ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog

  • Nov 23 2018

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    Is your business's warehousing software scalable?

    Picking warehouse management software that's capable of changing with your business is key. As your business expands, your software should be able to grow with it and support your entire supply chain.A scalable software solution means it can do just that. You could start your business with 10 products and grow it to 1000 over time without having to manage a software transfer alongside your increasing sales. Similarly, if you start off wanting to record a simple inventory but want to expand it to manage your entire supply chain, you need business management software that can handle the change without complications.That's why it's important that alongside listing your products, your warehouse management software is capable of supporting your entire warehouse operations, from the arrival of goods, to their storage and shipping. It should optimise your process so it's easy for you to stay on top of your stock, however you choose to use it.Warehouse management software gives you an understanding not just of what you've bought and what you've sold, but what's happening in between and how.Here we explain why scalable software is so valuable to your overall warehouse management and how to know if yours is truly scalable.A tool that allows you to quickly locate each item of stock makes your entire warehouse operation more efficient.1) It can tell you more than just how many products you've soldA solution that enables you to keep on top of everything about your stock is crucial for large warehouses. This isn't just about the ability to keep track of a larger stock inventory, but about being able to change and improve the way your entire supply chain operates.You might start off selling black shoes, but if you then expand into selling the same shoe in 3 different colours and a wide range of sizes, you might want to start recording more details about each item of stock you hold. All these additional details let you drill down further into how stock is performing and what key aspects drive your sales, as well as ship or reorder the right product more quickly.Furthermore, as your business grows, a tool that allows you to quickly locate each item of stock makes your entire warehouse operation more efficient. Too much time is wasted in looking for misplaced stock, while profit is affected when items can't be found or orders fulfilled. With a system that helps you pinpoint stock from the moment it arrives to the day it's shipped, your operations are as efficient as possible and your customer orders satisfied within your promised delivery dates. A good warehouse management systems allows you to choose the most efficient method to fulfil individual orders. 2) Shipping and stock management are part of the same systemBeyond knowing what's in your storage facility, having a shipping system attached to your warehouse software allows you to streamline the way you do business without migrating to a new business management solution.With your shipping consignments working from the same database as your stock management, it's possible to direct the most efficient picking method for your warehouse. Modern warehouse management software allows you to organise orders to be batch or cluster picked according to the orders you have going out, and the resources you have available to fulfil them.Having one system to manage two aspects of your warehouse operations provides real-time data, an accurate picture of stock and up-to-date knowledge of your storage space and options.It also means you can keep track of stock that's being shipped between sites or branches, so that those products don't fall off your radar and create more work later down...

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  • Nov 2 2018

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    6 advanced features your business accounting software should have

    When selecting accounting software, businesses need to find a program that will work now and in the future. When a business grows, their accounting software should be able to handle it. Advanced accounting software can handle increased transactions, more complex reports or the ability to have a whole finance team accessing it at the same time.Here are some advanced features your business accounting software should have if you want it to do more for you.Inventory managementIntegrating inventory management with accounting provides accurate sales forecasting and cash flow, based on real-time information. It allows businesses to reconcile stock levels with actual sales, without combining reports from two systems to identify discrepancies. Companies can properly plan their stock orders and keep track of how much working capital is tied up in stock, while changing product costs automatically pulls through to invoices.

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  • Oct 29 2018

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    How to choose the right accounting software for your business's needs

    Gone are the days of paper accounting records piling up in the corner. Business accounting software gives you access to key information with ease, and makes reporting a simple task rather than a chore. The right kind of accounting software helps small businesses track their financial health and identify potential problems early - avoiding serious mistakes and being caught unaware.These days, accounting software solutions let you manage as much or as little as you need to within the package. As well as generating invoices and financial statements, you can also opt for features that split bills by project, track expenses, pay your staff and much more.Accounting software also saves you the hassle of learning advanced bookkeeping practices, with built-in reports and processes to provide the data you'll need from the information you record.With so much on offer though, it can be tricky to work out which is the right accounting software for your small business's needs. Here are 7 things to think about when choosing your accounting package. How to choose the right accounting software1. What do you want to do?Sometimes the biggest stumbling block to picking your accounting software is working out what you need it to do. You'll have an idea of tasks you already do that you'd like automated or streamlined. However, you may not know what other features you can merge into your accounting software until you start looking at the options. Start thinking about what kind of tasks your bookkeeping software could do for you as you research your options. Small businesses might want the following:Have payroll functionality.Allow multiple currencies.Enable work across different countries and appropriate tax rules and regulations.Provide flexible accounting periods.Manage various cost centres and departments.Integrate stock lists. Know what your accounting software needs - such as the ability to manage multiple currencies. 2. Who needs to access your bookkeeping software? Depending on the size of your business, you may only need a couple of people to have access to your accounting software, or you may need multiple users. If you run several businesses, you may even need software that can handle multiple businesses within one login. With multiuser access you can ensure that everyone at director level can see what's going on, but leave the day-to-day entry and invoicing to somebody else. You may want to find a package that allows you to give users different levels of permission, so you can control who is able to authorise payments or see sensitive information such as staff salary data.It might not be only people within your immediate business who need access, if you employ an accountant or bookkeeper outside of your payroll staff, you may want them to have access to certain parts of the software too.3. Are you limited to an office?When you choose your accounting software, it's important to think about how it will be used, as well as which features you need. If you have a full administrative office, it may only need to work in one location. However, if you're managing the day-to-day from client sites or from home, you'll need to know you can use your bookkeeping software from anywhere. Likewise, if you do work with an accountant and want them to have access, they need to be able to login from their own premises.Cloud-based systems make this option a reality, and some accounting software programs offer mobile apps you can use to make quick payments or get an overview of your data at a glance. Consider accounting software with a mobile app if you need access when out of the office. 4.

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  • Oct 15 2018

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    Why small businesses should prioritise financial reports

    Financial reports can be confusing to create and impossible to read, but they are crucial for any small business. Understanding where money is coming in from and what costs your business accrues enables you to make wise decisions for the future. You cannot plan growth or change if you don't know what you can spend, or if you're already eating into your profits - a small business needs financial reports.What are the benefits of good financial reports?A picture of revenue versus costs helps you predict your future.Good financial reports provide both an overview and detail. You need to be able to see quickly what you are operating with in terms of assets, cash and expenditure. But you also need to understand the long-term picture in order to make decisions about growth and investment.Well-organised and detailed financial reports show exactly what your business has available, what's coming in and what's going out. Having this sort of information to cover a large period of time builds a picture of revenue versus costs which help you predict your future and decide what changes need to be made. Good financial reports present a picture of income and expenditure. Why are financial reports so important for a small business?Decision making for the future - Big business decisions have to be logical, sensible and preferably supported by some form of research or data. Understanding how your business looks financially means you can make decisions about future investment wisely, with an understanding of what effect it will have on your day-to-day and future operations. You may identify costs that could be consolidated to streamline expenditure or identify areas that aren't bringing in as much money as you anticipated.Accountability - Financial reports allow you to scrutinise who or what is generating a profit, or draining resources. This means you start asking the right questions and address problem areas. Instead of guessing why your business is succeeding or failing, you can see clearly why and interrogate any failing systems. Accurate tax reporting - You need to be able to provide accurate accounts in order to prove tax obligations, as well as satisfy and attract shareholders and other investors. No one is going to trust a business that doesn't understand its own comings and goings. Finding software that presents data in a way you understand is key. ABM's software produces crucial statistics in data or graphical form, with the ability to export them into whichever format you need. You can search and filter reports to properly analyse the details.See how ABM can improve your financial overview with a live demo or by contacting our team today.

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  • Sep 6 2018

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    Managing stock: How Australian food waste is being developed into pharmaceuticals

    Stock levels, pricing, tracking and movement can be challenging to organise in any industry. Managing stock in order to limit waste is a key part of business strategy, and is a key purpose of our stock control solution, which comes as standard with our business management software.Food waste in particular has been a hot topic of discussion, with countries such as France passing laws to ensure supermarkets do not dispose of food unnecessarily and Australian brand Woolworths committing to reducing its landfill-destined food waste to zero by 2020.But it now looks like there could be a different approach to a solution. The newly formed Agricultural Product Development Research Consortium, hosted at the University of Adelaide, aims to revolutionise the way farmer waste is disposed of, by using it to create high-value pharmaceutical products.What is the new consortium intending to do?The broad aim of the consortium is to utilise the crop waste from Australian farmers to create useful products, rather than have it disposed of. The science behind it is that food products contain compounds and molecules that, when extracted, have the potential to become new and useful products.In order to implement the solution, the research is focusing on finding similar compounds and molecules across a range of food waste products so that they can be extracted on a mass scale, making the process cost-effective. It's possible that this new technology could not only reduce what is considered waste and the associated disposal costs in some instances, but could actually help keep grower businesses financially sustainable by reducing margins.  

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  • Sep 3 2018

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    How to manage multiple branches of a business

    If your business is spread across different sites, it is impossible to be there in person for every meeting or conversation. But with a bit of organisation and the right kind of business management software, it is possible to be on top of each branch.Follow our tips for managing multiple branches effectively and efficiently.Schedule in-branch timeThere is no substitute for visiting branches to get a feel for what's going on and how things are working out. Develop a workable schedule that allows you to visit each of your branches regularly, while also giving you time in between to get your out-of-branch tasks completed.How often you should visit obviously depends on location. If your branches are all local you might be able to dedicate a day at each branch once every week or two. If they are further afield, it may be more realistic to visit for two consecutive days every month. If different branches require more or less management, and you can keep this in mind when creating your schedule so your time isn't wasted.

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  • Aug 24 2018

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    How to improve your invoicing processes

    To make your invoicing faster, you need a system in place that allows flexibility, is easy-to-use, and can keep your quotes and other key information in the same place. Invoicing efficiency for businesses ensures timely payments and makes a good impression on clients. A business will not survive long if its invoicing procedures are sloppy, as cash flow is critical for a company to continue investing and meet running costs. Our Advanced Business Manager (ABM) solution enables you to customise your invoices and produce quotes in a simple interface.With our system you can overhaul your invoicing process by following these three tips.1. Invoice as soon as job is completeDifferent clients will have different payment cycles. Some will only make payments once or twice a month, and may have little or no flexibility. Whether or not you know their payment cycle, by sending an invoice as soon as possible, you maximise your chances of being included on their next batch. It also makes you look efficient and organised; sending an invoice several months after completion will not give a good impression. ABM allows you to send an invoice at any stage of a project, enabling you to customise your methods according to client preferences.

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  • Aug 14 2018

    The business benefits of time management software

    When it comes to keeping a business on track, time management software cannot be overlooked. Time is money, and if you're not recording it properly you won't be able to pay employees their due nor will you be able to invoice your customers properly.On top of the regular timesheet features in the base accounting software, ABM has the option for an additional jobs and timesheeting module. What benefits can it add to your business?1. You can track jobs more efficientlyKeeping on top of costs requires you know exactly what's going into a product in terms of both materials and labour. If you're not tracking time carefully, it can be easy to misunderstand what a product actually cost you to make, and therefore what you need to charge for it in order to profit. Job tracking also helps you learn how long jobs take, and gives you the opportunity to look for points in the production that can be improved.

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  • Jul 30 2018

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    What software do you need to run a successful online store?

    Running an online retail operation requires a lot of software to be successful. Using disparate software from a range of different developers can create a tangle of disconnected processes. What's preferable is an integrated, all-in-one solution - and that's exactly what ABM's Online Retail Management package delivers. It starts with a base accounting system on which your entire business can run - from there, optional modules can be added to make the software do everything and anything you could need it to do.What boxes does ABM tick for the software needs of an online retailer?An integrated e-commerce platformIn order to make any sales online, you need a platform to sell from. ABM has two optional modules that add e-commerce functionality - SPNet eCommerce or ABM eCommerce. Both create a website that's intuitive for customers to browse and find the products they're after. They both handle hosting and purchase payments, and integrate into the wider accounting platform that is ABM. Sales data goes straight into your accounting and report generating software, taking a great deal of work out of the process.Online sales require an online platform to sell from.The primary difference between the SPNet and ABM modules is the level of customisability by developers. If you want to significantly alter the functionality of your e-commerce platform, SPNet will be the option for you. If you're after a more out-of-the-box solution that doesn't need much customising, the ABM module will do they trick.Effective stock managementRunning an efficient online store requires smooth  stock management. If your product offerings fall into a style/colour/size organisation format, you'll find ABM's Structured Stock Management module incredibly effective. It provides the user the ability to manage their stock using a flexible structure, monitor stock levels and generate reports that tell you about which products contribute most to profit.Business intelligence capabilitiesOnline retail is an extremely competitive place, which is why you need to draw all the insights you can out of the data you have. That's what ABM's Alchemex Business Intelligence (BI) module is for. It's a lot more straightforward than some of the other BI tools out there, as it's based on a interface similar to Microsoft Excel - if you're familiar with that, generating reports with ABM will be a breeze.To learn more about ABM, schedule a demo today. One of our specialists will run you through the software and demonstrate how it can be tailored to your business' needs.

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  • Jul 22 2018

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    What do the new food labelling laws mean for manufacturers?

    As of July 1 when new regulations came in, all food sold in Australian retail stores must be labelled with its country of origin. For two years the labels were optional but they're now mandatory - and many Australian food manufacturers are pleased with the change.What does the new law specify and why is the change beneficial for Australian food manufacturers?What do the new food labelling laws specify?The law applies to most of the food sold retail in packages, as well as unpackaged seafood, certain meats, fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables in transparent packaging. It does not apply to unpackaged food like sandwiches or baked goods, products that are only exported, and food sold in restaurants or canteens.

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