ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog

  • Oct 15 2018

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    Why small businesses should prioritise financial reports

    Financial reports can be confusing to create and impossible to read, but they are crucial for any small business. Understanding where money is coming in from and what costs your business accrues enables you to make wise decisions for the future. You cannot plan growth or change if you don't know what you can spend, or if you're already eating into your profits - a small business needs financial reports.What are the benefits of good financial reports?A picture of revenue versus costs helps you predict your future.Good financial reports provide both an overview and detail. You need to be able to see quickly what you are operating with in terms of assets, cash and expenditure. But you also need to understand the long-term picture in order to make decisions about growth and investment.Well-organised and detailed financial reports show exactly what your business has available, what's coming in and what's going out. Having this sort of information to cover a large period of time builds a picture of revenue versus costs which help you predict your future and decide what changes need to be made. Good financial reports present a picture of income and expenditure. Why are financial reports so important for a small business?Decision making for the future - Big business decisions have to be logical, sensible and preferably supported by some form of research or data. Understanding how your business looks financially means you can make decisions about future investment wisely, with an understanding of what effect it will have on your day-to-day and future operations. You may identify costs that could be consolidated to streamline expenditure or identify areas that aren't bringing in as much money as you anticipated.Accountability - Financial reports allow you to scrutinise who or what is generating a profit, or draining resources. This means you start asking the right questions and address problem areas. Instead of guessing why your business is succeeding or failing, you can see clearly why and interrogate any failing systems. Accurate tax reporting - You need to be able to provide accurate accounts in order to prove tax obligations, as well as satisfy and attract shareholders and other investors. No one is going to trust a business that doesn't understand its own comings and goings. Finding software that presents data in a way you understand is key. ABM's software produces crucial statistics in data or graphical form, with the ability to export them into whichever format you need. You can search and filter reports to properly analyse the details.See how ABM can improve your financial overview with a live demo or by contacting our team today.

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  • Sep 6 2018

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    Managing stock: How Australian food waste is being developed into pharmaceuticals

    Stock levels, pricing, tracking and movement can be challenging to organise in any industry. Managing stock in order to limit waste is a key part of business strategy, and is a key purpose of our stock control solution, which comes as standard with our business management software.Food waste in particular has been a hot topic of discussion, with countries such as France passing laws to ensure supermarkets do not dispose of food unnecessarily and Australian brand Woolworths committing to reducing its landfill-destined food waste to zero by 2020.But it now looks like there could be a different approach to a solution. The newly formed Agricultural Product Development Research Consortium, hosted at the University of Adelaide, aims to revolutionise the way farmer waste is disposed of, by using it to create high-value pharmaceutical products.What is the new consortium intending to do?The broad aim of the consortium is to utilise the crop waste from Australian farmers to create useful products, rather than have it disposed of. The science behind it is that food products contain compounds and molecules that, when extracted, have the potential to become new and useful products.In order to implement the solution, the research is focusing on finding similar compounds and molecules across a range of food waste products so that they can be extracted on a mass scale, making the process cost-effective. It's possible that this new technology could not only reduce what is considered waste and the associated disposal costs in some instances, but could actually help keep grower businesses financially sustainable by reducing margins.  

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  • Sep 3 2018

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    How to manage multiple branches of a business

    If your business is spread across different sites, it is impossible to be there in person for every meeting or conversation. But with a bit of organisation and the right kind of business management software, it is possible to be on top of each branch.Follow our tips for managing multiple branches effectively and efficiently.Schedule in-branch timeThere is no substitute for visiting branches to get a feel for what's going on and how things are working out. Develop a workable schedule that allows you to visit each of your branches regularly, while also giving you time in between to get your out-of-branch tasks completed.How often you should visit obviously depends on location. If your branches are all local you might be able to dedicate a day at each branch once every week or two. If they are further afield, it may be more realistic to visit for two consecutive days every month. If different branches require more or less management, and you can keep this in mind when creating your schedule so your time isn't wasted.

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  • Aug 24 2018

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    How to improve your invoicing processes

    To make your invoicing faster, you need a system in place that allows flexibility, is easy-to-use, and can keep your quotes and other key information in the same place. Invoicing efficiency for businesses ensures timely payments and makes a good impression on clients. A business will not survive long if its invoicing procedures are sloppy, as cash flow is critical for a company to continue investing and meet running costs. Our Advanced Business Manager (ABM) solution enables you to customise your invoices and produce quotes in a simple interface.With our system you can overhaul your invoicing process by following these three tips.1. Invoice as soon as job is completeDifferent clients will have different payment cycles. Some will only make payments once or twice a month, and may have little or no flexibility. Whether or not you know their payment cycle, by sending an invoice as soon as possible, you maximise your chances of being included on their next batch. It also makes you look efficient and organised; sending an invoice several months after completion will not give a good impression. ABM allows you to send an invoice at any stage of a project, enabling you to customise your methods according to client preferences.

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  • Aug 14 2018

    The business benefits of time management software

    When it comes to keeping a business on track, time management software cannot be overlooked. Time is money, and if you're not recording it properly you won't be able to pay employees their due nor will you be able to invoice your customers properly.On top of the regular timesheet features in the base accounting software, ABM has the option for an additional jobs and timesheeting module. What benefits can it add to your business?1. You can track jobs more efficientlyKeeping on top of costs requires you know exactly what's going into a product in terms of both materials and labour. If you're not tracking time carefully, it can be easy to misunderstand what a product actually cost you to make, and therefore what you need to charge for it in order to profit. Job tracking also helps you learn how long jobs take, and gives you the opportunity to look for points in the production that can be improved.

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  • Jul 30 2018

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    What software do you need to run a successful online store?

    Running an online retail operation requires a lot of software to be successful. Using disparate software from a range of different developers can create a tangle of disconnected processes. What's preferable is an integrated, all-in-one solution - and that's exactly what ABM's Online Retail Management package delivers. It starts with a base accounting system on which your entire business can run - from there, optional modules can be added to make the software do everything and anything you could need it to do.What boxes does ABM tick for the software needs of an online retailer?An integrated e-commerce platformIn order to make any sales online, you need a platform to sell from. ABM has two optional modules that add e-commerce functionality - SPNet eCommerce or ABM eCommerce. Both create a website that's intuitive for customers to browse and find the products they're after. They both handle hosting and purchase payments, and integrate into the wider accounting platform that is ABM. Sales data goes straight into your accounting and report generating software, taking a great deal of work out of the process.Online sales require an online platform to sell from.The primary difference between the SPNet and ABM modules is the level of customisability by developers. If you want to significantly alter the functionality of your e-commerce platform, SPNet will be the option for you. If you're after a more out-of-the-box solution that doesn't need much customising, the ABM module will do they trick.Effective stock managementRunning an efficient online store requires smooth  stock management. If your product offerings fall into a style/colour/size organisation format, you'll find ABM's Structured Stock Management module incredibly effective. It provides the user the ability to manage their stock using a flexible structure, monitor stock levels and generate reports that tell you about which products contribute most to profit.Business intelligence capabilitiesOnline retail is an extremely competitive place, which is why you need to draw all the insights you can out of the data you have. That's what ABM's Alchemex Business Intelligence (BI) module is for. It's a lot more straightforward than some of the other BI tools out there, as it's based on a interface similar to Microsoft Excel - if you're familiar with that, generating reports with ABM will be a breeze.To learn more about ABM, schedule a demo today. One of our specialists will run you through the software and demonstrate how it can be tailored to your business' needs.

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  • Jul 22 2018

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    What do the new food labelling laws mean for manufacturers?

    As of July 1 when new regulations came in, all food sold in Australian retail stores must be labelled with its country of origin. For two years the labels were optional but they're now mandatory - and many Australian food manufacturers are pleased with the change.What does the new law specify and why is the change beneficial for Australian food manufacturers?What do the new food labelling laws specify?The law applies to most of the food sold retail in packages, as well as unpackaged seafood, certain meats, fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables in transparent packaging. It does not apply to unpackaged food like sandwiches or baked goods, products that are only exported, and food sold in restaurants or canteens.

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  • Jun 29 2018

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    How to export food to China

    Food manufacturers in Australia have a huge market to exploit domestically, but the the international market provides near limitless opportunities for growth. A popular destination for Australian food these days is China - we're their sixth largest food supplier according the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), shipping $5.3 billion worth of edible goods to their shores in 2016.Here's what you need to now to start exporting food to China.      What makes China a good option for food exporters?China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A burgeoning middle class means there are always new people who're ready to try interesting food products from around the world. The country is second in the world behind the United States for total food imports, Austrade reports, with the total value exceeding $160 billion in 2016.Already this year we've seen reports about Daigou, the Chinese practice of buying products on behalf of someone else, being incredibly popular. ABC News spoke to a Sydney mother that buys groceries to ship to customers in China, who told them, "Australia's organic food is very famous in China" - it seems there's far greater demand for Australian food products in China than there is supply.

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  • Jun 28 2018

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    The importance of a solid CRM system

    A CRM (customer relationship management) system is a key piece of software all businesses should use to make get the best from (and for) their customers. CRM systems can improve customer retention by up to 27 per cent according to Salesforce, a number that can translate into a sizeable amount of revenue over time.Beside improved retention, what are some other benefits of CRM software?Organisation of informationCRM software centralises all of your customer data in one place. This makes it a lot easier to find and therefore easier to use.Without a CRM solution, all of the information in your business might be there, but it could be in an unusable form.Data analyticsCRM software that has all of your customer data in one place gives the possibility for data analytics to take place. Even if the CRM itself doesn't do the analysis for you, its collection of the data into one database makes it a great deal more manageable than trying to enter that data by hand.

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  • Jun 7 2018

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    Automation: Positives, negatives, limits?

    If there's a theme running through 20th century manufacturing practices, it's automation. Every day, our technology improves and the list of tasks that can only be completed by a human grows ever shorter. But despite the benefits to productivity that automation can bring, it's a process that has its limits (or at least, it does today).This has been demonstrated in recent times with some fairly high profile examples. Perhaps most vivid is the automotive and renewable energy firm Tesla, and the production of its mass-market electric sedan, the Model 3. Ambitious targets and lofty promises abound, yet Tesla has failed to produce enough vehicles in the time they said they would.What can this situation teach us about the limits of automation, and its positives and negatives?Too many robots spoil the brothTesla is a company well known for its technological prowess. It was one of the first innovators in bring fully-electric cars to the masses, and making them appeal not only to tech geeks, but wider car buyers too.All that said, even titans sometimes fall. The actual production for their latest creation, the Model 3, is far behind what was initially promised and scheduled. The reasons for this could be many, but two Wall St analysts, Max Warburton and Toni Sacconaghi, have argued that the main bottleneck in their production process is the huge amount of automation they're using in their factory. And as it happens the CEO, Elon Musk, agrees:

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