« November 2012 | Main | February 2013 »

December 2012

Written by Wayne on December 20, 2012

Purchase requisition approval by G/L account

Infor VISUAL ERP - PurchasingA few years ago Triumph Gear Systems of Macomb Michigan was in the process of implementing the purchase requisition module for requesting expensed items.  The company was using a manual system that would allow users to fill out either a paper form or an electronic form in Microsoft Excel for requisitioning expense items.  Once this requisition form was filled out the appropriate signatures based on the G/L account number or work order was needed for the purchasing department to issue a purchase order.  This was a daunting job to determine who needed to sign-off on each line of the requisition multiple account numbers.  They decided that an electronic solution was needed that would allow them to retain their level of approval by G/L account number.  The current Visual software allowed for sign-offs using messaging and workflows but not to the level of complexity that was desired for their company. 

Infor VISUAL ERP - Purchase Requisition Entry

A solution was designed to satisfy this need.  A custom developed application was designed for the approval system.  The users still use Visual Manufacturing to enter purchase requisitions just as it was designed.  All users have access to place these requisition lines in either “Draft” or “In-Process” status.  No users have rights to change the status to “Approved” within Visual Manufacturing.  Only by using the custom application can a requisition status be changed from In-Process to Approved.  This forces the signers to use the custom application to approve requisition lines that they have the right to do so.  Each signer is given one or more accounts that they are responsible for.  For each of these accounts they are issued a “Max” value equal to their signing authority.  This allows for tiered approvals on each account based on approval levels.

Infor VISUAL ERP - ApproversThe example shown here displays the approvers for the “SUPP AND EXP ASSEMBLY” account.  There are four signers that are authorized to signoff for this type of expense, as long as the line amount is less than their “Max Amt.”   If the line had been valued at $3,000 only one signer has the proper authority to approve.

Once a requisition is placed in the “In-process” status it is waiting for approval from the appropriate signer(s).  The signer has the ability to either accept or decline any requisition line they are authorized for.  Once this is decided the line status is changed to either Accepted or Cancelled. Once all lines have been approved or declined the purchase requisition status is changed to Approved.

Below is a screen capture of the approval system that is used to achieve the goals set forth by Triumph Gear Systems.  This solution is using a combination of Visual Manufacturing and a custom application to accomplish this.  The application has been in use since 2009 and has since processed approximately 8,000 requisitions using this system. 

This goes to show that Visual is only limited by your imagination and just about anything can be accomplished given the right tools and time.

Infor VISUAL ERP - Approval System

Wayne Bourdage is our special guest author at visualnuggets.com and is an active participant in the VISUAL community.  He has custom developed several software solutions to enhance the Visual product, allowing it to run more efficiently by simplifying and automating redundant tasks 

Connect with Wayne online at LinkedIn 

Written by John on December 20, 2012

What is the Inventory Balance Report used for?

Infor VISUAL ERP - Inventory Balance ReportThe purpose of the Inventory Balance Report (IBR) is to show the value of inventory on hand at each month end period. You can print it in summary or by FIFO layer.

The report is driven solely by the INVENTORY_BALANCE table which is updated by the cost utilities.

If you're in a STANDARD COSTING environment then the IBR really does not serve a purpose.  Basically, the inventory balance for any given month is the quantity on hand  x  the total unit standard cost in effect at that time.

Unfortunately the INVENTORY_BALANCE table in a FIFO database eventually closes FIFO layers off and they are removed from the table for the next period.  In a standard cost database this never occurs and the table continues to grow.  At one of our client more than 50GB (yes GB with a G!) of the database was in the inventory balance table and it was providing no benefit what so ever. The table was truncated and guess what…costing performance improved dramatically, especially for the first run of the month when this table is updated for the new period.

If you are standard cost consider truncating the data from the INVENTORY_BALANCE table.

Written by John on December 18, 2012

Concurrencies and the concurrent scheduler

I avoid using concurrencies and the concurrent scheduler. I used to be a strong believer that the scheduler could properly schedule a plant by managing all this complexity. Then I came to realize it really can’t. You might achieve a schedule, and maybe even one the users think they can execute, but it is hardly one that even comes close to achieving high performance.

In some cases we did achieve a proper executable schedule but in most cases not.

I just don’t believe the basic assumptions of the concurrent scheduler are true, namely:

  1. Maximum profitability is achieved when all resources are busy
  2. High resource utilization is key to shortest lead times
  3. The way to manage the plant is to manage every resource in detail
  4. More detail is the best way to manage complexity
  5. Maintaining the scheduling data detail is the best use of the scheduler’s time
  6. The operations can be scheduled just in time (I know you can put in artificial move times)
  7. That backwards scheduling from the due date will give you a good solution (it won’t)
  8. That forwards scheduling from the start date will give you a good solution (it won’t)


Written by Rich on December 17, 2012

Big Impact with these new Service Packs

Infor has recently released a slew of service packs for the following VISUAL programs:

  • Infor ERP VISUAL Enterprise 7.0.0

  • Infor VISUAL Enterprise 7.1.0

  • Infor ERP VISUAL Quality 7.0.0

  • Infor ERP VISUAL Human Resources 7.0.0

  • Infor ERP VISUAL HR/Payroll 7.0.0

These particular service packs are significant because they include NEW runtimes.  And as a result, the entire VISUAL 7 application has been recompiled...WOW!

Couple of other things you should know...

  • The new runtimes are incompatible with previous versions of VISUAL.  So if you own more than one of the VISUAL programs listed above - once you apply the service pack to one - you basically need to apply it across them all. 
  • If you're thinking of running the two runtimes simultaneously - you can't - they don't play nice.
  • Be sure to use the new runtimes included in the service packs as they have been modified specifically for VISUAL.
  • All future maintenance updates and fixes will require you to install this service pack

So what does the service pack do for me than cause me grief and aggrevation?

The SendKeys Fix - Hallelujah!!
Some good things my friends...

  • The SendKey issue has been address.  Now I can re-instate my automation macro scripts and properly capture my menus using EPAK.  This alone is worth applying the service pack.
  • Screen flicker reduced.
  • Improved performance accessing the Scheduling Window with remote desktop on Windows 7.
  • Oracle “long data” no longer truncated.
  • Improved BOD performance for PLM integration.






Rich Ferlatte
Results Driven VISUAL Specialist


Of course, I am available for hire!

ERP Implementations & Upgrades
Analytics & Reporting
Integrations & Macros
General VISUAL Support


Taking it to the next level and designing a program around "Hands On VISUAL Training".

Check them out - there's sure to be one to interest you!

Operational Workshops
Reporting Workshops
Financial Workshops
Inventory Workshops
Quality Workshops


BOM Xploder
Drastically improve your BOM visibility and discover shortages at ANY level of your bill of material no matter how deep.
See, analyze, and track information that helps you better support individual, departmental, and your company’s performance metrics and goals.
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.
Inventory App
This Inventory Reconciliation App provides a systematic approach to control and manage your Visual inventory effectively and efficiently
Credit Card Integration
Easily accept and process credit card payments right from within VISUAL.
ACH Document Processing
Leveraging VISUAL's payment scheduling and batch payment functions, with the added convenience, performance, and security of Electronic Funds Transfer payment processing.
Latitude Manifest & Shipping System
A seamless multi-carrier shipping solution that integrates to Infor VISUAL ERP. See how it can simplify your small parcel and LTL shipping and package tracking.
Sales Tax Automation with AvaTax
Easily automate sales and use tax in VISUAL with AvaTax. No more manually entering data or uploading rate tables and tax information.
Workforce Management with Kebrite Solutions
Streamlines the collection of Job, Labor, Payroll, Time & Attendance, and a vast array of HR related data-- with live VISUAL integration.