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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Demand Solutions Discovers Supply Chain Opportunities

Demand Solutions, a global resource for supply chain management solutions, has recently launched an easy-to-use survey to help businesses assess their supply chain optimization performance and identify improvement opportunities. The assessment tool allows Demand Planners and Forecasters to quickly evaluate the current state of a company’s supply chain.

The assessment guides participants through the five stages of the Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process: Sense, Shape, Collaborate, Integrate and Orchestrate. A detailed and customized assessment report identifies the areas of the IBP process in which the company is excelling as well as the areas that represent opportunities for improvement in driving tangible business value.

Demand Solutions' Supply Chain Assessment survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and respondents will receive an optimization performance score along with a free report detailing how the business compares to industry leaders. Also included are valuable insights on improving the planning process to achieve greater profits, lower costs, higher customer satisfaction and increased market share. In addition, Demand Solutions also offers a supply chain planning suite for forecast management, demand planning, collaborative forecasting and inventory planning as well as modules for advanced planning and scheduling (APS), sales and operations planning (S&OP) and point of sale analysis.

To learn more about the assessment and software solutions for distributors and manufacturers, visit the Demand Solutions NewsRoom.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

NetSuite Report: Businesses See Cloud Computing As A Competitive Advantage

NetSuite, a provider of cloud-based financials / ERP and omni-channel commerce software suites, recently announced the results of a study titled, 'Disrupt, Collapse, Transform: The Role of the Cloud in Industry Transformation', sponsored by NetSuite and conducted by global industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. The study, completed in October 2014, surveyed 1,500 senior executives across multiple industry sectors in seven countries—the US, Australia, Singapore, the UK, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Two-hundred of the surveyed participants were from the US.

The study examined the drivers for disruption across all industries and how modern businesses respond. Among respondents, 81 percent of US cloud-based software users told Frost & Sullivan that the cloud has provided them with a competitive advantage over their rivals—particularly with regard to entering new markets—and has helped them react more quickly and effectively to change.

Survey respondents identified four significant disruptive drivers impacting their businesses and motivating them to transform.
The four drivers are:
•New disruptive competitors
•Digitalization
•New business models
•Productization/Servitization

Frost & Sullivan research shows that cloud computing is both a contributor to industry transformation, as well as a necessary response for organizations to survive.

According to the research, greater adaptability to industry change is now a main driver of cloud adoption in the US.
•62 percent of those surveyed in the US describe cloud computing as representing an opportunity for their business.
•51 percent of US respondents said they are leveraging the cloud to access elements of their business management software, with customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce being the cloud-based business applications they most commonly use.

To read more of the Frost & Sullivan research study, and learn more about the benefits of cloud computing in the manufacturing and distribution sectors, visit the NetSuite NewsRoom.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thymly Products Enhances Operations Control With xTuple

Thymly Products, Inc., is an East Coast dry mix manufacturer specializing in food ingredients and bakery blends for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Thymly needed greater control over their operations (accounting, purchasing, CRM, manufacturing, inventory and distribution) which was not possible through their current legacy accounting software.

After much investigation and consideration, Thymly chose xTuple because of its rate of implementation, affordability and customer support in the ever-changing areas of government restrictions and regulations in the food industry.

In making the switch to xTuple, Thymly shut down its previous accounting system and went live with Linux-based xTuple software the very next day with a full integration with Thymly’s other software and production equipment. As a result, cost savings were realized within three months in inventory control. Traceability also improved as Thymly is able to tag each product with a weight and lot number and track it through the entire supply chain. In addition, the company can now respond within minutes, greatly exceeding industry norm, during an FDA recall. Lastly, accounts receivable control has been enhanced allowing for improved collections by automating invoicing and receivables follow-up.

To read more about the Thymly case study and xTuple's suite of open source accounting, Corporate Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, visit the xTuple News blog.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Acumatica Wins 2014 Business Intelligence Award

Acumatica, a provider of cloud-based accounting software, recently announced that the company has won the top award for "Case Study of the Year" in Business Intelligence’s 2014 BIG Awards.

The BIG Awards annually recognize top-performing companies and organizations. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above their peers.

Acumatica’s winning case study focused on Youngevity, a health products distributor with over 100,000 customers. By implementing Acumatica, the company was able to go global while managing their continued growth. Chris Nelson, Youngevity’s CFO, said the cloud-based system was best equipped to support the company's double- and triple-digit growth rates.

Acumatica, which recently launched beta of its latest version 5.0 in August earlier this year, was also a finalist for Business Intelligence’s Product of the Year award. “We’re really excited to win a BIG Award,” said Jean Gea, Acumatica’s Director of Product Marketing and Chief Customer Officer. “Acumatica wants businesses to take control, empower their people, and play to their strengths. It’s gratifying to win for a case study that showcases how we help our customers.”

A complete listing of BIG Awards winners is available at www.bigawards.org. To learn more about Acumatica and the Youngevity award-winning case study, visit the Acumatica Newsroom.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Phocas: 5 Questions To Ask About Business Intelligence Software

Are you feeling as if your business is operating half blind, without free and easy access to the sort of business-critical data that employees need – not just at the very top, but across all of the different levels and departments? Once you’ve decided to investigate implementing a business intelligence (BI) tool, consider these hints and tips:

Q: Where to start looking?
A: Start with one of the authoritative surveys of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. There are two main ones to consider: BARC Research and Gartner. These highly respected research organizations publish annual comprehensive surveys of the world’s main providers of business analytical tools.

Q: What outside sources should I review?
A: There are numerous places to go looking for that advice - both through professional contacts and online. These might include your company’s suppliers or customers. The same applies to sister/group companies. These contacts probably have a good idea about your company’s character and so will be well placed to give advice about their experiences with BI.

Q: What about my ERP provider?
A: If you're worried about issues of BI compatibility with your ERP/accounting software, be sure to involve your technical team in the discussion. The best BI programs will need to be fully compatible with your ERP in order to be effective.

Q: Which employees should I involve?
A: BI lives or dies by who uses it and how widely. Early version of BI were often skewed towards Sales use but nowadays other departments such as Marketing, HR, Commercial, Accounts and Inventory realize benefits from using BI. Be sure all departments are considered and/or consulted on the issue.

Q: What other issues might come up?
A: One of the most frequent issues that can arise is internal resistance to the idea of BI. Access to company data has, in many companies historically been tightly controlled by a very privileged group. The most common answer to this issue is to make BI Champions key drivers of your project: staff who have successfully shown that freeing up data delivers tangible benefits.

To learn more about BI preparations, and how Phocas Software can help meet you company's business intelligence needs, visit the Phocas News Blog.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lightlife and Epicor Informance Optimize Operational Performance

Lightlife Foods started in 1979 when Michael Cohen sensed an opportunity to introduce the Indonesian staple, tempeh, to the American dinner plate. In 1985, Lightlife launched Tofu Pups, a healthier, veggie alternative to the hot dog and the seeds of a veggie revolution were planted. Lightlife utilizes Epicor's Informance enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) system in its Turners Falls, Massachusetts manufacturing facility for collecting real-time production data automatically from seven different operating lines and eliminating inaccurate and time-consuming manual data collection. Operators on the shop floor use touchscreen technology to gauge production performance, such as downtime, cycle time and product defect rates, allowing operators to respond immediately to problems or improve performance on the spot.

Because it is a food manufacturer, Lightlife is governed by strict FDA standards. Informance provides the manufacturing intelligence Lightlife needs to effectively control product quality and safety. Informance also records product defect rates to help Lightlife understand the rate at which defects occur and put a time stamp on the event to help investigate root cause analysis.

Within the first three years of using Informance, Lightlife grew its overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) for batch processes by 50% and improved overall plant efficiency 40% by using the tools and real-time plant analytics inside Informance. The company has been able realize continuous improvements in operational performance and product throughput through real-time product information.

To read more about the Lightlife Foods Informance implementation, visit the Epicor News blog.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Efraín Nuñez Selects Blue Ridge to Improve Profitability

Blue Ridge, a Cloud-based supply chain planning solutions provider to retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, recently announced that Efraín Nunez Inc. will implement Blue Ridge's demand forecasting, planning and replenishment solutions.

Efraín Nuñez is an importer, warehouser, and broad line distributor of bakery products for the manufacturing and retail sectors in Puerto Rico. The company also offers onsite technical service in the areas of baking, decorating, pastry, and other related areas. The company expects the implementation to enhance customer service levels while increasing profitability.

Efraín Nuñez saw strategic value in the ability to maintain and enhance world-class customer service levels. The distributor was also motivated to use enhanced demand planning capabilities in order to increase the efficiency and profitability of its supply chain planning operations. Blue Ridge solutions are configured to automatically fulfill demand in the most profitable way possible, taking into consideration current inventory, logistics costs, freight, and other factors thus allowing the business and sales team to focus on strategic objectives and fully take advantage promotions, trends and other business opportunities. By optimizing product availability, inventory, and logistics costs, companies such as Efraín Nunez can increase cash flow by 50% or more and improve sales by double-digits, while stabilizing or even reducing inventory up to 30%. In addition, Blue Ridge's solutions can be implemented in as little as 90 days and scaled to the most complex supply chains.

To learn more about the Blue Ridge implementation at Efraín Nunez, visit the Blue Ridge News blog.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
2014 Manufacturing Software Guide: 
 
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Infor M3 Supports Filippa K Expansion

Infor, a provider of business application software serving more than 73,000 customers globally, recently announced that Filippa K, a Swedish fashion label, has selected and deployed Infor M3 to support rapid business growth due to the company's shifting business model. The Infor M3 application will help Filippa K to boost productivity, drive efficiencies, and support expansion as it opens new stores and launches an international online presence.

As a dynamic fashion company, Filippa K's production and distribution processes are complex, and it had outgrown its previous system. In order to support international growth and move into a wholesale/retail business model, the fashion business required a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

After evaluating a number of applications against criteria including flexibility; scale; functionality; local presence; value for money and total cost of ownership, Infor M3 was selected. The application will serve as the backbone of the company, integrating fully with Filippa K's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), third party logistics (TPL), point of sale (POS), e-commerce, Business Intelligence (BI), and HR & Payroll systems. The efficiencies will free up staff resources to focus on identifying market opportunities and growing the business.

To learn more about the Filippa K implementation, or receive details about Infor M3 for Fashion, visit the Infor Newsroom.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.


 
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shaw Industries Selects NetSuite for China Expansion

Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, turned to NetSuite for its launch of a new 210,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Nantong, China designed to produce carpet tile for Asian markets.

By selecting NetSuite OneWorld, Shaw saved significant time and capital expense and gained visibility and control over the China plant and 10 international subsidiaries in countries including China, India, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. In addition, the company needed a solution that also supported the Mandarin language, spoken by employees across the manufacturing plant, and multi-currency conversion that would enable Shaw to seamlessly transact in the Chinese renminbi and Australian dollar.

Using a two-tier ERP model, Shaw was able to link OneWorld for international operations to the company's custom-developed systems at its headquarters in Dalton, Georgia. This allowed for integration of subsidiary financials with global financial consolidation, while gaining on-demand transparency into international operations.

In addition, Shaw was able to streamline production by taking advantage of NetSuite's manufacturing capabilities including work orders; work in process, lot control and standard costing. By utilizing NetSuite's Advanced Inventory, multi-location warehousing and distribution of commercial carpet tile to customers in China and across Asia received full support in positioning the Nantong plant to meet its global initiatives.

To learn more about the Shaw Industries implementation, or receive details about NetSuite's OneWorld, visit the NetSuite Manufacturing Newsroom.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.
 
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cathy's Concepts Selects Distribution One For Business Growth

Cathy’s Concepts, a wholesale manufacturer and distributor of personalized gifts, wedding accessories, spa accessories and novelty apparel, started as a small wholesale jewelry company and has grown into a complex business servicing end users, retailers and gift stores nationwide. With a state-of-the-art distribution center, fully-staffed design team, sales team and customer service call center on site, Cathy's Concepts sells both directly to consumers and to retailers.

To keep pace with business growth, meet the needs of its customers and secure a competitive advantage, Cathy’s Concepts needed an automated ERP solution to ensure streamlined, efficient business operations. The solution they chose was Progress OpenEdge®-based V2 ERP solution from Distribution One. One of the key decision factors was that the Windows-based V2 Enterprise system allowed the company to take advantage of the solution’s expanded capabilities, including an online order management system and expanded reporting.

Since upgrading its order management system from a manual, paper-based operation to an online system, the company has achieved tremendous results in streamlined business operations, improved customer service, increased visibility and reduced costs. Cathy’s Concepts is using V2 as the core of its business to manage inventory, order processing — from import to the manifesting — as well as pushing updates to their multiple websites to reflect near real-time inventory availability. Said Patrick Geisler, IT Administrator, Cathy’s Concepts, “The ability to manage orders online has created greater efficiency in our business and has given us more flexibility in modifying and tracking orders. We have also reduced our costs previously associated with the paper-based production process by about 70%.”

Outcomes since implementing Distribution One's Progress OpenEdge®-based V2 ERP solution:
  • reduced costs associated with the paper-based production process by 70%
  • cut production time for various operations by at least 15%
  • reduced order inquiry call volume by approximately 20%.
To learn more about the Cathy's Concepts implementation, or receive details about Distribution One's V2 ERP, V2 Fastener, V2 Industrial and V2 Retail Fulfillment software, visit the Distribution One newsroom.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.

 
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bambis Spotlights Data With Phocas BI

Bambis, an Australian company specializing in the design of contemporary homewares and furniture, had quickly became a major player in the homeware/giftware market. However, staff members were manually extracting data from an existing ERP system as well as manually creating spreadsheets and pivot tables in order to understand it. It was a time-consuming and frustrating process that wasn’t delivering results. To achieve greater business advantage, Bambis sought to improve their access to business intelligence throughout their organization, and began their search for the right product.

After serious evaluation, Phocas was selected and the results were described as "staggering." Phocas' combination of simplicity, high visibility and high speed has given Bambis the ability to take corporate decision making to a level that was hard to imagine before. The sales staff can now leverage data for immediate decisions and non-IT personnel are able to create, run, and interpret reports.

The improved ability to analyze sales data through Phocas has had a significant and positive impact on Bambis' business and they are exploring the potential to include General Ledger and Purchasing and Inventory databases to their contract.

To learn more about the BI capabilities of Phocas and read additional case studies, visit the Phocas News Blog.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.


 
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Acumatica Grabs Gold, Silver, and Bronze at the American Business Awards

Acumatica, a provider of cloud-based accounting and business management software for small and mid-sized companies, was recently awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie® Awards in four different categories in the 12th annual American Business Awards.

Acumatica won a Gold Stevie for the New Product or Service of the Year for Cloud xRP Platform, a Silver Stevie for Software, and Bronze Stevies for Financial Management Solution, and Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year categories. Previously, Acumatica won two silver Stevie Awards.  Built using cloud and mobile technology and a unique customer-centric licensing model, Acumatica's platforms deliver a suite of fully integrated business management applications such as Financials, Distribution, CRM and Project Accounting with the additional flexibility of being usable on any device.

The American Business Awards is the nation’s premier business awards program. Nicknamed the "Stevies" for the Greek word for “crowned,” the trophies were presented to winners during a September gala banquet at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. More than 250 nominees and their guests attended for the presentation of new product awards, Website awards, app awards, and more.
Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 240 executives nationwide who participated in the judging process. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.

To learn more about the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform, as well as additional awards, case studies, and business implementations, visit the Acumatica News Room.

The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.
 
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

BRAX Manufacturing Grows with I.B.I.S.

BRAX Ltd. has been an industry leader in collectible ceramic beer steins for over a decade, and the business also specializes in custom manufacturing of licensed and promotional products. Their core products include a range of injection molded drink-ware, stationary and home decor using a range of innovation decorating techniques that include lenticular 3-D, foil and other ‘in mold’ labels. 

BRAX believes in making a fair profit and while doing so are committed to giving a percentage of every dollar made to a range of non-profit organizations. These include Make a Wish Foundation, the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Miracle League and all youth sport organizations across America.

Combining quality products with consumer-popular corporate philanthropy resulted in BRAX growing at a very rapid rate - and their former enterprise solution simply could not handle the new business being generated, much less allow for continued growth.

In evaluating various solutions, BRAX selected I.B.I.S., Inc. for the implementation and support of Microsoft Dynamics® CRM and GP because of I.B.I.S.’s Microsoft Dynamics expertise. By implementing a very unique system built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, GP and ISV solutions, and designed for their specific needs, they can now support their growing business.

Since the implementation, BRAX has realized tremendous value in their Dynamics solution. They are now able to directly import orders instead of entering them manually. Additionally, invoicing is processed instantaneously. As a result of these improvements, BRAX has increased their school merchandise market share by 300% and is poised to handle continued growth in the future.

To read more about BRAX and other case studies, visit the I.B.I.S. Client Success Stories news blog.


The Brown Smith Wallace 2014-15 Distribution and Manufacturing Software Guides are currently available for download. Please contact snelson@bswllc.com for more information about these latest editions.
 
2014 Manufacturing Software Guide: 
 
 
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