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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 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 […]

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 […]

4 Myths About Cloud ERP Software

Manufacturing firms have been moving to the cloud for their ERP software. Yet some myths about cloud ERP persist. Myth 1 – Cloud ERP is Too Costly We’ve heard this one many times before. But industry analysts disagree. Their studies conclude that cloud-based ERP software reduces infrastructure, maintenance and lifecycle costs by as much 54%, and save money and time by increasing real-time collaboration and reducing time to market. Cloud ERP lets firms spend less on IT. Over a three- to five-year period, consider the hardware, software, implementation, customization, training, support and maintenance costs required for on-premise ERP. These items simply do not exist or are easier to implement with cloud ERP, which doesn’t need large computers or onsite staff to maintain them. Myth 2 – Cloud ERP is Not Secure Another persistent myth about cloud ERP is that it’s not secure. When cloud solutions first appeared, sure, security was a major concern. But this is no longer true with the best cloud-based ERP systems of today. Security for these systems includes firewalls, two-factor authentication, advanced encryption, frequent security updates, and detection. Compare the cloud ERP security to legacy ERP security. The Aberdeen Group recently wrote in the article “Web […]

Manufacturers are Looking to the Cloud: Part 5

Manufacturing ERP and Salesforce Manufacturers who have moved to cloud ERP have found that the access to big data on demand leads to improved business intelligence, and they can use this information to coordinate and collaborate with every department at every step in the supply chain. As the leading cloud platform, Salesforce provides a stable and growing cloud ecosystem for manufacturers looking for cloud-based ERP solutions. In most cases, manufacturers want to choose a cloud ERP system is designed specifically for the Salesforce ecosystem and is 100 percent native to that platform, which means that their software runs 100 percent within Salesforce. The cloud ERP solution should support multiple companies, multiple divisions and multiple sites, all within a single tenant on the Salesforce platform. A powerful cloud ERP solution represents every step in the manufacturing process, increasing efficiencies, controlling costs and, ultimately, increasing revenue. Check to see if the ERP has modules for sales order management, purchase order management, production engineering, inventory management, lot and serial control, scheduling and capacity planning, shop floor control, material requirements planning (MRP), manufacturing cost control and project control modules. Since the development of the Salesforce ecosystem, manufacturing firms can take advantage of such cloud-based […]

Manufacturers are Looking to the Cloud: Part 3

Major Players in Cloud ERP As cloud computing continues to dominate the discussion of manufacturing ERP, several major players have emerged, with Salesforce becoming the premier platform. It’s no surprise that Amazon and Google are both vying to become big players in cloud computing. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an IaaS. NewsCorp plans to move 75 percent of its physical infrastructure into the AWS cloud over a three-year period. Info is one cloud ERP vendor based on AWS. Meanwhile, Google Cloud Platform is a set of modular cloud-based services that lets you to create anything from simple websites to complex applications. Google Cloud Platform’s list of products is smaller than AWS and focuses mainly on classic IaaS and PaaS services. Not to be outdone, Microsoft has released Azure, their cloud computing platform and infrastructure for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. It provides both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and supports different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. Some cloud ERP vendors are offered on Netsuite’s SuiteCloud platform, which offers customizability, but can be complicated and time-consuming to configure. […]

Manufacturers are Looking to the Cloud: Part 2

What the Analysts Say According to a recent study by Gartner, SaaS-based manufacturing and distribution software will increase from 22 percent in 2013 to 45 percent by 2023. Gartner predicts that the catalyst for much of this growth will be two-tier Cloud ERP system adoption. Gartner also predicted that, by 2016, “heavily customized ERP implementations will be routinely referred to as ‘legacy ERP.’ In its place will be a “more federated, loosely coupled ERP environment with much of the functionality sourced as cloud services or via business process outsourcers.” By 2018, at least 30 percent of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud. The same study found that a total of 47 percent of organizations surveyed plan to move their core ERP systems to the cloud within five years, and 30 percent said that the majority of their ERP systems would be on-premises for the foreseeable future. Two-tier or hybrid cloud ERP solutions are attractive to companies who have invested great resources in their on-premise ERP systems. These firms see hybrid systems as a way to modernize their systems without abandoning their on-premise ERP system entirely – they can add compatible functionality or equip […]