Comply and Conquer the Food Quality Expectations and Challenges

Comply and Conquer the Food Quality Expectations and Challenges

Is your company concerned with food safety? Is your company challenged with the demand to document information relating to food quality? Is your company positioned in the highly competitive food industry? Is your company trying to increase its market share and profits? If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, you are faced with the same dilemmas as all food manufacturers1.

Now imagine you had a solution to these dilemmas that could set you apart from your competition. To beat out the competition, you must ensure that your products are of higher quality, less expensive, and more desirable than your competitors’ while ensuring they are safe and nutritious2. By offering a streamlined process of recording quality test results and improved methods for maintaining traceability, NorthScope can help you do just that.

Read below to learn more about how NorthScope’s Quality Test Results and Lot Certifications can help you comply with food quality documentation standards and conquer the food quality challenges of traceability and competition.

Comply with Food Quality Documentation Standards

Food manufacturers are legally required to maintain records regarding the quality and safety of their products and failure to maintain these records will result in the product being treated as unsellable3. Therefore, it is important for food manufacturers to maintain well-kept food quality documentation on both legal and monetary levels.

With government specifications pertaining to the composition, quality, inspection, and labeling of specific food products4, NorthScope allows users to easily record the test results from tests completed on various food products to identify their composition.

Using the combination of Quality Tests, , Quality Test Results, and Production Batches, NorthScope users can create specific  lists of tests for each type of produced product and record the test results specific to that batch once the testing has been complete. Because the test results are specific to each test ID and therefore specific to each batch, NorthScope users can easily identify product that does not meet the necessary requirements for certain standards to prevent recalls before they happen as well as identify product that meets or exceeds these requirements to determine the appropriate buyer.

Conquer the Challenge of Traceability

Food traceability aids food manufacturers in maintaining environment and ingredient control, in responding to recalls or customer inquiries efficiently and effectively, and in providing proof of product expectations to both customers and officials1. In addition, food traceability allows food manufacturers to best ensure that their product consistently has the same overall properties4.

NorthScope provides users with the ability to track product properties and test results from production to testing to selling via the relationship between production batches, quality tests, and lots. With lot certifications, users can assign certifications to specific items and sites so that production batches can be automatically marked with these certifications. Then, production batches can be assigned specific test IDs that correspond to quality test results, allowing the user to verify the quality of the production batch’s product. By tracking the certifications and quality test results of each production batch, NorthScope users can easily identify to whom and how to sell the product produced from each lot.

Conquer the Competition

Today, consumers have endless choices when it comes to buying product, which means that one bad experience may cost a company that customer’s business forever4. Moreover, it would be economically disastrous and damaging to a food manufacturer’s image if it was to sell product that was harmful or toxic4. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the food manufacturer to do what it can to ensure its products are free from harmful substances, both ethically and monetarily.

If food manufacturers want to beat out their competition, they must provide proof that their product is safe and of high quality, which can be done with NorthScope’s combination of quality test results and lot certifications.

Moreover, many times buyers will impose contractual expectations of both documentation of a product’s properties and its quality3. Fortunately, NorthScope helps its users meet these expectations by providing users the ability to record and trace a product’s properties from production to selling and by allowing users to guarantee only certified items get sold to certain customers.

 

Sources: 1. FoodManufacturing.com, 2. People.UMass.edu, 3. AG.NDSU.edu, 4. FoodQualityandSafety.com

Secure Your Company’s Success By Securing Your Data

Secure Your Company’s Success By Securing Your Data

Imagine your company compromised 40 million credit card records due to a data security breach. Then imagine that in response to the breach, your sales dropped 46%. Finally, imagine your company losing $236 million due to breach-related costs. Well, Target didn’t have to imagine it in 2013 when this was their reality1.

If Target’s credit card hack in 2013 taught us one thing, it’s that a data breach is costly to both a company’s reputation and it’s bottom line. Luckily, Target’s reality does not have to become yours.

With proactive security measures, you can ensure that your company is doing its part in securing its data. Fortunately, NorthScope is a web-based software with advanced user-permission settings, providing you with two safeguards against a data breach.

Web-Based Software

NorthScope is built on modern technology and can be installed on your network or hosted in the cloud. Whether NorthScope is installed locally or hosted in the cloud, you are provided a higher degree of security as your data is frequently backed up, preventing you from losing any critical information in the event of a data breach. In addition, NorthScope’s ability to be hosted in the cloud lends itself to higher security, as research has found that clouds are more secure than traditional IT systems2.

Advanced User-Permission Settings

Thanks to NorthScope’s advanced security settings that allow you to configure user-permissions to pages, buttons, and data fields, NorthScope helps you prevent sensitive data from being accessed by the wrong personnel. With NorthScope, you can restrict user access to only the pages, buttons, fields, and reports you authorize and even control what data users can see.  Whether you run multiple locations, separate divisions, or have high security needs, NorthScope can accommodate your needs.

NorthScope’s user security is setup via security groups that control permissions for every page and page component in the system. NorthScope ensures that all new pages are inserted with no security access so that granting permission to new pages must be intentional. In addition, NorthScope allows you to setup different levels of permissions, including Full Rights for add/edit, Read Only which only allows users to see the data, or No Rights which means they do not even see the page in the menu.

For more information on NorthScope’s user security setup, click here.

Sources: 1. CSOonline.com 2. TechTarget.com

The Advantages of Auditing Journal Entries Before They Hit the GL

The Advantages of Auditing Journal Entries Before They Hit the GL

Accounting mistakes are costly. In fact, did you know that manually inputting incorrect data into an enterprise system is the number one accounting mistake that costs companies billions1? Now, imagine you had the ability to not only identify these costly mistakes but to prevent them – allowing you to spend the time and money it would have taken to fix these mistakes growing instead of maintaining your business. NorthScope can help make your imagination your reality.

NorthScope allows you to view the journal entry that will be created by a transaction before it is posted using the Journal Details window. The Journal Details window displays both the journal entry and the journal details. The journal details provide you the unsummarized debits and credits created from the transaction and allow you to view where each account being debited and/or credited was pulled from, based on the accounting rules, as well as the line type and description. This information allows you to trace the source of each accounting effect resulting from the transaction. Therefore, if there are any errors, such as the wrong account being debited or credited for a vendor, you can easily navigate to root issue and fix it before posting, such as correcting the vendor’s account setup.

Read below to learn about how NorthScope’s tools for auditing journal entries before they’re posted can help you and your business avoid costly accounting errors.

Allows You To Be Proactive not Reactive

Identifying journal entry errors before they are posted is more cost effective and time efficient. By allowing you to fix the source of the error before the journal entry hits the GL, this process prevents duplicate errors in the future and ensures the journal entry will be posted correctly the first time without needing a correction after posting, which takes more time and effort.

Helps You Avoid the Most Common Accounting Mistakes

The most common accounting mistakes are transposition errors, errors of principle, errors of omission, and errors of commission2. These mistakes are due to numbers being transposed, transactions being recorded against accounting principles, transactions being missed in part or in whole, or incorrect entries being posted. Each of these mistakes are either easily identifiable or preventable using the Journal Details window.

  • Transposition errors: By displaying debits and credits with their corresponding item sources resulting from a transaction in the journal details, NorthScope allows you to identify incorrect values and fix them directly on the transaction, which will update the corresponding journal entry, before either are posted.
  • Errors of principle: By displaying the account source of each debit and credit that affects a transaction’s journal entry, NorthScope allows you to easily recognize when an accounting principle is not being upheld, thus allowing you to take necessary action to adhere to the accounting principles before anything is posted.
  • Errors of omission: By displaying the unsummarized debits and credits that make up the journal entry, NorthScope gives you visibility to all monetary effects being taken into account, allowing you to easily identify when a component, such as a tax, is missing.
  • Errors of commission: By allowing you to view journal entries before they are posted, NorthScope allows you to fix any incorrect entries before posting, thus preventing this common mistake.

Provides You With Better Traceability

Unfortunately, even with the best tools mistakes are bound to happen. Therefore, it is likely that erroneous journal entries will still be posted. Fortunately, NorthScope’s Journal Details window can still be accessed on posted transactions, providing traceable evidence as to how each posted journal entry was created so that when an error is found in auditing, it can be pinpointed more easily by simply following the trail provided by the journal details.

 

For more information on how NorthScope’s Journal Details window can help you audit journal entries, click here.

 

Sources: 1. CFO.com 2. Common Cents

3 Benefits of Lot Tracking

3 Benefits of Lot Tracking

TAKE 3 MINUTES TO READ ABOUT SOMETHING THAT CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY.

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity – but “they” must not understand what it’s like to make headlines with a recall in the food industry. Did you know there were 626 food recalls in 20151? Did you know the average cost of a recall is about $10 million, before factoring in the costs of lost sales and brand damage2? Now, imagine you had the tools to prevent recalls or at the very least, were able to react quicker and more efficiently. Would you be able to find better ways to spend this money and do you see value in avoiding headlines from a damaged brand image? You don’t just have to imagine it – you can have it with NorthScope’s inventory lot tracking capabilities.  Read below to discover three ways NorthScope’s inventory lot tracking functionality can benefit you.

1.      Increase Profits by Cutting Costs

NorthScope provides you with the tools to better ensure the quality of your product. By tracking both the manufacture and expiration dates of products, you have visibility to ensure you use or sell your oldest product first. This reduces the costs associated with disposing of expired items or inadvertently issuing expired product to the production floor. Lot tracking allows you to monitor the expiration of items and the associated costs, providing you with the insight as to how to avoid expiration next time. In addition, NorthScope allows you to place holds on lots to ensure that quality procedures, such as inspection, can be performed in a timely manner without affecting other production schedules.

2.    Increase Sales by Never Running Out of Stock

Running out of a product your customer needs prevents the sale that will bring in revenue and a potential repeat customer. NorthScope gives you a detailed real-time analysis of your inventory levels by providing on-hand, on-hold, allocated, and available item balances. This allows you to make informed and accurate decisions regarding what, how much, and when to order. Moreover, NorthScope’s inventory lots are integrated with sales transactions, allowing you to view the lot balances of an item being sold and to select the lot from which to allocate the item directly on the transaction.

3.   Increase Efficiency by Using Automation

NorthScope makes tracking inventory balances easy by providing a more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective system. Besides simply tracking lot data, NorthScope populates data on the fly. When an inventory transaction is entered for a lot that doesn’t currently exist in the system, NorthScope creates it. When an inventory item is sold on a sales transaction, NorthScope can automatically allocate it to a lot based on your business rules. When inventory items are received, produced, adjusted or transferred, NorthScope automatically adjusts the corresponding lot balances appropriately. With NorthScope, determining lot balances is no longer a guessing game and manual tracking is no longer necessary.

Source(s): 1. Food Safety Magazine, 2. Recall: The Food Industry’s Biggest Threat to Profitability

The Power of Price Lists – Sales Order Edition

Did you know your Sales Order entry could be costing you an average of over $27 per order? Did you know that simple data entry mistakes often go unnoticed and can be the difference between making a profit and selling at a loss? Would you like assurances that your products are being sold at the correct prices regardless of who does that data entry? Now imagine your transaction costs being cut by over 90%. Imagine no longer spending time manually reviewing invoices for accuracy before they are sent out. Data entry time and time spend reviewing and correcting mistakes are the costliest factors when it comes to sales order processing and fortunately, NorthScope’s Sales Order Price Lists make entering transactions quicker and far more accurate – saving you money one item at a time.

How Sales Order Price Lists Cut Costs

Every company aims for repeat business and with repeat customers come repeat sales. However, entering the same item information each time a customer repeats a purchase is timely and not cost effective. Moreover, the more data entry you have to do the more opportunity you have to make a mistake. And mistakes cost money. To solve this dilemma, NorthScope provides you with Sales Order Price Lists.

Price List Prices Automatically Default On Sales Orders

Sales Order price lists allow you to assign prices to sales items that default on sales transactions, improving the efficiency of entering a sales transaction. Each price list can be assigned to multiple customers or specific customer addresses. Then, when a transaction is created with an item that exists on the customer’s price list, the price will automatically default so that you don’t have to look it up and enter it manually.

Price Lists Track Dates So You Don’t Have To

Because prices are subject to change, price lists allow you to assign item prices by date ranges. This allows you to assign a current price to an item as well as a “next price” that becomes effective on a new “start date”.

Price Lists Work with your Customer Item Favorites

Many customers buy the same items over and over and NorthScope can automatically add these as customer’s  “Favorites”. If a Customer Favorite item is also on their price list, all the favorite items appear and show the current prices requiring data entry of only the quantities ordered.

*The number of times an item must be ordered before it becomes a customer’s favorite is determined and editable in the Sales Order module’s preferences, giving you the power to decide.

Price Lists support your business policies

Whether items are sold for the wrong price because of inadvertent data entry mistakes or someone trying to “make a deal” the results can be costly. NorthScope allows you to configure whether or not items can be given away and whether or not you allow users to change prices that are on a price list.

 

More Information

Visit our Sales Order Price List online help and user guide to learn more about the power of price lists.

 

Source(s): Business Finance Mag

How Changing Sales Tax Affects Transactions in NorthScope

Changing Tax Details in NorthScope

Tax Classes allow you to auto-apply sales tax to sales transactions. A Tax Class consists of one or more Tax Details. Tax Details identify the tax rate and the GL Account to credit. For example, your area may charge a total tax of 8.5%, where 6.5% goes to the state and 2.0% goes to a city. Each of these represent a single Tax Detail and by assigning both to a Tax Class, the sales tax will auto calculate and post to the correct accrual account(s).

Tax Class Seattle
     Tax Detail Washington State 6.5% GL: 23050 – State Taxes Payable
     Tax Detail City of Seattle 2.0% GL: 23075 – City Taxes Payable
Total for Tax Class 8.5%

 

Once the ‘Sales Tax’ feature is enabled for a transaction, users can assign/edit the Tax Class. The applicable transactions include Employee Sales, Customer Sales, Fisherman Sales, and Tender Resales.

There are two ways to change a Tax Class: 1) by adding or removing Tax Details or 2) by editing any Tax Details currently assigned to the Tax Class, such as the rate. Read below to discover how changing the Tax Details of a Tax Class will affect transactions.

Impact on ‘New’ Transactions

If a Tax Class is changed, using either method, and the Tax Class is currently assigned to a transaction with a Status of ‘New’, that transaction’s applied taxes will be updated to reflect the new rates the next time the transaction is saved.

Note that tax amounts cannot be manually edited on a transaction and Tax Details that exist on a transaction cannot be deleted.

However, the Tax Class can be removed while the transaction is ‘New’ by either selecting a different Tax Class from the Tax Class header field or by selecting the blank option, thus removing all taxes from the transaction.

Impact on ‘Approved’ Transactions

If you have to change a Tax Class and do not want the changes to impact the transaction currently assigned to the Tax Class, the transaction(s) must be saved with a status of Approved or greater. If a Tax Class exists on an Approved transaction and the Tax Class is changed, the changes will NOT be applied to the transaction. However, if the transaction is moved back to a status of New, the Tax Class changes will be applied to the transaction the next time it is saved.

Note that tax amounts cannot be manually edited on a transaction and Tax Details that exist on a transaction cannot be deleted.

In addition, once a transaction is saved as Approved, the Tax Class header field becomes disabled. Because of this, a Tax Class cannot be removed from an Approved transaction.

Impact on ‘Ready To Post’ Or ‘Posted’ Transactions

If a Tax Class is changed and the Tax Class is currently assigned to a transaction with a status of ‘Ready to Post’ or ‘Posted’, the changes will NOT be applied to the transaction.

Since the status and Tax Class header fields are both disabled when the status is ‘Ready to Post’ or greater, there is no way for the changes to be applied to these transactions.

 

For more information regarding NorthScope Sales Tax, click here.

Introducing NorthScope for the Alaskan Seafood Industry

NorthScope™ for Microsoft Dynamics® GP has been invaluable to customers in the food and beverage industry. From sales orders and contracts, to inventory and logistics management and more, NorthScope offers the best software solution to food manufacturers and distributors. Every feature is hand-tailored specifically for the industry, and our team works with customers to discover, develop, and implement all included features.

Recently, the NorthScope team has worked closely with customers in the Alaskan seafood industry to bring forward a new set of tools, built specifically for fishing companies involved in Alaskan seafood processing.

Introducing NorthScope™ for the Alaskan Seafood Industry

Whether you manage fishing boats catching crab, salmon or halibut, tenders delivering fresh catches to the docks, employee payroll and deductions, prepare month-end close, or enter fish tickets following the standards set by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), NorthScope has the tools you need to do your job faster and with more accuracy. Our toolbox includes everything your business needs in order to handle:

  • Fisherman Management
  • Real-time Settlement Balances
  • Settlement Check splits
  • Employee Management
  • General Ledger and month-end close
  • Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Tracking
  • Reports & Analysis
  • Sales & Inventory

We are proud to announce these exciting new features to our software. Read more to learn about some feature highlights.

Fish Tickets

NorthScope boasts a user-friendly interface that is configurable by user, and provides data analysis of all ticket fields. Entering and managing fish tickets is quick and easy, thanks to pre-loaded and auto-updated ADF&G codes for species, gear, management programs, stat areas, conditions, and dispositions. Taxes and premiums can be individually configured within each ticket to accommodate exceptions to defaults, and posted tickets can be re-priced or adjusted, to avoid messy post-voids and extra paperwork. Users are able to view settlement balances and process one or more settlement checks to fishermen.

Integration with Alaskan eLandings

Complying with reporting tools and Alaskan eLandings has never been easier. NorthScope integrates with eLandings databases, allowing users to upload, download, and edit all fish ticket details.

Financial Tools

NorthScope integrates all the financial details of your business transactions to your company’s general ledger. The Financial module provides all tools necessary to manage journal entries, fiscal periods, bank statement reconciliation, monthly reports, and more.

Employee Payroll

At its core, NorthScope’s employee features include payroll processing, deductions and withholdings, and tracking sick/vacation/PTO hours. Beyond these, NorthScope’s Alaskan payroll features can integrate with existing time clock and POS systems to record purchases for employees, allow employees to make purchases on accounts, and charge for employee expenses such as room and board. All of these options can be automatically configured to become payroll deductions.

About NorthScope

NorthScope is the most powerful software enhancement suite available for Microsoft Dynamics® GP, designed specifically to accommodate the unique needs of the food manufacturing and distribution industry. It is an easy-to-use, highly secure, web-based solution with over 10 feature modules, including Sales Contracts, Sales Orders, Inventory, Logistics, Manufacturing, Financial, Purchasing, and more. All included features and tools have been built based on a combination of customer feedback and industry standards.

For more information, visit NorthScope’s website: www.GoNorthScope.com.

About The Northlake Partners

The Northlake Partners, based in Woodinville, WA, provides advanced business software and professional services to help companies meet customer demands, fulfill regulatory compliance, and improve the efficiency of their business operations.

For more information, visit The Northlake Partners website: www.TheNLP.com.

Has Your Company Outgrown QuickBooks?

A key goal of almost any business, big or small, is growth. Several factors play in to how successful companies are in meeting that goal, including front-end efforts such as sales staff, vendors, marketing plans and customer service. While having a strong operational front to promote, buy, and sell, it is equally if not more important that back-end efforts such as ERP systems remain strong and are poised for growth.

Having a growing business is a great problem to have, though. As a business owner, it is necessary to make sure that your system can handle some of the growing pains that accompany that success. Among many other reasons to look for a new ERP system, companies may find that their current system(s) in place behind the scenes is incapable with handling the growth that is needed to maintain and increase success. Software packages such as Intuit® QuickBooks™, Peachtree Accounting and Sage 50 offer inexpensive up-front purchases which provide easy to use functionality for basic transactions and month-end reports. This makes them great for smaller businesses with simpler ERP needs. However, these solutions are more focused on recording transactions and accounting, and are not designed to be comprehensive operations solutions to be utilized throughout business organizations and company enterprises.

Unlike systems that are purchased and implemented with the help of a solutions provider, QuickBooks is sold as a retail product and is implemented by the business owner or an accountant. This is a great first step for new business needing easy accounting solutions, but as the company grows it will struggle to keep up, and gaps in functionality will become more and more apparent.

If your company is experiencing these sorts of gaps, NorthScope™ can help. The NorthScope solution was designed to support company growth and manage and/or integrate with all of your operational solutions. Some of the main differences between NorthScope and QuickBooks are that NorthScope:

  1. Is designed to be integrated with proprietary platforms, not built on top of them
  2. Has a much stronger security model that extends to field level security
  3. Is designed to produce sales analysis in any way you can imagine
  4. Supports complex rule-based accounting and accruals
  5. Is designed to facilitate management of your company’s operations, not just performing data entry and producing financials
  6. Doesn’t allow changes to historical data without a correcting transaction in place
  7. Supports transactional workflows, allowing you to configure the lifecycles that each of your transactions go through from start to finish.
  8. Includes over 1,000 features which QuickBooks does not include or support
  9. Comes with features that, in QuickBooks, must be purchased separately, such as: Fixed Assets, Inventory Management, complex sales order pricing, and Payroll / HR.
  10. Has functionality, where QuickBooks only supports data fields. For example:
    1. QuickBooks has a place to set up sales representatives, but this is purely for informational purposes. NorthScope manages complex commissions for sales reps.
    2. QuickBooks supports adding up to 15 user defined fields for certain categories, but again, this is only for informational purposes. NorthScope has the ability to add unlimited fields that are not only dynamic by product line, but also used for pricing, promotions, commissions, and data analysis.

Contact us to learn more! You can also visit us at www.GoNorthScope.com for more information about our solution system.

NorthScope enhances the detailed activity tracking and audit trails with Microsoft Dynamics GP

NorthScope enhances activity tracking and audit tracking capabilities with Dynamics GP!

With configurable tracking attributes, the NorthScope activity tracking engine is one of the most robust and detailed activity tracking engine available that is integrated with Dynamics GP.  Changes to any field within the system are logged with a date and time stamp, the user ID that made the change, and the before and after value.  The engine itself tracks all changes, but users can configure which activities they care about and the audit reports will only show the information setup by the users.  The system also has a setting for the retention time frame so that older records are archived into archive tables to prevent the live tracking tables from growing too large and causing performance issues.

If you are in the food business, medical device business, pharma business, or any other business that is required to track system activity, then the NorthScope activity tracking engine that integrates with Microsoft Dynamics GP is a must have!

Contact Us to learn more!

Automated bin and lot allocation logic for Dynamics GP

Using the out of the box bin and lot allocation process in Dynamics GP can sometimes be cumbersome and may force the user to go through additional steps.   NorthScope can streamline this process with automatic bin and/or lot allocation logic.

NorthScope has user configurable preferences that drive the business rules for how bin and lot allocations are applied to orders.  There are options for companies that track just bins, just lots, or both.  The allocation logic can be configured to use lot characteristics such as date received, manufacture date, or quantity.  For bins, the logic can be configured to select bins based on bin identifiers or quantity.  The quantity allocation logic for bins and lots can focus on the concept of “cleaning out” a bin and/or lot or allocating using First In First Out (FIFO) rules.  For example, if a site has two bins that contain the same product lot but one bin has a greater quantity than the other, the auto allocation logic can be set to clean out the bin with less quantity first before allocating from the other bin. However, if using the FIFO logic the system can take the quantity from the lot with the oldest manufacture date.  This process helps to improve inventory turns and prevents older inventory from becoming buried in bins.

By allowing for the auto allocation logic to be setup for both bins and lots, it greatly increases the flexibility and capabilities of the system.  A company that processes fresh food products may track bins and lots differently than a company that produces frozen food products, which will differ greatly than a company who manufactures none perishable items.  NorthScope can optimize the order fulfillment process by allowing companies to configure auto allocation rules to suit their specific needs.

Contact Us to learn more!