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How to Set Up Generic Inquiries and Dashboards for Acumatica

By AcumaticaNo Comments

It’s Easy to Create Your Own Dashboards for Acumatica – Learn More

 

Unique in the ERP world, Acumatica Cloud ERP delivers the impressive capabilities to 100% customize your setup easily and quickly. One of the most noticeable and effective ways to do this is to customize your home screen dashboards.

In this handy “How To” webinar, you’ll learn the full, end-to-end process of creating your own custom Generic Inquiries and dashboards for Acumatica. It’s easy! Watch the webinar now.

Video Summary – Skip Forward to the Parts that Matter to You!

In this video, PC Bennett’s award-winning Acumatica expert Tim O’Sullivan walks you through the step-by-step processes you can take to create a custom Generic Inquiry and then use that to create a series of dashboards. Feel free to skip forward to the parts that matter most to you.

Introduction to Generic Inquiries and Dashboards for Acumatica

In this section, you’ll learn what Generic Inquiries are and gain a quick overview of how easily you can control your homepage view to display your relevant dashboards in Acumatica. You’ll also find out about a great Acumatica e-learning resource, discover which permissions you’ll need to enable to get started, and learn how to get into Edit mode.

  • How to control your homepage view (watch)
  • Acumatica’s great on-demand help resource (watch)
  • The 3 access rights you will need to begin (watch)
  • How to get to Edit mode for your Acumatica setup (watch)

Step 1: Creating the Generic Inquiry Output to Use with a Dashboard

Before you can create a dashboard for Acumatica, you’ll need to collect the data that the dashboard draws from. That data will be housed in a relational database that Acumatica refers to as a Generic Inquiry table. (If you’ve used Microsoft Access, this is similar – but much better.)

After watching this in-depth section, you’ll understand the function and use for every tab on the Generic Inquiry screen, and you’ll also have some power-user tricks under your belt that will speed up your Acumatica usage significantly.

  • Walkthrough on how to navigate the Generic Inquiries screen layout (watch)
  • Tip – How to reorder menu items on your menu pages (watch)

The Tables and Relations Tabs

Acumatica makes it fast and easy to set up relational databases with multiple layers of tables. Since the Tables tab and Relations tab are used in tandem, this section covers both tabs.

  • The fastest way to add a relational table in Acumatica 2020 R2 and beyond (watch)
  • Tip – Other names you may run across for tables (watch)
  • An alternate way to set up relational tables using the Customizer role (watch)

The Parameters Tab

Once you have your table relations database set up, you will want the ability to filter the information that you see in your results list. Parameters are the top-level filtering capabilities that empower you to slice and dice your data results.

  • How to set up parameters (watch)
  • When to pull data “from schema” and when not to (watch)
  • Tip – Use nifty calendar controls to filter your data (watch)

The Conditions Tab

This tab sets the underlying rules for your tables and database, using “If-Then” logic to control how the data is selected and displayed in Generic Inquiries and dashboards for Acumatica.

  • Overview of options for the Conditions tab (watch)

The Grouping Tab

The Grouping function allows you to include summaries on your Generic Inquiries. This is best used with pivot tables.

  • Overview of the Grouping tab (watch)

The Sort Order Tab

Sort Order controls how your database output will display when you’re looking at it. This helps organize your view, so you can quickly make sense of the data at a glance.

  • Overview of the Sort Order tab (watch)

The Results Grid Tab

The Results Grid determines where your databases will pull information from and which data you wish to include in your Generic Inquiry report output. It also helps you quickly activate / deactivate data as well as show / hide data. The Results Grid is very important to understand because this is the biggest factor in controlling your Generic Inquiry output view.

  • Overview of the Results Grid (watch)
  • Tip – The really easy way to learn what data you have to work with here (watch)
  • Tip – Improving your at-a-glance views using cool colors with the Row Style and Field Style options (watch) (Additional code resource)

The Entry Point Tab

Entry Point handles mass updates to your databases. Since it is an advanced function with little-to-no room for error, this webinar does not cover this topic in depth. Feel free to request a future webinar on this topic if you would like to learn more!

  • Overview of the Entry Point tab (watch)

The Navigation Tab

This tab controls additional view options for your Generic Inquiry outputs, such as the handy side panel data drilldown shown below, on the right.

  • Overview of how to use the Navigation tab (watch)
  • Tip – The really quick and easy way to set up side panels (watch)

Step 2: Creating a Dashboard from Your Generic Inquiry

Once you’ve gone through the work of setting up the database in your Generic Inquiry, it is easy to set up a range of dashboards from scratch to elegantly display that information on your home screen.

  • How to create a dashboard from scratch (watch)
  • How to get your custom dashboard into your menu (watch)
  • How to make dashboards for Acumatica available on mobile (watch)
  • The easy, no-code dashboard setup screen (watch)
  • How to filter your dashboard data (watch)
  • Display options, sizing, and selecting which fields to show (watch)
  • Creating pie charts and report tables (watch)
  • Tip – How to copy and paste Acumatica dashboards to save time (watch)

Final Notes

As you can see, there is a lot to learn from this in-depth webinar from PC Bennett. The Question & Answer sectionalso has a wide range of great additional information.

If you liked this webinar and you want to watch more great, in-depth How To videos that will help you become an Acumatica master user, check out our videos page. Don’t forget to register for upcoming webinars too!

 

Watch the “All About Generic Inquiries and Dashboards in Acumatica” Webinar

 

PC Bennett Solutions offers a personalized, full-service experience for customers by implementing business management technology. Through a hands-on approach, PC Bennett Solutions helps companies get the most out of their software system. The team provides training, implementation and customization of Acumatica. Headquartered in the Seattle area, PC Bennett Solutions is one of the largest exclusive Acumatica resellers. For more information, visit www.pcbennett.com.

Graphic of car with translucent exterior so interior auto parts can be displayed.

AutoFitmentPlus: Your Automotive Aftermarket Auto Parts Database Software

By Acumatica, Auto Parts Database Software, Automotive Aftermarket, Cloud ERP

When we started down this Automotive Aftermarket road, we had no idea it would lead to the creation of a custom solution like AutoFitmentPlus. But we are happy it did – it is helping our clients have an edge that no other companies have.

How It Began

While working with customers, we realized a major struggle for them was centered around parts database management. Order departments were relying on paper catalogs or were looking up parts on multiple websites, which was frustrating and time-consuming. Not only were they spending more time taking orders, but they ran a bigger risk of selling incompatible parts to their customers. Which at a minimum disappoints the customer and results in costly returns. At worst, it can cost them their business. There had to be a better way.

The Birth of Fitment for Acumatica

As you know, managing fitment information is an ongoing process. Vehicle standards change often. Without an integrated solution, you are left to manually maintain your auto parts database. Not only is it a huge task, but it is prone to errors and creates a lag in accurate data, paving the way for a bad customer experience.

Additionally, customers often search for parts by brand, not realizing that there can be auto parts that fit multiple brands of vehicles.

We realized an integrated fitment lookup that connects to your web store would allow you to educate your customers on how to search and serve up more compatible options. This also keeps them on your site, buying auto parts from you instead of your competition.

We developed and launched our fitment solution earlier this year, which allows you to quickly and easily look up fitment data by year, make, model, and other filters like trim and engine type. And did we mention that it connects to shopping cart? You can also quickly create new items with images, color options, finishes, descriptions, specs and manufacturer’s data with just a few clicks.

The Evolution to AutoFitmentPlus

We know there’s always room for improvement. So, we took our Fitment product to our clients for testing and recommendations. They did not disappoint. We came away from those meetings and conversations with a host of recommended features. And we got to work.

The expanded AutoFitmentPlus tool has the go-to reference specification tables: ACES (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) and PIES (Product Information Exchange Standard) built right into it, allowing fast, easy file preparation and transmission and seamless direct access to the data.

Auto Parts Database Acumatica Fitment

How Good is AutoFitmentPlus?

Auto Parts Software Acumatica FitmentWhen we talk about the features with any current or potential client, you can feel their interest grow. It’s no longer an ERP solution and our knowledge around how to implement. It’s a passion for the automotive industry that has resulted in a truly unique offering, designed from the ground up to save you time, money, and frustration.

We are 80% through phase I of development, so we are still a bit away from launching, but this product builds on a solid foundation of the fitment functionality we already created, and promises much more, including:

  • VIN validation and identification
  • Vehicle Classification data (Year, Make, Model, Engine Type, etc.) maintained and cross-referenced against your Part SKUs to establish Fitment Application.
  • Industry-standard ‘ACES’ (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) Vehicle Classification data automatically loaded into the ERP database and automatically updated at regular intervals.
  • Parts Fitment used to filter available products on Sales Orders and Service Orders. Fitment will also integrate with your eCommerce website.
  • Industry-standard ‘PIES’ (Product Information Exchange Standard) Product Categorization data automatically loaded into the ERP database and automatically updated at regular intervals.
  • PIES data used to provide information about your Parts in an industry recognized manner, including Attributes and other specifications.
  • Sales and Service performed on vehicles tracked by VIN, including Warranties on parts and service.
  • On-demand export of data in the ACES, PIES, or SEMA prescribed formats with no manual data manipulation or intervention on your part, providing you with seamless integration to your trading partners and the SEMA Data Coop.

Why Did We Focus on the Automotive Aftermarket?

Auto Parts Database Software Acumatica FitmentWe have a passion for classic cars, fast cars and the racing industry. This love of cars and racing started a generation ago and it continues with me, my brother and my son. It’s one of the reasons people choose us over anyone else. It’s why we find it easy and actually fun to help automotive aftermarket industry. It’s why we’re continually updating and improving our solution to make sure it provides everything our clients need.

Get to know us a little better…peruse our gallery of photos, and lots of other handy resources on our Acumatica Automotive page.

Stop “Getting By” with an Outdated Fitment Process

And start using a solution that eliminates errors and takes guesswork out of fitting parts to vehicles. A solution that won’t cost a fortune, take forever to deploy, or be hard to use. A solution that:

  • Helps sell the right part
  • Reduces research time
  • Improves customer service
  • Drives up repeat business
  • Eliminates silos of information

Take a tour of our fitment module, and let us know what you think! Your comments could lead to an even better solution!

See Fitment in Action

Interested in learning more about how AutoFitmentPlus can benefit your organization? Contact us here and tell us how we can help.

A woman working at a computer.

What’s New in Acumatica 2021 R1?

By AcumaticaNo Comments

See How Easily You Can Start Using Functions in Acumatica 2021 R1

 

One of the biggest benefits to using Acumatica Cloud ERP is the fact that you always have included access to the latest, greatest updates to your ERP with no additional maintenance fees. Even better – Acumatica puts the power in your hands as to when you want to activate new updates, so you can make sure you get the latest features when you’re ready for them.

Curious to see what you can do with the newly released Acumatica 2021 R1? In this great, hands-on webinar, the award-winning experts over at PC Bennett walk you through the biggest changes and how you can make them work for your business. Watch the webinar now.

Video Summary – Skip Forward to the Parts that Matter to You!

In this video, our expert Tim O’Sullivan leads you through the step-by-step processes you can take to activate, use, and configure the best new features and functions in Acumatica 2021 R1. Feel free to skip forward to the parts that matter most to you.

Big Ul Improvements (Watch from this point)

  • New “Addresses” tab added to clean up screens in the Shipping and Financial tabs
  • Search history in universal search empowers you to look up the last 300 records you searched with a very organized layout
  • New save and close button helps you do more with fewer clicks
  • Purchase Order is now linked back to Sales Order to help you move between items more easily
  • Also includes handy browser tips that can help you use Acumatica more effectively

Automatic Business Card Recognition (Watch from this point)

  • New machine learning feature in Acumatica 2021 R1 makes it a snap to scan business card data direct to Contacts and display instantly in Acumatica
  • Note that there is a step you have to follow to enable this functionality (see here)
  • At the very end of the webinar during the Q&As, you can also see additional machine learning features from 2020 R1/R2, such as invoice recognition and receipt recognition

Changes in Generic Inquiry (Watch from this point)

  • Now you can change inquiry title and screen ID anytime you want to
  • Modify Generic Inquiry output screen to link to package tracking directly from the Generic Inquiry screen (watch the how to)
  • Use preview functionality to get more out of your side panel
  • New “Attach Notes To” option lets you use notes better and more efficiently (watch the how to)

Dashboard Improvements (Watch from this point)

  • Get step-by-step directions on how to make your dashboards more dynamic
  • See how to use the new widget area to streamline common tasks
  • Learn how to copy and paste a KPI or widget tile

User Defined Fields (Watch from this point)

  • Find out how to create a user defined field once and use it everywhere you want
  • See how easily you can customize your Acumatica 2021 R1 system (you’ll want to start customizing everything)

Dead Stock Inquiry (Watch from this point)

  • Lookup dead stock, including stagnant inventory or inventory that isn’t selling
  • This feature helps you plan fire sales or other sales based on carrying costs, sales frequency, etc.

Get the cheat sheet from Tim with all these features listed in order!

Final Notes

As you can see, there is a lot to learn from this in-depth webinar from PC Bennett. One thing we didn’t cover in the video (but that we feel is one of the biggest updates to Acumatica 2021 R1) is that this latest version of the Cloud ERP now delivers native integration to Shopify and BigCommerce.

If you’re already using either of these eCommerce platforms, please get in touch with PC Bennett to learn how you can save time and improve accuracy in your webstore transactions with Acumatica.

 

Watch the “What’s New in Acumatica 2021 R1” webinar

 

PC Bennett Solutions offers a personalized, full-service experience for customers by implementing business management technology. Through a hands-on approach, PC Bennett Solutions helps companies get the most out of their software system. The team provides training, implementation and customization of Acumatica. Headquartered in the Seattle area, PC Bennett Solutions is one of the largest exclusive Acumatica resellers. For more information, visit www.pcbennett.com.

New Faces at PC Bennett Solutions

By AcumaticaNo Comments

PC Bennett, an Acumatica Gold Certified Partner, has added new team members after showing 20% growth in the last four months. The Seattle-based Acumatica partner has expanded their consulting and marketing teams, specifically with some additional manufacturing resources.

Let’s meet them!

Jeremy Dobish – Senior Business Consultant

The consulting team at PC Bennett is pleased to welcome Jeremy Dobish to their ranks. In this position, which extends the reach of their consulting bench, Jeremy will focus on the Acumatica manufacturing and quality modules, along with add-on solutions.  Jeremy will support the team on implementations and QC efforts, and provide Acumatica support. He hopes to use his previous experience as a Quality Manager and Operations Manager to help PC Bennett’s clients optimize their ERP systems.

Before joining PC Bennett, Jeremy spent 12 years working in the aerospace manufacturing industry, for a company specializing in complex machining for both commercial and government space programs.  “I have always enjoyed the idea of being a consultant where I could help business grow and develop processes to affect their bottom line. I was looking for an opportunity to utilize my MBA and interact differently with a bit more variety of business,” said Jeremy. “Through the Certification2Hire program by DyNexus Recruiting, I studied nights and weekends to get my Acumatica certification, and was introduced to PC Bennett shortly thereafter.”

Nathan Neuberg – Business Consultant

Nathan joins the consulting team at PC Bennett and brings a wealth of experience with him. In this position, Nathan will focus on the Acumatica financial, distribution and manufacturing functionality, helping clients solve their everyday issues with creative solutions.

Before joining PC Bennett, Nathan spent 16 years in the custom art and framing industry, most recently at Cali Framing, where he was the CTO. He stumbled upon Acumatica while searching for a modern ERP solution for Cali, and fell in love the with product. “I wanted to refocus my career on consulting businesses, and on my first introduction to PC Bennett Solutions, I knew right away that this was exactly the kind of outfit that I was searching for to make my move.  As a big racing fan myself, the focus on the automotive industry sparked my interest.

Nathan was recently interviewed by Tim Rodman at AUGForums, an independent Acumatica online community, on his Acumatica journey. You can listen to the podcast in its entirety here.

 

Kelly Moran – Project Manager

Kelly joins the consulting team at PC Bennett and brings 20 years of ERP experience with her. In this role, Kelly will focus on the Acumatica financial, distribution and manufacturing functionality, helping clients meet their project goals, on-time and on-budget.

Prior to joining PC Bennett, Kelly spent time leading the business applications team for a global manufacturer, worked at a Fortune 1000 manufacturer to build their PMO, and became a CIO for a boutique SaaS Fintech firm. Kelly came to PC Bennett after seeing a post from her old colleague, Tim O’Sullivan, COO at PC Bennett.  “I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve always liked working for smaller organizations where I can have a larger impact,” offered Kelly.  “I think I bring a rounded perspective on why projects fail and succeed and have learned that no single approach is right for every client or project.”

Alessandra Fernandez – Marketing Intern

Alessandra joins the marketing team at PC Bennett as a recent Acumatica certified business consultant. She graduates from UBC Sauder School with a finance degree in April, 2021. In this role, Alessandra will focus on using her Acumatica knowledge to connect and engage with the various PC Bennett audiences, helping clients and prospects become aware of the business solutions available to them.

Prior to joining PC Bennett, Alessandra helped a Canadian Acumatica partner implement Acumatica internally, and learned a great deal about the financial modules and how an ERP system facilitates financial analysis. “I realized that I could use my new certifications and experience elsewhere, and reached out to Acumatica to look for additional opportunities,” said Alessandra. “Just like that, I was lucky enough to get connected with PC Bennett.”

Patricia Bennett, the Founder and CEO of PC Bennett offered the following comments on the recent hiring surge, “We’ve been fortunate enough to grow during the last year, enough that it made sense to support our internal teams with more talent. We are passionate about our business, and we looked for others who share our enthusiasm and culture, and we believe we have found that in our new team members. The entire PC Bennett team is excited at this growth, and to provide opportunities for Acumatica resources, both new and experienced.”

 

About PC Bennett

PC Bennett is an award-winning Acumatica Cloud ERP Software provider, but we’re more than that. We’re innovation enthusiasts, who think about more than just technology. We think about how people work so we can provide the tools and information needed to make good business decisions.

The experienced team at PC Bennett will take the time to understand your priorities so we can recommend cost-effective solutions that achieve results.

We know there are many choices available to supply your automotive, manufacturing and distribution technology needs. We look forward to the opportunity to show you why we are the right choice for your small or medium business (SMB), whether it is business advice, implementation optimization or Acumatica support.

A man holding a part in a manufacturing facility.

Why Is Acumatica the #1 Cloud-Based ERP System for Manufacturing?

By Acumatica, Cloud ERPNo Comments

Find Out Why Manufacturers Love Acumatica Cloud ERP

Small to midsized manufacturers in today’s business environment are expected to meet the same levels of customer service, speed, and configuration that the large manufacturers have set the standard for – but since they are also expected to compete on price, these small to midsized manufacturers can often find their margins dangerously squeezed.

Clearly, the secret is to work smarter not harder and that’s where Acumatica, the #1 cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing, comes in.

What Is Acumatica?

A modern cloud ERP solution, Acumatica Manufacturing Edition is purpose-built to meet the end-to-end needs of manufacturers. The cloud ERP system for manufacturing integrates manufacturing processes, inventory management, and accounting to help busy, small to midsized manufacturers maintain full insight into everything the plant does around the clock.

“[With Acumatica,] we can look at the data when we want it and how we want it, and make better decisions about which products we should be selling where, and which products we should drop, and which products we should promote.” – Manufacturer using Acumatica (Learn More!)

With Acumatica Manufacturing Edition, business leaders can:

  • Track raw materials availability and engage in real-time supply-and-demand planning
  • Manage the manufacturing process, including production scheduling and equipment downtime
  • Create fast, effortless, accurate estimates with on-the-fly BoM revision control
  • Calculate total costs and track detailed financials with ease
  • Achieve full insight and control, from anywhere and on any device, to support seamless operational continuity

“It’s robust, it’s flexible, it’s simple. It also has an API so, as you need to connect into it, there’s an ability for that. What we’re excited about is [getting] good dashboarding software… and good analytics to make really quality decisions.” – Manufacturer using Acumatica 

Why Use Acumatica as Your ERP System for Manufacturing?

The real reason why Acumatica is the top cloud ERP system for manufacturing is because it helps your manufacturing company work smarter, not harder. Smarter manufacturing plants remove administrative obstacles that slow down their operations and replace them instead with streamlined processes that keep work humming along.

“I can take a laptop of a tablet into the warehouse and I can access Acumatica in that way. We’re able to use handheld scanners to pick and pack inventory for orders and those items are live-traced and allocated, so our company can see that transparency of inventory numbers.” – Manufacturer using Acumatica

Manufacturers love Acumatica because the award-winning, cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing streamlines every aspect of your business operations with handy, time-saving tools, including:

  • Personalized dashboards + Power BI dashboards and natural language queries for deeper insight and better action plans
  • EDI and barcoding integrations that work properly, without hassle
  • Customizable approval and workflow engines with alerts that keep operations on track
  • Document management solutions that make it easy to access critical information anywhere and anytime
  • Full visibility into operations, productivity, and supply chain availability in real time, so you can maintain agility while reducing inefficiencies and delays

“We require a system that allows us to work with international distributors, but also have insight into inventory in different locations and what’s on PO. Having one source of truth in Acumatica is massively helpful because there’s no one now who has to go searching for the truth. It’s all right there at their fingertips. – Manufacturer using Acumatica

In addition, Acumatica provides unique, resource-based pricing instead of user-based pricing, empowering your manufacturing plant to provide access to all of your vendors, suppliers, customers, partners, and employees. This helps you remove the burden of answering routine vendor and customer queries, so your company can focus on production instead of handholding.

Ready to Learn More?

If you are ready to learn more right now about the #1 cloud-based ERP system for manufacturing, you are welcome to contact one of the largest and most experienced exclusive Acumatica resellers, PC Bennett Solutions.

If you would like to hear about one manufacturer’s experience selecting, implementing, and using Acumatica, the cloud-based ERP system for manufacturers, please check out the video below.

“Being able to see what’s going on across our entire business in one snapshot is invaluable. With Acumatica, our labor costs have gone down and our inventory control error rates have been reduced. – Manufacturer using Acumatica

As soon as you have questions, reach out. PC Bennett is happy to help you get the information you need, so you can start working smarter, not harder.

Schedule your consultation to learn more.

 

PC Bennett Solutions offers a personalized, full-service experience for customers by implementing business management technology. Through a hands-on approach, PC Bennett Solutions helps companies get the most out of their software system. The team provides training, implementation and customization of Acumatica. Headquartered in the Seattle area, PC Bennett Solutions is one of the largest exclusive Acumatica resellers. For more information, visit www.pcbennett.com.

PC Bennett award for Acumatica ERP MVP logo.

PC Bennett Brings Home 2021 Acumatica MVP Awards

By AcumaticaNo Comments

Acumatica MVP Winners – 6 Years in a Row!

 

PC Bennett, an Acumatica Gold Certified Partner, is proud to announce that Patricia Bennett and Tim O’Sullivan are named among the 2021 Acumatica MVP winners. “It makes us very proud, this recognition from our peers and the overall Acumatica community. We are passionate about our business, and this is just one way we know what we are doing is working!” offered Patricia Bennett, a six-time MVP.

With this successive win, PC Bennett is home to three MVPs, including Paul Mainard, VP and Solutions Architect at PC Bennett. Only five Acumatica partners enjoy this special distinction, reinforcing the depth of talent at PC Bennett, and their position as an industry leader.

“It comes as no surprise that PC Bennett has racked up two more MVP awards. They are one of the largest Acumatica-only partners in the world, which speaks directly to their focus and commitment. It is also a great statement as to their exceptional customer service and support.  They truly have a ‘customer for life’ approach.  We are thrilled for them, and expect to celebrate with PC Bennett and their customers at the 2021 Acumatica Summit in July,” said Geoff Ashley, Vice President, Partner Strategy & Programs at Acumatica.

How are 2021 Acumatica MVPs selected?

 

Acumatica MVPs, or Most Valuable Professionals, are nominated for the distinction by their peers and clients. MVPs are dedicated to their customers and put in the effort and commitment to know Acumatica’s products inside and out. Not only do they know the products and services, but they also share that knowledge with others in their community by participating in forums, online repositories, webinars, and Acumatica engagements.

MVPs were announced during the Acumatica 2021 Virtual Launch Event last week. They also receive the benefits of an Acumatica MVP Badge to display on their profile.

Who are our 2021 MVP winners?

Patricia Bennett, Founder of PC Bennett

Patricia Bennett is the Founder and CEO of PC Bennett Solutions. She has been named as an Acumatica MVP every year since 2016 and brings more than 25 years of experience to her company and customers. Considered a thought leader in the ERP industry, Patricia has developed numerous applications and completed hundreds of successful ERP implementations during her career.

Tim O’Sullivan is the COO for PC Bennett Solutions and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He is responsible for overseeing company operations as well as technology and distribution. Tim manages consulting services and customer support for PC Bennett Solutions, ensuring each customer is well taken care of.

Patricia, Tim, and the entire PC Bennett team would like to thank Acumatica for this distinct honor. We are thrilled to be part of the Acumatica family and serve as a Gold Partner every day.

What does an MVP win mean for you?

 

For current and future PC Bennett customers, having multiple MVPs on the team means a lot. We are proud to serve our customers each and every day, and constantly strive to improve their knowledge and skills. With a successful track record of Acumatica implementations and customer care, PC Bennett Solutions has proven ourselves to be a leader in ERP solutions. You can rest assured that you are working with a passionate, knowledgeable, reputable Acumatica partner, and trusted advisor.

Read more about the Acumatica MVP winners here.

Race car driving on a dirt road.

How to Eliminate Your Auto Parts Inventory Spreadsheet

By Acumatica, Auto Parts Database Software, Automotive Aftermarket

Learn How to Reduce Your Reliance on Spreadsheets and Better Manage Your Business

 

Everybody loves spreadsheets, right?

Spreadsheets are cheap, easy, and convenient — and often frequently contain errors — from a miscopied formula (or a formula initially entered incorrectly) to simple typos. They also require a lot of administrative upkeep and endless formatting.

Perhaps worst of all is that frustrating spreadsheet issue where all the spreadsheets are accurate and well-formatted — but you look at the wrong version (or the correct, but un-updated, version) by mistake and act on out-of-date information.

It’s time to talk about how to get rid of your auto parts inventory spreadsheets forever.

ERP Can Help Reduce Your Dependence on Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet irritations are one of the biggest issues in growing companies. However, most business leaders are so used to dealing with spreadsheet hassles that they cannot fully imagine how much time and energy they could save if they simply replaced their spreadsheets with a better tool.

Most growing automotive aftermarket manufacturers and distributors choose to replace those pesky spreadsheets with an ERP solution.  

Here is why:

  • Less error-prone manual data entry

ERP systems are typically set up to automatically integrate your auto parts inventory information from sales orders/shipping and purchase orders/receiving data. ERP users rarely have to manually update stock counts, which significantly cuts down on errors.

  • No formatting hassles

Modern ERPs are built to display your auto parts inventory information properly on any device: a desktop, a laptop, a warehouse display monitor, a tablet, a phone, or even a handheld scanner – with no formatting tweaks required.

  • Always up-to-date inventory data

With an ERP, you can trust that you, your staff, and your customers are seeing up-to-the-second inventory data at all times, whether they’re looking at your eCommerce store website, a computer in your brick-and-mortar locations, or a mobile device.

How to Choose an ERP

The best way to determine which ERP will meet your needs is to work with an ERP consultant who will help you perform a fair and balanced assessment of all your ERP options.

Here are a few pointers to help you start thinking about your needs before your ERP consultation:

  • Choose cloud-based ERP. The “new normal” of lockdowns and limited staff-in-person counts mean that you need a better way to ensure that your data is securely available to employees wherever they are. Cloud ERPdelivers that flexibility.
  • Select an ERP that integrates with your industry. There are a lot of cloud ERPs out there, but not many of them fit the needs of automotive aftermarket manufacturers and distributors. An industry-specific ERP is necessary if you truly want to get rid of your auto parts inventory spreadsheet.

Ensure that the solution you choose:

  • Integrates with vehicle classification data, including ACES, PIES, SEMA, and VIN Validation & Identification
  • Automatically updates ACES, PIES, and SEMA data for you, so you can reduce or eliminate your manual data entry and database lookup time
  • Filters auto parts inventory by year, make, model, engine type, color, etc.
  • Connects to your eCommerce storefront in real time, saving you the effort it takes to manually copy and paste data between your ERP and webstore
  • Is an all-in-one tool for your business to manage financials, inventory, logistics, sales, eCommerce, production, purchasing, costing, supply chain management, customer notifications, and service management

Start Your Search with AutoFitmentPlus Powered by Acumatica

AutoFitmentPlus powered by Acumatica is the automotive ERP designed by auto enthusiasts for auto enthusiasts – and it is also one of the most comprehensive automotive aftermarket ERP solutions on the market.

Developed by PC Bennett, the high-performance driving and motorsports team of Acumatica experts, AutoFitmentPlus is the right tool for the job when you’re ready to get rid of your auto parts inventory spreadsheet for good.

 

Schedule your consultation to learn more. 

 

PC Bennett Solutions offers a personalized, full-service experience for customers by implementing business management technology. Through a hands-on approach, PC Bennett Solutions helps companies get the most out of their software system. The team provides training, implementation and customization of Acumatica. Headquartered in the Seattle area, PC Bennett Solutions is one of the largest exclusive Acumatica resellers. For more information, visit www.pcbennett.com.

Blog header image of a fast car for the blog on why Acumatica is the best ERP for the automotive industry from PC Bennett.

Why Acumatica Is the Best ERP for the Automotive Industry

By Acumatica, Auto Parts Database Software, Automotive Aftermarket

Looking for the Best ERP for the Automotive Industry? You’ve Found It.

 

If you run an automotive aftermarket manufacturing or distribution business, you deserve a better way to manage your inventory, operations, and financials.

Let’s face it: those homegrown systems and one-off spreadsheets are throttling your business growth – and those paper catalogs? Don’t even get us started on the time-wasting disaster they are.

By this point, you already know that a better ERP would help you grow your business, but you also know that finding the right ERP takes time to spare (which you don’t have). Wouldn’t it be great to learn about the one ERP that clearly stood out from all the rest as the best ERP for the automotive industry?

Let’s talk about Acumatica Cloud ERP.

What Is Acumatica?

A leading cloud ERP solution, Acumatica handles every aspect of your automotive aftermarket business from end to end.

From manufacturing to distribution to eCommerce to service and install, Acumatica is the one single system that houses all your data, reducing the effort it takes to manage your company. In other words, Acumatica provides the time-saving tools you need so you can focus on growing your business.

Watch Acumatica video

Like all ERPs, Acumatica streamlines traditional time wasters like financial reporting, inventory management, logistics, and sales. You expect that.

However, the reason why Acumatica is the best ERP for the automotive industry is because only Acumatica integrates with the one-of-a-kind automotive aftermarket management solution known as AutoFitmentPlus.

What Is AutoFitmentPlus?

Only available with Acumatica, AutoFitmentPlus is the automotive aftermarket management solution developed by auto enthusiasts for auto enthusiasts.

Watch AutoFitmentPlus video

Combined with Acumatica, this unique tool helps automotive aftermarket manufacturers and distributors:

  • Track, manage, and filter inventory searches for parts based on years, models, style, and color
  • Put the pedal to the metal on format and database lookup time for ACES, PIES, and SEMA data with automatic updates done for you
  • Save time on VIN Validation and Identification, with built-in capabilities
  • Access complete, real-time inventory records from anywhere at any time
  • Right-size inventory levels to meet forecasted customer demand
  • Set up optional alerts and purchasing recommendations that help you avoid “stock outs”
  • Sync up your eCommerce system and ERP for accurate, real-time part inventory data
  • Integrate all your databases, financials, and inventory into a single system that handles everything

A table that compares benefits for manufacturers and distributors showing why Acumatica is the best ERP for the automotive industry

Wait, Wait, How do I Get AutoFitmentPlus and Acumatica?

At PC Bennett, we’re auto enthusiasts. We’re big supporters of the automotive aftermarket industry. We’re also the developers behind AutoFitmentPlus and we’re some of the top Acumatica experts in the world.

We agree that you deserve the best ERP for the automotive industry, and that’s why we built AutoFitmentPlus for Acumatica Cloud ERP.

If you’re ready to grow your business with the best ERP for the automotive industry, contact PC Bennett today.

 

As soon as you’re ready to learn more, contact PC Bennett.

 

 

PC Bennett Solutions offers a personalized, full-service experience for customers by implementing business management technology. Through a hands-on approach, PC Bennett Solutions helps companies get the most out of their software system. The team provides training, implementation and customization of Acumatica. Headquartered in the Seattle area, PC Bennett Solutions is one of the largest exclusive Acumatica resellers. For more information, visit www.pcbennett.com.

Businesspeople celebrating a win at the office.

Best Way to Ensure Your New ERP System Succeeds

By AcumaticaNo Comments

You hear the stats all the time – 50% or more of all ERP projects fail to meet their objectives. And the reasons are as varied as the people that use them. One area where many projects stumble is around user acceptance testing (UAT). It may seem like a small part when compared to the setup, configuration and deployment of a solution, but in fact, it is critical to the project’s success.

Communication

PC Bennett takes a very direct approach to communication with our clients, and we start every project kickoff with a thorough outline of the phases the team will need to go through. It includes a frank discussion about the potential pitfalls, including user testing.

Technology is only as effective as the people who use it. If your team doesn’t embrace the change, the project will never realize its ROI.

Auto Action Group

  • Established in 1978 by Bruce Cohen
  • Located in Kenilworth, NJ
  • 60-65 Employees
  • Provider, distributor, and installer of automotive aftermarket & OEM products
  • Slogan – “Driving Your Lifestyle”

Executive Buy-in

One of the keys to helping users feel comfortable with testing and providing feedback on the new system is having complete support and buy-in from top management. It can come in the form of email communication, company-wide Zoom calls, enlisting department advocates to help reinforce the message, and even gamification with kudos and prizes for those who contribute the most.

Our Customer Auto Action Group, came up with a creative way to make sure their employees test Acumatica, their new ERP system.  They started wearing badges to spark conversation about the user testing, “What have you done in Acumatica today?”

Auto Action, a lot like other companies, get caught up in the day-to-day challenges business presents. We try to find ways to reinforce the need to focus continuously on things outside this daily scope. The badges help us give friendly reminders each day that Acumatica testing needs to be part of those daily tasks.

Jared Cohen (shown here wearing the badge)CEO / Owner, Auto Action Group

I love their creativity and can’t wait to see them live on the software so they can experience all the benefits of running their business on Acumatica Cloud ERP!

Project Snapshot

Auto Action Group started this project right at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, which presented its own challenges. But we approached it with a plan to document their processes with flowcharts and swim lane diagrams, videos of their day-to-day activities, and collaboration tools to keep everyone in sync.

The Project Team

Auto Action Group involved several key team members, including the CEO, from the beginning in the project, which has enabled the success to date. Involvement and buy-in from top management is essential to manage the change that is required of an organization when they upgrade to any new ERP solution.

Key Drivers for Change

Auto Action Group was on a very old DOS-based system, DB3, that just could not keep up with the demands of today’s business, particularly timely and accurate reporting. They also wanted to be on a modern system.

In addition, they were using a home-grown web application for job management.

New System Requirements

The team at Auto Action Group agreed that what they needed was something packaged that could run their business from end to end. A configurable, off-the-shelf application, as they were tired of depending on one person to maintain their legacy system. In addition, they wanted:

  • A solution able to support formal processes and procedures – in order to see operational efficiencies, they needed to improve their day to day processes and wanted a system that could help them stay true to those processes.
  • An intuitive interface that is easy to learn – they wanted to minimize the learning curve for their team.
  • A scalable, secure and accessible – they needed a true cloud solution that would enable their teams to work efficiently from anywhere, including the field. They also wanted to be able to add staff without adding technology costs.
  • Robust, native reporting capabilities – possibly the most critical requirement they had was for management to have a 360-degree view of the business health and profitability through dashboards, alerts and KPI monitoring.
  • Field service management specifically for automotive industry to replace their custom job management system, which PC Bennett brought to life with AutoFitmentPlus.
  • Streamlined CRM capabilities.After failing with many off the shelf products such as salesforce, they found they needed the CRM to be embeded in the solution to achieve better company buyin.

Now that Auto Action Group is in the final stretch of their Acumatica deployment, they can see the benefits on the horizon, and are diligently testing and trying out the features.

 

Keys to Success

Now that the bulk of the project is in the rearview mirror, they had this advice to anyone looking to update their systems.

  1. Keep it simple, streamline, and eliminate special needs wherever possible
  2. Focus on the why and not the how
  3. Crawl, walk, run
  4. Prepare well and communicate often
  5. Pick your partner wisely; it’s a relationship you’ll have for a long time
  6. Know that it will involve change and growth, which will be challenging
  7. Try to have a little fun with it

Considering an update to your legacy software? Read
5 Critical Considerations When Selecting Software for Your Business.

Mechanic works underneath a car.

Automotive Aftermarket Parts Management — AutoFitmentPlus

By Acumatica, Auto Parts Database Software, Automotive Aftermarket, Cloud ERP

PC Bennett Announces the Automotive Database Management Solution: AutoFitmentPlus.

 

On September 15, 2020 we announced our automotive database management solution: AutoFitmentPlus.  In an effort to better serve automotive aftermarket customers, we developed this comprehensive tool that combines fitment tracking and parts lookup with ACES and PIES reference specification data, packaged into an award-winning ERP system.

AutoFitmentPlus builds on the Fitment functionality that we released earlier this year, and is 80% through Phase I development. You can currently look up fitment for auto parts by year, make, model and other filters, ensuring that they get the right part, every time.

Save Time on Data Entry

When we asked our customers what they wanted most from a fitment solution, we heard many of them lament having to enter in parts data at least twice, often more than that. Then at the end of the month some of them needed to manually create an Excel spreadsheet to send to SEMA in the PIES format. It was a huge drain on their time each month. AutoFitmentPlus allows customers to enter data ONCE, and then click a button to generate the PIES file they need, in the right format, in minutes.

Quickly Find The Parts You Need

The expanded AutoFitmentPlus tool has the go-to reference specification tables: ACES (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) and PIES (Product Information Exchange Standard) built right into it, allowing fast, easy file preparation and transmission and seamless direct access to the data.

“We wanted to help our customers eliminate manual lookups and have an easy way to quickly find parts that match their customers’ requests,” says our Founder, and CEO Patricia Bennett.  “Integrating it with ACES and PIES just made sense, and saves our customers so much time and effort. Before AutoFitmentPlus, one customer spent upwards of 12 hours each month preparing their data file for upload to SEMA. Imagine getting that time back every month.”

In addition to parts lookup, the AutoFitmentPlus solution includes:

  • VIN validation and identification
  • Vehicle Classification data (Year, Make, Model, Engine Type, etc.) maintained and cross-referenced against your Part SKUs to establish Fitment Application.
  • Industry-standard ‘ACES’ (Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard) Vehicle Classification data automatically loaded into the ERP database and automatically updated at regular intervals.
  • Parts Fitment used to filter available products on Sales Orders and Service Orders. Fitment will also integrate with your eCommerce website.
  • Industry-standard ‘PIES’ (Product Information Exchange Standard) Product Categorization data automatically loaded into the ERP database and automatically updated at regular intervals.
  • PIES data used to provide information about your Parts in an industry recognized manner, including Attributes and other specifications.
  • Sales and Service performed on vehicles tracked by VIN, including Warranties on parts and service.
  • On-demand export of data in the ACES, PIES, or SEMA prescribed formats with no manual data manipulation or intervention on your part, providing you with seamless integration to your trading partners and the SEMA Data Coop.

For subscribing members of the Auto Care Association, AutoFitmentPlus will also ensure the data you have in your ERP system is always up to date.

You can learn more in our AutoFitmentPlus blog post.

“We couldn’t be happier that PC Bennett is developing this automotive database management tool for their Acumatica audience. It speaks to their commitment to the automotive industry, and their depth of knowledge and passion for the fastest growing cloud ERP solution,” — Geoff Ashley, Vice President, Partner Strategy & Programs at Acumatica.