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Manufacturers face many challenges in an increasingly globalized world. Lowered trade barriers, cheaper imports, and changing tastes among businesses and consumers are all just part of the cascade of challenges that manufacturers face on a daily basis. IWI Consulting Group would like to offer you a special white paper entitled ERP: A Strategic Growth Driver for Manufacturing Firms. In this paper, we address the many challenges faced by manufacturers and explore how software such as Sage ERP X3 can help you overcome these challenges. The Only Constant Is Change All businesses face changes on a daily basis. From fickle consumer tastes to changing ways of accessing information, the world changes at an ever-faster clip. Manufacturers are not immune to the increasing pace of change. Manufacturing today is a far cry from the way it was 30 years ago – or even a few years ago. You don’t have to look far back into the past to see how global, regional, and local changes have impacted the manufacturing industry. It is important for manufacturers to accept, rather than resist, change. Change is happening at every level of the organization. To embrace change is to realize the potential inherent in many of […]

When the Time Is Right for Sage X3 You know that your company needs a new ERP system. The existing software is slow, requiring nightly manual batch updates that bog down the entire network. Production is upset that they can’t get real-time figures. Your supply chain manager wants to know why she can’t get accurate information on where shipments are when customers are waiting for orders. It’s a headache that many manufacturers face. There are certain signs that your current ERP system no longer meets your company’s needs. Do you know what to look for to determine when the time is right to upgrade your ERP system? Some hints that it’s time to upgrade your ERP system include: Slow decision-making: Although some people may just prefer more time to consider all of their options, slow decision-making may also be a sign of an aging ERP system. If you are waiting to collect data from your system, or you need someone staff to verify the accuracy of the data that you are pulling from your system, it’s a sign that your system is outdated. Systems such as Sage X3 provide real-time data so that you never have to worry about whether […]

Manufacturing is all about efficiencies. The more efficient your operation, the more profitable it can be. To improve efficiencies throughout your company, using a manufacturing ERP software package such as Sage X3 can enhance efficiencies throughout the supply chain, production, finance and more. One way in which you can improve efficiency is by better data management. There’s an old saying in computers, “Garbage in – garbage out.” It means that the quality of the outputs is only as good as the quality of the inputs into the computer system. You’ve seen this yourself in the manufacturing process. High-grade raw materials entered into the start of the manufacturing process results in a better product. Better products result in higher customer satisfaction and eventually, high demand as word spreads that your company produces the best quality products in the industry. Well, the same may be said for data. Your Sage X3 system can yield accurate, insightful reports – or it may yield incorrect data, depending on the inputs. To ensure you get the most from your manufacturing ERP software, put into place the following best practices for data management. Quality in – quality out in all things, including Sage X3. Data Management […]

If you’re working with an ERP consulting firm such as IWI Consulting Group, you have access to some of the best minds in the ERP world. Your consultants want the best for you and they want your Sage X3 or Sage 300 ERP system to become an integral part of your business. In order for you to really gain the maximum benefit from your ERP consulting project, these tips will help you use your system in new and innovative ways. Build and Refine Strategic Plans Data found in Sage ERP can be used to build, refine, and support your company’s short and long-term strategic plans. Be sure that the software chosen for your company scales with your growth and enables you to add functions and modules, as required. Sage-based software is ideal for long-term growth. There are many modules—such as HRMS, CRM, and more—that can be added to build out a bigger, better system over time. Create Data Policies The information derived from your ERP system is only as accurate as the data inputted into the system itself. Data policies and guidelines help set standards and expectations for how and who can enter data into the system. Choose someone on […]

ERP systems and other integrated business systems can help improve quality control throughout the food manufacturing process. Food manufacturers, like companies who manufacture pharmaceuticals and similar products, must comply with stringent rules and regulations to ensure safety and quality of end-products. Having accurate, timely data helps ensure compliance and safety. For companies in the food manufacturing business, IWI Consulting offers a whitepaper entitled Improving Transparency in Food Manufacturing. Ways in Which ERP Benefits the Food Manufacturing Process Quality assurance professionals and quality analysts know that data fuels many of their decisions. They rely upon accurate, timely data, scientific facts, and knowledge of their industry’s laws and regulations to produce high-quality products that are safe for the public. Having accurate data is vital for food manufacturers. Data integrity, consistency, and accuracy are all improved thanks to ERP systems for food manufacturing companies. Such information can help you predict problems and take corrective measures to prevent them. Here are more ways in which ERP benefits the food manufacturing industry. Accurate data: Food manufacturing depends upon accurate data for both quality and consistency. Centralized data and careful selection of those approved to input data improve both accuracy and quality. When specific employees are responsible […]

How Sage Enterprise Intelligence Simplifies Data Part of ERP consulting is ensuring that companies have access both to accurate and timely data through their ERP systems. A new report demonstrates that the need continues for data improvements. Such improvements can be made through Sage Enterprise Intelligence, which integrates ERP systems, including Sage 300 and Sage ERP X3. You can download the white paper here. Many companies find they are drowning in data yet thirsting for information. The Aberdeen Group, quoted in a new white paper available from IWI, reports that 47% of mid-sized companies agree that their employees are making decisions based on poor quality or incomplete data. The same report indicates that 90% of business leaders feel they lack adequate information to make decisions when they need data. Approximately 27% of the respondents feel that data is too fragmented and distributed to facilitate the development of business plans. Data, Data Everywhere “Water, water, everywhere/and not a drop to drink” the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Business can sympathize. Change the words to “data, data everywhere/and not a decision to make” and you understand the common problems faced by many manufacturing companies. The […]

ERP for manufacturing, such as Sage ERP X3, yields many benefits for the manufacturing industry. Some of these benefits are obvious, such as the availability of data, the ease with which you can run reports, and other time-saving benefits. What might not be as readily apparent is the cost-savings that manufacturers can achieve with ERP for manufacturing and distribution. Sage contracted with the esteemed Forrester Research Group to analyze such savings. Although Forrester did not focus entirely on the manufacturing sector, they did discover among their many interviews with companies using Sage X3 that manufacturers derived significant benefits. Here are just a few. ERP for Manufacturing Provides Cost-Savings ERP for manufacturing enables you to add many modules specifically tailored to your industry. One such module from Sage X3 helps you standardize purchasing protocols and processes to achieve the best discounts on goods and supplies. The entire purchasing process saw a reduction in the cost of labor, according to the Forrester research. Because Sage ERP X3 saved considerable time and effort, it reduced the cost of labor by approximately 4% annually. Less time was spent on tasks since many were automated. Inventory Materials and Labor Savings While it is likely that your […]

When it comes to enterprise software, it can be difficult to predict the future. Few would have predicted the rise of the internet and the ease and cost-savings of cloud computing, for example. Yet ERP consulting must take into account many factors, including certain trends that have followed throughout the year and that predict the future of the industry. These three areas are likely to affect enterprise software in the new year and beyond. Are you ready? Prediction #1: Nearly Every ERP System Will Be on the Cloud According to Right Scale, 93% of companies surveyed are using the cloud. Many use cloud-based systems such as Google Docs and other storage and computing software without thinking about it. To these companies, migrating their enterprise software to the cloud makes sense. They’re already using the cloud, so moving other applications such as Sage ERP X3 to the cloud are simply another step in the evolution of their computing needs. Why move to the cloud? Cloud-based systems offer flexibility, cost-savings, and mobility. You can scale them up or down as your business grows without adding costly hardware. Generally, they are more cost-effective than site-based software purchases, and you can easily add more […]

Managing multiple locations presents unique challenges. Many manufacturing organizations have factories, warehouses, and offices located in different parts of the country to better serve their customers. The faster and easier it is to share information among these different facilities, the better. A whitepaper from the Aberdeen Group, available from IWI Consulting, shares insights into how manufacturing ERP systems can help multi-location operations. The study examined data from 81 participants to find out what Leaders did to improve their companies. They found that the main benefits derived from ERP systems included enhanced access to data from all points of a company, increased efficiencies, better planning, and reduced costs. Benefits of a Manufacturing ERP System Enhanced Information Sharing One of the biggest challenges that companies with multiple locations face is sharing data from one part of the company with another. Even when all portions of the company want to share, it’s often hard to figure out the best way to do so. Emailing information makes sense, and it’s fast, but it’s also inevitable that someone is going to be left off of the email chain who needs the information. Shared networks are great, but you have to know where to look for the […]

Pay some, receive more; that’s the surprising way in which ERP for manufacturing reduces costs. When you invest in an ERP system, you’ll reap benefits that far outweigh the initial costs. One benefit your manufacturing firm can derive from an ERP system implementation is a reduction in costs. A study from the Aberdeen Group invited 81 discrete manufacturers to share information about their ERP use and implementation. Some of the questions asked in the study yielded insights into how an ERP system can reduce costs. These five cost reductions may surprise you, but if they intrigue you, it’s time to look into what an ERP system can do for your company. The Surprising Ways ERP for Manufacturing Reduces Costs It helps to understand some of the overall benefits of an ERP system before diving into how it can reduce costs. An ERP system improves visibility through real-time data sharing across the company. Reports that may have taken days, weeks, or months to reach your desk from across the company can now be accessed instantly. This real-time data sharing enables business leaders to make swifter decisions, proactively manage business operations, and reduce costs. ERP for manufacturing helps reduce costs for manufacturers […]