Over the years, small to midsized manufacturing companies have pieced together multiple applications to run their operations from accounting to order fulfillment, to sales and marketing. This infrastructure lacks many of the capabilities that companies need, provides limited visibility into essential business information and will not enable companies to adapt to changing market conditions and new business models.
Unfortunately, this piecemeal approach results in companies trying to grow by adding even more systems or niche applications—which often aren’t integrated with each other. This application
complexity results in manual tasks and bottlenecks, and increasing risks and errors.
For years, Trivium and NetSuite has worked with manufacturing businesses of all sizes across all geographies. While these businesses are diverse, they experience similar challenges in dealing with systems that are outdated or they’ve outgrown.
What follows is a summary of many of the issues that manufacturers typically face, and why so many have decided to move to NetSuite—the #1 cloud ERP for manufacturing companies. Here, NetSuite customers describe why their companies made the decision, how they’ve implemented NetSuite and the benefits they’re experiencing.
If you are concerned that your current systems are holding your business back, know that you are not alone—and that there is a better way.
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Whether you’re running a manufacturing company, distributorship, or a retail organization, your supply chain is becoming increasingly complex and managing it is getting more difficult every year. As those complexities escalate, straightforward tasks like getting accurate forecasts around customer demand and future orders require additional time, resources and labor.
This is especially true for companies that haven’t embraced digital supply chain management and are operating their supply chains with manual processes and siloed, outdated technology solutions.
“Supply chains are broadening out to incorporate more suppliers and customers that are dispersed across more geographies,” says Gavin Davidson, Oracle NetSuite’s Product Marketing Manager for ERP. “At the same time, companies are trying to get the best price and delivery options as quickly as possible. Combined, these factors are just further complicating sup- ply chain and logistics processes.”
The challenges don’t end there. Companies are also working with a larger pool of vendors, each of which has its own method of collecting and sharing data. Where fully-automated suppliers may provide shipment status updates in real-time, for example, at the other end of the spectrum are those that use manual systems, still mostly relying on phone calls and emails. Those companies that provide manual updates, or even none at all, are at risk out of going out of business. These information gaps pose major challenges for manufacturers and distributors across nearly all industry sectors. In food and beverage, pharma, and biotech, for example, compliance, traceability, and accountability are top priorities. With organizations like the FDA and the USDA constantly enhancing compliance requirements, companies must be able to provide accurate information quickly and reliably. For instance, the FDA is extremely unforgiving of data mistyping, which means manual systems generally can’t stand up to its requirements. To ensure the highest levels of accuracy, the FDA is requiring more companies use data capture at the source and in real-time, both of which can be achieved by implementing a unified, cloud- based ERP. “A lot of the data that end customers and regulatory bodies are demanding has to be provided in an electronic format,” says Gerard Gray, Oracle Net- Suite’s Principal Product Manager for Manufacturing and Food and Beverage, “be it through electronic data interchange (EDI) or via integrations to external systems.”
Your customers want more
As the pace of change increases, businesses can’t afford to wait on the next technology update, nor can they spare resources to implement those upgrades, diverting resources from value-add initiatives that improve company strategies and operations. Instead, manufacturers and distributors need a fully-integrated ERP solution that tracks and stores data across many different departments, employees, products, services, suppliers, and customers. That data provides a single source of truth leading to accurate analytics and actionable insights that support informed decision-making.
The autonomous supply chain processes and acts on requests (e.g. to retrieve a component from a specific location and take it to a delivery point) with little or no human intervention, freeing up organizations to do what they do best: run, innovate and grow their businesses. Supported by a unified, cloud-based ERP, the autonomous supply chain generates a long list of benefits for both manufacturers and distributors, including reduced costs, improved efficiencies, and better planning and visibility.
“The more processes you can automate within your supply chain, with the resultant data being sent directly into your central business system,” says Davidson, “the more free time and resources you’ll have to continue driving value for your company.”
Inventory management is another key component of the digital supply chain. Ignoring this essential element can leave companies either out of stock on “hot” items and grappling with unhappy customers or overstocked on slow-movers and stuck with capital-intensive inventory. It also hampers a company’s flexibility and agility, thanks to resources being tied up and/or customers lost to companies that have more accurate inventory visibility. These scenarios are dangerous in an environment where the Amazon Effect has minimized customer delivery expectations down to a mere day or two at most.
Visibility also comes into play in the digital world, where buyers are used to logging into portals to see where their orders are at any given time. After all, when you can tap the Domino’s mobile app to place an order, get updates when the oven “fires up,” and then track the driver’s route to your house, why wouldn’t you be able to do the same thing with your order of fasteners, office
the digital supply chain really comes down to being able to promise those customers accurate delivery dates, sharing data with them, and meeting those delivery commitments as often as possible.” If your company doesn’t do any of these things, your customers will find someone who can.
In some cases, the slow adopters have employed in- house systems for decades because they like the “control” that comes with being able to see, touch, and feel computer equipment and servers. The problem is that these systems are now getting old, with many of them outliving their useful life at a time when advanced technologies are growing in popularity.
“These shippers put their businesses at risk by not moving forward and adopting technologies like Oracle NetSuite,” says Davidson, who has seen an uptick in
advancements drove the growth of the ecommerce sector, both Compac’s consumer and competitive landscapes were revolutionized.
As its business continued to evolve, Compac recognized the limitations of its antiquated ERP system and its manual processes, often done in Excel. To propel its brand strategy and future growth, Compac needed the right technology partner to manage the entirety of the business, from customers, to inventory and financials. Compac switched from its Sage ERP platform to NetSuite in 2017.
Today, Compac leverages a full business management suite, managing financials and accounting, inventory, warehouse operations, customers and email marketing on the NetSuite platform. During a recent webinar, second generation extending a digitized supply chain out to customers and suppliers.
Along the way, you’ll probably learn that many of those vendors are experiencing the same challenges that you are. This creates an opportunity to collaborate and enhance those vendor relationships. “NetSuite offers a complete range of business functions within its overall solution, but it doesn’t demand that you implement all of those areas simultaneously,” Davidson points out. “You can adopt more functionalities over time, choose the areas that are particularly impactful at the moment, and then advance in a very controlled manner.”
When combined, these small steps help advance companies of all sizes toward automating their supply chain. “With the autonomous products, or fresh produce?
“Customers want to see what products you have in stock, view shipping windows, enter their orders, and then track those shipments from door-to-door,” says Gray. “They already have this kind of control and buying power in their personal lives, and now they also expect it with their business transactions.”
Small, family-owned entities that are run by older generations are known to be wary of new technology, but they’re certainly not alone in their fear of the unknown. The midsized manufacturer that doesn’t want to give away its “trade secrets” through data-sharing and the large distributor that’s still using clipboards and spreadsheets to manage
inventory both fall into the same boat of organizations that are reluctant to invest in and implement modern supply chain technology.
Pointing to barcoding and RFID as two technologies that have proliferated in the distribution center and on the warehouse floor, Gray says some end customers are
demanding labels that can be read with a mobile phone. This puts new pressure on shippers, who could risk losing those customers if they don’t step up and digitize
quickly. The companies that ignore this reality not only fall behind the competition, but also hurt their own operational efficiencies.
“The cost of acquiring new customers is huge, so the impact of losing them and not being able to replace them is even steeper,” says Davidson. “At the end of the day, the digital supply chain really comes down to being able to promise those customers accurate delivery dates, sharing data with them, and meeting those delivery commitments as often as possible.”
If your company doesn’t do any of these things, your customers will find someone who can.
In some cases, the slow adopters have employed inhouse systems for decades because they like the “control” that comes with being able to see, touch, and feel computer
equipment and servers. The problem is that these systems are now getting old, with many of them outliving their useful life at a time when advanced technologies are
growing in popularity.
“These shippers put their businesses at risk by not moving forward and adopting technologies like Oracle NetSuite,” says Davidson, who has seen an uptick in
adoption by companies where new generations have taken over the reins. “Their minds are much more open to adopting technology, and I expect that to continue over
the next few years.”
As that shift occurs, the companies that get onboard will also have to reassess employees’ and managers’ roles, and particularly when it comes to gathering, utilizing, and sharing data in a productive manner. “In manufacturing and distribution companies right now, there are some non-traditional roles that aren’t being identified and/or filled,” says Davidson. “Because these new technologies pump out a lot of data, it’s not inconceivable for shippers to have a data scientist onboard to analyze the information and ensure that it supports the organization’s strategy.”
For many companies, the thought of automating the supply chain sounds both daunting and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Having shepherded many organizations through the process, both Gray and Davidson say the key to automation is to start small. For example, a company that relies heavily on paper to manage its fulfillment operations could start by trying to go paperless. This strategy is forward-looking because in the end, going paperless is a primary component of extending a digitized supply chain out to customers
and suppliers. Along the way, you’ll probably learn that many of those vendors are experiencing the same challenges that you are. This creates an opportunity to collaborate
and enhance those vendor relationships. “NetSuite offers a complete range of business functions within its overall solution, but it doesn’t demand that you implement all of those areas simultaneously,” Davidson points out. “You can adopt more functionalities over time, choose the areas that are particularly impactful at the moment, and then advance in a very controlled manner.”
When combined, these small steps help advance companies of all sizes toward automating their supply chain. “With the autonomous supply chain, all of the information coming in from suppliers goes right into a centralized, unified platform,” says Davidson, “where all of the numbers are crunched, and recommendations made. It’ll even tell you when things are going sideways and show you what to do about that.”
For organizations that are just starting down the digital supply chain path, Davidson says the best first step is to examine whatever centralized business system you’re using now and determine whether it’s open and able to communicate and receive data in the cloud. In addition to making digital supply chain management possible, cloud ERP also has increased ease of adoption, lower total cost of ownership, and more flexibility and scalability than legacy systems.
By embracing the cloud as part of their digital supply chain strategies, companies are not only better positioned for today’s fast-paced, highly-competitive environment, but they can also significantly improve employee satisfaction and retention while also attracting a younger, more digital-savvy workforce. “Self-analyze and make sure that whatever your company’s current and future strategies are, they can be attained with the processes that you have in place,” says Davidson. “If not, then it’s time for a change.”
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — January, 2022 — Trivium, a finance, accounting, HR, ERP, M&A and tax consulting firm, today announced that it has joined the Oracle NetSuite Solution Provider Program. With NetSuite, Trivium will help its customers take advantage of a powerful cloud ERP platform to gain the visibility and control needed to unlock growth and take their businesses to the next level.
“Businesses need an integrated and flexible ERP platform that can meet changing demands and NetSuite, with its robust customization capabilities, offers the very best in the industry,” said Scott Williams, VP of Corp. Development & Customer Success, Trivium Corporate Solutions. “Our strategic alliance with NetSuite, coupled with our unique perspective as real-life NetSuite users, means we can offer our clients greater value and seamless implementations.”
By joining the program, Trivium is able to leverage its extensive experience to promote, implement, and tailor NetSuite to its clients in the tech and innovation space. The NetSuite Solution Provider Program provides access to a comprehensive portfolio of enablement and entitlement activities, which helps NetSuite partners to grow quickly and unlock new revenue opportunities. NetSuite partners can leverage every aspect of the suite, including ERP, HCM, inventory management, CRM, and ecommerce. As part of the program, Trivium is also joining the NetSuite SuiteLife initiative. SuiteLife helps accelerate partner onboarding and provides multiple layers of engagement and support, as well as access to NetSuite best practices.
“We are pleased to welcome Trivium to our Solution Provider Program and SuiteLife initiative,” said Craig West, vice president of channel sales and alliances, Oracle NetSuite. “We look forward to working with the team at Trivium to combine their expertise with our robust suite of technologies to create new revenue and growth opportunities for them and achieve mutual success for our customers.”
About NetSuite Solution Provider Program
The NetSuite Solution Provider Program allows NetSuite partners to take advantage of the growing demand for cloud ERP to expand their businesses. As part of the program, partners have access to strategic practice planning, in-person and on-demand training across functional areas, and assets and best practices to support the entire customer acquisition and success lifecycle. In addition, the robust cloud platform delivered by NetSuite, which includes ERP, HCM, inventory management, CRM, and ecommerce, enables partners to grow quickly. As a NetSuite partner, organizations will spend less time solving technology issues and more time solving business issues to help their customers grow.
Trivium Corporate Solutions is a finance, accounting, human resources, and tax consulting firm offering early-mid stage companies strategy consulting as well as support ranging from administrative to CFO-level expertise.
We provide tailored packages for clients allowing them to use service levels that scale to the needs of their organization. We partner with clients to manage non-technical requirements freeing up time and resources which can be reallocated towards product/service development, reducing cost and increasing flexibility during their growth stage.
COVID-19 has seemingly forced a new normal era everywhere. One of the most challenging tasks during this time has been working from home and maintaining productivity at the same time.
What we have got used to on Zoom / Microsoft Teams / Google Meet are sentences like:
Long gone are the days when you could stand and talk to your colleague or be called to the manager’s office. It may be common to attend online meetings and conferences in shorts and wearing a shirt above or have a family member walk by during your office call. While all these tasks may seem simple or downright funny, the remote world has taken time to adjust to it.
Companies scrambled to adjust their business operations, technology tools and infrastructure to this new scenario. During the pandemic, more associations and leaders are seeing that without compassion, understanding and a positive plan, their organizations are battling to achieve targets. Pro-Employee work culture should consistently be a significant factor. It's the glue that holds associations together during the various difficulties.
Maintaining a good work culture and productivity while working remotely has been an uphill task, but that’s the one which every company must adhere to.
Building a positive work environment is a must, as working from your own house is not as inspiring as working in an office.
Managers must talk to their employees on the lines of health too, rather than just talking about their work. Just sticking to your business is not humane and what must be done in these times is chat along and make sure that your employee / colleague / boss is genuinely fine. Small gestures, like a quick email to ask how someone’s day is or a quick call to see if there is anything you can do to help can go a long way in building a culture and a subsequent community.
According to a recent Slack survey, "nearly half of newly remote workers say that working from home has negatively affected their sense of belonging and productivity."
Representatives who weren't far off the remote engagement before, now acknowledge they're more beneficial and cheerful telecommuting and would like to stay away for the indefinite future to the workplace. Others feel wide off the mark without the presence of others and can hardly wait to return. Thus, it’s important to focus on building a positive work culture.
Companies with a healthy culture also see less turnover and lower levels of absenteeism, which can directly impact the company's bottom line.
Need help navigating work culture during the pandemic? Reach out to us.
When a company has disparate systems and can’t integrate their inventory management with order management, it can cause lags in fulfillment and costly errors. The need for a platform that could be implemented quickly at a predictable cost to meet changing demand is imperative to a company’s ability to scale and thrive. NetSuite’s customization capabilities and pre-packaged SuiteSuccess solution is just that platform.
The ability to help customers go-live faster, gain end-to-end visibility of orders and inventory and streamline their entire supply chain to one system can change the way your company does business.
If so, it might be time for NetSuite.
Are you ready to grow? Are you committed to scaling? What's holding you back?
Too many platforms can cause unnecessary complications, confusion and actually adds work to an organization. How many tabs do you have open on your browser right now?
If you have multiple software programs running different aspects of your business, NetSuite may be right for you
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Return to work is here. Are you ready? A conversation with Vintage Foster, CEO, AMF Media Group and Sonia Clark, VP of Talent Strategy, Trivium Corporate Solutions