Distribution ERP System: Does your business need one?

distribution erp management

Blog Written By | ERPFocus

3 Signs your business needs a new distribution ERP

You turn the crank. The music plays. Suddenly, Jack pops out of the box. Once upon a time, things moved along in an orderly fashion to the expected conclusion. Business just isn’t that simple anymore and knowing when to replace your distribution ERP and upgrade your business systems is one of the complexities. Here are three sure-fire signs that your legacy distribution ERP is in need of an overhaul.

Frequent Inventory Shortages or Excess

Look around your warehouse. Are your shelves full but you rarely have the right products on hand to deliver the entire order? Distribution orders run on having the inventory the customer wants next and nothing more. A new distribution ERP can help achieve that goal.

Fast and efficient order entry allows checking of product availability immediately. On the shelf now? Available now, or has another customer asked for it? Distribution ERP will reply in a second. Not on the shelf? No problem. Where did you buy it last time? How long did it take to arrive? Is there a comparable product you have already that will satisfy the customer? Modern purchasing and supply chain tools will have an answer.

A good distribution ERP should work in reverse too. Too much on the shelf? Can you return it? Who bought it last? Maybe they want a few more still. It might be best to simply clear the shelf and make room for something that will sell. A new distribution ERP can help make those decisions and many others through accurate “inside-out” reporting.

Your Distribution ERP Stands Alone with No Integration

Modern technology of all types can help and today’s distribution ERP can connect to and use data from all of them. The big boys have conveyors and they fill boxes as they move along the line. The conveyor weighs the filled box and connects directly with the carrier system to prepare the shipping documents and get tracking numbers before the box is taped closed. That s integration. At the same time as the box is closed and signed-off for dispatch, the customer is charged through your ERP payment processor integration.

One more SKU is due this afternoon to complete that big, important order. Your inbound trucker carrying that item has already made an appointment for your dock to unload. Your new distribution ERP identified all the products on that truck, calculated the best dock and prepared a cross-dock movement of that last SKU so it gets on the outbound carrier with no delay.

Your Business Does Not Utilize E-Commerce

Allow customers to place their own orders and pay for them right away. The web portal links directly to your new distribution ERP so you can schedule a delivery or purchase the items desired. Even complex orders are handled with ease. You can deliver specific lots to fill the order. You can track the shelf life of your product to ensure your inventory is good and to provide maximum shelf life to your customer. Distribution ERP will also control inventory using FEFO or FIFO rules as needed for your business.

Distribution ERPs do not have to cost you a fortune anymore, with Microsoft’s standard Dynamics 365 Business Central and extended modules you can customize the system to suit your business needs at an affordable cost. Let allonline 365 help you solve those burning questions and help you digitally transform your business. Contact us on  +27 (21) 205 3650 or  info@allonline365.com.

Construction ERP: Ask these questions before jumping in

construction erp benefits

Blog Written By | ERPFocus

7 Questions you should ask your Construction ERP Vendor

You are in the construction business. Your company is growing; you have added many employees; you think you are ready to bid on bigger and more profitable work now. You need a control system and think construction ERP might be a good tool to own and use. How do you focus your thoughts and select the right one? Here are a few starter questions to get you going.

1.  Does the construction ERP system fit your unique business?

The construction industry is broad. You could build roads or dams or buildings. You could be a general contractor or specialty contractor. There are many specialties and often there are unique requirements for a particular business.

2.  Will ERP provide the controls you need?

You bid on and won a contract for a scope of work. You estimated costs and time for each piece of that work. How well are you performing? There will be additional work during the project. Can you keep that added work identified and bill for the add-ons as the project moves to completion? Will the system help provide progress billings that meet the requirements of the owner and the bank?

3.  Can it coordinate work with other contractors on the job?

You need to schedule work along with other players; will construction ERP help plan that work? You might want drawings and other documents attached to the ERP for a single source of all your data. Those drawings can be yours as well as those of other specialties. Can your shortlisted ERP vendors provide this?

4.  Will the ERP help union requirements?

Many contractors use union workers, often members of several unions on a particular job. Each union has its own requirements for reporting and your construction ERP should be able to help.

5.  Will ERP help with government requirements?

Are you working with government contracts? Every government unit connected will want some degree of control over the project. Can the construction ERP system help with environmental reporting or local tax reporting? You need that kind of help.

6.  How well can the system work wirelessly?

Your servers are back at the office. Your workers and all the transactions are on a job site. Management at home needs information. Management at the job site needs information. This could be a critical requirement unless you want to stay in the past.

7.  How will the ERP help win more bids?

You need the next job. If you can document assumptions you made along with feedback regarding your bid and others, you can use that knowledge to help you win your next bid.

There are so many more questions to be asked when selecting a construction ERP system, but these should set you on the right choice to selecting the right construction ERP. To get more guidance and information on the right system for your business, contact allonline365  +27 (21) 205 3650 or  info@allonline365.com.

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VJS: Visual Jobs Scheduler for Dynamics 365 Business Central

vjs

Resource Credit | NETRONIC

New release of Visual Jobs Scheduler for Dynamics 365 Business Central

Netronic has announced the enhancements of the Visual Jobs Scheduler (VJS), their interactive planning app for visualizing jobs, job tasks, job planning lines, and resources.

#1 Create links between job planning lines

The VJS now enables creating links between job planning lines by means of a new context menu. According to customers needs and planning situation, you can select between two possible relations:

  • Start-Start (the successor must not start before the processer)
  • Finish-Start

vjs

The link structure that you build this way will be taken into account when a job planning line in this chain is moved so that all job planning lines of the chain are moved according to their position, or remain where they are.

 

vjs

#2 Schedule successors

This feature, having also been implemented in the July release, is directly connected with the option of creating a link chain. It can be found as a new entry in the menu ribbon and in the context menu of the job planning lines. This ensures that the link structure is taken into account with no buffer time, i.e. linked operations are processed without temporal offset. This applies to the selected node and all its successors.

vjs

#3 Indicate violated link orders in red

If the link order within a link structure gets violated, the according link(s) appear in red.

vjs

#4 Calculate and distribute planning line quantity taking into account a resource’s capacity

As it is widely known, the quantity of job planning lines is calculated independently of the resource’s capacity in standard Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you have a look at the resource “David Butler” in the screenshot below, he is allocated 16 hours, but only has the capacity of 8 hours.

If you want to bypass this way of visualizing the quantity, you can make use of the new feature that came with the August release. Since this is a company-wide setting, Netronic implemented a new dialog “VJS Company Settings” where “Calculate Job Planning Line Duration” has to be ticked.

After having confirmed and reloaded, David Bulter’s task was lengthened accordingly.

#5 Regard non-working periods when rescheduling job planning lines

If you haven’t activated the “Calculate Job Planning Line Duration” option in the “VJS Company Settings”, the VJS takes into account the days with no capacity when job planning lines are moved.

#6 Information during long calculations

When a calculation takes a bit longer than expected, a status window pops up informing you.

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