Some business owners don’t want their businesses to grow. Perhaps they want to avoid dealing with employee issues. Maybe they are close to retirement. Whatever. If that describes you, then stop reading. If not, then you need to consider whether your present business system will support the future growth of your business. Those considerations vary depending on the current size of your business.
Note: Most of my blogs don’t directly touch on our EmbTrak product. In this case, I can’t avoid it. Now, back to the subject.
If you are a decorator, you need a business system with two capabilities: a. General business functionality including accounting and possibly inventory and, b. Decoration specific functionality with fields into which you enter information such as designs, personalization (location, fonts, texts), process types (embroidery, screen print, DTG, etc) and so on. There are two approaches among software developers in the decoration industry to this dual need:
First, combine accounting and decoration in one package. And second, focus on decoration and integrate with an entirely separate accounting/inventory/general business system of your choice.
1. Built-in Accounting. There is one commercially available system which has been around for many years, which combines in a single package both decoration functionality and accounting. There are advantages to this approach, but one drawback is that the accounting system is not a best-of-breed system such as QuickBooks or SAGE 300 ERP, which have been refined at literally thousands of companies and are being constantly improved upon. Also, you cannot swap out the accounting for a more capable system as your company grows.
2. Integration with an Accounting System. For that reason, most, if not all, other decoration software, including EmbTrak, takes the approach of integrating with an accounting system of your choice.
a. If you have less than 20 employees you can run your business on QuickBooks, which has in the order of 80% market share. For that reason, all such decoration systems, including EmbTrak, integrate with QuickBooks. QuickBooks is a terrific system and can run surprisingly good-sized companies. I recently met with one decorator doing almost $20 Million in sales using QuickBooks Enterprise. But at some point your company is going to outgrow QuickBooks.
b. If you have more than 20 employees you should be actively planning to move at some point to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. There are hundreds of these general business systems, with a wide range of features and costs. To my knowledge, only EmbTrak and one other decoration system can integrate with ERPs.
We at EmbTrak have integrated with many ERPs from SAP Apparel/Footwear, the Mercedes-Benz of ERPs, to Oracle, Movex, Friedman, Blue Cherry and others. List prices for ERP licenses typically run from $1,000 to $3,000 per named user. Probably because there are so many, heavy discounting of the licenses is the norm. The major expense is usually the implementation services, which can cost as much or more than licenses. We have found much to like about SAGE 300 ERP, including a Value-Added-Reseller we can highly recommend and the total installed price is surprisingly affordable. (Ask me who at email@example.com). Regardless, EmbTrak can accommodate your choice.
If you plan to grow your company, I recommend you choose one of the two decoration systems which can integrate with QuickBooks and then later integrate with an ERP. This growth strategy will minimize cost and disruption as the company grows. EmbTrak is one of these two and we're the only one which incorporates built-in art management, native stitch and art file viewing and color management. EmbTrak also has a strong history of integrating with the not just small and medium size companies, but the largest in the industry, such as Nike Golf and TaylorMade-Adidas.
Is it any surprise that I believe EmbTrak is the best choice for a growing embroidery or screen printing company of literally any size?
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