ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog

  • Sep 20 2017

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    Import costing made simple for food manufacturing businesses

    Scaling a small business is no easy feat.The difficulty rises even more in food manufacturing, where margins are competitive and politics play an enhanced role in dictating future success. Case in point: The international trade fallout from Brexit, where export and import costs could range widely over the next two years.With so much on the average business owner's plate, it makes sense why so many are turning to import costing software for help.Stiff competitionThere's more that can go wrong than right when it comes to importing. Numerous risks are involved, including fundamentals like price negotiation, quality of product upon arrival or simply getting everything through customs. On top of that, laws are always bound to change.Business owners face numerous importing risks.Delivery Duty Paid (DDP), for example, has become Australian small- and medium-sized business' responsibility recently, according to The Conversation. In the past, sellers would have to foot this bill.All of this hasn't even included the geopolitical risks that seem to swirl daily. Companies are expected to keep track of any potential threats to their supply chain, as well as changes in currency conversion rates. Staying on top of this while continuing to scale a company in the midst of continued food manufacturing industry success can leave potential gaps that could lead to a dip in revenue.One less thing to worry aboutThe popularity of import costing software is growing considering the amount of small businesses in Australia, coupled with the fact most are likely in the midst of hyper-growth. Often included on business management platforms, the application automates a variety of tasks. Import costing software takes stress out of the equation. One that is key to saving time and avoiding bookkeeping errors is detailed costing. The program automatically converts shipments to the latest exchange rate. Future-looking analysis also offers personnel the ability to plug in a "what if" scenario. Conversion rates rarely stay the same, and this application accounts for that by giving you accurate estimates of what the landing cost would be under a variety of factors.Of course, import costing software also helps your business track the shipments. This is key as you bring new employees and clients on, as well as continue to grow your inventory. It will help avoid any chance that mistakes will be made.Don't let importing be a barrier to organisational growth. Contact an Advanced Business Manager representative today to learn more.

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  • Aug 28 2017

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    Help your sales team succeed with a mobile CRM

    It shouldn't come as a surprise that sales teams are no longer product-oriented.It's all about the customer in the age of information - meeting his or her needs is a larger priority than pushing the next line of products. The most effective employees will get to know their clients personally, rather than just as another line in the accounting software. But to support this shift in attitude, businesses must provide their staff with intuitive tools like a mobile customer relationship management (CRM) platform.Why the change?The digital revolution brought a major shift in corporate leadership along with it. With so many businesses now competing at a global scale, the key to larger market share now resides in winning the ground war: Providing the best customer experience.7.5 per cent of contacts are outdated every three months.The sales team is often on the front line of duty, making it imperative that they have all the information they need at their finger tips. But as we move forward in an increasingly mobile world, that becomes more difficult to do.Every three months, about 7.5 per cent of contacts in an organisation's B2B sales database becomes obsolete due to them switching jobs or taking other roles, according to research by Radius. This number jumps even higher when you consider what gets lost in-between being on the road, and having to input all the information when personnel get back to the office.Success moving forwardNearly 55 per cent of all sales people exclusively use their mobile devices for CRM purposes, according to CMSWire. Companies are beginning to recognise that this on-the-go mentality is vital the financial growth and are incorporating business management software platforms that offer applications like mobile CRMs. Sales teams are on the road more than ever, making mobile CRMs extremely valuable. The underlying benefits of creating this interconnected, portable trove of information are:Seamless access to product, company and consumer information from anywhere.Improved efficiency and customer service through data at their finger tips.Better cross-departmental collaboration.Rather than simply integrating a standalone mobile CRM, it's important that businesses of all sizes deploy an application that connects with every function of the office. Inventory and accounting data should be easily accessible through the solution - otherwise, it's creating more harm than good.As your organisation moves towards a more customer-centric business model, take a look at how it's supporting the sales team. They're on the frontline and need all the support they can get to stave off competition. Contact an Advanced Business Manager representative today to learn more.

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  • Aug 16 2017

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    Actionable insights from big data require a powerful platform

    Big data is the new buzz term making its rounds in every executive meeting. Yet, unlike other initiatives, deploying and leveraging it on a regular basis isn't as simple as saying, "Get it done."

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  • Aug 10 2017

    What can digitisation bring to your small business?

    Growing a company is a challenging endeavour. It seems every organisation has more resources and capabilities than yours in the early going.

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  • Jul 25 2017

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    Small businesses can still compete with large organisations

    Whether it be in retail, manufacturing or construction, one truism has always held firm; it's difficult to compete with companies that have more capital and a larger market share than yours.But the big brand looming over your small business isn't impossible to topple. Smaller organisations have more resources than ever to gain firm footing in their industry and build positive year-on-year sales and revenue. The key is utilising the advantages you have in the right ways.Streamlining operationsWhile large companies have the financial resources to attract large clients and hire away quality candidates from competitors, the sheer size of their organisations coupled with the volume of work being done can hinder their internal operational agility.Small businesses have the ability to make quick decisions and act on them just as fast - whether it be a rush order for a new client, or transformational improvements to the company itself. This type of flexibility is harnessed through improving internally with digital upgrades that streamline back-end functions, but makes its impact felt on the warehouse floor.

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  • Jul 20 2017

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    The missing key to effective barcoding in food manufacturing

    Small- and medium-sized businesses are constantly looking for ways to contend with larger competitors.Without the right internal infrastructure in place, though, scaling to meet market demands can quickly lead to insolvency. Taking on more clients and orders is vital to financial growth. It often leads smaller organisations to introduce barcoding to keep better track of inventory, but a lack of a digital ecosystem to store, access and transmit that information is what ultimately becomes their downfall.Scaling for growthOn the surface, barcoding is a rather simple strategy that can yield a number of advantages. By assigning stock-keeping units (SKU) to products, management can gain better oversight over inventory levels and operations as a whole. With the food manufacturing industry moving closer to total automation, this type of internal improvement is vital to incorporating future technology.

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  • Jul 12 2017

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    4 signs your company needs business accounting software

    There comes a time in the lifecycle of every company where it needs to digitise.Manufacturers in particular have made headlines for their innovative use of robotics and automation on the front-end, where enhancements can speed up productivity and improve profitability. But with that increased revenue comes another challenge: maintaining records.While the term bookkeeping earned its name for a paper-based process that was vital to an organisation, the technological revolution has changed the underlying method of that moniker. The need for business accounting software is growing quickly throughout many companies - here are some signs that it's time for yours to make a change:Bookkeeping has evolved into a digital process.1. Your finances are time consuming and often have errors.While the boon of technology is its ability to improve speed, that can be an issue if your accountants are still bookkeeping with pen and paper. Gathering orders, account names and other pertinent information is an efficient method, but one mistake can cost your organisation hundreds or thousands of dollars and hurt its reputation.2. Your company has too many silos.When some organisations digitise, management can forget that unless the business management software can connect to every endpoint, it can fail to fulfil its purpose. There's no use in logging in and out of multiple platforms just to get a name and a few numbers. Modern accounting software can connect directly with stock control, project invoices and even subcontractor claims to streamline the process. Small businesses that are growing quickly need to scale their accounting department. 3. Your company is starting to grow.Growth is a double-edged sword for small businesses. While your revenue is starting to take off, you may not have the right number of employees to help compensate for the increase in workload that's associated with success. Automated accounting allows office staff to scale their time management with that of the organisation's, and it frees them up to tackle other tasks as well.4. You're venturing into foreign markets.If you thought handling a single currency was difficult, you'll want to be prepared for ever-changing conversion rates if your organisation has been lucky enough to secure overseas contracts. It's always better to be safe than sorry, and business accounting software can ensure there are zero errors as you get familiar with the new country.At its core, digitisation is about improving key processes to improve productivity and drive profitability. Business accounting software - that can connect with other platforms - is a proven upgrade for any size organisation. Contact an Advanced Business Manager representative today to learn more.

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  • Jul 5 2017

    What's next for the manufacturing industry?

    The manufacturing industry is in the midst of a minor revitalisation, with new technologies and digital platforms being rolled out every quarter to help compensate for shrinking profit margins.In Australia, the sector recently hit its ninth continuous month of improvement; it now currently sits at 55 points, or 5 points above neutral, according to the Australian Industry Group. It has so far weathered the storm well in comparison to other waning markets, yet small- and medium-sized business owners will have to continue to improve their organisations moving forward to keep up with competitors.Digital revolutionTechnological upgrades are coming in every shape and form for the manufacturing industry. Robotics, the Internet of Things and 3D printing are all helping to save money on the front line - often replacing employees for more efficient machines.But it's the back-end of the businesses that need the most improvement, yet don't receive the same limelight. Increased costs for utilities and other key day-to-day tasks are expected to have a drastic affect on some organisations in the coming future, especially food manufacturers.

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  • Jul 5 2017

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    What's next for the manufacturing industry?

    The manufacturing industry is in the midst of a minor revitalisation, with new technologies and digital platforms being rolled out every quarter to help compensate for shrinking profit margins.In Australia, the sector recently hit its ninth continuous month of improvement; it now currently sits at 55 points, or 5 points above neutral, according to the Australian Industry Group. It has so far weathered the storm well in comparison to other waning markets, yet small- and medium-sized business owners will have to continue to improve their organisations moving forward to keep up with competitors.Digital revolutionTechnological upgrades are coming in every shape and form for the manufacturing industry. Robotics, the Internet of Things and 3D printing are all helping to save money on the front line - often replacing employees for more efficient machines.But it's the back-end of the businesses that need the most improvement, yet don't receive the same limelight. Increased costs for utilities and other key day-to-day tasks are expected to have a drastic affect on some organisations in the coming future, especially food manufacturers.

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  • Jun 27 2017

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    2 manufacturing and warehousing trends sweeping the industries

    As we approach the middle of the year it's always a good strategy to reflect on the trends shaping the industry. Doing so can give you an idea of what competitors are doing and perhaps provides foresight that could prove advantageous for your business.The manufacturing industry is undergoing a massive upheaval in terms of technological integration, with many companies quickly adopting solutions that improve various aspects of day-to-day operations. The market is currently in an upward trend and it's clear that the innovative strategies being deployed aren't just for show - they have a tangible impact on small and medium-sized business' ability to turn a profit and manage a growing list of clients.Robotics and automation are earning praise for revolutionising the industry.With all of this in mind, here are a few things to keep your eye on as the year rounds out:1. Mechanical revolutionManual labour has its pros and cons. On the one hand, there are certain jobs that skilled technicians can accomplish that just wouldn't be possible for a robot. On the other hand, unexpected downtimes can result from injuries on the job, confusion among workers as to what needs to be done or anything else that commonly plagues productivity in warehouses.Due to the latter, it's expected that more small and medium-sized businesses in Australia adopt innovative technologies being deployed worldwide, Process Online reported. Automation, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are leading the way as tools that owners can integrate on the warehouse floor in an effort to improve productivity across the board without sacrificing accuracy.Although they may have an expensive buy-in price, they're key to competing in a future reliant on big data. IoT especially has the benefit of providing valuable metrics that can find inefficiencies in operations and provide analysis that could potentially increase profits, according to Cerasis. Manufacturing and warehousing companies are relying on technology to lighten the load. 2. Transition away from manual processesThe other trend sweeping the industry is impacting the office, but its benefits extend to the warehouse floor. Small and medium-sized organisations are doing away with paper-based bookkeeping by integrating a business accounting software platform. Stuart Scotis, a consultant for Deloitte, told the source he expects this trend to continue in Australia."Technology as a whole is increasing its spend across industries in Australia, and further growth is expected," Scotis said. "2017 will see the continued movement to the consumption based models as CIOs continue to see the speed and flexibility together with the potential cost savings become increasingly attractive to a widening technology landscape."Business accounting software streamlines day-to-day tasks and modernises the company.But the digital revolution isn't reserved to accounting. Business management software is being seen as a necessary step for small and medium-sized companies to take if they want to compete with larger organisations in an increasingly competitive market, and bookkeeping is just one piece of the puzzle.For the large part, companies are building a digital ecosystem that encapsulates every day-to-day and long-term task. In this sense, accounting is only a small part of that grand idea. Business owners are adopting a platform that offers the ability to add on additional modules, like structured stock software or project invoicing. By moving all of this to the cloud, business owners are able to get rid of silos that hamper production. They improve efficiency across the board, which then allows them to transfer those cost-cutting measures into savings for clients - a trend in itself that PricewaterhouseCoopers expects to gain more traction as the market gets more competitive.Technology is certainly the underlying theme of 2017, and companies are already buying into these trends.

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