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As mobile devices gain more capabilities and become more cost-effective, they are a driving force for change on the manufacturing floor. Mobile interfaces have enabled manufacturers to add new services and cut costs. Advancements in technology have allowed for greater innovation and efficiency. Workforce mobility is a top priority among manufacturing companies. In fact, best-in-class manufacturers and distributors are 119% more likely to provide mobile access to their business systems than their counterparts. (See How Do Your Business Systems Compare to Best-in-Class?) Mobility is impacting all areas of the manufacturing process including order management, inventory management, material and asset tracking, labor tracking, and field sales and service. Mobility is a key enabler of lean automation by increasing productivity, accuracy, and communication. It enables mobile business intelligence through more devices on the factory floor collecting, transmitting, and using data. Integrating mobile technology in your manufacturing solution will bring significant benefits to your business. Better Business Intelligence: Using mobile devices to capture real-time data on the manufacturing floor enables business managers to make better decisions with more accurate data. They are able to manage any process from any location, making decision-making more agile, as managers are not tied to an office but […]

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 EM (formerly known as Sage X3) and Sage […]

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 300cloud (formerly known as Sage 300) and Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3). These […]

What makes a company best-in-class? Have you ever wondered how your business systems compare to those of top organizations? An Aberdeen study defines best practices for wholesalers and distributors in their ERP Benchmark survey. The research compares practices of high-performing companies to their peers. Aberdeen found some clear differences in their business practices. The majority of wholesalers and distributors use an ERP system to drive their business operations. Distributors turn to enterprise software solutions in their business systems for three key reasons: to manage growth expectations, to improve decision making, and to reduce costs. These motivations were identified in the Aberdeen study: Need to manage growth expectations (41%) Delays in decision-making from lack of timely information (35%) Must reduce costs (32%) Interoperability issues across multiple operating locations (27%) Interoperability issues with customers and suppliers (27%) A growth strategy requires process automation. As distributors add new locations, more countries, and new customers, they are finding that communication and workflow across functions has become increasingly disorganized.  Automating processes in their business systems is a critical step in keeping costs under control and managing change. Enterprise Software Strategies to Manage Growth An ERP is an important part of any growth strategy. Enterprise software does more […]

Over the past month we have been discussing the benefits, challenges and argument for using mobile business systems in the workplace. Up until this point, we have focused our discussions on using mobile devices and applications in the office (or for office-related jobs). Mobile technology, however, is not limited to the office or the people who work in the office. Mobile devices and business applications can be used in any environment, including manufacturing and distribution. Manufacturing and distribution companies function a little differently than the traditional office environment. For starters, much of the work is completed in the warehouse, an environment that is fast-paced, inventory-heavy, and rugged in nature. From receiving inventory to shipping out orders and everything in between, manufacturers and distributors have a lot to manage and cannot be tied down to a desk or computer. For this reason, mobile business systems are not only beneficial to the business, but they are necessary for today’s modern warehouse to survive. Mobile Business Systems Solve Challenges for Manufacturers and Distributors Manufacturers and distributors face a unique set of challenges. In addition to finding ways to manage inventory cost-effectively, they also have to ensure the operation is running seamlessly in order […]

Over the last couple of weeks we have been discussing the benefits, challenges and reality of moving your enterprise software to a mobile platform. Just as with any business solution, mobile enterprise software requires a great deal of forethought before making the investment and implementing the software. If your company has decided to adopt mobile technology into the workplace, it is crucial to create a strategy detailing the goals and plans you have for your mobile investment. Without an effective strategy, the execution of mobile ERP applications on your mobile devices can be challenging, to say the least. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration before implementing mobile business systems, and with the right strategy, you can navigate this process seamlessly. Here are a few tips to help you develop a solid mobile business systems strategy: Check your internet connection and network reliability. Most mobile business systems rely on the Cloud to sync information effortlessly from mobile devices to the company’s main ERP system, and a strong Internet connection is a must. If your company is having trouble with connectivity, you will need to resolve these issues before implementing your mobile business systems or risk having […]