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OptiProERP Blogs

Insights, advice, tips and industry best practices for manufacturers and distributors

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Get the latest insights, advice, tips and industry best practices in one place, all while empowering your manufacturing business at the same time.

  • ERP Accounting and Financials: What Management Needs to Know

    The Jump from QuickBooks to ERP Accounting: What Management Needs to Know – Part 4
    ERP Analytics/Reporting and Finance Control

    October 21, 2019

    By: Allan Lessing, Director of Customer Success Part 4: ERP Analytics/Reporting and Finance Control As I finish up this series of blogs, I want to encourage managers at new, small, and midsize businesses to start to look beyond QuickBooks to ERP accounting and financial functionality. It’s time for ERP[...]

  • A Single ERP Platform with Competitive Advantages

    The Jump from QuickBooks to ERP Accounting: What Management Needs to Know – Part 3
    Competitive Advantages of a Single ERP Platform

    By: Allan Lessing, Director of Customer Success Part 3: Competitive Advantages of a Single ERP Platform Management at small and midsize manufacturing companies are cautious and risk adverse when it comes to employing new technology and changing to a new process. But reliance on QuickBooks and other stand-alone solutions[...]

  • The Jump from QuickBooks to ERP Accounting: What Management Needs to Know – Part 2
    ERP Benefits and Value of the Cloud

    By: Allan Lessing, Director of Customer Success Part 2: ERP Benefits and Value of the Cloud We are constantly monitoring what managers want to know as their companies consider moving from QuickBooks to ERP for accounting and financials. It’s almost an inevitable step as companies grow, add more transactions,[...]

  • Growth and Business Needs

    The Jump from QuickBooks to ERP Accounting: What Management Needs to Know – Part 1 Growth and Business Needs

    October 17, 2019

    By: Allan Lessing, Director of Customer Success Part 1: Growth and Business Needs Throughout my career, I’ve seen it countless times. Managers of growing small to midsize manufacturing businesses find that the capacity of their start-up applications often falls short. They need to make the strategic jump to more[...]

  • SAP Ranked No. 1 ERP Solution – What It Means for Us and Our Customers

    September 13, 2019

    I’m excited and proud to announce that SAP, with whom we have a strategic partnership, has been ranked No. 1 ERP software by revenue for the second consecutive year. The #1 ranking was reported in Gartner’s Market Share Analysis: ERP Software Worldwide, 2018. As SAP’s strategic industry partner for[...]

  • ERP and MES: The Relationship Explained

    ERP and MES: The Relationship Explained

    August 27, 2019

    Manufacturers are becoming more competitive day-by-day. From adopting lean manufacturing strategies to investing in power-driven machinery, manufacturers endeavor to deliver the best quality products in a short period. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is an extensive software that controls complex manufacturing operations and data on the shop-floor. MES software aims[...]

  • 5 ways ERP improves inventory visibility in your supply chain

    5 Ways ERP Improves Inventory Visibility in Your Supply Chain

    June 18, 2019

    Inventory visibility is one of the critical aspects of any manufacturing business. It helps organizations understand how much inventory is available, at what location, and at any given point of time. To ensure inventory visibility, you should have access to view, manage, and update your inventory status from trusted[...]

  • Forecasting made easy for manufacturers with intelligent ERP software

    June 4, 2019

    Predicting future demand contributes to making well-informed organizational decisions. Forecasting helps businesses plan for future endeavors by evaluating historical data and analyzing trend patterns. It is the process of extracting information from past and present data to make diligent decisions regarding purchase, sale, inventory and other departments. Before planning[...]

  • ABC Analysis of Inventory: Optimize Business Bottom Line

    May 20, 2019

    The most common concern supply chain management experts struggle with is accurately identifying the causes of inventory inconsistencies. If a discrepancy is identified when users pick an item or perform a count, an inventory correction needs to be performed. Every inventory issue has a specific method that can be[...]

  • What is Material Requirements Planning and Manufacturing Resource Planning Software?

    May 1, 2019

    Manufacturing companies convert raw materials into a form that is of more value and use for the consumer. Developed in the 60s and 70s, material requirements planning (MRP) offered an important breakthrough for shop floor managers. It linked production plans for finished goods with the requirements for component parts[...]

  • Is Intelligent ERP right for me?

    Is Intelligent ERP Right for Me?

    March 21, 2019

    Digital Transformation Is Sneaking up on You! I received a bit of a shock on the September 27th , 2018. I discovered it was Google’s 20th Birthday! You see, I have been in the IT industry for more than twice as long as Google has existed, and yet I[...]

  • What Does Intelligent ERP Do ?

    What Does Intelligent ERP Do?

    March 20, 2019

    The possibilities are endless with digital transformation, limited only by an ability to think about your business – what you do, how you do it, how you could do it better, quicker or smarter. In our blog, “What is Intelligent ERP?”, we looked at the enablers of digital business:[...]

  • What is Intelligent ERP?

    What is Intelligent ERP?

    March 4, 2019

    You may have heard about Intelligent ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), but what is it? In two words, CONNECTIVITY and ACCESS. IDC defines Intelligent ERP as ERP applications or suites that use machine learning and advanced analytics built on a large, curated data set to forecast, track, learn, route, analyze,[...]

  • 5 Key Benefits of ERP for Accounting and Financial Management

    5 Key Benefits of ERP for Accounting and Financial Management

    February 26, 2019

    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has become an inevitable part of modern businesses. It hosts a world full of business functionalities that are designed to address inventory requirements, quality of finished products, manage production functions and oversee crucial business processes.   The benefits of ERP systems are many but how does it benefit the accounting[...]

  • 5 Main Differences Between ERP and Accounting Software

    5 Main Differences Between ERP and Accounting Software

    Accounting software typically covers the management of areas such as financial reporting, accounts payables and receivables, banking, recording of basic revenues/sales and more. On the other hand, ERP solutions includes multiple modules with accounting being one of them. Other modules include supply chain, planning, inventory management, warehouse management, production, HR, sales, purchasing, etc.    However, there are many people who use the[...]

  • What is Manufacturing ERP

    What is Manufacturing ERP?

    January 25, 2019

    What distinguishes Manufacturing ERP from other ERP systems? We are all familiar with what ERP systems are: One software solution that brings all core business processes into one database and system, eliminating ‘silos of information’ and separate applications for various departments. They operate in real time, and have a[...]

  • Tips and Warnings for Implementing an ERP System

    December 28, 2018

    Back when I was virtually full-time working with clients on ERP implementations, I had a trick that seemed to work to overcome many of the issues around keeping a project on track and on budget. I would take the entire plan, all the steps, and put them in a[...]

  • The Cost of Delaying an ERP Upgrade

    December 26, 2018

    A new piece of plant equipment will always trump a new ERP system to grow your business – or will it? In all my many years of introducing new ERP systems to manufacturing companies, the number one reason why the project did not go ahead is not because we[...]

  • How close a match to my industry requirements can an ERP system get?

    May 9, 2018

    I was once showing a prospect an ERP solution, and the business owner asked “What does this ERP system specialize in?”  “Wholesale / Distribution”, I replied. “Woop-de-do,” was the response, “so do 90% of all ERP systems”. That was back in the days when ERP Systems tried to be[...]

  • How customizable does my ERP need to be?

    May 2, 2018

    One of the first questions asked by a prospective customer when evaluating a possible ERP solution is: Can I customize this software? Whether the need to customize is real or not, it is often an important consideration in terms of “future-proofing” the chosen ERP solution. Proprietary ERP is often[...]

  • How free is “Free”?

    April 26, 2018

    Open Source software is free, right?  We can save a fortune using it, can’t we? Well, that depends….. The attraction of Open Source software is not just that the initial license is free, but you also avoid on-going annual maintenance fees of around 20-25%.  That’s a powerful incentive, but[...]

  • Have you considered the advantages of cloud ERP?

    April 19, 2018

    To compete and grow, your company needs an ERP solution that is flexible and agile. Over the past 20 years Cloud ERP solutions have repeatedly proven their superiority in up-time, data security, and agility when compared to on-premise ERP systems. As a result, on-premise applications are quickly becoming a[...]

  • Is ‘Best of Breed’ really ‘Best’ for you?

    April 12, 2018

    A ‘Best of Breed’ solution is designed to do extremely well for one department or area of your business.  Each such solution is usually developed and supported by individual, separate vendors. An ‘End-to-End’ ERP system, sometimes called ‘Best-in-Class’, combines all the different departments and areas of your manufacturing business[...]

  • 6 Ways to Reduce Inventory Levels

    August 16, 2017

    For any small to medium sized manufacturer the ability to effectively manage inventory can determine a company’s success or failure. Lean manufacturing principles identify inventory as one of the most critical “wastes” to be eliminated. If inventory is not constantly moving through the production process then it is “non-value[...]

  • Improving Quality Assurance in Lean Manufacturing

    August 9, 2017

    Quality management is embedded within core lean manufacturing principles, however improving quality assurance even further for small and large manufacturers alike, can be achieved by adopting Six Sigma techniques and strategies. Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of continuous improvement (kaizen) with the goal of providing extraordinary value to the customer[...]

  • 10 Steps to Choosing the Right Manufacturing ERP System

    August 1, 2017

    [vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]An ERP system is arguably the core infrastructure of any manufacturing operation. It connects every function within the organization providing all the required data to drive the business efficiently, productively and profitably. It can handle customer orders, customer relationship management, plan purchases, plan production, manage inventory, run accounting, manage[...]

  • 6 Warning Signs Your Manufacturing Business Needs An ERP System

    July 25, 2017

    Your salespeople are doing a great job drumming up business. But you are having a problem keeping up with demand and you can’t figure out why. Production holdups are increasing, quality standards are dropping, delivery schedules are not being met and your customers are becoming increasingly unhappy. Sound familiar?[...]

  • Lean Manufacturing Best Practices – How to Get Started

    July 19, 2017

    When you start researching lean manufacturing for the first time you’ll be confronted with myriad principles, concepts, processes, and tools, each of which has to have their own acronyms of course. Lean manufacturing best practices are not that complicated! They are based on 3 common-sense principles: A laser focus[...]

  • Will Lean Principles Help My Small Manufacturing Business?

    July 11, 2017

    The short answer is a resounding yes! You can be a two-person job shop or a 5000 person aircraft manufacturer and lean manufacturing principles apply equally. Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of continuous improvement (kaizen) with the goal of providing extraordinary value to the customer through a process of[...]

  • 4 Lean Inventory Management Best Practices

    July 5, 2017

    The primary goal of lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste, (anything that doesn’t add value from a customer perspective), and inventory falls within that scope. So essentially lean inventory management best practices are focused on reducing inventory levels to zero. A worthy goal indeed but impractical to say the least.[...]

  • Which Inventory Control Method Is Right For You?

    June 26, 2017

    Efficient inventory control is critical to the profitability of any manufacturing enterprise. However, with so many inventory control methods available, it can be overwhelming to sift through them all to determine the best fit for your company. In general, manufacturers want to find a system that optimizes inventory levels,[...]

  • How to Get Smart Using Business Intelligence

    June 19, 2017

    The ways in which manufacturers extract and apply business intelligence (BI) are in transition. Depending on a variety of factors, manufacturers are relying on everything from manually produced spreadsheets to inflexible legacy ERP systems all the way to “smart manufacturing” approaches utilizing IoT and even IIoT. While the overall[...]

  • Are You Smart Manufacturing?

    June 12, 2017

    A few months ago, we published a blog entitled “The Future of Manufacturing – Are You Prepared?” in which we stated that “… today’s manufacturing companies must reconfigure to emphasize agility, flexibility and ‘smartness’ in order to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace.” Indeed, the rapid-fire emergence of[...]

  • How Mobility Increases ROI

    June 6, 2017

    In a previous article, we shared some insights into the rapid ascendance of mobile devices as key components in today’s ERP solutions and some of the high-level benefits that manufacturers can reap from their use. Entitled “The Top 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Mobile Solution,” we supported the[...]

  • Quality Assurance & Quality Control Why You Need Both

    May 15, 2017

    In last week’s blog, we looked at quality assurance (QA) best practices for manufacturers. In that post, we touched on the fact that many use the terms quality assurance and quality control (QC) interchangeably, even though they represent different functions in the overall quality management process. As we noted[...]

  • 5 Quality Assurance Best Practices for Manufacturers

    May 8, 2017

    Quality Management is a rigorous methodology employed by a manufacturing company to ensure that the quality of its products is consistent. Two essential components of quality management are Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC), which are often used interchangeably, even though there are distinct differences between the two.[...]

  • Inventory Management 101 – The Master Production Schedule (MPS) Explained

    May 3, 2017

    Master Production Scheduling is the process that helps manufacturers plan which products and related quantities to produce during certain periods. MPS is proactive in that it drives the production process in terms of what is manufactured and what materials are procured. In previous articles, we introduced Bills of Materials[...]

  • The 10 Types of BOMs Explained

    April 17, 2017

    In our last post, we focused on the advantages of automated BOMs vs. manual spreadsheet-based systems. Today, we’re going to drill down a little further into types of BOMs (Bills of Materials) so that you have a better understanding of some of the available options. BOMs are a comprehensive[...]

  • How Automated BOM’s Can Save You Time, Money & Eliminate Mistakes

    April 10, 2017

    A bill of materials (BOM) is a list of the raw materials, assemblies, sub-assemblies, components, sub-components and associated quantities plus labor and equipment needed to complete the job. The BOM also requires quality control over each step in the process to ensure that no defective or substandard components find[...]

  • What Is Cycle Counting & Why Is It So Important?

    April 3, 2017

    Cycle counting is an efficient and cost-effective way to ensure ongoing accuracy of your inventory counts and valuation. Usually, staff will perform cycle counts on a predetermined schedule, often weekly or monthly, and count a subset of the entire inventory in a specific area of the warehouse. Once these[...]

  • 5 Critical Inventory Management Best Practices

    March 28, 2017

    Any small- to mid-size manufacturing business knows that effective inventory management is critical to success. With inventory tying up working capital stock turn is paramount. In addition non-turning stock takes up valuable space, may become outdated or obsolete and there is always a danger of shrinkage. It is critical[...]

  • 7 Reasons Why Cloud ROI Might Be Too Good to Resist

    March 21, 2017

    The cloud has permeated nearly every sector of business and manufacturing is certainly no exception. The reasons are many for this transformation but one in particular is that Cloud ROI might just be too good to resist. In the pre-cloud days, we lived in a time of expensive and[...]

  • Reduce Costs & Delivery Times With Procurement Automation

    March 14, 2017

    Procurement automation can reduce the cost of purchase order requisition, submittal and approval by up to 75% and invoice processing costs by up to 90%. According to the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) companies using procurement automation receive deliveries two days faster on average than those who don’t.[...]

  • EDI is Critical to Successful Supply Chain Management

    March 6, 2017

    EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) enables the electronic transfer of business information between trading partners (B2B) through a standardized format. EDI has actually been around for roughly 50 years, originally developed by the U.S. transportation industry to standardize electronic transactions between vendors and customers. This highly efficient process is entirely[...]

  • 7 Ways to Win New Customers

    February 27, 2017

    If you’re part of an emerging small business, keeping track of your customers’ histories, sales opportunities, marketing campaigns and other key data points is likely essential to your future success. The question is … Are you still depending on inefficient and error-prone spreadsheets and disconnected databases for this information[...]

  • The Future of Manufacturing – Are You Prepared?

    February 21, 2017

    When it comes to the world of discrete manufacturing, old paradigms are slow to change. The long-held stereotypes still persist of outdated, decrepit workplaces that operate at sub-standard efficiency levels and often without adequate safeguards to protect worker safety. Until recently, the “old school” manufacturing model was dominated by[...]

  • The Top 5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Mobile Solution

    February 13, 2017

    There are countless reasons why manufacturing businesses are increasingly relying on mobile apps to maintain 24/7 access to real-time data that helps them perform better. Yes, the quaint days of lugging around loads of paper and/or having to call the office to keep track of sales, review customer history[...]

  • 6 Hidden Costs of Stockouts

    February 6, 2017

    Generally speaking, when a manufacturing/distribution enterprise experiences a stockout, the ramifications can be troubling on many fronts. A host of factors may be responsible for an inventory shortfall, such as unforeseen demand, poor inventory management or delays in getting product to market. Regardless of the reason, a stockout is[...]

  • 5 Key Advantages of SAP Business One vs. QuickBooks

    January 31, 2017

    OK, let’s say you’re either ready to upgrade from QuickBooks to a more robust ERP solution or you’re at least open to considering options. If you’ve already commenced your search, you likely discovered the large number of ERP choices on the market today that claim to be “affordable.” The[...]

  • 6 Telltale Signs Your Business Has Outgrown QuickBooks

    January 23, 2017

    QuickBooks is omnipresent. Over five million users and counting. It’s the industry-standard choice for start-up businesses to meet their basic accounting requirements at a very user-friendly price point. In fact, there’s a good chance QuickBooks was your first purchase when you started your business. Or perhaps you’re still using[...]

  • Why Manufacturers Require 5 Degrees Of Connectedness

    July 31, 2016

    Analysts tell us the Internet of Things (IoT) will result in 34 billion connected devices by 2020, up from 10 billion today. That level of connectivity promises to transform a lot of business processes and business models. But IoT is only one type of connectivity. Today’s manufacturers must connect multiple[...]

  • “My Business Is Small – So Why Worry About Running Simple?”

    I hear this a lot from executives at small and even midsize companies. Most are focused on growth, growth, growth – as they should be, especially as competition intensifies. But many growing businesses eventually hit a wall of operational constraints that limit their ability to deliver goods and services,[...]

  • ERPs: Grow Your Business Faster by Running on a Single System

    When it comes to ERP trends, best-of-breed is out as the move is clearly toward integrated solutions. According to a recent study, mobile BI and managed services are also becoming increasingly popular. Selecting and implementing an ERP solution is always a key strategic decision for CIOs. However, the introduction of enterprise[...]

  • Digital Transformation In Discrete Manufacturing

    Forklifts might be the best example of how technology is shaping the future of discrete manufacturing. Consider these two companies. Company A looks to increase profits by cutting costs and asking employees to find ways to make forklifts cheaper. It seeks to increase market share by offering steeper price[...]

  • 5 Reasons Manufacturing SMEs Need Cloud More Than Ever

    The business environment for sales teams in manufacturing and engineering industries is increasingly demanding: IT infrastructures have become complex, at the same time that everyday sales activities claim simplicity and ease. Additionally, CEOs demand a clear overview of incoming opportunities and the business process. So how do cloud solutions help[...]

  • 4 Ways Digitalization Is Transforming Manufacturing

    The digital economy is upending processes and rearranging markets. Fully 86% of companies say the pace of technology will increase “rapidly” or “at an unprecedented rate” in the next three years, Accenture reports. One-third of the top 20 companies in key industries will be disrupted by new competitors in the[...]

  • Simplify Complex Manufacturing For Greater Efficiencies

    July 30, 2016

    The manufacturing of large things – like aircraft, ships, or other complex, integrated assemblies –  can take months or years to build. These products are typically produced in low volumes using high-touch labor, and because of their complexity, the manufacturing process may involve parts that are subject to continuous[...]

  • 5 Digital Trends in Wholesale Distribution

    June 23, 2016

    We are witnessing an unmatched era of market change and true business innovation. Industry lines are becoming blurred, offering new opportunities–but also creating new competition. Distribution companies need to innovate and adapt, or they will lose market share. Breakthrough technologies have been driving and enabling some of these trends.[...]

  • Mobile Is A Critical Driver For Business Success

    Mobile is the crux of innovation in business today—it isn’t just something to think about, it’s critical to business success. A new survey from SOTI, a provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions, shows most organizations get it: 2016 will see major investments made in mobile technology and EMM[...]

  • 4 Vital Steps for Survival in the Digital Economy

    Are you prepared for digital upheaval in your sector? Or could you fall victim to Digital Darwinism, when technology advances faster than your organization can adapt? Businesses that don’t adjust to the growing networked economy risk becoming irrelevant in their industry. According to the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy:[...]

  • Next Generation ERP for  Manufacturing and Distribution

    May 5, 2016

    OptiProERP was designed to supplement the basic functionality of SAP Business One (“traditional” ERP, deep in finance, less so in operations) to build a Next Generation total ERP solution specific to Manufacturing and Distribution companies. These companies’ needs include Routing, Quality Control and Subcontractor Management (a specialized portion of[...]