Category

Chemicals

Case Study: TissueTech

By | Case Studies, Chemicals, Pharmaceutical / Nutraceutical | No Comments

NexTec and Sage X3 support TissueTech’s ongoing innovation

NexTec implemented Sage X3, providing guidance and direction enabling the company to maximize value from the latest version of the software.

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About TissueTech

TissueTech, Inc. is a leader in innovative technologies. The company relies on a proprietary cryopreservation technology called CryoTek® to preserve the natural properties of umbilical cord and amniotic membrane human birth tissue products. Following the introduction of this proprietary cryopreserved amniotic membrane to the ophthalmic industry in 1997, TissueTech has pioneered the clinical application of human birth tissue-based products.

Industry - Pharmaceuticals
Industry
Life Sciences
location
Location
Miami, FL
NexTec ERP icon
System selected
Sage X3

“When we learned about their approach, project management, product and industry knowledge, and commitment to their customers, we were convinced NexTec was the right partner for us.”

Carlos Jofre Jr., Executive Director of IT, TissueTech

Main functionalities

Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped TissueTech’s challenges:

Provides robust compliance tools

Sage X3 provides functionality to support the multi-step quality assurace program used by many life sciences companies. It allows for extensive tracking of samples and maintains traceability from receipt to production to shipment.

“We’ve got tremendous confidence in NexTec. As an IT director, I sleep better at night knowing they’ve got our back.”

Carlos Jofre Jr, Executive Director of IT, TissueTech

Access to integrated solutions

Sage X3 has the ability to integrate with many solutions that extend its functionality. TissueTech incorporated a few different solutions to enhance and strengthen its capabilities with the software.

Key Results

NexTec’s life sciences consulting team provided guidance and direction, enabling TissueTech to maximize the value of Sage X3
Sage X3 has made it easier to meet compliance and quality mandates
Inter-site transfers are created in a more efficient way, saving eight hours per transaction
Two separate lines of business can now be managed in one single platform

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Group of technicians working with chemicals.

8 Critical steps in choosing the right chemical industry ERP

By | Chemicals, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Group of technicians working with chemicals.

A chemical ERP can help you remain competitive

The chemical industry’s regulations and requirements are about as volatile as the chemicals it produces. Companies face strict rules and procedures to follow that are enforced by governing agencies, and any instances of non-compliance can be costly to resolve.

To further complicate the process of doing business, chemical companies must not only be aware of the dangers of the chemicals they use, handle, and produce, but also the resulting impact on the environment, safe handling and shipping procedures, and long-term occupational risks and hazards to employees.

Because of the very nature of the chemical industry, choosing an ERP system to manage the unique intricacies requires firsthand expertise of the challenges and needs of the industry. Multiple layers of complexity must be taken into account when vetting solutions that can help companies manage product, personnel, and compliance needs alike.

The following steps can help to guide the selection process and gain the most value from your investment:

1. Review important chemical industry challenges

Because of the dangers and volatile nature of the chemical industry, manufacturers face many challenges not experienced by other industries. Aside from stringent health and safety requirements and compliance regulations, chemical producers must also contend with fluctuating fuel costs, power usage, equipment maintenance and replacement, operational costs, logistics, and other hurdles that can affect profit margins.

There are a myriad of moving parts to any chemical manufacturing business. Companies who are seeking a comprehensive solution to gain greater insight into operations will need to consider material management, finance and accounting, shipping and receiving, planning and production, customer service, sales, marketing, and company leadership roles, and understand how the ERP can cater to each of their needs in an efficient manner.

This is why it’s essential to choose an ERP that’s designed to help companies overcome these and other challenges. One size fits all systems aren’t designed to address the underlying needs of chemical companies, but rather general challenges experienced by all industries. In addition, the providers deploying a generic ERP may also lack the expertise and understanding required to help you successfully launch your ERP and provide ongoing support when needed.

2. Consult with key team members

Group of colleagues sitting around a table discussing information on a laptop.

Consider who will be using the ERP

ERP systems are often leveraged across the organization, which means that each user’s needs and priorities should be taken into account. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Company leadership
  • Development teams
  • Sales and marketing
  • Warehousing
  • Shipping and receiving
  • Transportation providers
  • Customer service representatives
  • Production teams
  • Materials management
  • Procurement
  • Financial and accounting personnel
  • Data management
  • IT department
  • Other parties in the supply chain

Determine who will benefit from a chemical industry ERP system and the data or other details they need to know to better perform their roles. For example, chemists can use ERP to accurately record and manage product formulas, while procurement departments can log the vendors and cost of each material used in the formula for easier ordering and improved financial records.

Also, it’s important to look at the ERP from a usability standpoint. Determine how each key team member will use the system, how long it takes to implement the solution, and the overall learning curve to confidently use the new system.

3. Conduct a scalability test

Will your ERP grow and change with your company?

There’s a lot more to choosing a chemical ERP system than being able to check all the boxes on your requirements list. You must also consider, to the best of your ability, long term needs, and business objectives. As your business grows and undergoes changes, your ERP should be designed to adapt to your company over time. Otherwise, you may find yourself going through the exploration and comparison process all over again (and spending more than you really need to in the process!).

Not all ERP systems offer the same level of scalability and flexibility, though it’s becoming more common to adapt ERP systems to future needs. If you believe you might outgrow your ERP in the next five to 10 years, it’s best to continue exploring options. A “bad” ERP may end up preventing your growth instead of supporting it.

4. Determine the need for third-party integrations

Group of people holding gears.

Will your ERP need third party integrations?

Part of an ERP system’s flexibility lies in the ability to customize the system to your unique needs. As a general rule, chemical ERPs are designed specifically for the industry, yet there may be many instances where companies will need greater control over how their ERP looks and functions.

A lack of or limit on customization is a major obstacle you’ll be glad to avoid. Companies who discover that they can’t customize a certain feature are often forced to turn to third party integrations to perform a task or function.

While this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, consider that too many integrations and workarounds can often bog down processes and muddy your system. And when one workaround no longer works, you’re forced to integrate additional solutions that only make your system more complex.

In addition, too many “bolt-ons” can lead to confusion when new team members are brought on board, particularly in the IT department that’s tasked to help manage and maintain the system.

Though there is no magic number as far as integrations, it’s important to consider ahead of time the ERP’s flexibility (or lack thereof) and understand how it might impact your system and total cost of ownership over time.

5. Investigate Product Support

Smiling woman with a headset on.

Ongoing support can give you greater peace of mind

All ERP systems come with some level of product support, but this can vary widely by platform and provider. Implementation is only the beginning when dealing with an enterprise-wide system like ERP. Aside from the initial launch, you may also require ongoing help and support during onboarding, as well as when training new employees, making major updates to the system, and changing as your business grows or adapts to changes in the marketplace.

In addition, you should consider the way in which support is delivered. Some vendors may provide limited free support via phone, or direct you to an online knowledge base or FAQ for answers to your questions. Others may offer paid support packages that provide phone and chat services for a fixed monthly fee. This is something that should be considered in your overall cost of ownership (more on this in Step 7) to ensure the ERP fits within your budget requirements.

6. Check technology requirements

Will you deploy an on-premise ERP or take advantage of cloud technology (or even explore a hybrid model)? Do you have an on-site IT team that can create and manage the infrastructure required to operate your ERP? Is your internet connection strong enough to support a cloud-based solution? Will you provide mobile devices to your employees who need mobile ERP access?

The technology requirements can have a lot to do with the ERP solution you implement, especially when it comes to investing in infrastructure and devices. There is no single best solution when it comes to hosting, as what works for one company may not work for another. Consider the technology requirements and their associated costs when weighing your options to stay on task and on budget.

7. Consider long term costs

It’s easy to consider only the upfront costs of your chemical ERP, but as with all major business purchases, it’s important to also consider long term expenses. Aside from the initial investment, chemical companies will also be tasked with maintaining the ERP system, costs of implementing changes as you grow, upgrading technology requirements, and training and onboarding for new employees.

As a rule, your ERP should be set up to reflect your long term business objectives. As your processes and operations evolve, your system and vendor should be able to evolve with you to continue delivering on your objectives.

8. Add the mobile aspect

As the Bring Your Own Device movement gains steam, adding the mobile aspect to your ERP is worth considering. Not employees need to be chained to a desk to conduct business (particularly in outside sales and logistics), so giving them the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere can help to boost productivity, improve morale, and better serve your customers.

ERP dashboards are becoming increasingly mobile friendly, with many solutions offering apps specifically designed for mobile devices. Key employees can collect data while in the field without having to perform double data entry upon returning to the office. This can also reduce the potential for errors and allow employees to better utilize their time.

How to create better opportunities with the right chemical ERP

ERP

What’s the best ERP system for your chemical company?

The right ERP system can be a central anchor point for your entire organization, helping to turn chaos into control and breaking down the dreaded silos that plague productivity and collaboration.

And even with a chemical ERP made to address the unique challenges and needs of the industry, requirements can still vary by company. As a leading Sage X3 vendor, NexTec can provide guidance and insight on selecting the right ERP for your business. Our goal isn’t just to implement an ERP, but also help you discover the best system to streamline processes, build efficiency into your operations, and benefit all users within your organization — all within your budget.

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

Sage Platinum Reseller

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

Webinar: Streamline compliance with modern ERP

By | Chemicals, Events, Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical / Nutraceutical, Sage X3, Upcoming Webcasts | No Comments

Staying current with complex mandates and regulations is one of the biggest challenges faced by food manufacturers. During this webcast as we join the independent advisors from Ultra Consultants for an educational webinar that puts the focus on this important topic.

We know that staying educated on the best way to meet ever-increasing rules and regulations keeps your organization operating at peak performance. That’s why this session is so important. See how modern ERP plays a critical role in supporting compliance and automating required documentation and processes.

We’ll demonstrate the key features needed to improve functions such as:

  • Lot attributes
  • Traceability
  • Recall
  • Quality checkpoints
  • Complaint management

Helpful resources

Man wearing a hardhat in a chemical plant.

Embracing digital transformation in chemicals: Your ERP is the key

By | Chemicals, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Person wearing a hardhat in a chemical plant.

Chemical companies face increasingly complex compliance demands and customer expectations, all of which can be managed better with ERP software.

The chemical industry continues to embrace digital transformation, albeit at a slower pace than seen in other sectors. Companies in the chemical industry looking to leverage the advantages of digital transformation recognize that an ERP system is key.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software helps chemical companies break down silos, drive collaboration and provide visibility throughout the supply chain. Take a closer look at how ERP software can enhance your company’s digital transformation, unleash more potential and solve your greatest challenges.

Facing the complexities of business today

The challenges facing your chemicals business are likely similar to those throughout the industry:

  • Diversification. Global reach means new customers in new regions. Can your company compete with local competitors that despite providing fewer offerings can often react quickly, charge less and operate on a lower cost basis?
  • Global Supply Chain. Global operations means a larger, more complex supply chain. Your business needs visibility across the supply chain to manage quality, availability and accuracy.
  • Demand for Innovation. Your business needs deep intelligence to develop new solutions, capabilities and revenue opportunities. Digital disruption can and must drive this innovation.
  • Regulatory Pressures. Chemical companies are subject to multiple regulatory requirements across multiple regions and countries. You need systems to measure, track and report accurately on all these regulatory obligations. The costs of non-compliance are high.
  • Consistency. Customers demand more variations and specific formulations, meaning you need to provide quality assurance, quality control and efficacy across more categories, more products and more customers.
  • Environmental Responsibility. Customers and consumers expect producers to abide by sustainability and environmental responsibility. This means it’s important to have responsible sourcing and production capabilities.

These challenges are exacerbated by the reluctance to fully embrace digital transformation for many chemical companies. At a recent ARC Industry Forum, ARC’s Mike Williams noted that while most companies have started embracing Industry 4.0, there are some common barriers slowing adaptation:

  • No value proposition
  • Information islands within an existing infrastructure
  • Conflicting organizational design
  • Cybersecurity issues
Person wearing a red hardhat writing on a document.

ERP software can transform your chemical company with deeper supply chain visibility and integrated data that automates processes that have been done manually.

Embracing digital transformation with Sage X3

Chemical companies need an ERP solution that’s designed for their unique needs. With Sage X3, you have an ERP platform that provides full integration, transparency, security and intuitive interfaces across all aspects of your operation. Instead of operating across multiple systems, Sage X3 brings together key functional areas in one platform from your laboratories, manufacturing, supply chain and financial operations including:

  • Inventory
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Financial management
  • Purchasing
  • Manufacturing

Sage X3 for chemical companies breaks down the organizational silos that can plague efficiency and collaboration, resulting in operational inefficiency and more data errors. Among the improvements you gain are:

  • Measurement conversion
  • Create GHS-compliant data sheets
  • Track batch yields
  • Track labor by customer
  • Mobility functionality that gives your field teams what they need, including:
    • Real-time inventory updates
    • Faster communication and approvals
    • Access to limited-time offers and promotions
  • Integration across currencies, languages, sites, countries, and regulations

Sage X3 accelerates your digital transformation in significant ways. At NexTec, we help companies solve complex business software challenges at each stage, from selection to installation to optimization. With NexTec and Sage X3, you have the best of both worlds – exceptional ERP solutions and expert consultation and insights.

Take a free tour of Sage X3.

Man in a hard hat pointing to pipes.

Ask these 6 questions before choosing your chemical industry ERP

By | Chemicals, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Man in a hardhat pointing to pipes.

Chemical companies looking for an ERP should make sure to ask questions about key functions and capabilities.

There’s no question chemical companies need a powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Faced with more regulations than ever and increasingly complex supply chains, companies need to choose an ERP that’s designed to address specific industry challenges.

Before choosing a chemical ERP, it’s important to get the right information. Ask these 6 questions before choosing your chemical industry ERP.

1. Can your ERP track and display inventory in multiple units of measure?

Different measurement units for weights and volume are necessary in the chemical industry, and your ERP should be able to support and convert measures for use in receiving, storing, making and selling products. Static conversions are inadequate when there are density variances, for example, in lots or batches. Conversions and flexibility are necessary when multiple packaging sizes are used for the same product.

2. Can actual costs be tracked and compared to estimated costs?

Tracking actuals compared to estimated costs is an important consideration for chemical companies. Understanding inventory valuations and accurate production costs gives you powerful insights. They allow comparisons against industry or historical standards, input error reductions and inclusion of non-production costs to provide more accurate overall costs of goods.

3. Is your ERP agile?

Customer expectations and demands are changing rapidly. That’s why you need an ERP that can respond to changing customer needs and wants. You want to be sure that the ERP you select can anticipate and react quickly to rapidly changing customer requests, products, partners and suppliers. Your ERP needs to be able to adapt and add classifications, formulas, specifications, byproducts and business rules to accommodate the ever-evolving customer needs.

Man in a hard hat working on a tablet.

Chemical companies need an ERP that can optimize new and emerging technologies.

4. Can your ERP incorporate emerging technologies?

Big data and data analytics give chemical companies extraordinary opportunities for more efficient operations and deeper insights. Make sure your chemical ERP uses or easily integrates with these technologies to collect, use and distribute data to those who need it. Your ERP should provide greater transparency both internally and throughout the supply chain.

5. How does your ERP keep data secure?

Data is increasingly an asset for use both within your business and, unfortunately, by hackers. Keeping data protected while in transit and at rest is critically important, especially for regulatory compliance. While your ERP cannot be the sole source of your company’s data security solution, it should have functionality and intersectionality with your security mechanisms.

6. What mobile functionality is available?

Executives need access to dashboards, reports and data no matter where they are or what device they are using. Ask about the functionality and access to information across mobile devices. The same information accessible on a desktop computer should be available on a tablet or smartphone.

Sage X3 offers your chemical company:

  • Supply optimization to respond to customer demands and frequent changes to purchasing, production and shipping
  • Process and product consistency to ensure quality, consistency, safety and efficacy
  • Global compliance across currencies, regions and regulations
  • Inventory control to deliver accurate production forecasting, material needs and inventory optimization
  • Anytime/anywhere access with web-based interfaces

NexTec is a Sage Platinum Reseller, offering chemical companies the expertise to deploy and optimize your Sage X3 solution and provide swift ROI. Learn more about how NexTec and Sage X3 can improve efficacy and efficiency for your chemical company. Give Sage X3 a try.

Sage Platinum Reseller

Webinar: Streamline compliance with modern ERP

By | Chemicals, Events, Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical / Nutraceutical, Sage X3, Upcoming Webcasts | No Comments

Staying current with complex mandates and regulations is one of the biggest challenges faced by food manufacturers. During this webcast as we join the independent advisors from Ultra Consultants for an educational webinar that puts the focus on this important topic.

We know that staying educated on the best way to meet ever-increasing rules and regulations keeps your organization operating at peak performance. That’s why this session is so important. See how modern ERP plays a critical role in supporting compliance and automating required documentation and processes.

We’ll demonstrate the key features needed to improve functions such as:

  • Lot attributes
  • Traceability
  • Recall
  • Quality checkpoints
  • Complaint management

Helpful resources

ERP

CRM can help your chemical industry ERP deliver better results

By | Chemicals, CRM, ERP | No Comments
ERP

Combining ERP and CRM solutions gives chemicals companies the advantage they need to remain competitive.

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions have been around a long time, but many companies in the chemical sector don’t realize the value of CRMs to building customer loyalty and growth.

Imagine the possibilities when chemical companies integrate their CRM and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. The potential for better customer interactions, enhanced communications and better sales is off the charts.

Here’s how a CRM can help your chemical industry ERP deliver better results.

The chemical industry in 2019

Chemical companies today face a changing competitive landscape that requires innovative thinking to stay ahead. Among the core challenges are margin pressure and customer expectations.

Competitive pricing pressure means companies need to do whatever they can to improve operational efficiency. That’s a core function of ERP solutions, which are designed to provide transparency and insights into operations that result in better processes.

Customers want timely communication, instant responses and real-time access to information on orders, deliveries and availability. Excellent customer service today means having a holistic understanding of all interactions, from payment histories, meeting outcomes, responses to marketing pitches and order histories. ERP and CRM solutions together offer companies the fullest picture of their customers.

Trucks driving on a highway.

Customer expectations today mean companies need to provide real-time information on orders and deliveries.

Benefits of integration

ERP solutions are designed to manage core business functions, including finance, operations, warehouse, inventory and human resources. CRM products are focused on customer data, including contacts, interactions, meetings and help requests.

Today, using these two systems in vacuum is a lost opportunity for the chemical industry.

Data is an increasingly commodified asset. As chemical companies collect and store more information about products and customers, they can use that information to improve efficiency, attract and retain customers and achieve better business outcomes. Here’s a closer look at some of the advantages to CRM and ERP integration:

  • Better business development. Bringing together data from both solutions provides businesses with stronger insights. Focus on existing customers by analyzing their sales and customer service histories, comparing them to similar customers and providing customized and personalized solutions. Understanding their needs and pain points helps you retain customers through better collaboration.
  • Improved processes. With a single source of data for sales, promotions, production, finances, inventory and distribution, chemical companies can be more responsive and efficient on tasks ranging from product ordering to compliance tracking to production scheduling.
  • Robust customer valuation. Understand the lifetime value of each customer via consolidated dashboards and metrics pulling information from CRM and ERP solutions. Use this information to create real-time profitability analyses and ROI metrics. These tools let you identify your most valuable customers, develop retention strategies for those customers and target future customers with the same attributes.
  • Enhanced automation. Both CRM and ERP tout the power of automation. Integrating the solutions allows for improved automation, especially when it comes to customer interactions. Provide enhanced responsiveness, more detailed information in real time, and accurate interactions with customers.

How to integrate

Partner with the right company to leverage the capabilities of these powerful solutions. At NexTec, we help chemical companies select and implement ERP and CRM solutions. We develop seamless integration solutions that let companies maximize their investments and remain competitive. Contact us to learn more about how to get the most out of your ERP and CRM.

Additional chemical industry resources

Data as a value creation tool in chemicals: How your ERP can help

How the right ERP can address 2019 challenges in chemicals industry

Regulatory compliance is easier with chemical industry ERP software

Insight.

ERP plus CRM: More than the sum of the parts

By | Cannabis, Chemicals, CRM, ERP, Food and Beverage | No Comments
Insight.

Integrating operational areas with customer relationship data gives your company new insights and efficiencies.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions offer great tactical solutions to businesses. Taken together, however, ERP and CRM are more than the sum of the parts.

An integrated ERP and CRM solution allows for real-time, actionable business intelligence, giving executives insights they need to make critical decisions in the time of need. Integration breaks down organizational silos and encourages collaboration. Learn more below about the benefits of integrating these tools, industry-specific examples and best practices for combining your solutions.

Benefits of ERP and CRM together

While no two ERP or CRM solutions offer the same features, in general, the roles of each can be defined as follows:

  • ERP: Back-end functions such as accounting, human resources, manufacturing and purchasing.
  • CRM: Front-facing functions like sales, marketing, customer service.

ERPs are built to bring synergy to core functions, providing transparency, a single source of data and improved collaboration and efficiency. CRMs are focused on providing a complete view of customer and prospect integrations, including marketing pitches, outreach, conversations and customer help requests.

Both are designed to build synergy among important functional areas, with the intent that shared knowledge helps to boost operations and outreach. By combining capabilities, you’ll be able to deepen the interconnectedness of various parts of your business.

“The main arguments for the integration … focus on obtaining in real time a coherent view of customers – the possibility of continuous access to everything relating to customer data and information, which … is needed for its proper operation,” state the authors of a recent paper on ERP and CRM integration. “A consistent view of the customer allows employees to make the right and quick decisions.”

Here are a few of the most essential benefits of bringing ERP and CRM together:

Seamless data sharing

CRMs and ERPs have their own unique data collection, storage and formatting guidelines. The advantage of integrated systems is the ability to provide everyone with a unified, transparent and consistent set of information. When the two solutions are integrated, changes or alterations made in one system should be reflected simultaneously in the other.

As business needs change and new data, fields or calculations are needed, the connectivity allows for continued consistency. The system integration allows for new insights, needs and opportunities to be available to each operating unit.

Optimized resource management

Consider the opportunities with a clearer, automated flow of information from sales to production. Companies can gain advantages on production planning, warehouse space optimization, supply planning, materials purchasing and production order prioritization. This benefit helps companies with long sales and manufacturing cycles to plan better based on the status of customer commitments, allowing companies to reduce carried inventory and begin production soon after an order is confirmed.

Faster delivery cycles

Companies with a free flow of information can track and share information on customer details and orders, leading to more accurate and timely shipments, lower operating costs and improved customer satisfaction with on-time deliveries.

Improved product forecasting

Linking marketing initiatives and projections allows for faster and more accurate production forecasting. Operations teams will be able to plan more accurately and companies will not tie up cash by buying excess inventory.

Appropriate and accurate sales proposals

If your sales professionals can see a customer’s complete history – order history, current balance, payment pattern, credit limit and unpaid invoices – proposals will be more consistent and appropriate. Information that’s readily available helps sales managers to make informed decisions, such as asking for down payments or full payment up front.

Sales reps using an integrated solution also have access to the most recent, updated pricing information, including any promotions or discounts. They can also provide more accurate production and delivery dates by accessing production schedules, inventory levels and requisition schedules. If merchandise is out of stock, salespeople can relay that information to customers early on in the proposal process or provide precise projections on timing.

More sales opportunities

Giving salespeople better access to order histories, leads and customer service requests helps them to frame their pitches, giving them a much better likelihood of securing a call, an appointment or a deal. Knowing the frequency of reordering, for example, helps sales professionals reach out proactively to up-sell or cross-sell products or services. When equipment is reaching the end of its predicted lifespan, salespeople can suggest new models of an old product.

Better consistency and standards in customer engagement

With an integrated CRM and ERP solution, your employees will have complete and current information on customers. Whether it’s a sales call, a help request, a product question or a delivery inquiry, employees will understand better the complete relationship, sentiment and pain points. Complete and timely data, collected from both systems, helps employees understand and respond better to customers.

Responsive approval processes

Give your salespeople access to ERP information in real time and they can move contracts through the approval process faster. Same-day signing means faster contract approvals and reduces the time it takes for revenue to be recognized.

Prompt billing and payments

Document sharing lets businesses quickly turn accepted proposals into work orders that can be tracked throughout the enterprise without manual intervention. This process simplification carries over to the finance functions, allowing for faster creation and distribution of invoices, drawing from a single data source. Faster billing leads to faster payment turnarounds and better cash flow.

Consolidated reporting

Combined systems allow for better and more automated reporting, visualizations and data analysis. Reports pull in data from both systems without the need for manual manipulations, conversions or adjustments.

Linking icons.

Applying ERP and CRM data has powerful functional advantages in the food, chemical and cannabis industries.

ERP and CRM industry applications

ERP and CRM solutions need to be uniquely suited to the industry they’re serving. Businesses like food and beverage production, chemicals and cannabis have unique functions and needs for both systems separately and together.

Here is a look at how ERP and CRM integration gives companies in those industries the capabilities essential for success and competitive advantage.

Chemicals

Chemical companies need solutions that address complex functions, including:

  • Formula and recipe management, measure conversions, shelf-life management, packaging and labeling
  • Rapid batch scaling in different sizes and formulations
  • Quality controls that can track – and report to customers and prospects – product quality, shelf life and expiration dates
  • Process design improvements based on customer needs, historical trends, costs and operations
  • Rigorous regulatory compliance mandates, including federal, international, state, local and industry standards
  • Lifetime customer value measurements
  • Worker safety
  • Tracking products from warehouse arrival to manufacturing processes (including intermediary products) to finished goods
  • Traceability forward and backward with ordering histories and delivery data

For process manufacturers, these systems allow for shared, real-time access to information that is valuable to the salesperson, marketing manager, warehouse chief, finance officer and executive.

Food and Beverage

Sound supply chain management is at the core of any successful food or beverage company. While these functions traditional reside within ERP solutions, a CRM integration provides even more opportunities for efficiency.

With tight margins, fierce competition and changing consumer tastes, efficiency is paramount. By integrating the customer relationship insights with operational details, food and beverage companies are able to leverage the three interconnected supply chain components – suppliers, stores/restaurants and customers.

Here are three benefits for food and beverage companies when their CRM and ERP solutions are integrated:

  • Lower operational costs. CRM tools help provide insights and ordering patterns that can improve ordering and inventory management, resulting in lower storage and spoilage costs.
  • Customer segmentation. Targeted sales by customer segments allow for optimized ordering based on demand, relevance and location. Segmentation also allows for better analysis of customer profitability, based on logistical and operational costs. Customer analysis helps finance, sales and operations teams to identify and distinguish between stable, regular business and variable or unpredictable customers.
  • Seasonality. Identifying ordering patterns allows for sales and procurement employees to track, predict and anticipate seasonal variances in demand.

Cannabis

With cannabis and CBD companies emerging and growing as more states approve medicinal and recreational use, businesses in this fledgling industry are seeking solutions. There is a critical need to manage the operational and customer sides, not only for better efficiency and profitability, but also to meet the scrutiny of law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the state and local level.

Cannabis companies need to track and access industry-unique data, such as the costs of materials and energy, growth rates, potency levels and cross-strain breeding attempts.

Integrating this information with customer demand, buying patterns and demographic data helps cannabis companies provide products that are most in demand and most profitable. Pricing, resource allocation and purchasing all benefit from a blending of customer and production data.

How to combine

Combining these two complex business solutions to maximize the potential of an integrated approach is a complex undertaking. Whether buying new solutions or integrating new ones, careful planning needs to happen. Among the key steps are:

  • Determining whether the integration is unidirectional or bidirectional
  • Identifying data and modules to integrate
  • Unifying headers, labels, tags and data formats
  • Mapping data and interfaces
  • Assessing existing and future reporting needs
  • Focusing on user experience
  • Training users

To manage the many complexities involved in developing a cogent integration strategy, companies turn to NexTec. Our integration specialists have extensive knowledge of the providers, solutions and features available and the expertise to deliver a seamless integration experience.

Take a free tour of Sage Enterprise Management to learn more about NexTec and ERP/CRM integration.

Additional CRM resources

Integrate CRM and ERP for more sales with lower costs

5 Best practices for customizing your CRM

Why Salesforce integration makes your ERP solution better

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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