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Business systems that enhance supply chain visibility can help your business grow. A study conducted by IDG research for Sage provides insights into these and other methods that manufacturers consider to be of primary importance for business growth. Top Considerations for Business Systems: Integration, Automation, Mobility Among the top three priorities for technology investment by manufacturers, integration leads the way. Manufacturers want their inventory systems to integrate fully with their CRM systems, accounting, and sales software to help customers track shipments and provide real-time updates on where items are in transit. Automation is also among the top three investments cited by the survey respondents. Manufacturers are looking for more ways to automate their businesses from front-end operations to sales and back-end fulfillment. Automation cuts down on costs, reduces human errors, and makes companies more efficient. All three lead to greater profits. Lastly, when asked where they plan to invest their IT dollars, manufacturers cite using mobile technology to make sales and customer service departments more efficient. Cloud-based business systems and enterprise software are making data available to all employees, no matter where they’re working. This provides better information and updates which can, in turn, lead to higher customer satisfaction. The faster […]

Companies need to constantly measure key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that they are achieving their operational and financial goals. Over the last few weeks, we have discussed how best-in-class organizations use enterprise software to become more profitable. One of those best-practices is that these companies can measure their performance and understand how their actions help them to reach business goals.  In fact, best-in-class distributors and wholesalers are twice as likely as their peers to use KPIs to track their business success. In our first blog on this subject, (See How Do Your Business Systems Compare to Best-in-Class?), we showed that best-in-class companies have better inventory accuracy, timeliness and profit margins than their peers. These organizations understand the importance of monitoring their performance so that they can act to improve their operations using enterprise software. Best-in-class wholesalers and distributors are twice as likely to have a centralized repository for metrics and KPIs. They also provide instant access to the KPIs with a user interface that is tailored to the employee’s needs. Top-performing companies use business intelligence integrated with their enterprise software to provide real-time insight into key processes and data. ERP systems like Sage X3 and Sage 300 provide tools for […]

Mobile technology integrated with your enterprise software promotes business agility. With mobile access, wholesale and distribution employees can react quickly to market or process changes. According to Aberdeen’s 2014 ERP Benchmark survey, best-in-class wholesalers and distributors are twice as likely to enable mobile access to their enterprise software. Not only have 56% of these organizations implemented triggers and alerts in order to help them make immediate decisions, but 76% have data entry at the point of activity. Improved business agility enables companies to drive down costs and increase revenue. Mobile devices like radio frequency hand-held devices and barcode scanners have been used successfully in inventory management for some time to provide real-time information and product tracking. However, there is great opportunity in supply chain management to conduct business processes with mobile technology as well. Mobile devices and enterprise software like Sage X3 or Sage 300 can be used across the entire supply chain from the front to the back of the warehouse. Receiving: Capture inventory data from the point that it arrives in the dock. Using barcode technology, incoming shipments can be automatically verified against purchase orders and instructions sent to an employee’s mobile device Storage: Put-away is expedited by […]

One characteristic that best-in-class wholesalers and distributors have in common is that they use integrated enterprise software to run their entire business. In fact, 81% of these high-achieving companies have integrated business systems. They are almost four times more likely than other companies to have cross-functional collaboration within their organization. Best-in-class organizations have moved their warehousing operations from behind the scenes, and have turned it into a strategic process that integrates sales, marketing, product development, and service. Business systems integration is critical to enable your company to move toward optimal performance. Cross-functional collaboration is best facilitated by integrated enterprise software because standalone systems impose informational and operational silos. Departments cannot be integrated unless your business software talks to each other. Installing the most comprehensive system in each area that doesn’t communicate isn’t much better than no system at all. For operations, this means that your inventory systems must be united with your ERP. Operations, sales, service, and accounting software should all be integrated, sharing the same database in real time. When all functions input data and have access to the ERP database, everyone can work together within the enterprise software system. An integrated system gives the customer a better experience […]

Best-in-class organizations are 97% more likely to have real-time visibility into the data and processes that run their business by using enterprise software. Last week, we saw that the highest-performing wholesalers and distributors follow strategies to provide visibility to management and promote process standards throughout the entire organization. (See How Do Your Business Systems Compare to Best-in-Class?) These organizations have implemented enterprise software that provides one location for all of the information needed to run the business effectively. Enterprise software gives greater visibility which gives managers better insight into the organization, enabling them to react quickly to operational and market changes. With visibility across departments and divisions, you can better predict demand, ship orders, interact with customers, and invest in the business with confidence. Best-in-class wholesalers and distributors use enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to analyze, forecast, and manage inventory. Let’s take a look at several ways to fully utilize enterprise software to increase the effectiveness of your operations. Tools for Analysis with Enterprise Software Inventory specialists can take data analysis functionality to a whole new level through inventory optimization tools and enterprise software such as Sage 300 and Sage X3. These inventory optimization systems provide graphics that can illustrate the […]

Save Time and Money with Barcode Inventory Management How much time and money is your business currently spending on inventory management? If your company is like most, your resources are tied up in manual processes that are contributing to inefficiencies and high inventory-related costs, tying up precious business resources and leading to frustration for both your employees and customers. For small businesses in particular, the time and money spent on inefficient inventory management strategies can be particularly cumbersome. The Effects of Poor Inventory Management Poor inventory management is easy to spot. The company experiencing poor inventory management often experiences a high number of inventory inaccuracies, high inventory costs, and inefficiencies leading to delays in the shipping or reporting process. More often than not, you will be able to tell if your company is experiencing poor inventory management simply by taking a look at your company books. Do your inventory-related costs (the costs of the actual goods and their associated labor costs) seem exceedingly high? While inventory-related costs are always higher than we’d like them to be, if your costs keep climbing, you could probably use some improvement in your inventory management practices. Solving Poor Inventory Management with Barcode Scanning Software […]