How to do Period End procedure in Sage X3

Fiscal Period is the period
of time reflected in financial statements. Usually, the fiscal period is either
the calendar year or a quarter. Fiscal period is also known as an accounting

The fiscal year is the consecutive
12-month period during which a business or organization plans its budget. It
does not have to be from January to December.

In Sage X3, sometimes we may find
difficulties like while running accounting task error comes for closing a
period. So, for solving these Sage X3 has a some in build functionality. Kindly
follow below steps for closing a period for particular month and for country.

Just follow the periodic tasks in the sequential order:


  1. Run
    accounting interface before closing the fiscal period:

    This is to check all the stock journals are posted properly and no error is

Navigate to : Stock -> Periodic Processing -> Valuation -> Accounting Interface

Stock Account. Interface Screen

Refer above screen shot, just open the accounting
interface screen . Enter processing date and then click on OK button. This will
show, the journals are posted properly or not.

Step2: This step is important for only those companies which are manufacturing company. For non manufacturing companies we can skip this step:

Run WIP posting for all the Work
Orders which are closed: Make sure all the work order journals are posted

Navigate to: Costing -> WIP -> WIP Posting

WIP Posting

Refer above screen shot, open the WIP
Posting screen.

Mark the ‘All Sites’ and ‘All
transactions ’checkbox as checked then click on OK button. This will show, all the
WO’s journals are posted properly or not.


To check accounting task, all the task
status should always be ‘Active’ and also check no journals are o hold status.

Navigate to: Usage -> Batch Server -> Accounting task

Accounting Task screen


Final Validation: This process is used
to finalize all accounting journals. Select all the mandatory fields and then
click on OK button in the Final Validation screen.

Navigate to: Financial -> Current Processings -> Final Validation

Final Validation Screen


Period Closing Process: For period
closing process, just open the fiscal period screen. Follow below path:

Navigate to : Common Data -> G/L accounting tables -> General -> Fiscal Period.

Fiscal Year Period

Now here as you can see the above
screen shot, all the stock status are open. Close them first from the drill

Now for closing accounting period,
follow below path.

Navigate to:  Common Data ->
G/L accounting tables -> General -> Fiscal Period -> Closing button.

Now in this screen, select the period month for which we have to close the period status and then click on the OK button.

Period closing screen

After clicking on the Okay button, the period status of all the selected period months gets closed.

Hence, after doing all the above steps we can close the fiscal period for particular month or year.

About Us

Greytrix – a globally recognized and one of the oldest Sage Gold Development Partner is a one-stop solution provider for Sage ERP and Sage CRM organizational needs. Being acknowledged and rewarded for multi-man years of experience, we bring complete end-to-end assistance for your technical consultations, product customizations, data migration, system integrations, third-party add-on development and implementation competence.

Greytrix caters to a wide range of Sage X3, a Sage Business Cloud Solution, offerings. Our unique GUMU™ integrations include Sage X3 for Sage, Dynamics 365 CRM and Magento eCommerce along with Implementation and Technical Support worldwide for Sage X3. Currently we are Sage X3 Implementation Partner in East Africa, Middle East, Australia, Asia, US, UK. We also offer best-in-class Sage X3 customization and development services, integrated applications such as POS | WMS | Payment Gateway | Shipping System | Business Intelligence | eCommerce and have developed add-ons such as Catch – Weight  and Letter of Credit and India Legislation for Sage X3 to Sage business partners, end users and Sage PSG worldwide.

Greytrix is a recognized Sage champion ISV Partner for GUMU™ Sage X3 – Sage CRM integration also listed on Sage Marketplace; GUMU™ integration for Sage X3 – Salesforce is a 5-star rated app listed on Salesforce AppExchange and GUMU™ integration for Dynamics 365 CRM – Sage ERP listed on Microsoft AppSource.

For more information on Sage X3 Integration and Services, please contact us at, We will like to hear from you.

How to Align Lot numbers with Work order numbers

A Work order is an order to make one or more products. Conventionally, the work order uses a bill of materials (BOM) to create a list of materials to be issued, and a routing to make a list of operations to be performed on work centers. Work orders dictate what product need to be manufactured, what raw materials are going to be required to manufacture the product, and which work center that the product needs to pass through in the manufacturing process.

Some companies would like to create their Finished Good products with a Lot Number that is the same as the Work Order Number that created the product. Finished goods are goods that have been completed by the manufacturing process, or purchased in a completed form, but which have not yet been sold to customers.

Why we make the Lot number same as Work order number because this can make the tracing of the Lot easier. In Sage X3, there is a standard functionality of doing this.

Follow below steps for the setup: 


First make sure the Lot Management setting of product is checked as a ‘Mandatory lot’ and under the Lot Sequence field this MUST be blank as shown in below figure.

Fig : Product

Also, Product category set up should be same as product setup, as shown in below figure.

Fig : Product Category

In short product and that respective product category set up should be set as defined above.

Navigate To: Common Data> Product category > Receipts Tab > Management Rules Grid

  1. Select Movement type as ‘Work order receipt’
  2. Change the value of Lot entry as a ‘Free’
  3. Change the value of Lot by default as a ‘Document number’
  4. Click on Save or OK button.

 Please refer the below figure for the same.

Fig : Product Category > Receipts tab

Now we have done the setup for product master and product category.

Navigate To: Set up > General parameter > Parameter values

  1. Select GPA chapter from left panel
  2. Select MIS group
  3. Click on the detail of MIS group from action button
  4. Change the value of LOTMGT as a “In release”
  5. Click on OK button
  6. Save the changes.

Refer the below screenshot for the same.

Fig : Parameter Values

Now follow the below path for the Work order creation,

Navigate To > Manufacturing > Planning > Work order

While creating the work order transaction, keep LOT no. as blank on line level and after creation you can see LOT no. is coming same as a Work order transaction number. Refer below figure for the same.

Fig : Work Order

With the help of this setup you can align the Lot numbers with Work order numbers.

Hence after doing all the above steps we can able to align the same lot number with work order number.

About Us

Greytrix – a globally recognized and one of the oldest Sage Gold Development Partner is a one-stop solution provider for Sage ERP and Sage CRM organizational needs. Being acknowledged and rewarded for multi-man years of experience, we bring complete end-to-end assistance for your technical consultations, product customizations, data migration, system integrations, third-party add-on development and implementation competence.

Greytrix caters to a wide range of Sage X3, a Sage Business Cloud Solution, offerings. Our unique GUMU™ integrations include Sage X3 for Sage, Dynamics 365 CRM and Magento eCommerce along with Implementation and Technical Support worldwide for Sage X3. Currently we are Sage X3 Implementation Partner in East Africa, Middle East, Australia, Asia, US, UK. We also offer best-in-class Sage X3 customization and development services, integrated applications such as POS | WMS | Payment Gateway | Shipping System | Business Intelligence | eCommerce and have developed add-ons such as Catch – Weight  and Letter of Credit and India Legislation for Sage X3 to Sage business partners, end users and Sage PSG worldwide.

Greytrix is a recognized Sage champion ISV Partner for GUMU™ Sage X3 – Sage CRM integration also listed on Sage Marketplace; GUMU™ integration for Sage X3 – Salesforce is a 5-star rated app listed on Salesforce AppExchange and GUMU™ integration for Dynamics 365 CRM – Sage ERP listed on Microsoft AppSource.

For more information on Sage X3 Integration and Services, please contact us at, We will like to hear from you.

Maximize Efficiencies With Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Software

  • A leading plastics global plastics manufacturer has standardized on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) as one of their primary metrics based on its proven value in stabilizing every production machine on their shop floor.
  • An injection molding manufacturer was able to increase OEE performance by 7% in three months, increasing gross profit by $1.2M across six production plants globally.
  • Attaining an OEE score in the 80 to 85% range is widely considered to reflect a world-class manufacturing operation, according to Gartner.
  • OEE is calculated by multiplying the (%) of time manufacturing machinery is available by production performance (ideal cycle time x total count/runtime and product quality (Good Count/Total Count).

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) continues to gain in popularity as manufacturers seek to quantify plant, manufacturing line, and machine-level performance. Lean manufacturing and total productive maintenance (TPM) are the foundations of OEE.  By providing valuable data to manufacturers at the machine level, Overall Equipment Effectiveness helps to find those factors that are deterministic, or that can be changed to further improve manufacturing performance over time.

Why Learning How To Maximize Efficiencies With OEE Matters

The majority of manufacturers begin using OEE to quantify the baseline performance for specific machinery and production assets. Taking this baseline-driven approach at the machine level enables manufacturers to scale the OEE metric across manufacturing units and production lines.

Combining OEE with additional manufacturing metrics helps manufacturers find random versus deterministic factors that have the greatest impact on production consistency and Quality. OEE is gaining adoption in process-related industries the fastest, including food & beverage, plastics, and oil & gas. Process-oriented machinery is prone to wide variations in consistency, quality, and throughput. OEE helps decipher the massive amount of data these machines produce, helping to find the main sources of variation. Knowing the sources of variation in process manufacturing workflows simplifies the complex interactions of machinery, substrates, materials, and environmental conditions that together act as constraints on production throughput and quality.

How To Calculate Overall Equipment Effectiveness

OEE is calculated by multiplying Machine Availability by Performance by Quality. Starting with Availability, Unplanned Downtime (UDT) and Planned Downtime (PDT) are subtracted from the total potential production time of the machine, asset, or entire production line. Unplanned downtimes (UDT) and planned downtimes (PDT) are subtracted from the total potential production time to provide the Run Time Availability is then calculated by dividing Run Time by Planned Production Time. 

OEE’s Performance component is defined as the difference between the theoretical maximum output a given machine is capable of compared with actual output. Actual output is derived by subtracting out minor stoppages, reduced speed, and any other factor that reduces the performance levels of a given machine or asset. Performance is defined as the Ideal Cycle Time multiplied by the Total Count divided by the Run Time. Performance is also defined as the Total Production Count divided by the Run Time, divided by the ideal Run Rate.

The diagram below illustrates a use case for OEE. Having a true measure of machine availability, including Unplanned Downtime (UDT) and Planned Downtime (PDT), finds early signals of equipment malfunction, averting costly shutdowns.

Quantifying quality is a valuable component of any OEE measurement.   In discrete manufacturing operations, OEE quality resembles First Pass Yield.  Like yield metrics, OEE quality measures the number of good parts that are successfully produced in a specific timeframe.  Quality is calculated by taking the good product count divided by the total product count produced.      


Benchmarking individual machine performance using OEE helps to gain new insights into potential new ways to increase yield rates, quality, and the useful life of a given machine. Stabilizing machinery performance is the factor that drives the majority of manufacturers first to adopt OEE.

For all of its contributions to improving manufacturing performance, it’s not meant to be used as a single, end-all metric of manufacturing performance.  Instead, it’s best to group OEE into a dashboard of metrics that expand on visibility across all factors that can potentially influence the production yields, reliability and quality over time. OEE has the potential to revolutionize production operations taken in the context of overall manufacturing performance.

Download the whitepaper - Lessons Learned on How to Increase OEE Performance

The post Maximize Efficiencies With Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Software appeared first on IQMS Manufacturing Blog.

How does Cloud ERP Enable IIoT in Manufacturing?

Are you aware of the
fact that we have been part of the fourth industrial revolution? Additionally,
do you know this is going on for the last 50 years?

You must be thinking Industrial Revolution 4.0 – What’s that?

After the 3rd Industrial Revolution, the has installations of robots connected to the computer & IT systems in their assembly lines. One such example of IIoT 3.0 is of Henry Ford for his Ford car manufacturing.

The next big thing is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) 4.0 integrated with Cloud ERP systems. Consequently, it is a revolution that has cyber-physical systems involved. As a result, now manufacturing industries can have everything on a digital platter.

Cloud ERP

Not only this, with huge technological growth, but we can also predict data analytics with cloud & IIoT. Henceforth, it will help manufacturing businesses in deriving a lot of future predictions. Truly, Cloud ERP with IIoT 4.0 is a valuable addition to the entire manufacturing industry.

Key trends driving industrial applications using IoT

1. Data convergence

An increasing desire by the industrial players nowadays. Modern manufacturers need to analyze the data combined from different operational sites. And connect it with IIoT to derive the data to improve efficiency. Thereby, boosting overall production.

2. Easier extraction of factory data

When we say IIoT in the manufacturing industry, a lot of manufacturers have already installed sensors
in their machines. Besides, some have even invested in retrofitted machines with sensors. As a result, these sensors are helping a way ahead in
collecting & extracting a large amount of real-time data.

These real-time data are
injected with the use of Cloud ERP systems.
It is a very cost-effective manner to extract important insights.

Manufacturing Industry | 
emergence with Cloud ERP & IIoT 4.0

Indeed, the
manufacturing industries have emerged with IIoT 4.0. But, enabling Cloud ERP systems
with it, now they have digitally transformed.

Now with Cloud ERP services
and Industrial IoT, a massive amount of data; say lakhs of records can be
calculated in a few seconds with a query or an algorithm. Yes, it’s that fast!

Therefore, meaningful
analyses & important data insights are driving a lot of benefits to the

Industrial Revolution 4.0 | IIoT & Cloud ERP

As we are already in the
4.0 industrial era.
The manufacturing industries are into a disruptive change. Here, only technology
can fuel their engine to work smarter & faster.

Besides this, it is also
required as the customer demands & preferences are rapidly changing. They
need to adapt to this scenario. As a result, every smart modern manufacturer is
getting ready to embrace this Industrial 4.0 revolution. Hence, they are
inclining to IIoT, machine learning & artificial intelligence. Also, integrating their machinery with Cloud ERP

Modern manufacturing
demands additional investments. Instead of connecting & integrating an on-premise ERP
software system, now is the time to move to the Cloud ERP software solutions.

Furthermore, there is a
lot of panic and chaos improving & maintaining IT infrastructure. Besides
this, upgrading the traditional ERP software is another challenging task.

On the contrary, Cloud ERP services
give you wings as its adoption rate is at a much higher rate.

Moreover, product
innovation and overall growth can be achieved with greater flexibility. Cloud
ERP with IIoT 4.0 can respond & support at the much more rhythmic level
when these unpredictable & dynamic business models demand ever-changing

Reap 7 Benefits of IIoT 4.0 in Manufacturing

  1. Overall Efficiency – Cloud Services with IIoT helps in focusing on the tasks that need immediate attention.
  2. Future Predictions on failures – The real-time data helps you know the prediction of failure much earlier. This helps the modern manufacturing owner to avoid downtime.
  3. Inventory Management – Get the data insights on how much or how less to manufacture. It leads to cost-saving & eliminating wastage.
  4. Quality Assurance. – With sensors integrated with Cloud ERP, get the holistic approach of real-time data. Improve scalability & flexibility accordingly.
  5. Helps in Asset Tracking & Supply Chain Management.
  6. Quick Adaption & Cost-Effective – It helps in lowering the total cost of ownership. Cloud services do not require any infrastructure and maintenance services. Additionally, it adapts quickly as timely upgrades are automated.
  7. Easy and faster access to data – Cloud ERP is available on mobile apps version and an online platform where you can easily track your data anytime anywhere.

Prepare for Futuristic Growth with IIoT & Cloud ERP

With this hybrid
solution of IIoT & Cloud ERP, any
enterprise can prepare themselves for future demands. The private cloud can
help any business size succeed because of its cost-effectiveness.

Take actionable
analytics that can help you automate. Additionally, collaborate with various
departments & systems that need to communicate with each other. Get ready
to address the upcoming challenges.

Thrust your business with a powerful combination of
Cloud ERP & IIoT. As a result,
retain the critical & sensitive information to cope up with the Industrial
Revolution 4.0.

That’s how we wish Cloud
ERP enable IIoT in Manufacturing
& can work wonders for you!

The post How does Cloud ERP Enable IIoT in Manufacturing? appeared first on ERP News.

IIoT, Industry 4.0 and ERP

The IoT (Internet of Things) concept deals with enabling devices through the internet to facilitate comfort and convenience. The IIoT addresses industries like manufacturing, oil and gas, energy, and agriculture in which industrial tools/ machines can be connected through the internet ad drive interoperability.



The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sets the base for enabling industrial devices over the internet to increase the scope of data mining and user connectivity. The manufacturing industry can leverage data analytics in multiple ways to accelerate the decision-making process and access data in real-time. Any industrial device can be enabled over the internet as long as it has a sensor. So, for any device to leverage the IIoT technology, there will be three components namely, sensor (input), processor (controller), and actuator (output). Through sensors, the production data can be linked to a lot, serial, and batch details and this information can be floated through the cloud to ensure a seamless flow of information. Accessibility to such critical data in real-time can fasten the decision-making process. Businesses can track inventory, forecast sales, and future trends, manage multiple sites and vendors, and draw a demand and supply curve by achieving a considerable reduction in maintenance and operational costs.

Industry 4.0

4.0 represents the present automation techniques used in the manufacturing
sector like the Internet of Things (IoT) to name one out of many. Industry 4.0
addresses issues like bulk production, global market penetration strategies,
connecting multiple devices to get real-time data, and much more. All of this
results in increased production, more revenues, and higher profit margins. The
Fourth Industrial Revolutions brings about a noticeable change in the way
supply chains were handled. Computers and mobile devices are interconnected to
reduce human intervention and automate mundane tasks without compromising with
the operational outputs.


Resource Planning (ERP) enables manufacturing and supply chain industries with
multiple functionalities like organization and control of inventories, supply
chains, vendor management, sales and customer service, human resources,
finance, and tax compliances. ERP supports Industry 4.0 by offering real-time
data viewing of the processes from production to delivery. Modern ERP systems
leverage cloud technology to help users access information from anywhere,
anytime.  Being on the cloud also implies
that it is the vendor’s responsibility to maintain the data, security, backup,
and recovery. This simply means companies can save on the infrastructure cost.
Therefore, companies can focus on designing, building, and deploying their
products into the market and focus on driving more business without having to
worry about the technical aspects of the On-Premise environment.

Benefits of
Collaborating IIoT, Industry 4.0 and ERP

technologies are connected, they have always doubled the performance outputs.
Collaborating IIoT, Industry 4.0, and ERP will propel similar results.

are a few benefits:


Cloud ERP allows freedom of movement and offers the same environment if at physical workstations. Cloud ERP solutions when deployed as SaaS models will help remote users in an equally operational manner as in the static offices. This facilitates lesser exhaustive operations involved in deploying products to the market while maintaining the ROI and streamlined workflow processes.


IIoT enables machine-to-machine interaction through the internet which reduces
human intervention. This will help you manage your resources in an optimized
way. Tasks that are mundane and repetitive can be easily automated leaving you
with an extra workforce to be trained for highly smart jobs to do. Also, the
brain capacity of every resource can be optimally utilized without having to
worry about how to keep them motivated to drive better productivity.


foundation of implementing IIoT into the manufacturing environment is the
deployment of tools like mobile devices and cloud ERP with undisrupted network
connectivity in the production lines. Further to this, RFID or Bluetooth
connection will allow users to communicate with industrial devices. This will
also enable data exchange in real-time across the production lines and supply
chains as and when needed.


Modern ERP solutions aligning with
Industry 4.0 concept and enabled with IIoT technology will create digital
transformation in the manufacturing space. The applications should be built
with not only the requirement to access data in real-time but also the capacity
to expand and scale with the business.

The post IIoT, Industry 4.0 and ERP appeared first on ERP News.

Agiloft Secures $45 Million Growth Equity Investment from FTV Capital

Agiloft, the global standard in no-code contract and commerce lifecycle management, announced a $45 million growth equity investment from FTV Capital, a sector-focused investor in innovative companies in enterprise technology and services, financial services, and payments and transaction processing. Bootstrapped since its inception and profitable, Agiloft’s investment from FTV is the company’s first round of external funding and will be used to build on its leadership position in the rapidly growing enterprise contract and commerce lifecycle management (CCLM) space as it accelerates its AI-based product development and expands its vertical and geographic market presence. Agiloft’s no-code platform drives industry-leading configurability and automates complex enterprise workflows through an iterative design process at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional software.

In conjunction with the transaction, Agiloft appointed Eric Laughlin to the role of CEO, effective immediately. Laughlin most recently served as the global leader of legal managed services at Ernst & Young, LLP, where he managed the Pangea3 and Riverview Law teams and provided clients with technology and service solutions in the contracts, e-discovery, and compliance domains globally. Founder and former CEO of Agiloft, Colin Earl, will remain with the company as a chief technology officer, overseeing product development, engineering, security, and technology infrastructure and providing strategic guidance to the company.  


“Colin and his team at Agiloft have built a unique company, emphasizing customer-focused execution and a culture of trust and transparency — all built on a foundation of technical excellence,” said Laughlin. “The result has been steadily accelerating growth and consistent profitability. I’m honored to have been chosen to lead Agiloft in the next chapter of its development. A big part of my role will be to grow the company while maintaining the elements that have made it so successful.”  

“Eric not only has a track record of success, growing and leading large global organizations, but he also has the vision, domain expertise, and integrity to lead Agiloft in its next phase of growth and product innovation. The search took over a year–and it was well worth it to find the right individual,” said Earl.

Named a leader by Gartner in its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Contract Lifecycle Management, Agiloft has reported 134% growth in new sales thus far this year, and implementation success rate of 99.6% and has a loyal customer base of more than 600 customers, including CDW and Roche. Its adaptable contracting software is built on a no-code platform, allowing organizations to customize complex contract and commerce workflows without writing a single line of code. A robust AI engine simplifies the intake and organization of existing contracts and also identifies the level of risk in documents and clauses. The result is cost discipline in procurement, quantifiable reductions in revenue leakage in sales, and visibility into contractual risk and regulatory compliance for legal departments. The platform is easily extensible to the commercial processes adjacent to contracts such as spend management and integrates with enterprise systems.

“Agiloft has established itself as a trailblazer in the fast-growing market for contract and commerce lifecycle management software,” said Alex Mason, partner at FTV Capital. “To develop a no-code product that customers love, while prioritizing profitable growth without external investment, is a remarkable achievement. We are proud to be a collaborative partner to the Agiloft team and look forward to the exciting journey ahead.”  

“With digital transformation moving at the speed it is today, contract management solutions that are well-scoped and executable are mission-critical,” said Abhay Puskoor, principal at FTV Capital. “As businesses continue to find new efficiencies and ways to reduce costs, contract management will play a significant role in the adoption of automation, and Agiloft’s highly configurable no-code platform will enable automation at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional software. We welcome the opportunity to connect Agiloft to the enterprises in our Global Partner Network who will value the measurable ROI that the platform delivers.” 

As part of this transaction, FTV Capital’s Alex Mason and Abhay Puskoor will join Agiloft’s board of directors.

About Agiloft  
As the global leader in contract and commerce lifecycle management (CCLM) software, Agiloft is trusted to provide significant savings in purchasing, enable more efficient legal operations, and accelerate sales cycles, all while drastically lowering compliance risk. Founded in 1991, Agiloft’s adaptable no-code platform ensures rapid deployment and a fully extensible system. Using contracts as the core system of commercial records, Agiloft’s CCLM software leverages AI to improve contract management for legal departments, procurement, and sales operations. Visit for more.

About FTV Capital 

FTV Capital is a growth equity investment firm that has raised nearly $4 billion to invest in high-growth companies offering a range of innovative solutions in three sectors: enterprise technology and services, financial services, and payments and transaction processing. FTV’s experienced team leverages its domain expertise and proven track record in each of these sectors to help motivated management teams accelerate growth. FTV also provides companies with access to its Global Partner Network®, a group of the world’s leading enterprises and executives who have helped FTV portfolio companies for two decades. Founded in 1998, FTV Capital has invested in 115 portfolio companies, including Docupace, Egress, Enfusion, InvestCloud, ReliaQuest, Riskalyze, Sunlight Financial, and VPay, and exited companies Globant, HCS (acquired by Ally Financial), and WorldFirst (acquired by Ant Financial). FTV has offices in San Francisco and New York. For more information, please visit

The post Agiloft Secures $45 Million Growth Equity Investment from FTV Capital appeared first on ERP News.

A Connected Supply Chain Is More Important Than Ever in Industry 4.0

The impact of COVID-19 on supply chain operations is gaining national attention through media outlets and varies depending on the industry. Producers of toilet paper, cleaning wipes, and personal protective equipment have seen spikes in demand that require the running of additional shifts. Farmers have to dump milk and break eggs as sales to restaurants, hotels, and cafeterias dry up. Sales of trampolines, playground sets, exercise equipment, and outdoor furniture are booming as families seek to keep their children entertained and maintain physical activity throughout the summer months. These are just a few examples of how supply chain disruptions present challenges for supply chain professionals today.

supply chain

The current pandemic-related spikes and shortages are a stark
reminder that when a market disruption occurs, connectivity with supply chain
trading partners and the ability to rapidly respond to turbulence in demand matters more than ever. Of course, the coronavirus
is the most prevalent and recent supply chain disruption covered in the media,
but supply chain leaders consistently prepare for unplanned events that include
labor shortages, natural disasters, geopolitical issues, and other events.
Increasingly, we see manufacturers placing less emphasis on cost savings and
more importance on supply chain connectivity, agility, and collaboration. In
fact, a 2018 KPMG
highlighted that nearly
two-thirds of manufacturing respondents stated that acting with agility is “the
new currency of business; if we’re too slow, we will be bankrupt.” The goal is
to develop adaptable sourcing and connected
supply chain
networks that intelligently
address customers’ issues and expectations.

Additionally, Industry 4.0
is having a transformative effect on manufacturing supply chains.
Digitalization is creating greater access to information across trading
partners aided by advanced technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence,
predictive analytics, RPA, and others. For example, extending digital
capabilities allows companies to accurately track the location of materials and
products whether they are on-order, in-transit, or in a facility. For many
manufacturers, improved connectivity, automation, and transparency with
supply chain partners will take on greater importance as they prepare for
future disruptions similar to COVID-19 and new business models like Industry

Boosting connected supply chain strategies helps managers increase
responsiveness and intelligence across the end-to-end supply chain.
Manufacturers gain a rapid and more intelligent approach to supply chain
decision-making, enabled by Industry 4.0 and real-time
collected between and
shared with supply chain partners. Consider the following areas to expand supply chain connectivity and mitigate the risks of future
supply chain shocks.

Real-time Supply Chain

chain visibility is a hot topic for many manufacturers, especially for those
that rely on outdated processes or have overlooked the importance of rapid
access to data for delivering global business performance improvements. KPMG’s 2018
Global Manufacturing Outlook
found that “only 6%
have achieved full supply chain visibility, despite acknowledging its growing
importance.” It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to rely on several disparate IT systems across their supply
chain operations. This situation reduces efficiency, responsiveness, and
real-time insights. Without immediate access to information, supply chains have
limited visibility and, therefore, limited ability to respond quickly to
unforeseen supply chain events.

leveraging digital capabilities and increasing supply chain connectivity,
manufacturers gain the supply chain insights required to exceed customer
expectations with the comprehensive collection of operational data. Employees
can gain quick access to the information needed to cost-effectively manage
supply chain operations. As a result, manufacturers can access deeper insights,
make real-time supply chain decisions, enhance shipment and order traceability,
and improve on-time delivery performance.

Technology Adoption

In an era
of constant disruption, manufacturers need to start thinking about ways to
effectively adopt new technologies like IoT, analytics, machine learning,
artificial intelligence, RPA, and digital twins. Digital transformation and new technologies continue to take hold around the globe and
constantly introduce challenges and opportunities for maximizing
supply chain performance
. A 2019 Gartner
Supply Chain report
devoted an entire section
on the importance of digital technologies as a competitive necessity and a crucial part of delivering efficiency. But which technologies will
produce positive business outcomes and which will go the route of extinction,
like smartphone-maker BlackBerry?

While the
adoption of digital technologies varies from company to company, many
manufacturers are implementing or reviewing new technologies they hope will
boost supply chain connectivity, flexibility, and responsiveness. A pragmatic
approach is, to begin with, smaller prototype projects like machine learning to
improve forecast accuracy, IoT techniques to increase shipment visibility or
advanced analytics to enhance decision-making. Only
to the extent that advanced technologies make a meaningful impact on supply
chain performance, can manufacturers fully support the investment. As a result,
manufacturers are left to decide on which new
technologies provide the potential competitive advantages
for their business.

Global Trade Compliance

trade compliance programs have simply been created to avoid global regulatory
fines and penalties. Today, manufacturers better understand the impact
compliance operations have on global supply chain performance. There are a host
of questions that must be answered, including:

  • How is
    on-time delivery performance impacted when shipments are delayed at Customs due
    to missing information?
  • Can safety
    stock be lowered by improving cycle time for international shipments? 
  • Are we taking advantage
    of free trade agreements?  
  • Have all
    duties and tariffs been considered when deciding where to build a plant or
    making other strategic supply chain decisions?
  • What is the
    best way to access and share accurate information to ensure cross-border
    shipments and trade?

transform trade compliance and global supply chain operations, manufacturers
must recognize the connected interactions required to establish global
trade management
operations and address cumbersome
regulations with the appropriate processes. An effective global trade approach
will collect the appropriate supply chain data required, document the necessary
import/export data, and rapidly share the information with global trading
partners. With connected global compliance and supply chain operations,
manufacturers are in a more advantageous position to reduce global trade risks
and improve supply chain performance.

B2B Integration

system integration is complex because suppliers, customers, and other network
partners rely on a variety of communication standards, data formats, and
integration methodologies. This results in a challenging web of integration to
include B2B and
B2C networks
, where seamless integration is vital
for increasing supply chain performance and ensuring customer satisfaction. For
example, manufacturers expect and frequently demand greater visibility and
access to order status, shipment status, associated duties, inventory
availability, and other information. Additionally, the manufacturer’s customer
expects access to this same information.

Supply chain integration is not a new
topic for many of you, and you realize how important it is, but some
manufacturers misunderstand the key role integration plays in driving global
supply chain performance improvements. Supply chain professionals are
constantly striving for that “one version of the truth” that allows all
partners to make intelligent decisions based on the same information. This
scenario is much better than the one where disparate information resides in
multiple systems, making accurate and cost-effective supply chain decisions
almost impossible.

Enterprises still rely on EDI for integration but, today, software technology providers offer a variety of modern capabilities to address internal and external integration requirements. Increasingly, companies are introducing new cloud-based business integration capabilities and collaboration networks that deliver end-to-end supply chain visibility and improved data integrity. With a more agile and connected supply chain approach, multinational organizations can increase supply chain responsiveness and improve data quality throughout the global supply chain.

Improved supply chain connectivity is a game-changer for taking full advantage of Industry 4.0 digital capabilities and enhancing supply chain responsiveness. Digital supply chain connections improve communication, agility, and decision-making. As a result of transforming supply chain collaboration strategies, manufacturers can rapidly respond to unplanned disruptions, achieve a single source of truth with partners, and boost global supply chain performance. How effective are your supply chain connectivity strategies today, and how effective would you like them to be?

The post A Connected Supply Chain Is More Important Than Ever in Industry 4.0 appeared first on ERP News.

Why starting a blog is more important than ever

How many times do the same people visit your website?

Unless you have an online shop, there’s no reason for a prospect to visit your site more than once or twice. Once they buy from you, they’re usually gone. And they won’t come back anytime soon since they have no reason to.

A blog, however, gives prospects and customers a reason to come back time and again. Even if they’re not planning to buy anything (more) yet, that doesn’t mean they won’t.

Consistent, purposeful blogging keeps your business top of mind so that when it comes time to make a purchase or offer a recommendation to a friend, it’s your brand that they’ll immediately think of.

In other words, if you’re not blogging, you’re leaving money on the table. Just look at these stats:

Many small business owners overlook the enormous rewards and opportunities that blogging can provide. But you know better, so you’re not going to make the same mistake, are you?

In this post we’ll look at why starting a blog is more important than ever and how it can help you to generate more business, earn more credibility and make it easier for prospects to find you online.

Build awareness and drive traffic to your site

If you’re just starting out, the first step is to get your business known on the web. Blogging is a cheap and effective way to get your name in front of the people that matter to you – your prospects.

But even if you’re not a new business, blogging can help you to reach more of your prospects and drive more traffic to your site.

Think of blogging like fishing. The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch a fish. So when you publish a new blog post, it’s the same as throwing another hook in the water.

The more quality, useful content you publish on your blog, the more pages Google and other search engines index. The more pages Google indexes, the more chances you have to rank high for various keywords and keyword phrases. (Here’s how to optimise your blog posts, in case you don’t know how.)

In other words, the higher your chances of being found online by prospects who are searching for answers or solutions to their problems on Google.

Now, keep in mind that it’s not just the keywords you use that can help you to rank high on Google. The quality of your content is much more important.

Run-of-the-mill content won’t cut it. You’ll need to publish valuable, insightful, relevant content. That’s the only way to make a lasting impression on your target audience (and Google, too).

Build authority and trust

Blogging gives you the fantastic opportunity to show off your expertise and skills, and become an authority in your industry.

So, instead of focusing on the immediate sale, make sure your blog posts focus on providing value to your readers, and on building a relationship with them by sharing useful information, inspiration, or entertainment that suits their needs.

When your blog becomes a source of value to your audience, one that they keep coming back to get useful advice, tips and answers, that’s when you know you’re on the right track to turning your readers into customers.

Here’s the thing: it’s valuable content that builds trust and a reputation for being the best in your field. So, if your prospects can use your advice to better their lives or solve a problem, they’ll soon come to trust to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

Give people a reason to choose you over your competitors

You know why people choose some brands over others? Because some brands know how to create content that connects with their audience on an emotional level.

So if you want people to fall in love with your brand, stop talking about features and facts and figures, and start showing off your personality and purpose. That’s what makes your brand memorable.

Blogging is a simple and great way to show off your human side and personality, and to communicate your brand purpose, meaning what you stand for and what makes you unique.

How do you do that? By publishing useful blog posts that don’t link to a product or service directly but instead demonstrate how your brand can facilitate the lifestyle that your prospects desire or aspire to.

For example, FitBit rarely blogs about their fitness trackers. Instead, their blog posts focus on helping, motivating and inspiring their readers to look and feel their best. That’s what they stand for.

Even their blog categories have names like “feel good” and “be inspired”, which is what they’re trying to help their target audience achieve.

So, when you use blogging to communicate a brand purpose that goes beyond what you sell, it helps you stand out from your competition.

Stay active on social media

If you’re using social media to engage with your audience, you probably know how important it is to be active and post on a regular basis.

Sure, you can share updates and information, and link to your products and services from time to time. But other than that, what else do you share?

You can’t expect to build awareness and trust, and attract people to your site if you’re only linking to what you sell or sharing content from other sites.

Thankfully, your blog gives you a great opportunity to not only stay active on social media every day but also to entice more people to visit your blog and website since you’re sharing your own content, not others’.

Let’s take a simple example. Say your business sells travel backpacks. A fan or follower may not need what you’re selling when they see one of your blog posts in their feed.

But maybe three or six months down the line, they decide to take a trip somewhere. Maybe they don’t have a travel backpack or maybe they decide they could use a new one. And yours looks pretty good.

If you’ve been busy sharing informative and/ or entertaining blog posts over the last several months, your brand will be fresh in their mind when it’s time for them to buy a travel backpack.

Grow your mailing list

Your blog is one of the easiest ways to get more email subscribers and then nurture and turn them into customers.

But how do you turn a reader into a customer?

Let’s say someone stumbles upon one of your blog posts, whether from a Google search result or some social media post. They click-through, read it and enjoy it. What next?

They might not immediately buy something or fill out a form to ask for a quote. But that doesn’t mean they won’t later on.

What’s obvious though is that they liked what they read and they might want to come back to your blog to read more of your content. That is if they can remember your blog or website name. Most often, they don’t.

This is your opportunity to make it easy for them to get your blog content straight into their inbox. So place a “subscribe” form on your blog and entice people to sign up to your mailing list.

Here’s a simple example from the Tortuga Backpacks blog:

The next step is to keep sending them great content that’ll make them think of you the next time they need one of your products or services.

If you’re not yet using email marketing to build relationships with your prospects and entice them to buy from you, now’s the time to get started. Take our free email marketing course to learn the basics.

Wrapping up

If you don’t have a blog for your business, you need to start one today. You have no reason not to considering its great role in helping you to build awareness and trust, grow your mailing list and boost sales.

Sure, it takes time to generate a huge amount of traffic and sales, but once it does, you’ll wish you had started today. So start today with our free training course on blogging and content marketing and learn how to write content that drives action and helps grow your business.

The post Why starting a blog is more important than ever appeared first on Better business online: Tips, insight and advice.

Five reasons why you should add live chat to your online shop

A typical customer journey from research to purchase is fraught with questions, concerns and anxiety. Sure, prospects can reach out via phone, email or social networks like Facebook or Twitter to get answers and support. But they’re just not as effective as live chat.

In fact, an overwhelming majority of 92% users feel that live chat provides the highest satisfaction levels, compared to email with 85% and with 77% for Twitter. Why? Because it gives them a quick and convenient way to get the information and answers they need.

But your prospects and customers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from live chat. Your ecommerce business can too.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of live chat so you understand why it would be a great addition to your online shop.

1. Overcome objections instantly

How many times have you found yourself browsing through an online shop, finding a great product, getting ready to purchase it, but then you didn’t?

Maybe you weren’t sure about the materials, size or shipping fees. Or maybe you had some questions that weren’t answered in the product description or in the site’s FAQ section.

You could’ve searched through the site to get the answers you needed. You also could’ve sent an email or filled out a contact form but that’s time-consuming. So you just went back to Google to find another online shop.

It happens more often than you think. And it’s probably happening to prospects browsing through your online shop, too.

Here’s the thing: no matter how much information you include in your product descriptions or FAQs, visitors still have questions. That’s because people who come to your site have all kind of different needs.

Some need clear information on shipping fees and don’t want or have the time to browse through your site to find it. So they just want a quick, clear answer.

Others need to know exactly what ingredients are in your products or what materials are used in the clothing you sell. So they need a more detailed response.

If these prospects don’t feel like giving you a call, or don’t have the time to go looking through your entire site to find the answers they need, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

That’s why live chat is so valuable. It allows you to address questions and concerns in real-time and get people the help they need, and quickly. In addition, you get to keep prospects on your site, which gives you a better chance at enticing them to buy from you.

2. Boost sales

No matter how effective your online marketing campaigns are at bringing prospects to your online shop, or how user-friendly your website is, lots of visitors will leave your site without making a purchase.

Fortunately, live chat can help with that.

When done right, live chat can stop people from abandoning your site or shopping cart by providing instant answers to burning questions. As a result, it can also boost your revenue by enticing more prospects to buy from you, and even compelling them to come back to your store.

Just take a look at these amazing stats of what you can achieve if you add live chat to your online shop:

Live chat gives your visitors a chance to ask questions and get the answers they need, then and there. They don’t have to wait too long for an answer, they don’t get put on hold, and they don’t need to waste time hunting all around your website for information.

So adding live chat to your online shop and making sure you quickly provide visitors with the answers they need is an effective way to boost sales.

3. Cut support costs

If you compare live chat and phone calls, chatting is much more affordable. Think about it: while a call agent can only talk to one customer at a time, a live chat support agent can handle several customers at once.

They can chat with a customer, provide answers or links to further information and then – without interrupting or putting them on hold – quickly respond to a query by a second customer.

This decreases support costs and increases the efficiency of handling a large volume of inquiries.

4. Improve your ecommerce business

This may not seem obvious but live chat gives you the fantastic opportunity to get to know your prospects and customers. You get to learn about their concerns, needs and pains as well as their preferences.

This information is extremely valuable and you can use it to refine your marketing messaging and ensure it’s relevant and compelling for your target audience.

And you know what else? Talking to your customers can also give you some great ideas on how to improve your products and online shop. For example, if lots of people ask you about shipping fees or your refund policy, you might consider making this information more visible on your site and product pages.

There are probably lots of other things on your online shop that can be improved. The problem is that they may not be as obvious to you as they are to your customers. So while you chat with them, make sure to also take note of their questions, concerns and feedback, and use that information to improve your ecommerce website.

5. Stand out from the competition

Shopping on most online stores can easily feel impersonal and transactional. Fortunately, live chat can change that.

Talking to your customers in real-time gives you the opportunity to insert personality and humanity back into your customer relationships. And your unique personality is something that your competitors can’t easily copy.

It’s also one of the key things that makes customers fall in love with a brand. What does that mean? It means happy, long-term customers who are less likely to go elsewhere. As an added bonus, they usually also recommend you to their family, friends and everyone they know.

Wrapping up

If you have an ecommerce site, you should give live chat a try. It won’t just help you to get to know your customers better, what they need and how you can help them, but you’ll also be able to solve issues more quickly, build strong long-term relationships and increase your online sales.

The post Five reasons why you should add live chat to your online shop appeared first on Better business online: Tips, insight and advice.

Meet a Helpful Human – Josh Langfeldt

Helpful Humans

We’re the employees you would hire if you could. Responsive, helpful, and dedicated in ways automation simply can’t be. We’re your team.

Each month we recognize one of our Most Helpful Humans in Hosting.

Josh is a born and raised Michigander, hailing from the state capitol of Lansing. Growing up, he was always interested in technology and computers, so it was no surprise when he joined the Army on active duty after leaving high school as a computer technician. His six years stint in Germany led him to fall in love with the European lifestyle. He decided to come back to Michigan while serving another eight years in the Reserves, and starting looking for a new career path.

In 2013, he found a career at Liquid Web on the retail side as a Windows Technician, eventually working his way up the ladder to a Windows Manager and his eventual role as a Linux 1st Shift Manager. Josh now manages one of the largest teams at Liquid Web. His team is on the front lines, helping ensure our customers’ hosting environments are optimized and online 24/7/365.

We wanted to find out why Josh loves working at Liquid Web.

Liquid Web - Josh Langfeldt Helpful Human

What draws you to the hosting industry as a career?

Every single day in the world of hosting is completely different than the next. I love the diversity of clients, websites, infrastructure, and industries that we get to work with directly. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are located: your business needs an online presence. That’s where my team can help.

Is there something specific at Liquid Web that you just love?

I absolutely love my team and our executive leadership. Everyone, from the top to the bottom at Liquid Web, are exceptional human beings. Equally as important, everyone at Liquid Web is free to be their own, unique person. The culture that we have built is superb and helps people to really become their best versions of themselves while gaining amazing experiences at a global company.

What’s your favorite part about the company culture at Liquid Web?

No matter what hobby you may be into, you’ll find someone else at Liquid Web that shares the same interest! We have gamers, cooks, mechanics, blacksmiths, pilots, and everything in between within our ranks, which is both fun and interesting.

In your eyes, what’s the difference between Liquid Web and other employers?

Our senior leadership team genuinely cares about our customers and our employees. They know most of our family members from work parties and events, and they even remember birthdays, work anniversaries, and personal tidbits. Best of all, they are accessible to every single employee.

Being able to communicate directly with anyone, including our CEO Jim Geiger, is amazing and unparalleled. It’s a great feeling to know if you email an executive, they’ll respond personally to you!

What is the biggest milestone you’ve accomplished?

Taking over a Linux Support team was a huge step for me. I started at Liquid Web as a Windows Technician, and eventually took over managing the Windows Team. Eventually I progressed to lead the larger Linux Support Team. I hadn’t administered Linux since I was overseas so it took a few weeks to get back into the swing of things!

Tell us about a truly rewarding experience you’ve had with a customer.

There was a time when while I was working as a Technician that a customer jokingly offered to keep me on the line longer so I could get some overtime after I resolved his issue. I was heading to Las Vegas that weekend for the first time, and he wanted to make sure I was “well prepared,” as he liked to put it.

All kidding aside, Liquid Web has built something truly special with their customers. It’s a give-and-take relationship where both parties work together to create a better world, both offline and online.

What are you known for at Liquid Web? What do people specifically come to you for?

I’m a connector for solving issues. Many colleagues in other departments come to me because I always know where to point them when they need help with an issue. Having over seven years in the company, with five of those as a manager, gives me a great view to direct questions or problems for resolution.

What is one thing you wish our customers knew about their hosting?

My technicians are really good at a diverse set of tasks to solve many issues. However, every site is built different, so we don’t know all the intricacies of your setup. We also don’t support code. Make sure your developer is able to explain what they need so that we are able to help as best as possible.

Work aside, what are some of your hobbies?

I’m a self-professed geek. I love video games, reading, super heroes (check out DC’s Young Justice, it’s amazing), and the big three: Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Disney. I also just moved into a new house and have been spending a ton of time writing and making new recipes, as I love to cook.

What is your favorite app?

I used an app called “Smoke Free” this past year to help me quit smoking. It counts the time you’ve stopped, how much money you’ve saved, tricks for getting past cravings, and a slew of other tools. Highly recommended for those looking to stop smoking for good.

If you could have dinner with one famous person [dead or alive] who would it be?

Jon Faverau hands down; he is a key storyteller in the Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney universes, and he’s an amazing cook. I’d love to sit down, chat, and have a few beers over a meal. If I get to bring my lovely girlfriend Amanda, I would choose Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. They do such amazing charity work and have used their fame as a platform to run campaigns to help others.

The post Meet a Helpful Human – Josh Langfeldt appeared first on Liquid Web.