What we can do for you

Our Strategy

Step 1: Choosing Your KPI’s

Our consultants focus on the balanced scorecard strategy in deciding what to measure. We can help you choose which 5-6 key performance indicators will be necessary for you to stay on top of. We need information not in quantity but in quality and we need it in real time, not next month or next quarter. A business could have a list of 500 metrics, but successful businesses have 15-20 metrics. How do you select which ones to focus on? And how do you make those matrices so embedded in the business that you come to rely on them every day?

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6 Ways to Transform Your Companies

6 Ways to Transform Your Companies

The team at aimINSIGHT worked as manufacturers and distributors before conceiving the idea of a management consulting firm that would draw upon their extensive experience in supply chain management.

We are uniquely positioned to help your company streamline its operations, minimize costs and increase profits thanks to our awareness of industry standards in supply chain management that help us realize untapped potential across the entire spectrum of business operations.

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Avalara 1099 Making complicated 1099 tax reporting easy

Avalara 1099 Making complicated 1099 tax reporting easy

Every year, new 1099 reporting requirements, regulatory changes and additional reporting responsibilities mean more work for businesses. Wondering where you will find the time to comply with your 1099 reporting responsibilities? Worried you will put the organization at risk through non-compliant filings? If you answered yes to either question, Avalara 1099 is for you.

Check out the Avalara 1099 demo video to learn more.

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Don’t let the constantly changing world of sales and use tax regulation slow you down.

Limited-Time Sage Sales Tax Offer: A Year of FREE Sage Sales Tax Service
It’s the perfect time to automate sales tax compliance. Take advantage of this year-end promotion!

Sage customers that sign up for a year of Sage Sales Tax Calc service by December 31, 2015 can receive the next year of service for free.*

*Note: Offer applies to new Sage Sales Tax customers only. Upgrades do not qualify for the promotion. Cannot be combined with any other discount. Interested? Fill out this form for more information.

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A Brief History of EDI

A Brief History of EDI

1960s – The Early Days of EDI

Computer systems first developed the ability to exchange data in the 1960’s when Ed Guilbert, the father of EDI, developed an electronic message format for sending cargo information. The first EDI messages were Telex messages exchanged in 1965 between shipping companies. At the time, a full page of information could be sent in roughly 2 minutes. After loading them to tape, these messages could be accessed by computers.

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Uncovering Hidden Sales Opportunities

Uncovering Hidden Sales Opportunities

Did you know that without an online feedback system that provides salespeople real-time data on their sales and commissions, you can lose thousands and even millions of dollars in lost sales?

Salespeople need the ability to review their numbers frequently. It is more important than just feeling of accomplishment. Accurate data about where to focus their efforts is key to maximizing their sales efforts.

The salesperson portal is such a system.

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Understanding EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgment

Understanding EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgment

Definition

The EDI 997 document, known as the Functional Acknowledgment or FA, is sent as a response to other EDI transactions received. An EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement is an electronic version of a receipt, acknowledging that an EDI document, or a group of EDI documents, was received.

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Top 5 Most Popular EDI Transactions

Top 5 Most Popular EDI Transactions

EDI transaction codes, sometimes called transaction sets or T-sets, correspond to a specific type of electronic business document, such as an invoice or a purchase order. There are many different documents that you might exchange with your trading partners, and many more specialized transaction sets that are not used as commonly.

In this blog post, I will discuss the following most popular EDI transaction sets:

1. 846 – Inventory Inquiry/Advice

2. 997 – Functional Acknowledgement

3. 850 – Purchase Order

4. 856 – Advance Ship Notice

5. 810 – Invoice

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Stop Draining Your Business by Paying the Price

Stop Draining Your Business by Paying the Price

Limited resources, unlimited wants. It is a basic principle of economics. Every business must embrace it, whether they like it or not.

But, why then do businesses choose to spend thousands of dollars paying employees to do work that can be done faster and more accurately by machines alone?

The Accountant’s Nightmare

A classic example of such blind decision-making is having the accounting department spend hundreds of hours every year manually processing invoice data in Microsoft Excel to calculate sales commissions to pay their sales team.

But, they argue, “Isn’t the data in my system already? All I am doing is bringing it together, and processing it using templates I already have in place?”

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Scale Your Business by Serving Customers Differently

Scale Your Business by Serving Customers Differently

In the 21st century, the pace of change has increased exponentially. For businesses, these are exciting times. Today, technology has opened new avenues for business growth and expansion that companies of the past could only dream of.
Growth and Scalability

Among the many technological breakthroughs of recent times is the introduction of the online customer portal. Today, it is a hassle for customers to contact the call center for basic inquiries about their account. In turn, businesses have found a practical solution for scaling their operations without losing control or draining precious resources. After all, expanding their online customer portals to accommodate rapid growth is far easier and more efficient than having to expand their call centers as fast.

But, designing an online customer portal with scalability in mind is not an easy task. First, however, let’s understand what an online customer portal exactly is.

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Increase Customer Retention by Outrunning Your Competition

Increase Customer Retention by Outrunning Your Competition

In today’s marketplace, many companies are competing for the same customers. Your customers today won’t remain yours tomorrow unless you are taking action consistently to retain them.
Outrun Your Competition

Customer retention is more than keeping your customer satisfied. Even when a customer is satisfied, you can lose them to a competitor who offers them a better price or an attractive discount. Customer retention involves taking action to outrun your competitors before they take away your customers.
Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are one of the best ways of retaining customers. According to Wikipedia, “Loyalty programs are structured marketing strategies designed to encourage customers to continue to shop at or use the services of businesses associated with each program.”

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Should you be collecting sales tax in other states?

Creating a Nexus Checklist to Ensure Compliance

When we’re talking sales tax compliance, the term nexus refers to a responsibility to collect and remit sales tax in a specific state.The concept may seem pretty simple: You need to collect sales tax in states where you have a substantial physical presence. However, it’s not as straight forward as you may think. Most states actually make their own rules and define “presence” in different ways. Trying to determine if you have enough of a presence based on each state’s individual definition can get confusing.

But we can help! Our partner Avalara is hosting a webinar to help you understand nexus and how to find out where you should be collecting sales tax.

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The MFA Domino Effect

The year 2015 came and went without federal action on remote sales tax. In spite of the fact that three new pieces of remote sales tax legislation were passed around the hill, the topic was notably absent from lawmakers’ action items. And yet, it is an issue that’s impossible to ignore given action at the state level.

Talk, talk, talk — 3 bills

MFA. No one bothered to make a 2014 version of the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) of 2013, which was approved by the Senate in May 2013 and then left to gather dust in the House. A 2015 version was introduced in early March. The bill, S. 698, was read twice and then referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Which is where it may well still be; it isn’t anywhere else.

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Prepare your business for the “Cloud Generation”

Technology trends track much faster today than in the past. When the telephone first came on the scene, it took 75 years to get 50 million people to adopt it. It took 13 years for that same number of people to embrace television. The Internet took only four years. The Angry Birds app? 35 days.

A month may be a stretch, but onboarding newtechnologiesis happening much more quickly. 2016 will definitely see the rise of the Cloud Generation. Advanced analytics and big data are gaining traction. 3-D printers are being used in manufacturing and production. Mobile is ubiquitous.And companies are getting much more comfortable with the Cloud. A new report by Verizon Enterprise Solutions shows that cloud computing is finally mainstream, with nearly every company using it in some way in their business. A third of those surveyed said that at least half their workloads are in the cloud; Oracle is predicting this will be 70% by 2025.

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2016 Sales Tax Changes: What to Expect in the New Year

Like every New Year, 2016 will bring many sales tax changes. Rates will decrease or increase, there’ll be new product taxability rules, exemptions will expire or take effect, and there will be reporting changes. The only thing certain when it comes to sales tax is that change happens. And if often happens without much warning.

The coming of a New Year is a time to reflect on the past — what went well and what you wish you’d done differently. It’s a time for resolutions. This new year, have no regrets when it comes to sales tax.  Resolve to streamline your sales tax compliance. You’ll find that it’s easier than losing weight.

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What will be the big reveal for retail this holiday season?

30 sweet statistics on consumer spend trends for December

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

This popular holiday tunecould be the theme song for retailers this holiday season. November and December are by far the biggest money-making months for retailers, accounting for as much as 30% of sales for the year. And if it goes the way some pundits predict, it’ll be music to sellers’ ears. Holiday sales could reach $631 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF); close to 10% of this will be online spend.

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Be a savvy seller in 2016

What does it take to be a savvy seller in 2016? Be smart about social media; be open to apps; and offer your clients the best check out experience possible. 

Get social

Many consumers prefer communicating via social media to other methods (e-mail, phone, or talking with a real person in a store). Once they have an audience, they’ll talk about their good, bad, and ugly experiences. One connected consumer can influence how others perceive your brand — for better or for worse.

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17 Rules of the Road for CRM

When it comes to choosing the right customer relationship management (CRM) system for your business, it’s important to understand all the benefits of an integrated CRM system before beginning your selection process.

When you launch a CRM implementation, your choices can impact nearly everyone in your company. That’s why we’ve created this booklet. These 17 “rules of the road” for CRM were collected from executives, managers, employees and consultants who shared their experiences with us. Our goal is to provide you with useful information as you choose your own CRM system.

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39 New Ideas for CFO’s

What You Should Know Before You Buy New Accounting Software

Learn how to choose and implement the right accounting system. We’ve gathered information from leading CFOs, CPAs and software publishers to create the 39 New Ideas for CFOs guide. Get answers to tough questions such as:

  • How long should implementation take?
  • What can go wrong?
  • What are the pitfalls?
  • How do I keep costs down?
  • How do I choose the right consultant?
  • And much more!

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Enhance Your Business Relationships with Sage CRM

Accelerate Your Performance with Complete Front and Back Office Visibility

Imagine: Your top sales professional calls your best customer to sell him a new product. What he doesn’t know is that the customer initiated a customer service ticket last week and did not pay last month’s bill. Needless to say, the call goes badly.

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Franchise frenzy: U.S. and global tax implications

Franchise business is booming! According to the International Franchise Association, a new franchise will be opened every 8 minutes in 2015.  But did you know that franchisers face additional sales tax challenges as they expand — both at home and abroad?

For many franchise businesses, one of the biggest challenges is exemption certificate management.  Often, individual franchises receive shipments of branded products from the franchisor intended for resale to customers.  Sales tax only applies to the final end user in a transaction, so franchisees are considered re sellers and do not pay sales tax when they buy these products.

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What will be the big reveal for retail this holiday season?

30 sweet statistics on consumer spend trends for December

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

This popular holiday tunecould be the theme song for retailers this holiday season. November and December are by far the biggest money-making months for retailers, accounting for as much as 30% of sales for the year. And if it goes the way some pundits predict, it’ll be music to sellers’ ears. Holiday sales could reach $631 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF); close to 10% of this will be online spend.

Attracting buyers won’t be as easy a sell this year. Consumers appear more cautious that previous years, with a closer eye on their budgets. Retailers will need to work harder in 2015 to loosen their purse strings. The good news is that the spend trend is expected to continue upwards, albeit at a slower pace. Consumers celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are expected to spend an average of $805 this holiday season – the highest it’s been in the 14 years the NRF has conducted its Consumer Holiday Spending Survey.

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How to Choose a CRM System

When it comes to customer relationship management (CRM), it’s important to understand all the benefits of an integrated CRM system before beginning your selection process. That‘s why we created this guide – to provide you with the essential information you need to make the best decision possible.

This guide is designed to help you build the business case for a CRM system, form an effective project team, ask the right questions, identify the challenges involved and much more.

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How to Choose a Distribution System

Welcome to How to Choose a Distribution System. Implementing the proper distribution system can be as strategic and important to your bottom line as expanding your warehouse or bringing on new product lines. After all, implementing the right solution and choosing an experienced solution provider provides both immediate and long-term benefits that can impact your day-to-day business processes across the board. So, naturally, it is important that distributors take the time to clearly define business processes and objectives before starting the search for new distribution software.
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How to Choose a Manufacturing System

How to Choose a Manufacturing System

Welcome! For more than 20 years ACCPAC® has been helping companies across the globe choose and implement lasting software solutions. Of the hundreds of thousands of companies who use ACCPAC software, each one had to decide which system to buy and when to buy it.

Our experience has taught us that people need more than just product information; they also need other kinds of input to make sound accounting and manufacturing software decisions. And that’s what this booklet is all about. Accpac has distilled what they have learned from the many successful customers and have structured it to deliver useful information to you.
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How to Choose a Warehouse Management System

When it comes to choosing the right warehouse management system (WMS) for your business, it’s important to understand your warehouse needs and the benefits of having an integrated WMS before starting the selection process. That’s why this booklet provides the critical information you need to make the best decision possible.

Whether your goal is to automate your warehouse operations for the first time or to upgrade to a more robust warehousing system, this booklet is an ideal resource for finding the right WMS—including information on how to build an effective project team, ask the right questions of your software reseller and successfully implement the system.
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How to Choose an Accounting System

Selecting the best accounting software for your organization is one of the most critical business decisions you face. This guide was created to provide you with the essential information you need to make the best decision possible.

We know how important great information is to making great decisions. We look forward to helping you succeed in choosing the best accounting and e-business software solution for your organization.
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Info-Alert

Have you ever:

  • Been low on cash because key accounts were not called on a timely basis for collections?
  • Lost an account to your competition because you didn’t realize they were no longer purchasing from you in time to win them back?
  • Lost profit on items sold where the cost gradually went up but your sales price was not adjusted?
  • Been out of stock on a needed product because it was all sold well prior to your re-order process?
  • Been considerably over budget on certain expenses because they weren’t looked at until the end of the month when it was too late to do anything about it?
  • Lost jobs because they were not quoted on time?

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Let’s be direct: If you sell to consumers, sales tax is an issue

Getting closer to the customer is no longer a retail-centric sales strategy.More manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers are starting to sell direct to consumers (D2C). Motivations vary: brand awareness, customer loyalty, even product innovation. But for the most part, B2B sellers are simply looking to give consumers what they want — the ability to buy products directly from the source. Many are already doing it. A June 2015 Price water house Coopers survey found that 70% of U.S. consumers already purchase directly from manufacturers.

Adding a D2Csales channel can help you grow and expand your business, but it’s a vastly different buying experience for the customer. Before diving in, you should ask yourself: is the company operationally ready to handle direct to consumer transactions? Is your web store mobile-friendly? Can you manage high-volume inventory and order management? Have you ramped up customer support? How are you handling transactional tax?That’s right. As soon as you supply items to the end user, you’re on the hook to collect sales and use tax.

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Let’s talk turkey…and sales tax

Turkey and taxes. The U.S. has a long history of both. And in 2010, the two converged in Virginia as part of an annual Thanksgiving tradition where tribal and state leaders pay homage to a more than 330-year-old treaty: then-governor Bob McDonnell was presented with a turkey (and two deer) by tribal chiefs in lieu of taxes.Unfortunately, paying taxes in trade doesn’t work for most of us. Depending on where and how you celebrate this year, your Thanksgiving feast could be served up with a side of sales tax. 

Home cooking. Stop by your local supermarket for your traditional Thanksgiving dinner fixings – turkey, potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin, etc. – and you won’t pay sales tax on those food items in most states. That’s most, not all; 14 states tax groceries at either the full sales tax rate or a reduced rate. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. Buying local?Some states, like Virginia, consider farmers and co-ops that sell at outdoor markets or through Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) programsor websites to be engaged in “direct marketing.” Since they sell to consumers or end users, sales taxis collected on taxable goods and must be separated out from the item price. Some states, like Kansas, also require sales tax to be collected on monthly CSA subscription fees.

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Pumpkins, piercings and the paranormal: 10 scary ways states apply sales tax

Bwaahahaha! Is that the ghostly laugh of a Halloween haunt — or the auditor reviewing your sales tax returns? Dealing with sales tax can be a ghoulish task. And for businesses with compliance obligations in multiple states, it can be frighteningly difficult to know which rules apply.

Take pumpkins, for example. Nothing says fall quite like overflowing cornucopias, evil-grinned jack-o’-lanterns and (yep) pie. But be warned: not all pumpkins are created equal. InNew Jersey and Pennsylvania, taxability depends on if your pumpkin is tricked-out or treat-worthy. Pumpkins to be used for decoration (painted, varnished or carved) are taxed while pumpkins used for food (like pie) are tax-exempt. In Iowa, all pumpkins used to be taxed, but farmers complained, so now the state only applies sales tax to inedible gourds.

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Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite

Improving Your Customer Life Cycle Management

Independent research suggests that the area of back-office connectivity is not adequately addressed by many CRM implementations, meaning, customer data cannot be shared effectively and business processes are prone to errors, delays, and unnecessary paperwork. Over the long term, this will significantly and negatively impact overall customer satisfaction, as well as increase transactional costs on an exponential basis.

This paper demonstrates how front-to-back-office integration enables small and midsized businesses (SMBs) to address these issues. Specifically, it details how integration-ready solutions within the Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite allow SMBs to seamlessly connect their business processes, applications, and data to (1) manage customer relationships more effectively, (2) reduce costs, and (3) increase profitability over the long term. Significantly, this can be achieved without the cost and complexity normally associated with projects of this type.

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Bridge the Gap Between Your Marketing, Sales and Support Teams with CRM

Bridge the Gap Between Your Marketing, Sales and Support Teams with CRM

Gathering relevant customer information into one centralized system in order to bridge the gap between your sales, marketing, accounting and support staff can provide a 360-degree view of your business and ensure that resources are being used most effectively. That’s why we want to introduce Sage CRM.

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For micro businesses, sales tax can seem like no big deal (but it is)

Most businesses don’t start out big.  Some of America’s most beloved companies—from Apple to Amazon — started out with an entrepreneur, a dream and a garage.  But business is about more than dreams.  At some point, every home-based business (also called “micro businesses”) needs to understand government regulations, like those surrounding sales tax.

Why?  Well, whether your microbusiness has big dreams of growth or you just want to work for yourself, keeping in compliance with sales tax regulations is critical to continued success.  Sales tax audits can put a huge dent into profits, and states are hiring more auditors than ever to ensure that every business, big and small, is paying its fair share.
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Sarbanes-Oxley and ACCPAC Advantage Series

The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (also known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) was passed by U.S. lawmakers to reinforce honest and transparent corporate practices in the wake of the various public accounting scandals and corporate failures of the 1990s. The Act, named after U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes and U.S. Congressman Michael G. Oxley, has changed the way public companies do business. Although not specifically covered under the Act, non-public entities are also finding that bankers, investors, and acquisition candidates are now conditioned to expect increased transparency and real-time disclosures, in effect placing a greater accounting and reporting burden on companies who are not legally obligated to comply with this act.

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The art of understanding sales tax nexus: a guide for crafty sellers

There’s nary a nip in the air, but the holiday crescendo is building. We’re fine-tuning our Thanksgiving menus. We’re planning travel with the precision of a military strategist. We’re making our lists of naughty and nice.

For the really nice, many shoppers will seek unique, hand-crafted items. Those of us with adequate time and patience will take to local holiday bazaars and craft fairs, where there is usually at least one treasure worth the hunt. Those of us with less time and a strong Internet connection will shop for unique, one-of-a-kind products on Etsy and its new rival, Handmade at Amazon.

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The First Steps to Achieving Effective Inventory Control

Our goal is to help distributors reach their maximum business potential by delivering connected solutions designed to meet unique business processes through trusted partnerships and ongoing service.

This report is the first in a series of white papers (curtasy of microsoft) designed to help forward-thinking distributors increase efficiency, customer service and profitability with smart inventory management strategies based on tried and proven methods and best practices.

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The IFRS Challenge

There’s no longer any doubt: International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are coming down the pipeline. The business and accounting press are full of news about IFRS, and businesses are realizing they need to pay attention.

Over 100 countries now require or permit IFRS reporting, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Singapore, Russia, South Africa, and also the European Union and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.

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Keeping Stock Balances Accurate

Many distributors spend thousands (and hundreds of thousands) of dollars implementing new computer software systems. Often these systems are purchased to help these companies gain control of what is probably their largest investment: their inventory. But sometimes these distributors find that they are no better off after the new software is implemented than they were with their old system.

Management is frustrated and feels that they’ve wasted a lot of time and money. We’ve discovered in 23 years of working with computerized inventory systems that often the problem causing this dissatisfaction has nothing to do with the software. The new system doesn’t perform up to its potential because the on-hand or available quantities of products in the new software do not agree with what is physically in the warehouse. This situation causes many problems:

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