strategy = success

Warehouse strategy is getting a lot of attention. Customers’ expectations for how goods/orders are received continues to rapidly change; from speed of delivery to point of receipt. A businesses’ future success depends a lot on their ability to adapt to customers’ changing expectations.

Many rivers to cross

The thing is, there are often many solutions available for an enterprises’ challenges. And there is a lot of experience, data, and energy placed into predicting the future so as to be prepared for the rapidly changing manner in which businesses are operating. Divergent strategies, each supported strongly by business leaders, can make a SMB struggle to know which is the best solution for their unique operation; we do know each operation is unique.

convergence

Yesterday I came across an article on the Supply Chain Dive website about growing e-grocery demands creating different strategies for international businesses to deliver on customers’ expectations. What really interested me, was how quickly I found myself down the rabbit hole — this singular topic (e-grocery delivery) quickly branched into a couple of hours of researching articles about the variant strategies large companies like Amazon and Walmart are implementing to compete with start-ups such as FreshDirect.

warehouse is the word

And what really interested me was the different ways each business is attempting to stay competitive in this growing market. Their choices for warehousing and delivery seem to be the focus for bottom-line ROI.

What I think is obvious from the various articles I came across; e-grocery is growing and will continue to do so. It is impacting what the general public expects now for ordering goods and delivery. And I think it wise for SMBs to also focus on their individual fulfillment systems; especially on returns. Because a close friend is just finishing a fire job where returns overwhelmed one company — putting their warehousing functionality into a dire place.

This article (link below) is a good entry into considering your own operation strategy with customer fulfillment.

(read complete article)

The time is now! Slashing delivery times…

Having vertical distribution facilities closer to urban customers helps slash delivery times

Sometimes an article is of interest because it directly relates to what we are doing with ORG. Sometimes we’re interested because of the community we’re a part of. And sometimes, like today, it gives an insight into what customers are going to be expecting, allowing us to help our clients make adjustments and prepare for competition.

I want it now

Since spring of this year, we’ve heard murmurs of Amazon doing same day deliveries; even doing a delivery within an hour of the order being completed by a customer. Could Amazon really deliver on their delivery promise? It seems they will.

Multistory warehouse

Today the WSJ printed that Amazon closed on leasing the United States first three-story warehouse. The building is in Seattle and Amazon will be sharing some of the space with Home Depot, who is also making aggressive investment in speedy delivery times to customers. This Seattle warehouse has “freight elevators capable of carrying forklifts and a ramp that enables trucks to drive right up to loading docks on the second floor”.

An idea whose time has come?

Prologis, one of the world’s largest owners of warehouse space, developed and owns the Seattle building. They also already have development plans in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Though some investment analysts are being conservative in their assessment as to whether or not a multistory warehouse is a lasting idea — it is already popular in densely-populated Asian and European cities.

I think the writing is on the wall. Even if you are a small to medium size company, the market is going to be expecting fast delivery times. In fact, we already live in a time with heightened expectations from customers. I recommend giving strong attention to your speed-to-market delivery times — along with the systems of support.

Que Chambers Brothers…

(read entire article)

Sales is Getting Automation Attention

As a manufacturing leader, you’ve likely heard a lot about the efficiencies and productivity gains realized from having a single digital thread… An emerging trend is to extend that thread to include your selling processes.

Often leading trends seem like a no-brainer in hindsight. Integrating one’s sales systems into automated workflow(s) is just one of those no-brainer insights. Yet, it is an idea that is fairly new.

I first saw it in action when I was exploring the recent launch of SharpSpring’s Sales Optimizer, putting workflow process learned from their inbound marketing tools to work for direct sales management.

Today I come across it again in an Automation World article, Why Start Your Digital Transformation Now (Part One)?.

This article is tackling complicated process analysis, and breaking it down into bite-size pieces.

Civilization, Ho!

The fact is, technology is actually complicating the relationship for B2C operations. There are more means of final distribution to a waiting customer then ever before. And what makes it even more challenging? The demand for instant delivery is becoming common place.

Manufacturing Workforce Exodus

The median age of a manufacturing worker today as closing in on 45, which means half are older. Replacing these workers with new technology (which improves the workforce’s productivity, so fewer employees are needed) and the Millennial workforce is vital to any manufacturer’s continued success.

This article is worth taking notice of. Automating your business systems is less of a choice these days — it’s a requirement.

(read complete article)

sometimes posting is easy; SYSPRO helps things remain easy

Today’s post is easy; SYSPRO announced that once again “that it has once again retained its position as a Leader in the 2019 Nucleus Research ERP Technology Value Matrix for the third consecutive year.”

So, today, we give proper respect to the people we work with.

Congratulations, SYSPRO! Here’s to many more years of continued growth and success… and thank you for your support in helping other businesses grow and succeed.

Complete Press Release

SYSPRO Retains Top 3 Leader Position in 2019 Nucleus Research ERP Technology Value Matrix

Report mentions new SYSPRO Bot innovation and recognizes Microsoft Azure partnership to deliver capabilities including an IoT Hub, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning technology

COSTA MESA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SYSPRO, a leading global provider of ERP software, announced today that is has once again retained its position as a Leader in the 2019 Nucleus Research ERP Technology Value Matrix for the third consecutive year.

The new report outlines the choice and flexibility that SYSPRO offers customers including on-premise or in the cloud deployment either through subscriptions or perpetual licenses.

“We believe that the needs of a business inform the deployment of technology at a pace that makes sense for its sustainable growth. For our customers, we offer choice in the selection of elements that make-up the solution whilst also addressing their immediate business priorities and offering the potential to extend the solution in line with their business development and longer-term strategy,” says SYSPRO Chief Product Officer, Paulo de Matos.

The report also references SYSPRO’s ongoing commitment to delivering practical innovation noting that its partnership with Microsoft Azure offers capabilities in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies.

SYSPRO’s ERP Bot comes with 60 skills available out of the box and can be deployed to any messaging platform, the report finds. SYSPRO offers a range of user interfaces, including its mobile application Espresso, the web-based Avanti and Harmony which displays key ERP data and metrics in the style of a social media feed.

As one of the top three ERP vendors in the Leader Quadrant, the report states: “SYSPRO’s focus on practical applications of modern ERP technology illustrates its sustained commitment to delivering value to its existing customers, while its industry innovations make it a competitive choice for customers in need of a new ERP solution.”

“New technologies are disrupting the status quo and digitalization is opening the door to infinite possibilities – with profound implications as to the way companies will do business going forward. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to ensure that businesses make the right choices regarding their transition to digital by leveraging new methods that add to their competitive advantage,” concludes de Matos.

About SYSPRO

Established in 1978, SYSPRO is an independent global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software development company specializing in the manufacturing and distribution industries.

SYSPRO offers a scalable, innovative ERP software solution providing choice and flexibility that can be deployed in the cloud, on-premise, or accessed via the web on any device.

With a commitment to leverage emerging technology that supports digital transformation, SYSPRO enables its customers to improve productivity while maintaining their business competitiveness.

SYSPRO has more than 15,000 licensed companies in over 60 countries across six continents. For more information, visit www.syspro.com.

WMS Voice Tech: Tried and true comes through

With so much going on with the advancements of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), it is easy to overlook “older” technologies when looking for solutions. Yet often the tried and true is just the WMS solution needed.

I usually am not looking to the restaurant industry for articles of interest. However, I came across an article by Diane Rand, associate editor of DC Velocity and Supply Chain Quarterly, regarding the Atlanta-based restaurant chain Huddle House. They are running their own distribution center for 350 restaurants in 23 states.

Picking errors was impacting the bottom line of their shipping costs. They were also losing customers due to menu items being unavailable due to lack of inventory.

It was obvious to upper management that they needed an upgrade to their current WMS in their DC. More research showed them that a voice system would fit the need perfectly.

Huddle House decided to use Voiteq, a company we recommend, and saw their picking errors drop 53 percent. They now have a picking accuracy rate at 99.999 percent… and happy customers.

The tried and true comes through.

(complete article – PDF)

ERP sophistication creates meaningful growth

In order to achieve the owners’ vision of using their shop as part of a community-focused nonprofit, Hastreiter Industries first had to achieve enough ERP sophistication to grow.

This is a great article about a small, family-owned milling shop to an award winning enterprise that “more than quadrupled in personnel” in three years!

And the best part? Their growth came from the vision of the owners to “use their business to make an impact in society, which led them in 2013 to begin donating 50% of the company’s net profit annually”.

Implementing a mentorship program as part of their philanthropic vision. What they found is the company needed to grow to have the sufficient workload to actualize their vision.

A vision of expansion required an overhaul of long-trusted and organically developed systems of enterprise and resource management.

It was apparent from analysis that an ERP system to manage accounting and shopfloor performance on a far more robust level then they could currently operate at.

Part of the main criteria they had for finding the correct system was:

  • Track times and costs of individuals jobs efficiently,
  • Lay the foundation for gaining ISO 9001 and AS9100 certifications, and
  • Gain full data visibility and live shopfloor status.

This is an excellent feel-good story of success… with some great insights to choosing an ERP system wisely, so that you, too can experience, “minimal strain, allowing (your) company to take growth at its own pace with scalable systems”.

(read entire article)

What is a Frankencloud?

It is so common for an enterprise/company to roll out something new in stages, or roll out upgrades in stages, I don’t think twice about it.

Apparently, I’m not the only one — and it could be creating a monster.

This quick-read article I found on the Smart Industry site is a great eye-opener to issues created when a company “deploys multiple cloud applications on different cloud platforms”.

It is a quick, educational read — and something I will remain aware of when assessing rolling out projects in stages!

(Have a great weekend!)

(PDF of article)

Warehouse Productivity: A Two Way Street

Often when considering the processes of your warehouse inventory and supply chain management, all the concentration goes into getting quality products out the door in record time. One often hears the term speed to market when speaking about supply and manufacturing industries. In fact, speed to market is a key element when investment funds are considering a CPG (consumer packaged goods) company, especially those focused on food, beverage and wellness categories.

Speed to Market

Speed to market places one’s concentration on getting the good developed, manufactured, and delivered. The business process is focused on getting an item out the warehouse door and into a customer’s hands. However, there is a very important aspect to warehouse efficiencies – especially in the retail industry. And as e-commerce continues to grow exponentially each year, so do…

Returns

What seems like an obvious aspect of business process consideration has been, to date, sorely overlooked by executive leaders. A recently published report by Newmine and RVCF states that, “market pressure to satisfy the increasing expectations of today’s consumers has resulted in a $400 billion problem (customer returns) that has been called retail’s ‘ticking time bomb.'”

Lead the way: Executive Ownership

In an Apparel posting today, Navjit Bhasin, Founder and CEO of Newmine, writes, “most retail organizations have yet to execute and institutionalize a returns reduction effort that’s sustainable”. Bhasin goes on to give a real-world scenario on the impact of a customer return experience to the retail organization.

We currently have our own real-world scenario regarding warehouse productivity and returns. One of our team members is encamped in a client’s warehouse putting out fires right and left. What was believed to be a two week fire-fighter situation has stretched out for over a month. There are two primary issues playing into the deterioration of the warehouse environment and productivity; handling returns and leadership support.

Removing Fuel

The earlier a company incorporates customer returns, whether it is lot traceability, return policies, and warehouse processes, the less likely this ever increasing issue of product returns will burst into a full scale fire. Getting a headstart and implementing your business processes for returns will not only help with your bottom line, but will also increase and support a positive work environment, as the above mentioned job again proved to us.

Warehousing and productivity is truly a two way street!

(read complete article)

Best Practices Create ERP Efficiency

This morning, Elizabeth Quirk of Solutions Review posted a brief article about how to increase ERP Efficiency.

You’ve heard us say repeatedly that ERP efficiency begins with the planning stage. As you are considering either moving to an ERP system or upgrading and expanding up your current one, clearly defining what issues are being resolved and the desired growth you have for your company is key to success, the end result being an increase in reliability and efficiency in a way that fits your way-of-business.

Quirk states that today, due to an increased technology (AI anyone?) and higher demands by customers, the likelihood of an off-the-shelf solution is minimal.

The process of searching and evaluating an ERP solution is not as simple as it once was, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to ERP software. When thinking about the near future, it’s important to keep these fundamentals in mind while evaluating current ERP systems.

Quirk goes on to mention four other topics that are important considerations for increasing your ERP efficiency; Mobility, User-friendliness, Customer-centric, and Flexibility.

(read complete posting)

Congratulations to the women of SYSPRO

Also, we’d like to congratulate Sandra Fraga, SYSPRO Corporate Chief Marketing Officer, and Dawna Olsen, SYSPRO USA Chief Marketing Officer, for being named to CRN’s prestigious 2019 Women of the Channel list.

ERP Affordability Dependent on Experienced Support for Success

Elizabeth Quirk’s article (Solutions Review), “Can Your Small Business Afford an ERP?”, opens with a wise piece of information:

Searching for ERP software can be a daunting (and expensive) process…

Elizabeth is stating that just searching for the right ERP solution for your company is challenging, let alone implementing, launching, and training your team to use a new business automation management system.

Getting off on the right foot — with the right team in place — is going to determine all aspects of success with your ERP. Even knowing the right questions to ask (Should we deploy our ERP on-site or deploy a cloud based system?) is extremely important for success… and getting quickly to the positive ROI that is promised.

Knowing the right questions is part of our expertise. It is why we highlight needs analysis as the very first step of our business methodology. Our efficiency and success is reliant on knowing your systems and the functions and solutions you are looking for.

Quirk continues with ideas in support of cloud based systems.

Success with SYSPRO

For ERP success, we have partnered with SYSPRO for many years. Earlier this month, they posted a good piece on how to make the right choice when moving forward with an ERP solution.

Between both articles, I think you’ll have a clear idea on how to get started with exploring moving your business processes into automated systems. Oh, yes, and by the way… we’re happy to answer any questions you have.

(read complete SYSPRO article)