Fish Focus: Topics Covering Alaska Seafood
Salmon and Cod and Crab, oh my! How Seafood ERP Software Can Help You Process & Track Your Alaska Seafood Products
With so many software options out there, it can be confusing trying to decide which type let alone which specific system to choose. But, as an Alaska Seafood Processor you already have enough on your plate to manage, so we’ve done the heavy lifting for you when it comes to deciphering how ERP software built for your industry can help improve your business (and its bottom line!) by rounding up the top 3 ways it does just that.
1. Keep your numbers in line as you purchase, process, track, sell and more all in one system.
As an Alaska Seafood Processor, between juggling your books, managing your fishermen, keeping up with ADF&G regulations, managing eLandings tickets and more, keeping your data accurate and your data-entry efficient can be challenging. The beauty of using an ERP system built specifically for your industry is it allows you to manage everything in one place, hassle-free. With everything in one place you can remove repetitive data entry that presents a high risk of error, your data can be integrated reducing your manual workload and guaranteeing accuracy, and you are granted transparency into all aspects of your business – such as purchasing, inventory, sales, fishermen loans and payments, fish tickets, etc…Read More
Food ERP vs. Seafood ERP Software: What’s the Difference?
When you’re on the hunt for software that will help your Alaska Seafood business grow and succeed, the first step is knowing what type of software you need. That can seem overwhelming but we’re here to break it down for you: from ERP to food ERP to seafood ERP.
The ERP Software Basics
Generic ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software provides the ability to manage your various business processes in one system, complete with functionality to manage things such as accounting, manufacturing, inventory, customers, etc. While the goal of ERP software is to provide you one tool for managing all of your business processes, if you’re in a niche market such as food manufacturing, generic ERP software probably won’t provide the nuanced features you’ll need to manage your food business.
For a full rundown on what ERP software is, check out our blog that answers WTH is ERP Software? (AKA: What the Heck is Enterprise Resource Planning Software?)
What Makes Food ERP Software Different?
Now that you understand the basics of what ERP software is, what makes food ERP software different?…Read More
What Seafood Consumers Want: A Complete Guide
As an Alaska Seafood or Aquaculture Processor, you’re a key player in bridging the gap between fishermen/fish farming and consumers. After you get your supply, it’s your job to process and sell your seafood to distributors, grocery stores, restaurants, or even directly to the consumer. That means, what they want should be what you want to give them – because they drive your sales. So, if you want to beat the competition, you need to know what your consumer wants. And seafood consumers want trustworthy sustainability, affordable prices, healthy and high quality options, and more knowledge.
Consumers care about the ocean and protecting seafood for future generations. And, based on a GlobeScan survey commissioned by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in 2018 of over 25,000 consumers in 22 countries, seafood consumers’ top concerns regarding the ocean are pollution and overfishing. As such, supporting sustainable practices is top of mind when consumers are choosing which seafood to buy. To meet this consumer demand, not only do you have to adhere to sustainable practices, you need to make sure consumers know it. But it turns out they probably won’t trust you because they trust certification bodies more than government and business. Consumers are becoming savvier about on-package claims as evidenced by the above survey which found that “consumers believe supermarkets’ and brands’ claims about sustainability should be clearly labeled by an independent organization…Read More
3 Tips to Improve Alaska Seafood Plant Management with an Industry-Specific ERP
When managing an Alaska Seafood Processing Plant, there are some things you can’t avoid – like seals stealing fish off your vessel at the dock. But, with the things you can control, we want to help. With software that can help with seafood plant management, there are three key areas your plant can improve just by letting your industry-specific software do what it’s meant to do: help Alaska Seafood Processors succeed.
1. Improve Management of Plant Staff
With an Alaska fishing season that’s seasonal, a lot of your staff is seasonal too. That may mean needing to train your plant staff on all processes and procedures as quickly and efficiently as possible so they can be effective ASAP. An all-in-one system that integrates with your plant floor, eLandings, bar code system, etc. helps reduce the number of systems you need to teach each employee. Plus, it helps if that system is easy to use, made for seasonal staff, configurable by plant and user, and more. An even bigger bonus is if your system allows you to track purchases made by your seasonal staff from the employee store.
2. Improve Management of Seafood
The seafood you process goes through a complex supply chain that needs to be tracked from the fisherman who caught and delivered it to you to the last entity you sell and ship it to. First, your system needs to track Fish Tickets and specifically integrate with eLandings to save you the time and inefficiency of hand-keying dual entries in two different systems. Then, when it’s time to process the seafood, you need to track it in inventory – this means lot tracking, quality testing, etc. – which your system should handle. Finally, that inventory needs to be sold and your system should manage selling and allowing you to allocate from inventory to make sure everything is shipped seamlessly, while also allowing you to track your shipments, freight and export details, if applicable…Read More
How Alaska Seafood ERP Software Can Help You Purchase from Fishermen & More!
So, you purchase and process fish from Alaska fishermen. Whether that means you’re part of a smaller mom-and-pop type operation producing high-quality specialty products for niche markets or a large, multi-million-dollar operation with state-of-the-art filleting and freezing equipment, you’re part of the Alaska seafood industry. That means you play a part in the 5 billion pounds of fish and shellfish that get processed annually in Alaska, making up over 55% of the total US catch. Therefore, regardless of your size, you’re facing the challenges of competing in a rapidly changing global food industry, which means you should be spending your time focusing on the things that will help you succeed, and not on juggling multiple systems to manage your complex, vertically integrated Alaska Seafood Processing business. In order to avoid wasting time on juggling multiple systems, you should invest in software that was built for your industry, that understands your needs and can serve as a “one-stop-shop” for your business processes. With a solution specific to Alaska Seafood Processing, like NorthScope, you can get all the below in a single, integrated system.
Purchasing Fish from Fishermen
First and foremost, you need a system that handles Fish Tickets – duh. But, we both know it’s not that simple. You don’t just need a Fish Ticket system; you need a Fish Ticket system that’s integrated with eLandings and pre-loaded with ADF&G data. Bonus points if that system allows you to setup your taxes and premiums and then auto-applies and calculates the applicable taxes and premiums for you (NorthScope does all this *cough cough*). But then, what about once you’re ready to pay out your fishermen based on all the Fish Tickets from the season? You don’t just need to pay your fishermen; you need to be able to split payments to cover crew wages and you need the option to pay via check or ACH. Oh yeah, NorthScope does that too…Read More
3 Tips for Leveraging Your Fish Ticket Premiums & Bonuses
Alaska fishermen can deliver their catch to anyone. But, you don’t want them delivering to just anyone, you want them delivering to you. To make that happen, leverage your Fish Ticket Premiums and Bonuses to make fishermen want to fish for you. In other words, leverage them for loyalty. Here are our top three tips to do just that…
1. Communicate What You Offer Before They Fish
Here’s the deal, just as offering premiums and bonuses isn’t required of you, providing fish that has been chilled in ice or cold water and bled to prevent bruising isn’t required of fishermen, they do it because they want the extra money. With that in mind, it’s essential that you communicate how fishermen that fish for you can earn as much as possible by sharing what “extras” you’ll pay extra for – AKA: the premiums and bonuses you offer. And here’s the thing, we understand you may not know how much you’ll offer before they fish but you can communicate the types of premiums and bonuses you offer. By doing this, you’re allowing your fishermen the chance to know what you want so they can focus on giving it to you while also motivating them and making sure you’re on the same page to avoid any frustrations regarding a misunderstanding between a fisherman thinking he/she is going to get paid extra for something you don’t offer extra for.
2. Offer What Your Competition Offers
To even compete with your competition, you have to be competitive. That means you have to at least offer the same types of premiums and bonuses as they do…Read More
How to Solve the Manual Data Entry Problem for Alaska Fish Tickets
Manual data entry can suck. Especially with the pressure of knowing that the data you’re entering will be sent to a government agency and is required to be accurate to comply with laws and regulations. That’s what you’re facing as an Alaska Seafood Processor required to complete and submit Fish Tickets to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Between the pressure, all the things on your to-do list and just simply being human, mistakes are bound to happen – we get it. But instead of accepting the added stress of fixing these mistakes as part of the job, we have a solution to make this seemingly never-ending problem much less stressful.
The Problem: Manual Data Entry & Corrections
You need accurate Fish Ticket data because you rely on it for auditing, record-keeping, answering fishermen’s questions, submitting to ADF&G, etc. So, when the data is input manually and a mistake is made, it makes an impact. What makes even more of an impact is when you have to manually correct the mistakes, too.
For example, let’s say you have a father-son duo fishing for you and the son is the permit holder and records the fish but you need to pay the father because the father is actually going to be responsible for paying out the crew. Or, maybe there was a crew member with a permit to catch more fish and you paid them instead of the boat owner…Read More
Your Essential Guide to Fisherman Balance TransparenSEA
In the world of Alaska Seafood processing, your fishermen’s balances are constantly fluctuating as they take out loans, make purchases, sell you fish, have tender deliveries, receive payments, etc. As you can imagine, it’s easy for your fishermen to get lost in this sea of information as their focus is on the fish. In order to help provide clarity to your fishermen (which will also make you a better business partner from their perspective!), here are our 4 transparency tips for you:
1. Keep Track
Track changes isn’t just for Microsoft Word! Between all the fisherman-related transactions it’s critical to keep track of the money as it moves. But simply tracking the moving money for accounting purposes isn’t enough because that doesn’t translate into clarity for your fishermen. Instead, be sure to keep track of all transactions and reprices to show your fishermen where/when/why they got paid and/or charged for repricing, transactions, loans, fisherman sales, tender sales, interest charges, payments, distributions from AP Invoices and/or Credit Memos, balance transfers, etc. It may seem like a lot to track but if you track the data in real time, you’ll always be able to find the answer to a question you or a fisherman may have or any of the data you’re looking for, which will save you time and stress in the long run!
2. Deliver Monthly Statements
Speaking of being able to find answers to questions and having the data you need, by tracking the aforementioned information, it makes it easier to provide accurate and frequent Fisherman Statements…Read More
3 Challenges of Alaska Seafood Fish Ticket Repricing
When it comes to finalizing fish tickets post-season and accounting for bonuses and adjustments, these post-season price adjustments can be daunting. In order to report your purchasing and processing activities by the time it’s due on April 1st, you have to dedicate the time to deciphering the post-season adjustments and making them, which can be significantly tedious due to the need to be extremely accurate with potentially unreliable data, all while managing expectations based on original forecasts. In order to help you with this overwhelming juggling act, we’ve detailed these three challenges of Alaska Seafood Fish Ticket repricing and provided some suggestions to make these challenges a little less challenging and a lot more manageable.
Challenge 1: Time
SO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME
When it’s time to figure out the price adjustments that need to be made and the bonuses that need to be added and then follow through with them, you may just realize how tedious and time-consuming this process can be. For example, you must filter out each unique set of fish tickets requiring specie reprices, chill type bonuses, etc. and then apply the adjustments. Then, once those price changes are made, you need to make sure they’ve accurately affected your fishermen’s balances and then pay out your fishermen and potentially their crew…Read More
2020 Alaska Seafood Processing List of Resources
As an Alaska Seafood Processor, you have a lot of rules and regulations you need to abide by in order to keep your business afloat. As we enter 2020, here’s your list of resources to make sure you’re up to date on the latest regulations regarding Alaska Seafood Processing.
Department of Environmental Conservation regulations re: seafood processing and inspection (18 AAC 34)
Some updates were made in July that went into effect as of October 2019, which means you’ll be held accountable for these updates throughout 2020. Examples of these updates include “A processor shall develop, maintain, and make available for department review written procedures sufficient to notify consumers of a product recall and remove affected product for commerce…” and “Each master container and retail package of a seafood product must be labeled in letters at least one-eighth inch high and comparable in size and style to other label lettering…” among others. Click the link above to get informed on all the latest updates…Read More
Alaska Seafood How To: Streamline Your Fisherman Payment Operations
As an Alaska Seafood Processor, you want to be the best option to fish for so your fishermen keep coming back and understanding what they deal with can help you achieve that. So, before you decide on your practice for paying your fishermen, consider their perspective.
Consider Your Fishermen’s Perspective
Your fishermen’s responsibilities go far beyond simply catching seafood and delivering it to you, as do their stresses. Regardless of when they’ll get paid, your fishermen have to fork out the money for taxes, fees, permits, maintenance, etc., which is especially taxing (pun intended) when you consider the fact that your fishermen can never be certain how much money they’ll make in any given season until the money is in their hand – or bank account. In addition to the patience and uncertainty they must have, your fishermen have crews to manage and crew shares they have to pay out from what they make on their catch. Essentially, your fishermen are managing their own businesses so whatever you can do to take things off their plate can set you apart from the competition by better serving your fishermen. One way you can do this is by streamlining your payment operations for fishermen…Read More
Alaska Fish Ticket Repricing Best Practices
Repricing at the end of an Alaska fishing season can be daunting. But, by following our four steps of best practices, this process can get easier and more efficient year over year.
Step 1: Audit Fish Tickets & Make Corrections
As the fishing season ends, it’s time to figure out final prices so you can pay your fishermen and report for ADF&G purposes. But hold on! Before you start making price adjustments, you need to audit your fish ticket data and make any corrections so that when you do reprice, you know you’re repricing the right tickets. For instance, maybe there was an error made on a fish ticket that caused an applicable premium not to be applied so if you were to reprice all tickets with that premium, that fish ticket wouldn’t get the reprice – AKA: that’s an error that needs to be corrected before you reprice. While auditing your data is tedious (we’re not going to lie), the time it can save you by catching the error before you reprice is well worth the effort. If you have the bandwidth, maybe consider auditing your fish ticket data on a regular schedule throughout the season so the effort at the end of the season isn’t as big.
Pro tip: Using a system that can automatically apply premiums to fish tickets that meet the criteria you set is a great way to reduce auditing needs and have the peace of mind that your data is accurate!…Read More
Northscope Food ERP Helps Purchase Over 269 Million Pounds of Alaska Seafood in 2019
Throughout 2019, NorthScope Food ERP helped its Alaska Seafood Processing users purchase approximately 269,006,400 pounds of Alaska Seafood from fishermen. These purchased pounds include salmon of various species, as well as non-salmon catch, including pollock, herring, crab and more. While final numbers won’t be reported to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) until early 2020, the preliminary salmon harvest summary shows that this year’s harvest ranked eight among harvests since 1975, with Sockeye salmon accounting for about 27% of the harvest and 64% of the total value.
And, as the 2019 Alaska fishing season comes to an end and seafood processors finalize their fish tickets, make post-season price adjustments, and get prepared to report to ADF&G the total values they paid to fishermen in 2019, the Northlake Partners (NLP), creators of NorthScope Food ERP, is looking forward to supporting more Alaska Seafood Processing business in the future…Read More
Fish Ticket Repricing: How To Set Expectations With Your Fishermen
Let’s face it, your Alaska fishermen have their choice of processors to sell their fish to and you may not always be the processor offering top dollar for their catch, so what can you do to keep them happy and fishing for you? You may be surprised by how much people are willing to sacrifice for better communication, clarity, and consistency. So, even if you aren’t offering the highest dollar amount, you can make sure you’re offering the highest amount of communication, clarity, and consistency and that can help you SEAl the deal [we had to]. And it all starts with setting expectations around repricing.
1. Set Expectations Around What Will Happen When the Repricing Does
For your fishermen to stay happy fishing for you, they shouldn’t be wondering about how they’ll get paid and what the amount they’ll get paid is based on. So, you need to tell them what they can expect before they’re left confused and concerned. You can do this by explaining to your fishermen the following…Read More
NorthScope ERP Makes Fisherman Loan Management Easier for Alaska Seafood Processors in Q3
As a venture that began and finished in the third quarter of 2019, NorthScope, ERP software for Alaska Seafood Processing, has expanded its Fisherman Loan management capabilities. To make NorthScope’s Fisherman Loan management more robust, the ability to automate interest charges and payments on Fisherman Loan balances was added.
The new ability to automate Fisherman Loan interest charges allows NorthScope users to calculate and process interest charges on Fisherman Loan balances on an annual or monthly interest rate for multiple fishermen at a time, providing an accurate and efficient solution to charging interest on Fisherman Loans. Similarly, the added functionality to automate Fisherman Loan interest payments allows users to do the same for payments on Fisherman Loan balances.
Prior to Q3, NorthScope users could easily manage Fisherman Loans with functionalities to track individual loans to fishermen, charge interest on Fisherman Loans, print and distribute loan statements, apply payments to Fisherman Loans and apply Fish Ticket balances to Fisherman Loans but could not automate the interest or payments on Fisherman Loans…Read More
While Fish Sales Go Up, So Do Consumers’ Demand For Transparency – What Does It Mean For You?
Fish sales are up – hooray! But how do you make sure your fish sales go up, too?
While 44% of American and British consumers have added more fish to their diets over the past five years, according to the most recentFeed4Thought survey, sustainability paired with transparency is driving consumers to the fish they buy. So, to answer our previously posed question – you make your fish sales go up by using sustainable methods and being transparent. Now for part two to this question – how do you do that?
The biggest factor in this move toward fish consumption is health. But, it’s not only the health benefits to consumers that is driving this consumption, it’s the health of the fish and the environment as well…Read More
NorthScope ERP Software Expands Support for Alaska Seafood Processors
Creators of NorthScope Launched New Alaska Seafood Processing ERP Features in 2018
Throughout 2018, the Northlake Partners, creators of NorthScope ERP software, invested in expanding NorthScope’s features to further support Alaska Seafood Processing. Today, they announced their list of new features that are available with NorthScope. Key features announced for Alaska Seafood Processors include:
- More than 50 enhancements to the on-screen inquiries.
- New capabilities to import, void, correct, and create reversing journal entries.
- Enhancements to Vendor Management and building AP Check Batches.
- Re-designed the layout and added several features to the Fish Ticket transaction.
- Ability to automate Observer Taxes as well as Fish Ticket taxes based on delivery location.
- Added Price Lists for Fish Tickets, Fisherman Sales, and Local Customer / Employees Sales.
- Improved eLandings integrations; and much more!…Read More
Introducing NorthScope for the Alaskan Seafood Industry
NorthScope™ for Microsoft Dynamics® GP has been invaluable to customers in the food manufacturing industry. From sales orders and contracts, to inventory and logistics management and more, NorthScope offers the best software solution to food manufacturers and distributors. Every feature is hand-tailored specifically for the industry, and our team works with customers to discover, develop, and implement all included features. Recently, the NorthScope team has worked closely with customers in the Alaskan Seafood industry to bring forward a new set of tools, built specifically for fishing companies involved in Alaskan Seafood processing.
Whether you manage fishing boats catching crab, salmon or halibut, tenders delivering fresh catches to the docks, employee payroll and deductions, prepare month-end close, or enter fish tickets following the standards set by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), NorthScope has the tools you need to do your job faster and with more accuracy…Read More