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4 Reasons NSA Recommends MITS Distributor Analytics for SX.e

As you may know, Infor SX.e is a powerful ERP solution that is great for managing daily transactions. But when it comes to getting data out of SX.e for reporting and analytics, you need a purpose-built solution like MITS Distributor Analytics.

Last month we hosted a free webinar with MITS. Brian Weaver, our Vice President of Cloud & Managed Services Sales, explained why our team at NSA recommends MITS to all of our SX.e customers. Additionally, Colin Sherman, Director of Sales at MITS, walked through the features of MITS Distributor Analytics. Colin also shared testimonials as well as a special promotion for webinar attendees.

Thank you to all who attended the webinar! We hope you found it informative and hope you will take advantage of the special promotion. If you have any follow up questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

If you missed the webinar, you can view it here.

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5 Tools for Convincing the Powers-That-Be to Upgrade to Your ERP Software

When making the decision to purchase a new ERP system, its best to execute and apply as many analytic metrics tests as possible. Not only do you want to ensure that every ERP metric tool is ready for deployment, but you also want to prove to your management team that your new ERP proposal is a warranted business proposition.

Here are 5 ERP metrics that will make your purchase argument stronger:

1. Reduce Production Efficiencies

When a company is experiencing lost time at the production level, it can mean two things: either you have an error in your baseline metrics, or you’re simply over-running your system’s current capabilities. While this characteristic alone shouldn’t be seen as the solution, when applied with other similar negative measures, it can become a useful justification to purchase a new system.

2. Creeping Slowdowns in Operational Cycles

Similar to reduced production efficiencies, this metric suggests reduced operational viability. When attempting to establish a foundation for the new ERP system purchase, this bit of analytic investigation can serve as just another piece of persuasive “bad news.”

3. Irregular or Intermittent Business Forecasts

This ERP performance metric represents a weakening in the system’s ability to both develop and properly account for its total number of data channels. This metric, too, when in concert with other performance calculations, can suggest that the current system in use is reaching the end of its useful life cycle, making the purchase of a new ERP system necessary.

4. Largely Unnoticed Schedule Slips

The majority of ERP systems apply a policy-based process to establish baseline production schedules. If your current system is spontaneously slipping the established schedules, or if your expected schedule elements are irregular, this may be an indication that the system is overloaded or maximized at a data processing level. This is another strong argument that a new system purchase is necessary.

5. Indirect Cost Spirals

Most ERP systems operate based on cost alerts that work to keep managers and production operators within budget. If your current system begins to calculate with even the slightest errors, it is a clear indication that your current ERP performance metrics may be beyond the system’s abilities. In this situation, a new ERP system is needed sooner rather than later.

When convincing management that a new system is necessary, it’s best to offer as much information and metric analysis as possible. Should you need help running these metric tests on your current system, or if you’ve already established the need for a new ERP system, NSA should be your next call. Our experienced team has a number of tools and strategies to test your existing ERP system and we can offer advice on when to purchase a new system and set you up with the perfect ERP system to ensure continued success for your company.

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Webinar: 4 Reasons NSA Recommends MITS Distributor Analytics for SX.e

Join us next Thursday, June 22, 2017 for a webinar with MITS!

4 Reasons NSA Recommends MITS Distributor Analytics for SX.e

Thursday, June 22, 2017
10:30 – 11:30 am PDT | 1:30 – 2:30 pm EDT

Infor SX.e is a powerful ERP solution that is great for managing daily transactions. But when it comes to getting data out of SX.e for reporting and analytics, you need a purpose-built solution like MITS Distributor Analytics.

Join NSA and MITS as we explore four reasons NSA recommends MITS to all of our SX.e customers:

  1. New Features & Content – the MITS solution is always evolving to meet the needs of distributors. Come see the latest features and content modules.
  2. “BI as a Service” Pricing – with no big initial investment and monthly payments spread out over a multi-year term, subscription pricing is a great way to go when it comes to new software.
  3. Happy NSA Customers – hear how MITS has helped one of our customers improve their business performance – including specific roles and business benefits.
  4. Special Offer – we have a special offer available to NSA customers that attend the webinar and sign up for MITS Distributor Analytics by 9/30/2017.

“Infor SX.e contains a lot of information but many of our clients struggle to get actionable data out of it so they can make business decisions. This led us to look for a powerful business intelligence tool. MITS makes it very easy for our clients to quickly mine data out of their system and unleash the power of what SX.e is really all about.”

-Brian Weaver, Vice President, Cloud & Managed Services Sales, NSA Computer Exchange

For more details and to register, click here.

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Big Value in ERP Experts That Always Have Your Back

Are you planning on changing ERP Systems? The team at NSA is here to help your business make a seamless transition. Over the years, we’ve had success assisting many clients in both updating and changing ERP systems, but don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Vice President and CFO of Coast Appliance Parts Co., Kirk Coburn, had to say about his experience working with our team at NSA:

“We have 14 total locations from San Diego to Fresno with 2 distribution centers. We are wholesale OEM parts distributor for the appliance industry. We’ve got brick and mortar in all the major markets in southern and central California. We are a full line OEM parts distributor for Whirlpool, Frigidaire, General Electric, Electrolux, Thermador, Maytag, Bosch, the list goes on for the manufacturers we supply for. There are always plans for growth. Bottom line.

We’ve been with SX.enterprise Trend since 1990 and various versions of it. NSA helped us with the initial install and set up and we’ve been with them ever since. Infor SX.enterprise Trend has been around for a long time; it’s a stable platform, very robust platform. Partnering with NSA has been priceless. They know the system. They know us. It’s made it so we don’t need to change.

They are our IT department basically. We have an internal IT department but when it comes to problems, they are on it immediately. They are a great company to work with. Everybody there has always been really helpful. Whenever we need something, we just call.

Honestly, NSA has been helpful through multiple issues. Even some major issues. We basically lost our database and had to rebuild it, 12-months-worth of data. They worked day and night on it. They were great. This was just eight months ago.

Not only did NSA aid us in this challenging database rebuild & recovery, but also offered a business continuity solution to ensure that Coast would not ever re-live such an event again. This solution also ensures Coast rapid ransomware detection and recovery.

I have recommended NSA to multiple companies, multiple times because of their ability to serve and to take care of issues and problems in an expedited manner.

As long as we are with SX.e Trend, we’ll be a partner with NSA.

 

Thanks for the great feedback, Coast Appliance Parts Co! We value our strong professional and personal relationship with your team and we’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

 

 

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Business Intelligence Trends of 2017 & Beyond

If you don’t know by now, business intelligence (BI) is the best way for your organization to stay competitive in the market. BI utilizes a variety of tools and methodologies to allow organizations to collect data, analyze it, and transform it into reports and visualizations that make analytical results available to decision makers. Business intelligence can accelerate your decision-making process, help your organization optimize processes, increase efficiency, create new revenues, and ultimately gain an advantage over your competition.

Over the last years, we’ve seen BI revamp organizations of all types and sizes, and we predict it will continue to become more and more popular. Here are the top three trends to look out for in 2017:

1. Modern BI takes the lead

Last year, many organizations began making the shift to modern BI. The capability to evaluate analytics moved from the hands of very few to the fingertips of many, as businesses transitioned away from the IT-centric reporting platforms to modern BI and analytics platforms. Organizations are empowering even non-analysts to explore data and collaborate with their findings. In 2017, we will see modern BI become a top priority for organizations of all sizes across all industries.

2. Analytics will become more accessible

Technologic advancements have made working with data feel more natural; online data is no longer a language only IT specialists understand. In 2017, advanced analytics will become the new standard for business users and will no longer be reserved for use by data scientists and experts exclusively. In the past year, we’ve already seen business users leveraging powerful analytics functions, and in 2017, they will continue to expand their analytics skill set.

3. Data literacy will become a crucial skill

As advanced analytics become more accessible to business users, data literacy will become a new necessary skill for professionals of all types. Last year, LinkedIn listed business intelligence as one of the hottest skills to get you hired and we don’t expect to see that changing anytime soon. Just as proficiency in Microsoft Office is expected of all business professionals, in 2017, competency in analytics will become fundamental in the workplace.

Now is the time to implement a business intelligence program for your business, no matter how large or small your organization may be. While business intelligence may be a new and growing industry, at NSA we have years of experience developing and implementing BI programs for organizations of all types and sizes. Let us give your business the competitive advantage in your market!

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Ransomware: Is your data at risk?

NSA’s service for total data protection solutions for distribution businesses, announced enterprise-class ransomware protection for enterprise and small to mid-sized businesses, is now available. Built into NSA’s suite of services offerings, NSA’s ransomware protection and recovery automatically detects and identifies attacks, notifying administrators to immediately rollback to healthy data. The solution shortens downtime, saves money and reduces the impact to businesses, giving companies an effective and reliable alternative to paying hackers’ ransoms.

Recent research revealed that ransomware is fast becoming a ubiquitous security threat, with nearly 40% of all businesses experiencing an attack in the past year.

IT service providers report that 91% of those surveyed have seen clients victimized by ransomware. As malware advances in sophistication, the ability to rapidly identify an attack and quickly recover means a business is back up and running in minutes as opposed to days. NSA leverages our vendors’ expertise in applying its customers’ successes in rolling data back to pre-malware snapshots and developed a new arsenal against malicious encryption, which is now incorporated into NSA’s file Sync & Share offering, as well as ransomware detection within its flagship SIRIS appliances. Product enhancements support the company’s commitment to ensure business data is secure and accessible, no matter where it lives.

Ransomware is a major concern to our distribution customers. While most are deploying robust anti-virus technologies and some are also educating their teams to look out for suspicious emails, the sheer scale and pace of the phenomenon leaves most of our distribution market vulnerable. We have found that the rollback approach is the only way that NSA clients can truly effectively recover data and restore to pre-ransomware status.

With NSA’s new ransomware technology, we now offer peace of mind through a service where we can accurately detect an attack before the hackers demand any money.

With NSA’s new ransomware detection feature, available on our SIRIS appliance devices, you can easily identify a ransomware attack and roll systems back to a point in time before the attack hit. Ransomware, like most illicit software, leaves an identifiable footprint as it takes over a server, PC or laptop. NSA’s devices, combined with simultaneous cloud image replication, provides optimal protection. Recovery is then simply a matter of restoring from a previous backup.

A recent survey found that a staggering 35% of businesses encountered ransomware in the cloud, leaving cloudbased file-sync-and-share systems just as vulnerable as local systems. With the automatic ransomware detection and recovery throughout the NSA SIRIS products, we’re giving data control back to customers and empowering them to save the day – the way it should be.

 

Contact NSA today because ensuring your company’s defense against ransomware can’t wait!

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Supply Chain Management Trends

Supply chain management is a growing and evolving industry that may be difficult to implement, but is vital for the success of your business. If you don’t stay on top of the smartest techniques for supply chain optimization, you can hurt your bottom-line with out-of-date technology and cost-ineffective procedures.

Here are 4 supply chain trends we expect will emerge or continue to flourish in 2017:

Growth of Tracking Solutions

Tracking solutions such as sensors and other devices provide real-time data. When embedded in cargo and vehicles, the data collected will optimize supply chains based on real-time inventory snapshots. In 2017, we see shippers and carriers continuing to rely on tracking solutions for inventory management.

Predictive Analytics

Demand can be forecasted more accurately by using predictive analytics. This includes search data and location tracking. By combining this aggregate information with web-search data, you’re able to draw more accurate forecasts to plan ahead. This year, expect to see predictive analytics used more to closely monitor inventory levels and ultimately improve forecasting.

Dependence on the Cloud

Reliability within the supply chain is a must; organizations will no longer tolerate data security risks that can ground their operations for hours or even days at a time. Aside from the cost effectiveness and time efficiency benefits of the cloud, the security risks that come with on premise data systems will continue to drive supply chain businesses to embrace the cloud.

Mobile Options

As technology rapidly advances, so does mobile. Warehouses now have unlimited potential for mixing and matching their mobility options; from iPhone solutions to Android tablets to barcode scanners – everything can be done right at your fingertips. We predict user preferences such as ease-of-use and ergonomic needs will be the deciding factor in mobile solutions this year.

Evolution is key to ensuring your supply chain will survive, and thrive in today’s business world. In addition to considering adopting the strategies above, also think about incorporating more risk management tools that can minimize disruption and allow you to hit timely targets.

For help with your supply chain business, contact Brian Weaver or Patrick VanPutte at 516-240-5020. With over 30 years of experience, NSA will help implement the perfect solution for your supply chain business!

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What it Means to be an Infor Partner

Last month we announced the expansion of our role in the Infor Partner Network (IPN). NSA has been an Infor Channel Partner for over 30 years, so taking the next step and advancing to an Alliance Partner is very exciting for our team.

For starters, Infor is an incredible network to be a part of. As a leading enterprise software provider offering strategic applications for specific industries, Infor has over 90,000 customers across 170 different countries. With such a vast network, there will be so many opportunities where we can assist and we’re truly looking forward to doing so.

As an Alliance Partner, NSA can consult, advise and integrate with Infor as well as other Alliance Partners. Together we will strategize to ensure that Infor products and services are providing as much value to customers as possible.

Being accepted as Alliance Partner means that Infor recognized NSA as a leader in the industry; they trust our team, our experience and capabilities and that is a huge honor for us! We look forward to working alongside Infor and other Alliance Partners and continuing to do what we do best – provide solutions to businesses in need.

Have questions about Infor and the Alliance Network? Feel free to contact us!

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Mobile and Your Distribution Business

When it comes to technology, these days it’s all about mobile. No longer just for personal use; everywhere you turn mobile devices and tablets are being used among businesses across all industries for a multitude of purposes. This holds true for distribution businesses as well.

Here are three ways mobile is transforming the distribution marketplace:

 

Account Management

With the proper mobile solution in place, your sales teams and account managers can easily access customer accounts. From a mobile device or tablet, they can pull up an account to quickly answer questions, check inventories and even place an order. Customers will notice the efficiency of your team and place you above the competition.

  

Inventory Management

By using mobile devices and tablets, inventory can be accessed from any point of the distribution process. Whether from the showroom floor, in the warehouse or on the delivery truck, your teams will know first-hand where your inventory is, what is available and what needs to be replenished. This data will undoubtedly help streamline your business.

 

Real Time Data 

When your business utilizes mobile, you gain access to data from anywhere, at any time. No longer is there a need to be stuck inside an office waiting by the phone or computer. Your team will be able to get delivery confirmations as they happen. You can effectively manage your team hands on, making sure they are on track with their responsibilities and being as productive as possible. With access to real time data, you’ll ensure your entire system is running efficiently.

 

For more information on our mobile solutions, please click here.

 

 

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Top 5 Tips Advanced Inventory Management Helps You Grow Your Business

Distributors understand the business objectives behind an Advanced Inventory Management (AIM) system: you can grow your business successfully by knowing exactly what, how many, and when to ship your products. Inventory management makes it possible for distributors to accelerate the pace of profitability. To achieve these business objectives, try the following 5 tips for maximizing your inventory management – and call NSA for help optimizing your ERP solution to implement your own successful inventory management system:

1. Provide better customer service. When your customer service representatives and sales team are armed with an updated inventory list, order points, and replenishment schedule, they can provide outstanding customer service.

2. Track the product lifecycle. Use your ERP system to analyze and report results, track sales, transfers, and lost sales, and flag exceptions.

3. Get the timing right. Your inventory should arrive just in time- you don’t want it to sit on your warehouse shelves or end up with products you don’t need.

4. Track and monitor progress against targets. Monitor how much your carrying costs are in relation to freight, service, and price. Know where you stand in terms of supply volume and demand.

5. Use business intelligence to make decisions. Your ERP solution should offer a paperless, real-time control center that highlights any inventory that requires your immediate attention, allow you to sort by parameters you set, and drill down to order points, individual items, and line points.

The competition is tough. That means it’s more important than ever to offer your customers something your competitors are not- effective inventory management. This will allow you to offer better customer service and deliver orders correctly and on time, leading to happy customers and customer loyalty.

Let’s have a conversation to see what challenges you currently face and how NSA can help develop your own unique Advanced Inventory Management system.