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Controlling inventory can feel like riding a wild, untamed horse across a rocky cliffside trail. At this precise second you’re still in the saddle holding the reins, but at any moment the horse could plunge off the cliff and take you with it. Inventory control can feel just about as scary. Are you in control of your inventory, or is it controlling you? Software such as Sage 300 can help you take back the reins and guide your inventory to a safer, saner place. There are several other tips and tricks you can put into place to manage your inventory better. With software like Sage 300 and these steps, you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Inventory Control Tip #1: Build a Stock List Building a stock list can be the first and best step towards inventory control. A stock list helps you keep track of all the items in inventory as well as their costs and retail price points. With a stock list in hand, you can make smart decisions about how, when, and why to sell items. Let’s face it—your company manufactures products to sell, not to store them in the warehouse. Yet if products are piling […]

Using Manufacturing ERP Software to Meet the Next Revolution Manufacturing ERP software paves the way for companies to enter into this new fourth era of manufacturing. Yes, we’re entering a brave new world of manufacturing, powered by technology, driven by data, and serving a global community. The Industrial Revolution kicked off manufacturing as we know it today, but we are now entering uncharted territory. The first wave of manufacturing was, of course, that famous revolution that saw innovations in manufacturing everything from clothing to shoes. New steam and water-powered engines fueling vast weaving machines made manufacturing faster, producing less expensive goods for public consumption. The second wave of manufacturing was ushered in by Henry Ford, who positioned the assembly line as the new method of manufacturing consumer goods quickly and inexpensively. Now we are leaving the third wave of manufacturing and entering the fourth. The third brought us automated systems: information technology, computerized processing, and robotic assembly lines that transformed how manufacturers build products. The fourth wave or revolution of manufacturing uses cyber-physical systems to bring goods to customers with more precision and accuracy than ever before. It’s an exciting time for manufacturers throughout North America and, indeed, throughout the […]

Change is in the air with the new year. It’s time to embrace Sage ERP software and surrender the spreadsheets. If your company has recently purchased Sage X3 or Sage 300 ERP, you’re in good company. Hundreds of businesses trust these software systems for accurate, reliable data. They reduce time and effort spent on data entry and make reporting a breeze for many companies. Yet, despite all the promise found in software like Sage X3 and Sage 300 ERP, some people cling to their spreadsheets. We love what we know, and business people are no different from the person who has always purchased a certain brand of soap or paper towels and refuses to change when the shop no longer has them in stock. Many people forget that spreadsheets weren’t invented for the complex and often complicated reporting we force them into. It takes considerable time and effort to key data into the spreadsheet, set up charts and graphs, and run them accurately. Tracking down a mistake in a spreadsheet that leads to an erroneous graph can take a long time. Spreadsheets, while they have their place, have significant limitations. These three tips will help your company transition from spreadsheets […]

Inventory Accuracy is Just One Hallmark of a Great Inventory Management System Does your inventory management system have what it takes to boost your business next year? Inventory accuracy is just one part of a great inventory system. Systems such as Sage Inventory Advisor have all the right stuff to maximize profits, minimize losses, and manage your inventory like a pro. Let’s look at some of the characteristics of a terrific inventory management system. Why is a good inventory management system important? For most companies, inventory represents a hefty investment of capital. Products remaining idle and collecting dust in the warehouse are costly. Not only does a business pay to produce laggards, it must also pay to warehouse and maintain them. Good inventory management reduces excess goods, maintains adequate stock, and optimizes warehouse space by thoughtful placement of shelves and bins. Inventory management is both an art and a science, fueled by accurate data from inventory systems married to your company’s ERP systems and more. The right inventory management system can help your company control costs and maximize profits no matter what industry you are in. Five Characteristics of Terrific Inventory Management Well-organized inventory: Inventory that is organized well is […]

Systems such as Sage 300 ERP help your business grow its revenues while decreasing costs. If that seems too good to be true, then you may wish to download and read the new free whitepaper from IWI Consulting. Customer-Centric ERP: Integrated Systems for Satisfied Customers is available at no charge to help demystify the concept of customer-centric enterprise resource planning and to help you consider the many benefits to your business. In this paper, researchers at the Aberdeen Group discovered that ‘best in class’ companies who use ERP systems and focus on a customer-centric model increased their revenues and decreased costs. They were also able to decrease time to order and improve customer satisfaction overall. Increasing Revenues ERP systems can improve revenues by enhancing worker productivity. Complete and on-time delivery increased substantially in companies using integrated ERP systems. Companies that used a customer-centric ERP solution increased profits 27% compared to similar companies in their industry who increased profits an average of 7%. Increased Sales Where did these revenues come from? Sales to new customers increased as did the upsells and cross-sells to existing customers. The enhanced communication found within the ERP system prevented the sales team from making embarrassing mistakes, […]

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 […]

A study from the Aberdeen Group of 81 discrete manufacturers points to the many benefits of ERP for manufacturing. Among those benefits include swifter and more agile reaction to change and an improved ability to manage growth. The study, which is available as a whitepaper download from IWI Consulting, offers interesting insights into the impact an ERP system makes on a manufacturing business as a whole, but especially in the areas of change and growth—both of which are critical for a company’s success. Reacting to Change: Success Comes to the Swiftest Among the manufacturers who participated in the Aberdeen Group study, Leaders demonstrated an ability to react the fastest to changes. ERP for manufacturing improves visibility across the supply chain, offering manufacturers the ability to react quickly to problems. You cannot react to what you can’t see. Visibility sheds light on situations that require prompt action. For example, successful manufacturers using ERP systems can program the system to send automated notices when a machine is down. Such an event can then trigger a decision to shift production to another area of the factory floor or to another facility. Without visibility, the decision is delayed, causing lost production time and a […]

Decisions, decisions. It seems that no matter how sure you are in your business knowledge, it helps to have more information on hand before making business decisions. Nowhere is this more important than in manufacturing, where better decisions can help your business anticipate orders and increase production efficiencies. A new study published by the Aberdeen Group examined the business practices of 81 discrete manufacturers who responded to the Group’s invitation to participate in the survey. What Aberdeen discovered is that manufacturers with access to company-wide data made better decisions, which in turn led to higher profits, happier customers, and growing companies. Increased Visibility in Manufacturing ERP Software Leads to Better Decisions You can only make business decisions based on the information that you have. The increased visibility provided by manufacturing ERP software makes it easier to make business decisions because all of the data is available. The Leaders included in this study found that information derived from their ERP systems helped them in the following ways: Real-time visibility from quote to cash: Insight into every aspect of the ordering process, from cost quotations to receipt of payment, enables better business forecasting. Information shared: ERP systems enable automatic notification of system issues, […]

An interesting study from the Aberdeen Group examined how Leaders, defined as companies “leading” the vanguard of innovation in manufacturing, are using and benefiting from ERP business strategies. Among the 81 companies who responded to the group’s survey, 90% of Leaders implemented ERP strategies while only 10% of Followers, or companies who lagged behind, had implemented it. It seems that knowledge is power, especially knowledge derived from ERP for manufacturing. Key findings from the study include: ERP is near-ubiquitous in discrete manufacturing: 80% of Leaders have ERP. ERP strategies impact key business drivers by providing timely impactful information, managing growth expectations, reducing costs, and enabling operations across multiple facilities. Leaders are 25% more likely to have ongoing initiatives tailoring their ERP for manufacturing solutions to address business challenges. Leading companies value collaboration, visibility, and real-time data access. Among the discrete manufacturers included in the study, the authors found that it wasn’t just having an ERP system in place that made them successful. It was also how well they used it. Companies who used their systems to plan, strategize, and improve across all business functions gained a competitive edge over others. Laggards in the discrete manufacturing space continued to conduct business […]