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VISUAL Did You Know?

If you have any questions about Infor VISUAL, contact us at 800.804.4715 or via email at info@gobiztech.com. We would be happy to help you!

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Are you looking for an ERP software? Subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter about ERP selection & implementation. Subscribe to the BizTech intERPreter.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Infor VISUAL Tip | How to sort a search window by a specific column

If you want to sort a search window in VISUAL, you can use the VMBrowse.ini file to help you do so.  

In this example, we are sorting by DATE.

In the VMBrowse.ini file, you can change the SORT= row to the TABLE.FIELD you want it to sort by.

In this example (see screenshot below) it was changed from the CUSTOMER_ORDER.ID field to the ORDER_DATE field.

If you make the ORDER=0, the most recent orders will always be on top



This tip was brought to you by BizTech VISUAL Consultant, Paul Turnberg.

Friday, June 5, 2015

7 Tips for Choosing your ERP Implementation Project Lead

Qualities to look for when selecting the right person to manage your ERP implementation

In the next five years, 47 percent of organizations said they would be migrating their ERP implementations to the cloud...That’s a lot of ERP migrations.

Even if the cloud fulfills its promise of making ERP systems and their implementations easier to use, there’s still plenty of scope for headaches. ERP systems are complex beasts, and they must be deeply embedded in the business processes and systems that businesses use. Any migration, even to the cloud, is a substantial undertaking with plenty of room for project creep, cost overruns, system incompatibilities and adoption issues.

Second only to choosing the right ERP system, selecting the right person to manage the project is the single most important factor in overall implementation success.


Here are seven qualities to look for when selecting the right person to manager your ERP implementation.

1. Excellent multitasking and coordination skills

ERP implementations are loaded with “things to do,” many of which must be completed in a particular sequence. Central to managing an ERP implementation is solid project management and coordination skills, and the ability to juggle many variables at once. “Effective project management includes an ability to define a path to a successful outcome using an established methodology, and then micro-managing that project to ensure that it follows that path as closely as possible,” advises Gross. “This person has to be able to track, manage, and prioritize risk, and sometime make difficult recommendations to extend a project on account of unacceptable risk levels.”

View the next six qualities to look for on IT Toolbox's blog

Friday, May 29, 2015

The BizTech Team shows off their 'vintage' technology


Are you holding on to any outdated technology?  At the rate that new tech comes out these days, you probably are. 

...We are too. 

The BizTech Team scrounged through their junk drawers, computer desks, garages and offices to show you just how much some technology has changed throughout the years.
 

BizTech's President, Michael Brown, with three pieces of 'vintage' tech.  

On the far right is a 1st generation Microsoft Zune from 2008.  He has the charging cable, and the device still works!  The Zune was Microsoft's failed attempt to compete with the iPod. 

The middle piece of tech is an HP Pocket PC from 2003.  It still works, and has a 256MB SD card...probably very expensive back then!

On the left is the QualComm QCP-860.  This phone was purchased through AirTouch Wireless (which later became Verizon Wireless) in 1999.  This phone is significant because in the Summer of 1999, Michael received a call from what would be BizTech's first customer!  A couple of weeks later, Michael completed BizTech's first VISUAL Upgrade project.


 
This 5.25" floppy disk is likely from the early 1980's.  This disk has, at most, 1.2MB of storage space. 


Here is an array of 3.5" floppy disks and an old Motorola flip phone. 3.5 floppy disks were developed in the mid 1980s and were smaller, more rigid and had more capacity than a 5.25" floppy.  A high density 3.5 floppy could hold 1.44MB of data.  These discs were used for storage well into the 2000s, and are still used- but mostly for legacy industrial computer equipment.
 
                        
This is a Zip Drive. The Zip Drive was developed in 1994 and was an alternative to the low capacity 3.5" floppy disks that never really caught on. This particular drive has a 100MB capacity, but some had as much as 750MB. Once rewritable CDs, DVDS and flash drives were developed, the Zip Drive went to the technology graveyard. 
  
Above is a 1GB flash drive that was purchased for $50 sometime in the mid-2000s.  Nowadays, you can get an 8GB one for only $4!

 
A Blackberry Pearl 8100 smartphone.  This was released in 2006.  It features a 1.3MP camera!

 This is a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Brougham.  This was the second year after GM introduced the OBD-1 (on-board diagnostics), a computer-controlled engine management and emission control system. 


Above is 10 feet of rainbow data ribbon cable.  It is likely 20-25 years old. On top of the ribbon is a coax splitter with line fitters and a platter from a failed IDE hard drive.  Under the ribbon is an old laptop hard drive.


Above is a pager, aka a beeper, used in the 1990s. Pagers were widely used from the 1970s-1990s, but are now mostly used amongst medical professionals, as they can be used even in a cell carrier outage.

This is the original Motorola Droid of 2009. It has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5MP camera, AND a touch screen. This was the first smartphone with Android 2.0.

 Above you can see the Dell Dimension 2400 computer.  Complete with a Pentium 4 processor, Windows XP and a 3.5 disk drive.  This was purchased in 2004, and is still used from time-to-time.

This is the Brother IntelliFAX 1270.  This was manufactured from1996-1999, and was Year 2000 (Y2K) Compliant! 

 
The two photos above are of a Gateway Solo laptop from 1999.  This was the first industry-standard Pentium-based notebook. It still boots up!


This is a 4th generation iPod from 2004.  It has 20GB of space and still works.  It is quite heavy and a half-inch thick!

Above is an array of old Blackberry and slide-out QWERTY keyboard mobile phones.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1991 as a 16-bit gaming console.  This particular Super NES still works perfectly, and the owner has around 20 games.

Finally, the above photos show Windows 3.1.1 running on a virtual machine. Windows 3.1.1 was the first widely used version of Microsoft Windows. sold from 1993 until 1995, when Windows 95 was released. During its lifespan, Windows 3.1 introduced several enhancements to teh MS-DOS based platform, including improved system stability, expanded support for multimedia, TrueType fonts and workgroup networking. Check out Netscape's AOL Instant Messenger!

Do you have any old tech to share?  Go to our Facebook Page and share it to our post!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Adding AP Invoices to Work Orders in Infor VISUAL

Did you know about the rarely known Fifth Cost Bucket?

We all know that Work Orders collect Material, Labor, Burden and Service Costs...
But there is one more cost category that may apply-  AP Invoices.

Why??

For items such as:
  • Employee or subcontractor travel expenses to go to a customer site and setup or maintain a product. 
  • Any other expense item that does not exactly fit the standard cost categories.

 From AP Invoice Entry, Link to Work Order:



That expense will show as a new cost line from the Manufacturing Window, Info Costs
 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Get more accurate scheduling calculations and better estimated costs for future jobs in Infor VISUAL

Did you know that you can get more accurate scheduling calculations and better estimated costs for future jobs in Infor VISUAL by moving labor hours from your Work Orders into your Engineering Masters?

Often times, 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 calculated labor hours from your Work Orders into you Engineering Masters. This can provide more accurate scheduling calculations and better estimated costs for future jobs. 


1. Open the Manufacturing Window in Infor VISUAL and open the Engineering Master you wish to update (you must have an engineering Master open to continue).    

2. Now, from the EDIT menu, select UPDATE HOURS.



3. A new window will now display the list's Work Orders that were created using the Engineering Master. Select one or more Work Orders that you wish to use to update the Engineering Master.

4. Hit the CALCULATE button to see the New Setup Hours and New Run Hours.  
Review and click SAVE.




5. Your Engineering Master will now be up-to-date. To move these costs into the finished part, you need to Implode the costs from Part Maintenance. 




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Your company needs an 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 IV: Check Vendor References, Schedule Final Demos & Make the Decision

After paring down your Top ERP Vendor list, make sure to get vendor references with full contact information.  If the Vendor is reluctant to provide references, demand them. If they still hesitate, suspend activity with that vendor until they provide references. Many vendors try to control the reference calls, but you should make the calls at your discretion, on your timetable and without the participation of the vendor. 

Talking to references early in the process is very beneficial. It gives you the opportunity to have a better understanding of the software, but more importantly, it gives you perspective on what you can expect after you make your decision.  You’ll likely hear positives and negatives about the software and the vendor- just remember, there are always three sides to every story.

The following are some typical questions that you may want to ask:
  • Ask the reference to describe their business and the industries that they serve.  
  • Explain the top three to five goals you are looking to achieve.
  • Ask the reference what goals they had prior to implementing goals? Were these goals achieved? If not, why? 
  • What are the greatest benefits the reference saw after the software was implemented? 
  • Were there any surprises? 
  • How was the vendor communication after the sale? 
  • How was the implementation support? Was the cost and time frame in line with what was discussed and quoted? 
  • If the reference had to do it again, would the company choose the same ERP     software, same vendor, and same implementation team?
After checking with references, schedule your final software demos.  Take advantage of this time to ask any questions that have arisen during the process.  Once again, make sure all members of the selection team view the demo, and be sure to evaluate how the solutions handles your business goals within 24 hours of each demo.
 
Now, to the final steps. You should never choose the solution on price alone.  If you allow price to enter your decision-making process, it usually becomes the center of attention and all the work you have done to carefully evaluate the solutions is goes by the wayside.  You have all the information you need, and should make a decision based on which solution you feel would work best in your company.   

During this entire process, the focus has been on your business needs, and how the proposed solutions will address those needs. You have also observed how attentive the vendors are to your needs, and how well you feel they understand your business, along with how successfully you feel they will be in assisting you in your implementation.  In addition, you gathered information from other customers when you conducted your reference interviews, and you discussed any troubling comments you heard with your vendors.  You don’t need any other information, so it’s time to make a decision. 
 
When you have decided on the ERP software & vendor that you prefer, make sure to let them know that your ERP selection committee prefers their solution, and give them specifics on what they need to do to earn your business.  At this point, you and the vendor should be able to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement.  If it meets your satisfaction, sign the agreements and get the implementation process started. 

Now that you’ve received tips on how to select an ERP system- you need tips on choosing an Implementation Partner. Be sure to check out the case study, ‘Choosing the Right Implementation Partner: 5 Critical Steps to a Successful ERP Software Implementation


Did you miss Parts I through III of the series?  
View Part I: Get Executive Buy-In & Form an ERP Selection Committee
View Part II: Define Your Business Issues & Set Your Objectives 

View Part III: Start Your Vendor Search & Schedule Demos

Friday, March 13, 2015

Infor VISUAL Virtual Town Hall Meeting - March 31, 2015

The next release of Infor VISUAL, version 8, continues to harness the Infor 10x technology stack and places key decision-making information at your fingertips in an easy-to-understand, “visual” format. 
Join us for this interactive meeting where Richard Lagoy, Director of Product Management, and Frank Maglio, Director of Development, will provide a live, detailed look at the new features and functionality of Infor VISUAL 8, including innovative new capabilities in the area of data views and analytics, enhanced SoHo navigation, mobile automation, and solution integration.
Topics will include VISUAL Splash screen URL links, VISUAL Analytics, VISUAL Views, enhanced navigation, enhanced document lifecycle, VISUAL AutoRun, APIs, Activities and Alerts, user-sponsored enhancements, and much more. In addition, see what exciting new enhancements are currently on the drawing board for future version 8 release updates. 

Don’t miss your chance to see how this new release will continue to help your company increase productivity and drive quality into every aspect of your manufacturing operation. We look forward to spending some quality time with you!
  • Where: Online Webinar
  • When: Tuesday March 31
  • Time: 11am-12pm ET