ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog.
Showing News Filtered By Date from: 2017-05-01 - 2017-05-31
Australian food manufacturing and distribution industries have experienced excellent growth over the last few years.The one key economic metric that has stalled is affecting companies in the market directly, though. Capital investments dropped off 14.2 per cent, or $2.7 billion, between 2014 and 2015, according to the latest data collected by the Australian Food and Grocery Council's (AFGC) State of the Industry 2016 reported.A stall in capital investment is pushing companies to become innovative.Needless to say, this drop in venture capitalism can cripple small and medium-sized businesses, rendering them unable to contend in an incredibly competitive industry. Organisations that take a hard-lined stance on innovative managerial and logistical tactics, though, can find the profit margins they need to appeal to investors.Reading the fine printIt's sometimes easier to understand the larger issue in play through a microcosm. For this we can look to the recent public outcry over unsafe labelling methods. There's been a growing problem of consumers not being able to correctly identify allergens on packaged goods due to improper or non-existent labelling.Case in point: Nearly 30 per cent of foods on shelves had been cleared as safe to consume after undergoing contamination testing, but food manufacturing companies still had yet to assign a stamp of approval, according to a study conducted by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.There are a bevy of reasons spurning this issue. One that's becoming clear is the hurdle for growing companies to keep up with demand and regulations without the help of small business management software. The industry is calling for more high-tech innovation, and the organisations that fail to meet the plea are contributing most towards the stalled capital investments.Solutions to the labelling issue are being premiered at foodpro 2017 in July, according to FoodProcessing.com. This serves as a sign that many businesses are taking the public outcry seriously. What has yet to be seen is if companies can offset the slowed venture capitalism, combined with currently unfavourable tax cuts for the industry, by developing innovative methods to raise profit margins. Food production companies need more efficient warehousing methods. Looking forwardThe search for supplemental revenue normally starts with identifying inefficient workplace methods. Not only do traditional techniques of managing stock, bookkeeping or maintaining high volumes of deliveries slow the business down, but it's part of what's putting venture capital firms off the market in the first place."Stimulating investment is critical," Gary Dawson, AFGC CEO, said. "We are now in danger of drifting into a low investment trap, where uncertainty about return on investment flowing from retail price deflation and sluggish growth is seeing investment decisions deferred or dumped."Companies need to identify inefficient workplace methods to boost margins.Food manufacturing and distribution companies can't stop market deflation at the retail end, but they can promote change from within that will help ease the burden of falling profit margins. By integrating business management software, the smaller organisations can gain a leg up on the larger ones that are cornering the market.Take the labelling issue for example. Ultimately, this method of intricate identification can create extra work on the warehouse floor, which extends delivery times and can even result in the wrong orders going out. By investing in structured stock software, these businesses can improve their time-to-market and ensure error-free accuracy.Of course, with the industry trending towards complete digitisation of the back office logistics, having software that allows you to add optional modules as you need is key. Otherwise, businesses will be using multiple systems that don't speak to each other, meaning data can be lost or management can quickly get a headache.Read Full Story
The recent growth in certain sectors of the manufacturing industry has come at an expense; employment is contracting.Over the past 17 years, the market has shed 130,000 jobs, according to The Australian. There are a number of reasons behind the fact that hiring has slowed, and the occurrence of the worldwide economic recession nearly a decade ago is certainly near the top of the list.Technology has helped sustain growth despite falling employment.The fact is, though, the manufacturing industry is incredibly strong right now. In April, the AI Group bumped it up to 59.2 on the Purchasing Manufacturers Index (PMI), where anything higher than 50 is considered good. This is partly because employers are leaning on technology and digitisation now more than ever, and they're finding it works.Hungry for knowledgeIt's clear the market is gaining more success with less staff. Companies are looking for innovative ways to improve not only the warehouse floor, but how the company is run as a whole, according to Marcel Bick, the business development manager at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation."Companies that are highly innovative have been reaching out to us to partner with them to develop innovative technologies," Bick told Manufacturers' Monthly. "They either ask us to create a new product for them or improve on existing technologies to improve processes and ultimately maximise cost savings."With robotics and artificial intelligence dominating the headlines lately, some companies may not have picked up on the usefulness of business management software. Improving efficiency on the back-end of operations ultimately extends out to the day-to-day tasks, ensuring a cleaner and smoother running engine. Small businesses are gravitating towards database software to help automate back-end tasks. Where to improveFor small and medium-sized businesses, creating an entirely new product can be an arduous and expensive process, even if the financial benefits are valuable. These companies can really gain an edge and leverage their limited staff by investing in database software.Inventory levels, accounting and order management can all be improved upon by automating previously manual methods of said tasks. Speeding up these taxing aspects that are vital to the organisation gives managers more time to assess other areas of need that might require more attention, all while ensuring complete and utter accuracy.The upside of having a lean staff is that it takes little time to integrate small business management software - employers just have to take the first step. Contact an ABM representative today to find out more.Read Full Story
Owners of small and medium-sized businesses seldom have easy decisions to make.Thoughts of expanding warehousing distribution operations or bringing on new employees certainly carry risk and are more difficult to put into action. When it comes to improving workflow efficiencies and accounting for a growing operation, digitising the back-end of your day-to-day operations is a no-brainer.Taking stock of the marketOne way to evaluate whether a business is on pace with its industry competitors is to look at early adoption rates of technology. Digitisation has spurned innovation in manufacturing worldwide, and companies that take advantage of it early on are likely to see improvements that provide a financial edge.14 per cent of Australian SMBs used accounting software in 2014.Australian small businesses are leading the pack when it comes to integrating business accounting software. Roughly 14 per cent were using the platform in 2014 to streamline bookkeeping, while just 11 per cent of global companies could say the same, according to The Australian. Another 46 per cent were actively looking into deploying the technology before the end of 2015.There are a number of reasons why organisations are trending towards automated accounting. Perhaps the most visible conclusion is that the Australian economy is in a period of sustained growth, which the Australian Business Economists expect to continue well into 2017, The Guardian reported. This means small businesses are invariably taking on larger workloads and hiring more employees. Scaling warehousing operations to meet that demand, all while managing bookkeeping manually, can potentially lead to clerical errors that could adversely impact the company's financial records. Efficiency improvements on the back-end extend throughout the warehouse. Evaluating your requirementsEach and every small and medium-sized business has its own needs. The most useful business accounting software will allow for total customisability through optional modifications. It needs to be able to take warehouse assets, client orders and other variables into account to really streamline the back-end of operations, Business Victoria reported.Simply put, there's no use in having separate structured stock software because it unnecessarily opens up the door to potential errors. Storing all business affairs under one platform also helps to make sure all staff members who will use the program are properly trained. If it's too complicated then mistakes can be made, which defeats the purpose of introducing the system, Business News Daily reported.Above all else, make sure to see the platform in action before you introduce it to your business. It has the potential to improve the company at a number of different levels, but not if you don't feel comfortable with it.Contact an ABM representative to schedule your demonstration today.Read Full Story
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.Read Full Story
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