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Infor ERP Tips & News from the Experts

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Beyond the Four Walls—Achieving Upstream and Downstream Inventory Visibility

Infor LX | BPCS | Infor LN | Baan | Infor M3

Crossroads RMC 0 13855 Article rating: 5.0

When an enterprise has many suppliers, dealers/distributors, and customers spread out across the globe, it becomes important that it gains better visibility into inventory outside of its direct ownership and control, on both the supply and demand side. On the supply side, the company has outstanding POs and needs reliable estimates of when those will ship, as well as early indications whenever there will be delays in shipment. Once shipped, updates on the estimated time of arrival (ETA) are important, particularly when there are delays.

This external visibility is even more important during times of disruption. Early visibility into disruptions in supply or rapid changes in demand is key to providing the intelligence to drive agility. By responding earlier, faster, and with more accurate intelligence, a company has more options, makes smarter decisions, and avoids catastrophes.

How do you get that visibility? Here are some options…

OTTO - On-Time Ordering: Q&A with an MIS Manager from a metal fabrication manufacturer

George Moroses 0 429 Article rating: 5.0

OTTO  A Q&A with an MIS Manager from a metal fabrication manufacturer:

1. How difficult was it to initially install OTTO?

"We loaded OTTO on our AS/400 on a Friday morning and demonstrated OTTO's capabilities with our own data that afternoon. That really impressed me from an IS perspective because it was so easy to load and run."

2. Would you install it on a test system or on the production system?

"We installed on the production system in order to use live data. OTTO resides outside of the ERP system and builds its own databases so it is not detrimental to any other system."

3. How difficult was it to implement OTTO, was there a negative impact on daily operations?

"Some reports were being used on the first day of the evaluation. There was only positive impact on our operation. For example, shortages in our final assembly area were eliminated within 30 days of the demonstration."


"I was greatly surprised OTTO fit so well with our operation. OTTO has worked well in our company (we substantially increased on time shipments at the same time our business was seeing a 3 fold increase), but each company has to judge for themselves how well OTTO fits in with their organization."

Contact us to learn how OTTO can help your company!

On Time Orders: OTTO - The Right Tools!

George Moroses 0 18862 Article rating: 5.0

Your business doesn’t run without the right people and processes in place, but in order for people to manage the right things at the right time, they need tools... the RIGHT tools

OTTO helps manufacturing plants consistently meet customer commitments, allowing supervisors and managers to spend more time analyzing, making decisions, communicating, and coordinating. We can prove that OTTO is the right tool for the job.

Give it a test drive for 30 days at no charge and see immediate results.

Contact George Moroses today to learn more.

What problem is OTTO addressing?

George Moroses 0 14772 Article rating: 5.0

Most manufacturers are being pressured to reduce delivery lead-times and rely on their planning systems to meet their commitments. This works very well if everything happens as planned. But planning by itself doesn’t make things happen, people and processes make things happen. This acceleration is putting tremendous pressure on key users like planners, schedulers, buyers and production supervisors. Not only are they struggling to meet daily commitments and relying on “brute force” solutions to get the job done but they can actually become unrecognized production constraints. Planning is more important than ever but is no longer sufficient to meet current challenges because the real challenge in meeting commitments isn't planning but in making plans happen.

This is where OTTO comes in - Learn More>

OTTO Q&A from the Director of Planning & Technology at Champion Industries

George Moroses 0 14805 Article rating: 5.0

1.  How difficult is it to initially install OTTO?

Dead easy is the straight answer. We relied on you to install, and you installed in the predicted 1 hour.  

2.  Would you install it on a test system or on the production system?

Production system is another easy answer. I use OTTO as the ideal prototype when talking to business contacts about “add-on” products. It is non-invasive; it only reads data from our ERP files. I know the implementation is 100% safe because no ERP files are ever updated (read corrupted) by OTTO.

3.  How difficult was it to implement OTTO? Was there a negative impact on daily operations?

There is a learning curve involved in using any new tool that has value to add. OTTO implementation is very low on the impact scale, but I would strongly recommend that a prospective client plan on investing in education and practice. OTTO implementation is low impact. No valuable tool is “no impact”.

Click here to learn more about OTTO

OTTO: Making plans happen isn’t just about monitoring material shortages

George Moroses 0 13523 Article rating: 5.0

Making plans happen isn’t just about monitoring material shortages. Supporting activities can be the real cause of delays. Some non-material events customers have monitored using OTTO include:

  • Scheduling and coordination of outside services (such as heat treating and plating)
  • Quality Assurance for pharmaceuticals and inspection
  • Moving off-site inventory to the plant
  • Moving inventory from temporary (conveyor) location to pickable location
  • Scheduling of overseas containers
  • Design engineering for make-to-order

OTTO provides the ability to proactively manage the entire customer order backlog from top to bottom. It begins monitoring orders as soon as they’re booked and identifies and prioritizes those critical events that must happen every day so they can be managed and get orders produced and shipped on time.

Visit Our OTTO page to learn more.

Amerequip Goes Live With OTTO On-Time Orders

Anthony Etzel 0 18646 Article rating: 5.0

Crossroads RMC welcomes Amerequip as our newest client after successfully going live with OTTO, On-Time Orders.

Amerequip, with corporate headquarters in Kiel, Wisconsin, is a leading designer and manufacturer of accessories and attachments for the construction, utility, and industrial equipment, lawn and turf-care equipment, and related products sold in global markets served by their OEM partner customers.

Amerequip’s objective was to improve on time customer order shipments, reduce expediting, and cut down on the time their knowledge workers were spending digging for information. After carefully conducting their due diligence they chose OTTO to address these challenges.

OTTO helps manufacturing plants consistently meet customer commitments by performing predictive analysis to help prevent surprises and allow for early detection and resolution of potential issues. OTTO improves effectiveness of knowledge workers by reducing “data mining” required to answer customer order status questions, and improves the flow of material through the plant, as a result, reduce shortages and improve on-time customer order shipments. OTTO previously won the prestigious APICS Innovation Award of Excellence”.

We are proud to have Amerequip as our client and look forward to being a strategic partner and support their company growth and success.

How to Improve Customer Shipments With OTTO - A Case Study

Anthony Etzel 0 14533 Article rating: 5.0

Setting Industry Service Standards

Shenandoah Manufacturing, a $20 million producer of poultry-raising equipment (heaters and brooders), had been having difficulty for some time shipping orders to customers in a timely manner. They had successfully implemented a popular ERP system and had been using it for more than 3 years, yet the situation didn't improve.

Customer Service Representatives were complaining about the frequent backorders and late orders. Employees were giving it their best effort, but were frustrated, and customers were threatening to take their business elsewhere.

The company considered installing an APS system as a possible solution, but found implementation would be difficult, expensive, and running the system might be a challenging task as a number of key business practices would have to be changed. A consultant familiar with OTTO suggested they look at that product as an alternative to APS. Several OTTO aspects cited by the consultant convinced them to consider a cursorily review. Specifically:

  • The non-intrusive nature of the product.
  • It's relative inexpensive initial investment.
  • The low overall total cost of ownership.
  • The integration with their ERP system.

The initial demonstration was impressive. OTTO was installed on Shenandoah's server within 45 minutes of arrival and, most impressively, it was fully functional with their real "live" data immediately. Needless to say, the demo was well received. Even more importantly Shenandoah was able to "test drive" the software to prove its applicability before making any dollar commitments.

According to Mark Shank, Information Systems Manager, some baseline measurements were made last year, and it was determined that approximately 50% of their customer orders had shipped on time. As they began using OTTO, on-time order performance rose to 90% for the month. And Shenandoah caught up on its entire backlog and started working ahead on February's orders. In February on-time shipment performance jumped to 92% and subsequently on-time performance has ranged somewhere between 98.3% and 99.5% — well above the 96% goal set by Management.

OTTO provides the means for keeping the whole production organization focused on the few things that have to happen as the ship date approaches to get each order shipped on time. Components that have the potential for delaying an order are identified so they can be managed. Shenandoah's staff, a precious and limited resource, now concentrates on analyzing information and managing the right things at the right time rather than digging out date. To quote one production control individual: "what use to take hours now takes seconds."

According to Roy Hackett, Plant Manager: "Knowing the right things to pay attention to at the right time"


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Tips:  LX | BPCS | M3

The cycle counting sub-system in Inventory Management determines which items are selected for cycle counting based on the following criteria:

  1. Cycle Counts/Year: The system calculates the cycle count frequency for each item using the "Cycle Counts/Year" field in the Item Master file (optional).

  2. Last Cycle Count Date: If you use locations, this date is found in the Location Inventory file (ILI), and if you don't, it's in the Warehouse Inventory file (IWI).

The system adds the calculated cycle count frequency to the last...

WebTop release 4.8 is NOW AVAILABLE for Infor LX versions 8.3.5 and 8.4.x.

WebTop is a web interface based on green screen code automatically generated using a tool called 'WebTop Studio'. The process of generating the web interface is referred to as "Weblication".

Infor is focused on modernizing and web-enabling Infor LX and this release provides significant improvements to the web-based user experience.
Key features:

  • Grid decorators for advanced customization

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Tips: LN | Baan

When deciding what items should be MPS (Master Production Schedule) planned and what items should be MRP (Material Requirements Planning) planned, it's crucial to understand the nature of the items and their demand sources. Here's a breakdown:

  • Master Scheduled Items:

    • Master Scheduled Items are typically finished goods or service items.
    • These items receive their requirements from both Independent and Dependent demand sources.
  • Independent Demand:...

Invoicing Methods are a set of parameters that define the types of orders and order lines that can be collected on an invoice, the type of invoice to be generated and the costs to be aggregated on Project invoices and Service invoices.

If options to combine tax codes, departments, sales representatives' line of business area...


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