A buyer's guide to the top ERP systems
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Sage 100, an ERP system for small and mid-sized companies, helps to automate and manage the finance, accounting and payment processes, with additional support for manufacturing, distribution and sales. Sage Software Inc. also offers Sage 300, which is a more robust rendering of Sage 100 for mid-sized businesses, and Sage 500, which is enterprise-class ERP. Sage 100 is scalable into either of these other Sage systems. The vendor offers its ERP as either an on-premises or a cloud-based system. For companies that prefer an on-premises ERP, Sage 100 runs on a Microsoft Windows platform.
Sage 100 comes with the following functions:
- Core accounting and finance with customizable options and workflows;
- Business intelligence and reporting for more granular visibility throughout the business;
- Sales and customer management that allows you to set standards for customer service, customer retention and sales, delivering fingertip access to sales representatives for every customer so they can immediately answer questions, as well as check on the pricing and the availability of products;
- Purchasing and supplier management that facilitates end-to-end streamlining of the purchasing process from order to receipt;
- Inventory management and warehousing for tracking, managing and reporting on goods in inventory, as well as at various distribution points and warehouses; and
- Manufacturing for forecasting, routing and tracking goods through production for orders.
The latest release of Sage 100 is Sage 100 2015. It features:
- Automated, one-click general ledger/bank reconciliation reversals to out-of-balance notifications, coupled with a more intuitive user interface.
- Level 3 credit card payment processing that gives better visibility on how company credit is being used and for what.
- Improvements to purchasing workflows that enable users to avoid manual searches of purchase orders and purchase order history.
- More direct access to paperless office reporting.
- New enhancements that support the latest Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements, including reports that determine if an employer is required to report, the ability to include or exclude seasonal employees, and new screens for ACA employee and ACA employer maintenance.
- Control, usability and security enhancements that include new custom user interface scripting tools, which increase usability and control, as well as reduce data entry errors.
- A more robust integration with Sage CRM that is meant to simplify managing sales, quotes and customer relationship data.
- A new version of Sage Intelligence that provides improved performance, reporting capabilities, updated templates and a new Report Designer tool.
- Enhanced functionality and reporting in inventory management that is designed to reduce carrying charges and to ensure on-time customer order fulfillment, coupled with Sage Inventory Advisor, a cloud-based forecasting tool to help companies prevent out-of-stock conditions or situations of overstocking.
- Sage Data Cloud, which connects to Sage 100 through multiple Web and mobile applications, enabling teams to work 24/7, anywhere and on any device.
For ERP implementation, training and support, Sage offers Business Care plans that companies can purchase separately from the ERP software.
The Sage Silver plan, a "best fit" for companies with budget constraints that are looking for low-cost support, gives companies personalized support from Sage call centers. The Sage Silver plan is intended as a complementary support service to the standard support provided by Sage business partners, as well as support for product enhancements and critical updates. A Silver client receives product enhancements and critical updates, product version upgrades, 24/7 access to Sage's online knowledge center, and access to the Sage support team for a total of five support cases annually, with the option of purchasing additional case support on a one-off, as-needed basis.
There is also a Gold support plan for companies that consider their ERP a highly mission-critical system, and that desire and can afford a 24/7 comprehensive support plan. This plan offers all of the benefits of the Silver plan, plus: access to Sage technical support for an unlimited number of support cases, front-of-the-line access to a phone analyst, extended support hours, planning assistance for system software upgrades and unlimited Anytime Learning courses.
Sage does not offer a free trial of Sage 100, but it does offer a demo that companies can participate in.
On-premises Sage100 prices can range from $4,000 to $20,000 for a user range of one to 200 users. Companies can purchase this software, or alternately, through a lease-to-own option that Sage offers. The cloud-based Sage 100 is available on a monthly subscription basis, with pricing determined on a company-by-company basis.
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