Advanced Information Management (AIM) announced the celebration of their 10th anniversary of providing clients with comprehensive financial, distribution, service and Manufacturing solutions that suit distinctive business requirements.
AIM was founded in 2002 by Scott Barnes in Orange California who reflects, “Hitting the ten year mark is a big milestone for any business. If you can make it past ten years – and survive a three plus year recession – you must be doing something right.”
AIM has every reason to celebrate as they has grown into a nationwide business offering their invaluable accounting services to businesses all across America.
About Advanced Information Management Advanced Information Management, LLC (AIM) provides complete accounting technology solutions and services for small to mid-sized businesses in the financial, distribution, manufacturing and service industries. For over 20 years, our experienced team has been successfully helping business like yours throughout the United States. From needs analysis to software selection; infrastructure to implementation; training to ongoing technical support; AIM will be there to help you too. For more information about AIM visit www.aim-llc.com or call (714)921-4050.
Using Key Performance Indicators in Business Intelligence
Business intelligence refers to software applications and technologies that are used to gather, provide access to and analyze data about a company’s business operations. Business intelligence systems can help companies make better, more informed decisions by offering a more comprehensive knowledge of the factors affecting their business, such as metrics on sales, production and internal operations. Business intelligence often uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the present state of business and to prescribe a course of action. KPIs can offer valuable information for decision-making purposes, so it’s important to be sure the right things are being measured.
Things to consider when determining KPIs Definition. Defining the KPIs can be difficult. It’s imperative to know that performance should be measured and how to measure it. When determining your company’s KPIs, take into account these common measurements:
• Use metrics that will help you improve in performance. Choose indicators that will help your company improve. For example, when measuring customer satisfaction, good KPIs would include on-time delivery performance (achieve 98% delivery on-time to the customer requested or promised delivery date), service call occurrences (reduction in complaints associated with defective materials, shipping the wrong products, etc.) and order fulfillment rates (reduce the number of back-orders).
• Focus on the important details. Don’t measure too many things. See the totality of what matters. Don’t focus on the components of what matters. Consider items like sales margin analysis, order fulfillment rate, delivery performance and manufacturing efficiency.
• Consider the customer’s point of view. Don’t assume you know what’s important to the customers. Ask them. Pay attention to and measure call center complaints as noted above. Find out when the customers need the products. Track stock-outs to trace sales lost due to product unavailability.
• Stray away from old metrics. To make changes, you might need to change your measurements. Perhaps focusing on the “root cause” is more important. Like, reducing the number of suppliers. Quality suppliers provide quality products, and sourcing multiple products to one supplier will reduce freight costs and internal processing time. Both can provide significant cost savings to a company.
• Value employee input. It is crucial to have acceptance from the people being evaluated or the KPI won’t be used. Consider input from the employees whose roles are being measured. Sales reps could be measured on sales performance for quantity, price and profitability. Overtime reduction and lost time due to injuries are also common measurements.
Collection. Obtaining the necessary data can be a difficult task depending on the complexity of the organization and the number of operational systems that are in use. Indicators requiring manual intervention or supplemental information are often destined for failure. The same is true for indicators that are based on information derived from data entry that is not inherent/natural within a business process. Good, reliable data is best obtained when entry/creation of the data is made “easy” for the publisher. This information is ideally stored within a data warehouse or a shared database. For this reason, the creation of successful KPI’s requires a close working relationship between the business leaders and information technology.
Evaluation. Analyzing the data and applying the business rule requires full comprehension of the KPI definition. If the person evaluating the data lacks a clear understanding, the calculations may be incorrect. Organizations can be bogged down in arguing with the results instead of using the information to improve performance. For maximum effect, KPIs must be defined such that they are easily understood, easily generated and accurate.
Action. When designing KPIs, one must remember that the ultimate goal is to take action. The effort a company makes to collect and analyze critical business information is wasted if the data collected is “informational” or “trivial”. KPIs must be based on key events early in the business process and not the end result.
In a dynamic competitive business environment, management needs easy access to relevant information to make the best decisions for their company’s progress. This can be achieved by defining KPIs that allow you to drive results instead of measuring them. A functionality rich software system can support the process by facilitating the definition, extraction of data, calculation and update of KPIs and other important metrics.
6 Ways to Improve Your Supply Chain
Whether you are looking for help in choosing the right supply chain management solution or advice on how to make your supply chain work more efficiently, the following tips are a guide to help you make improvements to your supply chain management.
1. Select a supply chain solution that is tailored for your industry. There are hundreds of off-the-shelf supply chain software packages or component modules on the market today, and most implementations end up requiring some level of customization and integration with other systems. Do your homework and research systems that were designed for companies in your industry, or that are similar to yours in a key aspect. The systems may need some customization, but they will at least target the majority of your industry needs.
2. Establish metrics. Despite decades of encouragement and hundreds of millions of dollars dumped into information technology, most companies still don’t have their supply chain metrics under control. Enterprise-wide balanced scorecards, cascading supply chain metrics and management dashboards can provide timely insights that help supply chain managers react to disruptions — and opportunities — in today’s markets.
3. Involve your employees. Give employees visibility into how they impact the customer. Create a metrics program that links every step of the process so employees can see how their work impacts the customers’ needs and the company’s objectives.
4. Manage information rather than information management. Enterprise solutions should facilitate proper collection, identification and easy access to allow for rapid decisions. Collecting irrelevant information to meet the criteria of an enterprise solution is not effective business management. Collect relevant information that also aligns with business objectives. Then, ensure the information is easily accessible.
5. Integrate sales, operations and finance. Integrate what Sales plans to sell, what Operations plans to make and what Finance has forecast into a single consensus driven plan. This plan, commonly called Sales and Operations Planning, provides the best balance between customer demand, production capabilities and corporate financial performance.
6. Implement tracking and mobile technologies. Take advantage of the many technologies to improve efficiencies and minimize costs and inaccuracies. Mobile options, warehouse automation systems and warehouse management systems can be implemented to help you track important data that you might be missing.
Is Your Company Behind the Technology Curve?
Many companies have put technology improvements on the back burner over the last three years thanks to the recession. Unfortunately the timing for this was less than ideal as many companies were slated for updates during this time to keep the systems they put in place for Y2K current. What this means today is that many organizations are well behind the technology curve and not able to take advantage of efficiencies that are available now when they need it the most.
Mid-sized companies have been especially impacted by the lack of current technology, and many have been holding on by a thread trying to keep their businesses alive. However, if you are like us, you are starting to see positive trends that are real indicators of better times ahead – which makes today the time to focus on how to run your business better, faster and smarter to thrive in tomorrow’s economy.
If it’s time for a technology checkup, contact AIM today.
Sage Product Name Changes
In 2012 the names of many of Sage’s core accounting and ERP lines will be changing. These products will be identified with a numbering approach where higher numbers denote increasing levels of product capability or sophistication. The new product numbering sets will include Sage 50, Sage 100, Sage 300, and Sage 500. This will also bring the Sage naming system in North America in line with the Sage naming structure worldwide.
For our clients, Sage ERP Accpac and Sage ERP Accpac Online are becoming Sage 300 ERP and Sage 300 ERP Online. Sage Accpac 100, 200 and 500 are becoming Sage 300 Standard ERP, Sage 300 Advanced ERP and Sage 300 Premium ERP. Sage ERP PFW is now Sage PFW ERP, and Sage Peachtree is becoming Sage 50 - US Edition.
Sage BusinessWorks Accounting will remain the same.
Contact us if you have any questions concerning these name changes.
Advanced Information Management, LLC, | 333 City Blvd West, 17th Floor, Orange, CA 92868