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05
Oct 2016
Wednesday

ERP for manufacturing, such as Sage EM (formerly known as Sage 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 EM (formerly known as 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 EM (formerly known as 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 EM (formerly known as Sage X3) saved considerable time and effort, it reduced the cost of labor by approximately 4% annually. Less time was spent on tasks […]

28
Sep 2016
Wednesday

There are many benefits of implementing Sage X3. Sage X3 helps the average business to improve efficiencies, automate workflows and alerts, and much more. Quantifying these benefits yields surprising information. Research shows that a mid-size company in the business of manufacturing, distribution and services can receive a net present value benefit of US $1.7 million and an ROI of 177%. About the Survey: Forrester Research Forrester Research conducted a cost-savings analysis at the behest of Sage, the parent company behind Sage X3, to assess the overall savings for businesses after implementing their product in the workforce. The results indicated considerable efficiencies and savings throughout the company. When ascertaining cost-savings, it is important to identify key areas and winnow out extraneous data to ensure the results are accurate. Forrester’s research included customer interviews and other fact-finding, but was not an exhaustive assessment of the situation. Nevertheless, the benefits derived after implementing Sage X3 were noticeable and found in many areas of the company’s operations. Labor-Saving Benefits with Sage X3 When Sage X3 financial module was implemented, customers reported labor and time-saving in the area of financial reporting. According to the report, the sample company whose data was analyzed would have had […]

21
Sep 2016
Wednesday

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 EM (formerly known as Sage 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 […]

14
Sep 2016
Wednesday

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 […]

07
Sep 2016
Wednesday

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 […]

31
Aug 2016
Wednesday

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 […]

24
Aug 2016
Wednesday

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, […]

18
Aug 2016
Thursday

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 […]

10
Aug 2016
Wednesday

Are you stuck in the typical inventory management quandary? You’re balancing the needs of senior management, who demand you reduce stock levels to contain costs. But on the other hand, customers are upset when you can’t fill their orders fast enough. It’s a common enough situation for inventory managers, but uncomfortable nonetheless. Enter better data through ERP systems, to the rescue of frazzled inventory managers everywhere. Smart companies know that as their operations grow, so too does the need for better data. When you’re managing a small back-room warehouse filled with goods created just down the hall, it’s easy enough to yell, “Hey, Bob, do we have enough blue widgets to fill Jane’s order?” But if you’ve grown since the time when a good strong yell could get the order info you need back into production, then it’s time to think about more sophisticated solutions. Barcoding, Automation, Inventory Management, and Warehouse Data Like the example above, many warehouses are still using old-fashioned methods to maintain stock levels. Sure, it’s not as extreme as yelling down the hall to whomever happens to be near the shelves at the moment, but it’s just as crude when compared to other sophisticated inventory tracking […]

03
Aug 2016
Wednesday

Nobody likes to be disappointed and nobody wants to disappoint a customer. Yet how many times do customers see an “out of stock” message on your website or hear it from sales or service agents? If the answer is “too many times,” then you need to look at your inventory levels. Keeping the right inventory level can mean the difference between high customer satisfaction ratings and losing customers to competitors for whom “out of stock” never happens. Better Data, Better Inventory Management One of the biggest challenges for many inventory managers is keeping close track of stock levels. Although automated barcoding systems help, unless you can also keep an eye on your supply chain and raw materials orders, it can be tough to fully predict stock levels. Fortunately, with better data at your fingertips, you can better manage inventory levels. Accurate, timely, and integrated data streams from sales, marketing, operations, and finance can help you predict stock levels and reduce the number of “out of stock” messages shown to your sales team or your customers. Fulfill More Orders and Keep Customers Happy Customers depend on your company to provide them with the goods they need. Most customers will tolerate at least […]