July 31, 2018

What is the Inherit Demand Warehouse Option?

Picking up from where I left off in How to set up Part Planning,

You likely noticed an option under the PLANNING tab in Part Maintenance to set "Do Not Inherit Demand Warehouse" for a part.  What is this?

Inherit Demand Warehouse

Well, it’s something you really only need to be concerned about if dealing with multiple warehouses – with a mix of universal and independently planned warehouses.

What’s the difference between universal and independently planned? Read this

What exactly does Inherit Demand Warehouse mean?  Basically, it allows you to configure how or where demand for a part is to be driven from - meaning from which warehouse. 

For instance, if you look at an Engineering Master/Work Order - demand for component parts can either be driven from the warehouse specified on the EM/WO Header Card (inherit) OR can be driven from the warehouse specified on each individual material card. 

So, if demand for component parts are to be driven by the warehouse specified in the header card - the parts are "inheriting" the demand warehouse of the EM/WO.

There are a couple of places in VISUAL where you can configure a part to "Inherit Demand Warehouse" or not.

On the Material Card (Manufacturing Window), there is a checkbox to set Inherit Demand Warehouse.  PartDWM

  • When CHECKED – demand for the part will be driven from the Warehouse specified on the Header Card (EM/WO).  The Warehouse ID will auto-populate with warehouse id of the EM/WO
  • When UNCHECKED, you can specify (on the material card) the warehouse where the part should be coming

The Inherit Demand Warehouse is checked by default in the Material Card UNLESS you checked the DO NOT INHERIT DEMAND WAREHOUSE of the part under the PLANNING TAB in Part Maintenance. 

PartDWPM1
If you select this checkbox in Part Maintenance - the Inherit Demand Warehouse option in the Material Card becomes unavailable for the part and you can specify the warehouse on the card or as needed at time of transaction.

BTW - you would normally want to Inherit the Demand Warehouse.  But you have the option if your situation calls for it.

Part of the MRP Fundamentals Series (for Infor VISUAL ERP). Be sure to check back soon as I continue further into using MRP in VISUAL

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July 24, 2018

MRP Fundamentals - How to set up part planning

The most important piece in setting up MRP in VISUAL falls under the PLANNING tab in Part Maintenance.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that you can have a unique set of planning parameters for each of your Independently Planned Warehouses AND one set of planning parameters for your other warehouses deemed Universal

What the difference between Universal and Independently planned warehouses? Read this

MRP Fundamentals - How to set up part planning in part maintenance

 

Warehouse ID
Select the Warehouse ID or Universal you are wanting to set the planning parameters for. Please note that VISUAL will always default to Universal when you first call up a part.

Planner User ID
This is a free form field that can be used for searching and reporting. Basically, you can enter values that you can easily filter on.

Buyer User ID
As with the Planner User ID, this is a free form field that can be used for filtering - however values entered in this field will be maintained in the VISUAL database and existing values can be selected from a dropdown box.

Safety Stock Qty
This is used where you would like to maintain a certain quantity level for a part. You may want to consider this for parts with long lead times. MRP will look at upcoming demand and supply and your projected qty always wants to meet this safety stock quantity.

Leadtime (in Days)
This is the number of days it takes between the time you place a supply order and when the part is received into inventory. Leadtime is always in days. This value is used to compute when to release an order and set the want date of supply orders.

Min/Max/Multiples Of
These fields are here to help you make better decisions and plan more efficiently.

Min - the minimum quantity that MRP will generate a planned order

Max - the maximum amount that the MRP will generate a planned order

NOTE – for clarification, this only caps the quantity of an individual planned order. So, if you have demand for a 1000 units for a part and you have a Max value of 200. MRP will generate 5 planned orders for 200 each. This allows you to better manage your orders.  For instance, you may shop floor constraints where you can only manufacture 200 units at a time – so you would not want your work orders with build quantities greater than 200.

Multiples of – allows you to define the multiple to use when MRP plans an order. For example, if Part A is ordered in multiples of 10, and you have demand for 7, then MRP will generate a planned order for 10.

 

Order Policy
This is the key indicator that will determine how MRP will plan for the part.

Not Planned
MRP will not generate planned orders. It will completely ignore this part. FYI – This is the default setting when creating a part.

Discrete
Most commonly used when first starting with MRP. This setting will have MRP replenish exactly the quantity by which demand exceeds supply. It will plan the supply order to match each element of demand. 

So if you have 3 orders creating demand, one for 2, one for 5 and one for 10 ... MRP will create 3 planned supply orders - with quantities of 2, 5, and 10 respectively

It’s a one to one relationship unless you use min/max/multiple of – then planned orders will reflect those parameters.

Period Supply
MRP will generate planned order to meet a shortfall on a given date – PLUS the number of days you specify in the Days of Supply field

Fixed and EOQ
These settings a basically the same. Regardless of the amount of the shortage – MRP will plan for orders using the fixed amount specified in the Order Qty field

Master Scheduled
Planned orders are generated to meet quantities and dates specified in the Master Production Scheduled. This option is only available if you are using Advanced MRP and dealing with forecasts

 

 

Days of Supply
Used with period of supply

Order Qty
Used with Fixed and EOQ

Order Point Qty
If the part is NOT PLANNED, you can use this field to enter the minimum quantity you want to keep on hand. When it falls below that amount it will appear on the Order Point Report (in the Material Planning Window) for you to place an order. NOTE – MRP WILL NOT plan the order – you need to manually create it when needed

Order Up to Qty
If the part is NOT PLANNED – you can use this field in conjunction with the Order Point Qty field to determine quantity to use to create a supply order.

 

Next: The Inherit Demand Warehouse Option

 

July 18, 2018

MRP Fundamentals – How to setup your warehouses

Part of the MRP Fundamentals Series (for Infor VISUAL ERP).  MRP basically looks at all your existing demand and supply for your fabricated and purchased parts – and will generate "planned" supply orders for those parts that are short. Simple enough.

Planned supply orders are based on several factors relating to the part, such as:

  • Order Policy
  • Lead Time
  • Existing Inventory (On Hand and Supply Orders)
  • Existing Demand
  • Master Production Schedule

But before we can get into any of these - we need to start at the warehouse.

In Warehouse Maintenance, there are 2 ways you can set up a warehouse that will have an impact on MRP.
 

Universal Warehouse vs Independently Planned Warehouse

MRP Fundamentals – How to setup your warehouses
Warehouse is considered UNIVERSAL when "Independently Planned Warehouse" is UNCHECKED

Universal Warehouses - MRP will treat all universal warehouses as a single unit where inventory is pooled and considered shared - meaning, MRP will net inventory across all universal warehouses based on planning parameters specified for UNIVERSAL (under PLANNING tab in Part Maintenance - we'll get to that in another post)

Independently Planned Warehouses - This option allows you to separate inventory and plan by warehouse.  You can view inventory along with universal warehouses or look at it separately.  These warehouses have their own unique set of planning parameters for associated inventory. 
 

Associating your Parts to Warehouses

You likely know this already - but I only bring this up as I wanted to bring your attention to the Warehouse and Location Status field for a part and what it means to MRP.
 

Part Warehouse and Location - VISUAL ERP

This field can be one of 3 values:

  • Available:  MRP will consider the qty in this location as available and nettable
  • Unavailable:  MRP will not include the qty in this location in its netting
  • On Hold:  MRP will consider the qty in this location as available and nettable.
    (Why, you say?  Well, On Hold items are typically those items going through QA as part of receiving inspection)

 

Next: The Planning Tab in Part Maintenance

 

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

 

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.

 

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