BMI Microsoft Dynamics NAV Blog

BMI Announces Restructuring of Senior Management

Posted by BMI Team on May 1, 2019 9:55:43 PM


shutterstock_233106175 press release 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 New York, NY April 29, 2019

Today, Business Management International (BMI) announced that Laurel Loehlin has been promoted to President of BMI.

BMI’s senior management team will now consist of: Larry Schiff (CEO), Laurel Loehlin (President), John Greene (Vice-President Operations), Len Kishter (Vice-President Corporate). 

Laurel has been with BMI for 24 years. She came to BMI with a strong background in ERP System Development, Business Process Design, and Implementation Consulting. At BMI, she has been the driving force behind many successful client system designs and implementations, also contributing to BMI’s product development, and overall strategic planning.  As a co-owner of BMI, and Mr. Schiff’s trusted advisor, she was the obvious choice for the job.

Larry Schiff said “Having started BMI so many years ago, and having been intricately involved in its day to day operation for all of that time, I’m very happy to turn these responsibilities over to my reliable and loyal team, with Ms Loehlin at the helm. I’m confident that BMI will continue to adapt and thrive as the industry continues its evolution.”

About BMI

Business Management International, Inc. (BMI Software) was founded in 1987 as an ERP provider specializing in emerging business software technology. Since that time, BMI has provided customized ERP systems to a variety of industries including but not limited to distribution and manufacturing. BMI was one of the original Navision resellers in the US (beginning in 1994). The company has continued to utilize that software, which became Dynamics NAV in 2003 under Microsoft’s umbrella of products, and is now known as Dynamics 365 Business Central. BMI has developed a number of vertical solutions on that platform including Wine Distribution, Private Equity, Jewelry and others.  Over the past 14 years, BMI has had a strong concentration in its software developed for the Office Products Industry, a highly sophisticated front end web, e-commerce and back end  ERP system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, mobile e-commerce, microsoft Dynamics, BMI Software, ecommerce

BMI Announces New Addition To Its Team

Posted by BMI Team on May 1, 2019 9:32:05 PM


shutterstock_233106175 press release 

 

PRESS RELEASE

New York, NY May 1, 2019

Today, Business Management International (BMI) announced that Raymond Hill has joined its team as Director of Business Development.

Raymond has a long standing career in Business Development in the software industry. He has been highly successful in marketing and selling Microsoft Dynamics NAV / 365 Business Central and related software, beginning in 2003. His focus has been in developing relationships with clients who have a need for sophisticated, integrated ERP systems.

 Laurel Loehlin (BMI President) said “I’m very pleased to have Raymond join our team. His confidence is inspiring, and he has the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to continue adapting to the ever changing software industry. We believe he will play an important role in BMI’s success going forward.”

 

About the Author:

Business Management International, Inc. (BMI Software) was founded in 1987 as an ERP provider specializing in emerging business software technology. Since that time, BMI has provided customized ERP systems to a variety of industries including but not limited to distribution and manufacturing. BMI was one of the original Navision resellers in the US (beginning in 1994). The company has continued to utilize that software, which became Dynamics NAV in 2003 under Microsoft’s umbrella of products, and is now known as Dynamics 365 Business Central. BMI has developed a number of vertical solutions on that platform including Wine Distribution, Private Equity, Jewelry and others.  Over the past 14 years, BMI has had a strong concentration in its software developed for the Office Products Industry, a highly sophisticated front end web, e-commerce and back end  ERP system.

 

 

 

 

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, mobile e-commerce, microsoft Dynamics, BMI Software, ecommerce

Does Your eCommerce Site have Cart Abandonment Issues? Here’s What to Do.

Posted by BMI Team on Apr 8, 2019 6:00:00 AM


Cart Abandonment 

Image Credithttps://pixabay.com/photos/marketing-online-social-media-online-1427786/

In the movie, The Hunger Games, Haymitch Abernathy says to Katniss Everdeen:

“Some water, a knife, or even some matches can mean the difference between life and death. And those things only come from sponsors. And to get sponsors, you have to make people like you."

 If some of your ecommerce visitors are abandoning their carts, you may want to examine why they are not following through. Why is it when they fill their carts in a brick and mortar store, they rarely abandon their carts?

 Shopping cart abandonment is a significant problem in online marketing. Wikipedia states that as many as 80% of online shopping carts are abandoned without having made a sale.

The average shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%.

 So what does one do? How do we close the deal? The usual approach to solving the problem is to look at why people think they abandoned the sale. These reasons are often categorized in empirical studies. For example, the above mentioned Wikipedia article summarizes some of the reasons:

  • Your checkout process is complicated and clumsy.
  • Buyers see unexpected charges revealed during checkouts like high shipping charges or taxes.
  • You don’t offer an option to check out as a guest without signing up.
  • Your customer can’t remember their password and leaves to avoid the hassle.
  • Your payment offers are limited.
  • Your visitors may decide to purchase from a brick and mortar store rather than continue online.
  • Some buyers are bored and just placing items in the cart for fun.
  • Your shopper may want to wait for your sales price to lower.
  • Your shopper has privacy/security concerns
  • Your shopper may have non-delivery fear.
  • Your product descriptions don’t match images.

To a large extent, these considerations boil down to "don't be annoying." Great idea! Make the web site simple and easy to use. Provide payment options that people trust. Don't insist on keeping too much information. Don't surprise people with excessive additional charges like shipping and handling.

But my personal favorite of what not to do is to avoid endless pop-ups as one navigates the page. For example, when the mouse leaves the page one often gets a request for an email address, like some needy beggar looking for a freebie. One could argue that these distractions do little to improve the shopping experience and provide little encouragement to return at a future time.

A checkout process that is optimized can reduce the abandonment rate to 20%.  By using persuasive copywriting and a web design that inspires credibility you can convert those carts to sales.

What is often neglected, however, is the population of people visiting a site that followed through with the purchase. What were their reasons? These kinds of things are a little harder to nail down. It's easy to come up with reasons why one might have said "no," but why did they say "yes?"

Perhaps this boils down to whether or not the shopper liked what they saw. For this, it's hard to overstate the power of the first impression. When meeting another person, it has been suggested that we make up our minds in as little as one-tenth of a second. Why would we assume it is different with a web site? Maybe it isn't different.

Certainly, this argues for a web server that is fast and responsive, but what you show your visitors in that critical first few seconds is a game-changer. You need to try to get them to like the web site. You need to try to get them to like the product. You need to engage their attention, so they want to spend more than a second or two on your site.

Above all, you need to create a positive impression that does more than just create desire; you need to create an impression of an organization that the prospective buyer is likely to trust. Of course, creating desire and trust may be more of an art than a science, but it's things like this that can make the difference on whether they abandon their cart or buy from you.

Please comment below with your thoughts on cart abandonment and how to help buyers complete their purchase.

About the Author: Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics Business Central/NAV to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com.

 

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, mobile e-commerce, microsoft Dynamics, BMI Software, ecommerce

Your eCommerce Platform is "Giving It All It's Got", But It Just Can't Keep Up.

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Jul 10, 2018 2:23:06 PM

 

BMI Software

Recently I visited an Office Products Distributor who talked about the pains of growing his business. He let me know that growth is not always pretty and has become quite a challenge.

Maybe this scenario is familiar to you. You’re selling, and have done the best you can with your eCommerce site and your starter ERP solution, squeezing everything out of them that is possible. But you’ve hit a wall, better known as a sales plateau. When your revenue stops growing, there is little doubt that you need to act soon and step-up your capabilities.

The well-known adage that you need to deliver products that are better, faster, and cheaper in order to succeed in the marketplace is never more relevant. It may be time to take advantage of the power of a modern, integrated system that makes everything easier for your organization through automation. Don’t wait until your eCommerce platform breaks under the strain, because then it may be too late.

Here are some ways to identify the problems that indicate you are on an eCommerce and ERP platform that may be holding you back:

  • Your customer service is not getting high marks. Incorrect pricing, errors in shipping, stock outs and slow responses are causing complaints that drive away business.
  • You need better tools to analyze customer pricing and contracts to look for leaking margins.
  • Your warehouse is inefficient and becomes a bottleneck.
  • Your vendor pricing is difficult to manage and requires manual intervention, which affects productivity.
  • It is increasingly difficult to manage complex product catalogs.
  • You have some innovative business ideas but cannot “make them so” due to your rigid infrastructure.
  • You lack functionality such as currency conversions to expand to a global market. If your platform is limited, it is too difficult to launch into new markets. Don’t let Geography challenges stunt your growth.

All of the above can be solved with a more robust eCommerce platform and a comprehensive, made-for-your industry ERP. When you start experiencing the above problems, it is time to look for more power “under the hood.”

To assist you, please review this list of features and benefits that change the game for supply distributors. 

Features And Benefits that Boost ROI Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV with robust eCommerce to solve real-world business problems. www.bmiusa.com.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics NAV, mobile e-commerce, microsoft Dynamics, BMI Software, ecommerce

Kinder and Cheaper Robots Bring Automation To Distributors

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 25, 2017 2:20:59 PM

robot.jpeg

Robots are all around us. They are delivering room service, vacuuming your floors, and even showing up for work to stock shelves. Restaurants are placing small monitors on tables so customers can re-order drinks and pay their bill. 

When you order a drink from McDonalds, workers place empty cups under drink dispensers and they automatically fill them up to the top while employees do other tasks. In the healthcare industry robots are operating with precision on human beings as physicians instruct them from another room.

You have probably heard about the electronic labor force at Amazon; There are thousands of robots in warehouses across the country. Robots made by Kiva Systems (Amazon bought the company for $775 million in 2012), are being used to better handle the avalanche of orders placed every second. The robots bring shelves of goods from storage and carry them straight to human workers to process.

I read that Amazon employees were complaining about walking 15 miles a day to retrieve goods for orders; they don’t have any problem with robots handling that part of their job. Also, with the introduction of delivery drones into the supply chain, (being tested now), a new level of customer service is possible.

As a small business owner, you may think robotics are too expensive for your organization. But times are changing, and there are inexpensive robots (as low as $20,000) called collaborative robots (cobots) that are working with employees instead of replacing them. These robots have a smaller footprint, are very mobile and are considerably kinder to humans. Armed with safety sensors that keep them from running into bodies, the little bots are able to perform a variety of tasks.

Unlike their ancestors, the giant industrial robots bolted to a single location who work assembly lines, these cobots roam free on warehouse floors. It is interesting that studies show that small businesses who use robots increase productivity, which in turn requires them to hire more humans to handle additional business and complete tasks that robots cannot handle.

For small businesses, keeping margins low is the path to profitability. There is no need to outsource work to foreign lands and cheaper labor if they can work more efficiently in their own warehouses. Delegating repetitive work to cobots on the night shift means when employees come to work in the morning, their work is ready to process.

Warehouse robots may be the least sexy members of the robot family, until you view the bottom line. The market research firm Tractica predicts that companies around the world will spend $22.4 billion on warehouse robots by 2021.

The old adage, make it cheaper, better or faster still stands. Leveraging technology to save costs and reduce errors is a wise path for any size business; however small businesses need to think of innovative ways to compete with big box distributors.

Please share in the comments below how you view robot technology and if it has a place in your small business.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real world business problems. www.bmiusa.com

Topics: Dynamics NAV, ecommerce

Five eCommerce Blunders that Online Distributors Can't Afford to Make

Posted by Craig Greitzer on Aug 17, 2017 5:05:52 PM

online.jpeg

In the course of my business, I have the opportunity to speak with many online distributors. I found that some of them suffer from common mistakes with their eCommerce platform - mistakes that can be fixed.

 eCommerce is the lifeblood of online distributors. If not attended to, these mistakes can turn off customers and drive them away from your business. I read that over half of online customers have experienced problems with their purchases within the past year.

 Here is a list of some common blunders and how to fix them:

 No. 1: Choosing an ecommerce platform without doing adequate research.

Something as important as connecting with your customers shouldn’t be relegated to the back burner. Just reading a list of functionality in a brochure is not enough to verify if the platform will work for your business. We all know that once you get your hands on the new software, suddenly your “assumptions” about how you thought the software would work may be a big wakeup call and give you a bad case of buyer’s remorse.  

Create a list of the functionality that your business requires like:

  • First-in-search product positioning
  • Credit card processing
  • Online order status
  • Online returns
  • Upsell and accessory options
  • Order history / Easy re-order
  • Integrations to back office accounting/ERP

Consider these questions:

  • Is the cart easy to use?
  • Can you get support when you need it?
  • Are there positive reviews for the product?

No 2: Ignoring Security Concerns

If you want customers to buy from you, don’t scare them away. Studies show that up to 25% of users will stop an online purchase because of security concerns.

Users need to know that their information is safe and protected. Smaller eCommerce sites overlook how important a trust indicator is for the success of online business. A digital certificate communicates to customers that your site is authentic and safe to use.

If you outsource to third party providers, make sure they provide strong security best practices, verified through industry certifications and that they secure their own data with https.

No. 3: Clunky Site Navigation

The quickest way to drive a customer to your competition is to make your site so difficult to navigate that they can’t find what they want quickly.

Make sure your search is optimized. A customer should be able to find the products they are looking for with minimal clicks.

Review your analytics and note where your customers are dropping off. Continually optimize your eCommerce site base on your findings.

No. 4: Eliminate Uncertainty

Since a customer can’t see and inspect their purchases before buying, you can ease their uncertainty in other ways. Failing to give accurate or helpful product descriptions leads a customer to order the wrong product, or they may just give up on ordering altogether.

Include as much information as possible in your description. Placing information such as materials, sizing, colors, and instructions for use, how to care for, will assist your customer in deciding if this is the right product for them. Many master distributors and manufacturers provide enhanced content. Your site should be capable of taking advantage of that advanced content.

If your customer gets all their questions answered, they will order from you. Another benefit: You will reduce returns and customer dissatisfaction for your eCommerce store.

 No. 5: Poor Checkout Design

Don’t ask for information beyond what is needed for the transaction as that will frustrate your customers. Your process should be easy and painless.

If you have multiple checkout pages, you are giving visitors more reasons to click out. I have heard it said, if it is harder to pay for the item then find the item, there is something wrong. Use one page that offers account creation/guest checkout, shipping, billing and credit card information.

What challenges do you have as an eCommerce distributor? Please comment below.

Business Management International (BMI) is dedicated to bringing business technology to independent distributors to help them compete. We’re not afraid to offer radically great customer service and proudly offer Microsoft Dynamics NAV to solve real world business problems. www.bmiusa.com.

 

Topics: Dynamics NAV, ecommerce