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Clients First knows their software, but they are also astute business people, and they really understand manufacturing and distribution in particular.
Jimmy Witcher, COO, Merrick
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Posts Tagged ‘manufacturing’

ERP Software Comparison: Satisfying Current Manufacturing & Distribution Trends with Dynamics NAV & GP

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

NAV vs. GP…Head to Head Shootout!

Innovation in the Manufacturing and Distribution sector due to growing channels, third party logistics, global sourcing and cross-sell capabilities have resulted in ERP Software Comparisonlean practices that differentiate industry leaders from their not-so-successful counterparts.  According to the latest Manufacturing & Distribution industry report released by First Research, trends such as More Automation, Less Labor; More Services Required; Increases in Labor Productivity and Electronically Equipped are each directly correlated to new ERP technology.  In short, this means that Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) looking to gain a competitive advantage in the Manufacturing/Distribution industry will need to engage in an ERP software comparison and research to seek out the best system for their business.

We’ll take a closer look at how each of these industry trends are satisfied by a leading ERP software provider-and by comparing Microsoft Dynamics ERP with the NAV and GP solutions specifically designed for SMBs.

More Automation Less Labor

According to the industry report, “Productivity has steadily increased in manufacturing because of the increasing use of machines and, especially, computers.” Although much of this automation can be attributed to innovations in heavy machinery, ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP play a role in maintaining this equipment.  In order to maintain automation, cut costs and the time spent on labor repairing these parts, companies will undergo an in depth ERP software comparison to determine which system can best schedule routine preventive maintenance to fit their unique manufacturing and distribution operations.

More Services Required

The increasing use of computers in the Manufacturing and Distribution field has given way to many companies having their own IT departments in order to service their IT problems.  This is where solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP, in comparison to other customizable ERP software systems, have an advantage.  With the extensive resources Microsoft offers, in addition to training and services provided by your local Microsoft Gold ERP Partner, NAV and GP deliver an adaptable solution that’s easy to maintain.

Increases in Labor Productivity

According to the industry report, “sophisticated computer systems” are to blame when it comes to labor productivity.  This is no surprise when undergoing an ERP software comparison between solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP.  Both NAV and GP provide companies with the ability to customize dashboards which give users access to real-time information at the click of a button-ultimately cutting down on the time it takes to navigate confusing systems.

Electronically Equipped

This is probably one of the most important trends in Manufacturing and Distribution that both Microsoft Dynamics NAV and GP facilitate.  According to the industry report, companies now have computer systems that control “the identification and throughput of individual items.”  When comparing the inherent functionality in both NAV and GP ERP systems, companies can easily barcode and keep track of skus.  This item information ties back to purchase orders, procurement, fulfillment and accounting-streamlining distribution business processes for you.

Finding the Best Fit for your Company

Accurate and informational ERP software comparisons can be difficult to come across-especially with the overwhelming amounts of information available.  It can also be difficult to determine which systems satisfy current Manufacturing and Distribution trends-as well as their ability to fulfill small and mid-size business models.

The best way to compare the tools and functionality of each system is to either compile research on your own, or attend an ERP Shootout webinar that will demo each solution separately and conclude with a high level overview of differences.

The advantage of attending these shootout webinars is that 1.) you won’t have to complete research on your own, and 2.) you have the opportunity to ask questions about each system.

Watch the recording from our ERP Shootout webinar showcasing Microsoft Dynamics NAV vs. GP to get an idea of which system is right for your business.

Also, keep checking our webinar portal for updates and other upcoming ERP shootouts.

NAV vs GP ERP Shootout

JobOps for MAS90, MAS200 Sage ERP 100 release 4.4 R4 Coming

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Below just came in from JobOps.  JobOps is our integrated solution for manufacturing in a Sage MAS 90, Sage MAS 200 and Sage ERP 100 environment focusing heavily on Make to Order manufacturing.

JobOps 4.4 R4 release information – early to mid-May, 2012

We have re-written the Crystal File Generation utility to the new Sage Business Object format.  The old Crystal File Generation utility will still be available for a few releases, giving you time to upgrade your reports.  This will probably be removed in version 5.0.  Three big benefits of the Crystal File generation re-write are:

1. Allows the inclusion of Work Ticket UDF’s

2. Report specific Crystal File Generation

3. Total of 2 files rather than 13

There is a more detailed overview within the main page of the Partner Portal.

Work Ticket Printing has also been re-written into the business object and therefore, any custom Work Ticket Forms created in prior versions must be rewritten before going live with JobOps 4.4 R4.  The following Warning has been included as part of the install for 4.4 R4 as an additional reminder:


These changes are important as Job Ops moves forward into the Business Framework and helps in providing for a more customizable solution.

Currently there are still no release dates for a version that is compatible with Sage 100 Premium 4.5 (The new name for MAS 200 SQL).

Epicor 9, A real world case study of benefits that was NOT done by the publisher.

Friday, March 30th, 2012

imageWe all know that ERP software publishers do case studies.  They are proud of their accomplishments and want to highlight them.  These case studies are of course good for potential sales as well.

But let’s face it, when a vendor touts its’ own successes, it holds much less credibility than a case study done by an industry specific trade magazine that has no financial incentive whatsoever to do the study other than to talk about tools and techniques to improve business efficiency in their covered industry.

That’s why I found this Valentine’s day 2011 article in Modern Machine Shop so interesting.  It talks about reality.  How this example company, Bley, LLC bought into the sales vision of ERP but in the end only implemented it at a basic level.  The article doesn’t get into finger pointing as to whether it was the implementers fault, the clients fault etc.  Experience tells me it’s usually both.

But the article talks about a new hire, Krishna Rajagopal, who came in, saw the relatively low use of a very powerful solution, and then went in, phase by phase and took advantage of the substantial technical capabilities that differentiate Epicor 9 from most other competitive solutions.

The main differentiator is Service Connect.  This allowed Mr. Rajagopal to built ‘lights out and hands free’ integrations between cad/cam control software, vendors, customers etc, to greatly eliminate a lot of Excel and manual processes to increase efficiency.

He also implemented the Advanced Quality Management module so that DMR and other quality monitoring functions that is required by ISO 9001, and really any business interested in repeat customers.

Is there anything that makes you madder as a consumer to open an expensive product you purchased that shows no signs of shipping damage and it’s DOA?  Talk about instant alienation of your brand.

Read the full article here on Manufacturing Efficiency by a real world company on Epicor 9 ERP.

10 Reasons to Upgrade to Epicor’s Latest Enterprise Software

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Epicor 9 – Ten reasons to purchase or upgrade to


    As your organization continues to grow, you need a business architecture
    that allows you to take advantage of modern technology developments.
    Epicor ICE (Internet Component Environment), the underlying technology
    framework for Epicor, merges the flexibility of a true service-oriented
    architecture (Epicor True SOA™
    ) with Web 2.0 concepts to not only meet
    business requirements today, but offer the flexibility to adapt to
    future opportunities.


    Enabling continuous performance improvement within your business means
    empowering your employees to be more productive. Epicor True SOA™
    features the Epicor Everywhere™
    Framework, a unique technology that
    allows you to extend your current applications to Microsoft®
    Windows®, Web browsers and mobile devices. By extending Epicor to familiar and
    convenient productivity tools and leveraging Web 2.0 concepts, such as
    enterprise search, presence, and real-time communication, ICE enhances the
    user experience and productivity.


    Lean manufacturing and total quality initiatives are critical to continued
    success in a highly competitive market. Epicor’s next-generation solutions
    are well positioned to support just that with business process management
    (BPM), a solution that lets you create and model your business processes
    within your Epicor business application. The system can put records on hold,
    automate notification, invoke custom code, and require additional data
    entry (such as a password for electronic signature) based on your unique
    business rules. Additionally, product data management capabilities include
    document vaulting in Microsoft Office®
    SharePoint® for rapid retrieval and collaboration.


    End-to-end management of goods from sales order to shipment requires
    streamlined processes both internally and with suppliers. Maximizing
    effectiveness of your supplier network requires utilization of new tools such
    as Service Connect, a business orchestration and integration tool that
    enables faster and more efficient application-to-application and business-tobusiness connectivity. Enhanced solutions for efficiently managing internal
    supply chains coupled with tightly controlling inventory resources and
    orchestration of these resources, maximizes the effectiveness of your
    supplier network while controlling costs.


    Epicor ICE 2.0 builds upon an already extensive set of integrated tools for
    enhancing and extending Epicor. Applications and business processes can
    easily be tailored to meet your organization’s specific needs and everchanging business requirements. User interfaces can be modified to specific
    roles, workflow and preferences, significantly improving the end user
    experience. ICE provides the ability to meet the unique needs of your
    organization and individual employees.


    You need analysis tools that logically and dynamically align with your core
    enterprise applications and your users. Epicor Enterprise Performance
    Management (EPM) places a heavy emphasis on the active use of the
    right information at the right time for the right people. It proactively
    guides and readjusts the course of your business rather than just passively
    measuring its progress or reserving business intelligence tools for a
    chosen few.


    Epicor next-generation enterprise applications feature a unique
    “configurable engine” approach, which makes it easier to adopt the legal
    and legislative requirements of the world’s economies and the
    international standards including IAS, IFRS, and GAAP. Epicor created a
    truly configurable ERP platform that can be tuned for small, medium and
    large businesses, different industries, local firms or multinational
    conglomerates without the need for complex source code changes. Epicor
    makes business anywhere a reality.


    Epicor provides a consistent, repeatable single solution approach that
    integrates your corporate headquarters with divisions and operating
    locations. Epicor enables the local, regional, or centralized deployment of
    master data and standard processes within a consistent, pervasive security
    framework. This ensures that operational information produced locally,
    cascades upwards into a single consolidated view of global activities that
    accurately reflects your organization’s performance.


    Epicor understands that many businesses, manufacturing in particular,
    have diversified the industries they serve in an attempt to strengthen
    business performance and reduce risk in uncertain times. As a result,
    deploying solutions that fit cross industry requirements and stay current in
    the changing environment of business is critical. Recent updates for Epicor
    solutions follow this theme and particularly strengthen functionality in key
    areas for some of our customers’ industries.


    A complete end-to-end resource based on more than a dozen modular
    business suites, Epicor places significant emphasis on embedded
    capabilities, like customer and supplier relationship management,
    advanced planning and scheduling, business process management, field
    service management and product configuration all available as system
    wide processes. Through a unique combination of sophisticated global
    business management, distributed deployment and master data
    management facilities, you can truly virtualize your enterprise.

Epicor ERP 9 and ERP 10 Demonstration and Training Video site goes live

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Epicor 10 Demo Video and Training Site

Epicor 9 and 10 Free Demonstration and Training Videos are now available

Clients First Business Solutions is proud to announce our new site: and linked site  This new site contains numerous professional recorded and edited videos for your consumption.  All that is required is a simple registration form to be filled out and approved.  There is no cost and all of your information will be kept confidential and will not be sold to any third party.