Jack Shannon

    Jack is the President of Visual South and has been working with the product since 1996 when he bought it in his role as a Plant Manager. Since 1998 he has worked for Visual South with roles in consulting, sales and executive management.

    Recent Posts

    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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    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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    Manufacturing Variance Analysis: How & Why to Run One

    By Jack Shannon on 11/20/19 10:00 AM

    A simple concept

    Measure what you want to improve. Six simple words, but put together they convey a powerful concept that can transform manufacturing companies. (Point of reference: Visual South works with small to medium-sized manufactures that use work orders.) It’s a basic concept that’s hard to argue with: Collect data, see where the data leads you, and make changes that have a positive impact on the data. Repeat often.

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    Standard Cost vs. Actual Cost in a Work-Order-Driven Manufacturing Company

    By Jack Shannon on 10/30/19 10:00 AM

    The difference between standard and actual cost

    Before I get into the best costing methodology for a work-order-driven manufacturing company, let me define both methods. With standard cost versus actual cost, the discussion centers around how the ERP system values an inventory or labor transaction. Here is how the different costing methods calculate the value of the transactions.

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    Buying a Stand-Alone Software Solution to Create a Manufacturing Production Schedule is a Flawed Strategy

    By Jack Shannon on 10/9/19 10:00 AM

    A scheduling pressure cooker

    I used to be a plant manager, an operations manager, and a supervisor. I understand the importance of on-time delivery. If a company I worked for wasn’t tracking it, I started to. Anyone who reported to me also knew the importance of on-time delivery.

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    3 Manufacturing Efficiency Metrics & KPIs

    By Jack Shannon on 9/25/19 10:00 AM

    Production performance metrics

    Visual South works with manufacturers who use work orders, so this article focuses on job shops and discreet manufacturers. In this type of environment, production’s job is to deliver a certain quantity of a certain product. There is a defined start and a defined finish. Maybe production has made it before, maybe they haven’t. They may make it again, they may not.

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    Why Doing Material Requirements Planning in Excel is Doomed to Fail

    By Jack Shannon on 9/11/19 10:00 AM

    Spreadsheets are cool

    Let me start out by saying I like spreadsheets. I use Excel to analyze data, create different scenarios, communicate ideas, etc. Excel is on every computer I own. I really can’t imagine not being able to use Excel in my daily life.

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    How to Make Sure Your ERP Production Planning Works for You

    By Jack Shannon on 8/7/19 10:00 AM

    Production planning definition

    ERP production planning can mean many things to many people; so, let me start out by explaining what it means to me; and therefore, what I’ll be writing about. ERP production planning is the coordination of people, machine capacity, and raw materials all coming together, so you can make what you make when you need to. “…when you need to” is based on a customer demand or an internal demand (sub-assembly, forecast, etc.). The need for better production planning is usually a major driver for the search and purchase of an ERP system.

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    What Should Go in Your Weekly Manufacturing Production Report?

    By Jack Shannon on 7/31/19 10:02 AM

    It’s all about the data

    I’m a big believer in measuring what you want to improve. Measuring gives you data and you’ll see trends (good or bad) emerge. Figure out what is causing the good trends and keep doing that. Maybe you can even find ways to make the good trends better. Figure out what is causing the bad trends and find ways to stop doing that; or at least, minimize it.

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    Manage Your On-time Delivery with Infor Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

    By Jack Shannon on 7/22/19 12:00 AM

    We use the tools we know

    I have been to a lot of companies and worked with a lot of people over the years, and I've come to the realization that we all use the tools we know to deal with issues we face. If you ask an assassin to fix a problem, someone is going to die. If you ask a programmer to fix a problem, a new program will be created.

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