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Dan Reilly

Enterprise resource planning software

The modern manufacturer’s guide to digital technology

By | Manufacturing, Sage X3, SOFTWARE | No Comments

Industry 4.0 is driving innovation and improving manufacturing business processes around the world.Digitalization is often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.  While digital transformation has come quickly to certain industries, including consumer products, finance, and banking, manufacturing has been slower to adopt the innovations that come with digitalization.

Companies that embrace the opportunities of digital transformation and information technology have the chance to rewrite the playbook within their industry. Digital transformation opens up significant possibilities around business models, business processes, and the work itself.

Below is the modern manufacturer’s guide to digitalization.

Why digitalization matters

The rapid change taking place in varied industries points to the opportunity of digital innovation. Companies are rewriting whole business models to leverage technological opportunities. For some companies, that means entering new industries and market share. Think about the roles companies like DoorDash and Uber have played in the food service and transportation industries, respectively. Consider the impact of microlending in rural areas by new banking companies that are gaining market share in areas where markets previously did not exist.

For manufacturing companies, the old way of doing things will not suffice in a digital world. Companies need to adapt or risk being left behind as competitors or new players encroach on existing markets.

Digital technologies are ubiquitous and felt throughout the manufacturing value chain. R&D, supply chain, operations, warehousing, distribution, and transportation all have seen digital transformation change the way work is done. These technologies do not just disrupt business models; they can also transform how work is completed.

For example, information technology today allows partners throughout the supply chain to interact, using the same real-time data to pinpoint problems and solutions. Remote employees, working on multiple devices and in different time zones, can access data and interact in ways that were not feasible just a few years ago. By allowing designers, suppliers, operations managers, and distribution leaders to work together, dramatic efficiencies can be gained that reduce downtime.

Enterprise resource planning software

The Internet of Things, data analytics, and cloud computing are transforming the way things are made.

Tools and trends in digital manufacturing

Manufacturers are responding to the digital revolution in multiple ways. Each relies on the sharing and distribution of data across departments, and among partners, to better leverage new technologies.

Manufacturers generate petabytes of data about their products, operations, equipment, production processes, and use. The challenge is how to integrate that data effectively to ensure that all employees can leverage the information to make better decisions. The answer is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that integrates data across functional areas and allows teams to work together in the same system – from sales to production to distribution and beyond. With Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), companies can share data from the ERP with other businesses, including suppliers, vendors, distributors, and customers.

Data is clearly the key and will continue to be critical as manufacturing industries use it in the following ways:

  • Data analytics. More data are provided by objects in the Internet of Things (IoT), which contain software, sensors, and wireless connectivity. These devices can collect, transmit, and store data and alert people or other devices about issues, repairs, maintenance, or productivity. This collection of data gives manufacturers a clearer sense of the supply chain, and how products are moving through the factory. Multiple people can review data at the same time, and adjustments can be made to deliveries and operations to improve efficiency.
  • Reducing footprint. With a better understanding of processes, companies can reduce the footprint of factories, storage, and distribution facilities. Less footprint means leaner manufacturing and reduced production costs.
  • Digital technology product life cycle.  Transforming product life cycles into a digital format provides greater visibility into products to streamline development. According to McKinsey, digital technology product life cycle management may help to eliminate bottlenecks like rigidly sequenced processes or complex division of responsibility between R&D teams.
  • Better relationships. Data sent by users can be leveraged to improve the way products are built and how manufacturers respond to inquiries. Customers today expect connected relationships with the makers and sellers of products and are more willing to share information.
  • Less complexity. Complexity can slow down processes and introduce lag that drives up costs. With cloud computing, large data sets, and real-time analytics, companies can swiftly pinpoint bottlenecks and reduce complexity in the manufacturing and distribution processes.
  • Professional collaborationManufacturing USA (formerly the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation) is a federal program that brings together industrial, academic, and government partners to help improve competitiveness among US companies. It also provides a robust R&D infrastructure. Similar efforts are underway in Germany and China. The global Industrial Internet Consortium is focused on bringing together partners around the world to create a “securely connected and controlled” industrial Internet of Things “to deliver transformational outcomes.”

Technologies transforming manufacturing

Many technologies are leading the way for digital manufacturing. In addition to the Internet of Things (IoT), here are a few other areas where digital technology is transforming manufacturing.

  • 3D Printing.  By using digital designs and various resins, plastics or metals, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, can make parts in small lots. In addition, 3D printing and shipping on demand can dramatically reduce downtime and reduce costs. 3D printing helps create better prototypes and reduces the time from concept to production. Some of these 3D parts are also lighter and more durable, creating efficiency gains in manufacturing, aerospace, and transportation. 3D printing can help propel innovation by accelerating the prototype process and allow for faster collaboration and testing.
  • Advanced Materials. New materials are projected as being critical to solving critical societal issues and trends such as energy efficiency, resource shortages, chemical safety, and next-generation consumer devices. These materials may include advanced composites that, to date, have only been used in high-cost applications. However, advances in manufacturing processes and production efficiency may allow the use of these composites in more industries and production methods.
  • Augmented Reality. Advances in computer science, computer vision, and virtual reality have allowed for more accurate work. Using goggles, employees can follow text and graphics to help do complex tasks using real-time information. The tools can assess the timing and accuracy of the work being done and improve the quality and safety on the line. These technologies can help enhance training, improve response times for maintenance, supplies, inventory management, and R&D. These technologies could also be licensed to other companies looking to improve operations and design new and better equipment.
  • Cloud Computing. Connected services, applications, and data access empower employees in different functional areas, on different devices and in different locations to access, discuss, and act on the same information, all in real-time. In addition, the growth of powerful analytics programs means that data collected from disparate systems can be displayed in easily usable formats for better decision-making.
  • Nanotechnology. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Nanotechnology encompasses materials between 1 and 100 nanometers that can be used to make strong, durable, lightweight objects for boats, autos, sporting equipment, eyewear, and medical devices.
  • Robotics. Automated manufacturing has been around for decades and has taken off in the past decade. Some critics believe that robotics actually stifles innovation by eliminating humans from the process of discovery within a particular process or product. In the United States and elsewhere, robotics is not seen as a full-replacement choice, but instead is complementing a human workforce. Known as “cobotics,” this approach is gaining momentum, allowing for innovation in complex manufacturing processes.

Are you ready for the digital manufacturing revolution?

Companies that have yet to venture into digital manufacturing need to consider several critical questions to decide whether the approach is right for their organization. C-suite executives should be asking the following:

  • How will digital technologies disrupt my industry over the next five to 10 years?
  • What new ecosystems will emerge as a result of that digital disruption?
  • Where is the value for our company in digital transformation? How do we maximize that?
  • What new skills, capabilities, platforms, technologies, and employees will our organization need?
  • How will we find, assess, and select those new assets?
  • How do we prioritize and implement new processes, such as the digital technology product life cycle?
  • How close is the digital revolution to the doors of our factories and our board rooms?
  • What investments can we make now to infrastructure and cybersecurity?
  • What partnerships do we need with technology providers, with government or industry organizations, or within our supply chain?
  • Where should we start? What would be a good project to test?

Systems become a critical component of digital manufacturing. Leveraging the interrelated complexity within the organization is important. By bringing together manufacturing, operations, marketing, sales, distribution, payroll, and analytics, an organization will be ready to adapt to the new technologies.

ERP brings together the data from across the organization, providing a coherent and consistent display of information on performance. The right ERP solution is a major step toward digital innovation and can put you miles ahead of the competition.

NexTec Group has over 25 years of experience helping companies select and implement ERP software. Our consultants have deep expertise in manufacturing and can accelerate your digital transformation. For more about how NexTec can help your company embrace Industry 4.0, read our free guide on 10 tips for smarter ERP selection.

Woman warehouse employee with tablet and headset.

Distribution businesses need more than an ERP: Sage delivers

By | Distribution / Supply Chain, ERP, Sage X3, SOFTWARE | No Comments
Woman working in a warehouse.

Better distribution management software helps drive efficiency and better workflows throughout the organization.

Distribution companies need solutions that allow for accelerated supply chain processes, cost control and operational efficiencies. Staying competitive means using more than an enterprise resource planning (ERP) product.

Your business needs distribution management software that allows for better logistics, operations and inventory control. Sage X3 delivers a faster, more flexible and more comprehensive approach to distribution management. As a single, scalable solution, Sage X3 delivers the tools, analytics and functionality your distribution company needs to gain a competitive advantage.

See why distribution businesses need more than an ERP. Sage delivers and solves your most pressing business challenges.

What can Sage X3 do?

Distribution management is about eliminating complexity throughout the supply chain. Many distribution companies face significant challenges related to:

  • Uncertain supply
  • Shifting customer requirements
  • Decreasing margins
  • Enormous inventories
  • Reliance on manual tasks
  • Long lead times

Here is how Sage X3 addresses those business issues:

  • Increased visibility. Use the Sage solution to analyze all aspects of your business, including inventory, promotions, past purchases, quotes and conditions in real time. Real-time analytics, alerts and notifications give you enhanced ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer expectations.
  • Better workflow control. Use data transparency and a single source of information to transform your workflows. Connecting and accelerating the flow of information among sales, financials, warehousing and purchasing gets everyone on the same page. Create more efficiencies by using a shared understanding of costs and margins, resulting in more revenue, streamlined sales processes, better inventory accuracy and improved business and demand planning.
  • Improved operational efficiency. Too many distribution companies are still using spreadsheets, unconnected databases and paper to manage their operations. Gain more efficiency via real-time access to details from pending sales to inventory changes.
  • Scalability. As distribution companies grow, operational insights become more challenging. With a cloud-based Sage solution, companies can scale easily as business evolves.
  • Modernization. Companies are often reluctant to migrate to new technologies, leaving them stuck using legacy systems that are inefficient and are not integrated. Sage X3 provides an integrated solution to reduce costs for maintaining and patching older systems.
Warehouse employee typing on a desktop computer.

A recent study found that a typical Sage Enterprise Management can save on labor, customer service and inventory costs.

The business impacts of Sage Enterprise Management

In 2018, Forrester Consulting analyzed Sage customers’ business results to create a profile of a typical, composite organization using Sage X3. The composite company is one that operates as a global midsized enterprise and has used the Sage solution for three years.

Forrester found that the impacts of using Sage are:

  • 4.1 FTE positions saved
  • 2,600 hours in customer service issues saved
  • A 10 percent reduction in inventory levels
  • $1.59 million in financial benefit
  • A 237 percent return on investment, with a payback period of four months

Choosing Sage X3 is a smart choice for your distribution company. At NexTec, we help companies migrate legacy tools to Sage, providing the expertise to ensure a seamless transition that lets your company gain the competitive advantage it deserves.

See how NexTec can tailor your Sage X3 to your needs.

Additional distribution resources

6 ways food and beverage manufacturers use digital tech for recall management

How to create 2019 costs in Sage X3

Distribution management software

5 ways Industry 4.0 impacts the supply chain

By | Distribution / Supply Chain, SOFTWARE | No Comments
Distribution management software

Today, the digital supply chain becomes an interconnected series of nodes that allow for more transparency and better manufacturing decision-making.

The fourth industrial revolution is changing the game for manufacturers who make the investment in innovative digital technologies. In addition, Industry 4.0 allows manufacturers to create new markets, products, and services that meet ever-evolving consumer demands and expectations.

One of the most powerful impacts of new data-driven manufacturing is on the supply chain. As seen in Industry 4.0: What It Means for the Manufacturing Industry, manufacturers that can best use supply chain partnerships, synergies, and insights are bound to make better-informed decisions that can generate new revenue streams and open up opportunities for new and improved business models.

Here are five ways Industry 4.0 impacts the supply chain.

1. A shift From linear

Traditionally, supply chains are linear entities in manufacturing, as manufacturers draw on suppliers of goods and products, that draw on their own suppliers of raw materials and so on. Information flows linearly in the traditional supply chain, and there is a great deal of dependence on information and actions from the source below each player on the chain. When there are inefficiencies at any step along the chain, the cascading effect can be disastrous.

With Industry 4.0, the linear supply chain is evolving into a dynamic digital network of nodes. This should be viewed as an opportunity for manufacturers to rethink how goods are produced.

With digital supply chains, there can be more transparency, more collaboration, and more information sharing that leads to better decision-making, often in real time. The supply chain is no longer a series of links, but a latticework of interconnected nodes allowing communication and collaboration between any party in the supply chain.

2. Integrated communication

Today, consumers want to have meaningful experiences with the products and brands they purchase. The increasing expectations (access anywhere, anytime, on any device) mean that manufacturers today need to interact with suppliers to provide solutions. With Industry 4.0 cloud solutions, data analytics, and IoT connected objects, manufacturers can collect, store, transmit, and analyze data faster than ever.

Sharing this information with suppliers is essential. With the integration of data and analytics via enterprise resource planning and distribution management software, companies can turn challenges into opportunities to delight consumers.

Distribution management software

Industry 4.0 allows for lower costs in the transportation and storage of component goods and finished products.

3. Data analytics

With massive amounts of data being generated by products and machines, companies have a veritable treasure trove of information available along with the tools to collect, store, display, and report on that information. Data analytics, when shared throughout the supply chain, can help identify inefficiencies and develop solutions at each step in the manufacturing process.

The analytics also allow companies to find which customers are the most profitable, where there is financial exposure, and where there is risk along the supply chain. With information processed in real time, manufacturers can be proactive and curb issues before they become problematic.

4. Lower transaction costs

Today’s technologies allow companies to lower transaction costs by identifying weaknesses early. If data can flow throughout the nodal supply chain, then manufacturing partners can help to pinpoint issues, optimize pricing, and find the best sources of information and products.

5. Innovation abounds

Just as Uber and Airbnb have disrupted the transportation and travel industries, so too can manufacturers identify new solutions that meet a need. Working closely with supply chain partners, manufacturers can find products and services that are disruptive, allowing them to enter markets that were previously impossible or improbable to pursue.

At NexTec Group, we help manufacturers find the digital solutions that allow them to leverage the power of Industry 4.0. Download the NexTec Corporate Brochure to learn how NexTec can help you and your supply chain improve your business.

Industry 4.0 checklist for manufacturers

By | ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments
ERP solution

Industry 4.0 provides extraordinary possibilities for manufacturing companies. Having a blueprint to guide transformation is a smart step.

Companies are seizing the extraordinary opportunities presented by Industry 4.0 to create revolutionary business models, transform and improve business operations, and innovate throughout their organizations.

As reported in the recent article, Industry 4.0: What It Means for the Manufacturing Industry, manufacturers can leverage the Internet of Things, cloud computing solutions, powerful analytics opportunities, and advances in robotics and automation.

Embracing these new digital strategies comes with some risk, and companies need to consider thoughtfully how, where, and when to deploy these new tools. Below is an Industry 4.0 checklist for manufacturers that can help steer companies toward the right decisions and directions.

1. Have a clear mission for Industry 4.0

A clear mission for what desired outcomes is essential for any jump into Industry 4.0 Companies run the risk of chasing trends and ill defined goals, wasting significant effort. Without a clearly defined goal, employees, investors, supply chain partners, and customers are unlikely to understand change.

Consider asking the following questions:

  • What is our current level of digital maturity and sophistication?
  • How do we compare to our competitors?
  • What are our target goals for the business in general?
  • How will we measure success?

2. Build a team of innovators

Every organization needs a balance of thinkers and doers. Without such a balanced mix, it is challenging to play to employee strengths when creating the plan and acting on it. Some manufacturers lack the innovative thinkers that have a vision for the future, the ability to solve complex problems, and challenge the status quo. Find those people in the organization or hire them to drive change.

3. Focus on the business model

With a clear mission in place, you need business models that support it. Different models may be needed for different revenue streams. Multiple models should be considered on their own and in relationship to the broader mission. Where can synergies be found and exploited?

4. Start small with a pilot program

While the plans may be lofty and grand, starting small with one or two pilot programs can help to reduce up-front investments, identify challenges, work out issues, and learn. Some projects may fail, which will allow for adjustment of business models, retests, or shifts in tactics. Allowing for failure on a small scale will prevent failure with large efforts

ERP solution

Manufacturers should build teams of innovators that can help shift the company’s mindset towards the digital revolution.

5. Use the data

At the heart of Industry 4.0 is the ability to collect, store, analyze, and use massive data sets. As you develop your digital strategies, be sure that analysis is a key component. You want to use that data to assess. That means having the right tools in place for collection, storage, and analysis. Today, manufacturers can rely on robust customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools that ingrate and display data in usable ways. In addition, next generation business intelligence (BI) makes creation of decision supports that are more comprehensive and adaptable.

6. Break down internal, external silos

When you break down the traditional manufacturing silos, you open powerful opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Internal cross-functional teams and collaborations across the supply chain will add to more innovation, efficiency, and professional commitment to success. Hybrid roles and stakeholders will allow for increased change and adaptation.

7. Think digitally

As your company evolves, it will need to become a digital entity. That means focusing more deeply on consumer and customer interactions, providing the experiences necessary to deepen relationships and grow market share. It means thinking about digital solutions and approaches, with a commitment to technology and technological approaches to work from the C-suite to the shop floor.

At NexTec Group, we work closely with manufacturers to provide powerful solutions that leverage Industry 4.0. Our consultants know the products and features of top ERP solution manufacturers like Sage ERP X3 to provide you with excellent insights and solutions.

Download the NexTec Corporate Brochure to learn how NexTec can help your manufacturing company move into Industry 4.0.

Inventory control

Integrating the key components of inventory control

By | ERP, Inventory control | No Comments
Inventory control

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps employees better manage the myriad components of inventory.

Inventory control helps coordinate the shifting supply and demand functions, plays a key role in manufacturing and distribution, and needs to be integrated closely with other core business functions such as finance and sales. Maintaining inventory in real time is a challenge for many organization at every stage of business development.

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution helps keep together the various moving components related to inventory control and warehouse management.

How an ERP helps inventory management

When it comes to integrating the key components of inventory control, here’s how an ERP software solution makes sense.

  1. Processing time. For processing functions, timing is critical. An ERP connects production functions with warehouse management and fulfillment functions. The pacing of manufacturing enables companies to know exactly when completed goods will be delivered and available for distribution.
  2. Costs. Pricing and timing of purchase play a critical role in supply chain management and inventory control. With an ERP solution, companies can dramatically reduce costs by having real-time, company-wide data available to make smart purchasing decisions. Comprehensive solutions provide employees with the best information about commodity availability and price, while also allowing for automated decision-making.
  3. Availability. The availability of raw materials and finished goods is a big factor in managing warehouse space and scheduling manufacturing. ERP solutions enable sound inventory allocation and material resource planning (MRP) that, in turn, allows for sound and predictable manufacturing scheduling.
  4. Operations. Processing materials requires a clear understanding of where materials are and when they can be used in manufacturing. Without accurate information on sales and demand, production can get well ahead or fall behind anticipated need. An ERP provides insights into all of these areas simultaneously, facilitating smoother operations throughout the enterprise.
  5. Data and documentation. An ERP helps companies to create the right reports for deep analytics, using real-time data. These systems let companies calculate the needs of a manufacturing operation, report on efficiency and supply chain productivity, and gain insights to improve operations.
Inventory control

Effective inventory management requires a clearer picture of other functions within the company.

Balancing investment in inventory

Companies want to minimize the costs associated with inventory while keeping operations running at peak efficiency. This is epitomized by the concepts of lean processing, doing away with the waste associated with extra or non-usable inventory. The most effective tool for promoting this is a comprehensive ERP solution. This enables companies to reduce waste, minimize surplus, and work closely with partners throughout the supply chain to best manage storage, production, and distribution. Better insights allow for the retention of the right amount of safety stock, which acts as a buffer in cases of delay or unexpected sales surges.

The ERP also allows companies to better manage some of the variables associated with different locations, such as utility costs, labor costs and availability, and transportation availability.

At NexTec, we understand the importance of sound inventory management. We work with companies across industries to understand the unique challenges and opportunities they face. We then recommend the right ERP solutions that contain the features and solutions necessary at the right price point.

Our teams of experienced consultants across the country take the time to learn what our customers need and deliver solutions that enhance inventory management and other related business functions. Download the NexTec Corporate Overview Brochure to see how our expertise can improve your company’s operations.

Supply chain management: What’s ahead in 2017?

By | Distribution / Supply Chain, Sage X3 | No Comments
Supply Chain Management trends: There will likely be 13.5 billion connected devices in 2020

Supply Chain Management trends: There will likely be 13.5 billion connected devices in 2020

Supply chain management (SCM) is the nexus between customers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers where supply and demand are balanced profitably. To build and maintain trust and collaboration, SCM takes control of material, information, and financial flows. In short, SCM works to manage a tremendous amount of diverse information and processes to enhance the relationships between all participants in the chain. As we look ahead at the year, we consider several in supply chain management trends that are likely to be important.

Supply chain management trends in 2017

IoT will disrupt the extended digital supply chain

The Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to connected “smart” devices will grow from 6 billion devices by the end of 2016 to approximately 13.5 billion in 2020. This growth will affect manufacturers and logistics providers as IoT devices will be deployed widely across many industries in 2017. This will mean more sensors and tracking—and an enormous amount of big data to be tracked and analyzed. Businesses that aren’t prepared will get lost in big data.

Supply chain risk will be redefined

Risk management has always been important, but in 2017 all businesses regardless of industry will need to proactively reassess their statutory compliance processes, procedures, and policies and enable not just preventative tactics but also strategic mitigation. Simon Dadswell, Group Marketing Director at PROACTIS, told Forbes, “In 2017, we expect to see organizations invest more heavily in strengthening their supplier data and relationships, with a focus on making smarter decisions, increasing collaboration and efficiencies, and taking uncertainty and risk out of the supply chain.”

3D printing will change R&D and manufacturing

3D printing will enter the mainstream in 2017 and more companies will take advantage of 3D capabilities for prototyping and mass manufacturing. Thirty-one percent of companies already use 3D printing for prototyping and it’s predicted that forty-two percent will rely on 3D printing for mass manufacturing. 3D printing will also digitize inventory as spare parts will be “stored” as plans and printed as needed, not created and stored physically.

How to improve supply chain management with ERP software

To manage the complex organizational structures necessary to compete in today’s market and communicate with internal and external stakeholders, companies need to be able to access the right data at the right time. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software makes this possible by tracking orders, improving efficiencies, providing data for decision making, eliminating errors, optimizing inventory, and reducing costs.

NexTec Group is an award-winning business technology consultancy offering ERP, CRM, BI, Cloud and on-premise solutions to small and mid-sized businesses. We work closely with our clients to find the right technology and solution to fit your business the first time. Contact us to learn more.

Solving shipping’s biggest headaches

By | Shipping | No Comments
Is shipping giving you a headache? Don't worry, we've got the cure!

Is shipping giving you a headache? Don’t worry, we’ve got the cure!

Business stakeholders know all too well the headaches involved with shipping. There are so many components and fine details needed to ensure that shipping runs smoothly, it can be one of the biggest headaches of running a business. Businesses need to rely on Transportation Management Systems technology that can help to cure the toughest shipping headaches and streamline the shipping process. StarShip with Sage X3 from NexTec will enable you to tackle your toughest shipping headaches with ease.

Duplicate data entry is clogging up your system

Shipping entails endless data entry. When entering data between separate ERP software and shipping software, there is not only high potential for error, but there is a constant risk of creating duplicate data sets, which can lead to bigger mistakes later on. NexTec’s shipping solutions software integrates seamlessly with your ERP, so data is automatically transferred between the software applications, eliminating duplicate data sets.

Assessing the true costs of shipping

The true cost of shipping is greater than the UPS or FedEx estimate, as you need to factor in the rate of returns, lost or damaged packages, the cost of shipping supplies, and the time spent managing claims. With all of these variables, it’s challenging to get an accurate estimate of shipping costs. With NexTec’s TMS software, you can compile all relevant data pertaining to shipping, packaging materials, and average rates of returns, enabling you to access the most accurate shipment costs available. Further, advanced insurance options from StarShip may offer significant savings from insurance offered by FedEx or UPS.

The right software improves accuracy and efficiency, so shipping is a seamless process.

The right software improves accuracy and efficiency, so shipping is a seamless process.

Managing the volume and scale of shipments

In order to keep shipping costs at a minimum, it’s imperative to manage volume and scaling as strategically as possible. According to CEO and Startup Advisor, Seth Talbott, the key to this rests in management and analysis.

Assess your current shipping processes and plan for strategic improvements that will continue to scale back spending. With NexTec’s shipping solution software, you can streamline inventory and shipping management, enabling you to better optimize shipments to improve cost-effectiveness.

Shipping is a challenge for any business. From managing returns efficiently to retaining clean and accurate data and records, it seems there is a constant headache associated with managing shipments.

StarShip with Sage X3 from NexTec can cure your shipping headaches once and for all by enabling you to seamlessly integrate your shipping and ERP software, while significantly improving your workflow and accuracy.

Managing international orders and returns

Perhaps the greatest challenge in shipping is managing international orders and returns. Not only does it entail higher expenses, but there are often certifications required for the customs processing. Andrew Thomas, from SkyBell Doorbell, recommends building a strong return merchandise authorization (RMA) process first, so you have a strategy in place for conquering returns efficiently. Since shipping costs will vary by destination, it helps to have an integrated software solution as well. With NexTec’s shipping solutions, you’ll be able to gain immediate access to all list rates and delivery dates, so you can always choose the ideal shipping method for each package.

Use the form on the right to contact us and learn more.

You'd better be!

September 15th FSMA deadline less than a month away

By | Compliance, ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments

The FSMA deadline is approaching. Are you prepared?

Food facilities across the U.S. are in a race with time. In less than a month, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will become the law of the land, and you need to ensure your business is amply prepared. The deadline is set for September 15th. By then you’ll need to comply with all of the new regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The new regulations focus more on prevention in food safety

One of the key differentiators with the new regulations is the greater emphasis being placed on preventative frameworks. In the past, expectations pertained more toward reacting to harm and having policies in place to mitigate risks. Now, the FDA is expecting food facilities to work on active prevention strategies that will require food industry workers to identify risks within their company and counter those risks before they become a problem.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is of key concern

The new FDA regulations are more focused on enforcing HACCP than before. HACCP forms the very fabric of preventative controls, requiring businesses to develop and implement prerequisite programs, current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and the meticulous analysis and documentation of all potential problems or hazards outlined within the company. However, with the new set of regulations, there will be a shift from simply focusing on HACCP to also focusing on Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC), so as to place greater emphasis on risk-based prevention than before.

What changes are required for food facilities?

While most food facilities likely already have risk prevention policies in place, there is now a greater requirement for maintaining written records of all preventative control plans. Food facilities must start by identifying every risk factor within their operation. Determine every hazard that exists within food preparation, food processing, and food distribution, and make written documents planning for strategic risk-prevention strategies pertaining to each hazard. Each of these written plans must contain a step-by-step plan of preventative risk mitigation procedures, as well as a description of the monitored controls and the plans for ensuring each control is continually monitored successfully.

Your facility needs to be more focused on risk prevention than before.

How to ensure compliance and employee commitment

Perhaps the greatest challenge in the food industry isn’t developing safety and compliance procedures, but ensuring those procedures are adopted across the organization and all employees are held accountable. With a Corrective and Preventative Action Plan (CAPA) from NexTec, you can simplify compliance, while making it easier for all employees to remain on top of all company-wide procedures.

A CAPA plan will allow you to automate many compliance-related tasks, thus reducing your workload, while ensuring no detail is overlooked. Not only will a CAPA plan improve the efficiency and accuracy of compliance, but also it will help each employee stay on track with all company policies, so compliance can be adopted at every level of your organization. Contact us today to learn more about FSMA, HACCP and NexTec’s CAPA plans.