What is a Business Process Review?
What we do in a Business Process Review (BPR) is pretty straight forward, and we perform several for our clients over the course of a typical year. In the review, we observe how the ERP processes have been built to manage the business. Then, we make recommendations to streamline and improve the processes and procedures related to the flow of data in the company. For example, how to use the ERP to alert procurement of projected material shortages, as opposed to having them look for shortages in a spreadsheet – usually after it was manually updated. In essence, an ERP business process review is a gut check on how things are working, and what can be done to make them better.
It ain’t easy on the shop floor
Managing a shop floor is no easy task. Your employees make mistakes, equipment breaks, rush orders slip in, jobs ship late, and days are long. On top of that, there is the constant demand to reduce costs and increase quality. It’s a real pressure cooker.
Production reporting is 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.
Infor vs. SAP
SAP is arguably the most recognized name in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and it is ranked number one in ERP revenue. Its ERP product is designed to serve the Tier 1 market. The best way to define the Tier 1 market is to think in terms of a Fortune 1000 company. The revenue of a company that makes this list is defined in billions, not millions. In 2020, the company that ranked last on the list was Liberty Oilfield Services, with revenue of $1.99 billion.
Infor is arguably the least recognized name in ERP software. At one point its marketing campaign used the tagline, “The largest ERP company you never heard of.” Large it is—its annual revenue is $3 billion making it the third largest ERP company in the world. It serves customers in the Tier 1, 2, and 3 markets.
An Exhaustive Look at Infor VISUAL's Functionality
Note: This blog was updated in 10/2020 to reflect some major changes in version 9.x.x. See the end of the blog for updates.
Why would any manufacturing company want VISUAL ERP?
Actually, that’s an easy question to answer. There are three reasons:
- Value: You will not find an ERP product with more depth and breadth of functionality at the same price point.
- Ease of use: VISUAL is built by software developers, but the interface was developed by designers to focus on ease of use. The screens are simple and intuitive, yet answers to your next question are in a secondary (child) window or are a simple click away.
- Focus: VISUAL is designed for small-to-medium sized manufacturers who create work orders to make or repair items. If this doesn’t describe your company, Infor VISUAL will not be a fit for your manufacturing company. If this does describe your company, keep reading—VISUAL may be exactly what you're looking for.
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.
Measure what you want to improve
There are many opinions as to what key performance indicators (KPIs) should be monitored at a small to medium-sized manufacturing company, but the on-time delivery (OTD) KPI is on everyone’s list. It doesn’t matter if the company is build-to-stock, a job shop, or something in-between; there are many steps in coordinating the production of a product and OTD is a nice summation of manufacturing performance.
Searching for ERP
In my years of working with companies looking for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, there is usually a lot of emphasis placed on buying the right system along with declarations on how the new system is going to help run the business better. Other companies have achieved this, your company can also.
We’re good, but are we the best?
Visual South sells ERP for manufacturing-centric companies. More specifically, we sell Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) and Infor VISUAL ERP. My experience with VISUAL goes back decades: When I was a plant manager, I bought and implemented VISUAL; I was a VISUAL consultant for years; and I’ve taken deep dives into CloudSuite Industrial.