Thinking about an ERP upgrade?

If you're running a growing business and thinking about taking things up a notch for some serious expansion, it might be time to explore ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. ERP software helps businesses manage and automate various aspects of their operations, including finance, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, procurement, project management and more. So, how do you know if you’re ready?

  • ERP software is a great fit for businesses on the rise, especially if you're ready to move on from Xero and are now looking for a central system that's rich in industry-specific features - something with all the bells and whistles that you can customise to your heart's content.
  • This software is well-suited to companies making the jump to ERP when they've outgrown legacy systems like Accredo, Reckon, Quickbooks, Attache, EXO, GreenTree, Pronto, Sage, Abel and Moneyworks.

For these businesses, we like to deliver ERP with a modern twist. Using API integration, we build solutions designed to leverage other business apps across the cloud and mobile platforms, ultimately creating a much more affordable solution. At ALTSHIFT, we'll also take care of the planning and project management, from system selection and scoping to data migration, testing, training, and ongoing support.

We've guided ERP upgrades for a number of significant local businesses, including Winton, Eurotech Design and National Mini Storage. Winton needed a system that could efficiently consolidate data across all entities, Eurotech's legacy Oracle system lacked inventory control, while National Mini Storage's previous system, Reckon, couldn't handle the growing number of transactions, leading to manual workarounds for processes like bank feeds, accounts payable, and fixed asset registers.

These three particular businesses were all best-suited to MYOB Advanced Business. For Winton, we created a single, integrated setup that automated the consolidation of their 30+ assets and ultimately played a crucial role in its successful IPO listing in December 2021. The solution we created for Eurotech Design has significantly improved inventory management, with an accurate audit trail and streamlined processing - orders are now processed within minutes, reducing errors and enhancing the retail experience. As a result of our upgrade, National Mini Storage has improved cost control, reduced manual efforts, and allowed accurate five-year forecasting - which, in turn, keeps the bank happy.

If you’re interested in an ERP upgrade, let’s get a coffee and we can talk through what options could be best suited to your business.

Choosing the Right CRM: A Crucial Tool for Business Growth

Customer Relationship Management software is a suite of cloud applications that collects and stores customer data, providing a central platform for sales teams to manage customer interactions and enhance customer experience. It essentially unifies sales, marketing, customer relationships and customer services, and as a result, the right CRM will, without a doubt, improve overall business performance. Think: better customer relationships, efficient lead management, sales automation, data centralisation, segmented targeted marketing, detailed forecasting and reporting, customer retention, scalability…the list goes on. It’s easy to see why it’s crucial to choose the right CRM.


Two of the major players in the space are Zoho and Salesforce, and it’s common for Kiwi businesses to feel confused about which is the best fit. They’re both trusted brands that offer feature-rich solutions though in our experiences, Zoho is often a better fit for our mid-market clients. Salesforce started with a focus on enterprise before including more SME-focused solutions, whereas Zoho has its roots in small and medium sized business, and therefore feels much more intuitive.


The CRM decision often boils down to finding the software that aligns with your company's needs while staying within your budget. Salesforce has an extensive array of features and integrations, numbering in the thousands, however, it's worth noting that even Salesforce's second most affordable option tends to be pricier than Zoho’s top-tier plan. Zoho also offers a free edition and flexible month-to-month billing, avoiding annual commitments.


While Salesforce offers a more extensive range of features, Zoho’s offering is still likely more than enough for the average small to mid-tier business. It integrates seamlessly with commonly used software platforms and has a built-in social media feature for tracking conversations on platforms like Google and Facebook. In terms of user-friendliness, Zoho is ideal for beginners and smaller businesses who want to get started quickly. Salesforce, due to its extensive capabilities, is more likely to need a professional IT team to oversee it.


Salesforce still may be the right choice for larger or more complex businesses. It offers many industry-specific solutions, like Salesforce Health Cloud for healthcare and Salesforce Financial Services Cloud for financial services, and extensive customisation options. It’s also known for its scalability and can accommodate the needs of large enterprises with complicated sales processes and data management.


If you are thinking about switching to a new CRM system, let’s chat. ALTSHIFT is the only provider that specialises in multiple products and we’re tech-agnostic, so we’re able to objectively tell you what your business really needs. We’re powered by BDO, so we use our deep knowledge in accounts to find the best solutions. Best of all? We’re there for you every step of the way, supporting your business and optimising it for better business decisions and scalable growth.

The Time is Now: The Power of Digital Transformation

In a world where business applications and automations have advanced further than ever before, a holistic approach to digital transformation is often essential for businesses operating on outdated legacy systems.  There are a myriad of reasons why businesses are so positively impacted by making the switch; we look at three of the key ones below:


1. Cloud integration

This is the number one advantage of a digital transformation. The clue is in the name: cloud integration takes multiple platforms - from sales and customer service, to operations and logistics, to finance and accounts - and integrates them. In simple terms, the systems talk to one another.


2. Staff wellbeing

An integrated digital solution gives insight, transparency, and visibility across all departments, which positively impacts staff productivity and well-being. Clients we’ve led through these transformations report reduced staff stress levels, decreased burnout, and lessened pressure on staff. You can imagine how errors are reduced as many time consuming processes become automated, which naturally instills confidence and a more positive work environment.


3. Scalable growth

A digital transformation is proven to enhance data security, maximise supply chain efficiencies, revise energy consumption, support compliance, minimise risk and generate customer insights. Ultimately, it brings the business into the ‘now,’ driving its accessibility and compatibility, and optimising it for success in today’s digital-first landscape.

The most effective digital transformations are led by trusted partners with expertise spanning various disciplines like ERP, CRM and ECOM. Unlike some of the other players in the space, we firmly believe that partners should remain technology-neutral, giving them the ability to analyse the unique needs of each business before offering a tailored solution. At ALTSHIFT, we take this one step further with a team of in-house developers who are able to fine-tune customisation to the point where we can (and do!) create bespoke apps.



We appreciate that many operators feel overwhelmed by the idea of transforming all of the software across their business; with never ending to-do lists, it can be hard to imagine finding the time and energy to get started. That’s where we come in; BDO has powered ALTSHIFT to give businesses the ability to outsource the digital transformation process.

We work with businesses of all sizes and industries, successfully guiding digital transformation journeys for companies like RUBY, Medi Foods and Black Magic Tackle. We lead every step of the process, from initial analysis and solution recommendations, to migration and integration, to staff training and technical support. If you’re interested, email me on and let’s catch up for a coffee to discuss.

Shipping automation: The key to unlock your growth

The following guest blog post is written by one of our software partners, Starshipit. Have a read below to learn about the benefits of using the Starshipit platform for eCommerce and what it could mean for your business. For more information about integration options and the upsides, see our co-authored blog post on their website here.

Summary: We’re Starshipit, and we help online retailers turn shipping from one of their brand’s low points, to be as great as everything else they do. How do we do this? Through a powerful shipping and fulfilment platform that gives retailers the tools to take control of their shipping – and deliver better experiences for their customers.

The landscape of eCommerce is always evolving, with customer expectations in particular shifting at a more rapid pace than ever before.

Recently, we've seen a significant transformation in how customers interact with online retail. Now more than ever, they’re prioritising convenience, speed, and reliability. This shift in consumer behavior has become a driving force for retailers to adapt and innovate when it comes to their fulfilment strategies.

With studies showing that eCommerce sales are expected to account for 20.8% of retail sales worldwide this year alone, this suggests a steady increase in the preference for online shopping, and an opportunity for retailers to optimise for growth.

For retailers selling products through eCommerce channels, this really means one thing – to remain competitive, they’ll need to focus both on how they sell effectively through these channels, and how they get orders out to customers.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how a shipping automation platform (like ours) can solve the major fulfilment challenges that come with running a modern eCommerce business, and how you can get started today.

Overcoming the time sink of manual shipping processes

Shipping is almost universally a time-intensive task for retail businesses. Manual jobs such as printing shipping labels and assigning couriers is a time sink for everyone involved, and there's room for human error.

Starshipit solves this by automating the admin. Equipped with Starshipit, retailers can easily automate each step of the fulfilment process, such as generating shipping labels, packing slips, manifests, and submitting customs documentation. This is particularly useful for businesses shipping from store, as store staff can easily operate Starshipit to fulfil orders.

Centralised fulfilment dashboard

Efficiency and visibility are key elements in fulfilment, which is why having one centalised dashboard is essential. Starshipit offers just that – a single, intuitive platform where you can manage every aspect of your shipping and fulfilment process.

This unified approach not only streamlines operations but also provides clear insights, reporting and control over your entire fulfilment workflow, ensuring efficiency and consistency in every order you ship.

Got a store? Ship from it

'Ship from store' is emerging as an innovative way to speed up delivery and cut costs. It turns your stores into mini distribution hubs, so you can send orders from the closest store to your customer. This means faster delivery and less spent on shipping.

With Starshipit, setting up 'ship from store' is easy. Our platform works seamlessly with your existing systems, like Shopify and Magento, ensuring a smooth transition of orders from online to in-store fulfilment. It's a simple change that makes a big difference for your customers and for growing your business.

Ability to negotiate and use your own courier rates

When you first start out, it can be tempting to go with a shipping provider who offers set rates. After all, it's another time-saver, right? There’s actually little more to it. So-called aggregators can often sting you with per-label fees for using your own carriers, which can quickly add up when you’re moving high volumes. Here’s how we’re different:

Starshipit focuses on offering best-in-class shipping technology, not on making money off shipping rates. Our goal is to empower your business, allowing you to save on shipping costs without worrying about per-label charges or restrictive rate plans.

We encourage you to build your own relationships with couriers. This approach enables you to negotiate more competitive rates directly, fostering a shipping strategy that scales with your business and enhances customer experiences.

Flexible and powerful rules engine

Imagine being able to automatically sort orders as they come in by rules that you create, all within a matter of minutes. The Starshipit rules engine can automate your dispatch process in a way that works for you. You can reduce clicks in your warehouse, assign specific couriers, automate special requests and more. You can also manage orders based on parameters and conditions that you define, like weight, size, and SKU.

Leveraging a powerful tech stack

For the satisfaction of your customers and the growth of your business, it's essential to have seamless communication in your tech stack. Starshipit's automation software lets you connect to a range of powerful platforms, including Cin7, Xero, Unleashed and more.

The partnership between ALTSHIFT and Starshipit means you can streamline your operations. Build an end-to-end tech solution that enhances efficiency, reduces costs, and leads to a better customer delivery experience, setting the stage for scalable growth.

Get started with Starshipit

Starshipit is the best practice shipping and fulfilment platform that helps retailers save time and deliver great shipping experiences.

Getting started is easy. To start, simply create your account and start your 30-day free trial. Then, connect your platforms and couriers (we support all the major ones). With some other minor setup admin out of the way, you’ll be good to go! And, if you have any trouble at all with setup, our team will be standing by and ready to help you out.

Want to learn more? Just head over to the Starshipit website!


Changes ahead for WorkflowMax in 2024 - Xero to retire WorkflowMax

Xero has announced its plans to retire the WorkflowMax product.

After considering many options and balancing those against competing priorities, the difficult decision was made to retire WorkflowMax on 26 June 2024. This means the WorkflowMax product will no longer be available to use from this date.

From the date of announcement (23 March 2023), you have approximately 15 months before WorkflowMax is retired and right up until that date, Xero are committed to maintaining the current product and support experience for existing customers.

Talk to us about what this means for you as a WFM user:

Small businesses nurse $230k in pandemic stock hangover

Small businesses nurse $230k in pandemic stock hangover

04 April 2023

A survey finds firms have thousands of dollars locked up in products  accumulated when supply chains and transport networks were log-jammed.

Small businesses are nursing a stock hangover from the pandemic worth an average of $230,000 according a report by inventory management software specialist Unleashed.

Transport and supply issues during COVID had generated an oversupply and most SMEs had yet to course-correct, the company said.

“You can’t blame Australian businesses for taking on extra stock while supply chains were lagging behind,” said Unleashed head of product Jarrod Adam. “Thankfully, we are now in a place where we can safely define what too much stock is, and where businesses can afford to free up cashflow as economic conditions tighten.”

Unleashed analysed 148,142 products, ingredients and components stocked by 660 Australian SMEs and found an average of $231,700 in additional product or ingredients versus ideal stock levels. Ideal levels were calculated using industry-standard formulas that considered both the rate of sale and delivery lead times for individual items.

The figure varied from sector to sector, with personal care ($115,165) and beverage companies ($73,244) carrying the least overstock while

industrial machinery, raw material and equipment ($358,427), along with building and construction ($370,528) had the most.

Australian firms also had a higher average overstock position than those in NZ  ($200,733) and the UK ($186,500) although were in a slightly better position than their North American peers ($236,391).

BDO senior manager Josh Ambler said high stock levels could creep up on a business due to a lack of visibility.

“Traditionally, there haven't been great tools to identify overstocks or under- stocks, or be able to order just-in-time. Typically, people developed their own logic outside of systems to try manage that,” he said.

He said that broad-brush approach of the past was being replaced by more detailed analysis and clarity about a firm’s stock level could make a big difference to its cash position.

“There have been three or four tools come to the market that can do that at a very affordable price and so it's changed the game for those small-medium wholesalers and retailers.”

He said some sectors, such as the wine industry, which had long experience with overstock had become good at dealing with it. However, sectors that operated on big margins or which relied on disposable income, such as luxury goods, could suffer.

“Comparing, say, beverages and construction, you’re often looking at very different inventory models. Unlocking cash from surplus inventory is way simpler if you have a short cashflow cycle – some relatively simple adjustments in resupply orders can quickly mean more cash in the back pocket,” Mr Ambler said.

“For businesses with a slow cashflow cycle, ordering will take place at set times or in higher volume to secure a good price. These companies may instead need to consider how they can move off excess stock before it comes obsolete.”

“We might see more businesses become made-to-order or what we've seen in the beverage industry, for example, is they don't hold any stock at all – it's all outsourced typically now.”

For photographic lighting retailer Hypop, this year has meant moving away from the just-in-case model used during COVID and back to just-in-time.

“During the pandemic our stock literally doubled as we tried to manage all of the delays from equipment purchased around the world — and sometimes that meant holding too much of the wrong thing,” said Hypop owner Rob Ranoa.

“This year we decided to start cutting down this excess inventory in order to move to a more stable operating model. That’s meant some sales and promotions, which can hurt in the short term, but leaves us in a far better position in the long run.”

Mr Adam said the report’s findings could make a real difference for businesses pressured by inflation and supply chain shocks.

“We know that unlocking cashflow is a priority for our customers ahead of this new financial year,” he said. “It's all about finding ways to control the controllables – that can mean anything from improving internal efficiencies, to using a more granular, data-based approach to rebuying.”

Mr Ambler said expanding sales channels was a key strategy for tackling too much stock, especially when sales were slowing.

“The advice has always been look for other channels to market and a really good one at the moment is Amazon,” he said.

“Amazon Australia is maturing rapidly and is hungry for unique products. People maybe create a white label of their product, or a slightly different brand version of the product, and launch them to Amazon. It might be slightly discounted but it helps get volume.”

He said it could also open up fresh markets, and Australian and New Zealand businesseses had successfully launched into the US using the online sales giant.

Other traditional strategies were being revived, such as wholesalers cutting out the middleman and going direct to market with online websites.

Mr Ambler expected stock levels to return to normal levels as demand eased.

“People have to get clever around reducing their stock holdings but they certainly won't be buying more than they need to,” he said.

“The supply chains are smoothing, freight charges are coming down, it's all falling back into a normal routine … and now we’ll see reduced demand.”

The Unleashed report looked at the stock positions of 1,886 firms in Australia, NZ, the UK, the US and Canada, and calculated optimum levels for 381,000 individual product and component lines.

All the firms analysed were manufacturers, manufacturer wholesalers or manufacturer retailers with less than US$25 million in turnover.

Unleashed is cloud-based software that gives product businesses clarity and control across suppliers, production, inventory and sales. Founded in NZ in 2009, it was acquired by the UK’s Access Group in November 2020 and has thousands of users in more than 80 countries.

Successful partnerships – a platform for business success in 2022!

Success in business hinges on working with - and knowing when to call on - trusted partners. And then, long term success relies on continued relationships with those who can adapt to change, consistently deliver and be depended on in times of need. Looking into the evolving business markets and economic uncertainty in the year ahead, we wish you the very best in your trusted partner relationships to help see you through – and if there’s a role we can play in your journey, we’d love to chat.

We’d also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge one of our own successful partnerships - with MYOB - and thank them for our recent 2021 Enterprise Partner Award; we believe stronger ALTSHIFT alliances (a division of BDO Information Systems) bring stronger capacity for us to deliver success for our clients. Lets talk about the range of ALTSHIFT partners we can connect you with in helping drive your business success in 2022!


Working Smarter With The Cloud

Through the lock-down many businesses have enabled remote working and realised the benefits of investment in technology. No doubt there have also been frustrations with working in a ‘paperless’ environment, accessing legacy technology and modifying historic business processes.

The ALTSHIFT team will discuss practical technology solutions you can utilise in your business to achieve smarter ways of working including;

eCommerce integrated to inventory and finance
eCommerce automation with shipping and tracking
Accounts payable automation
Automated debtor collection
Online reporting tools

Please watch the video below to find out more...

MYOB Advanced High Achievers

Last month (and before the lock down!) we were graciously hosted by the MYOB Enterprise team for their annual partner conference on the sunny Gold Coast. Apart from the stunning location we were treated to a series of workshops and detailed updates on the MYOB suite. From our perspective we were pleased to see the level of investment in the MYOB Advanced platform (there's no doubt this cloud ERP platform has a big future mid-tier market) and it was great to see a number of new 3rd party integrations on the scene adding to the breadth of functionality.

The conference closed in style high up on the 77th floor of the SkyPoint building (that's 230m in the air!) where as part of our partnership with BDO Information Systems we were pleased to receive the Excellence in Business Development Award for MYOB Advanced (NZ). For BDO Information Systems the award comes 2 years running and is a testament to the quality projects being rolled out by the team.

A great night was had by all and if not for that awful virus we'll be back again next year to defend the silverware. For now the team are head down in MYOB Advanced projects with a number of new sites going live in the new financial year and we're all thankful that we can continue to work in the cloud.

Ten Key Things to Consider When Implementing Digital Transformation

Data collection and analysis are integral to business success and growth, and most businesses have already adopted digital transformation strategies to ensure they thrive in competitive markets now and in the future. Digital transformation affects all aspects of a business, from digital marketing to business operations, so this transition process should be handled carefully. If you’re thinking of moving towards digitization, here are the key things to keep in mind to ensure digital transformation success.

Strategy. An overall digital transformation strategy must be in place to avoid using a shotgun approach or doing bits and pieces at a time. Strategy requires building a set of requirements tailored to your business’ needs and documenting them to create a brief.

Expertise. Consider whether you have the expertise internally to execute the strategy or if you need to engage with external contractors, partners, or experts.

Research. Gather information on products, platforms, and technology that might be considered as part of the transformation, e.g. different accounting platforms, e-commerce platforms, etc. Book vendor demonstrations and workshops if they offer that service.

Peer Review. Check vendor references, online reviews, and meet up with existing users. This way, you’re able to base your decision from a wider pool of experience and information.

Future-proofing. Make sure the solution you intend to adapt is future-proofed. Technology moves fast, so be avoid using software that's likely to become obsolete within the next few years.

Automation. Automation is an integral part of digital transformation. Ensure your solution can automate internal processes, fix any current problems, or remove a current bottleneck with little to no human intervention.

Insight. Consider whether the solution will provide more insight, analytics, transparency, or allow you to look at the business activity in a different way.

Budget. What is the cost/budget and timeline to execute the strategy? Consider 2% of turnover to be a good starting point for a digital transformation budget.

Delivery. Create a project plan with a clear sequence of events and designate a champion for the delivery. They must be responsible for executing the strategy—internally and/or externally.

Change Management. This is the human element of digital transformation. Managing change internally requires managing people's emotions and egos, gaining staff buy-in, and getting people on board with the strategy. Pre-empting human issues or resistance can make a big difference to the success of a project.

Attitude. As an extra yet essential step, it’s important to remain positive, seek out the positive benefits of change, and focus on what new opportunities the solution creates. Understanding the limitations of a system is important, but try not to critique it too much, as you will always find limitations with software. There is no perfect system. What’s important is that, overall, there is improvement, efficiency is gained, and/or it solves more problems than it creates.

ALTSHIFT provides professional support for optimizing business information systems. If you require professional advice regarding your business information systems, reach out to the ALTSHIFT team today. Our trained experts, practitioners, and consultants understand that powerful information systems ranging from inventory systems to workflow are behind every leading business.