ERPs during the pandemic: facing challenges head-on with your business

Triumph eMarketer-retail-eCommerce-pandemic

ERPs during the pandemic: facing the challenges head-on

COVID-19 has certainly taken its toll on the business world with restrictions and isolation requirements causing disruption to Australian businesses nation-wide. We have all faced challenging times, with businesses of all sizes still finding it difficult to navigate through the continued uncertainty of the pandemic.

No matter what industry you are in, chances are your business has been affected by COVID-19. Although many Australian businesses are returning to normal, there are still many businesses who are continuing to find themselves needing to adapt and change their behaviors for a new way of operating.

Some of the hardest hit industries are retail, manufacturing, and wholesale and distribution, which have had to make some tough decisions and radical changes to business operations over the past several months. Your reliance on the analysis of your operational data is now more important than ever, and the ability to be more flexible with operational capabilities for you and your staff can be the difference between success and failure.

So, let’s turn this negative impact on the Australian businesses into something positive.

If you have ever considered upgrading your sales, CRM, inventory and finance systems to improve the efficiency of your business and automate those manual processes which you are seemingly over-reliant on, then now is the perfect time to improve your business procedures, and enhance your capabilities to allow for growth and success through these challenging times, and through into the new year.

How Triumph ERP can help your business

Chances are, you have heard about ERP systems before. Perhaps you’ve heard it mentioned by other businesses, or you’ve seen it advertised online, but what exactly is it?

An ERP system, or an Enterprise Resource Management system is a process used by businesses of all sizes and industries to manage and integrate the important parts of their business. ERP systems are important to companies because they offer an integration of all the processes needed to run the company within a single system, such as planning, purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance, and more. A whole enterprise approach.

Triumph ERP software is built upon a modular design, allowing the software to be customised and scaled to suit each individual business’ needs and supports business growth. This unparalleled ability to add on modules and users makes Triumph ERP the most capable and affordable entry level ERP software on the market today.

Challenges in Retail

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the forced closure of stores nationwide, and although many states are slowly relaxing some of the restrictions, other states are still on alert. The closure of the standard brick and mortar store during this time has now produced a new baseline for online retail sales within Australia. Australia Post even reports eight months into the pandemic, online shopping purchase has grown 72.9% from last year.

With customers now strongly focused on shopping online, it is important that your business is equipped with the right tools to stay strong during the pandemic.

With advanced mobile, web and cloud technologies, e-commerce and real-time inventory information at your fingertips, Triumph ERP can help your business build and maintain a strong online presence and allow your customers to place orders, perform their own quotes, check the status of their pending orders, reprint invoices and statements, and even pay their accounts, all from the restricted access of their own home.

Wholesale and Distribution Disruption

Although there are states in Australia that are taking steps towards returning to how things were before the pandemic, other states are still working through the challenges of restriction requirements which are still in place.

One of the many industries who have come across these challenges is wholesale and distribution. The industry, like many others, have seen the restriction of staff each day to assist with social distancing, among other requirements to maintain COVID safe practices, in addition to the inability to travel between various states for distribution.

Although certain challenges still remain, the implementation of Triumph ERP into your wholesale and distribution business can assist you in managing your transactions remotely thanks to Triumph Cloud, assisting you with maintaining social distancing, with real-time business analytics whenever you need them to enable you to better monitor and track your inventory costs and stock holdings.

Manufacturing Mayhem     

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the manufacturing industries profoundly. With the supply and demand shocked with shutdowns has led to deep slumps. Although various sectors will experience different problems during COVID-19, it is important for companies to review their previous guidelines and begin to look critically at their structures to avoid massive profit decline.

Implementing Triumph ERP into your manufacturing business will assist in managing all aspects of the manufacturing process, and to have complete visibility of all of your resources including assets, inventory, materials, labour, and finances, all within the one integrated system.

Even outsourced manufacturing processes are controlled and monitored as easily as if they were your own processes.

Conclusion

Maintaining an efficient operation while your business changes and adapts to the current situation can be a major challenge. Thankfully, ERP systems such as Triumph ERP can offer your business the ability to thrive with customisation to suit any infrastructure needs. Strengthen your business and get through the challenges of the pandemic by implementing an ERP system, allowing you access to all your business data from anywhere, at any time.

 

Cybercrime during COVID-19

cybersecurity series part one

Cybercrime during COVID-19

The year 2020 has brought unprecedented disruption, change and the need for adaptation to businesses and organisations across the world. While business leaders have faced and confronted a slew of challenges that were unprecedented prior to COVID-19, cybersecurity issues continue to not only remain a concern, but become a more challenging force, causing organisations to re-examine their cybersecurity and remote work capabilities as they continue to move forward.

Cybercrime such as phishing attacks have increased by 300 per cent since the start of 2020 compared to the same period last year, with new research revealing that the reason is due to more people working from home.

This increase was seen as a result of confidential information being sent and received from personal devices rather than secure office networks, sensitive data became potentially exposed to a new wave of targeted attacks and scams.

Even though many employees have returned to the office, as businesses move forward through the virus and beyond, the consideration of continuing remote working for employees remains a favourable option for businesses wishing to modernise their processes. Although this will host a myriad of positive benefits including an improved work/life balance, improved mental health, and improved productivity, there is also cause for concern if your business and employees do not reflect best cyber security practices.

Phishing emails and other communication methods have improved over the years, with many scammers pretending to be from real and well-known businesses such as banks, travel agents, insurance providers, phone companies, and even from your business manager, using excuses around COVID-19 or similar concerns to either ask for your personal and financial information, lure you into opening malicious links or attachments, gain remote access to your computer, seek payment for a fake service, or ask you to pay for something you hadn’t purchased.

Businesses and employees need to be aware of not only how cybercrime can jeopardise business and personal data, but need to be aware of how to prevent being a victim of an attack.

What can businesses do to protect from cybercrime during COVID-19?

1. Take care of your technical hygiene

This is something you should be doing already, but if you’re not up-to-date, now is a good time for you and all staff to tick some basic items off, including:

  • ensuring strong passwords are in place, not only for your computers but also for staff’s home Wi-Fi.
  • ensure that you have reliable VPN technology (more on this below) installed to secure your remote connections.
  • check that the software that you currently use is patched with the latest versions of fixes.

2. Be vigilant

Educate your staff that the incidence of cyber-attacks is rising, and the number of phishing emails and scams that are being circulated is increasing daily. If everyone within your business is vigilant, then they will more likely be cautious and check that emails or texts that they receive are coming from reputable sources before acting. Ask them to be particularly aware of poor grammar, design quality and a false sense of urgency in any communication they receive.

3. Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) software helps improve security across a company by requiring additional authentication measures for access to sensitive information, systems, or applications. Instead of a simple username and password input, users are prompted to provide SMS code, biometric verification (such as facial recognition), or email confirmation actions to properly verify their identity. Businesses should use these tools to add a secondary confirmation that individuals accessing privileged information are who they say they are.

4. Back up your data regularly

Backups should be done and tested on a regular basis. A copy of your backup data should be stored off site as well in case the building burns down etc.

Additionally, if your backup solution is connected to your network it will also fall victim to a ransomware attack, therefore backups should be kept offline on hard drives or other external devices.

BONUS: Confirm your ability to manage logs remotely (if you have IT staff)

Ensure that your IT staff are able to monitor your security remotely so they can maintain visibility across the network when working from home. This will allow you to proactively monitor your cyber environment and respond quickly if a potential attack is in progress rather than waiting until after an incident to understand what has happened.

What can employees do to protect their devices and data while remote working?

 

1. Avoid public Wi-Fi; if necessary, use personal hotspots or some way to encrypt your web connection.

Public Wi-Fi introduces significant security risk and should be avoided if possible. If you need to access the internet from a public Wi-Fi location, a good option is to use a personal hotspot from a dedicated device or your phone. Although some of your web traffic could be unencrypted between the hotspot and its destination, using a hot spot does eliminate the problem of getting hacked by people on the same public Wi-Fi with man-in-the-middle attacks.

If implemented by your company, a VPN for remote access will provide a flexible connection to connect to the office from home. A VPN gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Most important, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.

2. Keep work data on work computers


Thinking about taking care of a few emails at home before bed? If you take precautions like using your work computer, secure Wi-Fi, a VPN, encrypted drives, and endpoint protection, this may be totally fine. With that said, it can be tempting to use your personal computer if your work computer is in a different room or you forgot your charger at the office. This is a risk for you and the company!

If you work at an organization with an efficient IT team, they may be installing regular updates, running antivirus scans, blocking malicious sites, etc., and these activities may be transparent to you. There is a good chance you have not followed the same protocols with your personal computer as are mandatory at work.

If your employer gives you access to a portal or remote access environment such as Office 365, you can work online and avoid downloading or syncing files or emails to a personal device. It’s always a best practice to keep personal business on personal technology, and only use your work-issued laptop for work-related business.

3. Block the sight lines

If you are at a coffee shop, pay attention to your sightlines. If someone is behind you, they can see everything you are typing- this is known as shoulder surfing. Furthermore, someone with the right observational skills (like a cybercriminal) could easily watch what you are doing and identify confidential information. Additionally, keep your devices with you; in the time it takes you to use a restroom, your device could be quickly compromised by a cybercriminal with a USB stick that types pre-programmed sequences at 1000 words per minute.

4. Encrypt Sensitive Data in Emails and on Your Device

Sending emails with sensitive data is always going to be a risk. It could be intercepted or seen by a third party. If you encrypt the data attached to an email, it will prevent an unintended recipient from viewing the information. Also, be sure your device is set to have all stored data encrypted in the case of theft.

BONUS: Don’t use random thumb drives

A classic hacking technique is to drop a number of large capacity thumb drives near the company you are hoping to attack. The chances that an unwitting employee will pick up the thumb drive and use it are surprisingly high. All it will take is one staff member to open the files on the drive and then BINGO- the hacker is in.

Never use a thumb drive if you don’t know where it came from
and do not continue to use one if you have plugged it into a system for whose safety you cannot honestly vouch.

Navigating through challenging times with Triumph Cloud

Triumph Cloud

As we all navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, being connected is now more important than ever. These unprecedented times have meant businesses are working in different ways and accessing systems and solutions like never before. As Australian businesses are thrust into digital transformation, teams and leaders are adjusting and adapting their strategies to assist with the changes we are all facing.

These changes, however, pose many questions for management and IT around how their business can continue to operate in a secure and timely manner during these challenging times. How can businesses move forward with the need to ensure employees, suppliers, and clients can access the information they need, when they need it, without putting the business at risk?

One way many businesses have adapted is by allowing their staff to work from home. Businesses who set up with remote working capabilities have been able to maintain business continuity in a way that simply wouldn’t be possible if they were still confined to on-premise solutions.

Thanks to the capabilities of cloud-based ERP software, businesses are able to increase efficiency and flexibility, respond to change more effectively, and slash IT costs- all within the one integrated system.

Whether your goal is to optimise your operations, employ leading edge business tools, or maximise your operational efficiency, Triumph Cloud can get you there. With Triumph Cloud, businesses instantly gain the flexibility to manage and grow your business using fewer internal resources; and without the installation and hardware investments associated with traditional software packages.

With COVID-19 causing many businesses to transform the way they operate, moving to a cloud-based ERP system like Triumph Cloud is not only a beneficial move now, but for the future.

Access anywhere, at anytime

One of the biggest challenges during COVID-19 is making sure that you and your staff can access your business software from home or from off-premise locations.

With Triumph Cloud running 24/7 and with a 99.9% uptime since its launch in 2012, you can be assured that you and your team will have secure access from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection and a computer.

In addition, through the speed and security of Remote Application, with Triumph Cloud is on your desktop, you would be hard pushed to tell the difference between running the cloud version or an on-premise version!

Saving time and money

A featured benefit of Triumph Cloud during these challenging times is the capability to be much more scalable than having Triumph on-premise. If you find that your business needs to scale back, or has seasonal fluctuations, you can simply request to reduce the number of users on a month-by-month basis- thus reducing your ongoing monthly cloud subscription.

When your business picks up again, simply add the users back on, as and when its required.

If you find yourself as a larger multi-user business, you most likely know that capable applications require a good server and a robust network to operate on, which can generally be quite expensive. From the initial purchase, through to the ongoing costs with regards to software, maintenance, security updates and insurance, which will need to be replaced every 3-5 years can become a hefty investment.

By having your system on the cloud however, you no longer need to worry about costly setups. With Triumph Cloud, each client will have their own dedicated cloud server hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) with access to your system and any time of the day or night.

Connect with your customers

With the Triumph Cloud and the Triumph ERP eCommerce module, having your own online presence and the ability to connect with your customers couldn’t be easier. With the recent enhancements of the eCommerce module, you can not only perform B2B (business to business) tasks, but also B2C (business to consumer) which is now supported.

Multi-location/branch companies also have the ability to create multiple web shops with different names, logos and looks to tailor to their and their customer’s needs.

With the ability to search and purchase products through the web shop, online payment features, emailed invoices with payment options, click and collect, and delivery tracking, or integrate your Shopify, WooCommerce, Opencart 2 or ECorner directly with Triumph- you customers can access your business at any time!

Security, reliability and functionality

With Triumph Cloud, you don’t need to worry about your business falling victim to viruses, CryptoLocker or other malicious agents that might want to attack your system and data.

Employing the best industry standard security measures which is constantly maintained and kept up to date with all of your data backed up daily, as well as all users being set up by our team with a unique login and password, your data will always be safe and secure.

Whether your goal is to optimise your operations, employ leading edge business tools, or maximise your operational efficiency, Triumph Cloud can get you there. If you want to find out more about how Triumph Cloud and how it can benefit your business, contact us today by clicking here.