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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Signavio Webinar Nov 16, 2016: A Recipe for Process Improvement Success, Featuring Todd Snover.

“Does your company need to make process improvements but doesn’t know what ingredients to use?”

“Are your ingredients stale, or do you lack the expertise on your team to prepare the improvements?”

Todd Snover from Brown Smith Wallace Advisory Services will be featured in the most recent installment of Signavio’s webinar series asking these questions and others. On November 16 2016, the audience will take a look at the Recipe for Process Improvement Success. Todd will take you through the ideal “ingredient list” for ongoing process improvement success, the mapping of current business processes, and objectively measuring performance, and much more.

By the end of this web presentation you’ll know the importance of a good recipe for success, and how to tell whether your company has the right materials that it needs to whip up your desired process improvements.

Join Signavio for this innovative new webinar installment by signing up here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Join Brown Smith Wallace for our QuickBooks Online event series!

Brown Smith Wallace and Intuit have teamed up to bring you insights, tips and tricks for QuickBooks Online.
Sign up for one of the two sessions:
1. "Grow Your Business with QBO" (Beginner)
September 28 at 11:30am to 2:30pm
September 29 at 12:00pm to 3:00pm
By teaming our experts with the latest in cloud technology, Brown Smith Wallace can help you grow your business faster, provide real-time insight into the health of your finances, and automate some of the most time-consuming and frustrating tasks!
2. "Advanced QB Features & Apps" (Advanced)
September 28 at 7:00am to 10:00am
September 29 at 5:00pm to 8:00pm
You've already taken the leap to the cloud, but are you running your business as efficiently as possible? Learn some productivity tips and tricks from QuickBooks Experts and see some of the most popular add-on apps for QBO to help you save even more time and gain powerful insight into your business.
All sessions will be held in the CityPlace 6 First Floor Training Room. These sessions are free, but will fill up quickly!

Click Here To Register

Monday, August 1, 2016

Oracle Buying NetSuite For $9.3 Billion

Oracle is buying ERP and omnichannel software provider NetSuite in a deal valued at around $9.3 billion, both companies announced.

The move reunites NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson with Oracle chairman Larry Ellison, who co-founded San Mateo, CA-based NetSuite in 1998. Ellison stepped down as NetSuite CEO two years ago.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said his company and NetSuite's cloud applications are complimentary.

"We intend to invest heavily in both products — engineering and distribution," Hurd said in a statement.

NetSuite — which reported a 30 percent year-over-year Q2 sales increase — provides cloud-based financials including ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites for distributors, manufacturers and retailers. Its software enables businesses to automate operations, streamline process and access real-time data on-demand.

NetSuite has more than 30,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

"NetSuite will benefit from Oracle's global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries," said NetSuite's Nelson. "We are excited to join Oracle and accelerate our pace of innovation."

The transaction is expected to close this year.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Epicor To Be Acquired By Investing Firm KKR

Nine days after the Wall Street Journal reported that Apax Partners was considering a sale of Epicor Software, Epicor announced Tuesday that is has agreed to be acquired by global investment firm KKR. Terms were not disclosed for the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of August.

Apax Partners, a London-based private equity firm, bought Epicor for about $1.04 billion in 2011 and eventually merged it with rival Activant Solutions. Apax tried selling Epicor in 2014 but ended up pulling out after turning down offers it deemed to low from bidders, some which were reportedly worth around $3 billion.

Epicor’s software assists manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses with sales and supply-chain management. It is one of the leading technology providers for distributors, with more than 7,000 distributors using its software, according to Epicor's website.

"Our top priority continues to be delivering cloud-ready, market-leading solutions paired with a world-class customer experience," said Joe Cowan, president and CEO of Epicor. "KKR shares our vision of providing innovative technology with a clear focus on helping customers grow business, not software. This is an exciting time for Epicor, and I am extremely appreciative of Apax's support during the last five years."

Link to Article

Epicor Software Corporation

Kerridge Commercial Systems to Acquire Mincron

Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS), a global company headquartered in the United Kingdom, has reached an agreement to acquire Mincron Software Systems, based in Houston, Texas, and its successful suite of products. This acquisition is a key strategic investment for KCS and a welcome development for Mincron. The companies will form one of the strongest ERP offerings for the distributive trades in North America.

KCS is the market-leading and award-winning provider of solutions with over 800 distributive trade customers worldwide, focusing on wholesalers/distributors/retailers and merchants in the construction, industrial and other sectors. In parallel, Mincron has a 30-year history of delivering ERP solutions to a similar customer profile–i.e. businesses that need to Source Effectively, Stock Efficiently, Sell Profitably and Service Competitively. The acquisition of Mincron by KCS follows the successful acquisition and integration of Cary, North Carolina-based Dancik International in July 2015.

Mincron will continue to focus on product innovation, including maintaining and supporting the existing SmartDistributor product suite while providing customers access to other products and services from the KCS portfolio.

Speaking about the acquisition, Ian Bendelow, KCS Group CEO commented, “This is another key strategic acquisition for us and our second in North America in as many years. It strengthens our geographical presence in the North American market and provides a further platform for growth in this important region. Mincron aligns with our successful business strategy of focusing on trading and business management solutions for the distributive trades, including wholesalers, distributors, retailers, merchants and resellers. Our customers will benefit from this acquisition through greater strength and depth in our North American team to support our functionally rich solutions to meet their business goals & challenges.”

Wendy Berger, General Manager of Mincron stated, “The acquisition by KCS brings together two great companies with similar history, culture and customer profile. The combined resources will further strengthen the KCS brand in North America & I look forward to being part of the Group and leading the Mincron team into a new era of opportunity.”

As Executive Vice President for KCS Group in North America, Alan Cross will support Wendy and the team and help to ensure that that benefits of being part of the larger group are available to all our customers.

Link to Article:

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

See How Infor And Brown Smith Wallace Team Up To Improve Your Business Processes With iMap

Drive your business forward with a process improvement evaluation.
iMAP-Industry Measure, Analyze, and Perform-is an industry-focused, business-process improvement evaluation for Infor clients. This independent offering brought to you by the Brown Smith Wallace Business Process & Systems Group is designed to map key business processes to industry best practices. Brown Smith Wallace has a long history of advising wholesale distributors on best practices and leading software evaluations. With more than 25 years of service, we have the expertise to quickly assess your business challenges, compare your performance to industry benchmarks, and help you build a high-ROI business case for justifying process redesign and system upgrades.   Learn more at:

Infor And Brown Smith Wallace Team Up To Improve Your Business Processes With iMap

Monday, July 11, 2016

Inforum 2016: The Process Improvement Journey

Are your business processes and technologies holding back current performance and future growth? Do you struggle with determining what needs to change and building the support and funding for upgrades?

Jeff Gusdorf will be presenting at the 2016 Inforum in New York City on Tuesday, July 12 from 5:00pm to 5:45pm. He will cover how to quickly analyze your business challenges, benchmark your current process performance versus industry standards, and apply best practices to create "no-brainer" business cases that get approved and deliver great results. If you cannot be there, then download a summary of the presentation. 

Download Inforum Presentation Slides On Building A Compelling Business Case To Upgrade And Modernize Your Solutions

Inforum Presentation Slides On Building A Compelling Business Case To Upgrade And Modernize Your Solutions

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Infor Acquires Retail-Demand Software Firm Predictix

Enterprise software firm Infor is acquiring Predictix LLC and merging the company’s consumer-demand forecasting technology into its own supply-chain management systems for retailers.

Infor had invested $25 million in Predictix  in January.

The company is buying out the other investors of Atlanta-based Predictix, which mines data from the internet and other sources to predict demand trends for retailers including Home Depot Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, follows Infor’s $675 million acquisition in August 2015 of GT Nexus, another provider of cloud-based software for retailers.

Infor and Predictix said subscriptions to the Predictix analytics software grew 40 percent last year and have accelerated since Infor’s initial investment, according to the report.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Apax Considering Sale of Epicor

For the second time in two years, Apax Partners, a London-based private equity firm, is considering selling Epicor Software, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Epicor Chief Executive Joe Cowan said the interest from private-equity buyers is "no surprise' given the company’s "strong performance and market leadership."

"We’ll consider those expressions of interest,' Mr. Cowan said in an email, the WSJ reported. "As we do so, we’ll be guided by what makes the most sense for the company and our customers."

Apax bought the company for about $1.04 billion in 2011 and later merged it with rival Activant Solutions Inc.

Apax put Epicor on the block in 2014 but ultimately chose not to sell, turning down offers it deemed too low from bidders including CVC Capital Partners, the Wall Street Journal said at the time. Some bids were around $3 billion including debt, the WSJ reported.

Epicor’s software assists businesses with sales and supply-chain management. It is one of the leading technology providers for distributors and says on its web site that more than 7,000 distributors use its software.

Friday, May 27, 2016

What Your Employers & Customers Aren’t Telling You About Your ERP Technology

You’ve been running your distribution business on the same software for more than a decade. It paid for itself years ago and still performs the same basic functions it did when you logged in that very first time. You have every reason to feel proud of making a sound technology investment way back when.

What others — including your employees and customers — might not tell you, however, is that this same software could be slowly, inexorably strangling the life out of your business.
I recently spoke with a wholesaler who was a “power user” of one of our legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms dating back to the mid-1980s. He admitted that his software had outlived its purpose as far back as 2002. He finally upgraded to a powerful, modern solution in 2014. So, what happened during the intervening years? “We coasted, and it hurt us,” he said. “I knew I needed to make a change, but kept coming up with reasons to wait till next year.”

What this business owner would tell you today is that had he replaced his old software even four years earlier, it already would have paid for itself multiple times through increased efficiency, reduced labor and inventory expenses and improved customer satisfaction.

“It’s always easy to put off an important decision until next month or next year — especially when it involves a financial investment,” he said. “But the worst thing you can do is convince yourself that indecision doesn’t carry a price of its own. And that price can be very high.”

This business owner saw firsthand what he had been missing simply by observing his employees, who were now “willing to explore new ways to service our customers.” With the old system, they had a limited ability to capture important information on customer buying patterns. They were spending hours each day on price maintenance rather than focusing on building sales. They couldn’t analyze their business performance beyond a few canned reports.

With the new software, however, all of this changed. “I suddenly saw long-time employees who were re-energized and who had confidence that they could attack problems in new, more efficient ways. It was like they had been waiting for me to give them these tools for several years. How do you assign a value to that?”

Impact Throughout The Business

Unlike transaction-based legacy systems, unlimited access to your business data in a modern, open database environment can give employees the ability to analyze, providing real-time information to make better decisions and call out exceptions. This can lead to improved customer service and growth.

As employees accomplish more in their daily tasks, customers will see faster responses and more accurate service. For example, collaborative order entry reinforces customer confidence and prevents expensive errors from incorrect material orders and deliveries.

Likewise, mobility in more modern ERP systems can extend the application to workers outside of the office (e.g., giving the sales team data connectivity on the road to update order status). According to one distributor, “In an environment where everyone expects information now, I believe mobility with our ERP system gives our sales team access to the data needed to meet those expectations. We also receive real-time information that allows us to review open quotes, outstanding A/R, etc. to address while making a call to an account. In short, it allows us to work smarter, faster and with the most up-to-date data.”

Modern systems can also offer other sophisticated functionality that is important to HVAC and plumbing distributors, such as volume rebate tracking, customer-facing order entry, front counter capabilities, document imaging, job-based pricing, assemblies, disassemblies and modifications. For example, job-based pricing provides the ability to quote a job and store those prices for the material in a contract, so that the prices are guaranteed throughout the job.

Enabling Sales and Profits

Bob Dylan wrote, “If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.” The same seems to be true in the context of operating a distribution business. The wholesalers who are most energized and, often, most successful, are the ones who understand that technology is a sales and profit enabler, not a cost center. They are continually looking for ways to harvest additional competitive value from their systems, and when those systems have been maxed out, they carefully select a new system with proven potential to drive their growth for the next several years.

Conversely, there are businesses that continue to rely on an outdated solution simply for the reason that it still turns on every morning. It’s no wonder that many of these business owners are working harder than ever just to maintain some semblance of the sales and profitability they enjoyed 10 years ago.

Which are you? A business owner committed to aggressive growth and to attracting and retaining high-energy employees who look forward to coming to work each day? Or are you experiencing a steady erosion of your business as customers move to competitors?

If you’re the former, I congratulate you on your willingness to seek continuous improvement through leading edge technologies. If you’re the latter, I urge you to make the investment you’ve been postponing for so long. Haven’t you already paid too high a price?

See Original Article at:

Michael Lovelace is director of business development, distribution for Epicor Software Corporation.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Attend 2016 Roadshow

Are You in Chicago, IL on Wednesday June 8, 2016?

Then join our Business Process Improvement consultant Todd Snover from 8:30am to 1:00pm at the 2016 Roadshow hosted by Signavio & APQC. This catered breakfast and lunch event at the Hilton Chicago gives you a chance to speak directly with fellow process professionals where you will learn about how others are implementing current best practices and look ahead to the future of process excellence. 

Register For Free Now and attend for a chance to win prizes valued at over $1500!

See this link for more details about this interactive and informational event!


The Brown Smith Wallace Advisory Services Business Process & Systems Group

2016 Roadshow hosted by Signavio & APQC

The 2016 Roadshow is a FREE morning of networking and knowledge sharing on the topics of:
  • business process management
  • decision management
  • business transformation
  • process mapping and benchmarking
  • and more!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Advisory Services Article: Security is Still Your Responsibility in the Cloud

Over the next 14 months, 80 percent of IT budgets at organizations throughout the U.S. will go to cloud computing services, according to a new global study from Intel Security. As sensitive data is moved to the cloud, it is becoming more obvious that the cloud still has its risks. According to the study, only 13 percent of IT security professionals completely trust public cloud providers to secure sensitive data, and 66 percent of them believe senior management does not completely understand the risks of storing sensitive data in the cloud.

When assumptions are made about cloud security, some risks are overlooked. Organizations need to be aware that encryption and redundancy are not enabled by default in the cloud, and access to cloud resources still needs to be managed.

The biggest infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which hosts big hitters like Netflix, Expedia and Adobe. Other players like Microsoft’s Azure and Rackspace are also great solutions and are catching up, especially among small and medium-sized organizations, but AWS’s documentation is easier to follow and better organized.

CLICK HERE To Read Full Article
Bill Gogel

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

STAFDA Offering New Video Training Tools

The Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) and Waypoint Analytics have recently partnered to offer their top 45 online video training tools for member use.

Unlike TED clips or time-consuming online training tools, these are short videos averaging 5-15 minutes in length which hone-in on key supply chain education: profit margin, strategies, leadership, cost-to-serve modeling and a host of other business-focused topics. They also have blogs. The video clips are led by industry experts such as Bruce Merrifield, Brent Grover, Dirk Beveridge, Randy MacLean and others.

Visit to access high quality, online education for your company.

Brown Smith Wallace and Decision Modeling

Congrats to Todd Snover and CPA firm Brown Smith Wallace. Following his completion of the decision modeling course presented by Bruce Silver, Todd is now the first person to be "DMN Method and Style Certified."   Bruce Silver Associates has trained over 1100 individuals in process modeling using his BPM Method and Style.  With this new course, Bruce is now also supporting the OMG standard for Decision Modeling.

Decision Model and Notation (DMN) allows decision logic (and associated rules) to be precisely defined and maintained by subject matter experts themselves, using business-friendly graphical models that can be automatically validated for completeness and consistency. Though applicable to managing operational decisions in any industry, the relatively new standard is quickly establishing itself in the financial and insurance sectors.
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