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Group of colleagues standing together smiling.

Efficiency is leverage in professional services: Does your ERP deliver?

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, OTHER, Professional Services | No Comments
Group of smiling colleagues.

Professional service providers struggle to remain competitive

Professional service providers have to measure things differently than product-based companies. Because service professionals are usually providing “brain work” instead of a physical, tangible product, production values and operating costs look and function differently.

Still, they share one major characteristic: efficiency is the key to protecting profit margins.

Your agility when delivering services can help to build client trust and satisfaction while allowing you to maintain an edge on your competitors.

The right ERP can empower service professionals to measure critical key performance indicators (KPIs) that will keep you on track to a productive, profitable business. Here are some of the top considerations when vetting ERP systems:

1. Define the right KPIs

KPIs are the driving factors behind business growth, and service professionals should identify and understand exactly how they impact your company. Suggested by Service Professional Indicator’s 2016 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark report, these KPIs include, but are not limited to:

  • Year Over Year revenue growth
  • Employee retention and attrition
  • Project profitability
  • Employee utilization rate (an employee’s available time for productive, billable work)
  • Employee satisfaction

There may be other important metrics that are significant to your growth, but the bottom line is that service providers need a fluid, reliable way to track these figures.

2. Gain greater visibility into operations

By establishing and monitoring the right KPIs, service providers can use their data to understand more about how their busines

s operates and identify efficiency issues.

For example, are you consistently delivering your services on-time and on budget? Are there steps between project onset and delivery that could be eliminated? Lag can not only kill your profits but also your client’s satisfaction and trust.

Person typing on a laptop keyboard.

Tracking the right metrics is critical to success.

3. Identify opportunities for improvement

As service providers gain a better understanding of the business’s operations, they can use their data to identify bottlenecks in processes that could derail their profits.

For example, you may discover that you aren’t utilizing your team to their fullest potential, which is contributing to project delays or slimmer profit margins. By optimizing your existing human resources, you may be able to avoid hiring additional employees or outsourcing tasks to freelancers.

As a result, service professionals can better manage resources, improve the customer experience, and help each employee thrive.

How Acumatica and NexTec empower service professionals

Acumatica, a leading ERP for the service industry, was designed to help professionals better leverage their data to monitor KPIs, understand their business and customers, and improve efficiency to maintain profitability and competitiveness.

Service providers can gain a 360-degree view of their clients’ activities and requests, along with other critical details like revenue per billable person, profit margin, project overrun, and resource management. As a result, professionals can focus more of their efforts on core business processes and make decisions driven by data versus assumptions.

As an Acumatica partner, NexTec works closely with service providers, including lawyers, accounting firms, architectural and design services, and consultants, to identify the right ERP and automation tools that can help you maintain profitability and provide a higher level of service to your clients.

Take the Acumatica Product Tour and discover how it can benefit your professional services organization.

Food manufacturing machine.

Food and beverage businesses: Manage cash flow to increase profits

By | ERP, Food and Beverage, Sage X3 | No Comments
Food manufacturing machine.

You can take steps now to assist with smoother cash flow later.

Are you looking for ways to increase profits for your food and beverage business? Need a proven food enterprise resource planning software (ERP) solution? Cash flow is a crucial part of any organization.

A lack of money can cause a business to fail. Taking the right steps to manage cash flow can reduce issues. These include:

  • Manage credit control
  • Sales forecasting
  • Negotiate credit terms with suppliers
  • Manage stock levels

Small business cash flow is a concern of company owners everywhere. More than half of U.S. small business owners (52%) have lost at least $10,000 when passing up a project or sales due to insufficient cash flow. Fortunately, these solutions can help you get ahead before it really becomes a problem.

Manage credit control

Credit is a convenient way to increase inventory and take care of business expenses when you need it. Learning how to manage credit early on will keep you out of trouble in the future.

That being said, never rely on credit. Credit adds up over time and will eventually run out.

Sales forecasting

Sales forecasting is about predicting what will happen in the future so you can plan for cash flow peaks and valleys. Once you have a little sales experience, you can forecast cash flow.

Use market knowledge, competition, pricing, the economy and anything else that influences the amount you make and spend. It’s better to be too cautious than overly optimistic.

Though you may find it challenging to manage your cash flow, you’ll eventually turn those concerns into smart money management. This will remove you from the 90% of business owners whose companies failed due to cash flow problems.

Excel spreadsheet with sum formula.

Excellent sales forecasting can help you smooth out cash flow hiccups.

Negotiate credit terms with suppliers

One way to manage your cash flow is to negotiate credit terms with suppliers. Extending the payment terms gives you more time to pay without being penalized.

Holding onto your money for a little longer allows you to regulate cash flow in your business. For example, if you are expected to pay a supplier in 30 days, ask if you can extend it to 60 or 90 days instead.

Negotiate payment plans for sizable orders so you won’t need to pay large sums all at once. You can then make regular smaller payments that are easier to manage over time.

Manage stock levels

Monitor your stock closely so you’ll always know what you need and exactly when you need it. Only order those items that are running low and the exact amount that you need in order to avoid unnecessary spending and waste.

Figure out what sells quickly and will be most profitable. This results in a steady income and keeps you from holding onto items that are slow-moving or don’t shift easily. This keeps you from tying up funds you could use somewhere else.

Manage cash flow with Sage X3

Sage X3 is an enterprise resource planning software solution that helps you manage your cash flow:

  • Accurately calculate profits
  • Strike a balance between supply and demand
  • Attract new customers digitally
  • Improve your profit margins through savings

Sage X3 is easy to use. It can be accessed from anywhere, offers exponential opportunities for growth and keeps you in the loop.

Want to know more about the food ERP for managing your cash flow today? As a Sage X3 partner, NexTec ensures the fastest ROI on your ERP investment.

See how NexTec can tailor your Sage X3 to your needs. Give Sage X3 a try.

Sage Platinum Reseller

Man standing in front of a maze.

4 Professional services challenges in 2020 & how Acumatica meets them

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Professional Services | No Comments
Man standing in front of a maze.

What are the top industry challenges for professional service providers?

Professional services developed in response to businesses that need solutions to a problem. The irony, of course, is that these services experience their own unique set of challenges, and they must first overcome their own issues before they can adequately serve their customers.

Now that 2020 is here, professional services organizations should be preparing themselves for the obstacles they’ll encounter through this year. Here are four critical ones.

1. Achieving business growth

When professional services look at their overall growth picture, there are two directions they can take: out or up. Growing vertically requires companies to stay niche-focused and identify other opportunities within that niche. Expanding outward allows them to tap into new markets (geographically, industry-wise, or the development of a new product or service).

In either case, expansion forces companies to re-examine the ways they deliver their services to the customer. In many cases, a business’s existing system or methodology may be unable to accommodate new growth, which means other alternatives will need to be explored.

2. Automating manual tasks

Computer monitor with gears on display.

Managers spend more than 36% of their time on admin tasks.

A recent survey of 500 managers in the U.S. discovered that a majority of them spent more than 36% of their day on administrative tasks. In a 40-hour week, that’s about 13.5 hours of lost time that could otherwise be devoted to business growth or other objectives.

Automation is no longer an unrealistic idea, nor can it be considered a luxury. Rather, many businesses would agree it’s a critical growth component they can’t afford to do without. Companies that find themselves knee-deep in tedious manual tasks should look for ways to automate some or all of these tasks at scale to free up valuable time across the organization.

3. Responding to market shifts

Like the professional services industry, the clients you serve will also experience their own shifts in the marketplace. Savvy companies must keep a finger on the pulse of the industries where their customers are, so they can understand the challenges they face and be prepared to respond. This will be particularly critical in 2020 as many experts are predicting a recession, combined with the potential for economic uncertainty during a presidential election year.

4. Mastering profitability

Wooden blocks spelling out profit.

Maintaining profitability is a priority in every organization.

Each of the other three professional services challenges can impact your overall profitability, but that’s not all there is to maintaining a healthy bottom line.

To truly master profitability requires you to be able to provide accurate quotes, bill with precision, and reduce surprise costs that can derail your projects. Having a deeper insight into your project metrics can help you improve your chances of winning more business and hitting your targets on every project.

Filling in the gaps with Acumatica

A professional services ERP like Acumatica can be your best defense against these and other challenges you’ll face in 2020 and beyond. With features that specifically assist the services industries, Acumatica can address critical industry challenges, including task automation at scale, improved cash flow monitoring, project management, and relationship management to help you remain competitive in your market.

Choosing the right Acumatica partner to implement and roll out your new ERP is key to gaining the swiftest ROI. Let NexTec help you take the next steps in adding value and improving relationships with every customer.

Give Acumatica a try.

Thank you! – Achieving Operational Excellence in Food and Beverage Manufacturing eBook

By | Food and Beverage, Manufacturing | No Comments

Thanks for getting in touch

Here’s your copy of the eBook, “Achieving Operational Excellence in Food and Beverage Manufacturing”.

Download now
Achieving operational excellence in food and beverage manufacturing

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Sage Authorized Partner
Supply chain

Overcome distribution and supply chain disruptions with ERP analytics

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Distribution / Supply Chain, ERP | No Comments
Man looking at documents on a clipboard.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) data analytics tools resolve supply chain problems quickly.

Supply chain managers face the continuous threat of disruptive actions that can derail operations at any turn. However, when business leaders integrate enterprise resource planning (ERP) data analytics solutions into supply chain management, problems can be identified early on or eliminated.

Uncertainty and supply chain management

Supply chains are, by their very nature, prone to uncertainty. However, your operation can overcome distribution and supply chain disruptions with ERP analytics.

Let’s consider some of the most common challenges faced in supply chain management:

  • Last-minute changes to customer orders
  • Compliance issues with suppliers or their suppliers
  • Unexpected machine input and output variances
  • Inaccurate measures and tracking of inventory
  • Transportation delays
  • Sudden changes in supplier quality
  • Lack of traceability
  • Poor communication and collaboration among suppliers

While headline-making natural disasters or geopolitical issues get the most attention, usually these more mundane but real day-to-day issues cause the most headaches.

The strength of data analytics

Data analytics help predict and preempt the most common supply chain issues. Forward-thinking companies are turning to data analytics to get ahead of supply chain complexity, simplifying processes, using data effectively and transforming operations.

Data analytics have long been a part of supply chain management. The difference today is that more data are available and trackable; companies can do more with the data they have to develop smarter solutions, often in real-time.

Data analytics are generally bundled into one of three types:

  • Descriptive Analytics. These insights use data to illustrate past performance or behavior. It gives your organization a clear and detailed picture of what has happened. It’s the most foundational and basic type of analysis and plays an important role in planning, strategy development, and decision-making.
  • Predictive Analytics. Data that are collected, organized and reported upon in a coherent manner can help managers make better projections for future behavior. For supply chain leaders, these projections can help forecast events that could be disruptive.
  • Prescriptive Analytics. While the first two categories model data, prescriptive analytics go a step further. They start with a corporate goal and use your predictions, along with rules, real constraints and limitations. These analytics will identify disruptions and help to find a solution.

Collectively, analytics programs provide insights from massive data sets, leveraging the Internet of Things, cloud computing, machine learning, and automation to provide a real-time of your supply chain and related business metrics. They offer insights needed for better decisions in the moment of most crucial need.

Supply chain.

Make better supply chain decisions with real-time ERP dashboards and analytics.

Acumatica and business analytics for your supply chain

At Acumatica, data analytics are a critical component of our ERP solutions. Start with a single version of the truth with a unified data collection and reporting system. Use multiple display options that generate reports for key staff based on role, visual dashboards for KPIs and exports to Excel for use with programs like Power BI.

Acumatica data analytics solutions include:

  • Business intelligence and analytics from data collected from Acumatica and external sources
  • Generic Inquiries, which extracts data and allows for multiple reporting and analytics applications
  • Acumatica Reporting, with access to more than 250 standard reports, and report creation and modification capabilities
  • Acumatica Dashboards, customizable by role, department or person

NexTec helps businesses identify, install and optimize the right ERP solution for their unique needs. Our experts help you leverage supply chain data for better solutions completed more quickly.

Get our short guide to BI and what it can do for your business.

Thank you! – Brookside Flavors Case Study

By | Case Studies, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing, Sage X3 | No Comments

Thanks for getting in touch

Here’s your copy of the Brookside Flavors case study.

Download now
Brookside Flavors and Ingredients

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Sage Authorized Partner
Farmer looking at a tablet while standing in his field.

Agriculture ERP: Streamline your accounting and inventory reporting

By | Agriculture, ERP | No Comments
Farmer using a tablet while standing in his field.

Technology in agriculture is growing.

Agriculture technology and automation don’t just apply to field operations. Like other industries that have turned their eyes and ears to tech, agriculture companies can enjoy the same benefits of uniting their accounting and inventory reporting in a single platform, called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), that delivers deeper visibility into the business.

Managing business operations and growing profits are accomplished through a multitude of smaller, complex, interwoven tasks, many of which can be streamlined by shifting away from outdated tools like spreadsheets and fragmented systems in favor of a comprehensive solution.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in Agriculture

By definition, ERP is a flexible, scalable software solution that unites multiple business activities into a single function. In the agriculture sector, an ERP can provide an anchor point for financial data, inventory management, sales, purchasing, quality and compliance data, labor, and more.

In the agricultural sector, Sage X3 is a leading platform that can accomplish all of the above. Take a look at some of the key reasons why agriculture companies are finding a better way of doing business with Sage X3 agriculture ERP and NexTec:

Provide end-to-end farm management

Rows of crops in a field.

An advanced agriculture ERP simplifies multiple aspects of agriculture operations.

The right ERP has the capacity to manage multiple aspects of farm business operations, including purchasing, contracts, labor, inventory and warehouse management and complex costing and pricing models. It can also provide full end to end traceability including Country of Origin.  Having all the information in one place allows agriculture businesses to optimize and see true costs.

Eliminate resource-draining paper trails

One of the most notable benefits of using an ERP is the fact that many agri-businesses can replace many of their outdated, time-consuming, paper-intensive manual processes with a software solution.

Clunky spreadsheets are inefficient and prone to error, even though they’re still widely used in managing farm operations. But by switching to an agriculture ERP, companies get a centralized, searchable database where they can find and input information quickly and eliminate the costly need to print paper records or make calculations by hand.

Implementation is the key to accelerating and maximizing ROI

On the surface, the benefits of shifting to an agriculture ERP are hard to ignore. However, the key to tapping into the expected benefits is through diligent, well-executed implementation with the help of NexTec. Switching to an agriculture ERP like Sage X3 doesn’t happen overnight, and once your system is set up and ready to use, you’ll also face a learning curve as you learn to work with the software.

Choosing the right implementation partner can have a major impact on what your ERP can help you accomplish, and how quickly your company can start leveraging it to its potential. NexTec specializes in working with agriculture companies to get their Sage X3 ERP operating as smoothly as possible so they can realize a swift, positive ROI. Discover how we can help you grow efficiency in your agricultural business.

Learn More about ERP

Sage Platinum Reseller

Thank you! – Hemp Cultivation Study

By | Agriculture, Case Studies | No Comments

Thanks for getting in touch

Here’s your copy of the Hemp Cultivation Report.

Download now

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Sage Authorized Partner
Technician filling glass vials with liquid.

Chemicals in 2020 and beyond: Challenges and solutions

By | Chemicals, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Technician filling glass vials with liquid.

The chemical industry faces new challenges each year.

As we begin a new year, the challenges and complexities that chemical companies face will continue to shape the future of the industry. It’s important for companies to be forward-thinking in identifying the issues that may impact their business in 2020 in order to stay ahead of tough challenges — and their competitors — while identifying opportunities and solutions.

Here’s a closer look at some of the expectations for the chemical industry this year and how companies can start preparing:

China’s chemical industry will remain a powerhouse

China’s previous growth rate of 8%-10% is predicted to drop to 6% by 2022, a slowdown which not only impacts the Chinese economy, but also other Asian countries that trade with China.

However, the slowdown still leaves China at a greater growth rate than the rest of the world. China is currently the world’s largest consumer of specialty chemicals, which are used in everything from detergents to food to technology.

Plastics and waste recycling will become even more important

Recycling bins.

Single-use plastics have become an environmental target.

Communities and establishments around the world are banning single-use plastics, a move which will create new challenges and opportunities for chemical companies. As the war on plastics continues to rage, recycling and finding greener practices will become top priorities. Chemical companies can join sustainability conversations by developing plastics that are easier to recycle, consume fewer resources, and are manufactured using greener forms of energy.

Customer expectations will increase

In the age of digital communication, customer preferences and expectations across industries are shifting to adapt. Today’s customers expect real-time updates, fast response times, and seamless experiences across devices.

Chemical companies will need to examine ways to improve their existing systems and practices to cater to the customer journey. According to a report by Deloitte, one trend that’s already gaining steam among chemical companies is the introduction of self-service web-based platforms to manage end-to-end customer interactions.

Companies will seek better ways for maintaining regulatory compliance

Compliance.

Chemical companies need an easy way to track compliance activities.

Compliance requirements and regulations continue to evolve in the chemical industry, and companies are continually facing new expectations. In response, businesses should examine new opportunities to better track industry changes and monitor compliance, particularly with digital technology and automation.

Turning to ERP to manage and improve chemical assets

Never has it been more critical for chemical companies to do more with their assets, which is why many companies are turning to the advantages of Sage X3. And since companies are having to adapt rapidly to changing regulations and customer expectations, it’s even more critical to find an ERP partner that can help them implement ERP technology, deliver a smooth deployment, and encourage widespread adoption of a new management tool.

NexTec is a leading provider of ERP implementation and deployment for chemical companies, offering a wealth of industry expertise that can help you get the most potential from your system and position your company for success in 2020. Contact us to learn more about Sage X3 chemical ERP and the results you can expect for your company.

Learn More about ERP

Sage Platinum Reseller

Worker fixing an electrical box.

Meeting the challenge of managing inventory in field services

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Field Services | No Comments
Man working on an electrical box.

With mobile applications and real-time knowledge, field services companies can track inventory and equipment better.

For field services companies, managing equipment and tools is a complex task. These assets are often spread across multiple job sites, within warehouses or on trucks or other equipment.

Tracking these valuable assets is essential. Your business needs to manage usage, maintenance and billing across multiple operational areas.

These operational complexities can be solved with an enterprise resource planning solution. When your business is looking for a business software tool adept at meeting the challenge of managing inventory in field services, an ERP like Acumatica is the smart choice.

Inventory management in field services

Inventory management in field services is all about money and risk. As soon as it hits your site or warehouse, tools and equipment start to cost money. Depreciation, obsolescence, internal and external theft and deterioration are all risks to the value and efficacy of everything that has value.

In field services companies, inventory is used far more heavily than in other sectors. Efficient tracking is a financial and logistical imperative.

What do you need from your ERP to ensure inventory optimization? Here are a few of the key features to look for:

  • Access from Anywhere. With products and tools in fleets of trucks, multiple warehouses and at multiple worksites, you need a solution that gives you secure access to items at any time located anywhere.
  • Secure Access. You want to make sure that only those who need access to information and assets can know where items are located.
  • Valuation Flexibility. Your ERP needs to accommodate multiple valuation methods, including standard cost, moving average and first-in, first-out approaches.
  • Data Entry and Tracking Ease. Inventory data entry needs to be automated in most cases and in others, done via user-defined screens that make it easy to quickly and accurately record information. Lot and serial numbers, along with other user-defined fields, need to be accessible in a logical, easy-to-find and use layout.
  • Integration. Your ERP solution needs to integrate the inventory management tools with connected and relevant other parts of the enterprise, including purchasing, general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, operations, payroll and scheduling.
  • Deeper Insights. The right ERP software can incorporate other insights, including information about customers, contracts, orders and technicians, all in one system. With an ERP, you do not need to manage a separate customer relationship management (CRM) solution with redundant data and difficult reporting schema.
Mani installing solar panels.

Acumatica’s Field Services Edition ERP integrates inventory management with core functions such as finance, purchasing and scheduling.

The Acumatica solution

Acumatica’s Field Services Edition suite is an ever-improving solution designed to streamline dispatching, scheduling, inventory management, finance, and operations. Among the top inventory management features are:

  • Location and cost control
  • Integrated inventory and purchasing functions
  • Automated replenishment orders
  • Parts delivery alerts and service appointment scheduling

Other related features include:

  • Scheduling, dispatching and call center management
  • Route planning
  • Map integration and real-time graphical interfaces and change management
  • Mobile service management that allows technicians to access inventory, see locations and routes, place orders and see customer information and history
  • Emergency service call management
  • Equipment maintenance records that include order and maintenance history and specifications
  • Service contract management
  • Warranty management

Acumatica understands the complexities and needs of field services companies. NexTec helps those companies select, install and leverage their ERP solutions with expert advice and best practices.

Take the Acumatica Product Tour to learn more.