Acumatica Summit 2020 – Are You Attending?

Acumatica Summit 2020 – Are You Attending?

The Acumatica Summit 2020 is going to be a fun, informative experience. Held at The Cosmopolitan resort on the Las Vegas Strip from January 26-31, the event will be jam-packed with engaging sessions and networking opportunities. You’re coming, right? We’ll be there. This is not to be missed, especially if you want to learn about the software or how to make the most of your Acumatica Cloud ERP investment.

Acumatica Summit 2020: The Setting and Major Attractions

Normally, we wouldn’t talk about the setting, but The Cosmopolitan is special. It’s one of the newer resorts on The Strip. It’s not the kind of cheesy, labyrinthine mega-complex that you sometimes get in Vegas. Rather, it’s more of an elegant skyscraper. It also happens to feature amazing conference facilities that promise an incredible experience from start to finish.

The guest speaker this year will be Robert Ballard, the renowned ocean explorer and scientist. He’s the one who discovered the wreck of the Titanic. He will talk about what it was like to find the Titanic, among other significant finds. In this Ballard, will no doubt earn the empathy of legacy ERP users who have struggled to find submerged data that everyone else had thought was lost to history.

The Conference

The conference is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees. This will provide opportunities to build new relationships. You can meet peers in the industry, who may be using Acumatica for the same workloads as you. You might learn, or teach, a few best practices in the process. There will be industry analysts at the conference, too, along with Acumatica executives, product teams and sales teams. If you have an issue you need to air, you can buttonhole whomever you think can solve your problem.

There will be over 60 sessions and workshops presented by the leading worldwide product, sales and marketing experts. They will discuss product roadmaps and strategy. Sessions will feature storytelling, advice on achieving strong ROI from your ERP. Many live demonstrations are planned. Notable sessions topics include:

  • Acumatica 2019 R2 Feature Update—Learn about the new accounting features and other advances embodied in this latest edition of the software. Learn more about Acumatica 2019 R2 Features.
  • Distribution Edition—For companies in the distribution business, Acumatica offers an industry-specific solution, along with add-on modules for specialized workloads like inventory management.
  • Manufacturing Edition—ERP started in manufacturing. Acumatica’s Manufacturing Edition enables manufacturing businesses to operate with optimal efficiency and profitability.
  • Payroll Overview—For people who manage payrolls, Acumatica gives you an integrated payroll module that aligns with accounting and finance, operations, HR and more.
  • Construction Product Tour—Construction is another industry vertical solution from Acumatica that has been embraced by professionals in the field. It provides a deep feature set to help construction companies manage projects, budgets, cash flow and so forth.
  • Construction Project Management—This will be an in-depth discussion about using Acumatica for managing complex construction projects.

Other sessions will cover “Cross Connected Workflows: Project and Field Service,” custom solution building, and reporting and dashboarding. As always, a “Tips and Tricks for New Users” session will help beginners get acquainted with Acumatica.

As a leading Acumatica partner, we would like to invite and encourage you to attend this great event. This is your opportunity to experience the Acumatica platform, network with industry leaders, and speak with Acumatica partners and customers on their incredible solutions to business problems. Plus, there is plenty of fun planned! To learn more, visit: https://summit.acumatica.com/.

Additional Acumatica Resources

Moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica

Better Financial Reporting with Acumatica

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

7 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Old Manufacturing ERP System

7 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Old Manufacturing ERP System

How can you tell you’ve outgrown your old manufacturing ERP system? Chances are, if you’ve implemented ERP for your manufacturing business, you have a system that works relatively well. It gets the job done, more or less. The “or less” part can become increasingly problematic as older systems age, however. Here are seven signs that you’ve outgrown old the ERP.

1) Quality suffers

ERP in manufacturing should give you very fine-grained control over manufacturing processes and material inputs. If a customer returns an order, you should be able to go to your ERP and quickly gain a firm understanding of what went wrong. That way, you can recall any other orders that were shipped with the same same defect or intervene with a supplier that contributed to the problem. For example, if you manufacture a food item, and you discover that a particular lot contains a harmful chemical, your ERP needs to give you complete information on where the chemical came from and who got shipments of the tainted product. Older ERPs can struggle with this level of control and insight.

2) You’re spending a lot to keep it going

Legacy ERPs are like old cars. You love them, but they take a lot of care and feeding. If you notice your ERP management and admin budget climbing every year, even if you’re not adding new functionality, that’s a sign you need to replace it.

3) You need specialized people on staff just for ERP

If you have to keep people on staff because they are the only ones who can administer the ERP and get data out of it for reporting, you need a more modern solution.

4) Inventory is holding things up, tying up cash or both

Modern ERPs like Acumatica give you many nuanced controls over inventory management, including tracking of lot and serial numbers, expiration dates, transaction reason codes, inventory bin locations and item class hierarchy.

5) Integration is clunky or nonexistent

Is your old ERP linked to your accounting system, HR or CRM solutions? If it isn’t, that’s already a tip off that you can do better. Acumatica comes with simple, fast integration with related systems. These enable more efficient business management overall. Alternatively, if managing such integrations is a cumbersome, expensive proposition, it’s time to make a change.

6) Reporting is a chore

How hard is it to generate timely, in-depth reports with your legacy ERP? If reporting is time-consuming or incomplete, you should know that you’re missing out on insights that can make your manufacturing business more competitive and profitable.

7) Security is weak, costly or both

Is your data secure? Do you feel confident you can protect your digital assets from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks? If you’re not sure, or you are being told you will have to spend a lot of money to get secure, you might do better with a modern ERP. A cloud-based ERP like Acumatica is hosted in a secure cloud data center. This doesn’t make it 100% bulletproof—nothing is—but this architecture takes a huge security burden off of your plate.

We have worked with many manufacturing companies on ERP upgrades. If you are curious about how a new ERP could help your business run better, we should talk. Or, to arrange a demo of Acumatica, please visit our website.

Additional Manufacturing ERP Resources

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

The Advantage of True Cloud Manufacturing

What Is the Best Software for SMB Manufacturers?

What Is the Best Software for SMB Manufacturers?

What Is the Best Software for SMB Manufacturers?

When we think of manufacturing, we may imagine big factories, assembly lines or fast-moving, automated processes. This is the world of big company manufacturing, however. Not all manufacturers are like that. Small-to-midsized (SMB) firms are often engaged in more flexible, custom manufacturing. This creates a different set of needs for manufacturing management software, prompting the question, “What is the best software for SMB manufacturers?” Acumatica, which offers specialized Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) software for manufacturers, has published a useful whitepaper on this topic. We will explore the subject here.

First, What Kind of Manufacturer Are You?

There is no “best” manufacturing software for two reasons. For one thing, manufacturing software is always adapted for your unique business. It’s better to talk about manufacturing software suites that can be customized for your needs. Also, manufacturers vary significantly in the kind of operations they run.

type manufacturing software

Figure 1 – Different kinds of manufacturers, as categorized by their relative levels of variety and volume – which also correlate to speed and flexibility

The best manufacturing software for SMBs will vary according to a company’s manufacturing operation. The chart shown in Figure 1, which is taken from the Association for Supply Chain Management (www.ascm.org), offers a great way to categorize different kinds of manufacturing business. It plots manufacturers according to the relative levels of variety and volume, which also correlate to speed and flexibility.

A project shop is one with low volume and speed but a high degree of variety and flexibility. A company that makes custom equipment falls into this category. A job shop moves a little faster, but has less variety. Job shops usually sets of similar products, known as “jobs” for individual clients. A batch operations business is sort of like a job shop, but it has less variety and flexibility, but higher volumes and faster speeds. A mass, or continuous manufacturing operation is high speed and high volume, but with low variety, e.g. makers of soda cans or mass-production auto parts.

Matching Software with Manufacturing Category

In our experience working with manufacturers, software selection and configuration flows from a detailed, nuanced analysis of the company’s operations. In this context, operations span the full gamut of the business, not just the shop floor. The analysis should include a close look at the sales process and how the company supports customers after orders have been placed. All of these have a bearing on how manufacturing software is set up. And, the end results will vary based on the type of manufacturing that’s being done:

  • A project shop will likely need manufacturing software that’s configured for in-depth project management and project accounting capabilities. This may mean integrating software modules for manufacturing management, supply chain and project accounting. A software suite that doesn’t offer this should not be considered for a project shop. Depending on the complexity of the project, the software may need sophisticated supplier management and scheduling, e.g. if components are expensive and manufactured abroad.
  • A job shop needs similar functionality to a project shop, but, in our experience, usually also requires more customer relationship management and logistics features. Delivery of finished jobs may be time sensitive, split into multiple sub-orders and so forth.
  • A batch operations business tends to need strong supply chain management capabilities. They’re moving quickly and cannot afford to run out of manufacturing inputs, nor do they want to hold inventory longer than they need to.
  • A mass, or continuous manufacturing operation needs good supply chain management and logistics support in its manufacturing software. These companies also may need effective financial management, particularly if they’re running at lower margins. They’re often managing money as much as they are inputs and end products.

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Getting Manufacturing Software right for the SMB

The challenge with getting manufacturing software right for an SMB is to provide the feature depth they need without overwhelming them with the complexity of an enterprise ERP system. After all, a large manufacturing enterprise might have more IT admins on staff than an SMB has employees. The SMB manufacturing software package has to be scoped right for the customer in question.

Acumatica Cloud ERP is a good option for SMB manufacturers in most cases. It can adapt to the needs of the four kinds of manufacturers. It’s also flexible enough to meet the specific requirements of a given firm—while offering ease of implementation and management that suits the operations of a smaller firm. To learn more about how we can help you with SMB manufacturing software, contact us today.

Additional Manufacturing Resources

5 Things Manufacturers Need in ERP

The Advantage of True Cloud Manufacturing

Manufacturing Challenges—How Acumatica Can Help

New Features in Acumatica 2019 R2

New Features in Acumatica 2019 R2

The release of Acumatica 2019 R2 means even more opportunities to increase productivity and accelerate growth. Improvements to the software (of which there are over 100), aim to make the cloud ERP system more user-friendly. Its latest upgrades are based on feedback from customers, developers and partners. There’s a cool roadshow for the new release hitting selected American cities in October. They cover the following aspects of Acumatica 2019 R2:

Platform

Worldwide SMS Support is now available, enabling users to be updated on business events via mobile text notifications. Conveniently, the recipient’s device doesn’t need the Acumatica mobile app installed. Other platform upgrades include enhancements to contract-based APIs, so developers can obtain multiple detail lines in a single request, while integration with HubSpot enables real-time syncing.

With the Pivot Table Widget, pivot tables can now be displayed on dashboards. Users can quickly summarize large quantities of data when creating reports. Also, lines, columns and dashboards can be highlighted for faster identification of relevant data. Users can highlight desired items via the customization feature on the Generic Inquiry screen.

Usability

Predefined roles are available to financial users, allowing them to quickly access system functions. Other enhancements to usability in Acumatica 2019 R2 include:

  • Autogenerating of expense report receipts directly from images
  • User-defined field enhancements for mobile devices
  • Conditional formatting to adapt the style of dashboard rows or columns (supports formulas)
  • Selection of a company/branch in a single click
  • Sorting and filtering of file attachments in a table/entity

Financial Management

Acumatica 2019 R2 now allows Application of Payments to Particular Lines of Accounts Payable Documents. Users can assign a partial payment to an entire AP document or individual lines within the document. Payment assignments can be performed in various proportions as well. The system also supports the ability to track retainage by document.

Users can now approve AR invoices, credit memos and debit memos within the software. The Accrual of the Costs of Non-Stock Items function enables revenue and expenses to be posted to non-stock items. Calculating the approximate net income of these items is therefore more straightforward. Acumatica’s new software applications also include corporate credit card support and reconciliation.

Project Accounting

Detail Level of the Project Budget options include task, task and item and task and cost code. Data here can now be updated at the summary and detailed levels. Users can also receive warnings when a saved document exceeds the budget, while the system can forecast project budgets by period, allowing the comparison of actual costs/incomes with budget amounts previously forecasted or revised. Two-Tier Change Management has also been added. Multiple change requests can now be grouped, with markups, into a single change order.

Inventory and Order Management

Buyers can now review item prices and select/change vendors from the purchase orders screen. Acumatica also allows direct sales order invoices to be linked with external point-of-sale systems while customer orders are automatically validated in the system. The prepayment system has been enhanced to allow one or more prepayment requests to be added to purchase orders (which can be added to prepayment documents). A Warehouse Management System and international shipping options have been integrated as well.

To learn more about Acumatica 2019 R2, register for a roadshow event near you or request a demo today!

Additional Acumatica Resources

Moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica

Better Financial Reporting with Acumatica

Understanding Acumatica Pricing

5 Things Manufacturers Need in ERP

5 Things Manufacturers Need in ERP

Process management, inventory management and accounting are just a few important features of manufacturing ERP software. By implementing a manufacturing-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, you can streamline business processes while more accurately generating prices and calculating total costs. Acumatica Manufacturing Edition has what manufacturing companies need to operate efficiently. However, for an ERP system to work in manufacturing, it must have these five things:

1. A Way to End to Blind Scheduling

Blind scheduling, i.e. scheduling without reference to actual orders, can lead to excess inventory and inefficiencies in plant operations. To foster efficient planning, ERP software must use real customer orders and demand forecasts to plan purchases and create realistic production schedules. A manufacturer can then assure all materials, products and parts are available when needed, in the right quantities. Coordinating activities, completing work on time and using resources more efficiently can avoid this even as demand changes or unexpected disruptions occur.

2. Ability to Reduce Expediting

In the manufacturing sector, expediting is the least efficient way to run an operation. Costs quickly go out of control as companies pay premium prices for materials to accommodate favored jobs. Acumatica Advanced Manufacturing Edition integrates costing functions in all operational subsystems. An ERP system must also collect/manage cost data for materials, labor and overhead in a production environment, while offering traceability of items, barcode data collection and tracking of labor.

3. Ability to Control Engineering Changes

The demand for product complexity and variety has increased. Therefore, an ERP system must account for complex product designs in multi-level bills of material (BOMs). Detailed routing and support for multiple product revisions are needed to track anything being designed, assembled or fabricated. A revision control system improves coordination, record keeping and tracking of pending changes. With visibility into complete, accurate data, companies can better manage material procurement, production scheduling and field service in the face of engineering changes.

4. Elimination of Outdated Business Information

Manufacturers need the most current information to improve decision making. The visibility provided by ERP software supports the manufacturing of complex, customized products; adoption of new manufacturing methods and technologies; and balancing of supply with demand. Acumatica integrates information across applications while updating data immediately system-wide, via the cloud, and ensuring the required data are always available. It also has dashboards for reporting and viewing key metrics, which provides accurate decision support and insights into trends.

5. Ability to Grow with the Business

Scalability means the same dependable, feature-rich platform is available as a business expands. For example, a scalable ERP system can support your business if it expands globally (i.e. contains tax and regulatory compliance and language translation functions). It should also support significant changes in transactional volume and contain software modules that allow an expansion of services. Otherwise, an entirely different software package may eventually be needed, which can cause problems ranging from data compatibility to learning curves.

Acumatica cloud manufacturing ERP software has everything manufacturers need for production planning, cost management, engineering change control, data tracking and scalability. Learn more by browsing our website or by leaving a message with us today.

Additional Manufacturing ERP Resources

The Advantage of True Cloud Manufacturing

Technology for the Mid-Sized Manufacturer

The Advantage of True Cloud Manufacturing

The Advantage of True Cloud Manufacturing

If you manage manufacturing operations, you know the kind of pressure you can be under to produce product on time and at the right cost. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has helped guide the manufacturing process as well as related areas of work like supply chain management and Materials Resource Planning (MRP) for a generation.

Today, however, the manufacturing sector is at a moment of change. On one level, time and cost pressures have grown more intense. At the same time, technology innovations like cloud-based software promise greater control over the process. Not all cloud software is the same, however. There is an advantage to using true cloud software in manufacturing. This is the subject of Acumatica’s useful white paper, True Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: How Manufacturing Companies Can Tell the Difference.

The Potential for Cloud Software in Manufacturing

Cloud-based ERP is a good fit with manufacturing for a variety of reasons. It tends to be more flexible than legacy ERP, which is helpful given how rapidly manufacturing circumstances change today. Manufacturing ERP software needs to keep up with rapid change cycles affecting product design, suppliers, logistics and so forth. The cloud is well-suited to this role.

Specifically, in addition to performing basic functions like accounting and financial management and procurement, ERP for manufacturing has to contend with many challenges. For instance, manufacturing management software has to integrate broadly with suppliers’ and customers’ systems, with logistics providers and more. An effective cloud ERP system for manufacturing can serve as the hub for all your business applications. It can connect your software, data services and equipment. Outcomes of this approach include:

  • Streamlined order processing across multiple channels
  • Ability to view material requirements and create schedules and work orders to meet demand
  • Digital document signing and document management
  • Automated warehousing
  • Support for multi-carrier shipping with automated shipping rules
  • Automated transportation management
  • Efficient management of human capital and payroll

Looking ahead, cloud ERP for manufacturing can make it easier to adopt future technologies than its on-premises legacy counterpart. New technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) promise to affect manufacturing. Security and compliance issues will continue to be significant. Similarly, data analytics as a component of manufacturing operations management will likely grow more sophisticated as time goes on. A good cloud ERP platform keeps you ready to deal with what’s coming.

Understanding True Cloud in the Manufacturing Setting

There are differences between the various cloud ERP offerings. Not all of them are what we call “true cloud.” Indeed, some cloud ERP solutions are actually just cloud-hosted versions of their original legacy instantiation. This leads to some fairly serious differences in functionality and the ability to deliver on the promise of the cloud for manufacturing.

A true cloud ERP solution is one that was developed natively for the cloud. It’s designed to leverage many of the cloud’s built-in advantages. For example, a true cloud solution will offer full functionality and reporting on common mobile devices as well as on the desktop. It will enable extensive customization, such as with dashboards and reports. A true cloud ERP solution features full integration of spreadsheets, apps, equipment and data services. It will feature robust security, but do so in ways that do not limit extensibility or integration. True cloud is also easy to upgrade.

Is true cloud ERP software the right solution for your manufacturing business? We can help you answer that question.