Inventory Management Software: The Distribution Benefits of Sage ERP X3 vs Sage PFW ERP

Sage’s announcement that Sage PFW ERP would be retiring in March 2014 left many companies currently using the system with a decision to make: what system should they move to? After nearly a year of The Answer Company helping companies on PFW move to new ERP systems, we’ve seen them enjoy many, many benefits specifically when choosing Sage ERP X3. This is particularly true for companies relying on their ERP system as their inventory management software to organize distribution.

Inventory Management Software for Food Manufacturing

In one instance, Sage ERP X3 helped Garden Protein International, a Vancouver food manufacturer, lower costs and increase inventory accuracy by providing control over inventory and distribution. “Before implementation, inventory accuracy was around 50%. Since implementation, accuracy has steadily increased and is now better than 95%,” said Peter Demers, Vice President of Operations. An increased accuracy means both lower inventory carrying costs and lower labor costs, allowing Garden Protein to move from monthly counts to daily counts of inventory, thanks to Sage X3 inventory management software.

Overall, it should be said that upgrading to Sage ERP X3’s inventory management software from Sage PFW ERP is a huge improvement for a business’ information systems. Sage ERP X3 is a top of the line solution, miles ahead of anything that PFW could come to be with yearly improvements and new versions. Unlike PFW, X3 is a web-based solution that supports SQL server and Oracle database. Its modules spread through the entire organization, recording activity and transactions in real-time and presenting that information in intuitive user-defined dashboard and visual process flows.

Improve Distribution with Inventory Management Software from Sage X3

The real-time nature of the solution is a big part of how Sage ERP X3’s inventory management software improves distribution processes within a business. For example, moves of inventory in PFW are manual transactions that happen after the real life event. There are restrictions in how moves can happen, often leading to wasted time or multiple steps before the system can record the activity. In Sage ERP X3, it only takes a couple steps to process the move. This makes sharing of inventory parts across an unlimited number of companies (within the same organization) possible and easy to do.

The problem with Sage PFW ERP’s management of distribution was that the system could not manage locations in an accurate manner. The system just wasn’t deep enough to be able to understand different types of locations and characteristics that applied to each. As such, it required users to manually input much of the data, making it prone to errors and double data entries that cost a lot of time to adjust. Sage ERP X3’s inventory management software enables warehouse location management by row, section, shelf, and bin – allowing users to drill down and get a visual of where the levels of inventory are and their current status.

Costing Methods for Inventory Management

In addition, Sage ERP X3’s inventory management software offers multiple costing methods for inventory: standard, average, LIFO, FIFO, and lot costing method. It also allows users to choose multiple units of measure and unit of measure conversion, with multiple packaging units of measure for both pricing and selling. What this means is that companies can control packaging and pricing, having flexibility to adjust their actions in the marketplace with ease and almost instantaneously.

Perhaps one of the best selling points of Sage ERP X3, not only in comparison with PFW but also with most ERP solutions for small and midcap companies when it comes to inventory management software, is its lot tracking and traceability functionality. For companies distributing everything from ingredients to finished products, X3’s multi-level tracking mechanisms will tell you exactly where anything is, where it has been, and where it is going.

This was extremely important for Garden Protein as lot tracking had become a key part of their operations. Sage ERP X3’s inventory management software automated and streamlined their distribution in order to comply with the high standards of the food industry, including the Bioterrorism Act and other legislation. “Should a recall ever be necessary, we have the system in place that will allow us to trace every ingredient through the entire cycle, ultimately identifying which products it went into and the customers that purchased the products,” Demers stated.

In addition, Sage ERP X3 offers other new functionality that those currently using Sage PFW ERP would not have seen before. X3 allows users to manage their inventory and distribution by offering:

  • User-defined inventory replenishment rules available by product and site.
  • Inventory balance snapshots also include backorder and QC with zooms giving detail at the location and lot levels.
  • Utilize receiving and shipping location on the dock with two-step put away and pick.
  • Import tracking within purchasing provides material visibility and cost reconciliation.
  • Sales orders allows for multiple methods of and more control over automatically allocating stock to sales orders.
  • Multiple shipments against any number of different orders maybe combined on one customer invoice.

For more information on how Sage ERP X3 can help companies transitioning out of Sage PFW ERP, watch for our future blogs on manufacturing, technology, and finance benefits of X3.