Sage Summit 2017 (US – Atlanta) is right around the corner.  Whether you’ve been going to Sage conferences for years or if this is your first event, it’s a great opportunity to collaborate with the Sage community.  It’s a place where you can meet some great people, see some old friends and colleagues, and learn what new developments are coming from Sage Software and a variety of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).

But as a business using (or considering) a Sage solution, your ultimate goal should be to discover proven paths to grow your business, and to take tangible steps in those directions.  Sage Resellers should be looking to find new ways to better serve their existing clients as well as attract new clients.

To that end, getting the most out of Sage Summit (or any show, for that matter), will require a little preparation. Here’s what you can do to prepare if you are a ERP user or a reseller.

Be sure to visit xkzero at Sage Summit booth #190 if your business relies (or your clients rely) on remote selling, route sales, or makes deliveries.

How existing Sage ERP users–and those considering Sage Software–can prepare to get the most from Sage Summit

1. Document your (unique) processes.
For companies using or considering buying an ERP system, making a list of your priority items is crucial. While your standard processes are great to start with, make note of any unique steps (or twists) in your process, along with any external interdependencies.  You may need to meet with production and distribution managers to get a good overview of your unique processes’ interdependencies.

2. Identify your productivity killers.
These include parts of your process that throw a monkey wrench into the works, which are probably top-of-mind for you already. But you should also consider processes that you might not see as problems, like ones that reside outside of your ERP system, or ones that lack a convenient way of getting into your system (most remote operations fall into this category). Make note of these processes. Include ones that include redundancies, inefficiencies, or are done remotely (sales, deliveries, etc).

3. Outline any unique compliance requirements.
Many industries, including Food & Beverage and Pharma, are subject to strict compliance requirements. Make note of compliance requirements specific to your industry (or any that you’ve defined) and the ways that you address them today.

4. Identify solutions that may solve your bottlenecks.
There are likely developers who have addressed the issues you’ve outlined above. Make a list of any ISVs that are attending Sage Summit (Atlanta sponsors).  Your Sage reseller can help you identify companies that you may not be familiar with.

5. Make your Summit plan.
The Sage Summit agenda planner can help you schedule any breakout sessions or speakers, but real progress can be made by having conversations with the ISVs you’ve identified above.  Be sure to visit their booths during trade shows hours between any sessions you have scheduled.  If you have a packed schedule and want to meet a company who is attending the show, contact them ahead of time–they will more than likely find time to work with you around your schedule.

While at the show, stay focused on your list.  It’s easy to get sidetracked with other technologies that might not address the core of your issues.  That way, when you leave Sage Summit, you should have a solid plan of action to help your business take the next step–to better compete vs your competition–and win.

How Sage Reseller VARs can prepare to get the most from Sage Summit

Summit is a great time to discover what technologies can optimize your clients’ full process–inside or outside of their business’ four walls. 

1. Determine your clients’ unoptimized processes.
You may have a few types of companies you specialize in–or want to specialize in.  Regardless of the industry or industries of your target clients, they will have some process(es) or compliance requirements that are not addressed in their existing business systems.  You’ve likely identified some of these needs already, but some of their processes may be unintentionally omitted from integration, leaving room for a great deal of improvement.  Talk with clients who represent your main target industries to get a clearer picture of their full process and what points they may need to “break the connection” with their ERP system through the use of a manual process.

2. Document your clients’ main support concerns or issues.
Again, your biggest client support issues may already be top of mind. Checking with your help desk manager or case log might provide some unexpected insight.  Make note of any recurring themes around any specific processes.

3. ID options for clients’ troubled or out-of-ERP processes.
Based on the issues and processes you’ve outlined above, make a list of any ISVs that are attending Sage Summit (see the Atlanta sponsors).  If you are a newer reseller, and you can’t determine what an ISV does by simply looking at their logo, a group like 90 minds could be a great resource.  90 minds is a group comprised of many independent ERP consultants based in the US.  Above all, 90 minds members are concerned with solving ERP users’ needs and finding the best solutions to their problems. (Full disclosure: xkzero is a 90minds member and sponsor)

5. Make your Summit plan.
Be sure to make time in your Sage Summit agenda to visit the booths of any ISVs solutions you’ve identified.  ISVs are generally going to let you know if what they have is going to work for you, or where you might find a vendor with a better fitting solution.  If you have a packed schedule and want to meet an ISV who is attending the show, contact them ahead of time–they will more than likely find time to work with you around your schedule.

When you leave Sage Summit, you should have a solid plan of action to help your VAR business better serve your existing clients, as well as attract–and win–new clients.

xkzero will be at Booth #190 at Summit 2017 Atlanta, with our best-in-class solutions for outside sales, route sales, and delivery automation.