The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made life just a little more complicated for many HR and payroll departments. Which of the new forms will you need to file? How many full-time employees do you really have? What are the fines for failing to provide affordable healthcare coverage? In this article, we’ll show you how answering these (and other) questions and managing ACA reporting requirements is easier than you thought using Sage HRMS.
If your supply chain is not undergoing a transformation, you are falling behind. If you have not seriously reevaluated your strategic objectives and tactics within the last year in light of new methods and options now available to you, your supply chain is becoming a part of history—not the future. Read blog How to Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Supply Chain Improvements Projects.
Our job at RKL eSolutions is to help our customers create a durable competitive advantage by helping them discover those areas where old thoughtware is holding them back.
We recognize that, as outsiders, we will never know as much about your business and your industry as you and your management team probably do.
But our job is not to give you answers.
Our job is to ask the right questions in order to help you discover where old, outdated (perhaps, formerly) “right” thinking might be holding you back from transformations that can lead to significant—not incremental—improvements in your bottom-line.
We are confident that we can help you achieve big breakthroughs in a partnership that adds value to your enterprise through a combination of
- Provoking strategic thinking about things like positioning of inventory across your supply chain
- Introducing proven tactics for configuring your supply chain and monitoring its performance
- Designing sound business processes that help you hold onto your new-found advantages
- Training key personnel to support the new approach
- Applying effective technologies that will support your new strategies and tactics
You are not alone
Even many leading firms are still struggling to comprehend just where they stand in their own journey toward supply chain excellence. So, you are not alone in this.
Frequently we find that there is little or no alignment between the corporate strategies and supply chain tactics and execution. No wonder that significant and sustainable bottom-line improvements are almost impossible to achieve.
After all, an organization that is divided—at war with itself—is nearly always in a constant state of firefighting. It simply has not the time, energy or management attention needed to achieve breakthroughs.
We can help you and your team learn to work effectively as “a system,” and even extend that effectiveness up and down your supply chain by engaging with your trading partners.
Our demand-driven, outside-in helps introduce new thoughtware. This new thoughtware aids in identifying what needs to change from the major strategies down to the hands-on details.
How are you approaching supply chain transformation?
What are you doing to overcome the inertia of believing you are “right,” while new innovations may not be given consideration at all? Where have you found success? Where have been your biggest challenges?
Click below to get in touch with us here at RKL eSolutions if you have questions about new features or need help with Sage X3.
Ask a Question
Inc. Navigator CEO Brent Sapp points out, “Leadership consistency is a second-stage challenge that impacts nearly all companies as they move through the no-man’s-land from startup to the middle market.” (“BUILD: A Game Plan for Alignment.” Inc. Magazine, November 2013)
These findings are entirely consistent with a study done more than a decade ago and published in the Harvard Business Review, where it was found that a great many companies struggled, and even foundered, in the uncharted waters between the strong (typically) singular leadership and vision of one person, during the early days of a startup, and the team leadership demanded as a business begins to move into enterprise status in the middle market.
Even without being (necessarily) able to articulate the matter in these precise terms, entrepreneurs spot an opportunity in the marketplace and make some very quick calculations—often calculating in very round numbers and doing so in their heads. Again, without necessarily using these terms, their calculations are generally along these lines:
In the early stages, in many cases, this calculation is made all the easier because their operating expenses (OE) are zero or near zero. So, the calculation for any given period of time into the future becomes P = R – TVC, period.
If some not insignificant investment is involved, this calculation—still simple enough to be done in the coffee shop on a napkin—becomes:
ROI = ((R – TVC) – OE) / I
Where, I = Investment
(See more on Throughput accounting here.)
Alignment for Rapid Improvement and Growth
When faced with new opportunities for growth or improvement (better profits on existing business), these same entrepreneurs can rapidly adjust this formula for calculating the benefit of a potential change in operations. This formula becomes, then, over any given period of time into the future:
ROI = ((DR – DTVC) – DOE) / DI
Read as: ROI (on the proposed change) = (estimated change in R – estimated change in TVC – estimated change in OE) / (estimated change in I)
Here again, for those operating in entrepreneurial mode, these calculations can frequently be done very rapidly—scratched out on a napkin, or even done in their heads. Somewhat more complex scenarios may call for invoking the aid of Microsoft Excel or some other tool. But, most entrepreneurs operate unencumbered by some desperate and vain attempt to make the forecast numbers accurate to the dollar or the penny. Instead, they may be satisfied with numbers that are “approximately right,” being rounded to $1,000s or $10,000s.
Amazingly, these off-the-cuff, approximations guide the company successfully through its embryonic stages and beyond. Oftentimes, decisions made on these guess-timates lead to huge leaps in growth and the leveraging of outstanding opportunities for improved profits.
As a company grows from its entrepreneurial roots into the midmarket, it becomes necessary to have a more comprehensive accounting system and people to manage it. As more and more data become available, the management team tends to move away from the simple factors that guided their decisions in the past. Now, suddenly, they feel compelled to start categorizing what used to be OE into “fixed” and “variable”—even though it most of it (perhaps, all of it) is not truly variable with changes in revenues at all.
As Johnson and Kaplan articulated so well: “[A]n ineffective management accounting system can undermine superior product development, process improvement, and marketing efforts. Where an ineffective management accounting system prevails, the best outcome occurs when managers understand the irrelevance of the system and by-pass it by developing personalized information systems. But managers unwittingly court trouble if they do not recognize an inadequate system and erroneously rely on it for managerial control information and product decisions.” (Johnson, H. Thomas, and Robert S. Kaplan. Relevance Lost – The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1991.)
The emphasis here is on “the best outcome occurs when managers understand the irrelevance of the system and by-pass it by developing personalized information systems.”
Continue with What Works
Instead of trying to improve the accuracy and finiteness of their “estimates” regarding actions they might take for improvement or to leverage new opportunities, they should by-pass the complexity of their ERP system’s calculations (which are great for GAAP-compliant reporting) and continue to use “approximately right” numbers that are close enough to gauge whether a new opportunity for profit or improvement is likely to yield a solid ROI.
If, based on well-considered estimates rounded to $1,000s or $10,000s (or higher, in some cases) are predicated on sound strategies and tactics that can be clearly articulated by the team, then if the P (Profit) or ROI (Return on Investment) is positive and significantly positive, it is probably an opportunity worth pursuing.
On the other hand, if the value of P or ROI is very low—near zero or only marginally above zero—then it makes sense for the management team to look elsewhere for opportunities for growth and improvement, rather than risking its precious commodities of management time and attention, energy and capital on what will likely produce marginal positive results—if any.
Entrepreneurs build a successful enterprise based on calculations that are big, bold and based on “approximately right” estimates of R, TVC, OE and I. When they attempt to leap the chasm from entrepreneurial to enterprise, they frequently become encumbered with attempts to make precise calculations that will, in any event, end up being “precisely wrong.” Typically, these midmarket management teams struggle to make these calculations based on the details and numbers available to them from the ERP systems.
Unfortunately, “Today’s management accounting systems provide a misleading target for managerial attention and fail to provide the relevant set of measures that appropriately reflect the technology, the products, the processes, and the competitive environment in which the organization operates.” (Johnson and Kaplan, ibid)
Moving back to the simplicity of easy-to-calculate and reliable round numbers will actually deliver more reliable predictions of the outcome of opportunities for growth or improvement than the “precisely wrong” calculations made using complex systems.
Let us know your thoughts on these matters. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Leave your comments below.
There are many times that exchanging data with other systems in the supply chain might be done via text-based files (such as ASCII files, CSV files, and more). Sometimes it is to make the pertinent data available to external systems—like Microsoft® Excel™. Other times, it may be for some form of EDI (electronic data interchange) with a customer or vendor.
So, in this article, I am going to show you a simple way to write-out data to text file using only components available to you in SQL Server’s Transact-SQL (T-SQL) environment.
A stored procedure to write-out the data
Need mutli-language functionality? Is your IT team struggling to manage communications and alert messages in different languages?
Sage ERP X3 makes it easy! If you are trying to manage a global installation and supporting multiple languages, here are step-by-step instructions to personalize the settings for your complex organization.
X3 folder under Setup, General parameters, Folders, Init. Tab, how many languages are listed.
If you haven’t upgraded your Sage 500 ERP software lately, you could be missing out on new features, security packs, and usability enhancements. Worse yet, if you’ve been paying your annual Sage Business Care plan, you haven’t taken advantage of the biggest benefit of the plan – Software Updates!
Recently I read a report entitled “Developing Supply Chain Strategy: balancing shareholder and customer value – A Management Guide”. This report was released by the Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University (UK). Here is what the forward had to say about the publication:
The Guide has been developed through 7 [sic] years of practical engagement with over 70 firms striving to achieve supply chain excellence. We acknowledge the importance of the insights we have gained from those we have worked with, many of which form the basis for the cases and illustrations we use….
I quote the forward in order assure you that the illustrations used in this article stem from real-life situations. And, likely, not from an isolated incident or two, but from an array of firms involved in the seven year study.
Most companies won’t be ready to close the books on 2014 before starting to post new transactions in 2015. That’s where the Year-End Simulation feature in Sage ERP X3 can come in handy.
It’s used in cases where the previous fiscal year must remain open for a period of time into the new year. Performing a year-end simulation will roll forward the ending balances for the Balance Sheet accounts without creating the closing journal entries or permanently closing the Fiscal Year. By simulating the close, monthly statements will include the correct opening balances until the previous Fiscal Year is ready to be closed and retained earnings calculated.
You may have noticed that everything related to the release of Sage ERP X3 Version 7 – brochures, videos, press releases – embrace a recurring theme and core message.
Companies with better and more accessible data grow faster, generate more revenue, and get more work done … efficiently.
That’s why many of the top new features in Version 7 emphasize mobility and data access – because business no longer happens just in the office or only during office hours. So let’s take a look at the new technology of Sage ERP X3 that makes your data easier to access and use.