plan for growth within the company will keep employees engaged and focused with the ability to seek a long-lasting future within the business.

Have a Positive, Proactive Company Mission and Vision

According to a 2016 survey by Deloitte, Millennials feel that 75 percent of businesses are focused solely on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. To prove them wrong, companies need to be charitable and show a vested interest in social activism. This includes encouraging the charitability of employees by regularly donating, adding a social responsibility focus to their mission, or going on team outings to focus on giving back to the causes and communities they care about.

Adopt a Flexible Working Environment

Millennials often seek a flexible work-life balance in terms of the hours they work and the location they work from. In fact, this is so important to them that they would rather be rewarded in this way than by monetary compensation. Flexible working hours give people a better relationship with work and allow them to focus on the quality of the results they achieve, rather than how many hours they spend in the office. It also gives them the time and headspace to think more creatively and to focus on a task without the constant distractions that offices often cultivate.

Break Down Traditional Hierarchies

Millennials love to disrupt the work game by embracing transparency, openness and authenticity. They need to be given free rein to get their creative juices flowing, leverage fresh ideas and overperform. It is important to provide them with that open environment and trust that they won’t misuse the freedom. It is up to you and your management team to decide to what extent freedom is acceptable, and in what form.

Like every generation before them, Millennials face big challenges as they continue to enter the workforce. But more importantly, employers need to take a step back and realize that by helping their employees succeed, they find success too. A more positive work environment helps superstar Millennial talent flourish because they feel supported by their leaders and teammates – that’s a workforce that will drive everyone forward.


supply chain blog

Put Your Intellectual Property Value Ahead Of IT Innovation

 

Innovation comes in countless shapes and forms.

Whether considered from a technology products and solutions standpoint or in terms of developing and advancing a company’s business, services, and culture, the role of solutions providers should be front and center.

In its 2018 IT Channels and Alliances Predictions study, research firm IDC states:

“By 2020, intellectual property will define the business models, the relations between partners and the value of the distribution channel. And manufacturers will be ‘judged’ by their capacity to integrate and extend the IPs of their partners.”

That’s great news, of course, provided the channel is prepared to effectively assume the responsibilities and deliver on corresponding expectations. As trusted advisors of our customers, we’ll take the brunt of the blame, perhaps deservedly, in the wake of a crisis. It’s our brands on the line, more so than ever today, given we’re putting increasingly complex solutions together.

That’s why it’s incumbent upon us to vet partners in much deeper ways to literally know what they offer and will do for us or on our behalf — under all types of circumstances that may arise. We must have no doubt the vendors we choose to support truly have our backs.

You may say this always has been important or critical, and you’re right.

 

Quenching The Thirst

What’s different is the backdrop. The unprecedented thirst for innovation and the opportunity to quench it for years to come. With transformation on the tongues of decision makers in every industry and vertical market, you cannot possibly be thinking otherwise. Here are three points to keep in mind as you weigh your options and overall strategic direction:

  1. Instead of trying to address each and every pain point a customer may experience, sharpen the focus in areas that are particularly well suited for your own emerging business model.
  1. Start with you, your value add today, and what you conclude it should become. You can’t completely ignore the fixations of current customers and what they want to do, but it could be a colossal misstep if that’s your starting point.
  1. Align with vendor partners you can trust from both IT and intellectual property value perspectives, where the advantages skew your way instead of the other way around.

 

Reinvent Or Restore?

If you’re not yet reinventing your core value, at some juncture you’ll likely face an uphill climb toward restoring solvency. Our own company’s resurgence and rebranding may yield some useful insights.

We see our firm as unique for a variety of reasons that include our status as a certified MBE (minority business enterprise) VAR. We always have placed strong emphasis on embracing diversity in thought, approach, as well as solutions because it’s the right thing to do. We’re also playing a lead role in helping our customers apply the same types of principles and advantages through the intellectual property we combine with SAP’s platform and applications.

This type of partnership means we can get to market faster with turnkey offerings that meet the heightened need for — and often untapped value of — diversity across all enterprises and industries. In short, we’re striving to fill a void that is calling out loud and clear, as this Forbes article attests, from all directions: hiring, developing, and leading.

Diversity, in our eyes, is what makes our company stronger and we know it will be among the most vital elements in the long-term success of our customers — all of them seeking transformation in one form or another. If they don’t put people first in the equation, that will undoubtedly bite back harder than almost any technological breakdown.

 

Prove It, Then Deliver

We also know most companies aren’t looking to make giant leaps of faith into unchartered waters, regardless of how enticing any innovation may appear. They want — and deserve — empirical evidence of what our IP can do for them. They also want to focus their energy on growing and managing their business, not their IT.

The challenges and demands the channel faces are, at least in one sense, not dissimilar to what other types of companies face amidst the tectonic shifts that are forever redefining social and workforce trends as well as consumer and B2B markets. That’s why no solutions provider can afford to continue warming the seats of complacency. After all, we’re not just chartered with revolutionizing our own business models and services; we must do the same for our customers.

In the end, it’s a combination of proven intellectual property, solid platforms, and dependable partnerships that will not only endure but thrive in this new test of time. Your IP will be the biggest difference maker, packaged as a service. Beware all the waves of disruption that can easily distract from such an urgent call to action, yet enterprises are primed for this approach. They crave intelligence and analytics to make better all-around decisions. Show them the way.

In the end, it’s not about IP, IT, R&D, or any other type of innovation. It’s about doing the most important things best and practically everything else better.

Capitalize by staying above the fray and by bringing proven as well as practical (and possibly everlasting) new intellectual property value to the forefront.


Climbing The Mountain To True SAP Intelligent Enterprise

 

The pursuit of a modern SAP intelligent enterprise aligns distractions alongside opportunities in a labyrinth that can overwhelm business leaders. When faced with that level of complex change management, the key to success is designing a clear route toward your outcomes and then taking small steps until your organization begins to grasp and embrace the digital revolution. For LSInextgen, the first step was clear. Our underpinning dedication to diversity proved the best place for our company to start its journey to becoming an intelligent enterprise.

Even before we turned our attention toward the SAP intelligent enterprise, we benefited from diversity in our business. Having varied points of view within our team has expanded our horizons, layering context and creativity over solutions and interactions with customers. Now, as we evolve our business, we’ve discovered that our human diversity offers fresh insights at the “people” level that inform the next steps of our transformation: determining how we can use innovative technology to improve and enhance our solution set, our partnerships, and our delivery platforms. Simply put, having a diverse team has made us more receptive to new concepts and helped accelerate our progress.

You may wonder what motivated me to embark on this complicated journey to a new business model. To me, the intelligent enterprise is defined by the capacity to leverage data and knowledge to drive seamless interactions between people, processes, and platforms – creating efficient, agile companies delivering exceptional customer experience to complete the circle.

Imagine if business intelligence solutions empowered your team to deliver innovative, impactful services to your partners using enablement tools that worked when, how, and where they were needed – providing business outcomes that inspired the same agility within your partners’ companies. That outcome seemed well worth the risk of transforming to a new type of company. Leveraging the intelligence found in our everyday operations, then applying a fresh, diverse way of thinking is revolutionizing the way we do business.

But how did we achieve that? We evaluated each step of our business – from our vision to our customers’ needs to our budget. With diversity serving as our cornerstone, we invested time in research and understanding patterns – good and bad – throughout our systems and workflows. Then, we leveraged that data to move our business toward a more integrated approach, each decision informed by the goals of our customers with the outcome of optimized day-to-day operations.

Rather than upending our investments in technology, we focused on better utilizing our digital assets to improve engagement and productivity within our team, driving faster, more efficient business outcomes that delivered greater value to our customers. Along the way, we were staggered at what our team could imagine as possible, exploring innovative and diverse ideas at each step.

Repositioning your company as an intelligent enterprise can be overwhelming. My advice is to conquer the task through three phases: planning and exploring creative options; architecting your digital business; then testing and execution. At each step, I recommend an honest evaluation of the status quo and a thoughtful risk approach to new investments. Don’t forget to celebrate the incremental successes that come within a larger transformation plan. Last, don’t fear failure – but don’t dwell on those miscalculations. Instead, learn from your mistakes and lean forward into the next idea.

Evolving into an SAP intelligent enterprise is a marathon, guided by the vision for your company, your people, and your value to your customers. With that knowledge directing your transformation, you’ll find priorities clarified and more easily achieved. When true digital transformation is realized, the fluid connection between your team, your partners, your solutions, and truly valuable business outcomes provided to your customers drives unparalleled maturity and profitability.


Logistic Solutions Inc., at WWFH 2018

Logistic Solutions Inc., (LSI)’s President Al Limaye with Giovanni Caforio – CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Elizabeth Elizabete Miranda – President & CEO of CQ Fluency.

 

 

Additionally, Al Limaye with Rondu Vincent – Director of Supplier Diversity at BMS and Chris Baggett – Director of Federal Government Affairs and Political Strategy at BMS.

 

LSI President Al Limaye with Joaquin Duato, Vice Chairman of Executive Committees at Johnson & Johnson, and Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck, at the 2018 We Work for Health Summit in Washington, DC

 

The final image shows those who received awards at the 2018 We Work for Health Summit in Washington, DC.

 

Logistic Solutions Inc., (LSI) attended the WWFH Summit again this year and Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio and team were instrumental in LSI’s attendance at this prestigious event. This year’s discussion included importation of medications and changes to parts B & D of Medicare. As a preferred minority supplier in the pharmaceutical field, it was extremely important for LSI to weigh in on these relevant topics. Logistic Solutions Inc., would like to extend a thank you to Bristol-Myers Squibb and their team for providing us with the opportunity to be one of a select few to represent New Jersey. We will continue to help impact the community in a positive way.

For the second consecutive year, LSI has been a part of the WWFH Summit, a meeting with conversations with congressmen and women from 14 different states. The two day long discussions raise concern about legislation in the pharmaceutical field. LSI is a preferred minority supplier in the pharmaceutical field, and was one of a handful representing New Jersey in talks that discussed importation of medication and changes to medicare.

The conversation leaves an impression one our most important resource, people. Local businesses, officials, and families all gave input as to what they believed would have the best impact on the community. Halting changes that would make life more difficult for individuals that need certain medication is a pressing issue, and events like these continue to give the people input in the political world. Moving forward, LSI will continue to support and help voice the opinions of our employees, neighbors, and community


SAP S/4HANA Migration Guide

According to PwC research, by 2020, hybrid ERP environments – combining on premise and cloud solutions, will be the norm. Many IT executives have begun to move their core, often legacy applications from on-premise to public cloud infrastructure with varying levels of success. However, maintaining core systems is critical to business as usual. An SAP S/4HANA migration guide can easily create this digital core by connecting to people, devices, and business networks in real-time to deliver new value.


Top Strategic Priorities for CIOS with SAP HANA in 2018

As we enter a new year, we have already begun to see the technological landscape shift dramatically. Driven largely by digitization, new technologies, and rapidly increasing data sets, the modern CIO must deliver business value. They must drive innovation. CIOs and IT leaders have the opportunity to deliver more value than ever before. The most successful CIOs are those that recognize and adapt to these evolving challenges and opportunities.

 

Data Security :

More organizations are experiencing cyberattacks within their networks as devices become connected and more public information is stored in the cloud. IT leaders must place a strategic focus and budget money to address protecting their company information. Data protection will be at the forefront of cybersecurity strategies in 2018. Security in SAP HANA means protecting important data from unauthorized access and ensures that the standards and compliance meet as security standard adopted by the company. To manage secure data access and protect corporate information, SAP HANA provides a comprehensive security framework and tooling for authentication and single sign-on, authorization and role management, user and identity management, audit logging, secure configuration and encryption.

 

Stay tuned for our next blog…

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