ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Category - Manufacturers

  • Dec 21 2016

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    The building blocks of future manufacturing

    The Australian manufacturing sector has fallen from the high point it experienced 20 years ago, with significant drops in both gross domestic product (GDP) and employment contribution.In 1995, Australian manufacturing employed more than a million individuals, and contributed to 14 per cent of the GDP. Now two decades later, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) reports the industry has dropped to an employment figure of 856,000 and a GDP contribution of just 6.05 per cent.The manufacturing industry has dropped to an employment figure of 856,000 and a GDP contribution of just 6.05 per cent.Rebuilding the manufacturing industryBut is Australian manufacturing set to experience a further decline or a revival? Currently, industries all around the globe are experiencing a state of disruption, from both advancing technology and a change in workplace culture.CSIRO recently released "The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap", a plan that highlights significant growth opportunities in manufacturing emerging technologies such as 3D printing, sensors, augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and robotics.The success of this plan will largely be dependent on matching global and local appetites for new technologies, and supplying market-leading products that will see worldwide adoption. Two markets that have shown demand for emerging technologies, specifically in the area of robotics, are Japan and Korea.Strong trade agreements will support exportsIn the Australian Industry Report 2015, the successful future of manufacturing was highlighted by two recent trade agreements, with Japan and Korea, which will provide almost entirely duty-free entry of exported goods into both countries.The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force in 2014 and 2015 respectively. For Korea, 88 per cent of Australia's exported resources, energy and manufacturing products will receive duty-free entry, with all remaining tariffs set to be removed by 2023. The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement entered into force in 2015. The Japan agreement allows for an even higher rate of goods access, with 97 per cent of exports being giving preferential access or allowed to enter Japan dutyfree.Future materials and production linesOne of the underlying themes of the market transition for manufacturing is digital disruption. To illustrate this point best is to look to the 1980s and 90s - when the personal computer was introduced. This change led to the closure or sale of many microcomputer manufacturers, as they were unsuccessful in forecasting how the market would change - and how soon. Advanced Business Manager is a powerful and customisable accounting system, capable of adapting to the changing needs of your industry. To find out more about what our software can do for you, reach out to our team today.  

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  • Dec 20 2016

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    Are you prepared for advanced manufacturing?

    In an effort to revitalise the Australian manufacturing industry back to the days of its former glory in the mid-90s, in 2015 the Queensland government created the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap.The 10-year plan is to invest nearly $200 million across a range of industries. But what exactly is advanced manufacturing, and why does the government believe that pursuing it is the key to turning the Australian manufacturing industry around?The current and next generation of advanced robots will find use in a number of customer-facing roles.What is advanced manufacturing?Advanced manufacturing entails more than just building emerging technology, and incorporates everything from the design stage through to research and development and beyond into distribution and after-sale support services. This ensures that value is increased across the entire lifecycle of the product.However, the real excitement comes from the products themselves, four of which are detailed by in the 10-year plan:Advanced robotics - the current and next generation of robots will be used in a number of customer-facing roles. Already, many are being deployed at ports and airports, with interest increasing each year. Nanoelectronics - our reliance on computers, smartphones and communications technology has furthered research in nanoelectronics; advanced materials that will enable products to be thinner, lighter, store a greater amount of information and use less power. Biomanufacturing - the world of advanced medicine is expanding through the use of cells and living organisms to create vaccines, organic clones and medical proteins. Materials by design - aerospace, transportation and electronics will be reliant on creating materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and promote energy efficiency. In their 10-year plan, the Queensland government lay out expectations for advanced manufacturing, the focus required by businesses to achieve the goals and the potential challenges they will face. Nanotechnology will allow for flexible, lightweight screens. The challenges faced by future businessesThe first challenge to overcome for the food industry, according to the discussion paper, is a lack of integration into an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or control system, either due to cost complications for businesses, or a lack of trust that software will work effectively. The second, and interlinked, challenge is a low number of smaller businesses developing into medium, globally-focused enterprises. This, the roadmap states, has widened the gap between local business practices and the international standards for technology and design.Advanced Business Manager provides not only a reliable and powerful core accounting platform, but a number of additional modules that be tailored to suit the needs of your evolving or growing business. To learn more about our additional software modules and what they can do for you, get in touch today.

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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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  • Sep 14 2016

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    Will humanoid robotics change manufacturing?

    The world is growing undeniably digital.The progress we've made in computing and cellular technology alone has afforded almost every one of us a device that can fit inside our front trouser pocket and enables us to access nearly every piece of information known to man in an instant. Everything we do is increasingly virtual, from shopping and dating, to attending university and posting our most intimate secrets online. A rise in digital ways of living are bringing rise to another form of advancement however: electromechanical manufacturing. If a global adoption of robotics in all sectors is successful, the manufacturing industry will see an even greater spike in production.A helping hand from roboticsUsing machines in manufacturing is by no means a new idea. A quick search around the internet will show that recently, many are wondering if their jobs will be replaced by automated robots, however these mechanical assistants have been widely employed in many industrial positions starting back in the 1960s. The adoption of robotics was an enticing option for many mass-production corporations, as they can be programmed to perform incredibly accurate actions repeatedly and without variation.However, these machines aren't robots of the humanoid variety, but more mechanical arms that are set to defined parameters for direction, acceleration, velocity, deceleration and distance. But if this iteration of robotics has been present in manufacturing for over fifty years, why has the topic been recently met with such controversy?Machines more popular than everAccording to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the number of global published patents for robotics technologies passed 5,000 in 2013, the highest ever recorded and a sharp increase from around 1,400 in 2004.Interestingly, an increasing number of industries outside traditional manufacturing are investing in robotics startups. If a global adoption of robotics in all sectors is successful, the manufacturing industry will no doubt see an even greater spike in both robotics implementation and production. One popular opinion is that with machines taking many of our jobs, the world will see little growth and many members of the population will become unemployed, while another points out that an automated society will provide cheaper products and greater personal freedom.  Industrial robotics is just the start of the mechanical revolution. However, just looking at the profound effect that robotics had in manufacturing automobiles alone, if these machines can be put to greater use across our society, there is no doubt we will all benefit. We at Advanced Business Manager are no strangers to automation, with our comprehensive accounting and business management software automated to ensure the absolute minimum amount of time is spent on data entry.

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  • Oct 7 2016

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    Manufacturing the future at the Tesla Gigafactory

    If we want the actions of our lifetime to herald in the robotic future, there are a number of significant hurdles we'll need to overcome. People from all over the globe are pouring tireless levels of effort into projects and experiments that will advance our species.However, we're only just touching the surface of what technology is offering us the chance to do - even in the present. Facilities like the Tesla Gigafactory are looking to propel our society into the future, by producing low-cost batteries using manufacturing processes powered by renewable energy.The Tesla Gigafactory will be nearly 6 million square feet when finished - and aim to be entirely carbon-neutral.The Gigafactory will change battery productionThe goal of the gargantuan factory - projected to be almost 5.8 million square feet when construction finishes - is to be a carbon-zero facility that furthers the exploration of battery and solar technologies. But how will this change manufacturing and the industries that depend on it? Tesla batteries could change manufacturing. The ambitious head of Tesla, Elon Musk, believes that within the space of a decade, the demand for electric vehicles each year will reach 500,000. To achieve this, Tesla would need to use the world's supply of lithium-ion batteries - forcing researchers to further examine the viability of other energy storage materials.Solar panels are more powerful than ever beforeJust this year, we've seen scientists at the University of New South Wales making flexible solar panels from copper, zinc, tin and sulphur. While solar panels have steadily increased their efficiency levels over the years, the progress made has been too slow for it to represent any significant technological leap.If the Tesla Gigafactory is successful, however, it will radically alter the way we look at manufacturing. Powering the factory through renewable sources will allow Tesla to create cheaper batteries, cars and any accompanying technology.Ideally, this is what will be needed from manufacturing in the future - the industry taking note of public concern for the environment while still striving to further our society. It's risky, but the payoff would mean an incredible triumph. Supporting this success demands quality, efficiency and productivity - without any detriment to any from the other. It's these three key elements that the Advanced Business Manager Manufacturing System is designed to simplify - meaning you'll have more control in how you organise and manage every area of your manufacturing.To learn more about our software, get in touch today for a free demo. 

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  • Mar 24 2015

    China FTA means opportunities for Australian service SMEs

    The recent signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement has made it easier for SMEs to export services to Australia's largest trading partner.

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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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  • 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 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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  • Apr 13 2016

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    Why increased capacity is good for business

    There are a number of reasons why a business may not be operating at 100 per cent capacity utilisation: lower demand, inefficacy and an increase in capacity that does not match an increase in demand, to name a few. Some of these potential issues are ultimately out of the control of the business, yet their effects can be mitigated with careful planning at the right kind of smart business intelligence software. It is important for any sized business, if they are serious about growth, to look into the various ways they can expand their production and efficiency. Why increase capacity?It is important for any sized business, if they are serious about growth, to look into the various ways they can expand their production and efficiency. In the Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Small Business Survey for the December Quarter of 2015, stats showed that Australian businesses overall were expanding on their acquisition of structures and equipment, thus expanding on their capacity. This is a positive sign as we all know a business must expand capacity to grow, and reflects a confident market place.By increasing and expanding on vital components growth, such as production or manufacturing software, a business is showing innovation and postive risk taking - both signs of future growth. Therefore, increasing the maximum possible output for any small business is essential to survival in today's tough economy, and will usually require the purchasing and implementation of new technologies and software.But in some specific industries, such as manufacturing, capacity growth has begun to stall. As Professor Roy Green from UTS Business School reported in his May 5, 2015 feature in The Conversation, there are more than 80,000 manufacturing businesses in Australia - and most are small to medium business with under 100 employees. Being successful in the manufacturing industry requires innovation and investment in capacity. These companies have experienced a fall of $5.6 billion in manufacturing investment between 2005/06 and 2013/14. The latest statistics for the September quarter 2015 from the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science show this trend is continuing, with a documented decline in manufacturing gross domestic product from 6.4 per cent to 6.3 per cent.The information at hand suggests the issue is a complex one, made up of global economic circumstances and at-home attitudes to capacity and expansion. The manufacturing industry, if it wishes to stay competitive in a global market, must implement new technology, and fast.Business intelligence software is a sound investmentA small manufacturing firm would benefit from the introduction of Advanced Business Management software to improve efficiency, leaving room for expansion in other areas of the business. Designed to be the next generation of accounting software, it is a foundational business-wide IT solution, geared towards the future of small business management.

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