Cloud ERP Software for Small Business

Cloud ERP software for small business allow business owners to have the best of both worlds–to have a scalable solution to their needs and to have a cost-effective software.

Working in a small business can be challenging. After all, there are just so many decisions you have to make on a daily basis. From figuring out which service to provide, to choosing the right technology solution, there are a lot of things that must be considered and more often than not the pressure is on.

But the good news is that you can now get help when it comes to your business’s accounting and operational needs with cloud ERP software for small business.

Small and mid-sized businesses often struggle with the question of whether to choose an on-premise or cloud-based ERP software.

Selection of the right solution will have a major impact on your overall efficiency and productivity, which is why it is crucial to weigh up both options before making a final decision.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of cloud ERP software for small business rather than on-premise ERP software.

Flexibility

Cloud ERP offers more flexibility than a conventional software solution because it can be accessed from anywhere, providing you have a working internet connection. This means that decisions, data sharing and reporting can be performed at any time from any location.

Scalability

Cloud ERP has massive benefits, but one of the greatest is the ability to quickly scale up or down as needed. This can prevent headache-inducing issues during times of growth or contraction.

Reduced Implementation time

It is undeniable that systems on a Cloud can be configured far faster compared to an on-premise solution. Since small and mid-size companies can go live with the solution very quickly, it’s easy to see why so many companies are adopting Cloud.

Cost value

While on-premise ERP can be expensive, Cloud-based offerings often do not require a large upfront payment and can help spread costs over time. If your goal is for costs to stay down, then Cloud ERP will be appealing to you.

In summary, Cloud ERP software for small business is a popular solution considering it eases the complexities involved in implementing IT infrastructures and software costs.

If you’re looking for ERP software that will allow you to enhance efficiency and productivity, the cloud option might be a good choice. If you would like to discuss Cloud ERP or any business software in general, then get in touch today! 

Benefits of using Business Management Software

A business management software system (or ERP) is a software package that automates business operations. It can be used for everything from retail to production and can help you work more efficiently and accurately.

Business management software has become a popular way for small businesses to run more efficiently, and many large companies continue to adopt this practice in order to reduce their expenses and cut their time for administrative tasks.

In addition, there are many specific benefits to using business management software. These include improved supply chain activities, better inventory levels, more cost-efficient manufacturing processes, and fewer errors from human data entry.

A business management system (or ERP) gives you more time to analyse and grow your business, making your business more organized and profitable—while better serving customers.

The following are the top 3 benefits of having a business management system.

Increased Productivity

One of the biggest benefits of using a business management system is that it cuts out a great deal of the time spent on administrative tasks, which is one of the most significant costs for many organizations.

Using business management software allows your employees to get more done, because it does the tedious jobs for them. They can spend their time doing other, more valuable, and meaningful work.

Improved Inventory Management

Having a quality business management software system can be very beneficial. It will help you optimize your inventory levels and make inventory control more precise, which in turn prompt you to make informed decisions. This will certainly raise your company’s profits significantly.

Real-time Reporting

With a business management system, your business will be able to gain in-depth knowledge about its financial situation. True real-time reporting can dramatically improve your business and direct access to information means faster, more accurate business decisions every time.

Summary

There are a lot of business managers that might wonder whether or not technology is good for their company. It can often be hard to tell whether the benefits of business management software outweigh the costs until you make the decision to implement.

But in reality, technology is good for just about any company no matter its size.

A business management system makes running your business easier, allowing you to focus your attention on the growing aspects of your business. It also allows you to manage finances, projects, and human resources efficiently and easily.

There are so many business management software solutions available on the market and it can be difficult choosing one that you can rely on.

However, if you’re looking for an efficient solution which will enable your business to work more effectively, get in touch with one of our Signum Solution experts today!

When Quickbooks is not enough

QuickBooks is a widely used accounting software that helps with the most basic of accounting tasks. While QuickBooks may fulfil your accounting needs today, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your business can rely on it forever to provide the right accounting tools and functions.

Your business has evolved over time. It started with a few employees, a little bit of sales revenue, and some customer accounts. You’ve added some products here and there, reinvested some money into the company, and now you have close to 100 employees. In addition, you have thousands of products offered to thousands of customers. As you can see then, the environment is very different from when your company was smaller. However, your core software is still QuickBooks.

QuickBooks may do the job in an accounting or finance department, but it is not enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. ERP is a business management solution that encompasses multiple functional areas of a company and its data, such as accounting and finance. Business processes are related between these related systems, which means they can be streamlined and easily analysed–if a company’s processes have outgrown QuickBooks.

The four main ways in which QuickBooks is lacking is inventory management, integrations, reporting and business growth.

Inventory

QuickBooks is not well suited for inventory management. The more complex your business becomes, the more important this issue becomes. While handling the day-to-day tasks of running a small business, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening in the background and that’s where QuickBooks falls down. As a growing business, you’ll need to record different kinds of information on multiple systems and then reconcile the results between them after your financials have been closed. You’ll need to adjust your inventory numbers as orders come in, or when products are returned.

Integrations

Issues associated with QuickBooks integration are not new. In fact, nearly every corner of the market has been impacted by this challenge. Several companies and industry associations have spent considerable time and effort trying to improve QuickBooks’ limitations. Yet, when you talk about data interchange between applications, the conversation often comes back to an assessment of how well QuickBooks integrates with other systems.

Because QuickBooks lacks functionality in integration, employees must navigate across several applications to verify data, which reduces their productivity. Also, data is scattered across applications, which leads to retrieval issues.

Without integration, your QuickBooks data is spread across multiple applications. There’s no place to get the whole story, and everyone in your company must piece together small parts instead.

Everyone works best with the right tools, but when one set of tools is scattered across several applications and no central location for data analysis, your business suffers.

Reporting

If you’re using QuickBooks to report on your business performance, you’re probably missing key information. Reporting in QuickBooks is limited, and the format doesn’t allow for reporting capabilities like dashboards or complex data segmentation.

While QuickBooks provides basic reporting that works well enough for many businesses, it’s not adequate for advanced accounts. As data grows more complex and customers require more granular reporting for regulatory compliance, you may be forced to hire a costly consultant to provide third-party reports or export large amounts of data to an outside vendor.

Because QuickBooks lacks full functionality, you must sacrifice time and resources re-entering invoices, collecting data for reports manually, and updating stock turnover and other data. This makes it difficult to access and manipulate crucial business data.

QuickBooks can often lack reporting capabilities that meet your unique needs and help you communicate better with customers.

Business growth

If you find your company growing, QuickBooks becomes extremely limited. And this is definitely not a good thing. The system performance slows to a crawl. You can’t enter critical data on time, so reporting quickly becomes an afterthought.

If you use QuickBooks, a message box might pop up saying that “QuickBooks is busy processing transactions.” This means it has froze while your business was trying to run a report or enter transactions in the middle of a day-to-day operation. Bad performance is not merely annoying — it can stunt your company’s growth. A study by Aberdeen Group showed that 40% of businesses migrate to new software because of slowness, crashes, and other system-related problems.

QuickBooks is only as powerful as the industries it applies to. In some cases, a system is needed that not only handles the traditional business functions of accounting, but also offers specialized features to satisfy needs unique to an industry.

There are certain industries that require a customized system for managing clients, sales, and financials, such as manufacturing, distribution, life sciences, and food and beverage. Because QuickBooks cannot accommodate these industries, the software is not scalable for a growing business.

Summary

At one point or another, most businesses will reach the limit with the software. While its capabilities allow for an enormous amount of flexibility to start up a business, there comes a time when the one-size-fits-all approach isn’t a good fit anymore.

QuickBooks may do the job in an accounting or finance department, but it is not enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. ERP is a business management solution that encompasses multiple functional areas of a company and its data, such as accounting and finance. Business processes are related between these related systems, which means they can be streamlined and easily analysed–if a company’s processes have outgrown QuickBooks.

Download the Signum guide ‘Tell-tale signs you have outgrown your accounting system’ to help you decide if it’s time to move on from QuickBooks

Increase supply chain transparency with ERP

Supply chain transparency is a business process that involves increasing the flow of information across an organisation from any stage of the supply chain. The aim is to increase your transactional integrity with customers, suppliers, and external partners.

This can be achieved by implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system which can help you achieve organisational growth and profitability.

ERPs can have many positive effects on the transparency of a supply chain such as:

  • Inventory management
  • Complete lifecycle, field to fork traceability
  • Real-time reporting
  • Materials Requirements Planning (MRP)
  • Ensuring compliance and quality

Supply chain transparency requires visibility, which comes from managing all aspects of it in one area. With an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in place, your business can have a single source system to manage order details, shipping and tracking information, finances, and invoicing.

This not only gives you better visibility into your orders, but it also gives you the ease of talking to your customers with greater confidence about their orders. Plus, managers and upper management executives have a greater oversight into every part of the supply chain with an integrated ERP solution so they can identify issues and find solutions much faster.

When it comes to supply chain management, your company has a lot of different variables to track. If any one piece falls out of the equation, you can easily end up losing profit. The best way to make sure that doesn’t happen is with ERP, or enterprise resource planning. By automating your supply chain and freeing up employees’ time for other tasks, you’ll be able to cut costs — and enhance profitability.

Supply chains are extremely complex, and businesses traditionally have had little access to data surrounding them. This makes it extremely possible for companies to track and trace materials, finished products and services from source all the way through to destination, wherever they are in the world.

Gaining transparency in your supply chain represents a real step forward towards enabling your business to achieve greater levels of operational efficiency.

ERP software has been the best solution for businesses looking to increase their supply chain transparency in order to make more informed decisions in real time.

Summary

Transparency is one of the most important benefits companies receive when they implement a solid ERP system. It’s easy to understand why supply chain transparency can be beneficial, but there are many unique ways in which it offers value. By automating the way an organization processes orders and manages inventory, supply chain transparency is achieved. Regardless of if a company sells through retail stores, online, or both channels, supply chain transparency allows them to comply with customer demands and industry regulations in the most efficient method possible.

Signum’s SAP Business One solution is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that allows you to stop being in the dark about your supply chain. We help you connect your enterprise to suppliers and customers seamlessly, contact us for more details

How can SAP B1 improve your business?

As one of the UK’s leading SAP Business One partners, we are often asked; how can SAP Business One (SAP B1) improve my business?

This question generally comes from companies who are looking to review or replace their current ERP or accounting software and is often followed with the question “isn’t SAP too big for my business?”

There is a common misconception that SAP is only suitable for the larger enterprise businesses however what most people don’t know is that SAP business one was specifically designed for the SME market and over 70% of SAP’s customers are small businesses.

So now we have put that myth to bed, let’s have a look at the benefits of SAP Business One for your SME business.

Let’s start with the basics… what is SAP Business One?

Often known as business management software. SAP Business One or SAP B1 as some people know it, is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution specifically designed for the small and medium enterprises. A powerful and scalable solution, SAP Business One (SAP B1) offers you an affordable way to manage your entire business processes from accounting and financials to purchasing and inventory.

SAP Business One allows you to handle all our department needs with one solution giving you greater insight into your business and therefore enabling you to make more informed decisions and drive profitable growth.

SAP Business One (SAP B1) can help you to boost your business in several key areas. These include:

  • Financial management
  • Sales and Customer management
  • Purchasing and Inventory Control
  • Business intelligence
  • Manufacturing planning
  • Analytics and reporting

You can also take advantage of extensive industry specific features built around the SAP Business One solution. With more than 500 pre-packaged, fully integrated industry specific solutions available worldwide, there isn’t much SAP Business One can’t do for your business.

Let’s now touch on some of the functionality available for Financial management in SAP Business One.

SAP Business One provides a complete set of tools for Financial Management, these cover key areas such as:

  • Accounting – SAP Business One gives you the ability to automate the handling of all key accounting processes including accounts payable and receivable and journal entries.
  • Banking –This module handles a full range of monetary transactions including processing reconciliations, bank statements and the ability to quickly process payments from various methods including cash, credit card and bank transfers.
  • Controlling – You can manage project costs, budget and cash flow with greater accuracy and efficiency
  • Reporting and Analysis – You can create standard or customised reports using real time data to aid you in your decision-making process and any audit review processes.
  • Fixed AssetsThis feature allows you to simplify the management of your fixed assets with a virtual function, eliminating the need for repetitive manual data entry

Acquiring new customers is important for business success, but maximising customer relationships is crucial to survival. The SAP Business One Sales and Customer Management functions provides you with the tools to turn prospects into customers, grow customer sales and profitability and increase customer satisfaction. These tools include:

  • Sales and Opportunity ManagementFrom first lead to closing the deal, SAP Business One (SAP Business 1) can track all your activities throughout the sales
  • Service ManagementThis module gives you the ability to respond to service calls quickly as well as manage warranty, contracts and service agreements more effectively.
  • Marketing Campaign ManagementTurn prospects into customers and grow your sales and profitability with the campaign management feature. You can create, manage and analyse marketing activity effectively with this module.
  • Reporting and AnalysisUse templates to design detailed reports, from forecasting to pipeline tracking. With this function from SAP Business One you can monitor all aspects of the sales process.
  • Customer ManagementSynchronise contacts stored in Microsoft Outlook and manage all your customer data in the one place with this module within SAP Business One (SAP B1)
  • Mobile SalesThis feature gives you the ability to empower your sales function so they can manage information anywhere at any time on a mobile device.

The SAP Business One Purchasing and Inventory module benefits you by streamlining the complete procurement process from purchase order creation to vendor invoice payment.

As well as achieving cost savings by automating this process, with SAP Business One you gain full transparency into purchasing activities, suppliers and their performance. This module offers:

  • Procurement – SAP Business One  allows you to optimise your procurement processes such as requisition requests, purchase order and good receipt creation. You can also manage returns and handle multiple currencies.
  • Master Data Management – Centralise purchasing processes by managing detailed data in a user-friendly interface. View account balance and purchase analyses while maintaining detailed item purchasing information with price lists and tax information.
  • Warehouse and Accounting Integration – Benefit from real-time synchronisation of goods receipts and inventory levels in the warehouse to perform purchase planning with ease and create an accounts payable invoice automatically from a purchase order or goods receipt.
  • Accounts Payable – This powerful module from SAP Business 1 gives you the power to plan materials needed and schedule your purchasing. You can also process accounts payable invoices, cancellation and credit memos. All this gives you the ability to lower costs and strengthen your supply chain relationships.
  • Reporting – SAP Business One allows you to gain an overview of what matters most. You can generate integrated reports from real-time data to that display in various formats or dashboards.

To aid you in making decisions faster and better, SAP Business One includes a powerful Business Intelligence module that can create reports based on company wide data.

  • Report creation and Customisation – With SAP B1 you can access data from multiple sources, create new reports, and customise existing ones in a variety of layouts with minimal IT overhead.
  • Interactive Analysis – SAP B1 allows you to see your business from a variety of perspectives by integrating with standard Microsoft Excel functionalities.
  • Intuitive tools – Get insights faster with the ability to drag and relate and drill down data and use search assistance and workflow-based alerts.
  • Powerful data visualisations – Make better decisions by enhancing your reports with powerful visualisations.
  • Analytics with predefined metrics – Improve your cash balance visibility and sales performance dramatically with analytics and predefined key performance indicators.

SAP Business One (SAP B1) can also support the business requirements of a modern manufacturer. It offers the ability to accurately and effectively manage your bills of materials (BOM’s) along with production orders and material requirements, all in one centralised ERP system.

  • Bills of Materials (BOM’s) – SAP Business 1 makes it easier for you to store the details relating to how your products are built and sold, and they can be created to cover standard, sales and template types of products.
  • Production orders – With SAP Business 1 it is easier to capture the usage of materials required to build your finished products. Production orders can be raised to cover standard and reword production activities.
  • Forecasting and Planning – Forecasts allow users to predict demand based on potential future requirements and scenarios, instead of relying solely on received orders. Forecast calculations can often help users foresee future demand for the product and adjust material planning accordingly. These demand forecasts can be used in the MRP software wizard.
  • Order Recommendations SAP Business One offers a recommendation report that the planner can use to automatically select and recommended purchase orders or production orders for automatic creation. For this process, SAP Business One considers several supply and demand sources including stock levels, production orders, sales orders amongst others and if the item is outsourced, SAP Business One easily allows you to convert a production order into a purchase order. You can even consolidate purchase orders to the same supplier into one order, this streamlines your process and saves you time.

SAP Business One can be used whether you are a small, or midsized company. As you expand your business, this cleverly crafted ERP solution, can grow with your business.

Leading technology companies across the world have created “add-ons” for SAP Business One, to help tailor it specifically to your needs. Some vendor’s, like Signum Solutions, can provide you with specific versions already tailored to your exact kind of company. We offer the following industry specific SAP Business One versions:

Food & Beverage

Signum’s SAP Business One (SAP Business 1) Industry Edition for Food and Beverage manufacturing is a complete food MRP/ERP system that encompasses management of manufacturing business alongside specific food manufacturing business processes.

Rising raw material costs, extended supply chains and increasing regulatory controls, put ever increasing demands on food and beverage manufacturers. With SAP Business One Industry Edition – Food and Beverage, Signum can work with you to deliver an integrated business platform.

Wholesalers

Using the SAP Business One from Signum gives you complete visibility across all systems in real time and gives accurate and consistent data on sales, inventory, financials, and more to help you make smart decisions and power your business forward.

SAP Business One software enables you to build long term relationships with customers by tracking their buying patterns and prompting you when up-sell and cross-sell opportunities arise. More importantly, it enables your sales and customer service teams to have meaningful conversations with customers during and after the sales process.

Chemicals and Coatings

With SAP Business One from Signum, you can manage critical business processes, including supply chain planning and execution, manufacturing planning and execution, as well as sales and marketing. Plus, you can manage assets, analyse customer and supplier data, and manage regulatory compliance and other value-added processes.

Conclusion: SAP Business One is that single-point solution which combines all your business functions and streamlines all your business processes. The result is improved business efficiency, increased profit margins, better decision making, reduction in costs, happy customers and greater command over your business.

 

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Optimise Profitability For Your Wholesale Distribution Business

A blog sharing five points to consider when looking at how to optimise profitability in your wholesale distribution business.

Increasing profitability is one of the key objectives for any business. This is especially true for wholesalers where margins can be thin, and it is even more important to make sure you are doing all you can to squeeze as much profit out of every transaction. Achieving greater profitability, however, isn’t always straightforward – there are a lot of moving parts in wholesale distribution.

Additionally, the changes implemented by competitors can also affect a business’s profitability. It is therefore important to look at your value proposition, customer acquisition strategy, and operations model – to help you decide what could be potential areas for improvement.

Wholesale distribution is one of the most competitive B2B industries, and with more than 7,000 distributors competing for business, it’s no wonder that margins are being squeezed.

The following five points will help you identify areas for improvement and how to go about ensuring you optimise profitability:

Automate your chargeback process  

When you factor in how much time and money you spend on managing orders and chasing up payments, it’s clear there has to be a better way. Automating your system for chargebacks and rebates can save you the time you’d otherwise spend logging sales, transfers, payments, and transactions, so you can focus more attention on what really matters – letting your customers know just how great your products are.

Perform analysis of your cost-to-serve

Analysing your customers based on the cost-to-serve them, is an excellent way to determine how your organization can be more profitable. This allows you to figure out which of those customers should receive the most attention as you attempt to maximize profits for your corporation. When this type of analysis is performed after a sales lead is obtained, there is potential for greater profitability.

Improve your supplier relationships

The importance of suppliers with regards to modern business has increased considerably over the years. It’s important to find the right suppliers for your business and build a good relationship with them. This will improve your discounts and terms for purchases, but more importantly it will improve the quality of service you receive. However, vendors change so you must ensure that you uphold this relationship by continuing to buy from them while being productive and servicing your customer in society. By establishing and maintaining a partnership with suppliers, service providers can streamline their business, gain a competitive advantage, and increase profitability.

Integrate your planning & execution

Working at a business means making decisions and executing on those decisions. Your strategic plan needs to be implemented and sometimes requires course corrections as the business evolves. This makes it imperative that you make data-driven decisions, which you can do by integrating planning and execution. By integrating these two aspects of business, you can streamline your operations, make smarter time-sensitive decisions, and get a real-time total view of your whole business.

Enhance your inventory management

Inventory management is crucial to ensure the stock you buy has the highest profit margin possible. By monitoring prices and trends, you are able to determine when goods are cheap so you can buy a lot of them and sell them for a higher price in the future. This real-time view of your inventory gives you the advantage over companies that do not have the same information.

SAP Business One industry edition for Wholesalers offers you the perfect for all your business functions: Sales, Purchasing, Inventory Management, Channel Management and Customer Service and provides you with an integrated view of your company’s data. You can easily analyse all your spending and see which customers offer you the best terms and profits. By automating chargebacks, you can save time and effort chasing payments. All of which can help optimise the profitability of your wholesale business with less effort.

 

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New Study: Small and Medium Companies Who Start Simple Grow Faster

New research  reveals the importance for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) to grow faster and design their businesses to run simple from the beginning.

The announcement was made at the SAP SME Summit being held in New York City on Nov. 10, 2015.

Businesses add new software and processes as they grow in size. This introduces complexities into their business, that can create a series of dis-jointed solutions that can stiffle efficiency and growth. According to a survey conducted  of SMEs conducted by  [email protected] and SAP, 72 percent of business leaders and team members say business complexity has effected efforts to meet their  goals. Over 30 percent said it “strongly inhibited” that ability, and 58 percent pointed directly to technology complexity as the culprit.

While  companies see the need to leverage technology in the near future, only about half (49 percent) of senior leaders believe business simplification is of significant strategic importance today. That number jumps to 65 percent when asked if they believe it will be of significant strategic importance within the next three years. Looking ahead, 47 percent of respondents believe they will be using self-service tools when they are making decisions within the next three years, yet only 19 percent are currently using this kind of support.

“Business simplification is much more important to small and medium business than ever before,” said Rodolpho Cardenuto, president, Global Partner Operations, SAP. “The interconnected global economy has opened opportunities to small businesses that never existed before, but they come with new challenges as well. If these businesses think and plan from the beginning on how to run simple in the long run, they will grow faster and perform better.”

Small and midsize businesses need secure solutions that help them to start simple and stay simple with minimal risk or disruption to services. The path towards simplification requires a strategic plan that will get them to being digital, connected and able to grow their business. Running simple in the digital economy was identified as being more important the larger a business becomes. The earlier small and midsize businesses can design systems to help them stay simple, the faster they will grow.

To find out how Signum can help your business call 01244 676 900, or fill in the form below.

“My Business Is Small – So Why Worry About Running Simple?”

“My business is small – so why should I worry about running simple??”

Running simple is key for success. At Signum we hear this a lot from executives at small and even midsize companies. Most are focused on growth, growth, growth – as they should be, especially as competition intensifies.

But many growing businesses eventually hit a wall of operational constraints that limit their ability to deliver goods and services, or branch out into new markets. They simply can’t grow anymore because their business is running on a patchwork of cobbled-together processes, organisational structures, and IT systems that can’t scale and adapt.

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to think that business simplification is something you worry about after your business gets big enough to be complicated. Big companies are notoriously bogged down with overly cumbersome processes and locked into fragmented legacy systems and inflexible network architectures.

But there’s never been a better time for leaders of SMEs to think about business simplification. Run simple, and you can avoid this costly, frustrating scenario entirely – and keep the doors of innovation and growth open now and in the future.

Chart a Better Path to Sustainable Growth by Running Simple

From an IT perspective, this means saying goodbye to deploying stand-alone apps and patching your infrastructure here and there to meet immediate needs. Because over time, it will become overly complex, rigid, and less effective. And it means building a flexible, scalable operational platform that can deliver on your corporate growth strategy.

With the right platform, you can pursue growth while remaining resilient, adapting to market changes swiftly. So as your business grows – and you need to outsource non-core operations, support new business models, sell across multiple channels, and go global (with all of the regulatory, linguistic, currency and other complications that brings) – you can do so with ease.

That’s the power of running simple.

Benefits of business simplification are huge: better customer experiences and retention, higher profits, lower costs, greater employee engagement and retention, increased operational efficiency…the list goes on. They can also react faster to market changes and customer needs, lighten employee workloads, and accelerate time-to-innovation and time-to-market.

SAP solutions for SMEs make it easy for you to run simple. Easy to install and use, they are tailored to your specific business needs so they’ll work for you now – and as you grow.

 

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