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Unlock the Full Potential of Your Construction Business – Ditch QuickBooks for a Modern Solution

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Construction Business – Ditch QuickBooks for a Modern Solution

QuickBooks is widely recognized as an accounting software that supports small businesses with managing accounts, inventory, payroll, taxes, expenses, and budgeting. For companies starting out, deploying QuickBooks is a good first step towards operational improvement. But there comes a point in each expanding company’s journey where QuickBooks doesn’t support the changing needs of the organization. Perhaps it’s an increase in manual processes and offline spreadsheets to track information outside of QuickBooks. It could be the need to add third-party software to handle repetitive tasks that QuickBooks is lacking. Maybe the data needed to make decisions isn’t available from QuickBooks. Or, reports aren’t actionable, with a snapshot of the past rather than a real-time view into your operation.

Additionally, many construction or project-based small businesses require more than QuickBooks to meet their needs right off the bat. We’ve worked with construction companies who have found QuickBooks hindered their operations due to the lack of project-based accounting features, field service, and payroll capabilities.

Our clients have often come to us frustrated with the limitations of QuickBooks, including:

  1. Limited functionality for job costing and progress billing.
  2. Inadequate reporting capabilities for tracking project expenses and profitability.
  3. Difficulty in tracking change orders and managing subcontractor invoicing.
  4. Lack of integration with scheduling and estimating programs.
  5. Limited support for multi-currency transactions and foreign currency exchanges.
  6. Difficulty in tracking retainage and progress payments.
  7. Limited ability to handle complex job-costing and inventory management.
  8. Inability to handle complex union compliance and certified payroll requirements.
  9. Limited ability to track and manage equipment and asset management.
  10. Limited support for construction-specific tax regulations.

If you’re using QuickBooks now and experiencing any of these frustrations, read how Acumatica, the Cloud ERP construction solution is helping construction companies solve issues and grow.

Compare QuickBooks to Acumatica for accurate project-accounting and construction software.

The pressure to stay up to date on current projects has been a thorn in the side of many contractors. Poor communication has derailed countless construction projects, causing them to finish late and over budget. Acumatica’s cloud ERP software tailored to the construction industry has advantages that QuickBooks does not. Here are a few:

  • Real-time access to project data from anywhere, on any device.
  • Modern accounting features can help you streamline and automate Accounts Payable workflows, such as entering invoices and obtaining approval for payments. Additionally, it provides real-time project costs related to labor, materials and equipment.
  • Project Management allows both office and field teams to access current information from a central, streamlined system, improving field-to-office communication.
  • Reduced response times with instant notifications and message alerts.
  • Robust document storage – view and store important documentation such as RFIs, jobsite progress photos, and project issues.
  • Ensure adherence to regulations by processing waivers, certificates, and status changes quickly. Additionally, create alerts for staff and vendors about expiration dates and other essential data.
  • Customer Management offers real-time customer activity management (e.g. contacts, quotes, orders, invoices, payments, support cases and service calls) as well as a customer self-service portal.
  • Adaptable workflows to automate, control and increase the efficiency of accounting and back-office processes.
  • Thorough and up-to-date reports that keep you informed about the progress of each project.
  • Comprehensive view of your business with Role-based Dashboards.
  • Comprehensive Connections: Link with popular construction applications.
  • Unlimited users.

Switching from QuickBooks to Acumatica Cloud ERP: A Big Change, But Worth It

When you look at the pros and cons, you realize the benefits that newer technology can bring to your business.

For example, communication – with the right tools, your field teams can complete their construction projects more efficiently allowing you to manage your projects more effectively.

We know that switching the system that you run your business on can seem like a risky, big endeavor. For this reason, partnering with an experienced solution provider is a wise choice. The team at GFC knows construction and ERP, and believes that Acumatica for Construction is a right-priced, low-risk solution.

Let us show you how a modern solution can give you the tools you need to grow your business, keep projects running smoothly, make your customers happy, and turn a reliable profit.

Read more about 5 Benefits of Cloud Construction Management and then give us a call to discuss your unique business needs.

Construction firms can no longer stay competitive by relying on paper-based processes, manual workflows, and an endless barrage of emails. Smart, forward-thinking firms are moving their businesses to the cloud. With cloud-based solutions, they’re finding the powerful communication tools and automated workflows they need to maximize the profitability of every project.

Don’t get left behind on yesterday’s technology. Take the first step towards a better bottom line today.

 

Best KPIs for Manufacturers

Best KPIs for Manufacturers

Technology has made powerful, flexible measurement systems with KPI capability both affordable and user-driven. 

“KPIs are a standard business management tool that is becoming both more powerful and at the same time easier to use thanks to packaged Business Intelligence and Executive Information Systems applications that are part of a comprehensive back office software system.” 

Every kind of manufacturing company, in all industry segments including automotive, food and beverage, health and beauty, electronics, industrial machines, metal fabrication, plastics, etc., rely on measurements to monitor business activities and performance, document successes and challenges, and help direct management decision-making. 

Of course, while we measure a number of parameters simply to comply with mandatory accounting and reporting requirements, smart management will incorporate those measurements into valuable intelligence that helps run the business more effectively and more efficiently.  

“KPIs are a standard business management tool that is becoming both more powerful and at the same time easier to use thanks to packaged Business Intelligence and Executive Information Systems applications that are part of a comprehensive back-office software system.”  

Download this free whitepaper from Acumatica and learn: 

  • What is a key performance indicator 
  • Types of KPIs and those specific to manufacturing 
  • How to use and reap the benefits of KPIs 
  • Ongoing KPI maintenance including adjustments and expansions 
  • anytime, anywhere. 
Historical and Predictive KPIs – Which Should You Use? 

There are two basic types of KPIs.  First, ones that tell you where your business has been and where you are headed.  The other, shows you the overall health of your business.  

Historical KPIs allow you to easily measure past activity, and showcase where your business will likely go in the future based on that history. They can be set up with alerts and warnings to monitor and detect exceptions, based on historical data, and call attention to issues.  These systems can even alert you via email or text. 

The second type of KPIs are predictive.  These can provide multiple lines of insight into where your business could go in the future.  By utilizing all your business data, predictive KPIs can help you make better decisions for your business.  In other words, predictive metrics don’t rely on the experience of previous tasks.  These metrics show future results according to which the optimal production scenario for the whole factory is made evident. For example, when production runs smoothly, peripheral departments such as sales, supply chain management, etc. are affected positively, as their value-added activities are conducted in alignment with the shop floor. 

As performance indicators of the future, Predictive KPIs usually contain information around: 

  • Inventory – Total inventory value, raw material inventory, WIP inventory, finished goods material value, and others 
  • Resources – Productivity, OEE, manufacturing time, setup time, capacity load and others 
  • Products and Customers – Production quantity, manufacturing cost, contribution margin, profitability, and others 
  • Orders – Earnings, profit, profit ratio, cumulative employee costs, cumulative total costs, and others 

One thing to note, you want to make sure your predictive KPIs exist for the entire planning period as well as pre-determined shorter planning periods. This forms an important pillar for making effective management decisions in every case, which is the reason that every manufacturing company today requires an end-to-end planning solution. 

Example KPIs for Manufacturing 

Plan vs. Actual Hours & Cost 

This KPI compares different areas of the shop, different processes, and different products.  By keeping a close eye on these metrics, you get an indication of how effectively your business is operating and how to improve overall results. 

Utilization & Capacity 

The ability to plan optimum utilization of resources is key to a lean shop.  Resource load balancing can help save on costs and improve on-time products, reduce overtime and expediting costs, and improve on deliver promise dates.  Utilization and capacity KPIs, also referred to as Work Center Dispatch KPIs, can easily be modified to fit your business so you’ll always know what each center is working on and what’s in the queue for completion. 

Production Scheduling 

This metric is a little bit more granular but offers better insight into workflows and resource utilization.  Many manufacturers use this as a starting point for defining a display of released orders in the plant and the current location and status of each. By using this production schedule KPI and the work center dispatch KPI, you can easily see the overall status of each work center and schedule across your departments or the entire shop. 

Profitability by Customer by Category by Item 

We all know that not all customers are created equally.  Some of them are highly profitable and others might cost your company money.  And this is true for products too.  It’s wise to review profitability of both customers and products on a regular basis.  This example of Sales and Profitability by Item Class and Item gives you plenty of data to better understand your business. 

 

KPIs may have originated in large, complex organizations but their value us universally recognized, and technology has made powerful, flexible measurement systems with KPI capability both affordable and user-driven so smaller organizations can benefit as well. 

Many KPIs are historical in nature, focused on summarization, presentation, and analysis of data commonly found in manufacturing management systems. User-managed alerts and alarms highlight activities and business areas that need attention, relieving busy managers from the need to pore over endless reports and screens. Built-in tools enable fast, intensive analysis to get to the heart of the problem and make sound, informed decisions. 

If you need better insight into your manufacturing business, talk to GaleForce.  We have the experts you need and solutions to match your unique business and pricepoint.  ERP solutions have evolved immensely over the past years and enterprise level features like KPIs are readily available for SMB level businesses.  Let’s talk.  Contact us today. 

 

How to Turn Your Manufacturing Business into the Factory of the Future

How to Turn Your Manufacturing Business into the Factory of the Future

For manufacturers to succeed in today’s digital economy, a modern factory is essential using innovative technologies to transform their businesses.  These tools will automate processes, improve quality, increase throughput, lower costs, bolster sales, and bring you higher profits.

Unfortunately, entry-level applications and legacy ERP solutions are hindering your growth with having to invest in costly customizations or complex, expensive, and disconnected hardware, system, and processes.  Replacing those systems with new, innovative cloud ERP solutions can modernize your factory and business operations.

There’s a better way, and it just takes a little planning.

Steps to a Digital Transformation

Without a complete plan, it’s challenging to modernize your manufacturing operations. How do you know that you have the right technologies in place to take your business to the next level? Are you confident your ERP system has the features you need, and they are set up correctly for your business?

The strategies you implement to automate your factory depends on how far you are in your digital transformation journey. Manufacturers who are just starting will have few automated processes using basic technologies. Manufacturers further along will have more automated processes using progressively more advanced technologies. The first step is to understand where you currently are before developing a digital transformation plan. Use the diagram below to chart your journey.

ERP Graph

Once you have an understanding of where you are, and where you want to be, you need to research options, prioritize activities, and develop a detailed plan.

  1. Foundation: Technology has evolved quickly. Does your current business system easily integrate with other applications or have an open architecture? Are there modules available to purchase to improve factory operations? Do you get instant, real-time data in reports and dashboards to help you make business decisions or are you waiting for days for reports to be pulled together?
  2. Research: Review your current system features and find where there are functional gaps. Not only now, but for future needs.  Then conduct a thorough business process review to identify areas that can be improved with automation.
  3. Prioritize: Reviewing the list of functional gaps, decide which ones are most important based on costs and benefits.
  4. Develop a Plan: Your plan should define your desired goal, supporting technologies, and a timeline and process for conducting the implementation from start to finish.

Turn your business into the factory of the future. It’s not just faster; it allows you to extend the abilities of your entire team, enabling them to do things they never imagined possible. Learn more about Acumatica, the cloud ERP and how you can modernize your operations.

“Acumatica provides the best business and industry management solution for transforming your business to thrive in the new digital economy. Built on a future-proof platform with an open architecture for modern technologies, rapid integrations, scalability, and ease of use, Acumatica delivers an unparalleled experience for users and customers alike.”

Ready to get started?

GaleForce Consulting Partners has the experience and expertise to help turn your business into a factory of the future.  We have helped businesses just like yours, pulled in multiple directions, leveraging a mess of disparate applications, and unable to get accurate information.  It doesn’t matter what system you’re using, how old it is, how bad your data is. We’re experts at taking what you have and determining what you ultimately want to do with it all. Then we dig in and figure out how to make it happen.

Give us a call and let’s talk growth. 1-833-432-7278.

In the meantime, download this free playbook and learn more: Download PDF – Prepare for the factory of the future with Acumatica Manufacturing Edition Playbook

  • Which eight feature categories to look for in your next manufacturing ERP.
  • How a modern ERP can support your use of 14 emerging technologies.
  • Four simple steps to digital transformation.
  • The four phases of creating a modern factory.
  • Why Acumatica Manufacturing Edition is ideal for transforming your manufacturing business.
  • You’ll also get a handy checklist that will help you assess your organization’s progress in building the factory of the future. Download the playbook now.

Read some of our successes and see how we’ve helped other manufacturers like you:

Dukathole Group boosted growth to meet the needs of the housing crisis.

Erickson International replaced Sage 100 with Acumatica and connected 7 locations and numerous disparate systems.

FSC Lighting improved processes and scaled rapidly with Acumatica, a modern ERP solution.

 

How to Get Paid Faster with Modern ERP Manufacturing Solutions

How to Get Paid Faster with Modern ERP Manufacturing Solutions

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

ManufacturingManufacturing 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?

Construction WorkersManufacturers 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.

Why Medical Startups Choose Acumatica Cloud ERP

Why Medical Startups Choose Acumatica Cloud ERP

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.

Procure-to-Pay Process

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.

Chart of P2P Process

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:
Acumatica_Manufacturing_Material-Requirements-Planning-MRP_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.

 

Increase Business Value with an Agile Procure-to-Pay Process

Increase Business Value with an Agile Procure-to-Pay Process

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

  1. Item Definition
  2. Supplier Management
  3. Replenishment Setup

Phase 1 Preparation

Phase 2: Procurement

  1. Purchase requisitions
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. Receipt of Goods and Put Away

Phase 2 Procurement

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