9 benefits to expect when upgrading your computer system

If you haven’t changed your computer systems recently, you’ll probably be quite surprised (and hopefully pleased) by some of the features that are considered standard these days.  Modern software has evolved to keep up with changes in hardware, networking and devices.  Some of the more obvious benefits include: Access anywhere – regardless of how you choose to host your system, you’d expect to be able to access it from anywhere in the world these days, and to be able to offer access to your trading partners both up and down the supply chain.   Embedding a modern system within the business in this way can reduce the administration workload and increase accuracy, as duplication of effort and transcription errors are dramatically reduced. Security – one consequence of opening up your system is the need to secure it from unauthorised access, and to audit all data changes throughout.  In the case of…

Brexit – the first 100 days

Three months after the vote for Brexit, there seems to be a queue of politicians and business leaders eager to point out that not a lot has changed, so what were we all worried about? The effects of Brexit will not be measured in a few months.  They will become noticeable by the start of 2017 and will rumble on for years, probably tens of years.  Trade agreements will be negotiated.  The form they take may dominate future headlines, but in reality these are a sideshow.  Willing buyers will always be connected with willing sellers in some form, and prices and duty rates will dictate commercial viability. The real damage is already happening, but it will take some time for the effects to show.  Of particular concern are: Financial Services – The UK is a service economy (78% of GDP), and financial services are a huge part of our exports…

PLM – a Bluffers Guide

Choosing and installing a PLM system is very different to other solutions that you may have implemented within your business.  Accounting and Warehouse Management systems are designed to fit a narrow, well-defined problem across businesses of all types.  Product Lifecycle Management systems address a much more nebulous problem, which is harder to define and therefore more difficult to solve.  This is often why PLM implementations fail; not through system shortcomings, but through mismatched expectations. In this article, we pick through some of the questions to ask yourself when considering a PLM solution. Do I really need a PLM system?  If your collection is relatively small, or has a high proportion of repeating styles, or is currently managed by one or two people, the answer is probably not.  Development of small collections, or minor updates to a core product set can be managed quite adequately on spreadsheets.  For PLM to be…

Unexpected Brexit

Currency Cover The unexpected Brexit decision led to an immediate drop in value of the Pound against other major currencies, in particular the US Dollar and Euro.  For some businesses, it highlighted a vulnerability in currency exposure, for those who had only limited or no forward cover. Look at your exposure to each currency, the balance between purchases and sales.  To reduce your exposure, the difference should be as close to zero as possible.  If you buy in dollars but only sell in Sterling, you’re at risk whenever the Pound drops.  Similarly, if you buy in dollars and sell more in dollars, your risk is when trying to convert the margin back to sterling – when the pound rises against the dollar, your margin decreases. USD to GBP – 17 Jun to 5 Aug 2016 EUR to GBP– 17 Jun to 5 Aug 2016     (courtesy xe.com) (courtesy xe.com)…

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

In case it slipped by unnoticed, a new piece of Data Privacy legislation came into force in May and is still likely to be implemented in the UK, regardless of our planned Brexit.  Even if the UK does not ratify this or similar legislation, companies selling into the EU are still required to comply.   This time around, fines for non-compliance are far from a token measure – firms can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover for breaches. The legislation has its roots in a number of high-profile data breaches that I’m sure you have seen in the press over the last few years.  It aims to use a financial stick to make all firms much more conscientious when it comes to securing their data.  In summary, the changes are: Reach – it catches non-EU companies processing EU data (which will be us going forward) Regulatory Body –…

Union Customs Code changes

From 1st May 2016 the Union Customs Code is being introduced. This is an attempt to simplify procedures, close a number of loopholes and tidy up the process in a harmonised way across the EU. It aims to streamline customs legislation and procedures, offer greater legal certainty and uniformity to businesses, increase clarity for customs officials throughout the EU, facilitate more efficient customs transactions, complete the shift by Customs to a paperless environment, and reinforce swifter customs procedures for compliant and trustworthy economic operators. Changes include: all communications between customs authorities and economic operators must be electronic guarantees for most special procedures and Temporary Storage (new authorisations only) ability to make some movements under Temporary Storage removal of the earlier sales provisions relating to valuation (but transitional arrangements may apply) Some procedures and reliefs will cease or change on 30 April 2016 STYLEman ERP is ready for these changes, with…