Sage X3 Archives - X3 Consulting

Why a ‘Try’ just wasn’t enough

When Joshua Park was young, he dreamed of being a Rugby player. This is something he had played and enjoyed since being a young boy. After finishing his high school career, he was invited to join the Blue Bulls academy. One of the top rugby academies in South Africa. This was Joshua’s dream to play for the club he had supported since his childhood and now he’d been invited to play for them.

He joined the Blue Bulls amateur Squad and shortly after Joshua was selected to represent the Pumas in the Currie Cup. This would be his first ever performance on TV, supported by his friends and family, watching on live TV was a dream come true for Joshua.

Three years later and a lot more Currie Cup games for various teams and Joshua was heading to Scotland to join a rugby club in the Scottish borders called Peebles. Joshua spent the next 3 years playing rugby in and around Europe for various sides at the Top-level. This is exactly what Joshua had wanted to do since his childhood  and he was living his dream of being a professional rugby player.

Then on an early morning train heading to London, Joshua knew something was missing, he was doing exactly what he dreamed of doing, yet he felt empty. This had been his dream since he was 14 years old, to play international Rugby, but the success, money and fame meant nothing if he couldn’t share his life with the one person he’d left behind in South Africa nearly 5 years ago.

Realisation hit and so Joshua left Portugal shortly after, played his last professional and decided to change his career. It was a whim of a decision and he had absolutely no idea at that stage what he was going to do. After a few years in the UK, Joshua moved back to South Africa and got engaged to his wife Margot. It is then Joshua choose to head down the path of financial systems. He joined a Consulting company, and trained in distribution, technical consulting and Sage CRM. Joshua spent the next few years expanding his skills and moved back to the UK to continue his career in financial systems, working with Netsuite, which lead him into his latest role working at X3 Consulting as a Sage X3 and Intacct business consultant.

Joshua explains “Never give up on your dream, and if your dream changes, then why not try something new.”

 

FREE UP TIME TO INNOVATE AND GROW WITH FLEXIBLE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AUTOMATION SOFTWARE THAT GIVES YOU A COMPETITIVE EDGE WITH BUSINESS INSIGHTS.

 

Automate admin tasks so you can focus on your clients

Time is precious in the highly competitive services sector. You need to focus your attention on project delivery and managing your resources. Make the move to Sage for powerful finance and service management solution designed to let you focus on what you do best – delivering an extraordinary customer experience.

Powerful capabilities for professional services include:

  • Users can access a landing page that allows management of multiple functions from a single page
  • Dashboards promote real-time KPI’s
  • Multiple Project Templates
  • Budget forecast per task and per project
  • Automatic creation of customer invoices, revenue recognition entries and budget adjustments
  • Multiple invoicing methods
  • Time and expenses tracking through mobile devices
  • Assign service requests to resources or projects
  • Define contractual terms re payments and invoicing
  • Integrate project entries through to the general ledger

How can I gain enhanced business insights?

 

Increase billable hours

Boost automation and productivity with our effective professional services ERP software. With streamlined workflows and improved collaboration, you’ll be able to focus on the needs of your customers.

Satisfy more customers

With analytics and automated insight into your project resource performance your business can manage the profitability of every client engagement.Having greater insight into every aspect of your project delivery means you can make better decisions about resource allocation, keep projects on track, and prioritise project resources to maximise profit.

Increase business agility and flexibility

Flexible business processes and real-time analytics can help professional services enterprises to quickly adapt to changing client demands and market pressures.

Enable virtual teams

Professional services businesses can keep overheads low, secure top talent and accelerate growth by enabling remote working. With people and projects often spread across multiple sites, it’s crucial to keep everyone working from the same information source – and with helpful tools to enable real-time collaboration and communication.

Future-proof your services business

Embrace cloud and mobile technologies to deliver a world-class service to your clients and adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Download our guide here for more information about Sage X3 for professional services.

GET IN TOUCH WITH ONE OF OUR EXPERT CONSULTANTS AT X3 AND DISCUSS YOUR ERP REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BUSINESS.

Learn how Sage Business Cloud could give your business the edge

From procurement to warehousing, production, sales, customer service, and financial management, Sage X3 introduces better ways to manage your entire business, on a global scale.

BOM planning

Achieve greater consistency

Sage X3 delivers robust single and multi-level Bill of Materials management to ensure the highest levels of product consistency, quality, and collaboration.

Key capabilities include:
  • Multi-bill of Materials (commercial, production, sub-contracting, etc.)
  • Current Bills of Material
  • Mass maintenance
  • Manage changes on a product and Bill of Materials
  • Version number management (major and minor version)

Shop floor control

Gain efficiency on the shop floor

Sage X3 empowers you to prioritise, track, and manage all aspects of your production leading to improved planning, scheduling, and costing.

Key capabilities include:
  • Collection of labour time
  • Direct labour (setup and run)
  • Indirect labour (breaks and indirect time)
  • Actual and elapsed time
  • Multi-tasking (synchronized or unsynchronized)
  • Automatic breaks
  • Time and attendance (Clock in/out)
  • Indirect Time Entry (Clock in/out)
  • Break Time Entry (Clock in/out)
  • Team Entry
  • Shop Floor Tracking Workbench

Quality control

Keep the quality high

Sage x3 provides the tools and workflow capabilities needed to maintain and retain the highest quality standard, including proactive monitoring through complete product traceability.

Key capabilities include:
  • Batch and sub-batch number management
  • Serial number management
  • Use-by date management
  • Stock status management: accepted, rejected, inspected
  • Re-inspection date management
  • Stock sub-status management
  • Quality control record creation
  • Quality control procedures with analysis request
  • Expiry date management
  • Upstream and downstream traceability management

Project management

Run successful projects

Sage X3 helps you manage successful and profitable projects through their entire lifecycle with robust, integrated project management capabilities.

Key capabilities include
  • Project Work and Product Breakdown Structure (PBS and WBS)
  • Multi-level description of the tasks, preparing the operational and manufacturing process
  • Project Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS)
  • Multi-level description of budgets, facilitating project cost follow-up
  • Employee assignments to various operations
  • Advanced project duplication function
  • Financial follow-up function to monitor the budget and expenses of projects
  • Time entries to enter the time spent on a project at the operation, task, and budget level

Mobile

Access data on the go

Sage X3 introduces a better, more personal user experience with secure web and mobile technology at its core, providing access to the data they need, in an intuitive interface, personalised to their role and preferences.

Key capabilities include:
  • Easy to use and responsive on Android and iOS smartphone and tablet devices
  • Mobile and web deployment enables access to common enterprise data from anywhere and on any device
  • HTML5 interface ensures intuitive browser experience and allows for extensive personalisation by users

DOWNLOAD our Manufacturing guide to find out more or contact a member of our team using the contact form.

Or you can take a product tour direct from Sage.

Sage has published a Total Economic Impact (TEI) report on Sage X3 created by Forrester. The seventeen-page report uses the standard TEI methodology developed by Forrester to analyse the benefits, costs and risks associated with using Sage X3 in a global mid-sized composite company based primarily in the US and EMEA. The findings are based on nine in-depth interviews with companies that have used Sage X3 for more than three years.

The financial benefits

The report looks at the quantified financial benefits across a range of departments. In total, the composite organisation realised a risk-adjusted present value benefit of $2,366,986. This was broken down further by function with the top three benefits by value as:

  • Sales Management – sales discount savings $559,542
  • Purchasing – materials and productivity savings – $528,456
  • Inventory Management – reduced inventory levels $367,059

The report then breaks down each of these savings analysing how they were achieved and justifying the figures used. The Sales Management discount was calculated from the benefits that Sage X3 delivers through a centralised discounting approval process. With a centralised control of discount approval, organisations can ensure that guidelines are followed, and local discounting does not breach guidelines. This is perhaps the hardest number for Forrester to justify. Discounting can adversely impact baseline sales (Kopalle, Mela and Marsh).

Forrester is basing the figure on annual revenues of $125 million with discount avoidance levels of 0.2%. There is no reflection on if the more uniform discounting impacts revenue. It is also not clear from the report whether this saving is based on any statistical model or just an assumption. Did Forrester simplify the composite revenue number to show no growth over three years? A similar TEI report (registration required) about NetSuite indicated significant growth for the composite organisation across three years.

The savings for purchasing are better evidenced, though Forrester still uses some assumptions. Global pricing that Sage X3 can help manage and a reduction in FTEs annually make up this figure. Inventory Management benefits are probably the best quantified. The organisation saw a 12% reduction in average inventory levels (for some inventory)  and a reduction in headcount. The report is comprehensive, yet when analysed, deeper does not seem to fully evidence all of the findings.

Other benefits

While the main focus is the financial benefits, it is the qualitative benefits that may hold greater interest. These benefits include:

  • Workflow Automation enables the creation of alerts and notification that enable employees to work by exception. It makes jobs more efficient, as employees do not need to spend so much time reviewing and can spend more time taking actions and thereby make a difference
  • Streamlining document management with documents ingested into Sage X3 means employees across an organisation can see the same version of a document quickly. This reduces paper costs and decreases error rates. There is no financial saving analysis of either of these in the report.
  • Highlighted but not investigated are the benefits of Sage X3 working on mobile devices and the benefits of a centralised solution through M&A activity. There are several other benefits mentioned but not expanded upon in the report.

For example, benefits from implementing the manufacturing module include: “accessing manufacturing transactions and inventory in real-time with more accurate inventories and production schedules”. Other benefits also accrue from this simple statement: time saved from not having to do the monthly stock take, efficiency savings from using an online system rather than paper-based, both in terms of time and accuracy. One of the problems of taking a generic organisation is that some companies will adopt bar code scanners and mobile technology to drive greater savings. While some of this technology is mentioned, its use is not analysed.

Costs and Risks

The report also analyses the costs associated with deploying and maintaining Sage X3. As an aggregated example, it is interesting in that it shows the potential costs of deploying and maintaining an ERP solution. While the total NPV amount is $756,397, this will vary considerably. The sample organisations interviewed ranged across different industries and employee numbers from 50 to 900. Forrester calculates that an ROI is delivered within the first six months with a total ROI over three years of 213%. It caveats this by noting that most organisations would expect to receive payback within six to 12 months.

Paul Struthers, Executive Vice President for Medium Segment, Sage, commented: “For industries that typically operate on low margins, technology investment must come with a rapid and significant ROI. As businesses navigate the new normal, they will increasingly seek ways to make their operations more agile, optimised, and efficient – Sage X3 is an ideal foundation for just this.

Disappointingly Forrester only highlights the risks associated with its financial analysis. There is no separate category that looks at any risks associated with the project and whether these were mitigated.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

The TEI methodology does provide a uniform way of analysing the benefits of ERP solutions. Without further details of how Forrester reached all of its numbers, it is hard to challenge or validate many of the figures used. However, the high-level findings from the report appear valid. Costing savings due to a reduction in FTEs is more straightforward to validate than some of the savings used.

The report also highlights some of the competitive advantages that Sage X3 offers. Notably the ability to deploy on-premise or in the cloud. One customer, a technology manager, noted: “The biggest advantage with Sage X3 was additional flexibility and on-premises installation, whereas other vendors were pushing for cloud services. On-premises was our preference, and Sage X3 was instrumental in its support.”

This also means that savings as a result of a cloud deployment are not analysed. The world is likely going to adopt cloud more fully in the coming months, partly as a result of the pandemic and lockdown. In virtually ignoring it, Sage has left itself open to criticism from other vendors. The diverse nature of the companies involved in creating this report is also a weakness. While it demonstrates the flexibility of the Sage X3 solution, it also makes the findings less relevant.

Prospect of Sage will find some findings interesting. It includes understanding the possible savings that they could achieve and the likely costs of any solution. Most importantly, what functions areas they need to consider as part of any project and what changes they can make. This latter point applies regardless of whether any ERP solution is implemented. Tighter control of discounting is an issue for many companies apparently. If there are savings to realise there, perhaps sales and finance need to first validate whether they have an issue.

The right partner is key for successfully implementing and supporting your Sage X3 solution. Whether you’re looking for a new ERP solution or migrating from another platform we’re here to help. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you contact a member of our team on info@x3consulting.com or you can complete the contact form on the contact us page and we’ll come back to you shortly.

SOURCE: Enterprise Times: https://www.enterprisetimes.co.uk/2020/07/23/sage-x3-can-deliver-a-213-roi-within-three-years/

Sage released version 12 for Sage X3 back in 2019. This article will highlight the key improvements brought from version 11 to version 12.

With the new responsive design the navigation is easier, so you can easily locate essential menu items such as:

  • Real-time custom dashboards for certain business functions;
  • Agile workflows that enable you to accelerate business management;
  • Data and process requests;
  • Frequently used tabs with quick access via bookmarks;
  • Main modules and functions with simple site map lookup.

New Cloud Service Possibilities

The cloud service on Sage X3 allows you to choose from Private Cloud and Public Cloud applications with customisation tailored to your needs.
Sage’s new solution is enhanced by APIs that are designed to streamline integrations with industry solutions. Developers and customers can now connect third party applications with the solution, for further automatisation in processes and connections.

Financial

Sage X3 Version 12 gives users access to additional reporting features, increasing your business’s financial insight with data from across your whole organisation that is available immediately. These features include reports on suppliers, customers, GL account journals, and balances.

Electronic Signatures and Journal Traceability

The un-falsifiable signatures help improve the security of your sales and posting transactions. Journal traceability has been improved and meets the latest audit requirements.

Additional Reports

New reports on suppliers, customers, account journals and balances so you can perform your financial analysis with readily available data.

Distribution

License Plate Management

Easily track containers and logistics units (pallets, drums, boxes, etc.) in all the distribution process and get detailed information about the life cycle of each product. Users can additionally manage logistics and track key information for a group of items with a single lot or license plate number, driving efficiency across the supply chain.

Distribution Flexibility

Version 12 has improvements to EDI sales, costing, invoicing and purchasing functionality. Sales and Procurement benefit from items such as:

  • Default supplier per product site
  • Non-invoice deliveries
  • Auto update to project dimensions on sales/purchase documents
  • Scheduled invoice generation
  • Registered Export System (REX) identification exports outside EU
  • Stock receipt valuation and costing enhancements
  • EDI: XML generation

 

Manufacturing

Easily identify dependencies between work orders and raw material availability to improve planning and capacity to promise.

Non-Conformance Functionality

Implement continuous improvement programs by identifying issues, adjusting and then following up on previously identified issues. “Nonconformity” can be identified as an error in a service, product or process. Sage X3 now facilitates rapid creation of nonconformity and defines, monitors, and verifies corrective actions required.

Waiting Time Scheduling

Schedule the standby time or uptime over a 24-hour period to record events such as machine cooling or other downtime.

Production Management

Mass replacement and deletion within Versioning reducing overhead of maintaining Bills of Material versions. Coupled with improvements to the versioning process of being able to add/update and remove critical changes to revisions.

New Production Scheduler (product release imminent) designed to provide closer integration and functionality to support a broader industry use.

Weigh scale improvements to deliver greater pharmaceutical compliance.

 

Project Management

Get a clear view of your projects and easily review project trends and performance with snapshots functionality. Other features included:

Automation Tools – Simplify and accelerate stock allocations and budgets in project management with integrated automation;

Labour Time Tracking – Record the time required and get an overview of the capability of the feature by color coding.

Sage X3 Version 12 not only equips you with all the latest features and functionality discussed above, but ensures that you are on a version of the software that is actively supported and developed by Sage. Those who are using Version 9 or below (V6, V7, PU8 or PU9), should speak to their support partner about upgrading.

At X3 Consulting, we have successfully helped many of our customers upgrade from legacy versions of Sage X3 to current versions. Our tried and tested approach using our own scoping software Trax3ion ensures a seamless move from your current solution, to the modern version. Get in touch with the team today to find out more nick.tucker@x3consulting.com.

 

The major disruption caused by coronavirus has prompted many companies to think about business continuity. What happens when staff can’t get to work or if a key member of the leadership team becomes ill?

How will you cope if a major client or supplier announces they’re shutting down for the next few weeks? Having a strategy ready to handle these challenges is essential.

More generally, though, in these times of economic and political uncertainty, and sector disruptors, it’s a good idea to have a business continuity plan ready to go, for all kinds of circumstances.

This could cover a fire at your offices, a flood, a power cut, supply chain issues, or a major IT outage.

Very often, though, this essential part of a company’s business strategy is missing as leaders focus on more immediate and productive issues.

According to a survey published by Mercer, a global consultancy firm, more than half of companies (51%) around the world have no plans in place to combat a global emergency.

The good news, though, is that a business continuity plan, also known as an organisational resilience strategy, isn’t as difficult to devise and implement as many people might think.

The knowledge that the business has regularly updated contingencies in place can be good for staff morale as well as reassuring clients and investors.

How to create a business continuity plan

So, how do you write and implement a plan for this kind of situation? Start by assessing your risk.

A well written business continuity plan includes contributions from every part of the company, including the people on the shop floor.

Operational staff – those working at the coal face of the business – often have the most important inputs, based on their practical experience.

Allocate roles

You’ll need to allocate roles for both the researching and writing of the report and the implement of the procedures.

Getting input from throughout the company will ensure your staff are not only familiar with your plan but they also buy into it.

Identify risks

As well as issues such as fire, flood, electrical failure, building closures, staff sickness and IT problems such as cyber-attacks, identify the risks that are relevant to your particular sector. Talking to other companies in the same industry and contacting your industry body will help with your research here.

Then think about the impact of a threat and balance it with the likeliness of it actually happening.

A plane crashing into your building during working hours, for instance, would be catastrophic but it’s very unlikely. At the other end of the scale, a much-used printer suddenly grinding to a halt could easily happen but it’s hardly a disaster.

Focus on the risks that are quite likely to happen and that would also have a serious impact.

Calculating the cost to per hour, per day and per week to your business of each department being out of action will help you to prioritise procedures to support them.

Focus on policies and resources

Your business continuity plan will have two elements. The first part consists of the arrangements, measures and policies that you’ll put into practice should your business be hit with a crisis.

The second constituent is the resources. This involves the personnel, the spread of information internally and externally, as well as the facilities, equipment, legal support and funding for effective business continuation.

As well as threats, consider your key business areas and prioritise them. Identify tolerable downtimes too. In other words, how many hours or days, for instance, could the business manage without IT support or a major warehouse that is suddenly no longer operational?

Split your services

It’s a good idea to divide your services into three categories.

Essential or vital services should be up and running again within 48 hours of the crisis hitting. Category two – important services – might have a target of two to five days.

Meanwhile, in the third category, non-essential services could be allowed eight to 10 days before they’re working again.

Look at your organisational structure and identify the interdependencies in the company – if one department is out of action, how will this impact on others?

Clarify roles

Assemble your team, both for writing your plan and for its implementation. Business continuity is everyone’s responsibility but you’ll need specific people to adopt specific roles.

It’s also important to be clear on lines of authority and reporting. Will a member of your emergency team, for instance, have authority over the head of a department when the plan swings into action?

You need to clarify this point before you’re forced to implement your business continuity plan.

Usually a member of the senior management team will lead and coordinate both writing and preparation but also implementation. A programme coordinator can help by managing budgets and people.

It’s also a good idea to have someone responsible for managing information about the crisis and how the plan to mitigate the situation is being implemented.

They’ll probably work closely with your HR people for internal communications and your PR agency or marketing people to talk to customers, suppliers, shareholders, regulators and others.

Depending on the size of your company, it might be useful to assemble a small committee drawn from representatives from the various departments.

Clear goals and actions to take

The finished plan should clearly state the overall goals in any particular crisis situation, be that keeping financial losses to about 80%, fulfilling two thirds of customer orders on time, moving employees to a remote working setup, or getting the business fully operational again in two weeks.

Looking at your balance sheet, your profit and loss, and other financial indicators will help to guide you here.

However, when the IT system first fails or when staff are told to leave the office urgently and go home because of a virus, their immediate concerns will not be the long-term strategy but what they have to do in the next hour or so.

It’s important, therefore, to differentiate between the ultimate goals and strategy on the one hand immediate action to be taken on the other.

A simple, clear list of actions to take for each department should come first in any manuals and communication.

Testing and revising your plan

The temptation once a business continuity plan has been written is to put it into file and tick it off the to-do list. However, it needs to be circulated for comment from all parts of the business and then constantly updated.

As the company and the wider trading environment change, so the plan must change too.

It should also be regularly put into practice. Every six months or so it’s a good idea to run a simulation.

This can just take a matter of hours and it allows staff to become familiar with and the company’s plan as well as providing an opportunity for them to give feedback on it.

The Business Continuity Institute and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development both have more information on how to create a plan to manage coronavirus and other threats.

Conclusion

It’s often said that crisis and opportunity are two sides of the same coin.

The rapidly growing threat that coronavirus presents to all businesses provides an opportunity to create or update your plan in order to protect your business and your staff – whatever fate might throw at you.

For manufacturers, embracing mobile technology is a critical step towards full digital transformation. Using apps on phones, tablets and other mobile devices enables your firm to become much more efficient and to use real-time data to make better decisions faster.

Smart factories are using revolutionary technologies to increase productivity and drive revenue. These include cloud and hybrid computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality, and the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

Mobile devices are at the heart of these technologies as they can enable your managers and workers to access them with ease, and at scale, to create an agile, responsive and collaborative organisation.

A key aspect of this revolution is improvements in connectivity in the form of next generation 5G internet and low power wide area networks (LPWAN).

In conjunction with technologies such as the IoT and AI, this connectivity will become an essential competitive tool for your manufacturing firm as it joins together and integrates all your resources, whatever your location, to provide powerful data and insights and enable rapid decision making.

But the move to mobile technology also brings challenges, such as:

  • How to choose the right hardware and apps from the huge range available
  • How to integrate hardware and apps seamlessly with other technology in your business
  • How to go fully mobile with disrupting production.

Read this article for answers on these three points and advice to help you assess how mobile technology can improve processes at your manufacturing firm.

Why manufacturers should use mobile technology

A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that manufacturing leaders think cloud and mobile will contribute the most value to their organisations out of all technologies.

The results revealed that 41% of leaders said they see cloud and mobile technology as contributing the most, compared to 31% for the rest of the sample. Leaders also think IoT (39%) and big data (39%) will be important value creators.

Mobile technology gives you and your team access to real-time data and insights to make decisions on the factory floor, when meeting customers, while travelling, or when working from home.

In manufacturing, productivity is measured in seconds, so your workers need to analyse information in real time and solve critical challenges immediately.

Furthermore, your plant managers need visibility into every aspect of the manufacturing process, from supply chain logistics to order fulfilment.

Mobile technology brings this transparency, leading to more streamlined operations and increased productivity as workers can identify problems and resolve them much more quickly.

Such technology can enable them to make faster decisions about repairs, replacements, troubleshooting, supplies, sales, improvements, innovations and much more.

Richard Hagan, managing director at Crystal Doors, says: “My mobile phone is the most important tool for work, meetings and leisure.

“When I wake up in the morning, everything is at my fingertips, including dashboards for the overnight shift’s activities; monies arrived and sent with my banking app; and sales from our customer relationship management (CRM) application.

“I am relaxed because I know I can be up to speed and efficient from the moment I walk into work.”

Benefits of mobile technology

The potential benefits of mobile technology for your manufacturing firm are extremely varied and wide ranging.

To give just a few examples, continuously tracking quality of manufactured items via mobile technology reduces manual effort and waste. Mobile apps enable your finance team to send quotes to customers immediately and fulfil orders more quickly.

And mobile devices and augmented reality are revolutionising training, boosting the skills of workers. For example, augmented reality can analyse and map out machine parts, to create a real time, visual instruction manual.

Hagan says having real-time information on his mobile phone enables him to make better decisions and underpins his firm’s dependability in an uncertain world.

“My mobile apps have evolved to be critical for real-time data access,” he says. “While on the phone, talking to a supplier or customer, I need information in seconds to decide my outcome. With one hand, I have easy access to get the information I need.”

The demand for rapid data, calculated and presented anywhere at any time means that the relevance of quarterly targets, monthly figures and even daily spreadsheets are fading into history, adds Hagan.

“Desktops and laptops are not multi-functional enough,” he says. “Near field communication [NFC], quick response [QR] codes, and picture and text recognition are required in one mobile piece of equipment.

“QR codes save time looking up websites. NFC allows data to be presented and captured from a single tap on a tag. Screen mirroring my phone to a larger monitor allows me to present for any client, pulling information from the cloud.

“Clients expect me to have all the answers in a moment. Mobile technology allows my company to stay informed and make smarter decisions more quickly and with more certainty.”

Steps towards adopting mobile technology

The first step to choosing mobile technologies is to make sure they fit your current and future needs as closely as possible.

In the past few years, many apps have been designed specifically for the needs of manufacturers, equipped, for example, with dimensioning and thermal imaging cameras and integrated barcode scanners.

Purpose-built, rugged mobile devices are also now available meaning manufacturers can use the technology anywhere.

This tailoring can help your company increase efficiency, maximise output and sharpen your competitive edge in areas such as predictive maintenance, inventory management, quality control, and operational efficiency.

Another key factor when adopting mobile technology is to make sure your provider is a well-known, trusted partner and that it can support a wide variety of applications.

Security is also key.

Every mobile device is a security perimeter, regardless of its location globally. Forward-thinking manufacturers are therefore treating every sensor, monitoring device, and mobile device as a threat surface, and applying a zero-trust approach to security.

This approach will give your workers the confidence to use the devices to their full potential and enable access to trusted customers and distributors. Having 24/7 support for these devices is also essential for seamless operations.

Look at which processes mobile technology can improve

To maximise the benefits of mobile technology, your manufacturing leaders need to look carefully at their workflows and invest strategically in innovative mobile applications.

The way you apply the technology depends entirely on the needs of your company. From inventory management and shipment to delivery, logistics and workforce tracking, almost anything can be controlled using mobile apps.

Your workers can also use them to coordinate supply chains, track and balance production timelines, quickly send quotes to customers, and check delivery and order fulfilment.

Choose the right apps

There are a huge range of manufacturing apps to choose from, so again it depends completely on your needs and preferences.

Hagan says: “My first top app was linked to trackers in all the vans that give me and my customers accurate information on their movements.

“Money movement is also crucial for small and medium-sized organisations, and my app that shows who has paid us, as well as sales and payment pipelines, helps keep me sane during a busy schedule.”

Use apps across the company to avoid silos

Hagan says digital manufacturing keeps production in his company as efficient as possible but it must be done in an integrated fashion.

From his phone, he can manage suppliers, customers and the factory production needs for each division.

“Anything outside set parameters flags my managers’ attention, and further preferences allow me to keep informed about any changes,” he says. “But to do this efficiently, it needs a single platform that displays an overview of real-time activities seamlessly.

“Manufacturing leaders who have departments, silos of information, and separate platforms for data collection and manipulation are holding their company back.

“The cost of turning off all our phones would be insane to contemplate. But the cost of not having a single access point from the cloud today is also as limiting, especially if your competition has adopted technology.”

Use modern business management software that connects with mobile technology

Mobile technology must also be able to integrate with your company’s other software. For example, to maximise efficiencies, manufacturers must use modern business management software that works with a wide range of mobile devices and apps.

It should also be easy to customise your business software to your mobile needs.

As Hagan says: “Margins for manufacturing are smaller than ever before. The ability to plan in new sales from a client, and do it cost-effectively, depends on my accountancy platform.

“My accounting app along with other critical apps lets me glide through information updates, messages and actions immediately.”

Conclusion on saving time and money

The mobile technologies already available can save your manufacturing firm huge amounts of time and money. But they are just the beginning of what you can achieve as the technology and connectivity evolves.

For example, AI will soon be a fully integrated part of the manufacturing process. AI-powered robots will take care of many aspects of the process as well as appointments and administrative tasks while also keeping your workers and managers better informed than ever before and ensuring maximum efficiencies.

As Hagan adds: “The technology for Industry 4.0 has begun. As AI, machine learning and bots become mainstream, mobile phones and apps as work tools will be as important as the employees themselves.

“Each holds value and neither can work effectively without the other. With my phone, I hold the knowledge, power and control.”

Further resource can be found here on Sage’s website with access to further resource and downloadable information:

Free copy of perform at your best

Checklist: Fives steps to make smarter business decisions

Checklist: Fives ways to be more efficient and productive

Implementing Sage X3 for your business to ensure business continuity and remote access for all your employees.

Plan now to ensure your business stays connected

These days it seems like everything and everyone is “on the cloud.” However, it is important to know what that means before implementing Sage X3

There are undeniable benefits to hosting your Sage X3 in the cloud, including instant access to real-time customer data for remote workers, reports, and analysis, via PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Remote workers can access this information anywhere and anytime with internet connection capabilities. Also, users can access the same features, functionalities as a Sage X3 deployed on-premise, but without the cost associated with building an in-house server or the hassle of maintaining the backup of huge data, or dealing with its security issues.

But as moving to the cloud has its own challenges, businesses need to understand what it entails. Our Sage X3 cloud experts will cover five cloud-clarifying concepts you need to know before moving your Sage X3 to the cloud to help run your business, secure your data, enable your company’s growth goals and ensure business continuity in these uncertain times.

  • Know Your Services – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Know Your Service Level – What support can be offered for Sage X3 customers?
  • Know Your Deployment Options – Private, Public, Virtual, or Hybrid Cloud options
  • Understand Your Cost – How to retain your investment (ROI)

For more on information on implementing Sage X3 to the cloud for your business, Contact Us.

Embracing Change at Speed

Sage X3 provides faster, more intuitive, and better tailored solutions than conventional ERP for organisations looking to retain their competitive advantage by increasing their agility and embracing change.

New Enhancements, Capabilities and Services to Grow Your Business

Whether managing complex processes, address compliance requirements, trading domestically or globally, Sage delivers a range of comprehensive set of capabilities allowing you to manage your business, processes and people. In addition, Version 12 offers some key capabilities such as:

  • New cloud offerings and services providing unrivalled levels of choice for all businesses regardless of complexity of size
  • Responsive user experience to allow users to work on a variety of different devices regardless of the type or size of the device
  • Tax declaration framework to continue supporting our customers across 80+ countries around the world

Sage empowers your business with industry-specific business management solutions designed to meet the unique needs of your industry.

Manufacturing Operations

Easily identify dependencies between work orders and raw material availability to improve planning and capacity to promise.

Project Management (PJM) enhancements focused on financial control, budget management and snapshot management. This allows for improved cost management and better control of project profitability.

Distribution Operations

Manage logistics and track key information for a group of items with a single number driving efficiency across the supply chain.

Support continuous improvement programs by identifying issues, adjusting and then following up on previously identified problems allowing businesses to reduce costs and improve customer experience.

Cloud Service Offerings

Delivery of world class cloud capabilities offering customers unrivalled choice.

Service offerings include Single-tenant solution-as-a-service (SaaS), Single- tenant platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and multi-tenant SaaS running on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Customer First Experiences

New responsive design framework will allow users to work on a variety of different devices regardless of the type or size of the device. It provides a page layout that adapts automatically to the size of the screen.

Connected Ecosystem

Introduction of new GraphQL API framework and Data Integration API to enable the connected ecosystem with flexibility and ease.

Global Compliance & Finance

Enhancements in multiple geographies supporting updated and new compliance requirements.

Updates to key day-to-day operations including bank statement reconciliation, automated journal creation and enhanced traceability.

Non-Conformance Management

The new Non-Conformance capabilities allow organizations to implement continuous improvement programs by identifying issues, adjusting and then following up on previously identified issues.

Tax Declaration Framework

Enhancements in multiple geographies supporting updated and new compliance requirements across Australia, France, Germany, North America, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

License Plate Management

Manage logistics and track key information for a group of items with a single number driving efficiency across the supply chain.

If you are ready to take the next step in upgrading your software and want to find out more about Sage X3, get in touch and we would be happy to discuss your requirements and offer an on-line demonstration off the product. Contact our team on 0845 0943885.