A List of Manufacturing KPIs to Consider

    By Bryan Foshee on 3/25/20 10:00 AM

    What is a KPI?

    A KPI (key performance indicator) is a measurement of value that manufacturing companies typically identify and track to determine how they are performing in a particular area of operations. KPIs are ideally presented in a dashboard format, giving the user the ability to quickly answer questions like, “How are we are doing?” and “What is causing performance issues”? Think of KPIs as a company or department’s scoreboard showing how well the team is playing in the game.

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    Why You Need Manufacturing ERP Software

    By Tim O'Brien on 3/18/20 10:00 AM

    Manufacturers need specific software to support their operation

    There are many software systems available to help companies execute various functions. For example, our team at Visual South works with many businesses that use QuickBooks and Excel to handle day-to-day operations. However, we often find that these companies—along with similar businesses running legacy systems—are looking for a better way to manage all their processes, especially if they have some form of manufacturing or production requirements.

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    Work Order Management Process from Creation to Closing

    By Jack Shannon on 3/11/20 10:00 AM

    No works orders, no production

    For a discrete manufacturer, work orders are the lifeblood of production. The work order authorizes the development of a product—it provides the production team with a method to create the product to meet the specifications for the demand it is fulfilling.

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    Production Scheduling Software: What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Expect

    By Shannon O'Loughlin on 3/4/20 10:00 AM

    Everyone schedules, but not everyone does it well

    It’s a universal truth that every manufacturing company schedules. You may not do it well, but you do it. It’s simply the nature of the business—customers request an item and you must look into the future to predict (and commit) to when it will be done…before you even start working on it.

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    What Workflows & Processes are Supported in Manufacturing ERP Software?

    By Bryan Foshee on 2/26/20 10:00 AM

    A little background first…

    ERP software is a tool that supports business processes and workflows. Some ERP software systems are generic while others are designed for particular industries. Visual South focuses on the manufacturing industry and our ERP solutions are designed for manufacturing companies—more specifically, order-driven manufacturers. Our customers are typically make-to-order, configure-to-order, engineer-to-order, make-to-stock, or a combination of all of the above. So, the ERP processes and workflows I cover in this article are primarily targeted toward manufacturing companies and their software.

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    Modern EDI Solutions for Manufacturers Running Infor VISUAL and Cloudsuite Industrial

    By Matt Rogers on 2/19/20 10:00 AM

    A shift for EDI

    EDI is an often overlooked business process that rarely gets a fresh look, especially in the context of established systems like Infor VISUAL and Cloudsuite Industrial (CSI). Like most industries, however, EDI has undergone a shift as a result of competition for steadily dwindling resources and early-generation technology reaching end-of-life.

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    The Hidden Costs in ERP Implementation

    By Tim O'Brien on 2/12/20 10:00 AM

    Overlooked costs when implementing ERP systems

    The Visual South team has over 25 years of experience with implementing ERP applications. We have basically seen it all when it comes to ERP implementations and come to recognize the characteristics of successful implementations, as well as the warning signs when an implementation is at risk. The good news is that the typical implementation goes as planned and is successful. But a common challenge that can derail the implementation process is a failure to identify hidden costs. Companies must have a plan to manage those hidden costs.

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    A Straightforward Comparison of the Infor ERP Products

    By Jack Shannon on 2/5/20 10:00 AM

    Infor ERP products

    Visual South sells, implements, and supports two Infor ERP products: CloudSuite Industrial (formerly known as SyteLine), and VISUAL. We are commonly asked, “What are the differences between the two?” That’s a reasonable, straightforward question, but the answer is much more nuanced because these ERP products are used to run manufacturing businesses, which are not simple and straightforward. At a high level, the two products feel similar; they are both ERP products with deep functionality. Also, at a high level, two manufacturers feel similar; they both make stuff. As you look deeper into the manufacturers, differences emerge and the same is true with the Infor ERP products. For this article, I’ll start by comparing what is similar between the two products and then work through the differences.

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    Should You Look for an Alternative to SAP Before Moving to S/4HANA?

    By Bryan Foshee on 1/29/20 10:00 AM

    A little background first…

    I want to start by telling you a little bit about my background because I believe it will give some context to this blog. I proudly represent Infor ERP products and have been at Visual South since 2002. Five years prior to coming on board here, I was an SAP consultant. My specialty was the sales/distribution module, along with the variant configurator. I was part of quite a few full implementations in a variety of industries, taught training classes, and helped with presales efforts. My first implementation was on R/3 version 3.1G and my last was on version 4.6.

    Topics: ERP selection
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    How To Get The Most Out of Your ERP Costing Module

    By Tim O'Brien on 1/22/20 10:00 AM

    Benefits of having accurate job costing

    Given that many of Visual South’s customers and prospects are “to order” manufacturers, one of the prime operational areas they are typically looking to improve when we speak with them is costing. Additionally, many companies we work with are engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, and project-oriented manufacturers, so job costing is critical.

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