DiscoverWBSRocks: Business Growth with ERP and Digital Transformation
WBSRocks: Business Growth with ERP and Digital Transformation
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WBSRocks: Business Growth with ERP and Digital Transformation

Author: Sam Gupta

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There are several approaches to growing or scaling a small business. Some would recommend growth hacking strategies for aggressively marketing your products or services. In contrast, others would say that the only way to cross $10 mil in revenue would be through inorganic growth. If you asked any business owners or executives, 90% of them, including ME, suffer from dream-reality confusion—some claiming their growth ambitions to be as high as 3x in the next three years. Yet, the stark reality is that 90% of the SMB businesses rarely grow and join the list of fastest-growing companies or would ever become fortune-500 companies. Marketing calls it crossing the chasm, while others blame it on the “people,” “mindset,” or “culture” issue. In the ERP or business system world, they call it people, process, and technology. You may call it digital or business transformation or any other buzzwords you may choose. What matters at the end of the day are the numbers. Either you did it or didn’t do it. If you did it, pat yourself on the back. We want to hear from you. If you didn’t do it, we still want to hear from you about what you would differently do if you could go back in time. This podcast takes a holistic and unique approach to crossing the chasm with business systems or technology. This podcast will use the mixed approach, including solo monologues or commentary, interviews, and panel discussions. The speaker profiles would include business owners, consultants, researchers, and executives (CFO, CEO, CIO, and COO) who have gone through a process of scaling a business with the help of technology. But, most importantly, leaders like you who have their feet on the ground and working tirelessly to manage their P&L. For the love of growth and digital transformation, let's #WBSRocks
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Demand planning is a double-edged sword, and it's tough to predict. Demand planning requires you to plan enough and then be nimble and agile while tweaking the demand as the market condition changes. Most companies take an algorithmic approach to their demand planning, resulting in wasting critical resources. The agile approach is especially relevant to SMBs as they may not have as many resources as their bigger counterparts.In today's episode, we have our guest, Dyci Sfregola, who discusses why companies should spend less time worrying about forecasting accuracy and more on the execution. She also describes how demand planning differs from sales and operations planning. Finally, she has had time to discuss several KPIs that are meaningful and important for various industries.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Complying with regulatory bodies is more than just producing the documentation when they ask for it. If the regulatory body is as stringent as FDA, they look for several red flags, including completeness and thoroughness of the documentation and confidence level. But speed is typically the most critical factor. Manufacturers with manual processes and fragmented systems might struggle with the speed expectations of these regulatory bodies.In today's episode, we have our guest, Tom Rodden, who discusses the nuances of medical device manufacturing and how it differs from generalized manufacturing. He also discusses several processes and system needs that are driven by regulatory bodies such as FDA. Finally, he shares several stories where poorly maintained systems and methods may have had catastrophic results for the company.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Remember when you bought five shirts last time and ended up returning all? Let's face it. Consumer behavior is unpredictable. It is especially challenging for the apparel industry, where one loose thread or difference in perceived color could be the reason for return. But the supply chain planning for the apparel industry is not only complicated because of consumer behavior. Supplier issues are equally problematic, including geopolitical tensions, trade wars, and cultural factors. In today's episode, we have our guest, Crissa Klein, who discusses the supply chain nuances of the apparel industry and its unique challenges. She also discusses the planning challenges, especially with geopolitical tensions in Asian countries that are the primary source of raw materials for the Apparel industry. Finally, she discusses several subtleties such as planning around extraordinary situations, unpredictable events, and unique e-commerce challenges.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
What helps you compete in the market? Is it your unique product? Is it your operational efficiency? Is it your market segment? Or is it the alignment of your manufacturing and operational strategies with market needs and business goals? Since most manufacturers are part of a large process for their customers, simply thinking about your product's value prop may not be enough. You need to think about the entire value chain, how your products fit in that, and the implications and benefits it may have on the end goal of your customer.In today's episode, we have our guest, Kishore Khaitan, who discusses how to align manufacturing strategies with business goals. He also provided key insights into his different businesses and how he could turn them around despite unfavorable circumstances. Finally, he discussed the manufacturing processes and market nuances of several manufacturing verticals, including industrial fabrics, paper plants, and textile parts.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
If you are involved in vendor negotiations or expense management, it's hard to know if you may be overpaying for services or goods. What if there was a way to benchmark your expenses against other companies. Enter big data for expense management. These data lakes have amassed trillions of data points in the last ten years through several data sources. They have the capabilities to benchmark your expenses for the majority of your categories.In today's episode, we have our guest Scott Berman from River North Financial Group and Jake Lindmark at Optimally, who discusses how big data solutions have evolved and now accessible for small to medium-sized businesses. They describe how these big data solutions can help and how they work. Finally, they explained several nuances associated with financial big data For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Warehouses have been using automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) for a long time. While they have come a long way in their capabilities and along with their interactions with other newer technologies such as robotic arms or cobots, their adoption is still very low. Although ASRS systems provide excellent capabilities, the key is to deeply understand your specific needs and measure your current KPIs for their successful implementation and reap financial benefits from these initiatives.In today's episode, we have our guest, Tim Harrison, who discusses various ASRS systems and why they are essential to increase the productivity of a warehouse. He also discusses barriers and opportunities in the ASRS ecosystem. Finally, he discusses several metrics and stories where ASRS systems made sense and where they were overkill, in addition to describing their software and hardware interactions with existing systems in the enterprise architecture.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
How would you feel if you had a handful of customers with huge leverage decided to consolidate their vendors and put pressure to cut the prices further that you might not be able to afford? No one wants to be in this situation. What would you do if you faced this situation? Would you expand your operations to explore further cost reduction opportunities? Would you rather shut down your operations? Would you try to sell hard and not take no for an answer? Or Would you start looking for other customers? In today's episode, we have our guest, Paul Serafino, who discusses how manufacturers and distributors can get through vendor consolidation situations by their key customers. He also discusses why thinking from the overall capacity is vital to deal with such problems than limiting it to your four walls. Finally, he provides several relationship-building and negotiation techniques to help overcome the price pressure and help create superior value and strategic partnerships with your customers.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Whether you are releasing new parts or making changes to existing parts, you will likely go through the engineering change process (ECN). More often than not, engineering organizations are siloed from the downstream organizations and don't understand how their engineering decisions will impact the production floor. As you add more engineers to the department, the more opportunity, you might find to have tighter engineering change control processes and reuse the existing CAD models.In today's episode, we have our guest, Andrew Hood, who discusses why classifying and promoting the reuse of parts is vital to save costs. He also describes the financial implications of poor and siloed engineering management functions. Finally, he has shared several stories and discussed the nuances of engineering organization, including the difference between PLM and PDM system, conceptualization, and ideation process.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
SMB manufacturers and distributors in the personal care industry face unique challenges. These difficulties could be even more for organic products or the items that need to comply with FDA., such as sunscreens. They need to ensure enough demand for new products or struggle to find contract manufacturers and labs that will accept the lower batches of order. Also, since credibility is vital for brands in this industry, the source of ingredients and the ability to have end-to-end traceability is critically important.In today's episode, we have our guest Erin Williams, who discusses the manufacturing and commercialization processes of the personal care industry. She also discusses why organic products require stringent procedures and what makes them more expensive. Finally, she has had a chance to discuss the quality and audit processes and the responsibilities and liabilities of each party involved.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
As procurement departments and buyers become more sophisticated, manufacturers and distributors will see more scrutiny from their customers, especially if they might be selling high-value and complex items. They have already been facing cost pressures from their customers, but now they might see an elongated sales cycle with RFPs to compete. The RFP process might increase your costs if you don't have experience responding to them. Winning RFPs and working with procurement requires you to understand how procurement thinks and works deeply.In today's episode, we have our guest Jill Robbins, who discusses how to navigate long-term sales cycles that involves selling to and through procurement. She also describes best practices in responding to RFPs and what procurement teams value in a partner and in the RFP response. Finally, she has been able to share how procurement teams think and work from her experience of working in procurement for a very long time that manufacturing executives need to know if they are selling complex products through procurement.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Your CRM system is key to managing your customer relationships and providing the customer experience to help you stand out among your competitors. While most organizations may use some form of CRM system, the adoption rate is low. Most CRM systems are either overengineered, making them difficult to use and maintain, or under-engineered with data quality issues, a roadblock to CRM system adoption.In today's episode, we have our guest Seamus Ruiz-Earle, who discusses the core reasons for the low adoption of CRM systems among sales teams. He also discusses how to evaluate a CRM and the nuances of selecting a CRM for specific industries considering their unique business processes. Finally, he provides insights into why data integrity, security, and migration issues are essential to consider while selecting and creating standard operating procedures around CRM processes to avoid significant dollar expenses because of data corruption and integrity issues.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
When you grow in transactions and have many low-dollar transactions, the cost of processing transactions could be higher than the expense being paid. You might also face this when you may be purchasing cheaper consumable items from one-time vendors. Understanding the cost of processing is critical as that allows you to introduce different strategies for such transactions. One such strategy is to introduce a P-card for your low dollar volume transactions, which enables companies to process transactions without creating vendor records or going through an invoice matching process.In today's episode, we have our guest Scott Engelking, who describes why companies should be implementing a P-card program for their low-dollar transactions to reduce processing costs. He also describes the end-to-end process of implementing a P-card program and the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved. Finally, he shares several examples and best practices for effective P-card implementation.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Remember walking around a gym to find the weight you wanted for your next set of exercises? It could be even more frustrating and inefficient to locate a tool or asset in a large manufacturing facility or a warehouse. What if you had real-time tracking of your tools and assets that you could locate by tracking their real-time locations. The RTLS technology is powerful and helps manufacturers in tracking critical resources on the shop floor.In today's episode, we have our guest Viren Mathuria from Sewio Networks, who describes how a real-time location system (RTLS) works and how it helps manufacturers. He also discusses several examples of how large enterprises and SMB manufacturers are using the technology as of today. Finally, he provides insights into various competing technologies available in the market, including RFID and Bluetooth, and discusses their limitations and applications.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
If you are building or upgrading your e-commerce capabilities, you are likely to evaluate several platforms. This evaluation needs to be comprehensive, covering factors ranging from legal contracts, deployment issues, customer experience needs, product model complexities, and your teams' skillset. If you chose a platform without performing due diligence, you might experience cost overruns with your ecommerce budget. In today's episode, we have our guest Erin Courtnay and Eric Landmann from Earthling Interactive, who discusses the strategies and considerations to evaluate e-commerce platforms and architecture. They also discuss how the e-commerce needs differ between B2B vs. B2C and among different industries. Finally, they discussed several other nuances that drive the cost and design, including product models, search filters, and the technology ecosystem.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Cash is the lifeblood of a company. Cash forecasting is the discovery process to predict your future cash needs. How would you feel if you discovered that you had four months of cash left to operate? I am sure you will lose your sleep. Thus, cash forecasting and understanding your balance sheet are essential. It is especially vital for cash-intensive companies such as manufacturers. In today's episode, we have our guest Alok Ajmera, who discusses the corporate performance management (CPM) function and breaks down its processes into the tactical cost-saving and strategic components. He also touches on concepts such as continuous and consistent planning. Finally, he explains the role and interactions of CPM and ERP software and what value each of these tools adds to an SMB organization.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
If you focused on the metrics for each employee where they contributed to the organization's overall improvement, it could result in millions of dollars of savings. But finding the areas of improvement is easier said than done. It requires you to perform gap analysis and trace the Gemba. It requires you to perform a deeper study of data, identify appropriate KPIs, and continuously measure to become operationally resilient.In today's episode, we have our guest Tamar Nelson, who discusses why an organization needs to become operationally resilient to combat uncertainty. She also describes why a gap analysis is required to identify the areas of improvement and start on the journey of operational resiliency. Finally, she shares several stories where she has made transformational changes to the organization by tracing the Gemba through data, surveys, and process mapping.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
RFID technology has been available for a long time, but its adoption has been limited to high-value assets. Most manufacturers might not believe that RFID technologies can track commodities and be an excellent replacement for barcode labels. Unlike barcode labels requiring warehouse and production workers to hold the pointed gun and scan each item, RFID tags could significantly save time while expediting the scanning process. They will also provide you real-time visibility and replenishment of the inventory.In today's episode, we have our guest Andrew Johnson, who discusses the evolution of RFID tags and how RFID technology is no longer limited to tracking high-value assets. He also touches on the old-school vendor-managed inventory approach and how RFID technology enables manufacturers to enable true Just-in-time tracking in real-time across products. Finally, he touches on the several logistics associated with enabling RFID to manage your vendor-managed inventory, including the cost of printing RFID labels, their limitations, and strategies for their adoption.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Energy has always been one of the heaviest line items on a P&L for manufacturers. While manufacturing executives are acutely aware of the energy costs, they have struggled to enforce energy-saving procedures. In fact, the push for quality and productivity could have counterproductive effects on energy consumption. To find the cost-saving opportunities available through energy, the executives need to consider comprehensive approaches, including factoring energy costs into product costs and performance metrics like product quality and quantity. They also need to adopt industry 4.0 technologies to provide historical data to capitalize on cost savings available through energy.In today's episode, we have our guest Mike Nager, who discusses the organizational metrics and KPIs that completely ignore the cost savings opportunities available through control and policies. He also touches on trends in other countries where the energy prices may be higher. Finally, he shares several stories and describes several technologies that companies could use to accelerate industry 4.0 adoption, which will help companies save on energy costs and help them grow faster.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
Material requirement planning helps in keeping the appropriate inventory levels that you need for manufacturing. If the MRP processes are not optimized, it could result in surplus inventory or component shortages that could halt your production. While several technologies are available to implement MRP, the biggest challenge is the cross-functional nature of the MRP processes as multiple business units and departments may be involved. This challenge makes the implementation difficult and causes operational disruptions.In today's episode, we have our guest Marcia Williams, who discusses various components of MRP planning and where MRP fits in the process. She also discusses the differences between MRP and DRP and why MRP processes are challenging to implement in an organization. Finally, she shares several stories of complex MRP planning, including performing MRP planning in a multi-entity scenario, planning when multiple locations may be involved, and when the BOMs may have complex dependencies.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
With new trends and technologies such as additive manufacturing and experimental design, it's never been this easy to launch and disrupt a hardware product category. The traditional manufacturers that are slow in taking advantage of these trends run a risk of being disrupted and become irrelevant in their market. The new trends require manufacturers to get inspired by the newer disruptive companies from their markets and be corporate intrapreneurs by changing their internal R&D workflows and capabilities.In today's episode, we have our guest Kevin Mako, who discusses how experimental design and additive manufacturing can help mitigate financial risks with innovative projects. He also discusses several technologies and trends that have been driving faster innovation in the manufacturing sector. Finally, he discusses what financial executives look for in a pitch and how engineering workflow changes with additive manufacturing methodology.For more information on growth strategies for SMBs using ERP and digital transformation, visit our community at www.wbs.rocks.To ensure that you never miss an episode of the WBS podcast, subscribe on your favorite podcasting platform.
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Comments (1)

amy peterson

Hi WBSRocks thanks for sharing your informative great podcast.

Dec 20th
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