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Top 5 Inventory Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Top 5 Inventory Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Days before the solar eclipse of 2017 it became nearly impossible to purchase the special glasses needed to safely observe the event. People rushing from store to store in a frenzy trying to locate the last available pair of glasses, found the stores had just not planned well… they had nothing left. It got so bad that some stores reported customers coming to blows as they fought over the remaining items. To make matters worse, Amazon and Walmart had to let customers know that the glasses they purchased might not be safe. Some brands were not made to the proper specifications and could not be trusted. Walmart reported another problem… the stock they had ordered never arrived. That should not have happened at Walmart, a store known for its amazing supply chain. They manage over 11,000 stores in 27 countries, requiring a technological tour de force that rarely lets them down. Balancing supply and demand completely overwhelmed most retail and manufacturing entities. Somehow, their systems failed them. Inventory planning and management are among the most important tasks, as this event clearly demonstrated. When not managed well, the failure can be catastrophic. Rootstock recently conducted a webinar designed to identify 5 […]

The Wild West of Ransomware is here…

Ransomware is one of the newest malware threats in the news. (Mal, the Latin root for “bad” or “evil,” forms words like malfunction, maltreat, and malice.) And ransomware is truly bad! An attack will literally hold companies’ user systems hostage until they agree to pay the “ransom” request via Bitcoin or another hard to trace online payment. The FBI is warning it’s on the rise, and not just for single users- businesses, government agencies, law enforcement, healthcare, and academic institutions have all been victims. As UPS recently found out, ransomware is powerful and hard to prevent if you are not prepared. The usual “phishing” or “spoofing” of malware is becoming more common. Hackers are now better at designing corporate brand logos, legal disclaimers and colors to fool the consumer, tricking the clicker to click. But the world of ransomware is taking a huge leap with sophisticated hackers infecting corporate data platforms and stealing financial data. Recent attacks have wreaked havoc on large scale operations with multiple platforms. Ransomware extortionists like CryptoLocker, Lockey and KeRanger have become the new wild west of ransom hackers. Seeing a ransom note declaring your data access will not return until you send in tens of […]

The Internet of Things Comes to Manufacturing

What that means for you now, and in the years ahead When it comes to manufacturing, IoT developments can certainly impact what you make. The use of IoT-enabled devices – everything from cars to consumer appliances to healthcare equipment – is exploding. Actually, that might be an understatement. According to a Gartner Research report published in February, “8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion in 2017.” So, chances are pretty good that, sooner or later, the things you produce will have the ability to communicate with other things, and to share data. The application of IoT technology is spreading that quickly. But no matter what you manufacture, the Internet of Things is certainly going to change how you make it. In fact, that’s already happening. Walk around your own factory floor and you’ll see examples – large and small – of how IoT is transforming your processes, improving efficiencies, reducing downtime. That doesn’t mean your manufacturing facilities are going to run without human oversight next week or even next year. But even if […]

Catch Them While You Can: Why You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore the Value of B2B e-commerce

At first, B2B e-commerce was pretty simple. Storefronts, the ability to reorder consumables, or request service. Basic steps in response to an emerging desire by customers to serve themselves, online. Now? Your customers no longer distinguish between you and Amazon or any other consumer outfit. To them, online is online and they expect speed, simplicity, an elegant user experience, and complete control. Yes, this presents more challenges to a manufacturer than to a typical retailer, especially in light of the dependence on legacy ERP systems. Unfortunately, your customers are unsympathetic. Give them what they want, or risk losing them to somebody who will. Nobody can predict what the e-commerce landscape for manufacturers will look like going forward, given the breadth and speed of the disruption that’s taking place. Just one example: what’s going to happen to channel partners and distributors as customers continue to seek a more direct relationship with you? Will the middlemen adapt? How? If not, will they cease to exist? Big questions that currently have no clear answers. But here’s something we do know for sure. If you’re not learning from the example of B2C and e-commerce pioneers in B2B, and looking for ways to adopt their […]

The Impact of the Cloud on Manufacturing

Today’s manufacturers need to be agile in order to respond quickly to dynamic markets and changing customer demands. They must implement streamlined and efficient workflows that increase the speed of deployment and provide scalability. Manufacturers know that when they become more agile, they become more competitive and successful. That’s why they have turned to the cloud. The cloud enables automation, and more automation not only makes a firm more nimble, it also leads to increased revenues through cost efficiency and new revenue streams. The cloud gives firms the ability to store large amounts of data and then access that data in real-time from anywhere, and this allows just-in-time business decisions and increased collaboration across the entire supply chain. Cloud-based ERP solutions give companies end-to-end visibility into their entire operations, resulting in greater flexibility and adaptability and ultimately, greater profits. In a 2016 survey by Inspirage, 73% of manufacturing companies responding considered it important or very important that cloud ERP software establish and scale collaboration to reduce risk and increase agility. By now, the benefits of the cloud should be old news: on-demand real-time access to data and resources, scalability, data storage, reduced costs and the ability to connect core manufacturing […]

Will US Manufacturing Growth Drive Technology Advances?

The US manufacturing sector has been enjoying some good news lately. Manufacturing in the United States grew for the sixth consecutive month in February, as reported by the Institute for Supply Management. During that same period, inventories contracted, which is proof that manufacturers know that to compete and grow, they need to be as flexible and efficient as possible. Cloud ERP is specifically designed to help manufacturers become more flexible and more efficient, and the ecosystems built around cloud ERP give these firms the end-to-end solutions they need to apply these principles to their entire organization. We believe that the continuing growth and contracting inventories will drive manufacturers to embrace cloud-based ERP ecosystems and the technology innovations that these ecosystems make possible. According to the most recent monthly executive survey from the Institute for Supply Management, the US manufacturing sector grew for the sixth consecutive month in February. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 57.7% for the month, a 1.7% increase over January and the highest total since August 2014. The PMI passed the 50% threshold for manufacturing growth back in September 2016. Indexes for new orders and production also increased for the sixth consecutive month in February. New orders […]

Rootstock Continues to Win Recognition with THINKstrategies ‘BoSS’ Showplace Award

We know that our Cloud ERP solution can help manufacturing firms reduce costs, increase sales and customer satisfaction, speed up operations and enjoy greater profitability. Apparently, thought leaders and experts in our industry agree with us. We are proud to have received THINKstrategies’ Best of SaaS Showplace Award (BoSS), which recognizes SaaS companies that are delivering measurable business benefits to specific user organizations. THINKstrategies, Inc. is a leading strategic consulting company and they focus on the business implications of the cloud computing services market. The BoSS Awards promote the measurable business benefits delivered by today’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions. The BoSS Award recognized Rootstock customers who have gained significant business benefits from our cloud ERP solutions. For example, Direct Energy Solar was able to reduce its monthly inventory adjustments from upwards of $100,000 to less than $10,000 even as the company grew 2,000 percent. Another Rootstock customer, 1st Light Energy, replaced an eight-step manual customer on-boarding process to just two clicks that saves 25 man-hours per month. Jeffrey M. Kaplan, managing director of THINKstrategies, the strategic consulting firm that conceived and administers the Cloud Computing Showplace, noted that “Rootstock’s Cloud-based applications clearly illustrate how a new generation of ‘back-office’ SaaS solutions […]

Rootstock’s Growing Partner Network

At Rootstock, we’re serious about supporting manufacturers who compete on a global scale. Not only does our Cloud ERP provide an ideal manufacturing ERP solution for international firms with global supply chains, but also our partner network continues to expand around the world as well, adding even more technology, sales and service for our customers. Rootstock partners only with best-of-breed companies around the world that add real value to our Cloud ERP solutions. Our partners in North America, Europe and Australia build apps to extend our Cloud ERP solutions, provide support and implementation services, and sells our solutions in regions all around the world. As more firms see the value of our Cloud ERP solution, our partner network has also grown, especially in Europe. Partners in Europe Our most important partner is Vanenburg Software in the Netherlands. Vanenburg was founded by Jan Baan, an internationally recognized leader who played a key role in creating the worldwide market for ERP software. Vanenburg is an independent software and services organization that delivers process-centric solutions and apps developed on Open techniques that allow organizations to continuously improve their business operations. As a premier Channel Partner of Rootstock Software, Vanenburg represents Rootstock’s cloud-based ERP […]

Why Choose a New Cloud ERP Solution?

Everybody’s getting lean. Manufacturers have known for some time that in order to compete locally or globally, be profitable and grown their companies, they need to adapt lean manufacturing techniques to reduce waste, increase efficiency, sustain continuous process improvement, ensure product quality and support just-in-time manufacturing. Lately these firms have been embracing cloud ERP in their efforts to get lean. Why are manufacturers choosing cloud-based ERP solutions? First, many of these firms have discovered that legacy ERP systems are simply too expensive, difficult to use and don’t grow with their company. Sure, some legacy, on-premise ERP vendors are promising some cloud-based functionality, but often these are bolted-on afterthoughts in an effort to get some of the cloud ERP market share. A true cloud-based ERP solution is one that is designed and implemented in the cloud and takes advantage of storage, real-time access and mobility benefits that the cloud provides. Cloud ERP’s ability to provide real-time access to critical data allows firms to track every step and component in their supply chain. For example, firms can use cloud ERP to track production, receiving, yields and efficiency, and their production workers can then access this data in real time on their smartphones. […]

Check Vendor’s Manufacturing Expertise Before Selecting Your New Cloud ERP

As you begin your quest to find the cloud manufacturing ERP you need to help run your company, you are going to note a similarity among a great number of them. Many Cloud ERP packages have fallen short, because in the rush to get to the Cloud, they are either severely limited in functionality or they are only replications of a predecessor legacy ERP package supporting one business type. They do not acknowledge that manufacturers of today require a greater variety of manufacturing methods and services to be supported. You don’t need to be a software Sherlock Holmes to conclude that many of these apps were not created by people that understand manufacturing, especially in today’s world. Of course, that is not true in all cases. Consider the following quote from the noted research firm, Frost and Sullivan. “Rootstock has secured an edge for itself over its competitors by leveraging its strong technical expertise and years of manufacturing experience to build a broad and deep end-to-end functional cloud ERP solution in a short time frame,” reported Sankara Narayanan, Frost & Sullivan Senior Analyst. “This solution supports requirements for multiple modes of manufacturing and enables real-time management of manufacturing for customers […]