ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Category - Industry Solutions

  • May 22 2017

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    Innovative food manufacturing companies solve slowed investment growth

    Australian food manufacturing and distribution industries have experienced excellent growth over the last few years.The one key economic metric that has stalled is affecting companies in the market directly, though. Capital investments dropped off 14.2 per cent, or $2.7 billion, between 2014 and 2015, according to the latest data collected by the Australian Food and Grocery Council's (AFGC) State of the Industry 2016 reported.A stall in capital investment is pushing companies to become innovative.Needless to say, this drop in venture capitalism can cripple small and medium-sized businesses, rendering them unable to contend in an incredibly competitive industry. Organisations that take a hard-lined stance on innovative managerial and logistical tactics, though, can find the profit margins they need to appeal to investors.Reading the fine printIt's sometimes easier to understand the larger issue in play through a microcosm. For this we can look to the recent public outcry over unsafe labelling methods. There's been a growing problem of consumers not being able to correctly identify allergens on packaged goods due to improper or non-existent labelling.Case in point: Nearly 30 per cent of foods on shelves had been cleared as safe to consume after undergoing contamination testing, but food manufacturing companies still had yet to assign a stamp of approval, according to a study conducted by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.There are a bevy of reasons spurning this issue. One that's becoming clear is the hurdle for growing companies to keep up with demand and regulations without the help of small business management software. The industry is calling for more high-tech innovation, and the organisations that fail to meet the plea are contributing most towards the stalled capital investments.Solutions to the labelling issue are being premiered at foodpro 2017 in July, according to FoodProcessing.com. This serves as a sign that many businesses are taking the public outcry seriously. What has yet to be seen is if companies can offset the slowed venture capitalism, combined with currently unfavourable tax cuts for the industry, by developing innovative methods to raise profit margins. Food production companies need more efficient warehousing methods. Looking forwardThe search for supplemental revenue normally starts with identifying inefficient workplace methods. Not only do traditional techniques of managing stock, bookkeeping or maintaining high volumes of deliveries slow the business down, but it's part of what's putting venture capital firms off the market in the first place."Stimulating investment is critical," Gary Dawson, AFGC CEO, said. "We are now in danger of drifting into a low investment trap, where uncertainty about return on investment flowing from retail price deflation and sluggish growth is seeing investment decisions deferred or dumped."Companies need to identify inefficient workplace methods to boost margins.Food manufacturing and distribution companies can't stop market deflation at the retail end, but they can promote change from within that will help ease the burden of falling profit margins. By integrating business management software, the smaller organisations can gain a leg up on the larger ones that are cornering the market.Take the labelling issue for example. Ultimately, this method of intricate identification can create extra work on the warehouse floor, which extends delivery times and can even result in the wrong orders going out. By investing in structured stock software, these businesses can improve their time-to-market and ensure error-free accuracy.Of course, with the industry trending towards complete digitisation of the back office logistics, having software that allows you to add optional modules as you need is key. Otherwise, businesses will be using multiple systems that don't speak to each other, meaning data can be lost or management can quickly get a headache.

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  • Nov 11 2016

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    Meeting the needs of your customers in production

    The issues that arise from running a manufacturing facility aren't common for many. For some, however, inventory, stock costing and time from production to delivery are as regular as a broken plate in a cafe. It's imperative, then, that a solution be available to those needing to run their manufacturing facility both efficiently and profitably. To assist in this, warehousing and structured stock software offered by Advanced Business Manager provides a fully encompassing remedy to those common irritations that can spiral out of control.This is especially true for small companies as manufacturing operations come in all shapes and sizes. Below we'll look at a few ways automated accounting software and crucial add-ons can help streamline your business now, and as it continues to grow.Automating taxing business process will put you in a better position to make employee time more useful.Reduce reliance on every centSmall manufacturing operations will have a comparatively small market to which they serve. Not only is a smaller business more reliant on the revenue gained from each of their clients, any issues that occur can seem insurmountably difficult. Small businesses will also often have smaller legal, marketing, or client management teams.Business intelligence software can be tailored to address the daily operational concerns and issues faced by any of the small teams within a business. By automating many of the taxing processes that prevent employees from fully utilising their potential, you will be in a better position to redirect that free time to something more beneficial.Prevent failure of skill transferSmall businesses understandably have a small, but dedicated, team of employees. As the responsibilities of each employee may require either extensive training or specific knowledge across certain areas, employees and management teams alike may want to keep staff working for their entire careers. Keep revenue manageable with better stock control. The key issue with this is that once at retirement age, the crucial and imperative knowledge acquired by these individuals will need to be passed down to new employees. While documentation could be put in place, this only incurs further cost for your business.By implementing a business solution that can include database management or warehouse stock control, you can spend more time focusing on the human aspects of the business that matter, and leave the repetitive, time-consuming parts to software. There are many ways a tailored small business management software solution can benefit your business. To learn more, reach out to our team and book a free demo today.

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  • Aug 22 2016

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    Construction boom highlights a need for tech-based project management

    Technological advancements have made digital disruption a commonplace term across industries - and the construction sector is no exception.According to the McKinsey Quarterly, construction projects across the globe are in dire need of a more digitally-focused approach. Yet, so far, the construction industry has been slow to adapt digital approaches to various functions.In fact, McKinsey found that in some markets productivity for construction companies has seen a decline for the first time since 1990.Moreover, large construction projects are not only taking more time than planned but are costing considerably more than projected. According to the report, these projects can be up to 80 per cent over budget, with completion rates taking 20 per cent longer than projected.There are a lot of factors that play into the construction industry's slow adoption, including roll outs across multiple sites, sectors and regions. However, the time has come for construction leaders to truly adopt tech solutions that can help address these project management issues.

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  • Aug 12 2016

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    Managing risk in the food industry

    While there is no way for a company to truly predict every disaster it will face - having risk management policies in place can help soften the blow of business disruptions and sometimes prevent the problems altogether.In the food industry, risk management is of particular importance as missteps can result in more than just productivity problems. When food businesses slack on their policies, consumer health can be put at jeopardy as the mismanagement of food products can cause major illness outbreaks.Risks are something businesses are exposed to on a daily basis. Whether it is an internal failure or an external event, there is a seemingly endless list of things that can threaten business productivity at any given moment. Some of these risks are even serious enough to jeopardise an organisations' survival.According to CPA Australia's Risk Management Guide for Small to Medium Businesses, solid risk management policies can result in a variety of advantages including:A decrease in insurance premiumsA diminished chance of being targeted by legal actionA decrease in cash/stock lossesA reduction in business down timeSo, how do businesses go about better addressing their risk management protocols? The first step involves identifying the potential risks not only for your industry as a whole but for your particular business.  Planning for potential risks early on can better protect your business in the long run. What risks should you be aware of?In a contributing article for Food Processing Magazine, Vice President of the Food Industry Division at SullivanCurtisMonroe Craig Kwitoski laid out some risks that specifically pertain to the food industry. According to Kwitoski, comprehensive risk management of these areas can not only salvage a business' livelihood but improve profitability in the long-term.Supply chain risk: Compared to other industries, the food sector is particularly reliant on its suppliers. However, there is a long list of things that can interrupt supply delivery. Whether it be an internal problem with the supplier or a natural disaster, shipments of products can easily be tied up, explained Kwitoski.When a major supplier is out of commission, food businesses can suffer major losses both financially and in terms of productivity. Leaders can take a variety of approaches to addressing this industry risk, from securing coverage with business interruption insurance to varying suppliers to avoid too much dependence on a single source. The important thing is to address this potential problem before it presents itself as a major roadblock.Without the proper plans, food businesses can suffer major financial losses.Food health safety risks: One of the biggest risks associated with the food industry is health. Products need to be stored at certain temperatures, expiration dates need to be monitored, cross-contamination needs to addressed and the list goes on. This area is of particular concern when you consider the number of food poisoning cases in Australia annually.According to the Food Safety Information Council, there are 4.1 million cases reported per year, 31,290 of which result in hospitalisation and 86 of which result in death. Leaders in the food industry can address this particular risk by implementing better internal procedures for monitoring inventory. Advanced Business Manager's inventory functions can help management keep better track of expiration dates, stock levels and internal organisation.Cyber risk: In an increasingly digital world, risks related to data breaches and stolen information are of considerable concern. Consider this: A joint study by the Ponemon Institute and Experian found that 60 per cent of companies had experienced more than one data breach in a two-year span. Yet, according to Kwitoski, only one in 10 organisations have cyber-liability coverage.Food industry leaders need to protect their businesses against the potential risks associated with a tech-driven world.

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  • Jul 12 2016

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    In periods of increased growth, importance of manufacturing management is highlighted

    Australia's manufacturing sector has seen some pretty impressive growth over the last year. According to the most recent Performance of Manufacturing Index by the Australian Industry Group, the end of June marks the 12th straight month of expansion for the country's manufacturing sector.

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  • Jul 7 2016

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    Food safety and beyond: The power of inventory management

    Food safety and effective inventory management are inextricably linked. They are like peanut butter and jelly, fish and chips, cereal and milk - you can't have one without the other.The food industry is understandably one of the most regulated sectors in the world. Missteps with the storage, handling and preparation of food can cause serious health threats for consumers. In terms of businesses, the dissemination of this food can harm brand image, profitability and result in considerable fines.This becomes even more of a pressing concern when you consider there are 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia annually, according to the Food Safety Information Council. Of these cases, 31,290 result in hospitalizations, 86 end in death and 1 million require doctor visits.As with many things in this world, new technology is increasingly being leveraged to manage these problems. Optimised inventory management, via business management software, can significantly improve upon current systems to help reduce food safety issues that stem from human error. At the same time, it can better operational visibility and open up opportunities to cut costs and streamline efficient processes.

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  • Jun 30 2016

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    Sustainability in the Australian food industry

    Sustainability has been an increasingly popular buzzword across a variety of industries. It encompasses a lot of things. From ethical questions surrounding labour practises and supply chain transparency to a deeper understanding of where in the world our food is coming from to questions regarding production emissions and environmental policies.

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  • Jun 17 2016

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    How technology is changing the Australian food industry for the better

    It's no secret that technology has changed the game for industries across the world. Platforms and software are constantly changing the market for the better. From improving operational efficiencies to inspiring more accountability within business processes, the advancements are plentiful.The Australian food industry is no exception. Technology has provided the optimal framework for the continued growth of exports, imports, production and manufacturing throughout the country. Beyond growth, digital advancements have made way for a new level of transparency in the food and beverage sector. Internal processes are in the spotlight more than ever as consumers demand to know where their food comes from and whether the conditions are ethical.Clearly, the changes spurred by technology in the food industry are wide-reaching. And for the most part, these advancements seem to be positive. Let's take a closer look at the top three food industry improvements due to technology:AccountabilityThe highly connected nature of today's world means increased levels of accountability for the modern food company. For better or worse, the window to company policies and procedures is wide open for consumers. And they are demanding changes to commonly accepted practices.The recently announced food label reforms are a great example. Consumers demanded more information about the origin on their foods and their cries were met with policies. The new legislation will require food suppliers to label their items with a kangaroo logo to indicate the product was made in Australia. The new labels will also include bar charts to indicate how much of the product includes Australia-based ingredients based off weight percentages.According to Business Insider, consumer advocacy groups such as Choice are pleased by the policies and are hopeful this trend toward transparency will continue.

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  • May 25 2016

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    How effective time management can optimise your business

    The importance of time management is widely recognised by those who wish to streamline the processes and functions of their staff and business. Paying bills on time, managing employees, scheduling jobs and ensuring clients are invoiced can be a frustrating process without the correct system in place.According to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, business owners who wish to achieve this goal need to address the issue at an institutional level, and stop approaching time management as an individual problem. While it can be a struggle to maintain a personal time management schedule, Advanced Business Manager's Time Management System (TMS) can take the stress out of time-keeping and help you focus on the aspects of your business that matter. Below are just a few of the ways that business management software can help make your company more efficient. Keep track of your staffA breakdown of communication can be a source of frustration in businesses, especially when there are only a few employees. With TMS, you can record and monitor whether staff are at work or on break, with employees able to set the amount of time until they return.Knowing whether your employees are available or not can save time on communication, and having an organised schedule will save you the embarrassment of double-booking appointments.Smart business software can be implemented regardless of company size.Manage your jobs and processesWith TMS' Job Management interface, you're able to list and report detailed information about each individual job. With an effective tracking system, you can record data such as labour costs and charges, disbursements and invoices, and show payments received for the job. Clients can be billed accurately and on time - with the logging of labour information you can ensure to never incorrectly calculate an invoice. Being able to set due dates, update the status of a job and generate reports on the total number of fees outstanding and received could increase the productivity of your business. Branching out with your businessStaff settings with TMS allow those with authorisation to set up individual rosters, access jobs and create specific security permissions for each employee. While small businesses can benefit from effective time management, there is no limit to the scope of use for TMS. Whether you have a single headquarters or a multi-branch company with a wide range of offices, smart business software can be implemented regardless of company size. Managing the time and processes of your business can be a daunting prospect without the correct system in place. Advanced Business Manager's TMS provides a smart and effective solution to your time management concerns. Reach out to us today, and book a free demo to find out how business intelligence software can increase the performance of your employees and business. An effective time management system can increase company productivity.

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  • May 12 2016

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    The Australian food industry in close-up

    The Australian food industry is in a vibrant and profitable place currently, as good sentiment and positive financial returns grow steadily around importing, exporting, production and manufacturing. Following the ebbs and flows of such a dynamic industry is crucial in order to stay ahead of developments in new markets, legal developments and advancements in procedure and software.Demand for Australian products throughout AsiaThe Australian Trade and Investment Commission (ATIC) reports that a rise in living standards and a greater diversity of choice are two factors that play into the increased demand for products outside of China. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Tran Bao Minh, a chief executive of International Dairy Products, said that Australian food suppliers need to move quickly and operate at full efficiency to capture and deliver to the Asian markets."Demand is changing fast and consumers are constantly looking for new and better products," Mr. Minh said.The ATIC reports that the fastest-growing food and beverage market in Asia is China, with an impressive average annual growth rate of 35.4 per cent from 2011 to 2014."Demand is changing fast and consumers are constantly looking for new and better products," The opportunity is huge; China has a population of over 1.3 billion, as reported by Euromonitor, and is undeniably a strong market for the Australian food industry. Therefore, as demand for Australian products throughout Asia remains strong, Australian food and beverage businesses should be looking to manufacture and deliver in a smooth, timely fashion.Positivity across the Australian PMI index for food manufacturingAs a sub-index, the food industry has been performing well on the Australian Industry (Ai) Group's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The index overall slightly dropped by 4.7 points to 53.4 points in April.This figure means that expansion has been at a slower rate than in March, as results on the Ai PMI that are above 50 points indicate expansion and a reading a below 50 suggests a decline in expansion. The PMI generates results from a monthly rotating sample of around 200 manufacturing companies.A drop of this size can be ignored for the most part, as it is small and sits within a wider upwards trend, and the PMI April result was the highest since April 2004. This manufacturing trend sits within the longest period of unwavering growth for the Australian PMI as a whole since September 2006.According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, food and beverage is a major industry sector for the Australian economy both because of its employment and its financial contribution. The various players differ in size, which provides the opportunity for niche products and large scale manufacturing of bulk items to both exist in fulfilling local and overseas needs.Ai Group's chief executive, Innes Willox, said this growth is a positive turn for an industry that has, until recently, been battling the choppy post-global financial crisis (GFC) economic seas. The Australian food industry is performing well on the PMI index. "While margins remain tight, recovering domestic market share and building momentum in a variety of export markets provide a strong foundation for the lift in confidence required for the sector to move up another gear. A budget that boosts incentives for business investment and innovation would come at just the right time for manufacturers to capitalise on recent gains," Mr. Willox said.According to the PMI April release, the Australian dollar as slightly appreciated, but the overall drop in the value of the Australian dollar across recent years is the main reason for the strength seen within the index. This depreciation assists sales in exporting and importing, providing room for growth.This is a positive outlook for the...

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