Succession Planning Software Solutions for 2020

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Companies of all sizes can benefit from a succession planning strategy. A succession plan process involves the identification and development of new leaders within a company, with the aim of replacing old leaders when they leave or retire. Succession planning typically involves the development of high potential employees who could become successors to the organization’s important leadership.

SelectHubSuccession Planning Software Solutions for 2020
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Top ERP Predictions for 2020

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The next year will continue to present businesses with the supreme challenge of operating in an environment, both globally and domestically, that’s fast-paced, highly competitive and unpredictable. These business conditions aren’t new and they have, in fact, driven many businesses to reassess traditional business models, embracing innovative and, in some cases, unorthodox business solutions.

Gabriel GheorghiuTop ERP Predictions for 2020
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Pardot vs Marketo: Which Marketing Automation Software is the Winner?

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You probably hear the phrase “work smarter, not harder” five times a day — but have you taken it to heart? Are you really working smarter? That’s the core of marketing automation software, but not all marketing automation platforms are created equal.

When comparing Pardot vs Marketo, we must consider that these are two of the most popular platforms out there for marketing automation, and it’s not hard to see why. But how do the two measure up against each other?

Bergen AdairPardot vs Marketo: Which Marketing Automation Software is the Winner?
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The Best Work Order Management Software For 2020

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Work order management software is a specific kind of asset management solution that helps to create and manage service requests and — you guessed it — work orders. So, what is a work order exactly? Usually, these are for various types of maintenance tasks. Work order software is often folded into a category called computerized maintenance management systems, or CMMS software. But you can also find the appropriate functionality from field service management, or FSM software.

Kim O'ShaughnessyThe Best Work Order Management Software For 2020
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Embedded Analytics Requirements and Features

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While the average person might balk at the phrase “embedded business intelligence (BI) and analytics,” you’re not the average person. You’re looking for embedded analytics software or looking to learn more about it, and you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled an embedded analytics requirements checklist to help guide you in your search for embedded BI software.

Bergen AdairEmbedded Analytics Requirements and Features
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The Best SME Accounting Software

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Imagine what would happen to your business if you woke up one day, started running through your balance sheet and discovered huge discrepancies. (Houston, we have a problem.) Accounting is a fundamental part of running a successful business, and accounting software for SMEs — small and medium-sized enterprises — can often mean the difference between business bang or bust. Use the right SME accounting software and everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll break the bank — literally.

Zachary TotahThe Best SME Accounting Software
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Best Medical Claims Processing Software For 2020

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Insurance claims can be the most stressful and confusing aspect of running a medical practice. With the medical insurance landscape constantly in flux, it can be too much to stay on top of everything with a manual system. More physicians and practices are opting for medical billing software that incorporates patients’ electronic health records, patient portals, revenue cycles and clinical cycles to streamline the medical experience.

That’s where medical claims processing software comes in. The best medical claims management software should have great claims management functionality as a priority — but not all of it does. That’s why we made a list of the best medical claims processing systems on the market to help you make informed, empowered decisions for your business.

Bergen AdairBest Medical Claims Processing Software For 2020
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8 Key Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Software

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The benefits of preventive maintenance software (a common feature of CMMS software) offers users a wide range of capabilities and perks. Mainly, it helps assess and evaluate assets in order to ensure they are operating at peak performance for the enterprise. In many ways, CMMS functions as a decision support tool for maintenance. It helps promote predictive and preventive maintenance to steer users away from relying on simply reactive maintenance routines. Here are eight key preventive maintenance benefits from using the software:

Bergen Adair8 Key Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Software
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Benefits of Business Intelligence Software

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “work smarter, not harder.” That turn of phrase might as well have been invented for BI tools. Business intelligence software (BI) is comprised of a range of data analytics tools designed to analyze and manage data related to your business operations. So what are the benefits of business intelligence software? Some business intelligence benefits include rich visualization capabilities that allow businesses to monitor sales, logistics and even productivity. It also provides extensive data analysis using richly visualized, intuitive reports.

Bergen AdairBenefits of Business Intelligence Software
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Business Intelligence Applications: Considering the Application of BI

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Have you ever wished you could get a glimpse into the inner workings of your organization to understand more about how and why things happen? Well, I’ve got great news for you — you can! Business intelligence tools give you just this opportunity, but they can do much more! For those who’ve wondered what BI is good for, this article highlights the four main business intelligence applications and what it can do for your business.

Bergen AdairBusiness Intelligence Applications: Considering the Application of BI
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Employee Development Strategy: Staff Development That Actually Works

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If you don’t spend the resources necessary to develop your employees, your business will suffer and possibly even fail.

That’s admittedly a little overly-doom and gloom, but employee development strategy is both incredibly important and astoundingly ignored. Many companies start by using a LMS software (Learning Management System), but you need to do more than find a good platform. We’ve collected some proven employee development strategies.

Get our LMS Software Requirements Template

Taking the initiative to develop your employees helps retain them. The employees with the strongest drive to succeed are the ones you want to keep around. They want to constantly learn and develop, and if you can’t offer that, they’ll search elsewhere for the opportunity.

To reiterate: employee development strategy is pretty important.

1. Conduct a Skill Gap Analysis

According to Lorri Freifield in Training Mag, “solving a skill gap is like solving a puzzle — not only do you have to make the pieces fit, you have to make sure you have all the necessary pieces from the get-go.”

What Is a Skill Gap Analysis?

A skill gap exists when the talents of your workforce do not match their job requirements — this can be costly.

Companies can use skill gap analysis to catalog the skills and competencies of their current workforce, compare that with the needs of the company and then create an employee development strategic plan. This can be extended to future planning as well.

Why Is Skill Gap Analysis Important?

Skill gap analysis is important because you need to ensure your workforce has the skills to succeed as job roles change over time.

Skill gap analysis helps organizations and their employees continue to grow and learn in today’s fast-paced world. Organizations that choose not to engage in professional development are often left in the dust by more innovative competitors. But skill gap analysis doesn’t have to be difficult, costly or time-consuming. We’ll go through a step-by-step process to gather information and make the most of your findings.

How to Perform a Skill Gap Analysis

Describe Roles in Your Organization

First, take a look at the members of your organization: What teams and departments exist? What different kinds of roles exist?

Describe Skills and Priorities

What skills are a priority for your organization going forward? Do you plan to take on new responsibilities or projects in the near future? This is also a good time to consider your company’s missions, goals and values.

Come up with a list of the most important skills your team needs, and how important those skills are. Your list might look something like this:

  • Database management
  • Customer support
  • Web development
  • Digital marketing
  • Leadership

Perform an Assessment

There are a couple of different ways you can go about performing a skill gap assessment, including feedback from reviews, surveys and interviews. The method you choose will depend on your company’s size, resources and goals.

Compile and Analyze Results

Once you have data from your assessments, interviews or feedback, what do you do with it?

First, you want to get it into a form that is easily manageable and ready to analyze. Using the list of skills we created earlier, you can compare the reported skill levels for each position with your requirements. Any discrepancies are your new skill gaps.

Addressing Skill Gaps

If there are large gaps and one or a few people can fulfill the need, consider hiring externally. Of course, you will still need to develop your organization’s talents over time. The feasibility of a new hire will depend on your staffing constraints and budget.

If you can’t hire new employees, it’s time to make the best of the ones you have. Over time, your team will continue to develop new talents to meet the needs of a changing workplace. Here are a few employee training options you can consider:

  • Online courses/eLearning
  • Individual training
  • Private training company
  • Mentorship programs
  • Offering a stipend to employees to attend conferences, take courses, etc.

When you address skill gaps in your organization quickly and carefully, both your team and your bottom line will thank you.

Get our LMS Software Requirements Template

2. Use the Right Corporate Training Tools

From onboarding to continual development, many modern systems can help create better business models and informed employees.

The following are some of the common elements that businesses use to create vibrant training models for workers on all levels of staff.

Learning Management Systems

As we’ll discuss more below, one of the biggest and most fundamental tools for corporate training is a learning management system. These comprehensive platforms produce a wide range of training on workplace safety, individual business processes and much more.

While providing a fully functional interface for workers to self-train, the best learning management systems also offer in-depth data on training sessions. By aggregating information about results, learning management systems can evaluate the success of training.

OSHA Resources

The U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides companies with various learning tools. Specific certifications and training promote safety in many different industries. Those involved in heavy manual labor can get specific safety information tailored to their roles. OSHA resources are commonly used for trade workers in areas like electrical, plumbing and construction.

MOOCs

Another great resource for corporate digital training is massive open online courses (MOOCs). Many of these courses include video-based components that provide a hands-on training strategy for employees. MOOCs are becoming part of the U.S. educational system, but they can also be vital in an enterprise training context. Companies can find these resources on open platforms and integrate them into their eLearning processes.

Workforce Management Systems

Another type of enterprise software that can be helpful with training is workforce management software. Workforce management software provides resources for evaluating the activities of workers. It can integrate training functionality along with payroll, tax, scheduling and performance features. Workforce management systems can be particularly effective in evaluating the performance and learning of an employee over time. For example, aspects of workforce management software may document continuing education and professional development.

Synerion

Workforce management software from Synerion.

360-Degree Feedback Tools

360-degree feedback is a software tool in which employees can self-evaluate, and are also evaluated by others. The versatility of 360-degree feedback means that these evaluations may be done by supervisors but also by peers or people outside the company.

By looking in depth at actionable feedback on employee performance, company leaders can chart a course forward for the business, focusing on the important areas in which improvement is needed.

Digital Employee Assessments

Assessment tools are also critically relevant to ongoing training. To put it simply, companies want to see results. Businesses want to make sure training strategies work and employees have broadened their knowledge as a result. Assessment tools will show how processes are working over time, and whether the business needs to put key changes in place to drive a better-educated workforce.

Compare Top LMS Software Leaders

3. Build a Learning Management Program

A learning management system is often the biggest step many businesses take as they develop their staff development strategies. However, many companies are unhappy with their LMS due to outdated interfaces, lack of customization or incomplete reporting. Doing thorough research and identifying your team’s main objectives before installing an LMS can save your company time and money.

Learning management programs help businesses and educational institutions track, administer and report on educational courses or training programs. These programs are often used when onboarding new employees, but they can also be used in more general people development strategy, such as external customer-facing training sessions.

Choosing the right software for your company is no easy task, and there’s a lot of research to sift through before making a decision. We’ve provided some of the most important considerations for you and your key stakeholders when evaluating an LMS solution:

Determine Use Cases

The first thing to consider when looking for a learning management program is the use cases and the staff development strategy you hope to provide. To do so, ask yourself these questions and share them with stakeholders:

  • Who is our audience for the curriculum?
  • Will we have one curriculum or multiple courses on different topics?
  • Will the courses be instructor-led, video-based or text-based?
  • What will the delivery method for the courseware look like? Will employees engage with training software online?
  • What platforms will the content be hosted on?
  • Do we need an LMS, or just an LCMS (Learning Content Management System)?

Select Important Features

Learning management programs can have a wide variety of features ranging from critical to “nice-to-have.” You should speak with your key stakeholders and figure out which features are most important. Once you have your list of features, you can refer to it when demoing different vendors.

Edvance360

Edvance360 is an example of a typical LMS.

Demo Your Options

You wouldn’t buy a car before test driving it, would you? The same principle applies to building a learning management program.

During a demo period, be sure to have your list of prioritized features at hand and ask questions like:

  • What level of support and maintenance is available?
  • What is the pricing model?
  • Does the vendor have similar customers?
  • Does the vendor have compelling reviews from similar customers?
  • Will the system be user-friendly for both the administrators and learners?

Get Buy-In

Remember that a significant software purchase like an LMS affects people across the company. You’ll want to get feedback from IT, administrators and learners (your employees or students). Since these are three completely different audiences with different goals, be prepared to answer different types of questions for each group.

IT Professionals

IT professionals are most often interested in the technical requirements for integration and the support required to maintain the system. You can ask these questions to evaluate the technical feasibility of the learning management program:

  • How does this program integrate with our existing processes?
  • What are the technical requirements for support and maintenance?
  • What customization is needed?
  • Will the LMS be cloud-based or on-premise? What are the pros and cons of each strategy for our business?

Administrators

Administrators want a system that is easy to maintain and has robust reporting capabilities for measuring progress. When speaking to administrators, ask them these questions to get a feel for how the LMS will suit their needs:

  • How easy is it to add a new course?
  • How do I see which students have completed each course?
  • Which formats are supported?
  • What kind of data can I access about my learners, and how do I access it?

Get our LMS Software Requirements Template

Learners

For your learners, you’ll want to focus on user-friendliness and experience. If possible, include some of your target users in the demo and get their feedback.

Many companies end up cycling through multiple learning management programs before finding the one that suits them best, so doing your research and getting buy-in upfront can save a lot of money.

Ask these questions to evaluate the user-friendliness of the product:

  • What is the level of technical skill needed to use the product?
  • How can I find out about new courses or information?
  • How do I search for information, and how long does it take to find what I’m looking for?
  • How do I see my courses and track what I’ve completed?

Implement Your Solution

Once you’ve settled on a solution, work with IT and management to ensure it rolls out smoothly. The right LMS can help you track employee engagement, learning progress and other metrics, and ensure the success of your learning management program for years to come.

Get our LMS Software Requirements Template

Final Thoughts

It is difficult to underestimate the importance of employee development. Ultimately, creating a strategy focused on continued education and career progress will build up a driven, dedicated workforce in your business.

What employee development strategies does your business use? Tell us in the comments!

Alainia ConradEmployee Development Strategy: Staff Development That Actually Works
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Visual Analytics Tools: What Are They And Which Should You Use?

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“I love to read through thousands of rows of data tables to digest information,” said no one ever. Most of the data you collect through business analytics tools end up in some kind of standard table of rows and columns. Although you could leave it in this form, it’s not only boring to look at, but also incredibly difficult to actually understand the big picture. Sure, you may get a general sense of what the data holds — you may even be able to spot a pattern or two. But to get a true picture of the story your data tells, you need visual analytics tools.

Bergen AdairVisual Analytics Tools: What Are They And Which Should You Use?
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HR System Implementation: 5 Key Considerations When Implementing a Software Solution

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Is your company’s current HR software out of date? Do you have an online system for employees to use? If you’re not satisfied with your business’s current HR system implementation, it may be time to decide if an upgrade is on your road map for the next year. To implement HR software is an arduous, important task that every company should treat with care, and there are many different elements to manage during the process. Five of these factors: time and budget, the project team, a phased implementation, data security and potential risks — are the top key considerations to keep in mind.

Alainia ConradHR System Implementation: 5 Key Considerations When Implementing a Software Solution
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What Is Predictive Analytics? Benefits, Features, and Strategies for Driving Revenue Growth

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The best way to gain a competitive edge in any industry is by knowing more about your operations and the market dynamics affecting them than your competitors. Competing with greater intensity and the ability to get more done in less time is what differentiates market leaders from other companies. One of the best ways to make this goal a reality is to implement a business intelligence tool with predictive analytics. But what is predictive analytics? How is it implemented? How is it different from other kinds of analytics? Read on to answer these questions and more.

Bergen AdairWhat Is Predictive Analytics? Benefits, Features, and Strategies for Driving Revenue Growth
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Epicor vs NetSuite: Which ERP Software is the Winner?

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We recently compared two Tier 1 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, SAP and Oracle. But what if your company doesn’t need a Tier 1 solution? If you go with the big guys, you may find yourself stuck with a brutally complex software, hoping that your processes grow into your ERP software. Instead of taking that risk, it’s more advisable to go with a Tier 2 ERP that’s predominantly aimed at mid-sized businesses. That’s when a lot of companies start to compare Epicor vs NetSuite.

So if you’ve narrowed down your selection to Epicor ERP and NetSuite ERP, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a comprehensive and detailed comparison of the two systems to help you determine with confidence which is best for your business.

Kim O'ShaughnessyEpicor vs NetSuite: Which ERP Software is the Winner?
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6 Key Needs of Actual Marketing Automation Buyers

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Marketing automation software has become an integral component of marketing budgets. According to an Email Monday report, 49 percent of businesses — including 55 percent of B2Bs — have adopted marketing automation. Additionally, Marketo found that 91 percent of successful users believe that marketing automation is “very important” to the success of their marketing efforts.

Alex Jaumann6 Key Needs of Actual Marketing Automation Buyers
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What Is SaasS Business Intelligence? Pros, Cons, Benefits and Selection

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Businesses are trying to harness the right data sets and analyze them in the right ways to make good decisions about products, services, customers, suppliers and much more. But BI tools come in so many forms, and the choices can be overwhelming. One of those choices is whether to pursue this business intelligence in-house or utilize new cloud or SaaS BI tools.

This article will attempt to explain what SaaS (software-as-a-service) business intelligence entails, the difference between on-premise and SaaS, some of the pros and cons of choosing a SaaS solution, and how to select the right BI tool for your business.

Bergen AdairWhat Is SaasS Business Intelligence? Pros, Cons, Benefits and Selection
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What Is Digital Procurement?

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The term procurement is a tricky one, and digital procurement can be even trickier to nail down. Procurement is an essential process for businesses, but few have a full understanding of it. In fact, it’s often used interchangeably with purchasing or sourcing, despite the three occupying different roles. While purchasing is a very cut and dry practice — it focuses on money spent and goods acquired — procurement is a much broader responsibility.

Hunter LoweWhat Is Digital Procurement?
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