Every manufacturer wants to get paid faster but everyone has a different quote-to-cash process. Some manufacturers forecast demand, then build to stock and fulfill orders from inventory. Engineer-to-order manufacturers use CAD applications to design custom products based on customer designs or internally developed specifications. Configure-to-order manufacturers set up features and options to create new items based on customer preferences. Estimating is critical for job shops that rarely stock products they quote and sell to customers.
No matter which production style your business employs, you can benefit from automation. Do you have a modern manufacturing ERP solution that can automate your quote-to-cash process? With Acumatica’s Manufacturing Edition workflows, you get the flexibility of different quote-to-cash scenarios to manage sales, inventory, purchasing, manufacturing, shipments, and accounting.
“Because of Acumatica, we can now place orders faster and react to sales quicker. As a result, I think we’ll be able to reduce our total inventory by somewhere between $1.5 million and $2 million dollars.”
MATT STONER, CFO, DAKOTA RED CORPORATION
Learn more on how Acumatica supports simple and complex processes for manufacturers. The quote-to-cash process comprises three phases and 14 unique steps that most manufacturers use with some variation. Here is how a modern ERP solution can help with each.
Phase 1: Prepare and Sell
Item Definition => Lead Generation => Pre-Quote Activities => Quote Creation => Sales Order Creation
Most manufacturing sales start well before the quote is created. Set up stock items for products and non-inventoried items for services. Leverage embedded marketing automation to generate business leads. Manage the sales cycle with lead assignment and opportunity activities. Acumatica Manufacturing Edition provides applications to create newly manufactured items for a variety of manufacturing environments. Create quotes and send them to customers for electronic approval. Convert quotes to sales orders and manage order details for a clean hand-off to manufacturing.
Phase 2: Produce and Fulfill
Production Order Creation => Scheduling => Material Planning => Production => Fulfillment
Manufacturing begins way before sales gets involved in make-to-stock environments – production begins based on forecasted demand and items are stored until the order is placed. In most make-to-order scenarios, manufacturing starts after the sales order is created. Make-to-order manufacturers typically create the production order directly from the sales order, project, or service order. Production orders are scheduled against finite capacity constraints. Purchase orders and production orders for dependent raw materials and subassemblies are suggested through the time-phased material requirements planning (MRP) application. Material and labor transactions are entered throughout the production process or backflushed automatically for work in process costing. The finished goods inventory is updated and ready for order fulfillment.
Phase 3: Account and Analyze
Accounting => Cash => Reporting => Supporting Processes
Accounting engages in the quote-to-cash process at various points for invoicing, vendor payments, and related activities. Invoices are typically sent after the order has shipped. However, some companies send multiple invoices for large items like capital equipment that take longer to make. Vendor invoices are received, vouchered, and paid. Collection activities are managed for past due invoices with phone calls and email communication. Additional activities and reports complete the process with sales commissions and detailed analysis. There are many other supporting applications and processes crucial to perfecting the quote-to-cash process that should not be ignored.
What’s Your Quote-to-Cash Process?
Manufacturers perfect the quote-to-cash process and get paid faster with a comprehensive and modern ERP application like Acumatica. Manage every step effectively and with the flexibility to adapt the system to the way you do business.
Streamline item creation for stock and non-inventoried items. Use manufacturing estimates, the rules-based product configurator, Acumatica for Arena Native Connector, and Engineering Change Control applications to manage finished goods. Acumatica’s embedded CRM includes marketing automation for lead generation with configurable sales processes and automation to manage complex product sales cycles.
Harmonize production plans with resource constraints and material planning processes to ensure maximum throughput. Backflush material and labor processes for accurate and faster transactions. Streamline operations with supporting accounting activities, sales commissions, engineering changes, subcontracted, outside processing, and more.
With Acumatica, you have a complete and connected business application with powerful tools to analyze data in real-time. Manage your business by exception with role-based dashboards, real-time reports and inquiries, and connected business analytics. Download this free playbook from Acumatica on Perfecting your Manufacturing Quote-to-Cash Process and give the Galeforce team a call to learn more about taking your manufacturing business to the next level with a modern, ERP solution.
Acumatica’s ERP solution fits the needs of the fast-paced, complex medical startup environment. It was designed to empower users to meet those needs with low maintenance requirements. With Acumatica ERP you get robust integration capabilities for organizations where compliance, regulations, and vendor relationships must be considered for software selection.
No matter what stage your startup is at, Acumatica offers a wide variety of options that easily scale to fit your business needs. An experienced partner can help by auditing your processes and recommending the right configuration for you. In the medical startup field, you’ll likely need a combination of financials, distribution, manufacturing, and customer relationship management. Here are a few of the features our medical startup companies rave about in their Acumatica system.
Managing vendor relationships, supplier bids, contracts, vendor quality issues, returns, and accounts payable processes are crucial and can make or break your startup without the right business software. Make sure your system gives you advanced visibility into every stage of your purchasing process, or you risk running behind on your operations – meaning that the hospitals, patients, and clinics that rely on your product may run behind, as well.
Acumatica’s procure-to-pay automation process help to streamline everything, minimizing delays, improving cashflow, and increasing the value of your business. The procure-to-pay process in Acumatica encompasses four phases and twelve unique steps, from item definition and supplier management to financial reporting and business analysis.
Phase I: Preparation
- Item Definition
- Supplier Management
- Replenishment Set Up
Phase 2: Procurement
- Purchase Requisitions
- Purchase Orders
- Receipt of Goods and Put-Away
Phase 3: Payment
- AP Invoices Automation
- AP Bill Creation
- AP Payment Processing
Phase 4: Process Improvement
- General Ledger
- Reporting and Analysis
- Related Processes
Learn more about Acumatica’s agile procure-to-pay process.
Material Requirements Planning
Another feature that medical manufacturers rely heavily on is Acumatica’s MRP capabilities. Acumatica has a built-in Material Requirement Planning (MRP) engine to give you greater transparency into your contract manufacturing activity. This system will suggest purchase, production, and transfer orders to meet forecasted demand, improve customer service, avoid shortages, and reduce inventory. Put artificial intelligence and machine learning to work where you need it most.
Key benefits include:
- Improved Profits: Time-phased material planning ensures materials are purchased just in time for manufacturing. Critical material reports and exception messages help planners to respond to real-world changes impacting demand and production schedules.
- Maximize Utilization: Accurate material plans ensure that material is available for production. This improves resource scheduling to maximize machine, work center, and labor resources.
- Manage by Exception: Monitor material plans, material shortage reports, and production from a real-time dashboard. Drill-down to manage material plans using exception messaging to keep production running at peak performance.
Learn more about Acumatica MRP, download the datasheet:
Galeforce Consulting Partners
Accountability. Access. Answers. Give us a call at 1-833-432-7278 and find out more about Acumatica for your startup business. The GFC team brings with it more than 200 years of real-world professional experience, allowing our consultants to draw on real world experience to understand your unique situation. From implementations of well-known ERP solutions to custom product-agnostic applications used by billion-dollar wealth management and financial services firms, our needs-first process empowers us to recommend the tool that works for you.
GFC provides solutions ranging from complete Application Implementations to Custom Development and Business Intelligence solutions to Business Consulting Services. GFC utilizes industry standard tools including Acumatica Cloud ERP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, GP and CRM, Sage MAS500, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Visual Basic, Microsoft SSRS, and several other tools and technologies that are appropriate for the engagement at hand.
Manufacturers and distributors are always looking for ways to reduce spending and streamline efficiency. Taking a closer look at your procure-to-pay process and adding automation might be just the thing you need. Sure, it’s usually more sophisticated than simple automation tactics, but with modern systems, the built-in business intelligence, machine learning, and configurable workflows can harness the power of technology for your business.
Minimize delays, improve cashflow, do more with less staff, and increase the value of your business. Download this solution brief for manufacturers and distributors on Automating Procure-to-Pay with Acumatica.
Procurement is a Sophisticated Process
We agree: a lot goes into purchasing. It’s not just a quick email or phone call to get the materials your business needs. How do you handle all these procurement details now? After asking “what are my needs? What materials do we need to be successful?” there comes:
- Creating an official purchase requisition with detailed material needs
- Management review of purchase request
- Negotiating purchasing terms and contracts
- Getting vendor quotes. Do they fit your needs?
- Budget approval. Getting the budget approved, which can take multiple emails and calls
- Then once approved, ordering the supplies
- Receiving, storing, and organizing the supplies ordered
- Matching the invoice to the purchase order and receiving report, making sure there are no missing items or errors
- Paying the invoice
- Maintaining organized and accurate records so you have the history at your fingertips.
And more, depending on your business. There are a lot of moving parts and pieces. It’s not a simple task. To be efficient, you need a system that is organized, collaborative, and reliable. A system that can keep this process running smoothly and can eliminate complexity.
Which system should I choose?
Manufacturers and distributors can reduce costs and increase profits by squeezing inefficiencies out of every stage of the procure-to-pay routine. If your company is looking for a way to get started with automating the process, here are some things to consider when choosing the right system to fit your business.
Is the Process Automation Complete? There’s a lot of software to choose from, but the software should easily include all the steps involved in the process. From initiating orders and collecting supplier quotes to the receiving process.
Vendor management is key. Make sure the system includes steps for vendor bidding. You will get the best price when you include multiple vendors in your bidding process, but to save time, sometimes staff will cut corners and only include vendors they are familiar with. By automating this step, you can gather more bids in less time—and end up with the best possible deal for your company.
Streamline the approval process. Making this process easy for an ever-increasing mobile workforce will eliminate delays, thus increasing productivity. Make sure that with your new system you can configure workflows to automatically alert each of your decision-makers when their approval is needed.
Solid audit trail. As your business grows, you need easy access into your financial controls. Who initiated that $10,000 purchase? What was its purpose? Who approved it? Who received the goods? You don’t want to scramble when auditors and shareholders are asking these questions. Or worse, having to dig out paper trails of information. Have all your information at your fingertips in one complete system.
Integration with other departments and systems. Your purchase requisition software is only good when it’s a complete picture. Make sure other departments such as service, sales, shipping, receiving, warehousing, and even your management team can see status of procurements on their dashboards, aiding them in their decision-making capabilities.
Acumatica for Procure-to-Pay Automation
Our choice for the procure-to-pay process is Acumatica’s 12-step automation process because it is built on modern technology and flexible for all your business needs.
“With Acumatica, we can double the size of the business without doubling the space and the people because we have power in the information. We can work more logically, provide better service, and save millions in labor by not having to double the staff size.” BEN LEINSTER, CEO AFF|GROUP
Acumatica includes all the tools manufacturers and distributors need on one single platform; it’s designed for businesses looking to streamline their procure-to-pay process and provides all the necessary visibility into your purchasing functions so you can make smarter decisions. Here is a detailed look at what Acumatica built for distributors.
Phase 1: Preparation
- Item Definition
- Supplier Management
- Replenishment Setup
Phase 2: Procurement
- Purchase requisitions
- Purchase Orders
- Receipt of Goods and Put Away
Phase 3: Payment
4. AP Invoice Automation
5. AP Bill Creation
6. AP Payment Processing
Phase 4: Process Improvement
7. General Ledger
8. Reporting & Analysis
9. Related Processes
Learn more about Acumatica’s procure-to-pay automation process in this free solution brief download: Automate Procure-to-Pay with Acumatica