05 Feb Highlights from Acumatica Summit 2024 Day 2
The second day of the Acumatica 2024 Summit was opened by Ali Jani, Acumatica’s Chief Product Officer. He recalled how fantastic the previous day of the Summit was, with many different sessions, much learning, new conversations and meetings.
He mentioned that Acumatica is opening a new era of growth and opportunities, with great customer stories. The previous days Acumatica had a 24-hour Hackathon competition, he was focused on sustainability, where 12 teams were competing to build new Acumatica feature sets. The winner was the Sustainable Shippers team, which built a solution that minimised the number of packages companies use in the shipping, to minimise waste.
Day 2 Keynote has been split into three segments. The first part was dedicated to featured customers of the year in different industries, the second part was focused on new features of Acumatica ERP and the last one was focused on cross-industry solutions and future product development plans.
Each of the businesses selected for nomination as customer of the year in 2024 not only had great success, expanded their businesses and became more efficient, but they also were active members of the Acumatica community, providing useful feedback for product improvements.
The construction customer of the year is Spohn Associates, the manufacturing customer of the year is Curran, the distribution customer of the year is Wilmar, and the retail customer of the year is Global Printing and Packaging.
Ali mentioned the fascinating results of Acumatica in 2023, unprecedented on multiple fronts, where solutions offered in the Acumatica marketplace grew over 40%, the community grew over 30% and now is over 22000 members, and over 95% of customers using Acumatica SaaS solution.
Ali also highlighted the cross-industry capabilities of Acumatica are so crucial for companies, even if they don’t have cross-industry operations at the moment, there is always space for growth and expansion.
Acumatica Construction Edition
Joel Hoffman, Acumatica’s Director of Product Management in Construction mentioned that many different companies inside the construction industry, with different roles and activities like Project management, Time and expenses management, Payroll management, Safety and compliance management, Purchasing, financial reporting and many more.
Additionally, companies have different operations, and Acumatica is focusing on helping to combine all these elements and provide help to all these companies to run their businesses effectively, to get everybody on the same page. That means many different solutions are put into place.
In the recent survey after speaking to prospects, it was revealed that many companies use 6-8 different tools for business process management. That leads to redundant data and errors. These companies need one source of truth. Customers have required Acumatica to make it easy for the people in the field to use the application and effectively communicate with people in the office.
Many companies in the construction industry still use emails, paper and pencil to manage projects. That complicates and prolongs decision-making. Acumatica solves this all, helps to streamline communication and to consolidate information.
Real-time field reporting allows consolidation of all the important data and helps in fast and accurate decision-making, keeping things simple and making sure that information is available to anyone in the team whenever they need it. The mission of Acumatica is to get everyone on the same page.
Acumatica Manufacturing Edition
Debbie Baldwin, Acumatica’s Director of Product Management for Manufacturing mentioned that the manufacturing edition has gone through a major transformation since challenges have forced manufacturers to rethink their businesses and they are moving rapidly towards digital transformation. Technology like cloud, 3D printing and robots, artificial intelligence are helping to build the factory of the future. And some of Acumatica’s customers are already there. According to studies, consumers are willing to spend around 20% more on personalised products.
Companies that do well in this industry are the ones that can deliver on time. Clients can select different styles, colours and sizes of products. That influences manufacturers because they have to deal with the inventory, if there is stock then they need to figure out how to deal with the excess inventory that they just keep, and if they don’t make the stock, how do they reduce their engineering time?
A lot of companies are starting to use applications like Acumatica’s product configurator. One of Acumatica’s customers, Curran, knows first-hand the implications of personalisations. They capture all their customer choices with Acumatica’s product configurator. Curran was announced as the manufacturing customer of the year.
Debbie also announced that Acumatica has partnered with Revalize.
She also emphasized that the new Acumatica 2024 R1 edition has now much more sophisticated features for personalisation in the manufacturing industry. Also in the new edition, non-manufacturing companies got the functionality for distribution requirements planning (DRP), and companies got the possibility to plan kirs, both stock kits and non-stock kits.
Acumatica Distribution Edition
Kelly Squizzero, Senior Product Manager for Distribution edition, mentioned that when it comes to competitive markets, distributors are competing with manufacturers who are selling directly to consumers. And online retailers are moving to the new domain of B2B sales. This creates a new level of competition and forces distributors to differentiate through value-added services. One more challenge for distributors is demanding customers. They expect personalised products, flexible payment options, flexible delivery options, and the convenience to buy when, where and how they want.
That means that requirements in the distribution industry become more complex, including managing inventory, optimising warehouse efficiency and providing seamless delivery services.
It has a direct impact on profit margins. So optimization of processes and time are crucial for any distribution business. Acumatica helps to make the lives of distribution owners easier and operations smoother.
Kelly also presented Willmar, a distribution customer of the year. It is a leading distributor of auto supplies and tools across North America. They have leveraged the technology to advance their company.
Acumatica Retail Edition
Josh Fisher, Director of Product Management for Acumatica Retail, mentioned examples of companies, which are clients of Acumatica, which are functioning in several industries at the same time, being not only manufacturers or wholesalers but also covering online sales and retail. One of them was thePondguy, and another one was Global Printing & Packaging. Both of them are perfect examples, that Acumatica can serve all types of business operations even for complex cross-industry requirements.
Many businesses started to sell to both consumer buyers and businesses. That creates different requirements for business process management as well as the functionality required for seamless operations. Acumatica is working closely with such businesses to gather feedback and see where to improve functionality to meet the challenging requirements of modern businesses. Multichannel sales are also demanding complex solutions.
Josh also mentioned that Shopify had their D2C clients asking to offer B2B solutions. So Shopify reached out to Acumatica, and product teams started to work on common B2B solutions. The first and most important thing is flexible payment options. The second is the business customer hierarchy, which is different from individual customers. Selling to business means that the customer is the company which has multiple people included in purchasing operations. If there is no proper association between individuals working in the company and the company itself, the reporting becomes a nightmare. The third element is customer-specific pricing. Acumatica is the first ERP in the industry to offer native integration for these new B2B features.
One more important update for the eCommerce edition concerns Amazon. Many of Acumatica’s customers are selling on Amazon. What Acumatica learned from its customers is that selling on Amazon is not a problem, it’s quite easy, but management of orders in the back office is a complicated task, where all the chaos starts. Acumatica’s engineers worked on every single implementation of the Amazon connector to improve it even more and get feedback on what other challenges companies might have. There are several important improvements in the new edition of Acumatica – FBA inventory reconciliation when Acumatica tracks inventory and immediately notifies if there are some issues. One more improvement is a calculation of all Amazon fees and per-unit profitability. A statement which companies get from Amazon usually never matches records. Acumatica has developed a feature for Amazon statement reconciliation.
Acumatica 2024 R1 Highlights and Future Plans
Doug Johnson, Acumatica’s VP of Product Management, mentioned that Acumatica core modules allow seamless operations where all steps of a business process are interconnected, and teams easily cooperate, transferring information about orders with one click.
Mikhail Shchelkonogov, Chief Technology Officer at Acumatica, announced that Acumatica is developing a new user interface, controls, design, and unmatched personalisation.