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Jack Shannon

Jack is the President of Visual South and has been working with ERP 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

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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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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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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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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Digital Transformation in Manufacturing: What Is It?

By Jack Shannon on 7/17/19 10:00 AM


Just what is digital transformation?

For a while now, I’ve been hearing the term “digital transformation”; but I never really thought about it. Usually, when I hear the same term over and over, I can figure out its meaning by the context in how it’s used. That was not the case here. I never asked the person using the term because I didn’t want to look stupid. Of course, pretending you know something when you don’t is the ultimate in stupidly, so I Googled it. Here is the definition according to i-SCOOP's website:

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ERP Evaluation & Comparison: A Guide For Switching Systems

By Jack Shannon on 4/3/19 10:00 AM


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ERP Implementation Strategy: Advice From 30+ Years of Experience

By Jack Shannon on 3/27/19 10:00 AM

Attitude isn’t everything

I’m a fan of a “can-do” attitude. Having a positive attitude helps you overcome obstacles and get through anything life throws at you. If a new ERP implementation in a manufacturing industry is something life will be throwing at your organization, a can-do attitude is the right attitude for the implementation team to have.

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Thinking About Hiring a Scheduler So You Can Use ERP Scheduling?

By Jack Shannon on 3/10/19 11:10 AM

Chances are good you don't need to hire someone

I have a certain passion for helping companies manage their capacity by scheduling properly. In this blog post, I’m going to discuss a common thought process companies go through to finally get to the point of using ERP to schedule their shop floor: They need to hire a Scheduler. Put someone in charge and have them get the company to the promised land of scheduling properly. It sounds reasonable, but in my experience, it’s a misguided strategy. Let me explain why.

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ERP Scheduling Workshop

By Jack Shannon on 3/10/19 11:09 AM

I used VISUAL ERP scheduling

When I was a Plant Manager at a rotary die manufacturer in 1994, I bought an ERP system. The biggest problem I was trying to solve was scheduling the shop floor. We were in an industry that demanded 2-4 day lead times. Everything we did was custom; each work order had around 20 operations. It was rare for me to get a question about our ability to produce a die, because we had all the right type of fabricating equipment to produce a die. The real question was if we could produce it in the lead time the customer provided. In other words, did we have enough open capacity to do what the customer wanted us to do?

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Why Use ERP's Built-in Functionality?

By Jack Shannon on 12/12/18 10:00 AM


If you had to travel from New York City to San Francisco, what’s faster, a jet or a car?

♩♫ Jeopardy music ♫♩

Right now you’re thinking, “The obvious answer is “jet”. But if that’s the right answer, this wouldn’t be a riddle.”

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