Visibility Blog

Key Challenges for Project-Based ETO Manufacturers

Posted by John Nugent on May 16, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Many Engineer-to-Order (ETO) manufacturers operate their business on a project basis managing and delivering activities outside the normal product costing models. There are typically a handful of projects in process at any one time, yet they can be sizable and often last a year or longer. Unable to carry the financing on these projects, these manufacturers employ progress billing to maintain cash flow.

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Topics: ERP, Project Accounting

What ERP and Parenthood Have in Common: Inventory Control

Posted by Katie Foley on May 11, 2018 3:30:00 PM

I entered the wonderful world of parenthood almost one year ago in June 2017. While on the face parenthood and ERP seem to have nothing in common, after some sleep deprived nights you can start to see some similarities! There are many ERP modules that could simplify my day-to-day life as a new mom so I thought I would start a series of blogs on the various modules as they relate to parenthood. First up, inventory control…

Diapers- check! Wipes- check! Formula- oh no, we’re out of formula! No parent wants to be doing the midnight drive around town to search for that one type of formula that agrees with your baby’s tummy and taste buds.  With the inventory control module, I could keep track of my inventory and associated costs. I could set reminders to order items when they reach a certain level. This would ensure that I have all of the necessary baby supplies in stock and that I am ordering them at the best prices at all times.

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Topics: Manufacturing

The REIMAGINED User Experience

Posted by Scott Cranford on May 8, 2018 3:00:00 PM

At the beginning of the annual Visibility Customer Conference, Visibility 2018 was launched and announced as being available for general release. This is the most significant update and upgrade to Visibility's flagship ERP solution in the history of the company. At the center of Visibility 2018 is a completely redesigned and reimagined user experience; a user interface that offers a truly intuitive and productive experience. 

The center of the Visibility 2018 universe is the Visibility Portal. Users can now create their own unified workspace to include Visibility 2018 applications, links, favorites, workflow messages, activities and a news feed. Visibility 2018 is entirely mobile device friendly and runs on any device, any browser, from anywhere. Available as either a Cloud or on premise deployment, Visibility 2018 empowers the end user with improved user experience tools:

  • Global Search. Navigating through a traditional menu is no longer necessary with the Global Application Search. Type or say part of what you are looking for and that application is presented to the user. 
  • Multi-Tab. Like all contemporary web applications, each Visibility 2018 application window opens in a new tab, further improving user productivity. Visibility 2018 takes full advantage of the significant screen real estate offered with modern, multiple displays. 

 

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Topics: Technology, ERP

VISIBILITY TWO STEPS INTO NASHVILLE

Posted by John Nugent on May 4, 2018 3:00:00 PM

Last week we held our annual Visibility Customer Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Not only was it one of the most fun filled and memorable conferences we've had, but we are pleased to say that this was one of our largest attendances in years. 

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Topics: Customers, Community, Company, ERP

Business Process Automation

Posted by John Nugent on May 1, 2018 3:32:47 PM

Business Process Automation is the practice of analyzing, documenting, optimizing and automating business processes. The business process is the flow of information, modified by value-added tasks, that begins with the first contact with a prospective client and continues through delivery of a finished product. Well-developed business processes can create a seamless link from initial client interface through the supply chain. Automation of those processes improves the accuracy of the information transferred and ensures the repeatability of the value-added tasks performed.

The decision to invest in Business Process Automation is significant and often part of a project-based manufacturer's lean initiative. Engineer-to-order companies must consider the value of significantly reducing bidding, engineering and manufacturing cycle times, reducing product rework, and improving customer service and internal communication. There is additional value to the clients of engineer-to-order manufacturers when their product is designed precisely to meet customer requirements and is achieved with high quality and delivered on time and within budget.

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Topics: Manufacturing

What does an ERP System Return on Investment (ROI) look like? - Business Intelligence Example

Posted by John Nugent on Apr 13, 2018 3:25:47 PM

Company’s Challenges Before Implementing Business Intelligence

 A $30 million manufacturing enterprise customer providing systems and components to the telecommunications industry was struggling with analyzing its own effectiveness as a business.  The Company, through the implementation of key performance indicators (KPI’s), wanted to be able to measure its cash management and margins in two product areas.  Specifically, the Company was interested in low-volume and engineering-intensive project orders and high-volume, repetitive sales. The Company faced numerous challenges:

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Topics: Business Intelligence

ERP Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance 

Posted by John Nugent on Mar 29, 2018 9:56:00 AM

Many manufacturers are public companies, and even more manufacturers are private companies that may one day be acquired by a public company. For some mid-market manufacturers in particular, the ultimate goal may be acquisition by a larger public company.  All of these companies should be aware of and mindful of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and ensure that their ERP software solution includes built in tools to ensure compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley.  In fact, all manufacturers should consider implementing procedures to ensure their compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley in order to meet industry standards regarding best practices.

Individual business processes including management controls are subject to a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance audit. When it comes to Sarbanes-Oxley, ERP software is a tool which, when effectively combined with appropriate procedures specific to an organization, can deliver the necessary management controls to pass Sarbanes-Oxley muster.

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Topics: Manufacturing, ERP

Cloud or On Premise ERP

Posted by Scott Cranford on Mar 23, 2018 10:49:06 AM

To deploy a cloud based ERP solution or a more traditional on premise ERP solution? Why not do both? Well, at least have the alternative to choose one or the other, right?

Let’s take a look at some of the factors in deciding on how to decide on cloud or on premise ERP. 

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Topics: Technology, ERP

Finding the Pot of Gold at the End of the ERP Implementation 

Posted by Katie Foley on Mar 9, 2018 11:30:00 AM

This weekend many of us will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is held on March 17th each year to commemorate the death date of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day has become a day to celebrate Irish culture by wearing green, listening to Irish music, eating corned beef and cabbage and of course drinking beer. ERP implementations and St. Patrick's Day have more in common than you might think! 

Leprechauns, the creatures of Irish mythology, are often associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Of all the leprechaun myths, the story of leprechauns burying a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is perhaps the most famous. So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, how can we find that “pot of gold” at the end of the ERP implementation?

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Topics: ERP

ERP Notification and Approval System: A.K.A. Workflow

Posted by John Nugent on Mar 7, 2018 3:05:00 PM

One struggle facing any business is how to maximize efficiency in transactions involving multiple employees. After all, most businesses aren’t one person shops. Often times, approvals are needed at various levels in the organization in order for a transaction to take place.

In the manufacturing context, purchaser Paul may need supervisor Sally’s approval for the purchasing of parts exceeding a certain dollar amount. The problem is that the Sally may be busy on the shop floor, in a meeting, or on vacation in Cabo. The customer isn’t going to be happy if they don’t receive their order on time because Sally was on the beach enjoying a piña colada and an expensive part didn’t get ordered because she didn’t approve it.

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Topics: ERP

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