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Sage X3

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.

Recorded Webcast: Managing food and beverage manufacturing during a crisis

By | Events, Food and Beverage, Recorded webcasts, Sage X3 | No Comments

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the dramatic volatility facing food and beverage is unlike anything experienced in modern times. According to ABI Research, the pandemic will substantially impact supply chains and the $15 trillion revenue that had been forecasted for 2020. That uncertainty is one of the core reasons why enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are so critical to maintaining business continuity.

In this recording, Sage, NexTec Group and Elmer Candy speak about:

  • Keeping production on track
  • Managing shifts in demand
  • Reacting to supply chain challenges
  • Proactive risk analysis
  • Changing product mix and delivery cycles
  • Managing cash flow, financials and planning

Helpful Resources

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Person inspecting a cannabis plant.

The importance of supply chain transparency in cannabis businesses

By | Cannabis, Sage X3 | No Comments
Person inspecting a cannabis plant.

Customer safety and compliance are key issues that can be addressed with the right cannabis ERP solution.

The cannabis industry, still a relatively new business sector, is grappling with dramatic growth. Among the consequences of the rapid rise in demand and profits are increased regulatory pressure and customer expectations about quality and consistency.

For fledgling cannabis companies and established players, that means an increased reliance on sound supply chain management. With proper supply chain tools in place, your cannabis business can be prepared for high growth and the challenges that come with it.

The importance of consistency

One of the hallmarks of the food and beverage industry is consistency in taste, color, aroma, and consistency. Coca-Cola tastes the same in most corners of the world, for example, and a McDonald’s French fry is generally the same texture and taste wherever you get it.

Cannabis companies face the same challenges today – delivering consistent products to build and retain repeat business. Customers expect the same products they buy to taste and affect them the same way months later. However, for companies that are not vertically integrated from seed to sale, there’s a real risk of lost business.

This issue is especially challenging for companies that operate in multiple states or provinces. But given the legal challenges, it’s increasingly more difficult for multi-state operators to deliver consistency. That’s where your cannabis business needs enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools that streamline and standardize supply chain operations.

Cannabis bud, oil and gel.

Customers expect consistent quality in their cannabis purchases.

The challenge of cannabis compliance

Compliance challenges reinforce the importance of supply chain standardization. The cannabis industry faces multiple challenges with compliance:

  • A lack of industry best practices for remaining in compliance across multiple jurisdictions
  • An evolving regulatory landscape as more states legalize cannabis and local regulations remain inconsistent. Frequent changes to regulations create an additional compliance issue
  • A lack of standardized testing guidelines, largely due to the federal illegality issues, leading states to create their own standard and enforcement protocols
  • Production inconsistencies that can impact consumer safety

What’s needed are cannabis ERP tools that help standardize supply chain operations, especially around compliance, testing, and safety. The cannabis supply chain needs to facilitate business practices that provide for product consistency, especially as companies seek to scale up operations. Your cannabis ERP needs to provide quality control, meet evolving regulatory guidelines and access resources consistently and efficiently.

These same tools must also address issues such as traceability and sustainability, as customers expect these companies, as they do of other makers of consumer products, to practice sustainable production and positive social impact.

Finding the right cannabis ERP

NexTec CannaBusiness ERP provides your cannabis company with tools that solve unique and complex industry supply chain issues. Built on Sage X3, CannaBusiness ERP delivers a customizable cannabis ERP solution with the following features:

  • Crop management, including production features and nutrient tracking
  • Seed-to-sale traceability
  • Inventory tracking
  • Integration with government regulatory compliance systems
  • Quality control assurance
  • Tax collection management
  • Financial management
  • Customer and product analytics

NexTec offers business software expertise that helps your cannabis company identify, install and optimize the right cannabis ERP.  Learn more about technology that helps your business grow.

Sage Platinum Reseller

Person holding a basket filled with tomatoes.

Lot traceability in agriculture: Why it’s a critical ERP component

By | Agriculture, ERP, Sage X3 | No Comments
Person holding a basket filled with fresh tomatoes.

Lot traceability allows food companies to track ingredients at each stage of production.

Agriculture companies today have customers that expect transparency in the products they buy. That means sharing the ingredients, sources, and processes being used at each stage of production.

Lot tracking is a critical part of agricultural production today. Lot traceability provides a detailed history of each component of your food production and is essential for managing each batch, lot and unit.

Managing that complexity requires a sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that helps track, monitor and report on lot traceability. Here’s a look at lot traceability in agriculture and why it’s a critical ERP component.

Defining lot traceability

Lot traceability allows for tracking throughout the supply chain, in multiple production locations and is an important component of new federal food safety guidelines in the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Lot traceability can include many components, including:

  • Supply chain segments, including suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers
  • Materials and ingredients used
  • Equipment and processes used
  • Packaging and labeling

Typically, RFID and barcode solutions are used within food production facilities to track various lot components.

Workers sorting through coffee beans.

In the event of a food recall event, lot tracking allows for rapid and accurate responses.

Why lot traceability is necessary

Lot traceability is an important consideration for businesses and regulators when there is a need for a product recall. With sound lot tracking practices in play, companies can quickly identify the dates, times, locations, ingredients and finished goods that need to be recalled. Lot traceability helps companies deliver information that is more precise to consumers and the public. It also helps remove affected products faster and identify the causes of contamination.

The right food ERP can make it easier for regulators, public health officials, manufacturers, and consumers to understand and respond.

Lot traceability has applications that are far less dire. For example, precise lot tracking in an ERP solution can provide other benefits, including:

  • Product Performance. Lot tracking helps you assess the costs and efficacy of different seed varieties or growing conditions.
  • Product Visibility. Lot tracing gives you better insights at each stage of product migration, from growing to shipping to distribution. Digital visibility lets you collect and analyze information in real-time throughout a product’s journey.
  • Inventory Management. Lot traceability gives you a clear sense as to what ingredients are used and when, allowing for better inventory control, expiration management, and space optimization.
  • Supplier Management. With lot traceability, you’ll have a clearer understanding of your suppliers and data that can be used to improve supplier relationships. You can use collected data to refine orders, negotiate better deals and request special considerations.
  • Automation and efficiency. Tools integrated within your food ERP help create more efficient production processes using automation, artificial intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things technologies.

Selecting the right ERP

Sage X3 is the leading provider of food ERP solutions that provide for comprehensive and compliant lot traceability. NexTec is the business software consultancy firm that helps you optimize your food ERP to get the most out of your technology investment.

See one example of how NexTec and Sage X3 helped Nichols Farms improve efficiency, accountability, and outcomes. To learn more, see how NexTec can tailor your Sage X3 to your needs.

Sage Platinum Reseller

Webcast: Sage X3 optimization strategies

Webcast: Sage X3 optimization strategies

By | Events, Recorded webcasts, Sage X3 | No Comments

With the global pandemic affecting supply chains, many of our prospects and customers are using the downtime to optimize their operations to prepare for what comes next. Our team of ERP and manufacturing industry experts are available and are here to help. We have services tailored to identify process improvement and optimization opportunities in your organization, and to help drive the adoption of software features already in use.

Watch our webcast to learn about the current optimization programs you can take advantage of that include:

Rapid optimization

Are you making use of every Sage X3 feature capable of adding value to your business? NexTec has rapid optimization services packages for the following features:

  • Supply Chain Modules (MRP/MPS)
  • Quality Control
  • Picking / Packing Advanced Features
  • Cycle Counting
  • Fixed Assets
  • Recurring Journals
  • Banking Automation
  • Cash Management

Documentation services

Documentation and document control is extremely important for any business, especially those that are heavily regulated. Is your documentation current and up to industry standards? Would more and better collateral help your company facilitate training? NexTec offers services to help with the following:

  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Training Guides/Video
  • Work Instructions
  • GMP or other regulatory compliance/validation documents
  • End user training documentation
  • Extended role-based release notes
  • Maintenance of or updates to existing documentation

Audit services

NexTec offers system and business process audits to truly optimize your business. We can review your current processes in Sage X3 to fine tune your current ERP practices and plan future ways to take advantage of more functionality. We can also take a broader business or process level approach geared toward challenging conventional wisdom in an organization, including root cause analysis and continuous improvement methodology.


Helpful resources

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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

Google Chrome 80 and Synchronous XHR with Sage X3

By | Sage X3 | No Comments

On Feb 24, 2020, Version 80 of Google Chrome was released. For more information about this update see the official Google release article.

Users working with Sage X3 in the Chrome 80 browser will find that, when a Classic session is closed directly in the browser (clicking X in the top right of the Chrome browser), the Classic session is not terminated at the server end. This may cause a record to lock, if the same user, or another user, attempts to access the record that was being edited in the original session and was closed incorrectly. The cause is a change in Chrome 80 and onwards that disallows “Synchronous XHR during page dismissal”

Sage X3 will be releasing fixes to this issue in the following Syracuse releases:

  • Syracuse server version 12.6.0
  • Syracuse server version 11.20
  • Syracuse server version 9.20.0

In the meantime, each end-user of Sage X3 can temporarily re-enable the Synchronous XHR during page dismissal feature by opting out of that piece of the update. Please refer to the steps below to find out what version of Google Chrome you are on and how to opt-out of the change.

If you are using a browser other than Google Chrome (Microsoft Edge, Mozilla FireFox, etc.) there is no action you need to take.

To find your version of Chrome

  1. Click the Settings Ellipsis (the three dots in the upper-left corner of the browser.)

  2. Click Help and then select About Google Chrome

  3. Your version will be displayed

Temporarily opt out of the deprecated synchronous XHR during page dismissal

To temporarily opt out of the deprecated synchronous XHR during page dismissal, follow these steps:

  1. Click https://developers.chrome.com/origintrials/#/trials/active
  2. Click Allow Sync XHR in Page Dismissal


  3. Click Learn More to read over the relevant information pertaining to the opt-out trial.

Opt out and allow Synchronous HHR during page dismissal

For your end-user to opt-out, and allow the Synchronous XHR during page dismissal feature, they need to follow these steps:

  1. In your browser address bar, type chrome://flags
  2. In the Search box at the top type of the screen, type #allow-sync-XHR-in-page-dismissal
  3. Change the setting from Default to Enabled
  4. Log out of Sage X3 and close all instances of your Google Chrome browser before logging back into Sage X3

If you have any questions on this or would like to discuss the implications for your particular environment, please don’t hesitate to reach out via Basecamp to the NexTec Sage X3 Support Team or contact your NexTec Project Manager.

Upcoming Microsoft LDAP Security Update with Sage X3

By | Sage X3 | No Comments

A Windows Security Update from Microsoft will be available in March 2020 that will enable LDAP channel binding and LDAP signing hardening for Active Directory. For more information about this update, see the Official Microsoft Announcement.

Sage X3 environments configured to connect to Active Directory with LDAPS for user authentication or synchronization will continue to work normally. However, Sage X3 environments configured to connect to Active Directory with simple LDAP binding will encounter the following error once the security update is in effect:

Connection error: StrongAuthRequiredError: 00002028: LdapErr: DSID-0C090200, comment: The server requires binds to turn on integrity checking if SSL\TLS are not already active on the connection, data 0, v3839

For supported Sage X3 versions (U9, V11, V12), updating the Sage X3 configuration to use LDAPS instead of LDAP will avoid this error.

Here are the steps to change from LDAP to LDAPS:

    1. Obtain the Active Directory CA Certificate. For example, from the host holding the ADCS role open the Certificates Snap-in in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), and then export the AD CA certificate from Personal/Certificates of the local computer.
    2. The certificate must be in Base64 format and not contain the private key.
    3. In Sage X3, go to Administration > Administration > Certificates > Certificates of Certification Authorities
    4. Select Actions > New CA Certificate
    5. Enter a name, description and upload the CA certificate exported previously
    6. Select Actions > Save
    7. Go to Administration > Administration > Authentication > LDAP Servers
    8. Click on the connection to edit
    9. Select Actions > Edit
    10. Set the correct protocol (LDAPS) and Port (636 or 3269) in the URL
    11. Click on the looking glass icon under CA Certificates of LDAP server for TLS
    12. Select the CA Certificate created previously, and then click OK
    13. Select Actions > Save
    14. Select Actions > Connection Test, and make sure it says Connection OK

For unsupported Sage X3 versions with LDAPS functionality (between V7P11 and U9), we advise to set up a test environment to check the compatibility of Sage X3 and the new security parameters described in the Microsoft announcement.

Sage X3 versions prior to V7P11 do not support LDAPS. In this case, the only way to keep Sage X3 connected to Active Directory will be to configure the new security parameters described in the Microsoft announcement back to their previous values. This is not recommended and we encourage you to upgrade to a more recent Sage X3 version instead.

If you have any questions on this or would like to discuss the implications for your particular environment, please don’t hesitate to use Basecamp to reach out to the NexTec Sage X3 Support Team or contact your NexTec Project Manager.