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2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study

2020 Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry Survey – Special COVID-19 Edition

By | COVID-19, ERP, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing, Sage X3 | No Comments

2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing StudySpecial Edition: COVID-19 and the Food & Beverage Industry

NexTec Group recently finished a survey of over 100 Food and Beverage Manufacturers across the US. This year, we wanted to learn how food and beverage manufacturers are responding to the coronavirus crisis and how they are preparing for the “new normal.” 85% of the respondents have experienced supply chain disruptions and a majority indicated that their ERP and CRM software has been highly valuable in managing through these turbulent times.

Download the report to see what else we found out, including

  • The effect the pandemic has had on demand for products and the supply chain
  • What contingency or continuity plans food and beverage manufacturers had in place
  • The actions they have taken or plan to take in response to the pandemic
  • What software and technology manufacturers found most valuable during the pandemic
  • What new software and technology manufacturers plan to use as a result of the pandemic

Download the report

We hope this report provides you with some insight and helps you plan for the future. Should you need any advice on ERP, CRM, or BI software or how to set up your operations to help mitigate issues during a crisis and put your company on the path to a strong, solid future, please contact us using the form on the right.

Take care and stay safe,
Your friends at NexTec Group

Case Study: Elmer Candy

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

NexTec and Sage X3 make life sweeter for Elmer Candy

NexTec implemented Sage X3, giving the company a firm grip on inventory, access to data in real-time, and set them up for a full transformation of their business.

Read story

About Elmer Candy

Elmer Candy Corporation, established in 1855, is one of the most successful chocolatiers in the United States. Its sweet confections, primarily boxed chocolates, are sold at retailers across the country, including Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and Target. If you’ve purchased chocolates for Valentine’s Day, Christmas or another holiday, you’ve most likely picked up a box from Elmer Candy. To meet the high holiday demand, Elmer Candy must accurately forecast sales, ensure its supplies of raw ingredients, and efficiently craft, package, and distribute its goods.

Industry - Food and Beverage Manufacturing
Industry
Food and Beverage
location
Location
Ponchatoula, LA
NexTec ERP icon
System selected
Sage X3

“In the end, NexTec offered the single best combination of partner experience, end-to-end functionality, and competitive pricing. We felt confident in our decision from the start, and that confidence hasn’t wavered.”

Joseph Wiley, MIS Director, Elmer Candy

Main functionalities

Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped solve Elmer Candy’s challenges:

Improves efficiency

The company has seen significant improvements in inventory accuracy, order allocation, production tracking, and general efficiency. Employees can now enter data in multiple areas of the facility rather than waiting on one person to enter data into the software.

“We are positioned to fully transform our business, and NexTec is leading the way.”

Joseph Wiley, MIS Director, Elmer Candy

End-to-end solution

NexTec implemented a full suite of tightly integrated business management solutions, including: Sage X3 financial, distribution, and manufacturing suites; Sage HRMS; Sage Payment Solutions; True Commerce EDI; Solver BI360; and a complete RFID system.

Key Results

Elmer Candy saw a full return on investment in just one season
Real-time data has facilitated rapid and informed decision-making
Sage X3 has made it possible to complete lot traceability reports in a matter of seconds
The company is positioned to grow 10-15% thanks to improved accuracy and streamlined processes

Ready to learn more?

Request a demo
NexTec Food and Beverage Study 2018

7 Food and beverage supply chain challenges for 2020

By | ERP, Food and Beverage, Sage X3 | No Comments
Woman inspecting food item in a manufacturing plant.

Production scheduling and quality control are the top challenges for food and beverage companies in 2020.

Production scheduling and quality control are the top challenges for food and beverage companies in 2020. Food and beverage companies face increasing calls for transparency in sourcing and processing, increased demand for e-commerce and sourcing in an uncertain global marketplace.

Here’s a closer look at 7 food and beverage supply chain challenges for 2020 and how the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can help.

Challenge 1: Use of plastics

Sustainability is essential for food and beverage companies, but at the same time the industry has increased the number of single-use plastics containers being offered for ready-to-eat dining. Businesses face increased demands for sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging, from straws to cups to storage. With many plastics coming from the global marketplace, companies need to have different channels for supply, including alternative suppliers and packaging materials.

Challenge 2: Regulatory burdens

A more stringent regulatory landscape continues to challenge the industry. On the heels of adoption of the U.S. Food Safety and Modernization Act and Safe Food for Canadians regulations, companies now face increased food safety standards from multiple jurisdictions. Significant reporting and documentation rules cover food production, including waste disposal, food quality, and traceability.

Challenge 3: Demand forecasting

Accurate forecasting helps food and beverage companies optimize their production efficiency, reduce inventory costs, improve distribution and streamline purchasing. Demand forecasting requires accurate data to help employees make informed decisions for the future of their business.

Challenge 4: Global visibility

Businesses need access to global supply chain options with meaningful connections to global trading partners. This will be an increasingly challenging component of production in 2020, given economic instability, geopolitical disputes, and the ongoing coronavirus threat.
Food and beverage companies need clear visibility to their operation in order to diversify suppliers and customers to offset the challenges of a global marketplace.

Person looking at information on a tablet in a food manufacturing plant.

Food and beverage companies need reliable means of sourcing ingredients in a global marketplace.

Challenge 5: Predictive scheduling

Even without the current volatility in the supply chain, companies need to use automation and business intelligence to optimize production schedules. The right food ERP can eliminate scheduling bottlenecks, improve inventory visibility, and reduce waste.

Challenge 6: E-Commerce expectations

Food and beverage companies have historically been slow to embrace e-commerce, but recent events have caused accelerated adoption. Better supply chain and logistics management are helping companies turn the corner, allowing businesses to reduce delivery times, meet consumer expectations for availability and freshness, and reducing time-to-market for new products.

Challenge 7: Inventory management

Inventory accuracy and availability are long-held challenges in the industry. With the right technologies in place, companies can address perishability, space management, traceability, assembly, scheduling, and delivery complexities, resulting in less waste and rework, leading to improved profit margins.

How to address supply chain issues with food ERP solutions

FoodBusiness ERP from NexTec is built on Sage X3 to deliver an integrated cloud-based food ERP with functionality that addresses the greatest supply chain challenges for 2020. Built for food and beverage, FoodBusiness ERP includes the following core features:

  • Full financial management
  • Customer and supplier management
  • Real time visibility to inventory levels and cost
  • Recipe management
  • Demand forecasting
  • Yield calculations and tracking through production
  • Byproduct management
  • Quality and hold management at each stage of production
  • Production sequencing and allergen tracking
  • Shelf-life management with expiration and use-by dates controls
  • Warehouse management with barcode printing
  • Full forward and backward traceability
  • Product recall management

FoodBusiness ERP helps food and beverage companies identify the right business software. Our skilled consultants and engineers work with companies like yours at every phase of the process, from specifications and selection to installation and optimization.

Learn more about FoodBusiness ERP.

Technician wearing an orange hardhat while working with machinery.

5 Ways ERP improves productivity in discrete manufacturing

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Manufacturing | No Comments
Technician wearing an orange hard hat working with machinery.

Manufacturing ERP solutions help companies plan production, manage inventory and optimize supply chains.

For discrete manufacturers, efficiency pays off. Whether it’s managing supply chains, logistics, warehouses, inventory, distribution or finances, efficient operations lead to more productivity, faster turnaround times and satisfied customers.

Discrete manufacturing customers benefit from using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that drives efficiency at every turn. Instead of using generic business software tools, consider a manufacturing ERP that gives your company better operational efficiency. Here are 5 ways ERP improves productivity in discrete manufacturing.

Tip #1: Manage your scheduling better

A manufacturing ERP system helps in planning all facets of production. With Acumatica ERP for discrete manufacturing, your business can plan materials and resources, including equipment, capacity, people and skills. Acumatica’s manufacturing ERP software lets you coordinate demand management, forecasting, material planning, master scheduling, and capacity planning. All these functions integrate with finance, HR, procurement and inventory management.

Tip #2: Project costing with improved accuracy

Cost management requires collecting and using data throughout the manufacturing process. Your Acumatica ERP system can collect cost data and embed that information throughout the business. By placing cost information into functions such as bill of material and routing, production management, inventory management, purchase order management, estimating and sales order management, your company can better predict and manage cost-related decisions. This solution lets your track purchases to a specific work order, support substitute operations and materials, and track stock and non-stock materials to be used for a production order.

Tip #3: Keep track of inventory

Inventories are the key to keeping production on track. Inventory management software helps you manage costs, multiple warehouse locations, different valuation methods, and matrixed inventory needs. Acumatica’s inventory management tools include expiration date management, lot and serial numbering, transaction reason codes, two-step transfers, inventory bin and location controls, inventory sub-item management and automated purchase orders. Integrate your inventory management with CRM tools, allowing for sales order discounting and promotion, transparent relationship management and shared contact information.

Technician working on machinery.

The Acumatica ERP helps manage inventory and warehouses for optimal efficiency and better customer service.

Tip #4: Gain control of your supply chain

Whether your business is make-to-order, make-to-stock or engineer-to-order, repetitive or batch manufacturing, having a clear view of your supply chain management is important. Gain transparency throughout your supply chain with a single source of truth via automated business processes, real-time data collection and analysis, financial analysis and business forecasting that help with supplier management and production costs. With Acumatica, the software scales as your business grows, allowing for better supplier relationships and expansion that’s not slowed by technology.

Tip #5: Boost customer satisfaction with better warehouse management

Knowing where orders and finished goods stand is essential for positive customer relationships. Advanced warehouse operations improve receiving, inventory management and order fulfillment functions. Scanning solutions using barcodes and mobile devices lead to less waste, reduced costs and more satisfied customers.

Acumatica’s discrete manufacturing ERP solution is an agile, integrated way to manage your business. At NexTec, we help companies identify, implement and optimize their business software to maximize ROI and keep operations running smoothly. NexTec and Acumatica are the right partners when you want an ERP solution platform that keeps your company connected, efficient and operating at peak levels.

Thank you! – 2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study Download

By | Food and Beverage | No Comments

Here is your copy of the Food & Beverage COVID-19 Survey Results

Here’s your copy of our 2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study. We hope you find it insightful. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at info@nextecgroup.com

Download the study
2020 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Study

NexTec’s FoodBusiness ERP manages your entire business and prepares you for a crisis. Built on the powerful Sage X3 software, FoodBusiness ERP streamlines your business by connecting finance, accounting, operations, inventory, supply chain, and your customers. Take a product tour to see how it can transform your food and beverage manufacturing business.

Take a tour of FoodBusiness ERP

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.

Multiple plastic boxes holding various items.

Manage suppliers to optimize your professional services company

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Professional Services | No Comments
Multiple plastic storage boxes stacked with items.

How much do your supplies really cost?

Managing supplies as a professional services organization looks and functions differently than supplies in a manufacturing setting. Instead of dealing with volume orders of chemicals, lumber, or hardware, you’re making sure you have enough light bulbs, paper products, toner, and desk supplies to help your employees serve your clients.

Still, there’s no doubt that having an efficient, reliable process for tracking and replenishing inventory is critical to business success. Your accounting system plays an important role in categorizing items properly and keeping up with expenditures to stay on budget and bill your clients with precision.

All of the above can be accomplished confidently with an ERP software like Acumatica. From financial reporting to supplies management, ERP software for professional services provides 360-degree value to fill gaps in your operations and maintain profitability.

Record accurate pricing for supplies

Woman writing on a document.

Tracking the cost of supplies is essential for bookkeeping and billing.

Professional services rely on good financial management throughout the organization, and the way you monitor supplies contributes to the overall bottom line. Maintaining accurate prices in your ERP system can help you improve ordering decisions and avoid getting hit with surprise price increases or surcharges that could cause you to go overbudget.

More importantly, using an ERP solution for supplies management can give you data-driven insights into the supplies you use and how often you replenish them in a given period. Though it might not seem like a huge expense to order a box of paper clips or a case of paper, these items can add up quickly — and once you start tracking them, you might be surprised at just how much your supplies add to your overhead!

Allocate resources to projects

When resources aren’t appropriately included in a quote for service, you run the risk of two potential errors: either billing your clients above the quoted price, which could reflect poorly on your professional image or eating the cost, which will impact your projects.

Forecasting project management costs prior to beginning work serves a dual purpose to your clients and organization as a whole. Clients can rely on accurate quotes for service without incurring expenses that haven’t been budgeted for (or inaccurately budgeted for). Using an ERP, you can gain an instant look at available resources, reserve them for specific projects, and track their costs — all while ensuring your clients are billed accordingly.

Streamline reliable billing processes

Person typing on a laptop computer while looking at sales receipts.

Accurate billing affects your bottom line.

The planning aspect in Acumatica Enterprise Resource Planning software allows you to gain a bird’s eye view into your organization so you can trade guesswork for data. You may find ways to reduce costs, make your team more mindful of the supplies they consume, and ensure the price you charge your clients accurately reflect your overhead.

The analytics and reporting tools in Acumatica ensure supplies are ordered, managed, and properly accounted for. In return, professional services organizations are better equipped to bill their clients to reflect true overhead costs rather than estimations.

As a leading Acumatica partner, NexTec works with professional service providers to customize and deploy ERP solutions and maximize your ROI. Take the Acumatica Product Tour and discover how it can help you manage suppliers for higher profitability.

Two colleagues looking at documents and information on a laptop.

Boost billable hours, satisfy professional services clients with your ERP software

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, ERP, Professional Services | No Comments

Two colleagues looking at information on documents and a laptop computer.

Are you leaving money on the table? Many professional service providers often underestimate their billable hours, which means that you’re losing money every time you send out an invoice.

A recent study found that attorneys spend about 30% of their workday on billable activities, or roughly 2.8 hours of an 8-hour workday. Alarmingly, the average invoice only bills the client for 1.9 hours — that’s nearly one free hour of work per day!

This problem isn’t unique to law professionals, either. Anyone who relies on billing clients by the hour, including financial and accounting firms, freelancers, consultants, architects, and others, may find themselves with a significant revenue leak.

Rather than relying on guesswork, professional service providers may find it beneficial to use an ERP system that’s made specifically for the service industry. Here’s how a professional services ERP can help you track billable hours to increase your profits without increasing your workload.

Automate time tracking

Computer keyboard with the enter key labeled time tracking.

Empower automation to keep track of your time.

By definition, billable hours are the time spent working on client activities that you can charge for. Many service-related businesses base their fees on an hourly rate to fairly charge the client for work performed. However, this requires businesses to keep an accurate record of their hours every day — a task that’s complicated when working with multiple clients and projects.

Many professionals try to do this manually, which can be quite cumbersome depending on the size and scope of your business. Spreadsheets can get messy, plus you’re devoting extra time to manual entry and organization, not to mention invoicing.

Instead, professional services ERP solutions can track time automatically using a digital timer. You can assign times to each client within the ERP system and let your software take care of logging and calculating times.

Back your billable hours up with hard data

One of the biggest advantages of using an ERP solution instead of manual spreadsheets is an ERP’s ability to back up all billable hours with hard data – data that can be mined for insights over time. If a client wants to see how time was spent or how you calculated your time, you can pull up data from the ERP system to support your work.

Invoice your clients faster and more accurately

Person typing on their laptop.

Complicated invoicing can shrink your profits.

When you have accurate records, you can create and process invoices with confidence and eliminate much of the back-and-forth with clients. Each invoice is generated from the data within the ERP system, so there’s no chance that billable hours can fall through the cracks. You’ll notice an increase in profits without an increase in your workload.

Acumatica: The professional services ERP solution

Acumatica is a leading professional service ERP solution designed to tackle tough time-tracking challenges and other gaps in efficiency for service providers.

As a leading Acumatica partner, NexTec can help you implement and launch your ERP system to ensure you enjoy its fullest potential. Our goal is to get your ERP system live and functional as quickly as possible, along with helping you onboard to start reaping the benefits.

Take the Acumatica Product Tour to learn how we can help you collect every dollar you’re owed.

Acumatica Construction Edition

Recorded Webcast: Improve your field service operations and dispatching with Acumatica Cloud ERP webcast

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Events, Field Services, Recorded webcasts | No Comments

Watch this recorded webcast on Cloud ERP and Acumatica’s Field Service Edition – a fully integrated solution that blends field services with CRM, sales, inventory, purchasing, accounting, and financial reporting to give a 360-degree view of customer activities.

Webcast Agenda

  • Give your field techs key information to serve customers better
  • Assign inventory from the warehouse to the field
  • Improve work order management, including escalation management
  • Gain efficiencies in scheduling your service calls
  • Acumatica Cloud ERP demo

Helpful Resources

Contact us

Two people in a warehouse.

Managing credit terms with suppliers in your distribution business

By | Acumatica Cloud ERP, Distribution / Supply Chain, ERP | No Comments
Two people in a warehouse.

Securing trade credit from your suppliers helps your distribution business maintain positive cash flow and great vendor relationships.

Credit management is a sound investment for any business, no matter where they are in the supply chain.

In distribution, offering credit to suppliers gives them financial flexibility to make money, which in turn allows your business to earn more profits. The same goes for your business when seeking credit from your own vendors and suppliers.

Business credit comes with risks and opportunities. It also means having the right distribution business software for managing credit with suppliers in your distribution business as part of a bigger picture in vendor or customer management.

The pros and cons of trade credit

Trade credit is a business-to-business agreement that allows for the purchase of goods and services without paying cash up front. Typically, these agreements allow suppliers to pay 30, 60 or 90 days after an invoice is issued. It’s a way for suppliers to finance purchases on credit by deferring payment, often to account for cash flow variances.

Here are some of the core advantages for distributors:

  • Better Cash Flow. Pay your suppliers after you’ve sold your goods, reducing your risk and allowing you to ride periods of financial instability
  • Ensure Supply. You can reduce the risk of not having a regular supply of goods if demand spikes by conserving cash flow and having access to sought-after goods
  • Better Insights. Suppliers are more likely to provide you with market information on trends related to your products if they are relying on you to pay on future sales
  • Improved Creditworthiness. By demonstrating reliable payback patterns, you raise your creditworthiness with vendors and have good credit references

On the other side, trade credit does carry some risk. Penalties can be steep if you miss repayment times. This can hurt your credit rating down the road. And if cash flow becomes an issue due to declining sales, you can find yourself in a deep hole.

Woman wearing a yellow hard hat and reflective vest while holding a clipboard.

Trade credits can be beneficial to all parties in the distribution business if managed well with the right ERP solution.

Managing distribution trade credits

With Acumatica’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, your accounts payable operation gains access to shared data, customizable tools and integrated management of cash flow and credit. It’s the distribution ERP that helps your business manage money and relationships.

Among the core features in Acumatica’s distribution ERP accounts payable software are solutions that ensure invoices are paid and vendor relationships are strong. It’s all accessible via the cloud and a connected web browser.

Top Acumatica accounts payable features include:

  • Vendor Prepayments
  • Prepaid Expense Recognition
  • Automated Approval and Payment
  • Automated Use Tax, Withholding Tax and VAT Functions
  • Vendor Payment Processing
  • AP Linking of Vendors to Accounts in the General Ledger
  • Currency Management
  • Automated Recurring Bill Generation
  • Vendor Refund Management
  • AP Aging Reports
  • 1099 Reporting
  • Vendor Account Security
  • Audit Trail Management
  • Source Document Management

With advanced automation solutions, Acumatica offers key advantages to your accounts payable business, including:

  • Streamlined Processes. Approve invoices, create process flows and create optimized workflows that reduce reliance on manual operations
  • Optimized Payments. Prevent late fees and leverage vendor discounts with payments that align to your cash flows
  • Error Reduction. Intuitive user screens allow for productive, efficient and accurate data entry

NexTec works with distributors to select, install and optimize business software. Let NexTec help you find the right distribution ERP that keeps cash flows and vendor relations at peak performance levels.

Ready to learn more? Give Acumatica a try.

Recall management

How ERP helps you manage food and beverage surplus production

By | ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Woman inspecting a food item in a manufacturing plant.

Food and beverage companies need tight controls on the supply chain to reduce food waste.

Food and beverage companies are under increasing pressure to cut waste, both by competitive pressures and public sentiment that businesses can do more to be environmentally and socially sensitive.

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps reduce waste is a vital part of any solution focused on preserving resources and reducing costs. Here’s how ERP helps you manage food and beverage surplus production.

The state of food waste

According to the United Nations, an estimated third of all food produced every year is lost or wasted. Food waste can take on many forms, according to a recent U.N. post on the issue, including the following examples:

  • Produce that is not of optimal size, shape or color is removed from the supply chain
  • Retailers and consumers discard products that are close to or just beyond the “best-used-by” date indicated by producers
  • Restaurants and households regularly discard “large quantities of wholesome edible food” that’s leftover or unused
  • Processed foods are more likely to end up in soup kitchens instead of perishable more healthy foods, which end up in dumpsters

A reduction in food waste would result in less land and water use, less hunger and poverty and fewer adverse impacts from climate change. Decaying food, for example, leads to more greenhouse gas emissions in landfills.

Activists and conservationists alike call for a slew of remediation efforts, including surplus prevention via donations, recycling or use as animal feed.

Person using a metal scoop to get coffee beans from a large mixer.

Technologies that reduce food waste result in significant ROI, according to a recent study.

The impact of conservation on the bottom line

A recent study by Champions 12.3, a global coalition focused on reducing food waste, shows that companies that invest in technologies designed to address the issue see marked benefits. The study of 1,200 business sites across 700 companies in 17 countries found that almost every site yielded a positive return.

Half of the companies generated returns on investment that were 14-fold or greater.

Investing in a food and beverage ERP helps companies optimize supply chain operations and develop greater efficiencies throughout their operations.

Choosing an ERP solution like FoodBusiness ERP, built on the Sage X3 platform, lets your food or beverage business gain considerable benefits. FoodBusiness ERP has tools specifically designed to improve supply chain operations, including:

  • Shelf-life management to track expiration and use-by dates for raw materials and finished products
  • Production planning that optimizes the scheduling of equipment and personnel, including grouping by like products to reduce bottlenecks and changeovers
  • Ability to cost, plan, trace and output production by-products
  • Formula and recipe management that automates costing, formulas, testing and labeling
  • Quality control configuration and work order management, including user-defined technical sheets and questions; functional testing at receipt of raw materials, production of finished goods and in-process work orders; and change control management of work orders, production orders and inventory revisions
  • Dashboard and business intelligence to provide real-time information, leading to better decisions
  • Food safety functionality, including lot traceability, allergen reporting, and recall management

How can your business find and optimize the right food ERP solution? NexTec delivers expertise in business software, helping food and beverage companies find, install and tune solutions to maximize return on investment. With NexTec and FoodBusiness ERP, your food or beverage company can reduce food waste, improve operations and drive efficiency.

Learn more about our great Sage X3 add-ons for the food and beverage industry.