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VISUAL Did You Know?

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Your company needs a new ERP system. Where do you start?

A Four-Part Series that will take you through the basics of evaluating and selecting the right ERP system for your organization.

Part I: Get Executive Buy-In & Form an ERP Selection Committee

For most successful ERP Implementation Projects, getting off to a good start is key. But, before you even begin thinking about which ERP systems you want to research, you should have executive buy-in. Without it, you are destined for disappointment- you’ll spend a lot of your time and the time of others, while the project goes nowhere. I’ve seen many companies take this route, only to be told ‘NO’ by ownership when it was time to purchase.

Once you have the support of the Executive Team to move forward, you should form an ERP selection committee. In most cases you don’t want to go it alone.  While there are no specific rules you must follow when forming your team, I have outlined some guidelines which you may find useful: 

1.  Your selection committee should include people that represent each department that will be impacted by the ERP system.  These individuals should have a clear understanding of their departmental requirements, along with the ability to communicate those requirements to the rest of the team and to your prospective ERP software vendors.  If you can find individuals who have been through the ERP Selection and Implementation process before, their experience can be very valuable. 
      2.  You will need a leader- somebody has to be responsible to keep the project on track.  Remember, choosing an ERP package is a business decision, not an IT decision- so this person should have an intimate knowledge of your business.  He or she should also have the ability and experience to make decisions, as well as bring about change within your organization. 
      3.  Being on an ERP system selection team requires a significant commitment of time.  If a member can’t commit the time needed for the project, you should select someone else who can.                  
      4.  Executive Buy-in: Can’t stress it enough! Make sure that you have an ERP Selection committee member who has the authority to sign the contract and write the check.  If a final decision-maker doesn’t jump on board with the rest of the team, how are they going to have the knowledge to make the right decision when you ask for their signature?

Check out #4 in the whitepaper ‘How to Start Down the ERP Selection Path’ for more tips on creating an ERP Selection Team.

Check out Parts II through IV of the series: 
Part II: Define Your Business Issues & Set Your Objectives  
Part III: Start Your Vendor Search & Schedule Demos
 Part IV:Check Vendor References, Schedule Final Demos & Make the Decision

Monday, September 15, 2014

Printing Travelers in VISUAL from the manufacturing window

Most organizations that use VISUAL ERP print travelers for distribution to the shop floor. 

They normally do this by opening the Traveler Window
[VISUAL Main Menu\Eng/Mfg\Work Order Travellers] 
and entering the Base ID of the work order that they want to print.

If you only print travelers one at a time as you release jobs, there’s an easier way. 

If you are already working with the work order in the Manufacturing Window, simply go to the file menu and select [File\Print Work Order Traveller Report]

This will open the Traveller Window with the work order info populated 

Hit Print and you are done!

This is a newer feature and only works on Infor VISUAL version 7.0 and above. If you are using one of the 7 series VISUAL ERP releases, look for this option. If not, well that’s just one more reason to upgrade.

This VISUAL Did You Know Tip was brought to you by VISUAL Consultant, Kurt Carr.

Monday, August 25, 2014

5 signs you need a new ERP system

1. Accounting takes too long and is complicated
Often, the first noticeable signs that your company needs a change in software will come from your accounting department. If your accounting team relies on Excel Spreadsheets, paper-based invoices, sales orders and purchase orders—or spend hours every week manually entering the same information into multiple systems—you need to consider how much time is being wasted on tasks that an ERP software can streamline. The same goes for financial reporting.

2. Your current ERP Is ‘vintage’ 
In many companies, older legacy systems have been running operations for over 20 years. Whether it’s custom code, or just an old software package, there might be only one or two people in the company who know the inner-workings of the system. They become quite valuable to the organization, and therein lies the greatest risk. What if the knowledge-holder decides to leave? Think about this…what if tomorrow there was nobody to support your old, out-of-date information systems? If any of these describes your ERP, you should change ERP before you have a major problem. 

3. You notice reporting workarounds 
Watch out for this phenomenon, and don’t be surprised if you find you are already there. If your staff is performing tasks outside the primary system, such as double-data entry, cut and paste reports, or walking between plants or warehouses to record or deliver shop floor information, and you have islands of information, these are all signs that you need to make a change. These manual and redundant workarounds due to system limitations result in major inefficiencies, which are time-consuming and costing your company money.Today’s ERP systems all provide useful and easy to use tools for the reporting you need ongoing or ad hoc. If you are still using 1990 reporting technology, it is time to change ERP. 

4. You cannot fulfill customer requests 
Maybe you could provide the requirement on a daily batch basis but they asked for real-time data. Remember the rule, “The customer is always right”. If you want to keep that all-important customer, this might be the time to look at a change in your ERP.  

5. Your business has advanced 
Many of the older systems do not have the functionality or scalability that exist in today’s modern ERP systems. Your company may be growing naturally or by acquisition, creating a need for a system that supports the changes to your business. These requirements could include but are not limited to; multi-language, multi-site, multi-entity, centralized business functions, bar coded transactions, CRM or mobility. If your current ERP isn’t providing the tools you need to stay competitive today, you might consider looking for something new.

If you are experiencing any of the above signs, and conclude YES, it’s time to make a change- make sure you do your research. There are many systems to choose from, and you want to find the best package that will help your organization to reach its business goals and allow your company to grow. After all, ERP is one of your most important tools your business has, and you know you won’t get the results you want by installing screws with a hammer. 

To learn more about Infor VISUAL, contact BizTech at 800-804-4715 or via email at

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New individual preference settings in Infor VISUAL 7.1.2

Did you know that VISUAL 7.1.2 has nearly 2,000 individual preference settings available in release 7.1.2?

It’s true! While it is recommended that you don’t change these settings without testing and understanding them, you can easily get a list of what is now available. (This is a huge improvement over the ini files that offered no assistance)

To get a list of available preferences:
1.) Admin\Preference Maintenance

2.) Read the warning that is displayed. Please take caution.
-Select any user from the drop down list.
-Click the insert icon
-Click the search icon

3.) You can now see the available settings. If you would like, you can export this list to EXCEL.

4.) As you can see, over 1800 items are exported.

This VISUAL Tip was brought to you by BizTech VISUAL Consultant, Larry Tussing. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Delete multiple line items in Infor VISUAL

Did you know there is an easier way to delete multiple grid lines in VISUAL?
Let's take a look at the Customer Order lines, for instance.  Say you have a bunch of lines that you would like to delete.  You would think that if you highlight them and click the delete button on the toolbar, that it would delete all of the lines. Most of the time, that is not the case. You will find that it will only delete one line.
If you want to delete all the lines at once, hit the DELETE key on your keyboard.  That'll do the trick. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Get better cost accuracy in Infor VISUAL by moving labor hours from work orders to engineering masters

Often, the hours in a company’s Engineering Masters are less accurate than the time being recorded on the work orders.  You can easily move the recorded labor hours from your Work Orders into your Engineering Masters in Infor VISUAL and provide better cost accuracy.
  • Open the Manufacturing Window in VISUAL and the open the Engineering Master you wish to update(You must have an engineering Master open to continue).  From the EDIT menu, select UPDATE HOURS.


  •   A new Window will now display that lists work orders that were created using the engineering master.

  • On the right, select the work order you wish to use to update the engineering master. Hit the calculate button to see the New Setup and New Run.  Hit SAVE to save the updates.

  • You can also use multiple work orders to generate the new hours!  Please see the examples below.

Work Order#1
 Work Order#2

  • Calculating using both work orders

 As you can see, the calculated totals are the average of Work Order#1 and Work Order #2.

  • Your engineering master will now be up to date.  To move these costs into the finished part you need to implode the costs. Open Part Maintenance and enter the part number.  Then MAINTAIN/IMPLODE COSTS

This tip was brought to you by BizTech VISUAL Consultant, Larry Tussing

Monday, May 12, 2014

Useful changes in Infor VISUAL 7.1.2 that you may have overlooked

While Infor VISUAL 7.1.2 has been out for a while now, below are some changes in 7.1.2 that you may have overlooked and find useful.

Printing pack lists for a range of orders – You can now print pack lists for a range of orders, provided that the orders have not yet been shipped.

Contacts – In Contact Maintenance, you can now designate a contact as inactive.

Searching for Material Requirements by Reference # – If you use reference numbers for your material requirements, you can use the new Find Requirement by Reference function to find the material requirements in the work order or master that have the specified reference number.

Copying delivery schedules with the Repeat Line function – When you use the repeat line function to copy an order or requisition line, you now have the option to also copy the delivery schedule. Specify whether or not to copy the delivery schedule in Preferences Maintenance.

This Infor VISUAL tip was brought to you by BizTech VISUAL Consultant, Larry Tussing