Microsoft Dynamics® AX private label solutions
Leveraging a long and impressive track record of success working with food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers, including a critical industry subset of private label manufacturers, RSM’s team of highly-certified consultants are part of the largest Dynamics AX practice in the United States and enjoy the benefits of the company’s top-tier partnerships with Microsoft, as a nationally recognized Microsoft Dynamics Business Solution Partner and Microsoft Gold Partner.
Adding specific knowledge around private label manufacturing to their impressive technical credentials, RSM consultants are powerfully and uniquely qualified to help these clients drive visibility, analytics capability, growth and profitability, all while minimizing cost and risk. With the strength and functionality of RSM’s Dynamics AX-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suite for private label manufacturers—their clients are able to do exactly that.
Industry specialization and technical focus drive RSM’s success with private label manufacturers
As in any scenario in which a complex technology solution is required and implemented, success depends on myriad factors—among them a high level of skill and proficiency with the software on the part of the consulting partner, who ideally also possesses the kind of authentic hands-on experience that builds relevant industry knowledge and background. These are the critical success factors that make RSM consultants the first choice of private label manufacturers and the broader food and beverage industry as a whole.
For manufacturers of private label products—defined as products manufactured by one company for sale under the brand name of another—challenges associated with the manufacturing process are similar in many ways to the complexities and pain points felt across other segments within the F&B and even retail industries, all of which help to focus industry requirements for ERP software solutions that enable:
- Greater single-platform connection and real-time visibility across the enterprise
- More efficient and accurate production planning and inventory management
- Lower production costs while continuing to deliver on customer contracts and commitments
- Management and control over supply uncertainties and variability associated with the availability of raw materials (especially fresh and highly perishable raw materials)
- Compliance with robust safety and quality mandates and requirements
More unique to private label manufacturers, however, are the challenges associated with requirements set by their unique customer base—primarily big-box retailers, mega-stores and grocery chains with highly efficient supply chains—who offer their own customers these private label product options, often in tiers designed to reflect their cost, quality and value relative to their traditional brand name counterparts sitting next to them on the shelf. The demands made on private label manufacturers by such high-volume-sales retail behemoths pose challenges in two main areas critical to manufacturing:
- Squeezing inefficiencies from the supply chain: The combination of high sales volume and highly efficient supply chain operations for big box and other large grocery and retail brands means they are typically able to offer at least some product options to consumers at prices that would be uncomfortably low in a more traditional retail setting—with razor-thin margins, their strategy is to make up profit with sales volume driven by super-competitive price points. Generally speaking, this model requires that manufacturers of private label goods contract with these retailers to offer their products at equally low prices that (again) return low margins in hopes of realizing a profit through exceptionally high sales volume. The challenge for private label manufacturers then is one of supply chain efficiencies—in which the manufacturer is unlikely to profit or even survive without maximizing efficiencies through every supply chain component.
- Demanding compliance with stricter requirements: The second foundational challenge for private label manufacturers selling to large retailers is that often—for reasons that range from risk mitigation to brand definition—the retailer requires manufacturing to be conducted in accordance with requirements that are significantly more stringent—and commensurately more costly to achieve—than if the same products were being sold in a traditional retail setting. In this scenario, the private label manufacturer is forced to accept these additional compliance costs as part of the manufacturing process in hopes of achieving profitability through sales volume—again leaving little room for error, miscalculation, or any type of inefficiency in any part of the manufacturing process.
RSM helps turn industry pressure into business transformation, competitive advantage
While private label manufacturers may be tempted to consider such extreme customer requirements insurmountable, history has painted a different picture—one in which product categories have actually been strengthened rather than decimated by the stringent demands made of them by mega-retailers. The bottom line appears to be that private label and other manufacturers who use such customer pressures as a catalyst to adopt industry best practices and vertical-specific technology solutions are able to fundamentally transform their supply chain and manufacturing operations in ways that differentiate them and hone competitive advantage, increasing efficiencies, profit and future sustainability through enterprise-wide improvements in connection, visibility, analytics and more.
These are precisely the opportunities and results RSM consultants bring to their private label manufacturing clients. With industry-specific functionality that streamlines every aspect of regulatory compliance, supply chain operations and logistics for private label manufacturers, they enjoy tighter enterprise-wide integration, increased efficiencies, lower costs and higher margins—all in a solution built on Microsoft Dynamics AX—a flexible, proven platform known not just for the visibility it provides, but also for its ability to scale to meet unique and varied industry-specific requirements.
RSM understands business drivers for private label manufacturers
Bringing with them a wealth of industry experience gained from years of work with private label and other manufacturers of all sizes, RSM consultants blend their knowledge of private label manufacturing with the highest level Microsoft Dynamics AX certifications to deliver the benefits of RSM’s Dynamics AX accelerator for private label manufacturing—the company’s powerful, proven ERP solution. Designed specifically to help private label manufacturers address functionality requirements in areas that include recipe management, trade promotions, time-sensitive packaging and white stock repackaging, compliance with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and big-box safety standards, and warehouse operations, shelf life and mobility, this industry-specific solution helps them achieve many of this highly competitive industry’s most common business and operational goals, including requirements to:
- Gain real-time visibility into business-critical operating metrics like productivity, margin and profitability while also boosting safety and regulatory compliance with advanced traceability—forward and backward—that delivers a clear view into end-to-end private label manufacturing operations provided by RSM’s Dynamics AX accelerator for private label manufacturing. Using powerful, proven business intelligence and analytics capabilities, private label manufacturers are also able to leverage the powerful data gleaned from greater enterprise-wide integration and visibility to transform big data into competitive advantage, actionable business insights and safer, healthier manufacturing operations.
- Free from the inefficiencies that characterize these types of disconnected legacy processes and systems, private label manufacturers are able to scale and act quickly to meet regulatory requirements, mega-retailer customer demands, and corporate goals for profit and growth.
- Enable quick and nimble responses to changing food and consumer trends, commodity costs, disruptions (including recalls) and innovations, as well as other dynamic industry factors with a solution that easily adapts to industry-specific processes for private label manufacturers and includes predefined templates to ensure clients are able to be live—up and running—quickly, and without costly without delays.
- Increase top-line revenue using advanced business reporting metrics that identifies top performers, and enjoys inventory visibility that captures the value that demanding mega-retailer customers apply to private label products they offer their own customers.
- Use powerful business intelligence and analytics capabilities to capitalize on the potential big data offers to enable more agile operations and faster, improved business decision-making, using data to hone competitive advantage.
Uniquely positioned to help private label manufacturers grow and scale their businesses, simplify and speed processes, and make smarter, faster, better-informed decisions, RSM consultants specialize in addressing just these types of industry challenges, delivering measurable improvements and efficiencies to critical business operations.
RSM delivers leading Dynamics AX solutions, designed for private label manufacturers
Built on the Dynamics AX platform and designed to give private label manufacturers the flexibility, visibility and scalability they need to drive revenue and support sustainable growth, RSM’s solution is a true single-platform, end-to-end ERP solution that addresses the industry’s complex operational requirements—including those around compliance with extreme quality and regulatory requirements—through functionality such as:
- Advanced lot trace and compliance with big-box safety standards: Streamlining food safety and similar compliance efforts while enabling rapid responses to critical scenarios, private label manufacturers enjoy complete visibility—forward and backward—into raw materials, intermediates and finished products through all stages of the supply chain, using automated, electronic processes to manage critical control points (CCP) in their supply chain, develop food safety and recall plans and manage traceability. RSM’s easy-to use Lot Trace Wizard provides a user-friendly way to execute traces through a series of intuitive questions that allow users to pinpoint bad lots—this PTI-compliant solution accommodates GTIN, GDSN Field Names, County of Origin, Unit of Measure Codes, bar code formatting and packaging type codes.
- Cost control and performance: Integrating processes across departments and streamlining cross-enterprise operations such as purchasing, production, sales, cost management and accounting, users are equipped with comprehensive functionality around all areas of cost control, leveraging the tools and visibility they need to manage performance of all key private label manufacturing operations. Easy-to-use features allow for straightforward calculations around margin-critical areas—including promotions, rebates, pricing and accounting—on all commodities at key points in the supply chain. (See also “Trade promotions management” below.)
- Direct store delivery and perfect order fulfillment: Delivering perfect orders every time and simplifying the end-to-end route accounting process, users tasked with on-time delivery of consumable and perishable products for distribution improve efficiency, delivery productivity and margin with this delivery route accounting and management tool that supports static and ad hoc routes, load sequencing, delivery calendars, route optimization, vendor-managed inventory and delivery via distribution centers.
- Mobile traceability: Extending product source and safety information all the way to the customer’s fingertips via mobile devices, consumers are enabled to easily trace items they intend to purchase via tablets or smartphones—either at the point of purchase or from the convenience of their home—providing both peace of mind for consumers and the ability for growers, producers, shippers and manufacturers to provide those same consumers with value-added information such as recall notices, nutritional information and recipes, while also strengthening consumer connectivity and feedback and brand reputation.
- Product quality control: Supporting critical initiatives around ensuring the quality of often highly perishable products such as produce, users gain flexible control of date-sensitive inventory with a quality control solution that supports sample testing and is tightly integrated with inventory functionality—a solution able to enact automatic quality assurance (QA) holds if tested specifications are not met, generate Pending Lot Expiration reports, and provide the first expired, first out (FEFO) stock controls so critical for companies dealing in perishable goods.
- Production scheduling: Optimizing seasonal and variable raw materials to maximize yields while also reducing the error, inefficiency and workload associated with manual production scheduling, private label manufacturers are able to improve the quality and efficiency of production schedules to ensure they are able to quickly and seamlessly respond to schedule changes throughout the day, get the highest yields from available raw materials and production capabilities, and schedule production in the most efficient, economical way possible, minimizing downtime—all within the production constraints specified for each piece of equipment. Also enabling private label manufacturers to easily manage high-volume, last-minute orders and “make to order” processing with real-time visibility into production, allocations and logistics, this solution is a critical component of the value-added processing operations used by many of today’s private label manufacturers.
- Recipe management: Managing and tracking multiple product lines and SKUs to multiple stores, users are able to easily track margin and cost. For private label manufacturers who—for example—may make several versions of a product, each sold in different varieties in different stores, tracked SKUs could easily reach 1,000+, making this functionality critical to operations.
- Trade promotions management: Providing complete visibility into and control over business operations—from analysis, funding and planning, to implementation and claim processing—users are able to eliminate the overspending and write-offs typically associated with manual reconciliation of trade promotions by using this closed-loop, fully integrated solution that delivers the ability to track, control and analyze trade promotions, and to integrate pricing, order processing and financials throughout the enterprise.
- Version control and time-sensitive packaging: Effectively managing time-sensitive packaging, processors are able to control different versions of products tied to the packaging so that the product, UPCs and SKUs do not change, but the actual product packaging does. Allowing for version controls on actual packaging documents allows processors to use the same SKUs and UPCs while internally tracking different component inputs.
- Warehouse operations, inventory management, shelf life and mobility: Enabling the accurate inventory management needed to comply with customer contracts (particularly shelf-life timeline commitments), private label manufacturers are able to achieve the highest yields from raw materials and production capabilities available to them and charge premium prices for the freshest or most highly demanded products using an accurate, easy-to-use tool to manage inventory and order data in real time with user-friendly warehouse interfaces and wireless connectivity between hand-held devices and business management solutions.
- White stock repackaging: Capitalizing on built-in solutions for managing white stock or bulk food products, private label manufacturers are able to package and label products into multiple product variants.
Such complex capabilities and requirements are precisely what a true industry-specific solution like Microsoft Dynamics AX is designed and built for. Adding applicable process manufacturing industry accelerators from RSM to enhance out-of-the-box functionality from day one also speeds and simplifies the ways in which RSM’s private label manufacturing clients are able to successfully meet many of these industry-specific challenges.
Microsoft has recognized RSM with a gold Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) competency in the Microsoft Partner Network as well as a Global Independent Software Vendor (GISV) status. RSM has also been awarded some of Microsoft’s most prestigious awards in vertical-specific areas.
- Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics
- Certified for Microsoft Dynamics AX (CfMD)
- Global Development Localization Partner Advisory Board
- RFID Partner Advisory Council
- Dynamics AX X++ Development I
- Dynamics AX X++ Development II
- Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal Development I
- Dynamics AX Advanced Administration
- Reporting and Business Analysis for Dynamics AX
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