ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Category - Manufacturers

  • Jun 22 2017

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    Food manufacturing is one ingredient away from the perfect recipe

    The food industry's future is looking up, especially in Australia.While grocery corporations continue to make headlines for technological innovations, such as the "smart" store that's slowly being rolled out by Amazon, it's the food manufacturing sector behind the scenes that's truly experiencing unparalleled success.Australian economy at largeThe Australian manufacturing industry has been in an upward trend for the last 8 months, according to the AI Group. It currently sits at a healthy 4.8 points above the neutral threshold, which is 50, and just two points below construction.The food and grocery sector composes 30 per cent of manufacturing.A recent report by Ernst & Young indicates its continued climb may not be ending anytime soon. The food, beverage and grocery sector now represents nearly one-third of the manufacturing industry's total worth. The sector is now valued at $126 billion AUD."While domestic conditions remain challenging, food and grocery processing is an area of strong export growth with an 11 per cent surge in food and beverage exports to $26b last year," Australian Food and Grocery Council chief executive Tanya Barden said.Sustaining successThe food manufacturing market will undoubtedly become more competitive in the coming years as larger corporations begin to use their resources to their advantage to push out small- and medium-sized businesses. Successful companies will be those that latch on to innovation not just for the warehouse floor, but for the back-end of operations as well.Streamlining manual processes like bookkeeping, project invoicing or asset management with business management software can help organisations in a number of ways. By eliminating human interaction, management can spend more time focusing on other ways to improve the business without having to worry about any potential mistakes being made that could put the company at a financial deficit. Technology on the back-end can provide the same benefits as it would on the warehouse floor. Integrating a platform that maps directly to your industry, rather than just the tasks you need to get done, is key. Businesses of all sizes should be aiming to create a technological ecosystem. For example, the stock control application should be able to seamlessly send information to the ledger and accounting module of the system.While food manufacturing continues its upward trend, the work that business owners do on the back-end of their business to improve efficiency and streamline manual processes will be the big difference maker. As it becomes a more competitive market, advantages will be found in technological integration that improves productivity and reliability across the board.Contact an Advanced Business Manager representative today to learn more.

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  • May 4 2017

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    Online grocery shopping signals food distribution revolution

    Grocery shopping is going digital, and AmazonFresh, Woolworths and Coles are leading the way.But at the heart of it all, the biggest change won't be experienced by the consumer. The food manufacturing and distribution sector is undergoing a slight revolution as small- and medium-sized businesses now have to account for the logistics of omnichannel ordering and delivery.Online shopping is inE-commerce is certainly a welcome luxury for many food shoppers, with 29 per cent of Australians reporting they would contemplate using a digital food shopping service, according to Roy Morgan Research.29% of Australians would go online to grocery shop.AmazonFresh is primed to join the ranks of a food manufacturing industry that just posted its best monthly performance result in the last year, the Australian Industry Group reported. This brings even more competition to the burgeoning market."But the threat of AmazonFresh is not just about technology, it's about competitive pricing, service and real estate," Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, told Australian Food News. "With heated price wars already characterising the current Australian supermarket scene, a new player of this magnitude will undoubtedly appeal to grocery shoppers."This shift in behaviour represents an opportunity for innovation on the back-end of operations. As grocery shopping goes digital, food manufacturers and distributors will need to reevaluate logistics. Take advantage of the changeWarehousing software will become increasingly vital as grocery stores are faced with the prospect of erratic consumer shopping trends online and varying stock needs at bricks-and-mortar. The very source of the competitive pricing Levine mentioned will fall directly on logistics.Improvements in efficiency will need to be identified through effective asset management strategies, which will ultimately reduce costs across the board. Small business management software will become increasingly important as the need for real-time oversight of the entire operations grows accordingly. Online grocery shopping is still a fledgling concept, which means there are bound to be irregularities in shopping patterns.Above all else, it's likely that the spread of digitisation also extends to the back office of many small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors. More focus and energy will need to be spent keeping up with fluctuating demands, urgent orders and potential issues on the warehouse floor. Accounting and finance information will be the last thing on management's mind as day-to-day operations become more hectic. It's entirely likely that many organisations will begin to take advantage of modern accounting software that's user-friendly and ensures consistent and accurate reporting.If you're interested in improving your warehouse and accounting management, contact an ABM representative today.

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  • Nov 11 2016

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    Meeting the needs of your customers in production

    The issues that arise from running a manufacturing facility aren't common for many. For some, however, inventory, stock costing and time from production to delivery are as regular as a broken plate in a cafe. It's imperative, then, that a solution be available to those needing to run their manufacturing facility both efficiently and profitably. To assist in this, warehousing and structured stock software offered by Advanced Business Manager provides a fully encompassing remedy to those common irritations that can spiral out of control.This is especially true for small companies as manufacturing operations come in all shapes and sizes. Below we'll look at a few ways automated accounting software and crucial add-ons can help streamline your business now, and as it continues to grow.Automating taxing business process will put you in a better position to make employee time more useful.Reduce reliance on every centSmall manufacturing operations will have a comparatively small market to which they serve. Not only is a smaller business more reliant on the revenue gained from each of their clients, any issues that occur can seem insurmountably difficult. Small businesses will also often have smaller legal, marketing, or client management teams.Business intelligence software can be tailored to address the daily operational concerns and issues faced by any of the small teams within a business. By automating many of the taxing processes that prevent employees from fully utilising their potential, you will be in a better position to redirect that free time to something more beneficial.Prevent failure of skill transferSmall businesses understandably have a small, but dedicated, team of employees. As the responsibilities of each employee may require either extensive training or specific knowledge across certain areas, employees and management teams alike may want to keep staff working for their entire careers. Keep revenue manageable with better stock control. The key issue with this is that once at retirement age, the crucial and imperative knowledge acquired by these individuals will need to be passed down to new employees. While documentation could be put in place, this only incurs further cost for your business.By implementing a business solution that can include database management or warehouse stock control, you can spend more time focusing on the human aspects of the business that matter, and leave the repetitive, time-consuming parts to software. There are many ways a tailored small business management software solution can benefit your business. To learn more, reach out to our team and book a free demo today.

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  • Sep 14 2016

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    Will humanoid robotics change manufacturing?

    The world is growing undeniably digital.The progress we've made in computing and cellular technology alone has afforded almost every one of us a device that can fit inside our front trouser pocket and enables us to access nearly every piece of information known to man in an instant. Everything we do is increasingly virtual, from shopping and dating, to attending university and posting our most intimate secrets online. A rise in digital ways of living are bringing rise to another form of advancement however: electromechanical manufacturing. If a global adoption of robotics in all sectors is successful, the manufacturing industry will see an even greater spike in production.A helping hand from roboticsUsing machines in manufacturing is by no means a new idea. A quick search around the internet will show that recently, many are wondering if their jobs will be replaced by automated robots, however these mechanical assistants have been widely employed in many industrial positions starting back in the 1960s. The adoption of robotics was an enticing option for many mass-production corporations, as they can be programmed to perform incredibly accurate actions repeatedly and without variation.However, these machines aren't robots of the humanoid variety, but more mechanical arms that are set to defined parameters for direction, acceleration, velocity, deceleration and distance. But if this iteration of robotics has been present in manufacturing for over fifty years, why has the topic been recently met with such controversy?Machines more popular than everAccording to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the number of global published patents for robotics technologies passed 5,000 in 2013, the highest ever recorded and a sharp increase from around 1,400 in 2004.Interestingly, an increasing number of industries outside traditional manufacturing are investing in robotics startups. If a global adoption of robotics in all sectors is successful, the manufacturing industry will no doubt see an even greater spike in both robotics implementation and production. One popular opinion is that with machines taking many of our jobs, the world will see little growth and many members of the population will become unemployed, while another points out that an automated society will provide cheaper products and greater personal freedom.  Industrial robotics is just the start of the mechanical revolution. However, just looking at the profound effect that robotics had in manufacturing automobiles alone, if these machines can be put to greater use across our society, there is no doubt we will all benefit. We at Advanced Business Manager are no strangers to automation, with our comprehensive accounting and business management software automated to ensure the absolute minimum amount of time is spent on data entry.

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  • Oct 7 2016

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    Manufacturing the future at the Tesla Gigafactory

    If we want the actions of our lifetime to herald in the robotic future, there are a number of significant hurdles we'll need to overcome. People from all over the globe are pouring tireless levels of effort into projects and experiments that will advance our species.However, we're only just touching the surface of what technology is offering us the chance to do - even in the present. Facilities like the Tesla Gigafactory are looking to propel our society into the future, by producing low-cost batteries using manufacturing processes powered by renewable energy.The Tesla Gigafactory will be nearly 6 million square feet when finished - and aim to be entirely carbon-neutral.The Gigafactory will change battery productionThe goal of the gargantuan factory - projected to be almost 5.8 million square feet when construction finishes - is to be a carbon-zero facility that furthers the exploration of battery and solar technologies. But how will this change manufacturing and the industries that depend on it? Tesla batteries could change manufacturing. The ambitious head of Tesla, Elon Musk, believes that within the space of a decade, the demand for electric vehicles each year will reach 500,000. To achieve this, Tesla would need to use the world's supply of lithium-ion batteries - forcing researchers to further examine the viability of other energy storage materials.Solar panels are more powerful than ever beforeJust this year, we've seen scientists at the University of New South Wales making flexible solar panels from copper, zinc, tin and sulphur. While solar panels have steadily increased their efficiency levels over the years, the progress made has been too slow for it to represent any significant technological leap.If the Tesla Gigafactory is successful, however, it will radically alter the way we look at manufacturing. Powering the factory through renewable sources will allow Tesla to create cheaper batteries, cars and any accompanying technology.Ideally, this is what will be needed from manufacturing in the future - the industry taking note of public concern for the environment while still striving to further our society. It's risky, but the payoff would mean an incredible triumph. Supporting this success demands quality, efficiency and productivity - without any detriment to any from the other. It's these three key elements that the Advanced Business Manager Manufacturing System is designed to simplify - meaning you'll have more control in how you organise and manage every area of your manufacturing.To learn more about our software, get in touch today for a free demo. 

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  • Mar 24 2015

    China FTA means opportunities for Australian service SMEs

    The recent signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement has made it easier for SMEs to export services to Australia's largest trading partner.

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  • Jul 12 2016

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    In periods of increased growth, importance of manufacturing management is highlighted

    Australia's manufacturing sector has seen some pretty impressive growth over the last year. According to the most recent Performance of Manufacturing Index by the Australian Industry Group, the end of June marks the 12th straight month of expansion for the country's manufacturing sector.

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  • Jun 17 2016

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    How technology is changing the Australian food industry for the better

    It's no secret that technology has changed the game for industries across the world. Platforms and software are constantly changing the market for the better. From improving operational efficiencies to inspiring more accountability within business processes, the advancements are plentiful.The Australian food industry is no exception. Technology has provided the optimal framework for the continued growth of exports, imports, production and manufacturing throughout the country. Beyond growth, digital advancements have made way for a new level of transparency in the food and beverage sector. Internal processes are in the spotlight more than ever as consumers demand to know where their food comes from and whether the conditions are ethical.Clearly, the changes spurred by technology in the food industry are wide-reaching. And for the most part, these advancements seem to be positive. Let's take a closer look at the top three food industry improvements due to technology:AccountabilityThe highly connected nature of today's world means increased levels of accountability for the modern food company. For better or worse, the window to company policies and procedures is wide open for consumers. And they are demanding changes to commonly accepted practices.The recently announced food label reforms are a great example. Consumers demanded more information about the origin on their foods and their cries were met with policies. The new legislation will require food suppliers to label their items with a kangaroo logo to indicate the product was made in Australia. The new labels will also include bar charts to indicate how much of the product includes Australia-based ingredients based off weight percentages.According to Business Insider, consumer advocacy groups such as Choice are pleased by the policies and are hopeful this trend toward transparency will continue.

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  • May 12 2016

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    The Australian food industry in close-up

    The Australian food industry is in a vibrant and profitable place currently, as good sentiment and positive financial returns grow steadily around importing, exporting, production and manufacturing. Following the ebbs and flows of such a dynamic industry is crucial in order to stay ahead of developments in new markets, legal developments and advancements in procedure and software.Demand for Australian products throughout AsiaThe Australian Trade and Investment Commission (ATIC) reports that a rise in living standards and a greater diversity of choice are two factors that play into the increased demand for products outside of China. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Tran Bao Minh, a chief executive of International Dairy Products, said that Australian food suppliers need to move quickly and operate at full efficiency to capture and deliver to the Asian markets."Demand is changing fast and consumers are constantly looking for new and better products," Mr. Minh said.The ATIC reports that the fastest-growing food and beverage market in Asia is China, with an impressive average annual growth rate of 35.4 per cent from 2011 to 2014."Demand is changing fast and consumers are constantly looking for new and better products," The opportunity is huge; China has a population of over 1.3 billion, as reported by Euromonitor, and is undeniably a strong market for the Australian food industry. Therefore, as demand for Australian products throughout Asia remains strong, Australian food and beverage businesses should be looking to manufacture and deliver in a smooth, timely fashion.Positivity across the Australian PMI index for food manufacturingAs a sub-index, the food industry has been performing well on the Australian Industry (Ai) Group's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI). The index overall slightly dropped by 4.7 points to 53.4 points in April.This figure means that expansion has been at a slower rate than in March, as results on the Ai PMI that are above 50 points indicate expansion and a reading a below 50 suggests a decline in expansion. The PMI generates results from a monthly rotating sample of around 200 manufacturing companies.A drop of this size can be ignored for the most part, as it is small and sits within a wider upwards trend, and the PMI April result was the highest since April 2004. This manufacturing trend sits within the longest period of unwavering growth for the Australian PMI as a whole since September 2006.According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, food and beverage is a major industry sector for the Australian economy both because of its employment and its financial contribution. The various players differ in size, which provides the opportunity for niche products and large scale manufacturing of bulk items to both exist in fulfilling local and overseas needs.Ai Group's chief executive, Innes Willox, said this growth is a positive turn for an industry that has, until recently, been battling the choppy post-global financial crisis (GFC) economic seas. The Australian food industry is performing well on the PMI index. "While margins remain tight, recovering domestic market share and building momentum in a variety of export markets provide a strong foundation for the lift in confidence required for the sector to move up another gear. A budget that boosts incentives for business investment and innovation would come at just the right time for manufacturers to capitalise on recent gains," Mr. Willox said.According to the PMI April release, the Australian dollar as slightly appreciated, but the overall drop in the value of the Australian dollar across recent years is the main reason for the strength seen within the index. This depreciation assists sales in exporting and importing, providing room for growth.This is a positive outlook for the...

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  • Apr 13 2016

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    Why increased capacity is good for business

    There are a number of reasons why a business may not be operating at 100 per cent capacity utilisation: lower demand, inefficacy and an increase in capacity that does not match an increase in demand, to name a few. Some of these potential issues are ultimately out of the control of the business, yet their effects can be mitigated with careful planning at the right kind of smart business intelligence software. It is important for any sized business, if they are serious about growth, to look into the various ways they can expand their production and efficiency. Why increase capacity?It is important for any sized business, if they are serious about growth, to look into the various ways they can expand their production and efficiency. In the Australia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Small Business Survey for the December Quarter of 2015, stats showed that Australian businesses overall were expanding on their acquisition of structures and equipment, thus expanding on their capacity. This is a positive sign as we all know a business must expand capacity to grow, and reflects a confident market place.By increasing and expanding on vital components growth, such as production or manufacturing software, a business is showing innovation and postive risk taking - both signs of future growth. Therefore, increasing the maximum possible output for any small business is essential to survival in today's tough economy, and will usually require the purchasing and implementation of new technologies and software.But in some specific industries, such as manufacturing, capacity growth has begun to stall. As Professor Roy Green from UTS Business School reported in his May 5, 2015 feature in The Conversation, there are more than 80,000 manufacturing businesses in Australia - and most are small to medium business with under 100 employees. Being successful in the manufacturing industry requires innovation and investment in capacity. These companies have experienced a fall of $5.6 billion in manufacturing investment between 2005/06 and 2013/14. The latest statistics for the September quarter 2015 from the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science show this trend is continuing, with a documented decline in manufacturing gross domestic product from 6.4 per cent to 6.3 per cent.The information at hand suggests the issue is a complex one, made up of global economic circumstances and at-home attitudes to capacity and expansion. The manufacturing industry, if it wishes to stay competitive in a global market, must implement new technology, and fast.Business intelligence software is a sound investmentA small manufacturing firm would benefit from the introduction of Advanced Business Management software to improve efficiency, leaving room for expansion in other areas of the business. Designed to be the next generation of accounting software, it is a foundational business-wide IT solution, geared towards the future of small business management.

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