Infor VISUAL ERP - Manufacturing Webinars Infor VISUAL ERP - Quality Webinars Infor VISUAL ERP - Financial Webinars
VISUAL Online Training Webinar Program

Do you have a training need and little time to develop an internal training program? How do you currently handle training of new employees, cross-train or retrain users? If this is your business challenge, our VISUAL ERP web-based training program was designed especially for you! 

50+ webinars for every VISUAL users. Tell me More!

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2015

VISUAL Training Webinars: Huge success at providing an alternative, cost-effective, and valuable training option for the VISUAL community

Infor VISUAL ERP - Webinars
I promised Caden I would have him in my next post -- He was a little jealous of his little sister!

Never thought our pilot project would strike a chord as much as it has within the VISUAL community! 

Late last year, myself, along with a team of seasoned VISUAL professionals, got together and developed an online training series to showcase all the features and functions that VISUAL has to offer. 

We started out with 2 tracks - Manufacturing & Financials - comprising of 16 (or so) webinars.   Each webinar focuses on a functional area of VISUAL - demonstrating all the available features, functions and options - and HOW to use them.

To be interactive - each webinar is presented by one of our VISUAL consultants (LIVE) ending with a 30 minute Q&A with the attendees.

The feedback has been so positive that we have since expanded the program with more content-specific webinars on the existing tracks, as well as a new Quality track (and an IT track in the works to be available this spring).

We now have over 65+ webinars - with several sessions scheduled every week.
(which reminds me that I have to update the webinar page detailing the sessions)

Here's what a few of our valued clients have to say about the webinars (can't thank them enough for the feedback):

“The VISUAL webinars are very informative. Gave me the insight into VISUAL that I needed to operate my company.”
- Andy Chura, Controller
Commercial Forged Products

_____________

"I would highly recommend your training sessions and the one year pricing for unlimited training to anyone who was upgrading.  Our folks here are loving the training and seeing the new version we have coming. It’s a fantastic cost savings and great interactive training.  I also love that we don’t have to leave the office to attend the training."
- Cathy Coletts, Director of Information Technology
Cincinnati Sub-Zero Products, Inc.

_____________

"VISUAL webinars have allowed our staff to increase their knowledge across multiple areas.  The instructors are knowledgeable and deliver the content in a professional and concise manner.  The short training sessions allow our staff to gain valuable Visual knowledge without having to leave for an entire day of offsite training."
- Joel Kiekhaefer, IT Director
Apache Stainlesss Equipment Corporation 

_____________

"I greatly appreciate this! The Concurrent Scheduler II webinar was great and we learned a lot on how to use the production reports and throughput window to help us. Please send my thanks to the instructor, she was awesome!"
- Visual User, Operations Process Manager

____________

 

Thanks for stopping by! If you liked this VISUAL NUGGET, you might consider
following me on twitter.
Posted by Richard on February 11, 2015

Get your shades! Future is looking mighty bright on things to come in VISUAL 8!

Ryleigh
Ryleigh's reaction when I told her about VISUAL 8

Just got back from the Infor Partner Conference last week....and I gotta tell you that I was floored on all the new features and functions that are coming down the pipe with VISUAL 8.  Rich Lagoy and Frank Maglio did a great job on presenting (and demo'ing!) VISUAL 8 and discussing the products' roadmap.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Macros will be managed within the database
  • VISUAL API Suite -  That's right, the COM objects are back!  They will be upgraded and incorporated into a full API suite and part of the VISUAL core.  Oh, did I mention that they will be supported and documented?  What does this mean to the VISUAL user? Integrating to VISUAL will be easier, faster, more secure.
  • Built-in Automation of Processes - You will now be able to autorun Global Scheduler, Costing, MRP and VISUAL Analytics
  • New UI, Navigation, and Document Information Capture
    • New and improved Graphical Document Lifecycle.
    • You want more drill down capabilities?  You got 'em - even at the order line level!
    • Source & Target Navigation - Easily walk through the lifecycle of a document to view upstream or downstream relationships.  For example, from the Customer Order you can jump to the corresponding quote and/or the packlist(s).
    • Activities and Reminders - You can now create and log activities on all documents - allowing you the ability to categorize and record various “activities”.  In addition, users can set follow-up reminders associated with these activities.
    • Enhanced Query Tool - Yes this little tool is undergoing a much needed facelift.  You will be able drag and drop tables and fields into the query window, export results to Excel and save to the database.
  • Wait until you see the View Panels.  Major Enhancements!  They can display data graphically which you can also drill-down into for details.  So many features have been added that each document can have it's own living dashboard/KPIs metrics.
  • Dashboards, Dashboards and more Dashboards - Remember EIS?  Those days are long gone and forgotten! Amazing stuff - and very much needed.
  • VISUAL Mobile Automation
  • Customer Sponsored Feature Enhancements - You've asked for them - so you're getting them.  Thank you very much
    These are just a few - but there's many:
    • Print Packlists by warehouse or territory
    • Customizable UDFs on AR, AP and GL Entry modules
    • View Work Order Receipts option from the Manufacturing Window
    • On-hand balance check when backdating in Inventory Transaction Entry window
    • Printing associated documents when printing a range of Work Order Travelers
    • Security Enhancements - Permission settings to Add & Delete parts, customers and vendors
    • Added "Entered By" fields to Customer Order Entry (in both the header and line level)
    • Vendor Supplying Part - ability to add the same vendor more than once to a part.
    • Added OnDelete and OnAfterDelete for macros
    • Supplier Performance window - to compare performance on delivery and quality

I should add a disclaimer here only to let you know that what was presented on VISUAL 8 may change - many factors can affect Infor’s product development plans and the nature, content and timing of future product releases, all of which remain in the sole discretion of Infor.

That beings said - I'm anxiously looking forward to VISUAL 8!

 

Posted by Richard on February 1, 2015

Auto-Issuing from multiple locations for a single Part

Yes it is possible.

VISUAL allows you the capability to setup a part to be automatically issued to a work order as labor is reported against an operation.  To do this there are a couple of settings that you need to have in place for this to happen.  At a minimum, you need to flag the part as being AUTO ISSUE and specify the Warehouse and Location to issue from.  These settings can be found in the PART MAINTENANCE module

Infor VISUAL ERP - Part Maintenance
Part Maintenance in VISUAL 7.1.2

Now you may have situations where you need the ability to auto issue a part from multiple locations.  From the onset it may appear that you are limited to only having one - but it is possible to configure VISUAL to have more. 

Here's how...

  1. Call up the part in PART MAINTENANCE.
  2. Go into "Warehouse Locations..." from the MAINTAIN menu to bring up all the warehouse locations assigned to the part
  3. Now your first instinct would be to check the checkbox in the Auto Issue column.  DON'T because you may find yourself in a frustrating game of "Whack-A-Mole"!  Go ahead and try - you'll see what I mean.

    Whack a mole
    A Classic!
    Instead, simply select the checkbox under the Default Part Auto Issue column (the AUTO ISSUE checkbox will check automatically).  Once you have all your auto issue locations set - save and close the window

    Infor VISUAL ERP - Part Maintenance Warehouse Locations 
  4. Now you have configured the part to have multiple auto issue locations.  The only step left is indicating which location VISUAL should auto issue from on your work orders and/or engineering masters.  You can do this in the MATERIAL (REQUIREMENT) card of the auto issued part in the WO/EM under the PLANNING tab.

    Infor VISUAL ERP - Work Order Requirement Material Card Location ID 
    Note: The locations available will only be those that belong to the WAREHOUSE specified on the Work Order Header.  Also, if you choose not to override the location - then VISUAL will auto issue from the Default Auto Issue Warehouse and Location in PART MAINTENANCE.
     

Now you're all set.

  

Posted by Richard on December 9, 2014

How to ensure that your VISUAL "peeps" are using the current version of a macro

Don't you hate it when you find out that one of your VISUAL users is using an old version of a macro?  Wouldn't it be great if you could modify a macro and it would instantly be deployed across your VISUAL network? 

Well you can...and here's how you can do it.

The solution involves 2 sets of macros. 

The first set of MACROS (let's call them your ACTION macros) are  your main macros that contain the scripts that account for your business logic and rules.  Place these ACTION macros in a centralized location on your network where your VISUAL users have access to. 

The second set of macros (let's call them your SHELL macros) will have the same file name as your ACTION macros but will contain a script that will run it's respective ACTION macro.  These SHELL macros are the ones that should be place on each VISUAL workstation (and/or profile) in their respective VISUAL local directory.  You will only have to configure these SHELL macros once for each workstation.

Once the ACTION & SHELL macros are in place - any modifications you do to the ACTION macros will immediately be deployed in your VISUAL environment because your SHELL macros are pointing to the ACTION macros and executing them.

Say what?!?  How do you get these SHELL macros to run the ACTION macros?

I'll demonstrate with a simple example (much easier to explain)

Let's say you have an OnSave macro in Part Maintenance that checks to see if the user has populated the PRODUCT CODE field. 

Your ACTION macro would contain something similar to the following:

Infor VISUAL ERP - Action Macro

So this ACTION macro would have the filename "VMPRTMNT_OnSave.vms".  You will want to place this ACTION macro file on your network where your VISUAL users have access to.  In this example - let's assume it's stored in location \\SHARED\MACROS

Now let's create it's respective SHELL macro, which will also be an OnSave macro, BUT it will contain the following script to call the ACTION macro.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Shell Macro

Download the SHELL macro script

Place this SHELL macro on each VISUAL workstation (in the local directory).

You're all set. 

Now when you save in PART MAINTENANCE, the SHELL macro will call the ACTION macro to verify whether the PRODUCT CODE has been entered.

With this setup - you don't need to chase down and update workstations if you modify a macro (or have users log out & log back to initial the login script to deploy macro files).

Just modify the ACTION macros - and the update is instant.


I would like to thank Jenifer Barcus, Applications Specialist at Waukesha Foundry Inc., and Jim Herzfeld for allowing me to share this solution on VisualNuggets.com. It's awesome! 

 

Posted by Richard on November 28, 2014

Pimp your VISUAL Browse window

The BROWSE window is available all throughout the VISUAL application.  You likely use it day in and day out as you filter through the records you need.  With every new version of VISUAL, you may have noticed added functionality to the window - such as:

  • Dynamic Searching
  • Searching on Initial Entry
  • Stopping the Searching Process
  • Sorting by Columns
  • Printing the Result Set
  • Browsing by SQL Statement
  • Editing Data in the Browse Table
  • Exporting and Import using Excel

These are all great features - but you can do so much more....

The BROWSE window can be customized to include additional information and fields that are not typically available "out of the box".  You can then search on these fields.

Couple of examples are:

  • Specifications Field
    Specifications are used in many areas of VISUAL (parts, customer orders, purchase orders, work orders, etc).  Once they are configured to your browse window, you can perform searches on them.
  • Line Items on Quotes
    If you use quotes extensively in your company, you know how difficult it can be to sift through quotes for non-Part ID line items.  By adding line item details to the Quote Browse window - you can easily search through to the quote you want.
  • Line Item Details on Orders
    Much like the previous example, you can browse through your orders at the line level as oppose to the header detail.
  • Shipper line details with Trace IDs
    This one, I use quite a bit.  I have configured the Packlist BROWSE window to include not only the shipped line information but I also include all the Trace IDs (if any).  Now if I want to know when (or how) a particular Trace ID was shipped - I just enter the Trace ID to pull up the packlist that it was shipped on.
These are just a few examples - but the possibilities are endless. (well, maybe not endless...)
 
The easiest way to customize the BROWSE window is to use SQL Views and having the VMBROWSE.ini file point to it.
 
Infor VISUAL ERP - VMBROWSE.ini fileWhat the heck is the VMBROWSE.ini file?  The VMBROWSE.ini file contains all the parameters and settings to all the BROWSE windows in VISUAL.  This file is user-specific - every user "should" have their own unique file.  And depending on how your VISUAL environment was installed - it can be found in the users' local directory for VISUAL.  If you open the file, you'll notice sections that refer to the various areas of VISUAL where the BROWSE window is available.  Each section starts with [section name] (open and close square brackets).  Within each section, you'll find the database table(s) used, visible columns to display in the grid, column sizes, sort order, etc.
 
So to customize the BROWSE you need to change the value set for the database table and the columns to display (based on the SQL View you created).
 
Here's a quick example to customize the QUOTE BROWSE window to include the line items.   Please keep in mind that this example assumes you are current and on VISUAL 7.1.2.  You have upgraded - haven't you?
 
Step 1 - Create a SQL View that links the QUOTE table to the QUOTE_LINE table.  Give the SQL View the name V_QUOTES.  Download this script to create the SQL View.
 
Infor VISUAL ERP - SQL View
 
Step 2 - Open your VMBROWSE.ini file and find the section [Quote].  Set the value for table to V_QUOTES (as shown).  Download this section to copy and paste into your VMBROWSE.ini file.
 
Infor VISUAL  ERP
 
Step 3 - Log into VISUAL and browse your Quotes with line items.  You will need to add the new columns using EDIT COLUMNS under the DATA menu.
 
You may get an initial error when you first browse for your quotes.  This should only happen once.  It's because you need to reset the columns to display.  Just ignore the error and reset your columns.
 
There you have it.
 
BONUS!
Here's the solution (which I get asked quite a bit for) to PIMP your PACKLIST browse window to include shipped line items with Trace IDs.  The solution includes a SQL function to concatenate multiple Trace IDs per shipped line item (if any).
 
 
 
Step 3 - Modify the [Shipping Packlist] section of your VMBROWSE.ini file. Download the entire section.
 
 
Infor VISUAL ERP - Shipper Browse Window with Trace IDs
Packlist Browse Window that includes Trace IDs which you can search against
 
 
 :-)
 
Posted by Richard on May 27, 2014

Here's a neat little tip that's undocumented when entering a date in the grid.

Some of the "little" challenges of manually entering dates in the various grids throughout VISUAL...

Is it mm/dd/yyyy?  dd/mm/yyyy?  yyyy/mm/dd ? ...  You can easily mix up the month and day positions - which could greatly affect your day-to-day operations - and not in a good way.

Is the date you've entered land on a day that you're closed?  It's difficult to meet a ship date if it falls on the weekend.  It's hard to tell without having a calendar in front of you.

CO_DateColumn

These are just a couple of things to consider when you have to manually key in a date in a grid in VISUAL.  Wouldn't it be great if you can visually pick a date from a pop-up calendar (similar to the available calendars in the header areas of orders)?

Well you can....just hit the space bar when you are in a date column of the grid.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Calendar
Hit the space bar to pop-up the calendar.  Presto!

Space bar, select a date...done...move on

Who has time to manually enter dates anyway?  Not this guy.

 

Posted by Richard on December 12, 2013

Should you CLOSE or LOCK an accounting period?

Infor VISUAL ERP - Financial Calendar MaintenanceWhen you maintain your fiscal calendar in the Financial Application Global Maintenance window,  you can set a period to have either an Active, Closed or Locked status. 

The ACTIVE status is pretty straight forward -- It will allow transactions to occur in the period. 

Setting the period to CLOSED or LOCKED status will prevent new transactions from being entered into the period. 

But why have 2 settings to prevent transactions?  What is the difference?

Well it all comes down to security.

If you CLOSE a period, anyone who has access to the Accounting Window (under the LEDGER menu) can easily toggle the status back to ACTIVE using the "Close/Reopen Period" function (as shown below) - and allow new transactions to occur in the period.
 

Infor VISUAL ERP - Accounting Window
 

If you LOCK a period, then this "Close/Reopen Period..." feature will be disabled.  The only way the period can be "Reopened" is through the Financial Application Global Maintenance which should be locked down (with limited access) from users. 

This setup allows for tighter controls in your organization.


Update!!

OK.  So no sooner did I just post this piece I get pinged from a colleague letting me know that I may be promoting bad “Visual” accounting practice. 

Infor ERP VISUAL - Accounting WindowSo let me put on my accounting hat on…

By no means did I intend to say that you should be opening and closing your periods from the Financial Application Global Maintenance window.  You should be doing this from the Accounting Window using the “Close/Reopen Period” feature.  The reason being is that the Accounting Window will ensure that there are no unposted transactions in the period you’re closing, whereas the Financial Application Global Maintenance window will allow you to CLOSE or LOCK a period with unposted transaction (not good). 

The Locked status is only available from the Financial Application Global Maintenance window and will prevent users from reopening the period from the Accounting Window - reinforcing the fact that the reporting of the period is final

This post was intended to explain the difference between the CLOSED and LOCKED status when maintaining your fiscal calendar.

Accounting hat off

Posted by Richard on December 10, 2013

Automatically link new work orders to line items in the customer order entry window

The New Work Order feature in Customer Order Entry (and Order Management Window) allows you to create and link work orders as you enter the sales order into VISUAL.

Infor VISUAL ERP

This feature can save you quite a bit of time for situations where creating work orders on the fly from the order entry screen makes sense.  It allows you enter the sales order, create the work order and link (allocate) it all in one step. 

If linking work orders to customer order lines is common practice in your work place you might want to consider this option - Again, if it makes sense for your business

If you do use this feature or plan to use it - this macro might be of use to you.

Chances are, not all line items of a sales order require a work order....

  • Some items may be purchased.
  • Some items may be stocked items
  • Some items fall under specific planning policies
  • Some items are service charges
  • etc...

So the decision to link work orders to customer order lines may rest on the person entering the sales order.  You can streamline this process (and make the decision automatically) coding the business logic into an OnSave macro.

The following macro will automatically create and link work orders to line items for FABRICATED parts.  Simple requirement - but you get the idea

Macro breakdown

The Database Connection parameters:  You will need this to for the database lookup - which we will be doing to verify whether the line item meets the criteria to create a new work order.

strServerName="E N T E R   Y O U R   S E R V E R    N A M E"
strDatabase="E N T E R    Y O U R    V I S U A L    D A T A B A S E    N A M E"
strUserName="E N T E R    Y O U R    R E A D O N L Y    U S E R    I D"
strPassword="E N T E R    Y O U R    P A S S W O R D"

'*** Connection string for SQL Server
strcnn="Driver={SQL Server};Server=" & strServerName & ";Database=" & strDatabase & ";Uid=" & strUsername & ";Pwd=" & strPassword & ";"

set rs = CreateObject("ADODB.Recordset")

The remaining code uses the LINES object which allows us to read the line items (grid) of the customer order.  As we cycle through the lines, the macro will do a database lookup to determine whether the PART meets our requirement to create a new work order.  If a work order is required, we check the "New W/O" checkbox.  To do this we set the ADD field to "true".

FYI: In macro terms, the variable ADD represents the "New W/O" checkbox you see in the grid.

Now because whenever you set the New W/O checkbox, VISUAL prompts the user to set the status of the new work order (Unreleased, Firmed or Released).  To accept the defaults, we use the SendKey function to hit the enter key. 

Infor VISUAL ERP - New Work Order Defaults
New Work Order Prompt - Use the Sendkeys to "hit" the OK button

 

set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

Set ORDERLINES = LINES.Value
Lcnt = ORDERLINES.Count

Set ORDERLINE = ORDERLINES(Lcnt-1).VALUE
Set OrderLines = LINES.VALUE

For i = 0 To (ORDERLINES.COUNT - 1)

    Set ORDERLINE = ORDERLINES(i).VALUE
    
    PartID=ORDERLINE("PART_ID")
    
    '*** Check SUPPLY_TYPE to make sure that line has not been allocated yet
    SupplyType=ORDERLINE("SUPPLY_TYPE") & ""
    
    '*** Verify that the line item is a VISUAL Part and that
    '*** it has not been allocated yet
    if PartID<>"" and SupplyType="" then
        
        '*** Database lookup to check whether part meets
        '*** new work order requirement
        '*** In this case if the part is FABRICATED
        
        SQL="SELECT FABRICATED FROM PART WHERE ID='" & PartID & "'"
        rs.open SQL, strcnn

        if not rs.eof then
            rs.movefirst
            if rs("FABRICATED")="Y" then
                
                '*** Part meets requirement.
                '*** Check New W/O checkbox
                ORDERLINE("ADD")=true

                '*** Send the ENTER key to accept
                '*** new work order defaults
                objShell.SendKeys("~")

            end if
        end if
        rs.close
    end if
Next

Download the macro and try it yourself

WHO IS VISUALNUGGETS?

Richard Ferlatte
Results Driven VISUAL Specialist

VISUAL WEBINARS - Updated!

Check out our 50+ Training Webinars focusing on the various VISUAL modules and concepts. There's sure to be one to interest you!
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VISUAL EXTENSIONS

Extend the functionality of your VISUAL ERP system with these proven and supported VISUAL apps
Go Paperless App
Integration of the Go Paperless App solution and VISUAL results in Paperless ERP that provides a way for VISUAL users to increase efficiencies and thereby, the cash conversion cycle.
Inventory Management Tool
Provides you the ultimate freedom to quickly filter data, drill-down and track inventory/work in process discrepancies, easily reconcile actual inventory/wip to financial records for current or past periods.
eBoard – Financial Dashboard
A powerful Financial Dashboard allowing you to access live Financial data, drill down to supporting details and export the financial statements to Microsoft Excel in one click.
VE Mobile
The premier mobile extension to the VISUAL, adding flexibility and productivity improvements through the introduction of mobile scanning technology to the warehouse.
Logicity™ Automatic Invoicing
Automatically generate e-mailed or printed invoices out of VISUAL
EDI Integrator
A powerful alternative to the VMDI interface for EDI transactions (inbound and outbound).
Web Store Integration
e-Commerce solution integrating the web to your VISUAL system.