July 8, 2018

How to effectively reconcile your inventory in VISUAL ERP

In my experience, I found that there is a misconception related to inventory and WIP reconciliation process. This is why I want to provide more information on how Visual works in this area. I believe it will give you the knowledge on how to take the right approach in order to validate your published numbers.

The core of your Visual inventory resides in the accumulation of transactions. This happens to be in the Manufacturing side of the system. Typically, raw material is purchased and it is then used in the manufacturing process before being received into inventory and finally sold or shipped to consumers. The sequence of entering these transactions is critical for the guarantee of a proper cost allocation. When the sequence of this order is broken, discrepancies between the different Visual reports appear. This is when the confusion begins and you are left wandering which report has the correct numbers.

Let’s review the proper steps to take in order to validate those values:

How to effectively reconcile your inventory in VISUAL ERPThe Inventory Valuation Report will contain the most accurate picture at month-end. You may, however, encounter errors if there is an incorrect FIFO layer or if a part has a negative quantity on hand at month-end. These issues must be fixed because it is crucial to have a trustworthy Inventory Valuation report at month-end in order to progress to the next step.
Compare Inventory Valuation with Inventory BalancesThe Inventory Balances Report is a secondary table that is updated when Costing Utilities is run and MFG Journals are prepared. I often see a tendency for users to adjust the GL to the numbers shown in this report and this is incorrect. You should keep in mind that, according to the first step, the correct values are already in the Inventory Valuation report. Once you have verified that the Inventory Valuation report has no issues, you can compare it to the Inventory Balances Report. This allows you to identify any parts that are not displayed correctly in the Financial Subledger. Any differences must be fixed before progressing to the next step.
Compare Inventory Balances to GLThe GL (Inventory Control Account Balances) should reflect what is happening on the Manufacturing side. The GL almost always contains the correct values and should not be adjusted to the Inventory Balances too quickly, unless you have proven that the Inventory Valuation and Inventory Balances Subledgers are in sync. There might be times where the GL reports incorrect postings. These may include when a GJ has been posted to control accounts, if the inventory control account has been used in the wrong journal or if a change in product codes at Part ID level occurs without following the proper process. These issues are, however, a topic for a future blog.

Stay tuned, as I continue onto the next topic. Month-end quality: How fast can you close the month?

 


Valeria Vicco, CDDP - Financial Consultant, is our special guest author at visualnuggets.com and is an active participant in the VISUAL community.  Valeria is part of BMS Business Monitoring Systems Inc (BMS 365) - who focus on Innovative solutions that move Visual ERP users forward.

Connect with Valeria online at LinkedIn and BMS365.com

 

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July 4, 2018

Using SmartViews to improve user productivity

 

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June 22, 2018

How to leverage SmartViews in your Material Planning

Here's an example on how you can take advantage of SmartViews to drive VISUAL in your Material Planning efforts.

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June 21, 2018

Compatibility Matrix for VISUAL ERP made easy

If you are considering a VISUAL upgrade or at the beginning stages of one - there's no doubt that you are navigating your way through system requirements and compatibilities.  All to determine whether your environment is "ready" for a VISUAL upgrade. 

Depending on how many supporting business applications you use with VISUAL, this can be a arduous task ⇒ reviewing release notes, manuals, calling on colleagues, forums, user groups, channel partner, Infor, etc.

Infor Xtreme Online Compatibility MatrixWell, Infor has actually made this process a little easier.  They've created an Online Compatibility Matrix tool which is available on Infor Xtreme.

This tool enables you to quickly determine what Infor products play well together as well as what versions of browsers, servers, O/S and other 3rd party software are supported.  Simply select the version of VISUAL you are planning to upgrade to - and you get the entire list which you can then export for further review

You can use this tool for any of Infor's products.

OnlineTool

April 22, 2018

How to measure Customer Satisfaction and grow your business

Using VISUAL to manage customer satisfaction
So you managed to convert a prospect into a customer and an order - good stuff! 

Now what are you going to do to keep them as a customer?  One thing for sure is that you want to keep them happy.

Happy Customer = Profitable Customer

Building up loyalty fosters repeat business - which reduces the cost of sales in customer acquisitions.  Happy customers are also most likely to refer you to others; acting as your champion and bringing in more sales....bonus!

How do you know if your customers are happy? 

You need to measure it.

And after you measure it, you need to manage it

And then you need to report and act on it.

You may already have a process and methodology in place (or maybe not).  Either way, you can have VISUAL be part of the process and help facilitate and manage accordingly.

Let's walkthrough how we can do this with VISUAL ERP.

Let's say we want to measure our customer's satisfaction based on Price, Quality and Delivery on each sales order.  So after each shipment of an order, someone will follow up with the customer and have them rate the service based on Price, Quality and Delivery.  The customer can rate each as "Great", "Okay" or "Not Good".

Simple metrics - I leave it to you on what the definitions should be.

Now to configure VISUAL ERP, go in Customer Order Entry, and bring up the User Defined Field Maintenance window from the EDIT menu (Edit > Customizable UDFs...).

From there, you will want to click on the Insert Tab UDF toolbar icon (or select it from the EDIT menu).  We'll first start by adding the first customer satisfaction metric "Price".  Set the following parameters:

  • Data Type: select String List (which will contain the 3 possible values Great, Okay and Not Good)
  • Tab: enter "Customer Satisfaction" - this is the tab that will appear in the customer order header area
  • Label: enter "Price" - this is the caption of the first metric
  • Seq No: accept the default value
     

Customizable User Defined Field in VISUAL ERP

 

As mentioned earlier - Price can be either "Great", "Okay" or "Not Good" - so we will need to create a pre-defined List containing these values. 

Check the LIST checkbox on the right...and click on the SET LIST button.

In the following window, use the INSERT button to enter the 3 values.  You may notice in the screenshot - I also refer to a number range - so that customers can be asked to rate on a numbered scale too.  Again - your company's metric definitions may be different.

  

Customizable UDF String List in VISUAL ERP

Once you have created the above list.  Click Save to continue

You will want to repeat the above steps for the Quality and Delivery metrics (fields)

We'll also create an extra field to capture any additional information a customer may provide (a free form field). 

So, in the same manner as you did previously, click on the Insert Tab UDF toolbar icon and set the following parameters:

  • Data Type: select String
  • Tab: enter/select "Customer Satisfaction"
  • Label: enter "Comments"
  • Seq No: accept the default value
      

Adding a Custom UDF in VISUAL ERP

 

Your User Defined Field Maintenance window should now contain the 4 fields created (shown below).  Click on the Save toolbar icon to save everything to VISUAL - which will create these new fields to the Customer Order Enter user interface.

 

List of Customizable UDFs in VISUAL ERP

Your Customer Order Entry window should now have a "Customer Satisfaction" Tab in the header area - with the 4 fields we created.

Customer Satisfaction Metrics in VISUAL
Custom "Customer Satisfaction" Tab in Customer Order Entry window

So now you have a place to capture and maintain Customer Satisfaction at the customer order level.

Having a place to capture this information is great - BUT how can we ensure that someone from customer service will remember to follow through and contact the customer? 

Well, one way to help facilitate this is through using VISUAL's Workflow.

With Workflow, you can have VISUAL send an email reminder as well as create a task for customer service after the customer order has been shipped and closed

The workflow structure could look like this (simplified):

  Customer Satisfaction Workflow in VISUAL ERP

 

The above is one example on how you can leverage VISUAL's features and functions to measure and manage customer satisfaction.  I hope this get's you thinking on how you can incorporate something similar into your practice.

 

April 18, 2018

How to easily handle vendor deposits in VISUAL ERP

You can easily process vendor deposits in VISUAL - it's quite simple. 

But before you can do anything - you first need to configure VISUAL to allow for it.  To do this, add the following entry in Preference Maintenance

Vendor Deposits
Set EnableVendorDeposits =Y in the Visual Financials section

  OR, you can add the following to your VISUAL.ini file:

[Visual Financials]
EnableVendorDeposits=Y

Once done - you are good to go with the following steps to process a deposit.

Let's say your vendor requires a deposit of $6250 (half the value of the purchase) 

  1. First create the purchase order for the goods/service.

    VISUAL ERP Purchase Order

  2. Next, to record and process the deposit - create an AP voucher in the Payables Invoice Entry window. 

    Enter the respective vendor information in the header area.  Then insert a line item for the deposit as follows:
     
    ♦  Enter a description for the line in the Reference column (if needed)

    ♦  Enter the purchase order number in the Order ID column.
         A must for this to work!

    ♦  Enter a GL account to use in the G/L Account ID column - it should be a GL account where you want to manage deposits and prepayments. - Please don't use the default PO accrual GL account

    ♦  Enter the deposit amount in the Amount column.

    Vendor Invoice for Deposit

    Note - If you DO use the PO accrual GL account you will likely mess up your accruals when reconciling.

    Visual Accounting

  3. Save & Pay the deposit invoice as required
  4. When the goods/services have been received - do the PO receipt.

    Purchase Order Receipt

  5. Now when you receive the vendor invoice, proceed to voucher it in the Payables Invoice Entry window.  Use the F6 key to call up the receiver(s) associated with the purchase.  Select the appropriate receiver(s) and click OK.

    Purchase Order Receipts to Voucher

  6. VISUAL will populate the grid with the lines associated with the receipts - AS WELL AS add an additional line item for the deposit (or prepayment) as a deduction to the total amount owed.

    VoucherAppliedPrepayment


As I said - simple.

 

April 16, 2018

VISUAL Focus 2018 – The Premier Conference exclusively for VISUAL ERP Users

Visual Focus - Premier VISUAL Conference
Come October, hundreds of VISUAL users from far and wide, will be descending upon a little known place we all call Walt Disney World. 

And not necessarily to take in all the wonders of Disney, though that in itself is magical – but there to Connect, Communicate and Collaborate with others who have one thing in common – VISUAL ERP.

VISUAL Focus 2018 Conference is the “VISUAL” conference – created, organized and sponsored by 3 Infor Channel Partners – Visual South, BizTech and Synergy Resources – all with YOU in mind.

VISUAL Focus 2018 will be taking place October 21-24, 2018 – At Walt Disney World.

The 3 day VISUAL event where users come to work, share and be inspired - helping them get the most from their ERP investment. The event facilitates the exchange of information and ideas among users, expert ERP consultants, Channel Partners and Infor representatives

There’s tons going on at this conference, among them being:

  • Over 130 sessions and workshops, including 30 brand new sessions.
  • In-depth, hands-on Workshops – 2-hour workshops with your own virtual VISUAL image collaborating with consultants and other users
  • One-on-one consulting sessions. Bring your issues and challenges to our experts.  Or dive deeper into topics not covered in sessions.
  • Vendors with products that complement VISUAL’s functionality.
  • Networking opportunities. You will be surrounded by hundreds of other VISUAL users, consultants, partners and Infor representatives.

I’ve been to many VISUAL conferences in the past – and what I enjoy most is everything in between.

Yes - the sessions and workshops are awesome and the organized events are spectacular. But, for me, it’s the meeting of people, face-to-face - in those spontaneous interactions, talking VISUAL and sharing ideas in the hallway; on the way to the next session; during lunch; at the hotel bar; waiting in line to meet Mickey (ok maybe not then).

If you’ve never been to one of these conferences and are considering it – I encourage you to GO!  In fact, you should bring your co-workers too - it's impossible to attend everything yourself.  You won’t regret it and neither will your company. These conferences are amazing – not only for the sessions, workshops and networking opportunities – but for the inspiration and motivation that it generates - it's highly contagious

Am I drinking too much from the Kool-Aid...hmmm…maybe…it sure is darn good! :-)

More information can be found on the official website - VISUAL Focus 2018

Early Bird discounts run through until the end of April!

  

April 10, 2018

SmartViews: Self Service Reporting Tool for VISUAL

Infor VISUAL ERP - SmartViews Reporting
Being in the VISUAL space, I'm sure you've heard talk over the years on Synergy's SmartViews.  And you’re likely already aware of the features and benefits – among them being:

  • Dynamic and Self-Service Reporting Tool
  • Access to Real-Time Information
  • 25+ Pre-Built “Best-in-Class” Strategic and Tactical Analytics to drive growth
  • Intuitive Interface
  • Pivot Tables, Slice and Dice, Drag ‘n Drop
  • Trend analysis
  • Dashboards upon dashboards
  • Charts and more charts
  • Database expertise NOT required
  • Automated Report Delivery system

A reporting tool....on overdrive....with features so easy that anyone can report, analyze and act on the data.

There are specifically 2 things I like best with SmartViews:

  1. It’s Self-Serving

    SmartViews was built for self-service with its’ intuitive interface and easy drag and drop analytics creation.  You can hand over the keys to your end users – and let them have at it.  Slice, Dice, Drag, Drop, Filter, Sort, Chart – whatever the combination.

    And when they’re all done – they can save it and share it.

    Think about it…

    With users creating and modifying their own reports, you will significantly reduce the burden placed on your in-house (or external) reporting expert.  No waiting for reports to be created or modified. 

    People should be empowered to interact with data with a user-friendly application, creating reports that they need and not what someone else understood them to be.    
  2. VISUAL Hooks

    Obviously, SmartViews is plugged into the VISUAL database to provide the analytics, but it can also be configured to dynamically interact with the system.  Meaning – you can automatically open VISUAL and retrieve relating information depending on your selection in SmartViews.

    For example, suppose you have a Bill of Material for a fabricated item, you can set it up so that when you select a material line item of the BOM in SmartViews – it will call up the Part ID in VISUAL’s Material Planning Window to determine whether there’s sufficient supply compared to demand.  You can easily click through your exploded BOM for supply and demand info in the Material Planning Window.  This is a good example on ways to streamline and reduce time you spend in and out of the Material Planning Window – your planners know exactly what I mean here.

    This is just a simple example of the many (many) ways you can leverage VISUAL Hooks in SmartViews.


Are you interested in "seeing" it and not so much "reading" it? 
Hit me up for a demo

You can also find additional information on SmartViews here.

 

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eBoard - Financial Power App
Developed for accounting professionals looking for powerful and easy-to-use GL reporting software. Access live financial data, drill down to support details and export financial statements to Excel in one click.
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This Inventory Reconciliation App provides a systematic approach to control and manage your Visual inventory effectively and efficiently
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