Do you know how much your inventory is costing you? Part 1

Some people like cars, some have an affinity for a sport, while others can discuss the sheen of their pet’s coat for hours on end. We all have our own weaknesses … or strengths depending on where you stand on dog fur. My passion is food. Sometimes healthy, occasionally cholesterol-inducing, butter soaked sheer indulgence.

This infatuation has got me thinking about what’s in my pantry, how it got there and how the costs are split up during the process from creation to consumption.

From a supply chain perspective, here at CCG we often find that our clients only know the value of their inventory that is tied up in capital. This makes sense as it can be the largest asset on the Balance Sheet.

Clients do not always recognise the expense of ‘holding’ inventory. This expense includes the lesser acknowledged expenses such as storage, insurance and security to mention a few.

Let’s look again at my pantry. The pumpkin seeds like the cool dry environment but the flax seeds are best kept in the fridge to maximize their shelf life.

It is evident that my flax seeds will attract more overheads insofar as electricity usage in order to keep them fresh and prevent spoilage. If I grind the flax seeds to a flour in my nifty coffee mill (much to the disgust of my partner), I need to take further care of this valuable resource. I now need to place it in an airtight container in the fridge and, besides the additional direct cost of processing the raw material, a further indirect cost is added with the use of a special container and the continuous storage in the fridge.

In most ERPs the effort is in identifying these costs and attributing them to the product to initiate specific action. The goal can be to manage and control your inventory levels or, alternatively, exploit the combined costs of acquiring and carrying inventory into deriving order quantities.

Ultimately, there is not only one answer and the inventory in my pantry is my risk and my responsibility. I need to identify acquisition costs which include counting stock on hand now, and then deciding on what my stock levels should be in order to bake a loaf of bread and, of course, how much my expenditure will be when I have to visit my friendly grocer to replenish stock.

I also need to identify my carrying costs, which include various containers for storage and controlling the environment by keeping it cool or cold depending on the product itself.

Lastly, I need to decide on the form of my stock. It could remain in the raw material state or it may be suitable to rework it a bit into a partially complete product or just store it as a finished item ready for consumption.


KCMA™ Corporation, the North American Wheel Loader Division of Hitachi Construction Machinery, Powers Fulfillment Operations with New Multi-Carrier Shipping Software from ShipLink Global™
ShipLink 2017™ Solution integrates KCMA’s powerful SYSPROTM ERP with popular carrier programs like FedEx Ship Manager™ and UPS WorldShip™ to deliver new shipping capabilities and enterprise-class performance.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, April 20, 2017 – ShipLink Global LLC today announced the release of their new ShipLink 2017 hybrid, PC client and cloud-based shipping solution with its successful deployment at 14-year customer, KCMA Corporation’s distribution centers in North America.

The new solution provides KCMA with greater control and efficiency when shipping parts and supplies to their network of more than 160 dealers across the US and Canada – locations that sell and service the company’s wheel loaders and other heavy construction equipment.

According to KCMA Senior Operations Manager, Chris Trogstad, “Construction schedules demand 100% equipment uptime. For KCMA that makes on-time delivery of critical replacement parts and supplies absolutely essential. With ShipLink we’re able to access the full range of available freight and parcel carrier services to meet this demand.”

Unlike most shipping applications, which only offer a limited selection of carrier services, ShipLink 2017 integrates directly with free, carrier-supported programs from FedEx, UPS, DHL,, Purolator and Spee-Dee. As a result, the solution provides users with instant access to 100% of available services, including those required for international shipments and international origins.

Where most shipping applications only operate with limited data, ShipLink 2017 is deeply integrated with ERPs to leverage the full spectrum of available customer, destination, SKU and business rules information. For KCMA and hundreds of other SYSPRO ERP users, the solution provides the ability to ship exactly how they desire. This includes shipping from both Dispatch and Delivery Notes, using multiple carrier accounts, allocating customer and product-specific freight charges, automatically updating order status, and tracking shipments within S/O Query. With ShipLink 2017, SYSPRO ERP users can now ship with greater speed, efficiency and visibility.

To manage enhanced and expanded shipping capabilities, ShipLink 2017 provides a point-and-click administration console that governs hundreds of required customer, carrier and processing details. This unique component allows users to quickly configure the solution without a costly professional service engagement or undue burden on their own IT resources.

“ShipLink essentially delivered a completely custom shipping solution that KCMA installed and brought live the same day. This wasn’t possible with other solutions we explored, and practically unheard of in the enterprise shipping space,” Chris Trogstad added.

For enterprise users and companies with complex fulfillment processes, ShipLink 2017 supports automatic, rules-based order consolidation and pre-manifest pick list labeling. The solution also provides cloud-based utilities to harmonize ISO data, unify carrier codes, manage locations, provision workstations, process end-of-day manifests, and generate consolidated shipping reports. To learn more, visit

About ShipLink Global

ShipLink Global LLC is a leading provider of carrier application integration and shipping solutions for SYSPRO and other tier two ERPs. The company supports deployments which have been operating since 2003 in a diversity of industries, including consumer products, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, aerospace and ecommerce. To learn more, visit

For additional information, contact:
Glenn Stewart
6101 Centinela Avenue, Suite 375
Culver City, CA 90230

SYSPRO 7 Upgrade Methodology – Thorough Testing is Key to a Successful Go Live

SYSPRO V7 has a new Database structure, improved SRS printing capabilities, changes to how Custom Form Fields are managed within the system, and many new features and functionality.

These changes make it imperative that a test system and extensive testing of all programs, forms, reports , custom programs, integrations and 3rd party applications be a critical component of the upgrade.

Thorough testing, issue resolution and sign off is the best way to minimize the Go Live risk, and to enable a smooth go live, with minimal disruption to your users and your business.

CCG has successfully used this methodology to assist many of our customers in upgrading to SYSPRO V7.

  • Thorough audit of your infrastructure, applications, documents and reports to ensure all key components are identified and addressed during upgrade. Experienced PM will assist in developing detailed upgrade plan.
  • Assistance installing TEST SYSRO 7 system and converting your data
  • Assistance in understanding new structure features and actions required to implement (addresses, Custom Form Fields, Server Side Printing)
  • Assistance with 3rd Party applications that access SYSPRO database, to ensure version compatible with SYSPRO V7 is installed and tested
  • Assistance modifying any documents and reports that will be affected by changes in the SYSPRO 7 database structure
  • Training on new features in SYSPRO V7, and review processes to take advantage of new features, and automation and personalisation capabilities
  • In depth training available on SYSPRO V7 Securities, System Administration, Power Tailoring
    Assistance in complete cycle testing of SYSPRO V7, to ensure all working correctly in preparation for go-live
  • Assistance in all go live activities, including final database conversion to SYSPRO 7, and end user support
  • Final review to confirm all is working correctly

Common sense or mutiny?

Do ALL ERP projects actually fail?

Yes all.

If you look at a successful ERP implementation as meeting all of the following three criteria:
• On time
• On budget
• Delivering promised functionality

Successful ERP implementation projects are like rainbow colored Unicorns, found only in marketing literature or in the dreams of children along with dragons and fairy princesses.

It has been my contention for a long time that if prospects had a crystal ball to see the actual time, effort and money that their ERP project was going to take…sales would come to a dead halt. Or the software publishers and the implementation partners would be forced to address the fundamental issues that plague the industry.

My goal is to address theses failures by providing a different mind set and set of solutions to the same old problems.

Guest Blog: What the Marketplace Fairness Act Could Mean for Your Business

The Senate recently passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013[MFA] by a vote of 69 to 27, and the bill now awaits debate in the House. If this bill passes it could dramatically change sales tax requirements for many businesses within 180 days after it becomes law. But, of course, the most important question is what it might mean for your business. It’s important to consider:

1. Can your business handle the change?
2. Does your ERP system handle the change?

This post will unpack the MFA and how it could impact your business’ tax requirements. Additionally, we will give insight into whether you need to do some planning so your current infrastructure can handle the change.

MFA overview:

Today, if your business sells into states where you have no physical presence—like a warehouse, storefront, or sales personnel—you don’t have to collect sales tax in those states. The MFA would change this by allowing states to require out-of-state businesses to collect sales tax, even if they don’t have an in-state physical presence.

In other words, if you’re based in New York and currently sell into California without collecting California sales tax, MFA would give California the right to make you collect sales tax on sales made to its residents.

There are two caveats to the authority MFA would grant to states.

• First, in order to enact MFA, states must meet certain simplification requirements to their tax codes, like providing a centralized sales tax administration for both state and local jurisdictions. Currently 22 states have tax codes that would automatically meet these requirements. Learn more about which states would have the easiest time implementing MFA:

• Second, in its current version the bill makes an exception for businesses that gross less than $1 million per calendar year in total U.S. remote sales. Learn more about the small seller exception here.

What it would mean for your business

If the bill passes, you may have to start collecting sales tax in states where you currently don’t collect, provided that you don’t qualify for the small seller exception. For some businesses this will mean a significant increase in the amount of states where they have to collect, file, and remit sales tax.

In addition, the bill would not change any of your current sales tax requirements. If you collect and file Illinois sales tax, you will continue to do that, with our without MFA.

What you can do to get ready:

Most ERP systems have inherent or limited ability to manage complex tax situations. In this case, the real overhead is not only setting up but also the ongoing maintenance of tax tables. So either way, check to see if your ERP system integrates with AvaTax. If it does not, start looking at a system like SYSPRO.

AvaTax, the cloud-based tax management solution, is a fully-integrated add-on. With modest set-up required, AvaTax populates the taxability tables and sales tax fields in the order-entry screens. SYSPRO users and their customers both benefit. Users don’t have to learn any new systems and customers get current and accurate sales tax calculations.

While sales tax calculation and remittance may seem to be more complex with this pending legislation, SYSPRO clients have relief and can rest easy knowing their company can easily handle the MFA changes.

Learn more about being ready for sales tax changes during a webinar on June 13.
Register here.

-Will Frei, Sales Tax Specialist- Avalara

WillSince 2011, Will Frei has covered sales tax news for Avalara, writing articles and blogs on best practices, legislation, and sales tax technology.


Mid-market ERP Solutions Checklist – Key questions to ask before you buy

Before you commit to any ERP system, you should first answer several questions about what your organization needs and wants to accomplish with its ERP strategy. The answers will help you determine which applications and  what kind of functionality your organization requires from its ERP solution, as well as go a long way toward easing the implementation process.

1) Do your organization’s business leaders support the ERP implementation project? Are they involved in deciding which business processes are included in the ERP package, how to phase in the roll-out and how to measure success with the implementation? For ERP to succeed, executives throughout the organization — especially those heading up the various departments that will use the ERP applications — must be a part of the roll-out.

2) Who are the line-of-business professionals that can be responsible for measuring the business benefits relevant to their department’s ERP modules? Employees beyond the IT department need to own the success of the ERP  deployment.

3) Who will be the ERP project manager? One person — an outside consultant or a current employee — should be in charge of managing the process to choose an ERP solution; coordinating demos and consultations with  vendors; leading a team of representative from each area of the company, including finance, sales, human resources and manufacturing; and coordinating meetings between with key users of the new system.

4) What are the specific business problems you need to solve with ERP? For instance, do you need to shorten product lead times or improve communications with your suppliers? Are there industry regulations to which your company must adhere?

5) What are the goals and metrics that you will use to measure the business benefits of your organization’s new ERP solution? A good starting point for these metrics are the KPIs — such as inventory accuracy, cost reductions  and month-end closing processes — that your company is already tracking.

6) What features and functions do you need from a new ERP solution that will help increase users’ productivity and provide access to the business data users most need?

7) Are there best practices you need to adopt with the ERP implementation?

8) If your organization operates around the world, are there foreign currencies and languages that your ERP solution must support?

9) With which modules will you begin rolling out your ERP package? Mid-market ERP systems are modular enough to allow you to implement them in phases, first rolling out the features that will meet your organization’s most dire needs. Taking the implementation in prioritized steps gives IT managers and ERP users a chance to learn new processes.

10) Is the prospective ERP solution built with SOA capabilities? Called by many the next big thing in enterprise technology, SOA allows for a more agile and flexible IT environment, connecting systems and automating manual business processes — which is exactly what you want your ERP system to do.

11) Which users across your organization will need to be trained on the new system? As with any new system, the success of your ERP implementation will largely depend on end-users’ ability — and willingness — to adopt it.

12) Will the ERP package be able to adapt to changes in your business as your company grows?

7 Signs That Your Company is Ready for an ERP Solution

Because of the benefits that ERP can bring, and the long period during which those benefits may manifest themselves, ERP implementation is always a strategic investment for an organization. Increased productivity, reduced operating expenses, improved information flow and enhanced performance management are some of the benefits that an organization can realize by implementing an appropriate ERP solution. On the other hand, huge unanticipated costs, enormous opportunity costs due to extended project timelines, and minimal ROI are some of the tribulations that an organization can get into without informed selection and well-planned implementation. Thus, the first and foremost thing is to identify whether your organization needs an ERP solution at all. We have listed below some of the business conditions that can help you make the decision. If an organization is experiencing one or more of the following business conditions, it is time to seriously consider implementing an ERP solution or replacing the current one:
1. Fast and uncontrolled growth: Is your organization growing at a very fast pace? Your organization has recently opened multiple operational units/offices in multiple locations. There is significant increase in volumes of production, processes, and work force.

2. Lack of sufficient and accurate information on your company’s performance: You are facing problems in capturing exact figures or are receiving mismatched data on your company’s performance indicators.

3. Consistent mismatch between inventories and production management: There is a lack of coordination between sales order processing and inventory management in your organization.

4. Duplication of effort: The finance and HR departments store and maintain employee details separately. Similar other instances of duplication exist in your company.

5. The right information is not accessible at the right time: You are not able to access accurate data on stock in inventory, month-end sales figures, orders in transit and other required information on time.

6. Little or no ability to forecast and plan: Your organization’s strategic and planning division is not equipped to forecast and often relies on conventional methods for future projections.

7. Your current system is becoming obsolete: The existing enterprise system in your organization is no longer efficiently supporting your day-to-day processes and is negatively impacting the organization’s growth.

Syspro’s customer breaking records

SYSPRO ERP User Reports Record Shipments

Company Reports SYSPRO ERP-Enabled Web Ordering Key to Rapid Order Turnaround

COSTA MESA, Calif.–(January 22, 2013)–SYSPRO, a developer of best-of breed, award-winning enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for on-premise and cloud-based utilization, today announced that SYSPRO ERP user (formal name: Service Lighting and Electrical Supplies) has announced record shipping activity for the month of December 2012. In fact, the Texas-based Internet retailer experienced several days during which 2700 orders were shipped in an 8-hour shift.

Kim Pedersen, company founder and president, attributes the company’s ability to process record shipments to the utilization of SYSPRO ERP software, which has automated Web-based order processing and the development of highly efficient troubleshooting procedures.
Several years ago, the company selected SYSPRO ERP software to facilitate growth, control transactions and enhance customer service. Explains Pedersen, “We have so many transactions…that without SYSPRO, we could never complete and ship that many orders out the door. SYSPRO allows us to manage the back order process and everything else that goes into an order.”

Pedersen notes that Web-based customer orders are downloaded into SYSPRO every 20 or 30 minutes with the applicable allocation logic following. “Based on customer preferences, order status is determined, followed by indications if the product is in stock, whether the customer’s credit is okay and other pertinent order details. If the part number is problematic, the order is put into a suspense file, and a sales rep contacts the customer for clarification and verification that the customer has ordered the correct part.”

Pedersen explains that SYSPRO enables to issue a list of proactive reports that pull data out of SYSPRO on potential issues. The reports range from a list of back orders, to bad addresses, credit card issues and so on. Customer service groups try to proactively solve the problems transparent to the customer. “If they can’t, then they will contact the customer, providing options,” Pedersen says.

Pedersen leaves no doubt that he will continue his quest to provide the “ultimate customer experience.” However, with growing sales, record shipments and numerous awards, one can assume his has already reached this lofty goal.

About, an Internet-based company, offers everything from simple, household light bulbs to cutting-edge specialty lighting systems. Nationally recognized for growth, innovation and customer satisfaction, is an influential force in the Lighting Industry Today, enjoys annual sales of eight figures along with double digit sales growth. has been recognized among Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 Private Companies, SMU Cox School of Business Top 100 and has received a host of other awards. Kim Pedersen, company president, was also recognized in June 2010 as Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Goods – by Ernst and Young within the market region that includes Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX.

For more information, go to: or call: 1-800-624-4488


SYSPRO has earned the trust of more than 14,500 companies globally for its suite of visionary software that enhances the competitive thrust of small/mid-sized manufacturers and distributors. The company’s adherence to developing technology based on the needs of customers is among the reasons why SYSPRO enjoys one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry.