ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Category - Business and Accounting Software

  • Sep 29 2017


    Good and bad: What makes great business management software

    No two companies are the same, and neither should the business management software they're using be.Every organisation has its own unique needs and a one-size-fits-all platform doesn't always make sense. But that shouldn't preclude an enterprise from developing a digital ecosystem to store and transmit data, gain better oversight and automate operational processes.Increased success in manufacturing brings competition.With digital disruption at the core of an increasingly competitive industry, manufacturing companies should evaluate all possible options and ensure the applications they incorporate don't just map to their needs, but are also forward-looking.Where are the needsAlthough the manufacturing sector's year-long boom has no end in sight, it certainly won't be getting any easier to stay successful. Amazon and its many subsidiaries are set to enter the Australian market and impact everything from the supply chain to the consumer. Companies will have to scale quickly to continue competing with the new face entering the country."Some businesses are concerned about the threat of competition while others are excited to embrace the opportunity that Amazon offers," Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, told Food Processing.Expert foresight and total control of internal operations should be a given, but for many manufacturing organisations it can remain a consistent problem. Bookkeeping, for example, can be difficult to stay on top of when nearly half of all small businesses are owed more than $20,000 in late payments, Dynamic Business reported. Business management software is becoming ingrained with the manufacturing industry. Connectivity is vitalThe key is incorporating a platform that has modules which align with the company's weaknesses; whether that be accounting, structured stock or import costing software. But, the most important aspect isn't what it can do, but how it transfers that information.The platform you use should connect multiple programmes.Many owners rush to integrate a solution without first understanding how it fits into the broader picture. Inventory levels should be visible to the accounting arm of the office, for instance. Data must be allowed to transmit seamlessly between point A and B.It seems like a simple requirement, but consider the programmes you might currently have in place. Ideally, you don't have to log in or out more than once per day - all information should be obtainable. Far too often, accounting platforms require you to input data because it can't sync with others.When searching for business management software, be sure to investigate whether it meets all of your needs. There's no use in purchasing licences for multiple solutions that only serve to silo departments and processes when there are technologies available that provide modules that can easily be added or removed.Stay preparedYou can't foresee every risk, but you can certainly try and prepare for them. Natural disasters aren't all too common but they can be devastating when they strike. Businesses that keep client and other pertinent information on legacy software like Excel spreadsheets or on platforms that store the data on-site are exposing themselves to potential dangers.This is because the data will almost surely be lost if there aren't any remote backups of the information. While you may have a dedicated staff member assigned to ensuring everything is downloaded once a week, it only takes a little bit of workplace chaos to forget. Business intelligence insights can give your organisation the advantage it needs. Did you know the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) reported that nearly 40 per cent of small businesses never open their doors again after a natural disaster? The sheer financial exposure of restoring a location can be a burden to bear, but losing valuable information about clients accounts can sink a company...

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  • Sep 27 2017


    The key to sustaining a high rate of growth in manufacturing

    Happy days are ahead for manufacturing organisations - at least, those that can keep up with all the success.It's no secret that the Australian manufacturing industry has been booming over the past few years, but the improved sector activity can actually inflict more harm than good for unprepared businesses. Developing efficient bookkeeping habits through the incorporation of accounting software has become vital to maintaining growth in a sometimes chaotic field.Signs pointing upTo understand where any potential issues could sprout up, it's important to first realise exactly how the manufacturing sector is doing so well. It recently received its highest rating on AI Group's Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) since 2002, at 59.8, Business Insider reported. This marks an 11 month stretch of continued gains, but not solely for reasons having to do with finances.Most manufacturing activity is tied to inventory, rather than sales."Production and new orders were especially strong, but they were coupled with a robust expansion in inventories rather than in sales," the AI Group said. "This suggests current activity is geared towards future orders and stockpiling rather than for immediate delivery."While it's excellent news that clients are seeing long-term relationships with manufacturing organisations as a viable strategy, it can also create bookkeeping issues. Accountants must be up-to-date on every outstanding balance in relation to the stocked inventory, some of which can be subject to volatile swings in currency conversion rates.Staying in commandWith the majority of manufacturers' inventory in constant flux, having a flexible accounting software system is key to managing it all. Whereas many provide rigid bookkeeping tools, growing companies should search for a platform that fits their specific business model.The application should, for example, automate the variance of currency fluctuations in relation to committed funds. Similarly, it should offer the ability to create custom accounting periods that can map to each client's needs. As the AI Group suggested, not every order moving forward will require immediate fulfilment. Manufacturing is booming in Australia, and organisations should use accounting software to keep up. All organisations should continue looking forward towards their future, which is why the software should integrate with a business management platform as well. While the rest of the industry is focused on robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), innovative companies are taking advantage of intuitive software ecosystems that make it easy to link inventory management with accounting and other components of the business. If they aren't integrated, transfer of data becomes rigorous when it should be seamless. Contact an Advanced Business Manager representative today for more information.

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  • Sep 20 2017


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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