Tim O'Brien

    Tim has over 20 years of successful experience helping companies improve their processes and operations using enterprise software solutions. Those enterprise solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning for manufacturers, Service Management for service oriented companies, and Enterprise Asset Management in the process manufacturing industry.

    Recent Posts

    Cloud ERP For Manufacturing: A Complete Overview

    By Tim O'Brien on 1/25/23 10:00 AM

    Manufacturers have made the move to cloud-based ERP systems

    It seems like just yesterday that the concept of cloud-based ERP for the manufacturing industry was far-fetched. But today’s reality is manufacturers are choosing cloud deployment over on-premise deployment virtually every time. That is a paradigm shift for those of us who have been working with enterprise applications in the manufacturing sector.

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    The Future of Cloud ERP for Manufacturing Companies

    By Tim O'Brien on 12/7/22 10:00 AM

    The future is bright for the continued growth of cloud ERP

    More and more manufacturing companies are moving away from on-premise applications. Cloud-based ERP applications are the future for the industry due to the myriad of benefits: alleviated need for hardware, database, and operating system software; fewer internal or outsourced teams for maintenance; and never having to worry about being on the latest version of your ERP.

    Topics: ERP research
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    Top 3 Reasons Why ERP Projects Fail

    By Tim O'Brien on 11/17/22 10:00 AM

    The most common reasons for ERP project failure may surprise you

    That vast majority of ERP projects are successful. There are obstacles and challenges associated with any large project, but good teams always succeed. That means you understood the specific steps in the ERP project, built a strong ERP implementation team, and made sure business objectives drove the primary deliverables of the expected new and improved functionality.

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    ERP Software Requirements for Make-to-Order vs. Make-to-Stock

    By Tim O'Brien on 10/26/22 10:00 AM

    Differences between make-to-stock and make-to-order manufacturing

    These two manufacturing modes are just what you’d assume. Make-to-stock manufacturing is where finished goods are built to inventory. The demand associated with make-to-stock is typically driven by a forecast. Additionally, a mix of forecasting, inventory quantities driven by planning policies, and actual demand can drive planning and scheduling for make-to-stock manufacturers.

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    ERP Evaluation: 4 Questions to Ask to Get the Right System

    By Tim O'Brien on 9/29/22 10:00 AM

    ERP software evaluations provide answers to your questions

    Visual South assists companies with ERP system evaluations and implementations every day, and has since 1993. It’s what we do and we have been through the ERP evaluation process hundreds of times.

    However, many customers may only evaluate ERP software every 10 to 15 years. The ERP selection team members may have never evaluated software, or may have done so only once before. This leads to the development of many different processes -- some are good and others not so good. The Visual South team can help regardless.

    Topics: ERP selection
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    Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) Review

    By Tim O'Brien on 9/28/22 12:45 PM


    What is SyteLine?

    Infor SyteLine ERP software (also known as Infor CloudSuite Industrial or CSI when deployed in the Amazon cloud) is Infor’s ERP offering for small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors.


    For more than 30 years, SyteLine has been used by manufacturing-centric companies for managing their business activities. SyteLine scales from as small as a 15-user single site up to hundreds of users across multiple sites, divisions, and multiple companies.

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    ERP Requirements for Sign Manufacturers

    By Tim O'Brien on 9/14/22 10:00 AM

    Sign manufacturers have specific business system needs

    What sign manufacturers have in common with other types of manufacturers is that they have to plan for material requirements, schedule jobs, and execute the production of those jobs. That being said, sign manufacturers have numerous requirements and needs that are unique to their industry. In this article, we’ll review how those unique requirements can be addressed with sign industry software, or sign manufacturing software.

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    Discrete Manufacturing Systems: High-Level Requirements

    By Tim O'Brien on 8/10/22 10:00 AM

    Discrete Manufacturing

    Discrete manufacturing differs from primary modes of manufacturing in the following areas:

    • Repetitive manufacturing
    • Process manufacturing (continuous & batch)
    • Job shop manufacturing

    Discrete manufacturers typically have production lines or areas where the finished good is produced in a non-continuous process. In addition, they are often categorized as “to order” manufacturers, with mixed mode components when there is a make-to-stock or forecast demand to be addressed.

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    Types of ERP Consultants and Their Roles

    By Tim O'Brien on 7/6/22 10:00 AM

    There are four types of ERP consultants on the Visual South team

    The types of consultants are: project managers, manufacturing consultants, finance consultants, and technical consultants. All of these individuals are typically engaged in a new implementation and used for varying consulting and technical efforts. There are a select number of consultants who are versed on the three primary areas of manufacturing, finance, and technology; we are proud to have these rare talents on the Visual South Professional Services Team. Please remember that the team helping you implement the software is just as important as the software itself . Our consultants exist to coach you on how to successfully use the application.

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    How to Select Discrete Manufacturing ERP Software

    By Tim O'Brien on 6/15/22 10:00 AM

    Address your business issues

    When selecting discrete manufacturing ERP software, choose an application that addresses your business issues. That should be the primary goal of an ERP evaluation, but we often see the focus of the evaluation shift to matters that truly do not impact the business. Cool features can distract you from picking an application that can help discrete manufacturers manage their business better. That’s why a plan is needed that includes an ERP Evaluation Checklist.

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