Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is an ERP? What does ERP mean?
A. An ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, is integrated business software used as an enterprise wide solution to monitor, manage, and where possible, automate an organization. ERP software evolved from the Material Resource Planning (MRP) offerings in the 80’s with most of the interest coming from the manufacturing and distribution sector. In the 90’s, different vendors extended their MRP’s to include other modules like accounting and Human Resources. Today, most ERP’s, offer many different modules depending on the industry and customer. ERP's can to do planning, production, billing, shipping, inventory, accounting and finance, and more.
Q. Is an ERP right for my business?
A. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are used by organizations looking to manage their business functions within a centralized and integrated system. An ERP is commonly used by companies working within the supply chain to help keep track of all the moving parts of manufacturing and distribution. However, ERP can be utilized by a number of different industries including those in healthcare, nonprofit groups, construction and hospitality and education. Organizations needing to manage their staff, customers and inventory can all rely on ERP benefits.
Q. Is ERP software just for finance and accounting?
A. No. An ERP is an enterprise software package that contains many different modules including: accounting and finance, planning & scheduling, production, billing, shipping, and and so on. Symbient Opta provides all these features as well as an integrated CRM that allows you to track the status and progress of your relationship with each of your customers. It empowers you, the user, to track and manage leads from first-contact to paying & repeat customers, and every life stage in between.
While ERP’s do provide your company a way to manage finances & accounting, it also provides support for governing additional factors of your business like your supply chain, manufacturing, services, and other core processes.
ERP software can be used to automate and simplify individual activities across your business or organization, such as accounting and procurement, project management, customer relationship management, risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations.
ERP’s connect every aspect of an enterprise. An ERP system allows for better performance and project management that helps plan, budget, predict and accurately report on an organization’s financial health, processes and overall life-status.
Q. We don’t know what we need. Can you help us define our ERP requirements?
A. Our team of professionals at Symbient Opta is willing to help you identify your needs and to make an intelligent decision about how ERP can help your business succeed. Please reach out to us at our Contact Us (Make this a link) as we are happy to assist you.
Q. What is CRM? What does CRM mean?
A. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Its simplest definition is it is a system that allows a business to manage its business relationships and the data and information associated with them. With a CRM, like the one in Symbient Opta, you can capture customer and prospect information, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities in one central location.
Q. Why would I need integrated ERP and CRM?
A. Three advantages to have an integrated ERP and CRM are:
A complete 360 degree view of your customer One of the biggest advantages of having an integrated ERP and CRM, like Symbient Opta, is it gives you a complete view of your customer. From prospect, to sales and support, to finance and accounting, you have complete visibility into your customers’ needs, buying habits, order history, preferences, account standing, etc. Not only does this knowledge give you better insight into your customer base, it can help you build lasting relationships with customers and determine where there is potential for future growth. It can even help you anticipate your customer’s needs before your customer does.
Better access to real time critical information: Because Symbient Opta is fully integrated, it gives your employees the ability to access important information in real-time. Without it, your employees are less efficient and your customers will pay the price. For example, when a customer calls with a simple question about the status of an order, your representative should not have to go into different systems to access information or inquire with other employees. A fully integrated solution empowers your employees with access to the information they need exactly when they need it. With the touch of a button, they can retrieve inventory levels, shipments, customer financials, order history, returns, payments, pricing, etc.
Streamline business processes: In the past, without an integrated solution, many business processes were manual and time-consuming. However, a key benefit to software like Symbient Opta is enhanced productivity through streamlining processes and automating workflow. Additionally, an integrated solution cuts down on the amount of duplication of data entry tasks.
Q. Why should I use an ERP?
A. There are many reasons why an ERP is a great solution for many business and organizations. Here are some great examples:
It can save you money: An ERP, like Symbient Opta, unifies many of the systems that may currently be fragmented in your organization. From product development to accounts payable, your staff will be able to access all the necessary tools for their job from one centralized system. Improved Collaboration: With Symbient Opta’s centralized database your company has a single source of truth to work from. This reduces any errors brought on by working with the incorrect data, further reducing costs.
Better Analytics: Centralized data also aids in improving your analytics and reporting. Since Symbient Opta records and stores all the data users input, it makes for an excellent business intelligence tool making it easier and faster for your team to generate various reports. Reports that could take days of research and compilation without an ERP takes just minutes.
Improved Productivity: An ERP can automate your most tedious tasks. Symbient Opta's integrated ERP database eliminates redundant tasks such as data entry and allows the system to perform advanced calculations within minutes. This frees up your team members’ time to do more thoughtful work, increasing your ROI when it comes to labor. From this, ERP increases your organization’s productivity, efficiency and profitability.
Q. What’s the difference between CRM and ERP?
A. CRM systems are designed to record and store every piece of information regarding customer interactions. CRMs have been developed to include all areas of the customer experience with the objective being to keep customers happy, loyal and subsequently more valuable to your business.
While the CRM manages the customer, an ERP manages the business. ERPs are used to improve the efficiency of your business processes. ERPs allow for the rapid sharing of standardized information throughout all departments of your company. Employees all enter information into the ERP system, creating a real-time, enterprise-wide snapshot. Problems in any area can automatically create alerts in other affected areas. This allows departments to begin planning for issues before they become a problem in that department. In short, by allowing the business to focus on the data, instead of the operations, ERP provides a method for streamlining business processes across the board.
The main users of CRM systems are in the sales and support organizations – they are ultimately customer-facing and they don’t do the actual work of producing and fulfilling orders. In contrast, the ERP users are focused on the process and logistics of producing the widgets: factory managers, production schedulers, buyers, supply chain types and finance types. ERP users are internal and supplier-facing, rarely calling a customer except to reply to a complaint of some kind.
Q. What are the billing options for Symbient Opta?
A. Symbient Opta currently offers 2 billing options for our customers.
Option 1 - Prepay monthly at a cost of $40 per license per month. for a total of $480 per year per license
Option 2 - Prepay annually at a cost of $30 per license per month for a total of $360 per year per license for a cost saving of $120 per year per license.
Q. What does the "Free 30 Day Trial" allow me to do?
A. Symbient Opta's free 30 day trial allows you to license and use up to 3 users to fully utilize all features and functionally of Symbient Opta without restrictions.
Q. What happens at the end of the "Free 30 Day Trial"?
A. Seven (7) days before the end of your free 30 day trial, Symbient Opta will automatically generate a bill for the initial 3 licenses at the discounted yearly rate. The bill's due date will be set to the end date of the 30 day trail period and you will be provided up to fifteen (15) days to make payment, known as your payment "grace period". If you fail to make payment within the 15 day grace period, your company account will be deactivated, requiring you to contact our support team for payment and account re-activation.
Q. Can I get more than 3 licenses during the "Free 30 Day Trial"?
A. Yes, you may acquire additional licenses during the free 30 day trial for a fee for every license over the initial 3 licenses you are provided when first registering for an account.
To get more licenses, go to Admin > My Company and click on the Payments tab. Here you can purchase as many additional licenses as needed. If you have any additional questions regarding how to get more licenses, please contact Symbient Opta Support.
Q. What if I do not need all 3 licenses after the "Free 30 Day Trial" is over?
A. You are only required to pay for the number of licenses you need. Seven (7) days before the end of your free 30 day trial, Symbient Opta will automatically generate a bill for 3 licenses at the discounted yearly rate. If you do not need all three licenses, or wish to pay Monthly instead of Annually, you have the option to reduce the number of licenses and change the billing frequency at the time you pay your Symbient Opta bill. If you choose to reduce the number of unused licenses at the time of payment, you can reduce it to the number of currently used/assigned licenses.
Q. How do I increase the number of available licenses for Symbient Opta?
A. To get more licenses, go to Admin > My Company and click on the Payments tab. Here you can purchase as many additional licenses as needed. If you have any additional questions regarding how to get more licenses, please contact Symbient Opta Support.
Q. What do I need to install to begin using Symbient Opta?
A. Because Symbient Opta is a cloud based all-in-one solution there is nothing for you to install. Just use one of the supported browsers like Google Chrome to sign up and start using Symbient Opta today.
Q. How do I close my account, or put it on hold? Will I be billed while my account is on hold?
A. You can cancel or pause your Symbient Opta account at any time. When you cancel or pause your membership with Symbient Opta, your company account and all user/employee accounts will be disabled until your account has been reinstated. While your account is canceled or paused, users will not be allowed to log into the system