by gfcpartners | May 16, 2023 | Agribusiness, Business
Many agricultural businesses, especially food growers and producers are facing a market of increasingly discerning customers who are interested in, not just the ingredients of a product, but how they were sourced, and perhaps even what processes were applied before the product reached the store shelf.
Government scrutiny is another common pressure in the agriculture industry. Being able to produce a detailed and accurate history for every product and its components is essential to maintain compliance.
Lot traceability is a key factor in satisfying customer demand and complying with government regulations. It tracks each product and component through its entire lifecycle by batch, lot, and unit, which can provide useful insights in several areas, as well as enable you to react quickly in case a problem arises.
What is Lot Traceability?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “Traceability is defined as the ability to discern, identify and follow the movement of a food or substance intended to be or expected to be incorporated into a food, through all stages of production, processing, and distribution.”
Along with the FAO’s guidelines, lot traceability is also a critical component of new federal food safety guidelines in the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
That definition encompasses the product’s entire trip through the supply chain, from suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. It also includes its passage through multiple production facilities of the same company. It tracks all ingredients used, the equipment and processes used on those ingredients, the materials and packaging that touch those ingredients, as well as the labeling.
Most warehouses and processing facilities make use of either barcode or RFID technology to ensure the accurate recording of data along with expedited processing of lot trace information.
How Do Agriculture Companies Use Lot Tracking Data?
Perhaps the best-known use of lot tracking is for product recalls. If there is a defect or contamination, lot tracking helps both businesses and government officials quickly identify the dates, times, and locations involved, as well as the specific lots of ingredients and finished goods affected. With that information, the public can be quickly and accurately informed, and a fast response implemented to remove affected products from store shelves.
However, aside from the worst-case scenario, lot traceability has a lot of other uses that benefit agriculture companies greatly. When tracked through a modern ERP solution, such as Acumatica, businesses can gain insights from their lot-tracking data.
Product Performance. You can track different lots or batches of ingredients and see which ones are lasting longer, of higher quality, or otherwise better for your finished goods. For example, you can track the performance of seed varieties or growing conditions.
Product Visibility. Having a number assigned to each lot helps you gain insights into the growing, shipping, and distribution processes, helping you identify trends and adjust course to improve efficiency and profitability.
Inventory Management. You can track the use of ingredients – including lots, times, and quantities – to give you better control over inventory levels, easier management of product expiration dates, and more.
Supplier Management. Lot traceability also helps you see trends in your relationship with suppliers. Such data will help you identify the best suppliers, negotiate better deals, and otherwise strengthen and streamline supplier relations.
Improved Efficiency. Lot traceability within a full-fledged ERP solution allows you to automate processes in the production cycle and eliminate manual entry that introduces errors. It works hand-in-hand with other emerging technologies such as AI, Big Data, and IoT.
How Does Acumatica Help Agricultural Companies Leverage Their Data?
Flexibility. Acumatica has powerful lot traceability features that make it a natural choice for the agriculture industry. It is flexible and allows you to attach lot numbers to your products at the point that makes the most sense for your operations. Some may find it most practical during receipt of goods, while others find at the time of sales order entry works the best. Still others during purchase order receipt entry.
Control. Acumatica is capable of fine-grained control over lot tracking, not just for products but also for every ingredient used in production. What is more, serialized and lot-controlled inventory allows you to add attributes to each lot entry, helping you quickly identify products or ingredients from a particular distributor, from a particular region, or any other attributes you define, helping you improve internal efficiency and customer service. Such control also allows you to keep tight cost controls, knowing how much was spent (or wasted) in the production of each item.
Units of Measurement. Working with different kinds of products, especially on an international level, can often result in the need for converting between different units of measure. It could also mean differentiating between a single item, a case, or a pallet. Acumatica makes these conversions a snap and also keeps track of size variances to help procurement officials choose the right product sizes to order for the lowest cost.
Efficient Picking and Stock Rotation. You don’t want to sell your freshest product before the older product has been shipped out. Acumatica has First-Expired, First-Out (FEFO) picking, ensuring your perishable items don’t expire before leaving the warehouse. It can also assist in meeting customer requirements; for example, if a customer asks for product with a shelf-life of 90 days or more, you can be sure to deliver what they need. And the process ensures that quality remains high, never disappointing your customers.
Are you an agriculture company or food manufacturer looking for an end-to-end solution to manage your daily operations? Do you need advanced lot traceability functionality in your next ERP solution?
Contact GaleForce Consulting Partners today to learn more about Acumatica’s feature set that fills the needs and meets the challenges of agriculture companies to improve efficiency, regulatory compliance, and profitability.
by gfcpartners | May 1, 2023 | Business, Project Accounting, Software Customization
Gone are the days when accountants simply recorded transactions and produced standard reports for management review. Today’s accountants are facing an increasing demand from business leaders to deliver more in-depth analysis of data collected from across the organization so they can let the numbers drive their decisions.
This, at first, can seem to be an uncomfortable shift in job requirements. Accountants are traditionally drawn to time-tested methods and solutions, and are hesitant to adopt new things, especially at the risk of disrupting the orderly and accurate systems they’ve become accustomed to.
Yet, the business landscape continues to evolve at an ever-quickening pace; companies that are agile and able to adapt – usually those that leverage newer technologies to make the most of their business data – are the ones that will stay ahead of their competitors.
How can accountants meet the increasing demand for information from management without sacrificing structure, order, and accuracy? Better yet, how can they become proactive, getting ahead of the technology curve and setting their company up for future growth?
In this article, we’ll explore how Acumatica’s advanced features can become the secret weapon accountants need to deliver the insights management is demanding – now and in the future.
Acumatica Facilitates Accurate and Organized Data Capture
Many organizations are still depending on manual methods to collect data and generate reports. Due to the rapid pace of business, such reports are often out of date before accountants can finish formatting them.
What is more, since accounting, customer, and process data often live in disparate systems, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to get a truly accurate picture of current operations. This also puts decision-makers at a disadvantage, forcing them to go with their “best guess”.
On the other hand, with Acumatica, everyone is working with one centralized system – a ‘single source of truth’. All departments contribute to the collection of customer and organizational data, and the system ensures orderly and accurate data capture. Rather than duplicate data, or customer records that are out of sync, you have reliable and complete information on which to base your reports.
Many ERP solutions strive for that ideal, but because of costly user-based licensing schemes, only certain personnel are able to enter data and interact with the ERP. This can create a roadblock, forcing users without access to rely on others or resort to manual processes. However, Acumatica allows unlimited users by default, letting everyone in your organization access the system at no additional cost.
How Acumatica Helps You Become Proactive
Acumatica has a host of powerful features that help the proactive accountant go beyond the basics.
Financial Management. To get ahead and stay ahead, you need a properly structured and segmented chart of accounts, along with multi-location support, and the ability to allocate expenses across different business segments. Not all systems can deliver the depth of accounting control necessary to produce the kind of analysis and insight that today’s leaders need while still maintaining regulatory and accounting standards compliance. Acumatica goes above and beyond, giving you unparalleled flexibility and fine-grained control.
Cash Management. Cash on hand is what keeps operations running smoothly. It’s about more than just bank reconciliation; delivering accurate reports on current balances, along with cash flow forecasting will help management adjust to changes and keep the company solvent. Proactive cash management allows both accountants and business leaders to move beyond the balance to recognize and take advantage of future opportunities to improve cash flow.
Customer Management. Managing incoming orders and ensuring they are invoiced in a timely manner is critical to generate net income. Inefficient Accounts Receivable processes can create a backlog, and such delays can result in inaccurate data. Not having an accurate financial picture can affect business decisions, and even result in lost revenue. Slow invoicing thus delays incoming payments, occupying a significant portion of your accounting staff’s time with collection activities. Acumatica automates much of the repetitive work, eliminating bottlenecks and keeping your financial data accurate up-to-the-minute.
Vendor Management. Establishing proper controls while streamlining approvals is key to an agile Accounts Payable process. Yet, if the process is largely manual or inflexible, your organization is prone to budget overruns and missed opportunities. Acumatica automates much of the workflow, allowing efficient management of purchasing, spending, and vendor relationships while being flexible enough to allow you to take advantage of opportunities when they come along.
Inventory Management. Inventory levels are another crucial aspect of your business. Too high, and your raw materials will dry up your cash flow. Too low, and your production line comes to a halt. Keep your company in the black and ensure timely, consistent delivery to your customers with the extensive inventory management tools in Acumatica.
Customer Relationship Management. Acquiring new customers is an order of magnitude more costly than nurturing your relationships with the customers you already have. Cultivating those relationships is made easier with CRM software built into Acumatica. Moreover, customer data has become just as valuable as financial data, and it makes good sense to keep it all in the same system to add further depth to business insights.
Proactive Accounting with Acumatica Leads to Success
With the right tools, accountants and business leaders alike can move beyond reactive management to proactive practices that put them ahead of the competition. Cloud ERP allows easy, yet very secure access to all stakeholders, whether in the office or on the go, on any device. Business data is accurately captured and kept current. Processes flow smoothly. Reporting and forecasting are reliable, being based on a single source of truth that stays up to date.
Acumatica helps the proactive accountant to keep company records accurate, stay compliant, and deliver timely insights to keep the business moving forward.
Would you like to learn more about the features of Acumatica that benefit the proactive accountant? Download the eBook for greater detail and contact us today to learn how Acumatica can help you unify and streamline your operations.
by gfcpartners | Mar 29, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing & Distribution
In today’s fast-paced digital age, manufacturing businesses face unprecedented challenges. These challenges range from global competition to supply chain disruptions. Manufacturers need to embrace innovative technologies to streamline their operations, boost productivity, and generate new revenue streams. Acumatica is a leading cloud-based ERP solution that offers a comprehensive suite of tools and functionalities to help manufacturers revolutionize their businesses from top to bottom. In this guide, we’ll explore 9 key strategies for success with Acumatica.
Streamlining Supply Chain Management with Acumatica
Acumatica offers manufacturers powerful supply chain management (SCM) tools to streamline their operations. Acumatica SCM capabilities allow manufacturers to effectively manage their entire supply chain, from procurement to inventory management and order fulfillment. Manufacturers can use Acumatica SCM to automate processes such as purchase order creation and management, material requisition, and purchase receipt. This automation reduces the risk of errors and saves time and money.
Acumatica SCM also offers features such as inventory management, demand planning, and order fulfillment. These features help manufacturers optimize their inventory levels and reduce lead times. By providing real-time visibility into inventory levels and demand, manufacturers can make informed decisions about when to reorder materials and when to produce finished goods.
Acumatica SCM also allows manufacturers to manage multiple warehouses and locations. Manufacturers can easily transfer inventory between locations and track inventory levels in real-time. The system also supports drop-shipping, enabling manufacturers to ship directly from suppliers to customers without handling the inventory themselves.
Enhancing Production Processes with Acumatica
Acumatica offers manufacturers powerful production management tools to enhance their production processes. The production management features of Acumatica allow manufacturers to plan and manage their production schedules, track production costs, and manage the production of complex products.
Acumatica production management tools allow manufacturers to create and manage bills of materials (BOMs) for complex products. Manufacturers can track the costs of each component in the BOM and manage the production of each component. The system also supports the management of work orders, enabling manufacturers to track the progress of production and manage resources such as labor and equipment.
Acumatica production management also offers features such as quality control and engineering change management. These features allow manufacturers to ensure the quality of their products and manage changes to their production processes.
Leveraging Advanced Analytics for Better Decision Making
Acumatica offers manufacturers powerful analytics and reporting capabilities to help them make better decisions. The system provides real-time visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs) such as inventory levels, production costs, and sales data. This real-time visibility enables manufacturers to make informed decisions about their operations.
Acumatica also offers advanced analytics capabilities such as predictive analytics and machine learning. These capabilities enable manufacturers to gain insights into their operations and make data-driven decisions. For example, predictive analytics can help manufacturers forecast demand and optimize their inventory levels. Additionally, Acumatica comes with customizable dashboards and reports. Manufacturers can create custom dashboards and reports to track KPIs and monitor their operations. This real-time visibility into their operations enables manufacturers to make informed decisions and drive continuous improvement.
Unlocking the Power of eCommerce with Acumatica
Acumatica offers manufacturers powerful eCommerce capabilities to help them sell their products online. The system integrates with popular eCommerce platforms such as Magento and Shopify, enabling manufacturers to easily sell their products online.
Acumatica eCommerce capabilities allow manufacturers to manage their online stores, including product catalogs, pricing, and order management. The system also supports customer self-service portals, enabling customers to place orders, track shipments, and view their account information.
Acumatica eCommerce also offers features such as upselling and cross-selling. These features enable manufacturers to increase their sales by offering complementary products and services to their customers.
Integrating Acumatica with other Business Applications
Acumatica offers manufacturers powerful integration capabilities to help them streamline their operations. The system integrates with popular business applications such as Microsoft Office, Salesforce, and Amazon Web Services.
Acumatica integration capabilities allow manufacturers to automate processes such as data entry and document management. For example, manufacturers can automatically import sales orders from their eCommerce platform into Acumatica, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
Acumatica also offers powerful integration capabilities with manufacturing-specific applications such as CAD software and product lifecycle management (PLM) software. These integrations enable manufacturers to streamline their design and engineering processes and improve collaboration.
Ensuring Data Security and Compliance with Acumatica
Acumatica offers manufacturers robust data security and compliance features to protect their data and ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA. The system offers role-based access control, enabling manufacturers to restrict access to sensitive data based on user roles.
Acumatica also offers features such as data encryption, audit trails, and two-factor authentication. These features ensure the security and integrity of manufacturers’ data while ensuring that their operations are compliant.
Providing Excellent Customer Service with Acumatica
Acumatica offers manufacturers powerful customer service capabilities to help them provide excellent customer service. The system offers features such as case management, warranty management, and service contract management.
Acumatica customer service capabilities enable manufacturers to effectively manage customer inquiries and issues. Manufacturers can track customer cases from start to finish, ensuring that customers receive timely and effective resolutions to their issues.
Acumatica also offers features such as customer self-service portals and field service management. These features enable manufacturers to provide a seamless customer experience and improve customer satisfaction.
Training and Support for Successful Implementation of Acumatica
Acumatica offers manufacturers comprehensive training and support to ensure the successful implementation and adoption of the system. The system offers online training courses, documentation, and user forums. Acumatica also offers implementation services and support from certified partners. These partners can help manufacturers with everything from system installation to customization and integration. Even better is the ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure your manufacturing systems are always up-to-date and running smoothly.
Find out more why manufacturers choose Acumatica’s powerful tools and functionalities to streamline their operations, boost productivity, and generate new revenue streams. The strategies in this article can help manufacturers to unlock the full potential of Acumatica ERP and take their businesses to the next level. Whether manufacturers are looking to streamline their supply chain management, enhance their production processes, or leverage advanced analytics, Acumatica has the tools and capabilities to help them succeed. With powerful eCommerce capabilities, robust data security and compliance features, and comprehensive training and support, Acumatica is a game-changer for manufacturers in the digital age.
Contact Galeforce Consulting Partners to learn more about our winning partnership with Acumatica to help grow your manufacturing business.
by gfcpartners | Jan 24, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing & Distribution
QuickBooks is widely recognized as an accounting software that supports small businesses with managing accounts, inventory, payroll, taxes, expenses, and budgeting. For companies starting out, deploying QuickBooks is a good first step towards operational improvement. But there comes a point in each expanding company’s journey where QuickBooks doesn’t support the changing needs of the organization. Perhaps it’s an increase in manual processes and offline spreadsheets to track information outside of QuickBooks. It could be the need to add third-party software to handle repetitive tasks that QuickBooks is lacking. Maybe the data needed to make decisions isn’t available from QuickBooks. Or, reports aren’t actionable, with a snapshot of the past rather than a real-time view into your operation.
Additionally, many construction or project-based small businesses require more than QuickBooks to meet their needs right off the bat. We’ve worked with construction companies who have found QuickBooks hindered their operations due to the lack of project-based accounting features, field service, and payroll capabilities.
Our clients have often come to us frustrated with the limitations of QuickBooks, including:
- Limited functionality for job costing and progress billing.
- Inadequate reporting capabilities for tracking project expenses and profitability.
- Difficulty in tracking change orders and managing subcontractor invoicing.
- Lack of integration with scheduling and estimating programs.
- Limited support for multi-currency transactions and foreign currency exchanges.
- Difficulty in tracking retainage and progress payments.
- Limited ability to handle complex job-costing and inventory management.
- Inability to handle complex union compliance and certified payroll requirements.
- Limited ability to track and manage equipment and asset management.
- Limited support for construction-specific tax regulations.
If you’re using QuickBooks now and experiencing any of these frustrations, read how Acumatica, the Cloud ERP construction solution is helping construction companies solve issues and grow.
Compare QuickBooks to Acumatica for accurate project-accounting and construction software.
The pressure to stay up to date on current projects has been a thorn in the side of many contractors. Poor communication has derailed countless construction projects, causing them to finish late and over budget. Acumatica’s cloud ERP software tailored to the construction industry has advantages that QuickBooks does not. Here are a few:
- Real-time access to project data from anywhere, on any device.
- Modern accounting features can help you streamline and automate Accounts Payable workflows, such as entering invoices and obtaining approval for payments. Additionally, it provides real-time project costs related to labor, materials and equipment.
- Project Management allows both office and field teams to access current information from a central, streamlined system, improving field-to-office communication.
- Reduced response times with instant notifications and message alerts.
- Robust document storage – view and store important documentation such as RFIs, jobsite progress photos, and project issues.
- Ensure adherence to regulations by processing waivers, certificates, and status changes quickly. Additionally, create alerts for staff and vendors about expiration dates and other essential data.
- Customer Management offers real-time customer activity management (e.g. contacts, quotes, orders, invoices, payments, support cases and service calls) as well as a customer self-service portal.
- Adaptable workflows to automate, control and increase the efficiency of accounting and back-office processes.
- Thorough and up-to-date reports that keep you informed about the progress of each project.
- Comprehensive view of your business with Role-based Dashboards.
- Comprehensive Connections: Link with popular construction applications.
- Unlimited users.
Switching from QuickBooks to Acumatica Cloud ERP: A Big Change, But Worth It
When you look at the pros and cons, you realize the benefits that newer technology can bring to your business.
For example, communication – with the right tools, your field teams can complete their construction projects more efficiently allowing you to manage your projects more effectively.
We know that switching the system that you run your business on can seem like a risky, big endeavor. For this reason, partnering with an experienced solution provider is a wise choice. The team at GFC knows construction and ERP, and believes that Acumatica for Construction is a right-priced, low-risk solution.
Let us show you how a modern solution can give you the tools you need to grow your business, keep projects running smoothly, make your customers happy, and turn a reliable profit.
Read more about 5 Benefits of Cloud Construction Management and then give us a call to discuss your unique business needs.
Construction firms can no longer stay competitive by relying on paper-based processes, manual workflows, and an endless barrage of emails. Smart, forward-thinking firms are moving their businesses to the cloud. With cloud-based solutions, they’re finding the powerful communication tools and automated workflows they need to maximize the profitability of every project.
Don’t get left behind on yesterday’s technology. Take the first step towards a better bottom line today.
by gfcpartners | Jan 10, 2023 | Business, Manufacturing & Distribution
Technology has made powerful, flexible measurement systems with KPI capability both affordable and user-driven.
“KPIs are a standard business management tool that is becoming both more powerful and at the same time easier to use thanks to packaged Business Intelligence and Executive Information Systems applications that are part of a comprehensive back office software system.”
Every kind of manufacturing company, in all industry segments including automotive, food and beverage, health and beauty, electronics, industrial machines, metal fabrication, plastics, etc., rely on measurements to monitor business activities and performance, document successes and challenges, and help direct management decision-making.
Of course, while we measure a number of parameters simply to comply with mandatory accounting and reporting requirements, smart management will incorporate those measurements into valuable intelligence that helps run the business more effectively and more efficiently.
“KPIs are a standard business management tool that is becoming both more powerful and at the same time easier to use thanks to packaged Business Intelligence and Executive Information Systems applications that are part of a comprehensive back-office software system.”
Download this free whitepaper from Acumatica and learn:
- What is a key performance indicator
- Types of KPIs and those specific to manufacturing
- How to use and reap the benefits of KPIs
- Ongoing KPI maintenance including adjustments and expansions
- anytime, anywhere.
Historical and Predictive KPIs – Which Should You Use?
There are two basic types of KPIs. First, ones that tell you where your business has been and where you are headed. The other, shows you the overall health of your business.
Historical KPIs allow you to easily measure past activity, and showcase where your business will likely go in the future based on that history. They can be set up with alerts and warnings to monitor and detect exceptions, based on historical data, and call attention to issues. These systems can even alert you via email or text.
The second type of KPIs are predictive. These can provide multiple lines of insight into where your business could go in the future. By utilizing all your business data, predictive KPIs can help you make better decisions for your business. In other words, predictive metrics don’t rely on the experience of previous tasks. These metrics show future results according to which the optimal production scenario for the whole factory is made evident. For example, when production runs smoothly, peripheral departments such as sales, supply chain management, etc. are affected positively, as their value-added activities are conducted in alignment with the shop floor.
As performance indicators of the future, Predictive KPIs usually contain information around:
- Inventory – Total inventory value, raw material inventory, WIP inventory, finished goods material value, and others
- Resources – Productivity, OEE, manufacturing time, setup time, capacity load and others
- Products and Customers – Production quantity, manufacturing cost, contribution margin, profitability, and others
- Orders – Earnings, profit, profit ratio, cumulative employee costs, cumulative total costs, and others
One thing to note, you want to make sure your predictive KPIs exist for the entire planning period as well as pre-determined shorter planning periods. This forms an important pillar for making effective management decisions in every case, which is the reason that every manufacturing company today requires an end-to-end planning solution.
Example KPIs for Manufacturing
Plan vs. Actual Hours & Cost
This KPI compares different areas of the shop, different processes, and different products. By keeping a close eye on these metrics, you get an indication of how effectively your business is operating and how to improve overall results.
Utilization & Capacity
The ability to plan optimum utilization of resources is key to a lean shop. Resource load balancing can help save on costs and improve on-time products, reduce overtime and expediting costs, and improve on deliver promise dates. Utilization and capacity KPIs, also referred to as Work Center Dispatch KPIs, can easily be modified to fit your business so you’ll always know what each center is working on and what’s in the queue for completion.
This metric is a little bit more granular but offers better insight into workflows and resource utilization. Many manufacturers use this as a starting point for defining a display of released orders in the plant and the current location and status of each. By using this production schedule KPI and the work center dispatch KPI, you can easily see the overall status of each work center and schedule across your departments or the entire shop.
Profitability by Customer by Category by Item
We all know that not all customers are created equally. Some of them are highly profitable and others might cost your company money. And this is true for products too. It’s wise to review profitability of both customers and products on a regular basis. This example of Sales and Profitability by Item Class and Item gives you plenty of data to better understand your business.
KPIs may have originated in large, complex organizations but their value us universally recognized, and technology has made powerful, flexible measurement systems with KPI capability both affordable and user-driven so smaller organizations can benefit as well.
Many KPIs are historical in nature, focused on summarization, presentation, and analysis of data commonly found in manufacturing management systems. User-managed alerts and alarms highlight activities and business areas that need attention, relieving busy managers from the need to pore over endless reports and screens. Built-in tools enable fast, intensive analysis to get to the heart of the problem and make sound, informed decisions.
If you need better insight into your manufacturing business, talk to GaleForce. We have the experts you need and solutions to match your unique business and pricepoint. ERP solutions have evolved immensely over the past years and enterprise level features like KPIs are readily available for SMB level businesses. Let’s talk. Contact us today.