Back to Business Challenges: Post COVID-19

“We all know that the world is going through a major change that will lead to us running our lives differently than we did BC (Before COVID). What some businesses are beginning to realize though is that their workforce will need to learn new skills AC/DC (After COVID/During COVID).” ~ Tiffany Gierke | SYSPRO

This week shows some real movement towards coming out of quarantine in the United States. For a lot of 2019, we saw a lot of articles and talk regarding automation, robotics, and AI in business operations – especially in warehouse management systems. Robotics, AI and AR has taken a large leap in implementation. Production and warehousing was struggling to their labor force before our epidemic situation. The pandemic actions for businesses this first and second quarter of 2020 only increased the dire need for human labor.

With pressures to keep the supply chain running for the health of the global economy, businesses are turning to automation with heightened urgency.

However, people are going to return to work; and it is not business as usual. Helping people learn the new skills of today’s operations is not just important for the returning workforce. Tiffany Gierke of SYSPRO points out that it is equally important for successful businesses. Valuable staff who could easily be re-skilled with operations will be lost if management does not put energy into their education and training.

Training and support is one the key aspects of Operations Resource Group’s methodology.

Gierke’s article is a succinct read supporting the importance of education and training for a returning workforce. And, as stated at the beginning of this post – hiring labor is a major challenge operations and HR currently face. The promise of increasing one’s skill-set, along with strict safety and health standards, is going to be important to those returning to work.

(read complete article)

 

SPECIAL NOTICE

As I was wrapping up this article, I was discussing this topic with a colleague. He mentioned the TESLA “Return to work playbook” as one of the best resources he’s seen as a guide for businesses post-COVID. It is; you can download it here.

Increase: the good and the bad

…it goes without saying right now. There is a definite increase in people’s vigilance. Survival is key.

So today we have two articles to share with you; both about increase. As promised, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

What does an international company do when they find that “there (are) gaps in how content (is) being stored and shared across the company”? The company in this article, Panova, moved to an ERP system that allowed them to utilize systems and platforms already in place.

Now employees easily access data that used to be in divergent locations. “Managers noted impressive gains in productivity, improved user experience for employees, enhanced file access and a reduced paper trail for the company as a whole.”

The immediate result from system integration? Panova accrued an increase of 400% in productivity gains.

We saw improved efficiency, more opportunities for future process improvements and, most importantly, a significant increase in productivity among our employees and their workflows. ~ Ehren Dimitry, president and CEO of Panova.

(read complete article here)

And now The Bad

Yes, it is on everyone’s mind…the coronavirus pandemic has industry scrambling.

In an article today from Logistics Management, we quickly learn how challenged supply is as consumers rapidly stock up on goods. Empty shelves in major supply chain stores is normal. And the same is found in the local corner store.

And as author Rosemary Coates warns, “This is just the beginning.”

Small and medium size companies rely on China for manufacturing. They didn’t, and still don’t, have the resources to research and find other sources for manufacturing and supply.

Finding new suppliers, qualifying them, and scheduling production is no easy task.

Being resourceful is key to success. As Tony Robbins is quoted as saying, “It’s not the lack of resources, it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.”

Coates warns that not factories in China are running about 25% normal—and delivery costs are increasing as the shipping industry continues to get hit.

(read complete article here)

Customization personalizes your ERP

Customization today is more than modifying application logic. There should be a level of personalization and industry/region specific functionality that can be added or removed as needed.

Your ERP Experience, Your Way

An ERP system is an integral part of operations. However, no two businesses are alike. When it comes to business systems one-size does not fit-all. In many instances, it’s the operational differences within an organization that determines their distinct competitive advantage. An ERP software that fails to take the needs of end users into account is unlikely to be rapidly adopted and could lead to frustrations within your organization.

It’s About to Get Personal

The pursuit of the ultimate user experience.
User experience is crucial to rapid uptake, but UX alone is not enough – your chosen ERP software solution must engage your employees. That means empowering them to work whenever and wherever they want and enabling them to personalize the appearance and functionality of their ERP software interface.

To avoid confusing user experience and engagement it is important to note that engagement marks the intersection between commanding attention and taking action. It represents the deliberate choices your employees make when interacting with devices and software. It’s how they extract optimum value from the tools you give them. Without engagement, there can be no meaningful user experience.

Anvizent customization of SYSPRO data

The Anvizent solution for SYSPRO integrates SYSPRO ERP data, and other enterprise data into one platform, providing a comprehensive and unified view of the business. Get up-to-the-minute visibility into performance using 100+ pre-built dashboards across Marketing, Sales Orders, Finance, Banking, Projects, Manufacturing, Inventory, Purchases, and other key functions. Keep track all your operations, spot hidden trends and patterns, uncover issues and take immediate action to keep performance on the track.

Anvizent automated and simplified the entire data management and analytics process so you can rapidly explore data, uncover insights, and make smart, data-driven decisions the way you want to. It’s your personal ERP system.

Customization unlocks vast opportunities, facilitating the rapid adoption and acceptance of the technologies that are driving change. Your department teams will feel empowered to be more creative and innovative.

Anvizent

Accelerate Insights From Your SYSPRO ERP

Since our founding, Operations Resource Group has focused on bringing added value to our customers. With tax season upon us, the preparation of financial information and reports is critical. While many enterprise software products are strong in the areas of either accounting, manufacturing or distribution, SYSPRO excels at all three. This allows for accurate, deep data dives which accelerate insights for your CFO. Other members of the accounting department also can access the data. Reports become easier to manage and export… If…

You Can Understand the Data

Reporting features in SYSPRO are extensive, including the ability to output reports and documents in many different formats or standards, such as XML. Full audit trails are provided for all master data changes, as well as for all financial transaction activity in the system at sub-ledger and general ledger levels. Transaction history reporting is available throughout the system, along with online archiving of data and reports.

ORG has long championed the deep data dive that SYSPRO is capable of. However, a small to mid-sized business might find all this data overwhelming. Overwhelming data usually ends up being useless. We at ORG specialize in helping companies of your size in implementing and adapting automated business systems—like SYSPRO. We are always on the lookout for ways to adapt the big data reports from SYSPRO. We’ve recently started working with Anvizent with great success the past year.

Accelerate Insights and Understanding

Anvizent creates dashboards that report complex data in a simple, easy to read manner. Anvizent brings real-time, self-service analytics/insights to everyone’s fingertips, enabling them to continually improve decisions and performance.

The video below gives a quick overview of Anvizent’s Finance dashboards. Incorporating Anvizent with your SYSPRO ERP will give you quick access to data, allowing you to understand the factors driving revenue, cost, and profitability across products, business units, and locations.

Contact us and ask how we can assist your departments in accelerating data capabilities within your business systems.

“Right Now” does create conversions

Vince Atkin, Overstock’s vice president of supply chain, stated that a delivery message of 2-day shipping has a 30% higher conversion rate than a 3-day or more delivery message.

Overstock.com knew from the previous year’s data, they would need to improve their delivery times to customers significantly to close sales and compete with other online ordering services during the holiday season. To do so, they would need products warehoused closer to the customer.

This only made sense though for the highly impacted holiday season. “It would be foolish to build a network that could handle Cyber 5 volume and let it sit there for the other 51 weeks of the year,” Atkin says about shipping carriers handling increased volume.

So Overstock.com staged its promotional products at its third-party logistic warehouses so it could ship products to customers faster.

This is from a very brief article from Digital Commerce 360.

It’s a very quick read. It also highlights the importance of decipherable data for Overstock.com to arrive at the important insights regarding customers’ sale conversions and customer retention.

Overstock also uses a machine-learning model to forecast fulfillment that factors in historic carrier performance. It builds rules into its reporting to flag issues. For example, if an order hasn’t moved in a couple days, there is likely a problem. Overstock will reach out to its carrier if an order hasn’t moved within 48 hours to proactively deal with any issues, instead of waiting for the carrier or a customer to flag an issue.

(read entire article – 1 minute)

 

ERP data analytics

ERP conversion data

Data Mining: The Hidden Treasures of Your ERP

The boss is unhappy with the company’s ERP. After a costly implementation, delivery delays, and bugs being worked out – she still isn’t getting the answers from the data she was hoping for. The promised treasure from data mining remains elusive!

Why?

Upper management and company leaders have a primary responsibility; get answers and insights beyond the obvious. This is what keeps a company a world-class leader. And industry leaders also lead in profit – which is the bottom line. The timeliness of the answers to these hidden questions is what supports improvements on, “speed to market”, production management, P/L, waste management, customer retention – and more – company growth. Yes, default data analysis is useful; it’s also the default. It isn’t leadership data.

Remember, world-class leaders are thinking beyond the obvious.

Too much data?

ERP Systems are excellent for funneling data from a multitude of disparate sources. The information to answer a company’s key questions is collected and stored – that’s a given. Accessing it in a manageable manner is the challenge.

The value of data usually remains in a holding pattern. The technical knowledge to query data from a database, or databases, is yet immensely complex and challenging (SQL statements, Db management, programming languages). College degrees are created for such expertise. And we live in a time when big data is the norm. So data isn’t the problem; accessing it in a legible manner is.

Whose responsibility is it to go into the mine?

Most IT departments are already topped out with major responsibilities. Adding data management and reporting most likely will either get your IT department giving their notice, or have the responsibility back-burnered as they continue to concentrate on site/information security, hardware maintenance, and the day-to-day support for staff’s use of your company’s technology.  (How do check email on my phone again?) I’m sure you CIO has some others, more important, that I’m unaware of.

So… Consistent, timely reports are still not getting to the company leaders.

DIY: Data Instantly Yours

Ok, that’s a groaner – however, it happens to be true.

Operations Resource Group partnered with SYSPRO, a world leader in creating an ERP software solution for manufacturing and distribution, because of their capability to integrate complex business systems into a single platform. This integration of multiple departments (customer orders, production, inventory control, etc.) creates large data sets with the information your looking for to answer those subtle, hidden questions you’ve been asking.

ORG recently partnered with Anvizent, a soup to nuts Analytics Solution for robust ERP Systems. In a short time, we and our clients have experienced phenomenal success. Anvizent reporting easily allows a person to track operations, spot hidden trends and patterns, uncover issues and take immediate action to keep performance world-class. By integrating Anvizent with SYSPRO, company leaders get the power of deep data mining while also receiving the insights from your SYSPRO ERP data in simple, manageable dashboards and reports. The people who want the answers and information are getting it when they want it – because they get it themselves.

Those hidden treasures are now readily available.

Data mining is for everyone

Because Anvizent is customizable, one can create user accesses for all departments appropriately. Now everyone from Executive to HR, Warehouse to Sales – everyone is safely, and most importantly, accurately reading and analyzing the reports that support their daily work.

Give us a call. We’ll happily answer your questions and concerns as we continue to support you and your business growth. We strongly believe that our partnerships with SYSPRO and Anvizent support our excellence in customer service.

12 to Help Choose the Right Analytics Solution For You

If you are looking for a BI and analytics solution to make your organization data-driven, then you well know how easy it is to feel lost or overwhelmed.

Getting analytics right

Selecting a Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics solution is a decision that will impact your business for years to come. While the right solution will help you use your data to drive competitive advantage, spending your budget on the wrong business solution can end up adversely impacting your staff and production efficiency and ultimately harm your bottom line.

With so much at stake, making the right choice can seem daunting and to make matters worse, there are many BI players in the market that have seemingly indistinguishable offerings – each claiming theirs is the ‘next big thing’ in data analysis. We have a guide to help you navigate the market and avoid many of the pitfalls that come with selecting the right system to meet your business needs.

The Right Questions Direct to the Right Solutions

It seems obvious, however, the exploration stage of implementing automated business systems often gets the short end of the stick. A while back we discovered Anvizent, and quickly saw how integrating it with the power of SYSPRO ERP generated data gave everyone in an organization access to analytics where they can spot opportunities and issues, and more importantly, take proactive action to drive business performance.

This white paper developed by Anvizent has twelve excellent questions to empower your exploration to install or upgrade comprehensive technology solutions to support your business systems and improve efficiencies.

the heart of effective supply chains

Leverage Procurement to Support Competitive Supply Chain Models

With the impact of an increasingly global economy, organizations understand that it is no longer about a single-point organization competing with another, it has moved to an operational level with supply chains competing with supply chains.

Procurement is a promising arena in the quest for rapid, sustainable profits and competitive models. Streamlining your procurement procedures and making sure that all policies are in place is critical to the overall success of your business. Supply chain management drives companies to reevaluate the ways they manufacture, distribute, and sell products. By using an appropriate ERP solution, you can streamline this process even further, enabling your supply chain to become a strategic advantage to your business and set you apart from your competitors.

Download SYSPRO Leverage Procurement to Support Competitive Supply Chain Models

Congratulations to Westside Equipment Co.

It was just over a year ago that we gave a shout out to our friends at Westside Equipment Co. for cutting their annual physical inventories time in half. Our ORG Team helped Westside Equipment implement the WMS from Csoft/ Dynamisoft. They completed their initial count of close to 7,800 different line items within two and a half days.

Westside Equipment Co. just reported to us another year’s successful annual physical inventories with the WMS system; again in two days.

With those kind of results, I wonder why 35% of distribution centers are not using a WMS—and 6% say they have no plans to implement one? Those statistics are from an article in Supply Chain Management Review by the team that conducts an annual DC Measures Study.

There’s a lot that a WMS can do to improve upon your warehouse systems.

This is a short post. We just want to give a shout out to our friends at Westside Equipment.

What is your 2020 vision?

It is the final stretch of 2019; 2020 is just weeks away. Notoriously, this is a time when predictions of all kinds start getting posted. We’ve been posting a lot about AI and more automation in warehousing, financials, and customer relationship.

We happened to be pursing some content and found this article from down under: 8 CIOs reveal top line predictions for 2020. No surprise that AI and automation are top of mind with these interviewed CIOs.

What caught my attention were two items mentioned by Rohan Penman of T2 Tea, and Bradley Blyth of flybuys:

  • personalisation
  • regulation

personalisation

As customers are getting more used to an immediate and personal online experience, the demands for everyone to provide such experiences are increasing. Business systems increasingly moving into automated processed and incorporating AI still need to give a human experience to customers.

regulation

Europe’s GDPR regulations forced global changes to business operations. Though costly, I saw it also bring a lot more consciousness to handling stored data.
And now, similar to Europe, California’s CCPA goes in to effect January 1, 2020. These regulations require serious attention; automation might help manage bid data in your business.

2020 vision

I also saw this past week a lot of support for managers to gear up now so there is momentum for growth in 2020 starting with the new year. This might mean implementing new business systems to your process. It might be upgrading you find most appropriate.

We do believe integrated management of main business processes will help you serve your clients at world-class levels.

This article is a quick read; and a great way to kick-start you thinking about the new year. Here’s to 2020 vision!

(read complete article – PDF)