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An ERP System can Help with Supply Chain Snafus


An ERP System can Help with Supply Chain Snafus

The pandemic has ended. This does not suggest that the world has returned to a pre-pandemic state. In fact, many sectors of the economy are still struggling, while others are continuing to adopt new and innovative measures to ensure the next pandemic does not ravage us like Covid did for nearly three years.

One of those measures is the adoption of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. ERP systems are a lot of things, but what they are at their core is the glue that binds a company’s distinct systems together under a unified umbrella. One of the areas that was most affected by the pandemic was supply chains. By nature, supply networks are subject to a host of interruptions. This includes but is not limited to geopolitical unrest, natural catastrophes, and of course, pandemics. As we witnessed firsthand, when supply chains falter in a globalized world the flow of goods is constrained leading to delays, higher prices, and dissolving consumer confidence.

ERP systems are smartly positioned to tackle three key supply chain issues: integration and visibility, demand forecasting and inventory management, and risk management and mitigation. Via a consolidated and integrated database ERP systems provide real-time data visibility and exchange. This allows for more agile collaboration across the company and enough time to quickly respond to disturbances. This was one of the central issues with supply chain failures during the pandemic.

Second, ERP systems provide businesses with the tools to estimate demand in real-time. Instead of relying only on historical data, demand estimates combine real-time, historical, market trends, and consumer behavior data. The integration of past, present, and future is a supply chain value-added. Lastly, ERP systems employ risk reduction techniques to identify and address vulnerabilities. Buffer stock building, alternate sourcing, and dual sourcing are some of the more widely employed.

While all of this sounds lovely, implementing an ERP system to address supply chain concerns does have its challenges. First, organizations must be aligned in how they will develop data governance frameworks. While it is common for different departments to use different systems, ERP systems function well when data integration solutions are in place beforehand, not post-ERP implementation. Second, like anything new, a cultural shift at the company is required. ERP systems equate to new workflows and this requires change management strategies, training programs, and employee engagement initiatives to be in place.

Lastly, not all ERP systems are alike. It is critical to take stock of the distinct areas and workflows in your firm and allow for customization options. To scale over time a good ERP system must be flexible and user-friendly. Supply chains are ever-changing and require an agile partner to complement them.

rebate management

Why Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Fall Short with Rebate Management

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems allow companies to integrate many disparate elements of their business on a single centralized platform – from human resources to supply chain logistics to financial data. While this level of centralization can create operational efficiencies, the breadth of functionality offered by ERP systems also make them less effective when it comes to handling more specialized aspects of your business.

For example, when companies need to design, track, and execute rebate agreements, ERP systems come up short. This is because rebates can be highly complex and dynamic – to manage them productively, companies need purpose-built software that will help them maintain transparency internally and with trading partners, identify where rebate programs can be improved, and react to changes in markets and distribution dynamics. ERP systems allow companies to record the rebates they’re owed, but not much else.

Although many companies get by with the rudimentary rebate management tools offered by ERP systems, supported in parallel by spreadsheets and other off-system tracking, the usefulness of these tools breaks down with complex incentive-based rebate programs and an ever-increasing drive for rebates to stimulate the business growth they were implemented for in the first place. Dedicated rebate management systems, on the other hand, are designed around the needs of complex and dynamic rebate programs, helping companies build more sustainable relationships with one another by giving them a wider range of options and the resources they need to communicate and collaborate in real-time.

How to manage complexity

Global supply chains have never been more complex than they are today – they’re more interconnected, they serve larger and increasingly diverse markets, and they often require vast logistical infrastructure to function. A 2020 survey found that 91 percent of businesses say they “can’t stay ahead of their supply chain complexities.” As if this task wasn’t already difficult enough, COVID-19 threw the global economy into chaos overnight, snapping crucial links in supply chains, straining relationships between manufacturers and distributors, and forcing consumers to deal with delays and unpredictable cost fluctuations.

One of the reasons rebates exist is to account for uncertainty – from economic shocks to shifting consumer demands. They retroactively bring volume, pricing and payments into line with projections, incentivizing trading partners to continue investing in one another. The more contingencies rebates can account for, the easier it will be for companies to predict future conditions and adapt when they change. This is why there are hundreds of different types of rebate agreements – they can be based on seasonality, sales targets, marketing commitments, the performance of specific product lines, and a range of other variables.

Many rebate agreements also change annually (or more frequently) to spur growth and react to market changes as they arise. These are all reasons why these agreements can be surprisingly intricate, which makes ERP systems blunt instruments for managing them.

Increasing efficiency and agility

ERP systems are all about efficiency – by bringing a wide range of business processes (from workflow solutions to communication tools) together on a single platform, these systems are designed to consolidate information, facilitate cooperation, and streamline a company’s processes across the board. This sounds particularly attractive to company leaders in the supply chain sector, who are hyper-cognizant of any opportunity to increase efficiency. An EY survey found that 55 percent of companies expect digitization to improve operational supply chain efficiency (the second-most-cited option) over the next three years.

But can ERP systems really increase the efficiency and effectiveness of B2B rebate programs? By failing to account for a wide enough range of variables and providing little in the way of real-time flexibility, these systems aren’t the drivers of business growth that companies need. According to Gartner, 89 percent of supply chain professionals want to invest in agility. This is what specialized rebate management solutions provide by giving companies the chance to get creative with the negotiation and implementation of deals, adjust those deals as circumstances change, and track every stage of the process on a platform that was built specifically for handling rebates.

When companies rely on ERP systems that can’t accommodate their rebate needs, they’re forced to use other forms of documentation and manual logistics management, such as spreadsheets. This can lead to costly errors and wasted time – hardly the efficiency companies are after.

Building stronger relationships between supply chain partners

Rebates help companies forge stronger relationships by allowing them to negotiate deals that satisfy both parties and giving them the freedom to alter the provisions of those deals as circumstances dictate. Dedicated rebate management platforms provide mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability, more robust contract management, and the ability to manage hundreds of different types of rebates.

According to a recent Enable survey, more than one-third of companies say they still use spreadsheets to document, share, and sign off on deals. This doesn’t just lead to mistakes, backtracking, delays, and a series of other logistical problems – it can also be detrimental to relationships, as it requires partners to dig through scattered documents and search records that haven’t been properly systematized whenever a dispute or any other issue arises. ERP systems are typically transaction-centric, while rebate management systems make the process of creating, approving, and tracking deals an ongoing collaborative process with dedicated workflow and communication tools.

ERP systems have a clear role to play in helping companies become more productive, which is why rebate management solutions can be directly integrated with them. But rebate management is a highly specialized field – it requires digital tools that are specifically designed to manage complexity, improve supply chain flexibility, and build healthy and sustainable relationships between partners.



Andy James is the Director of Product Strategy at Enablea cloud-based SaaS solution for B2B rebate management. The software is used by procurement and finance professionals in distribution, wholesale and manufacturing across over 50 industries so that they can have an easy, seamless solution to execute and track their full range of trading programs.


Early Adoption of Agile CTRM Critical for Any Agribusiness Planning Growth in 2021

While productivity is the long-term propeller of economic growth, technology-enabled innovation is the major driver of productivity growth. Yet, we have seen modest growth productivity even as digital technologies boom. This is perhaps a function of resistance in transitioning towards new technology or being unable to find the right fit for business needs.

Considering the agribusiness, engaged in trading huge volumes of different commodities across continents, technologies like CTRM emerge as the most suited innovation to boost productivity. But how can organizations adopt this technology effectively?

In an industry replete with market-specific risks and challenges, a CTRM solution can provide effective solutions to enhance the efficiency of business processes and manage external uncertainties easily.

For instance, if you are a large agribusiness based in Toronto, exporting agriculture products to difficult-to-reach and risky markets like Libya, Syria, and Yemen, trading commodities can be challenging, especially when it involves high volumes and transactions, with a significant degree of volatility. It’s even more daunting to handle a range of commodities across grains, oilseeds, by-products, and specialty crops that service both feed and food markets, procured in one-half of the world and traded in another.

With an expanding footprint of operations in almost every continent in the world, the scale of operations can be an uphill task and even become unmanageable for organizations. So far, the agribusiness in Toronto deployed ERP systems that would break down tackling the burgeoning load of the growing business. Legacy ERP systems unequipped with the market and commodity-specific functionalities are responsible for loss in productivity. At the end of every month, the agribusiness would spend 5 to 8 days to close accounting books. A sizeable portion of work carried out manually on spreadsheets because their ERP system didn’t fully support features specific to trading in North American markets.

A multi-commodity Canadian agribusiness trading across continents, and many others like it, requires an advanced technological CTRM platform that can optimize their business processes and eliminate manual redundancies. A truly global and growing agribusiness needs a CTRM solution that can provide access to market-relevant data to make critical business decisions swiftly.

After implementing a CTRM solution, the agribusiness reduced their time to close end-of-month accounting books from 8 days to under 15 minutes.

The company also eliminated nearly 90% of its manual processes that required spreadsheets. It now spends less time extracting data manually, CTRM platform enables the agribusiness to bring all the information together in a few clicks.

Automation of redundant processes allowed the company to feed all the relevant information into the application at once and run multiple scenarios across commodities simultaneously and instantly. It enabled the company’s traders to compare more trade opportunities faster. The CTRM platform gave the traders more time to drill into results and rapidly analyze which trades were most profitable and why, so they make better decisions on future contracts.

Digitizing manual operations through implementing a CTRM solution not only increased efficiency but drove predictability and profitability as well. As the platform connected business units across the value chain, it enabled our Toronto-based trader to increase visibility and enhance the level of agility to respond to changing conditions in a volatile global marketplace.

As an upshot, CTRM aided in increasing the efficiency and reliability in its supply chain by planning and optimizing all aspects of the company’s multimodal logistics network. The platform linked Internal Movement Order (IMO) with Sales Movement Order (SMO), tagging respective sales orders with modes of transport and providing superior visibility into stock movement. Through this enhanced capability, the company was also able to optimize its stock adjustment activities while transloading, a common challenge in bulk transportation where businesses often incur additional terminal costs and delays.

An integral aspect of commodity trading as an agribusiness is vessel management. An integrated CTRM system enables traders, logistics, and finance people to look at the status of shipments in real-time. Planned Container Shipment (PCS) and Planned Bulk Shipment (PBS) solutions configured to the CTRM platform provide complete visibility into the movement of international stock shipments. This includes end-to-end vessel tracking, enhanced collaboration, and workflow management.

Having a deployed a comprehensive CTRM suite of solutions ensured optimal productivity at all stages of business, the agribusiness increased efficiency in PBS executions by 65% and PCS shipments by 50%.

Leveraging these applications of an adaptive CTRM suite, the company no longer manually extracts invoices from the system and emails them to finance for payment. The system sends automated alerts to finance on payments to be made, thereby enabling better internal controls.

Today, the Toronto-based agribusiness benefits from improved workflows and activity management escaping the shadows of an obsolete system. It shall continue to drive substantial gains in productivity and profitability, utilizing CTRM solutions which are quickly becoming indispensable for agribusinesses worldwide.


Eka Software Solutions is a global leader in providing digital commodity management solutions for the agriculture industry, driven by cloud, blockchain, machine learning, and analytics.

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10 Integrations Every Manufacturer Needs With Their ERP

As manufacturing markets grow more competitive, the need to operate lean and eliminate inefficiencies has become more important than ever. In the past having a quality ERP system was enough to get the job done.

Today the best ERP systems incorporate all the new Internet
of Things (IoT) technologies currently being developed.
They integrate with these technologies to enable your business to cut costs, work more efficiently, and simplify your entire manufacturing process in ways that were previously only dreams. The ability to integrate with third-party IoT technologies has already become one of the most important criteria for selecting an ERP system – and a powerful competitive advantage.

Our list of the 10 integrations every manufacturer needs with
their ERP includes some that are new and some that have been around a while. If you don’t acquire them soon, expect to be left behind – by your customers and your industry.

Nesting Interface

Operating lean requires reducing setup time and labor as well as material waste. Nesting software handles all three by efficiently arranging part shapes on sheets or plates of stock material to produce the least amount of waste. It eliminates the time required to manually plan which parts to cut on a piece of metal, plastic, wood, etc. and reduces purchasing costs by minimizing unusable leftover materials.

A nesting interface enables your ERP system to share information with the nesting software, including work orders, inventory information, workcenter details, and other data. The nesting software uses this data to optimize material usage and sends cutlist details, material drops, scrap, and estimates for routing and work orders back to the ERP system.


Whether they’re using barcodes, badges, or biometric scanners, employees typically have multiple processes for entering the building, unlocking doors, and logging into your ERP system. Radio frequency identification (RFID) lets you consolidate all access procedures into your ERP system to eliminate multiple badges, barcoded employee lists, and human error.

In the process, RFID provides faster and more efficient log-ins, more accurate data, lower technology costs, and stronger security of your building and your data. It also facilitates more accurate payroll processing and tracking of job costs. As more manufacturers embrace this technology, RFID can also be used to trace inventory, improve scheduling by tracking idle equipment, locate lost or misplaced tools and equipment, monitor waste and shrinkage, and more. Some manufacturers are even using this technology to track material moving from an outside storehouse into the warehouse and
through production on the shop floor.


In the manufacturing world, small process improvements performed hundreds of times a day can add up to big savings. Electronic data interchange (EDI) software saves time and money (for you and your customers) by facilitating the computer-to-computer exchange of business data across different platforms. This data can include purchase orders, invoices, inventory levels, shipping notices, and much more.

Using EDI to seamlessly integrate with your customers’ business systems speeds up the order entry process by allowing them to send order data electronically. No phone calls. No faxes. No manual data entry. Just fast, accurate electronic data transmission that eliminates the need for a second entry on the other side of every transaction. The error-free transmission also eliminates the need for time-consuming reconciliations. You can view a list of top EDI
solutions Global Shop Solutions integrates with.


When it comes to saving time and simplifying processes, eCommerce is like EDI on steroids. Imagine if customers could place an order on your website, and your ERP system would automatically launch the sales and work order processes to get the job rolling. Then it would also automatically send an invoice or process payment with a credit card. How much time and effort would that remove from your order entry process?

All it requires is three basic elements:

• A SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) software program so that your website can communicate with your ERP system

• An experienced website vendor to build your eCommerce portal

• An ERP vendor willing to support the integration between their product and the eCommerce platform Global Shop Solutions recently assisted one of our correctional institution customers in building an eCommerce website. Read the case study here. Or better yet, visit their website.

CAD Interface

Do your engineers still spend hours every week writing lengthy BOMs and comparing them against the BOMs in your ERP system?
A CAD Interface solution can eliminate this wasteful manual
entry by seamlessly importing the BOM into your ERP system. Your engineers can then use the imported BOM to ensure sufficient materials are on hand to complete the job on time and on budget. With a CAD interface you can:

• Reduce engineering time and costs
• Eliminate manual data entry to update BOMs,
and the human error that goes along with it
• Ensure everyone on the shop floor has the latest
document rev
• Create jobs faster

It used to take one of our packing industry customers four man days to create jobs. Since implementing a CAD Interface solution, it now requires only a couple of clicks to build 100+ routers in a few seconds. Global Shop Solutions offers CAD Interface solutions with SolidWorks®, Solid Edge™, Autodesk Inventor®, and other leading design programs.

Tool Cribs and Vending Machines

To improve the accuracy of tooling costs, more manufacturers are employing tool vending machines.

Workers scan their badge and job number into the machine and press a button for the tool they need. The vending machine dispenses the tool and automatically applies the cost of the tool to the job, thereby increasing accuracy for the overall job costing process.

The key with this integration is seamlessly transporting the costing data to your ERP system. Global Shop Solutions recently wrote a program for one of our aviation design and build customers which passes tool usage and tooling requirements to Global Shop Solutions ERP software.

Employee Efficiency

You can’t afford to have employees standing around wondering what to do next. Integrating Internet-capable TV screens and displays with your ERP system can significantly reduce employee red time.

These screens, strategically placed around the shop floor, can display a variety of real-time data pulled from your ERP system. This includes the status of work orders in progress, work orders scheduled to begin, and hot jobs that need immediate attention.

In addition to keeping employees on the job, this integration eliminates the need for reams of paper work orders and shop floor schedules. It also prevents confusion on the shop floor because employees can always see what needs to be worked on and when – without having to leave their machines or workcenters.

Global Shop Solutions offers this capability via TrueView™. Within 30 days of implementing this integration, one of our precision metal fabricator customers, generated productivity improvements of 20% to 25%, while a manufacturer of washing machines and drying cabinets uses this integration to properly sequence upcoming jobs at each workcenter.

Another example comes from a wood product and component manufacturer. Despite averaging nearly 500 hours a month of indirect time, company management thought they were at full capacity – until they placed 18 TV screens connected to TrueView around their shop floor. TrueView was used to display the names of employees not on a job for more than four minutes and notify their supervisors. Indirect time plummeted to 50 hours per month, and the company now has the capacity to schedule more jobs, increase margins, and pay their employees more.


Accounting & payroll are complex, time-consuming processes. Managing all the data in one system makes the entire process quicker and easier while reducing administrative costs. Integrating your payroll system into your general ledger and shop floor data allows you to:

• Eliminate redundant data entry
• Easily distribute payroll accounting by department
• Simplify tax reporting
• Manage your employees better than ever
• Complete end-of-month closing in less time

Global Shop Solutions seamlessly integrates with ADP®, ABRA, Paychex® and other leading payroll solutions.


Making efficient use of sales tax data has also taken a big step forward by integrating with ERP software.

Manufacturers can now link sales tax data directly from their ERP software to their state sales and property tax software programs. They can also simplify other tax-related tasks, such as R&D tax credit tracking. For example, one our customers uses this integration to set up tasks on their work orders. This allows the Project Manager to instantly review the percentage of work on a job that can be attributed to R&D for tax credit purposes.

Business Services

Tracking employee expenses – meals, gas, tools, etc. – on installations, repairs and other service calls has long been a thorn in the side of financial personnel. Even with today’s sophisticated software programs, expenses can still get lost. Or they don’t get applied to the job until the employee returns to the office. Either way, it interferes with your ability to track job costs in real time.

Now you can enjoy cost, compliance, and visibility by integrating expense-reporting software with your ERP system. Global Shop Solutions easily integrates (using one of our free, downloadable ARC programs) directly with Concur and other popular expense-tracking programs. Using a smartphone app, your field service teams can tie expenses directly into a work order in Global Shop Solutions ERP software the minute they happen. Job costing has never been so simple or timely.


As IoT transforms the manufacturing industry at breakneck speed, success increasingly depends on your ability to connect with real time data from anywhere at any time. As a global leader in ERP solutions, we believe it is our responsibility to help you do that. If you’re not taking advantage of the ERP integrations outlined in this whitepaper, call Global Shop Solutions today at 800-364-5958. You’ll be amazed at how a few simple integrations can exponentially increase the power, functionality, and return on investment of your ERP software.


Daniel Carranco is the Director for the Continuous Improvement Department for Global Shop Solutions. He leads a department comprised of teams that deal with existing customer projects including consulting and custom development. A Global Shop Solutions team member for more than a decade, Carranco holds a master’s degree in international business, and is a frequent speaker to manufacturing executives and industry groups on maximizing ROI with ERP software.

To learn more about the 10 Integrations Every Manufacturer Needs With Their ERP, call 1.800.364.5958 or visit


Here are the Top ERP Transformations That Support Buyers

B2B companies are currently up to their necks in “digital transformation.” They’re moving at a rapid clip to enhance the customer experience through technologies that automate processes, focusing on marketing, sales, and e-commerce. While this was percolating before COVID-19, it’s now encompassing and tied into the overall business strategies for 2021 and beyond. On the back end, ERP providers and their VARs are scrambling to keep up. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to take a step back and look at this through a different lens.

As recently as last week, software providers such as Infor and SAP, along with industry leaders like MDM and NAW, have all published white papers or held forums on the “what” and “when” of digital transformation elements. Strategy, roadmap, commitment, and continual investment are the keys to staying ahead of the curve. What we have not heard is, “How are my customers going to fund these projects” or “which project has the most immediate of financial impacts to my business” and most importantly, which project has the lightest internal lift, easiest to deliver, and doesn’t require change management to drive adoption from internal customers.

As the brain and central nervous system for a business, ERP systems are very complex and can be challenging to maintain, especially older legacy systems. Most ERP solutions and resellers create additional revenue streams by providing customers with value-added technology, integrations, and professional services. That’s especially true right now when new systems are increasingly harder to sell.

From the buyer perspective, implementing a new ERP is like open-heart surgery. Similarly, new technology projects are feared as a drain on internal resources, and who wants to part with cash in uncertain times? The risk appears too great in the current market climate, while the need to upgrade, enhance, and automate is absolutely paramount. In short, they want an attractive, simplified facelift of functionality to the ERP that improves their agility in virtually serving customers.

The focus is primarily on the external customer and often neglects areas within their customers’ business where change is not perceived as immediately necessary.

As the brain and central nervous system for a business, ERP systems are very complex and can be challenging to maintain, especially legacy systems. Most ERP solutions and resellers create additional revenue streams by providing customers with value-added technology, integrations, and professional services. That’s especially true right now, when new systems are increasingly harder to sell.

The focus is primarily on the external customer and often neglects the business area where change is perceived as immediately necessary.

Supporting their customers’ digital transformation efforts has stretched many ERP companies too thin for them to take on major integrations. If their professional services organizations aren’t already tapped out by working on e-commerce, they’re doing projects such as CPQ (configure, price, quote), mobile order entry, or other customer-facing applications.

Partnerships are a proven strategy for obtaining solutions without having to buy them build them internally. By partnering with industry-leading businesses with a back-end operational focus, ERP providers can offer add-ons that complement their newly digitized front-end processes, deliver them more rapidly, and to a democratized customer base. With that in mind, here are three relatively easy back-office automation plays that ERP providers should consider right now:

1. Order management automation.

Automating order management is a no brainer in the “order to cash process.” As businesses build eComm into their revenue organizations, they still need to accommodate all customers and their preferred transacting business methods. While expanding online order acceptance, any manual processes will consume resources and present error risks for businesses that grandfather in older processes like accepting orders via fax. That said, the result is a smooth and versatile system that speeds up back-office processes without causing undue strain on internal teams.

2. Accounts receivable automation.

Accounts receivable automation pairs well with e-commerce upgrades. Customers may already accept payments online. However, for those who still need to invoice, accounts receivable automation can support efficient workflow creation. Such a move could improve cashflow and shorten DSO (days sales outstanding). However, it may require them to rethink how they submit invoices to their customers: via EDI, paper, PDFs, or CD-ROMs, which, believe it or not, are still in use. AR automation requires standardizing and automating invoice transmission. That could require some change management and internal resources on the part of the ERP provider, working in conjunction with the technology provider to get customers set up.

3. Payment automation.

All businesses are already making payments to suppliers, maybe some of them through an ERP module, but there’s still likely significant manual work involved. Best-of-breed payment automation solutions take four payment modes—check, ACH, card, and wire—and put them into one streamlined interface. When using this type of system, the buyer decides which invoices they want to pay—and they don’t even need to keep track of how each supplier wants to be paid. The payment service provider handles all the supplier enablement, and the software intelligently directs funds to approved suppliers in their preferred method. The concept of payment automation adoption is now over a decade old. In that time, payment automation providers have perfected the implementation process only to take a few weeks and minimal internal effort to get started. That means it can happen concurrently with front-end projects. The time and money saved (and potential rebates earned) by utilizing such a system enables businesses to allocate excess funds for other transformation projects.

Overall, digital transformation acceleration is a positive thing for ERP providers and partners. Their customers, who are in an “innovate or die” situation, are open to more outside-the-box solutions than before and are leaning on their ERP providers as a result. Finding high-tech hi-touch solutions. They have the opportunity to make a mark on their customer’s future success and garner recognition for their work.

At the same time, they have to adopt innovation themselves. Every day, one ERP or another is coming out with a new module or integration. The day of the monolithic tech stack is gone. Customers want to pick and choose what works best for their business. To retain their customers, ERP providers have to connect to as many different solutions as possible.

Right now, the back office is the best focus for improvements. Partner up and offer connected solutions, like automated order management, accounts receivable, and payments. If you’re looking for a place to start, I recommend automating payments first. That type of scenario creates a win-win situation because you create another revenue stream right out of the gate, and your customers generate a profit from something that just used to be a drag on their bottom line. The revenue saved or generated from that initiative can pay forward into other automation options, creating a simplified system that pays your efforts forward.


Matt Mindrum is VP of Strategic Partnerships with Nvoicepay, a FLEETCOR company. For more than 20 years, Matt has delivered impactful solutions to businesses with a consultative approach on operational efficiency, sales enablement, and strategic partnerships. His expertise spans from low- and mid-market to Fortune 500 companies. He has a strong background in technology, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution.