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Manufacturers – Make Promises
You Can Keep

So, take some time out in your busy schedule and ask yourself...

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Aptean: How ERP Software Can Increase Food Safety

Jack Payne, the VP of Solution Consulting at Aptean, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share their insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

In this episode we discuss everything from the future of ERP, how food service companies can benefit from software, and the state of food service policy.

Below are a few highlights from our conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: How can regulations help reduce sickness?

Jack Payne: There’s a combination of regulations. There are both government and industry regulations. Most people have heard about the Food Safety Monetization Act that was passed three years ago. Prior to this, there was the Global Food Safety Initiative, which was more of an industry initiative prompted by the major food retailers.

Companies such as Walmart and other large retailers were concerned about the safety of food they were selling to their customers. The consumers came together to put regulations and requirements in place. So as a food manufacturer, if you wanted to sell to these companies, you had to meet the requirements they set up.

Food safety is something that has become more of a topic as published year round recalls and the health risk and accidents have occurred. In fact, there are quite a number of people that get sick and die from food safety problems in the US.

TA: Explain how software can help reduce the amount of food sickness?

Payne: There are two main areas of food safety. Prevention and response. In all instances, you want to prevent a problem that implements certain processes and procedures. The term for this is referred to as HVCC. As a food manufacturer, you need to evaluate your process, the flow of product and materials coming in, the processing of products, and the flow of materials going out. Then determine every point there is a possible contamination area or place where food safety problems could exist.

Once these have been determined, you need to find the processes that need to be put in place to prevent food safety issues. Once that process has been determined, software systems can help with this, in terms of purchasing qualified suppliers and making sure they’re qualified. Also, what incoming processes are being performed? For example, a meat product would need to come in at a certain temperature, and there needs to be certain sending/receiving products themselves and certain processes for handling.

These are all ways we can work within our process, and the steps are taken and the results are within acceptable limits. If the results aren’t good, we can prevent that product from being used in manufacturing and continue to go in the process to track and monitor. Anytime something is out of predefined limits we can keep it on hold. There’s also the environmental aspect as well, proper sanitation, ensuring certain bacteria isn’t present in the workplace.

These are all things that can be done as part of the preventative maintenance side. We can set up alerts for whenever situations go outside the tolerances or when something does not occur. Tests for bacteria should occur, and we should be alerted and notified if that doesn’t happen.

We want to prevent a problem with food safety to start with, but if something does get out into the marketplace, the response time is critical. We need to notify those customers in a timely matter to recall those products off the shelves.

TA: What are some challenges for ERP?

Payne: ERP is a very large term so when you talk about finding an enterprise resource planning system, it’s not just in a particular department. Going back to traceability, there’s receiving, inventory, receiving, customer complaints, etc. ERP is proving the tools to control all the activities and actions.

As companies have more demands in terms of competition, they’re looking for ways to improve efficiency and cost, they need to be able to continue to provide the capability to do so. The other thing is it’s a more mature product. In the past it was viewed as a complex process that required fairly extensive training. Also they need to be business analysts and see how the parts fit together. Look at tech as a consumer.

If you go out and buy new technology, how many people read the user's manual? Everyone just reads the quick start guide. The expectations are to just start using it. That’s where ERP needs to go and be more in touch with social media trends to provide information to users rather than having to ask them what they need to get from it.

Listen to the entire show above in order to hear our full conversation, or download the show to listen later. You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.

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July 09, 2015 Jack Payne Jump to Comments

Respond wins CUSTOMER Product of the Year Award

In January we were given some outstanding news—Respond was selected as one of CUSTOMER magazine’s Products of the Year! Receiving the award from a magazine focused entirely on the CUSTOMER certainly means a lot to us, as everything we do, every version, every update, is geared to driving more value for our customers. Our customers, and their customers! Respond was launched in the United States exactly 12 months ago and we’ve made significant strides since that launch, including notable customer wins with companies like Volkswagen Financial Services, our growing voice in the importance of compliance and of course the launches of 5.11 and 6.0 in just a few months. As a tier 1 enterprise solution, Respond has also seen validation from industry analysts, specifically Renee Murphy from Forrester Research, who included us in her July 2014 report “Listen To Your Customers To Meet Financial Regulations--The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Is Changing The Face Of Customer Care.” A key takeaway from her research:

“Leverage technology to manage and report on customer complaints. The CFPB requires that covered firms manage customer complaints centrally across all lines of business to create a holistic view of common issues and metrics. This is nearly impossible without some kind of software to facilitate complaint management workflows, documentation, and reporting.”

This is the essence of what Respond does for our customers, and we’re thrilled that Renee has taken a leadership role in the analyst community regarding companies working with the CFPB and finding improvements to the complaints management process that can be applied across every industry. We’ll have additional exciting Respond news coming in the months to come as the new launches are prepared, but for now this CUSTOMER award is a chance to take a moment and reflect on how far we’ve come as we look towards a bright future for Respond and the growing voice of customers everywhere.

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Results: 2014 Aptean Customer Complaints Compass

The 2014 Aptean Consumer Complaints Compass is the first research study of its kind to dig into how organizations are reacting to the CFPB and what U.S. financial service executives think the impact will be on consumers. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB supervises banks with more than $10 billion in assets, as well as certain nonbanks including mortgage companies, private student loan lenders and payday lenders.

Below, you can check out some of the findings of the study, along with a fun infographic. The full survey report is available for download at:
http://broadcast.aptean.com/ComplaintCompass

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Aptean Edge Welcomes Michael King of Appcelerator

We are thrilled to have Michael King, Director of Enterprise Strategy for Appcelerator speaking at this year's Aptean Edge conference on How to Build a Mobile Strategy.

Learn lessons in mobile applications from this IT veteran and hear how other organizations have found success with mobile deployments customized to their business needs. You’ll also hear about the latest techniques in devising wireless and mobile strategies including vendor selection and negotiation tactics.

Check out other Pivotal CRM sessions at Aptean Edge.

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Encompix V10.0 Personalizes the User Experience

Aptean recently released Encompix v10.0, a major release focused on improving ease of use and end-user efficiency. This user-optimized platform ensures that system navigation is simple and efficient, and is the successful result of collaboration between the Aptean Encompix product team and our customers.

Encompix users have access to tremendous amounts of key information at their fingertips throughout the system. v10.0 offers much easier access to that information, and increases multitasking capabilities within the ERP system across companies and projects. Streamlining these and other processes not only saves time and money, but also increases both user and customer satisfaction. An example is the expanded ability to open and navigate among a number of windows, and resize them to the user’s preference so users can see and do more with the data presented. Another example is the ability to quickly move between company views when accessing information about multiple companies. These features help users complete tasks more quickly in order to fulfill customer needs.

A personalized experience is also important. In v10.0 for example, users can create their own lists of favorite programs, sort them and even set them to start automatically. Even colors and fonts can be tailored to a user’s personal preference. While this may seem trivial, our users tell us that typically they only work with a few programs from day to day, and by organizing their own menu they can get to these programs more quickly with a minimum of clicks.

Encompix ERP v10.0 software is available for download from the Aptean Support Center, and is available for new customers and customers currently on maintenance. As always, we thank all of our customers for their input and help in making v10.0 a success!

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Are You Getting Limited Visibility of Your Shop Floor? What Options Are Out There to Solve the Business Issues in Your Industry?

This productivity metric has a direct impact on cost per unit, schedule adherence and many more measures within a factory.

A constant challenge facing most operations professionals is how to improve the productivity and efficiency of the shop floor. This productivity metric has a direct impact on cost per unit, schedule adherence and many more measures within a factory.

One of the first challenges I see is that most facilities are still managing their shop floor on a system that by its very design, limits visibility. Are you still collecting performance information using paper or collating such information on Excel spreadsheets? If the answer is yes, then you are probably struggling to track your shop floor operations as that data is subjective and always out of date. Plus, you are spending too much time collating and understanding your data from manual systems - and using valuable ‘work’ time on non-value added administrative time. You could be using this wasted time to actually take action…. if only the information were available to you in real-time.

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April 17, 2014 Roy Thomas Jump to Comments

Meet the Made2Manage Crew
at the Vendor Shootout for ERP

assets/images/blog/APT-Blog-VendorShootoutERP.jpg

If you’re in the market for a discrete manufacturing solution, don’t miss us at the Vendor Shootout™ for ERP, April 16-17 in San Diego.

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Manufacturers – Make Promises
You Can Keep

When we engaged with Manufacturing.Net last year to produce a webcast and whitepaper about shop floor scheduling, I knew the topic would resonate, because scheduling is at the heart of everything we do in manufacturing.

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April 08, 2014 Brian Wheat Jump to Comments

CRM That Completes You: Why You Need
an Enterprise Solution Built on Best Practices

Editor of CRM Magazine Bob Fernekees interviews Ehab Samy, Aptean’s Director of Product. Learn more about Aptean’s vision for an end-to-end enterprise solution, built upon the best practices the company has gleaned from over 15 years’ serving industries including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and many more. Hear more about why it’s critical for organizations to approach enterprise system deployments like CRM, ERP and Supply Chain with the end in mind in order to make a complex process manageable and measurable.

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September 13, 2013 Julie Bevacqua Jump to Comments

When It Comes to Root Cause - Operator Knows Best

Have you ever tried to answer a question using Google? It seems simple but most times it requires a few searches, refining the question and sometimes sorting through the results to get the right answer.

Manufacturers are often trying to answer a simple question. Why is my machine stopped? Or more precisely what caused my machine to stop? Seems simple enough, especially with new machinery providing fault and alarm messages typically displayed locally on a human machine interface (HMI). However, when a machine stops there can be several alarms or faults generated at the same time. Determining which one was the root cause of the machine stopping becomes the challenge.

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September 11, 2013 Mike Comello Jump to Comments