Acumatica Shares Its Success and Strategy at Summit 2019

When prospects ask why we chose to build our MaxQ solutions on the Acumatica platform, we cite Acumatica’s modern cloud-based design, integrated architecture, rich feature set, user-friendly interface, comprehensive mobile support, and advanced automation capabilities.

All these capabilities and more were highlighted at the recent Acumatica Partner Summit, including enhancements made in 2018 that made the Acumatica ERP an even stronger platform. Improvements slated for 2019 promise to make the Acumatica platform even stronger still.

Focus on the User

Acumatica has been recognized by IDC, Nucleus Research, Gartner, PC Magazine, and others for its dedication to creating a user-friendly experience, and this year’s Summit showed an ongoing commitment to making the system easy to use.

Several improvements centered on the Acumatica Generic Inquiries tool, which is used to extract data for reporting and analyses. In the new version, Acumatica is making it easy for non-coders to make queries.

Importing data into Acumatica also is being made easier. The results of Generic Inquiries, for example, can be used to import data from Excel spreadsheets and other import scenarios.

Page customization also has been made easier for non-coders.  A new feature, called Custom Conditions, allows non-coders to add new business rules to existing pages.

Another new feature enables you to personalize an Acumatica instance using colors—for example, to differentiate between different company sites and branches. A new feature called conditional highlighting, added to queries, uses color again to make it easy to identify information, such as high performing and low performing records.

Easier Data Access & Monitoring

Another new ease-of-use feature is the Side Panel, a panel at the right side of your form, which enables you to see information, eliminating the need to navigate between records or open multiple browser windows. For example, using side panels you can see inventory item details while querying a sales order line without having to drill down to the inventory item.

Other new ease-of-use features include a processing bar that enables you to monitor the status of long-running processes as they run in the background.

Easier Application Development

Acumatica also is making application development easier using its Business Query Language (BQL). Creating a complex BQL query has been difficult in many cases, so Acumatica is creating a new technology called Fluent BQL that makes it dramatically easier to write and read queries.

A new integration between Acumatica BQL and Microsoft LINQ also has been created to make querying easier and more expansive. The ability to easily extract information from an Outlook email is another improvement.

AI Is a Major Direction

Incorporating AI and machine learning into the Acumatica platform is a big priority going forward. Among the processes that are being enhanced by AI are customer help queries and the automation of accounting processes such as expense report coding. For example, a user will be able to simply swipe a picture of a receipt and the data will automatically be entered into the system.

The Summit audience saw a natural language search demo using Acumatica’s new Alexa for Business, using voice commands used to look up inventory, opportunities, and contacts, as well as to approve expense claims.

Another demo showed Google Cloud Vision Product Search being used to look up common items. In this case, a smartphone camera was able to locate a pair of shoes. This type of search could be useful in manufacturing and field service scenarios, such as searching for the right ingredient, component, or replacement part.

Reporting, Security, and BI Advances

Surveys show that comprehensive and flexible reporting is a top priority for customers, so Acumatica is taking steps to enhance its already strong reporting tools and dashboards, including adding more prebuilt reports to the platform. A new document data dictionary also has been added.

A new multi-factor authentication security feature has been added that requires a code to be entered by a user to be allowed to log in. The code can be sent in different formats to mobile devices and a fingerprint scan can be used to gain entry as well as typing in the code.

Connectedness Is Next

As Acumatica CEO Roskill explained, the next phase beyond the cloud is connectedness, so the focus in 2019 is on advanced integration across the entire business, including better integration of accounting and inventory. The aim is to connect partners, suppliers, customers, and business units, while creating exceptional customer experiences at the same time.

More Kudos for Acumatica

Acumatica has received numerous honors and recognition from industry analysts and product reviewers. At this year’s Summit, Acumatica CEO Roskill shared the news that Acumatica had just received PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice for Best ERP for the third year in a row.

Acumatica also won the SIIA Codie Award, the Oscar of the software industry, for best cloud ERP solution and best manufacturing solution. Acumatica earned the top ranking in ERP usability from Nucleus Research for the third year in a row, as well as the highest customer satisfaction rating from Gartner in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial Management Suites for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises.

Gartner accurately recognized Acumatica as “visionary” in its first magic quadrant evaluation of cloud-based ERP vendors. Acumatica has been executing on its vision at a high level to create what many analysts deem to be the leading ERP platform.

Big Growth Numbers

As Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill noted, Acumatica put up some impressive growth numbers in 2018.  Acumatica now has 5,200 customers, 1,200 of whom joined in 2018. Acumatica systems worldwide performed more than 160 million ERP transactions per month, which totaled more than 1 billion transactions in 2018. Acumatica had 103 million logons in 2018, with 99.999% uptime and 97% support satisfaction.

Acumatica’s focus on customer success has resulted in Acumatica’s continued reign as the fastest growing cloud ERP vendor. The revenue goal for 2019 is 88% growth, which would enable Acumatica to maintain that lead.

Biggest R&D Budget 

As Jon Roskill noted, Acumatica does not have a sales force, relying rather on VARs and ISVs as the channel through which it sells its products. This channel is also growing rapidly, with 47 new VAR partners joining the Acumatica ecosystem in 2018.

Because Acumatica does not have to pay a sales force, it can devote more resources to R&D.  As a result, said Roskill, Acumatica has more developer resources devoted to ERP development than any of its competitor, including Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle.

Development will continue to focus on enhancing the core modules and the usability of the software, including the ability to cross modules and send information from one area of the business to another, such as intercompany financials and payment processing. Lowering the cost of migration of data is another aim.

A Fruitful Partnership

Independent software vendors like MaxQ are able to extend the Acumatica platform to provide advanced solutions for particular applications and industries like recurring revenue management, inventory management, and cannabis management.

This year, we were pleased to see Acumatica incorporate the MaxQ Advanced Billing solution into the Acumatica platform. We also were pleased to see MaxQ CEO John Pavain among the 30 partners who received Acumatica’s Most Valuable Professional award.

The usability, integration, data manipulation, AI, reporting, and other enhancements that are strengthening the Acumatica ERP, coupled with the enhancements MaxQ has built into our Acumatica solutions, makes a MaxQ Acumatica solution an unbeatable value proposition for our customers.

We encourage you to check out the latest MaxQ Acumatica solutions to see what we mean.

MaxQ is a provider of advanced Acumatica business solutions across a wide range of applications and industriesContact us to learn more about how MaxQ for Acumatica solutions can help your business.

 


Power BI Gives Curio Wellness a Big Competitive Edge

In the highly competitive world of cannabis manufacturing, Curio Wellness has gained advantages by deploying a MaxQ Cannabis management solution that includes Power BI analytics. 

Brad Friedlander, CIO of Curio Wellness, described how his company is deriving a wealth of benefits from Power BI.

End-to-End BI Value

“Our executive team uses it for sales and key metrics, sales by customer, what products are trending, how things are selling within categories, in both quantity and dollars,” he explained. “We can view data in real time, daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.”

Power BI is used to monitor and manage the entire business, including operations, sales, and marketing, said Friedlander, adding that this has resulted in better planning, decision making, and performance.

Overall, Power BI has given his company a huge competitive advantage, said Friedlander. “Most of our competitors are on QuickBooks,” he explained, “so they don’t have the ability to do what we do with Power BI.”

Using Power BI also has resulted in better customer satisfaction, he said. “It enables us to meet demand and keep customers happy, which is our number one priority.”

Expanded Use

Curio Wellness obtained Power BI as a standard component of the MaxQ Cannabis solution that is used to manage the company’s seed-to-sale cannabis operations.

However, as users worked with Power BI and discovered its potential, they desired to expand the range of analyses they were able to perform. MaxQ provided additional consulting and customization to enable Power BI to meet the users’ expanding needs.

Friedlander said he is continuously adding pages to Power BI to add functionality that enables the management team to view data in new ways.

Real-Time Advantages

The ability to continually monitor and analyze data in real time is a big part of the advantages the company is deriving from Power BI, Friedlander said. “We can refresh minute by minute and can see data coming from the field for sales and operations.”

Daily monitoring and analyzing of key metrics have enabled the operations and sales teams to make better decisions and change business outcomes, Friedlander said. “It’s allowed us to quickly see problem areas and address them immediately rather than at month’s end,” he explained.

For example, same-day analyses of sales data enable the company to adjust its product processing and packaging to meet market demand. “We can meet demand within a day,” said Friedlander. “When we harvest plants, we have strains that are cured and in the final stages of being packaged, so we can modify the rotation of strains to meet demand on any given day.”

Leveraging Key Metrics

Curio Wellness’s operations and sales teams use Power BI to track a variety of key metrics on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, Friedlander said. “We track many metrics,” he explained, “including sales by customer, sales by strain, dollars and weight sold, inventory on hand, and manufactured products. We also can see margins and selling price over any given period of time.”

Power BI helps the operations side keep in step with sales and marketing. “We can see the best-selling products in any given week, and modify our trimming and production schedules to meet the current demand,” Friedlander explained.

Power BI data also enables the sales and marketing teams to take steps to boost the sales of underperforming products. “We can see what’s selling and what isn’t, and we can put something on special or do special promotions for weaker selling products,” Friedlander added.

Power BI has proven to be fast, flexible, and easy to use, Friedlander said. “You can make changes on the fly, and you can look at the data in so many different ways.”

Production Optimization

On the operations side, Power BI enables the operations team to monitor production and gauge its efficiency. “We can see what yields are out of the garden and the gross weights and class of product that results from a crop,” Friedlander explained.

Power BI also enables the operations team to see how the crops that are harvested measure up to the planned production. “We can set the results we aim to hit for a crop, and we can see how well we have performed to hit that metric—for example, the percentage of flower that falls into upper tier, middle tier, and lower tier,” Friedlander explained.

The financial team uses the forecasting power of Power BI in the planning and budgeting process. “We can forecast relatively easily based on historical trends, including growth rates by customer, in quantity and dollars,” Friedlander explained. “We can see trends and apply those trends to our forecast for the next year.”

Limitless Potential

Friedlander said he could ever see a time when he could say the potential uses of Power BI had reached an end.“There are endless uses for this,”  he said. “It will continue to evolve to serve the business.”

The company currently is in the process of automating its Flash report, he said, which aggregates key metrics of entire business. “This will let users access data from a single source rather than dragging in data from multiple data sources, and the Flash report will be formatted for the purpose of visualizing the metrics,” he explained.

Going forward, Friedlander said the company plans to expand the use of Power BI in a number of ways, including creating customized dashboards for each team—executive, operations, sales, and marketing. “We also want to add the ability to analyze cost of sales, particularly on the cultivation side,” he said.

Better Than Expected

After using Power BI for a year, Friedlander said the tool had exceeded his expectations. “I love it,” he said, adding that, “I probably use it more than anybody on the team.”

Having never used Power BI before, Friedlander said he was surprised by the tools’ ease of use, ability to format data in many ways, and generally visualize data. “There’s a lot to like about Power BI,” he said. “It’s easy to create charts and visualize data in an appealing way. We use the mapping, which lets us see where the hotbed of activities is coming from.”

Is the company pleased with the return on investment in Power BI? “Absolutely,” said Friedlander. “The ability to get data in real time, and the amount of time you save in aggregating and reporting on data, you can’t put a value on that.”

Power BI has made life easier and benefited the business in numerous ways, said Friedlander, including better performance and decision making. “It also has given us a huge competitive advantage,” he added.

MaxQ Technologies provides state-of-the-art Power BI solutions and incorporates Power BI within advanced business solution suites. Contact us to learn more about Power BI and how your business could benefit from a Power BI solution.

 


Using Acumatica Import with an Alternate Key

When importing data into Acumatica using the Integration tools, I was under the impression you needed to have the key to a record in your data to update the existing record. Thankfully, I was wrong and Acumatica provides an easy way to do this, when you know the secret… A good example of how to resolve this issue is the way the MaxQ Cannabis solution reconciles lab testing records. In MaxQ Cannabis, there is a form that allows a user to track the testing of different products by their lot number. As required by law, these lots need to be tested by a certified independent lab. The lab technician will go onsite and take a small sample of the lot to be tested, and in doing so creates a new lot number for the sample. The lab will test the sample and report the results by using its lot number, hence the issue. We need to use the lab’s lot number to find the correct lab results record to update the test results (see image below). As you can see, we have the Lab Package Tag (Acumatica Lot Number) as a field on the lab report and need to update the Lab Result ID for record id 00000012. The Lab Package Tag is part of the Lab Results Selector. We need to add some special lines to the import scenario to accomplish this. Notice the first three lines of the image below. We are telling the import scenario to use the Lab Package Tag to look up the Lab Results ID and update the data. More information on this importing technique can be found in the Acumatica I100 Integration Training Guide section “Updating Auto-Numbered Records by a Selector Column (Customers).” Note: To use fields that are not part of the id’s selector, you can use the special @@ method (shown below). This is documented in the Acumatica I100 Integration Training Guide section called “Updating Auto-Numbered Records by Custom Key (Customers).” MaxQ is a provider of advanced Acumatica business solutions across a wide range of applications and industriesContact us to learn more about how MaxQ for Acumatica solutions can help your business.

How to Fix Incorrect Purchase Receipt Accruals

                                    In this series, we answer real-life questions from Acumatica users

QUESTION:  I have a variance in my PO accrual report. How do I correct it?

ANSWER:  If you have a report in which there is an accrual account difference, the cause may be multiple Reversals of AP Bills. If this is the case, here is how to resolve it:

First, if you perform a Reverse Action in an AP Bill created from a PO Receipt, as shown below:

Please note that the system provides a warning:

If you continue, all links to the PO Receipt are carried over to the Debit Adjustment (highlighted below):

Unfortunately, there is no restriction to the number of times the AP Bill Reversal Action can be performed, allowing, in this example, creation of a second Debit Adjustment tied to the same PO Receipt:

When the Debit Adjustments are released, the result is double Unbilled Quantities and Unbilled Amounts in the Purchase Receipt Accrual Details report:

RESOLUTION

It is not apparent how to correct this error. You can do so by creating a new AP Bill against the PO Receipt:

The system will take all documents associated with the Receipt into account and create a net Bill, i.e., double the Quantities and Amounts, as shown in this example:

Once the Bill has been released, the PO Receipt has been cleared from the report:

MaxQ is a provider of advanced Acumatica business solutions across a wide range of applications and industriesContact us to learn more about how MaxQ for Acumatica solutions can help your business.


Kudos for Acumatica: Champion ERP and MaxQ’s Solution Platform of Choice

MaxQ chose Acumatica ERP as the platform on which to build advanced business solutions because of its modern cloud-based design, integrated architecture, comprehensive feature set, user-friendly interface, advanced automation capabilities, and more.

It is therefore satisfying to see these same qualities recognized and validated by analysts and product reviewers in their evaluations of Acumatica.

Among the sterling reviews Acumatica received this year, PC Magazine UK  found Acumatica to be best in class, with the reviewer giving Acumatica a rating of “Excellent” as well as the Editors’ Choice Award.

The PC Magazine review found that “Acumatica’s intuitive design, enterprise scalability, and flexible pricing model help make Acumatica an excellent choice for enterprise resource planning, general ledger accounting, and inventory management.” 

Acumatica’s browser-based user experience (UX), said the review, “is excellent, with a feature-rich environment accessible via an intuitive user interface (UI).”

Top of the Leaderboard

Nucleus Research also found Acumatica to be a top-tier ERP leader in its recently released “ERP Technology Value Matrix” report. The report placed Acumatica atop the Leaders quadrant and praised Acumatica’s continuing refinement of its platform, finding that “high usability and flexibility are at the center of Acumatica’s development philosophy” as it continues to add features and automate processes.

Acumatica, said the report, “continues to lead the way in usability, serving several industry verticals, including commerce, manufacturing, and field service.” Nucleus also gave Acumatica accolades for its responsiveness to customers and focus on providing rich mobile capabilities.

Nucleus found that Acumatica’s latest version, released in September, “is bringing a host of incremental improvements to each of its vertical solutions focused on increasing customer satisfaction.”

Acumatica Shines at Summit 2018

IDC attended Acumatica’s Summit 2018 and spoke with company executives and customers. In its report on the Summit, IDC gave Acumatica high marks for its technology and customer satisfaction, finding that Acumatica has added “a significant number of new features and functionality with the release of Acumatica 2018 R1.” Based on interviews with Acumatica customers, IDC said it believed “Acumatica is well aligned with the market in terms of added features, channel momentum, and strategic road map updates.”

Like PC Magazine and Nucleus Research, IDC praised Acumatica for listening to its customers and making improvements to the Acumatica ERP platform based on customer feedback. Acumatica, said IDC, “took great effort to incorporate customer feedback into 2018 R1 even down to relatively small details like reducing the number of clicks while building a report in the financial suite.” This, said IDC, represents a granular level of focus on both customers and technology that will continue to help advance growth quickly.

IDC found that the value Acumatica was providing to its customers was reflected in its excellent revenue and growth numbers, including 144% net-new revenue growth while reaching the 4,000-customer mark in 2017. In addition, said IDC, Acumatica saw 90% year-over-year growth from its parent channel, indicating “building momentum and energy related to its solution.”

Exclusive Club

A report by Mint Jutras, a research and advisory firm that specializes in evaluating ERP solutions, found Acumatica to be an outstanding solution, citing four key elements that significantly differentiate Acumatica from its competitors:

  • The ability to access the solution from anywhere, on any device.
  • A flexible deployment model, allowing the customer to choose public cloud, private cloud or licensed on premise.
  • Modern consumption-based licensing meant to be affordable and inclusive of all designated employees as well as key customers and partners.
  • A connected cloud platform that aids in extending the solution without creating islands of automation.

As Mint Jutras noted, while there are vendors that can make a similar claim for one of these differentiators, “if we combine all four, Acumatica is indeed in a class all by itself.”

MaxQ + Acumatica = Unbeatable Value

Acumatica’s openness and flexibility have enabled MaxQ to create a framework on which we are able to extend the value of Acumatica and tailor solutions to specific industries and applications.

MaxQ solutions built on the Acumatica framework include Advanced Revenue Management, Advanced Billing, Inventory Management, and a Cannabis Management Solution that can handle the most demanding needs of large-scale cannabis manufacturers.

For all the reasons noted by the analysts and reviewers above, MaxQ’s many satisfied customers would agree that a MaxQ solution based on Acumatica offers outstanding value. To see what all the fuss is about, we invite you to see firsthand what a MaxQ Acumatica solution could do for your business.

MaxQ is a provider of advanced Acumatica business solutions across a wide range of applications and industriesContact us to learn more about how MaxQ for Acumatica solutions can help your business.