When your business decides it may be time to implement an ERP system within the company, the final choice deserves a great deal of discovery. Although being sent a quote and watching a short demo may seem appealing, the decision making process should be far more extensive. An ERP system is a significant investment that will significantly impact the efficiency and performance of your company. Substantial time, research, and preparation is required. Your potential ERP partner that is seeking your business should also be willing and enthusiastic to invest the same amount of time and energy in you to understand the unique bearings of your business.
A crucial step in a vendor's pursuit of your business is discovery. This process entails a detailed tour of your facility, in-depth discussions with the key department stakeholders, and finally a second visit or call to confirm what capabilities they have uncovered. It may seem easier for you to make a list of all the things your company needs, and then compare them to the functionalities of different systems, however, the discovery process of the vendor should be completed before they even begin to demonstrate the details of their software and how it pertains to you and your business. When a vendor realizes your unique requirements, this will allow them to present you with highly individualized, specific functionalities that will greatly enhance your business. If a vendor simply jumps to the bottom line and seems unconcerned with your specific needs, they are either incapable of meeting your requirements or are not experts in the market where your business competes. In either scenario, the vendor may not be the best fit, and the solution will not provide the return you seek to justify your significant investment. A vendor who focuses on what they do best, will yield the most efficient and optimal results for you and offer an understandable approach to a complicated system.
It is important to understand that purchasing software from the first company you find can be a tragic mistake. You will be in a long-term relationship with the vendor you choose, so take the time to realize all of your options and discover what an ERP software company can do for you.
Installing new software does not signify that you have established a lifelong solution to your business’s problems. In order to achieve the greatest amount of success from your software, it’s often advised to keep current on maintenance and software updates as the software vendor has invested time and money into gathering customer feedback and research and development to put forth the best improvements possible.
There are many rationalizations as to why a company doesn’t want to upgrade: it’s too expensive, they can’t afford the downtime, or the users are just accustomed to the way things were. However, there can be several more reasons why upgrading is invaluable
· Upgrades will keep your system running reliably and efficiently.
· Ignoring upgrades altogether may save you money and disruption in the short-term; however, this could eventually leave you with an obsolete system potentially forcing you to start all over with a new vendor therefore costing you more money in the long run.
· Upgrading not only provides you with new software features and enhancements, but also permanent repairs of any bugs from the previous version.
An ERP solution is a substantial investment in your company. Just like the initial purchase of the ERP software, you should identify the risks and rewards to upgrading. Remember, your ERP system contains your business’s most sensitive data and is the backbone to your business’ operations; it’s worth your investment to maintain vs. the risk losing access to it, temporarily or worse, permanently. If you would like more information on what upgrading your ERP system could do for you, please contact email@example.com.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from food borne diseases. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama in January 2011 in hopes to “better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system.” By doing so, the FDA will be able to focus more on food safety problem prevention vs. reaction. The law also provides the FDA with new enforcement authorities for higher rates of compliance and better response and containment of problems when they do occur. The FSMA rules are still under review. One of the new rules, Preventative Controls for Human Food, basically requires all producers and manufacturers of food sold within the United States to have formalized, documented programs to prevent their products from causing food borne illnesses and other contaminations. Manufacturers will also need corrective action plans for issues that occur.
Food manufacturers should be implementing real-time food safety and quality software that provides them automation of supplier compliance, certificate of analysis and specification management, auto scheduling of standard operation procedure (SOP) reviews, capability to respond to on-demand audits, and more. This type of software also affords manufactures with the ability to:
· Keep cost of goods made within key performance indicators (KPI’s) and automatically notify them of process variation.
· Eliminate the bulk of manual processes and errors, saving time and money.
· Keep non-conforming ingredients from going into production and non-compliant finished products from reaching customers.
If you would like more information on how ProcessPro® Premier can offer you a head start with your SOP validation process, meet 21 CFR Part 11 requirements, and provides security, audit trail, electronic signature options, and more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FDA: The public is encouraged to review and submit comments to the proposed rules. The proposed rule is published in the Federal Register and filed in FDA’s official docket on http://www.regulations.gov. FDA will review comments on the proposed rule and consider revising the rule, before issuing a final rule. Comments are due within 120 days of the rules’ publication in the Federal Register.
Chances are you don’t take pleasure in drowning amidst a sea of your own sales and financial information. Sorting through and managing all of this data can be become nothing short of tedious. And wondering whose information is correct or most current during your department meeting is frustrating. Finding the right reporting capabilities is vital, and having them integrated into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is crucial – enter a business intelligence suite.
A business intelligence tool empowers you to make better informed, timelier, and smarter business decisions. If you’re currently managing your business and manufacturing operations with separate systems or using an external report writer, the first step would be to integrate all of them into one ERP solution. That solution should provide an easy-to-use business intelligence suite that grants you the ability to:
· Create reports quickly with real-time data
· Design custom dashboards with graphs, charts, and reports using simple point and click capabilities
· Drill-down to the transaction level
· Export data to Microsoft® Excel
· Post reports to Microsoft® SharePoint
Make sure your valuable information is accessible and useful – custom to fit your business needs. If you would like additional information on how a business intelligence suite can benefit you and your company, please contact ProcessPro® Software at email@example.com.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) allows manufacturers and distributors’ computer systems to “talk” to their customers’ systems and electronically exchange business documents and information. This form of data transfer is routinely used for exchanging business information such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping information, while also being able to seamlessly integrate with leading ERP and accounting software solutions. More and more major retailers and establishments are mandating EDI to ensure the accuracy and timeliness in to exchange these critical documents.
Organizations use EDI to exchange data in an electronic format to increase efficiency and decrease costs. It enables companies to greatly reduce the administrative burden associated with the manual processing of business documents. Delivery times can also be dramatically reduced from days to hours, helping improve the cash conversion cycle in many cases. Being EDI-compliant will provide a strategic advantage with retailers and organizations that rely on time sensitive delivery and electronic automation. The following are just a few additional benefits EDI provides:
· Reduces or eliminates manual data processing errors and time by removing the manual keying of vital business documents such as orders, invoices, acknowledgments, etc.
· Reduces lead times and inventory levels electronically – exchanged documents are delivered faster than paper-based files, reducing order to delivery turnaround.
· Improves supplier relationships as electronic documents are easier to read than those faxed – correct documents help ensure accurate shipments and reduce chargebacks, which will help improve relationships with suppliers.
If you are considering an EDI solution, make sure that it integrates seamlessly with your current ERP system, such as ProcessPro® Software, and that your EDI partner provides an end-to-end solution which helps to make your experience not only simple and affordable, but painless as well.
Our preferred EDI partner is HighJump TrueCommerce EDI. If you are interested in learning more about EDI or how TrueCommerce EDI can help to streamline your business processes, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) proved to be another successful event. More than 18,000 retail foodservice buyers and professionals attended the three day show in San Francisco, CA. It was encouraging to see and visit with countless small and start-up companies. We observed a trend towards botanical teas and juices, exotic flavored olive oils, and anything you can add flax seeds to!
When we visited with many mid-size manufacturers, we were not surprised to see that a large percentage were managing their manufacturing, inventory, and quality control via Microsoft® Excel spreadsheets linked to a small accounting package. Most of these manufactures were also aware that at a certain point efficiencies start to lag, an increase of data errors develop, managing compliances, recall, and tracking begin to suffer and a lack of real-time information becomes more of a serious issue with their current method.
When it comes to food production, compliance, safety, and quality are key components in assuring the success of the products and business. These three components function much like a 3-legged stool; any deficit in one area compromises the standards in another area. With a shortfall on any ‘leg’, the business becomes unstable and it’s only a matter of time before the business fails. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is comparable to the glue that holds the 3-legged stool together. Specifically, the Quality Control application within the ERP system is the key to ensuring your food products meet or exceed your customer’s expectations.
I highly encourage all process manufacturers to take the time to investigate a fully integrated ERP software solution. If you would like additional information on how such a solution can greatly improve your business processes and bottom line profits, please contact Tim Sands at email@example.com.
The increase in food recalls in the past few years is enough to send consumers running and turn manufacturers pale. Recently, Sunland, Inc. extended its ongoing voluntary recall of raw, roasted shelled, and in-shell peanuts due to potential product contamination with salmonella. As of October 5, 2012, here are some quick facts associated with their recall:
A product recall can occur any time a manufactured product has been adulterated; examples include: microbial test failures, HACCP critical limits exceeded, unsafe or unsuitable product ingredients, and inaccurate labeling. To stay compliant with FDA regulations, manufacturers face numerous difficulties managing lot tracking, paperwork, and reporting challenges in a cost effective and timely manner. In addition to the hard facts listed above, here are some of the top reasons why your company needs to be prepared for a recall:
ProcessPro Software provides an ERP solution that assists manufacturers with FDA compliance. Through lot tracking capabilities, you’ll be able to provide all of the necessary information required by the FDA to locate a product in less than the 24-hour minimum limit. ProcessPro® Premier ERP has the ability to track incoming raw materials, formula creation, inventory balances, lot tracking, bill of lading, outgoing finished goods, and more.
Each individual is liable to some degree for his or her own food safety. Consumers, however, rely heavily upon the manufacturer to shoulder most of that responsibility. Consumer confidence is built through brand loyalty with companies that are proactive in protecting the food supply. Choosing the right ERP can be an effective tool to help manufacturers comply with FDA regulations.
For more information on how ProcessPro Software can provide a fully integrated ERP solution that can better prepare your company for a potential recall or to schedule a mock recall webinar presentation, please contact us. Additional details regarding Sunland, Inc.’s recall, please click here.
This year’s Client Connect was a great success with the largest number of attendees in history! We covered a number of topics from the Business Intelligence Suite to Automated Warehouse System to DataDriller and everything in between. If you would like additional information on any of the topics covered, or would like to schedule an individual demo, please contact us.
Save the date for next year! Client Connect will be held on September 10-12, 2013. More details will follow this spring, but it’s never too soon to start planning ahead!
ProcessPro will be attending the SupplySide West 2012 and PLMA’s Private Label tradeshows. SupplySide West brings together suppliers and buyers within the dietary supplement, food, beverage, personal care, and cosmetic marketplace. PLMA’s Private Label tradeshow is devoted entirely to store brands; a place to meet buyers from today’s supermarkets, supercenters, drug chains, wholesalers, importers and exporters, discounters, and more.
If you plan on attending SupplySide West or PLMA, we’d love to meet with you! Please contact Tim Sands to schedule an appointment.
We’d like to welcome back the client-only weekly webinar! Below is a list of our upcoming webinars. For a complete list of upcomming webinares please download our Webinar Schedule PDF. To register, please select the time offering that best fits your schedule and click on the link.
ProcessPro® software Navigation and Personalization Webinar - 10/26 @ 10am
ProcessPro® software Navigation and Personalization Webinar - 10/26 @ 2pm
Project Accounting Webinar – 11/1 @ 9am
Warehouse Management (AWS) Webinar - 11/2 @ 10am
Warehouse Management (AWS) Webinar - 11/2 @ 2pm
Quality Control (QC) Webinar - 11/9 @ 10am
Quality Control (QC) Webinar - 11/9 @ 2pm
Business Intelligence Suite Webinar - 11/16 @ 10am
Business Intelligence Suite Webinar - 11/16 @ 2pm
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Webinar - 11/30 @ 10am
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Webinar - 11/30 @ 2pm
We would like you to be aware of the Section 179 tax deduction. Please note there is no guarantee this tax deduction will be available after December 31, 2012 due to the upcoming presidential election.
Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. This has been an incredible benefit, as businesses are able to write off the entire equipment purchase price the year they buy it.
Here are the new 2012 Section 179 deduction changes:
For additional details on Section 179 including limit, qualifying equipment, and Section 179 financing, please visit www.section179.org. Please consult your tax professional regarding Section 179. If you’d like more information on an existing module upgrade, please contact your ProcessPro Software sales representative or account manager. Take advantage of the Section 179 deduction today!
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