The Blog

Abel Software and Abel Solutions Merge to Strengthen ERP Offering to Customers

We are pleased to announce Abel Software and Abel Solutions are merging to streamline and strengthen our ERP software and service offerings to local and international customers.

“Joining our two organisations into a single business enables us to streamline operations, share our knowledge and collaborate more efficiently,” said Allan Baird, Managing Director of Abel Software.

“This will not only accelerate Abel’s growth in the highly competitive mid-size ERP market, but also give us greater flexibility to deliver the ERP solutions and service our customers need to improve and grow their businesses.”

Abel Software, founded in 1996, is a global leader in ERP business management software, delivering innovative and integrated systems for small, mid-sized and large businesses. Since 2000, Abel Solutions has supported Abel ERP with implementation and support services to customers in 22 industries across 13 countries.

The merger, which takes effect this month, unites both organisations under the Abel Software name and brand. It will not result in any disruption for customers or changes in staff, all of whom have been retained in the merger.

Allan Baird will remain as Managing Director, and Jane Mattsen will continue to manage finance, administration and marketing. Callum Baird will continue to manage the company’s Software Development division and David Mills will head the Consulting and Support division of Abel Software as he did with Abel Solutions.

“David’s passion and enthusiasm for Abel is unsurpassed,” Allan says, “and we look forward to supporting him with the resources and flexibility he needs to deliver the best ERP solutions for our customers.”

David says the merger reflects Abel’s long-term vision to offer small and mid-sized businesses the flexibility, scalability and service they need to stay competitive in their ever-changing and fast-growing markets.

“This is a very positive and exciting move both for the Abel team and our customers,” David says. “By bringing all our resources, innovation and expertise together, we will offer a better overall solution to help our customers in Australasia and around the world.”

 

Jane Mattsen

For more information please contact:
Jane Mattsen
Business & Channels Manager
Abel Software, + 64 (027) 442-4603

Posted in News |

Scheduling similar jobs to save setup time…

Hi There. As well as Abel’s automatic scheduling capabilities, we have some handy features that help schedulers make more informed decisions when they are fine tuning the schedule. In this blog I am writing about a particular feature that helps schedulers identify jobs with similar setup, so they can minimize work center setup time to maximize production throughput.

This capability suits operations that have a mixture of jobs but with some common factors in the work center setup. e.g. jobs with the same machine settings or the same raw material. For these operations, information is key to helping schedulers significantly reduce work center setup times.

With Abel, you can configure up to six parameters for each work center in your plant that are significant for your operation. (Consider factors that cause the longest setup times and are common across your typical work stream). This enables your schedulers to:

  • Optimize the production sequence to reduce setup time and maximize production throughput.
  • See the impact of commercial pressures on the schedule e.g. If we do this urgent job now, what does it cost us in terms of extra setup time? When can we slot in this urgent job with minimal setup time?
  • Track KPI’s around minimizing setup time to gain efficiency in the plant with Abel’s reporting.

The below example highlights the savings in setup time across 5 jobs in a work center. In this case, the parameters are length and width of the item being made. Two of the jobs don’t need any setup time because the length and width are the same as the prior job. One of the jobs (highlighted in blue) only needs half the setup time because the width is the same and only the length differs from the prior job.

This a small feature within Abel’s extensive scheduling functionality but it’s gold for operations that can use it to maximize their throughput. If you would like to know more about Abel’s functionality and how it can help your business, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor.

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |

Managing your Intangible Assets…

Hi There. Did you know that Abel handles Intangible Assets?

Intangible assets are non-physical assets that normally have a useful life greater than one year that local accounting practices permit you to amortize. Often they arise from buying other companies where part of the purchase price is for intangible assets such as the customer base, trademarks or goodwill of the company you are buying.

What’s different about Intangible Assets?

  • Intangible assets are amortized, whereas fixed assets are depreciated
  • Amortization requires an additional transaction to clear it from the balance sheet in the month that the asset reaches its Amortization Last Date

Intangible assets often have a simpler lifecycle than typical fixed assets…

  • Create the Intangible Asset
  • Create the Purchase journal
  • Raise the Monthly Amortization Journal

And at the end of their life…

  • Reverse the Amortization for fully Amortized Assets – Abel automatically creates postings for assets that have reached their Amort Last Date to remove them from the Balance Sheet. This is done during the Monthly Amortization Journal processing.
  • Make the Asset inactive – You can deactivate assets that have completed their lifecycle when you no longer want them to appear in the default view of asset maintenance, reports, or select screens.

Intangible Assets are another example of the breadth of Abel’s functionality. If you want to know more about Abel’s functionality and how it can help your business, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor.

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |

Managing Bills of Materials in different currencies…

Hi There. Did you know that Abel handles Bills of Materials (BOMs) in different currencies?

This feature suits businesses that run their offshore manufacturing operations within their “home” database. Installers can configure this feature for you. Abel uses the currency associated with a BOM to calculate the BOM’s pricing. This enables BOMs to be priced in different currencies according to each BOM’s setup (the default is that BOMs are priced in the System currency of the database).

BOM currencies are used together with Abel’s standard multi-currency pricing capabilities to price the BOMs appropriately for each offshore manufacturing operation. BOM Price calculations in the pricing screens, and BOM pricing calculations elsewhere in Abel, handle currency as follows:

  • If the BOM’s inventory (and other components) have prices in a currency that matches the BOM currency, then BOM price calculations use it.
  • Else BOM price calculations convert the system currency prices to the BOM currency using the current exchange rates.

Running offshore operations from the home database might not be all that common, but this is a very helpful feature for businesses that need it. Just another example of how you can configure Abel to suit the way your business is organized.

If you want to know more about Abel’s functionality, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor.

Until next time.

Rik.

Posted in News |

Twenty Eighteen

Happy New Year!

I reported in my Christmas blog that we had new customer sites being implemented over the summer holiday.  I am delighted to welcome them to the Abel community and share with you who these new customers are.

30 Seconds

30 Seconds supplies a wide range of household cleaners, industrial cleaners and accessories, from mould & moss treatments to BBQ cleaners.  Their products are available through major chain stores such as Mitre10, Bunnings, PlaceMakers, Hammer Hardware, Countdown and The Warehouse, and are also sold throughout Australia.

New Zealand Casing Co.

NZ Casings is based in Whakatu, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, they provide 100% natural sausage casings for their clients, who then produce high-end sausages and other small goods. I love their slogan “It takes guts to make the perfect sausage”.

Wishing you all a productive 2018.  We will have plenty to share with you in the coming months.

Jane

Posted in News |

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018 from the team at Abel

As we wrap up another year it’s time to share some of our achievements and celebrate having new customers join the Abel community.

In my May blog I advised that we had several implementations on the go – and I provided an update on Supreme Health and Alpha Group (both Bio-Tech Manufacturers) who joined us in April and May respectively. The remaining implementations that I mentioned in my May blog are now complete.

There is no rest for our implementation staff over the Christmas break – we have new Abel customer sites being implemented as I write this blog. I will share these with you in the new year.

This Year’s Highlights

2017 has been another great year for Abel Solutions, our Distributor and implementation partner, with Abel implementations in Australia and New Zealand. To meet this demand Abel Solutions has expanded its coverage in New Zealand and Australia, with Abel ERP Consultants now based in Wellington and Christchurch.

Below are some of the customers who have joined us this year:

  • GDM Retail Systems joined us in June. GDM have more than 35 years designing and manufacturing for leading retailers globally. They provide end to end solutions for the retail industry, with customers such as Line 7, Glassons, Rodd & Gunn, The Warehouse and Mitre 10.
  • Integrated Controls UK joined Abel in July. ICT is a world leading manufacturer of unified and intelligent electronic access control and security solutions that enable organizations to protect their people, operations and information.
  • In July Fibermount LLC went live with Abel. Fibermount is based in Oregon, United States. The business manufactures fiber cement mount blocks for the building industry.  Products include mounts for lights, vents, pipes, electrical and custom made products.
  • In September, Quality Safety Limited joined us. QSI has been designing, manufacturing and distributing premium quality health and safety equipment for over 40 years. Their product range is very comprehensive: first aid kits and products, survival, paramedic rescue, spill solutions, height safety, industrial clothing, general safety, signage, industrial coveralls and electric arc clothing – the list goes on.
  • Pasta Vera Limited went live with Abel in October. Pasta Vera is the market leader for quality pasta and related products, delivering great products to restaurants nationwide. They are also involved in the community, fund-raising for worthy causes – heart-warming, splendid work.

Across the Ditch – Denice Bennet-Rae, General Manager of Abel Solutions Australia, was pleased to highlight two innovative Abel customers:

  • Australia’s Helios Power Solutions turned to Abel® ERP to drive the automation, flexibility and efficiency needed to strengthen its expanding international business. Read more in the Helios case study.
  • Devex Systems, a leading supplier of specialized heating and cooling solutions for homes and industries across Australia, chose Abel® ERP because they wanted a system that could power their complex business functions. Read more in the Devex case study.

Also, Auckland based Fero has been in the news this year as they continue to expand their offshore operations. Fero is New Zealand’s leading manufacturing solutions provider of wiring and assembly for the technology sector.

In other news, our Research & Development Centre continues to extend Abel ERP. Here is a snippet of some of the features we have worked on this year:

  • We have extended Abel’s BOM Versioning and BOM Authorization capability. Read more in our November blog.
  • The team has enhanced our Report Writer with extra functionality and additional report scheduling capabilities.
  • Our manufacturing functionality has seen several small enhancements this year, including additional options for scheduling both manufactures and sub-manufactures.
  • Our shop order framework for managing manufactures has been extended. It continues to be a popular management tool with our customers.
  • We have also enhanced our stock issue and stock count processes to make it easier to work with different kinds of stock. For example, foodstuffs that have variations in weight of the packs issued or counted.

Finally, we have welcomed several new software developers, who are working with our special projects delivery team on some new, innovative developments for Abel ERP.  I hope to be able to provide some insight in the first quarter of 2018.

Thank you so much to our dedicated software engineers and support staff for their efforts again this year, I am very proud of what we have achieved.

To all our customers around the world, thank you for your business. We wish you and your families a safe and happy festive season, and we look forward to working with you again next year.

Jane and the Team at Abel

Posted in News |

Managing changes to Bills of Materials…

Hi There. This month I am writing about how Abel helps Manufacturers manage changes to Bills of Materials (BOMs). If you want more control over changes to your BOMs then have a look at these handy features that can be configured to suit your business:

  • Use the check-out process to make a copy of a BOM for maintenance. The original remains in use until the changes are complete, and the revised BOM is checked back in.
  • Create multiple versions of BOMs with effective dates so you can manage when BOM changes take effect. You can also keep versions of a BOM’s attachments like CAD drawings or recipes.
  • See what has changed on the new version compared with the original BOM.
  • Implement a BOM authorization process and restrict authorization to designated users only.
  • Create BOMs for new products by copying and changing existing ones.

Let’s look at those features in a bit more detail:

Check Out a BOM for Maintenance

The check-out feature enables you to make copies of a BOM for maintenance without affecting production. The original BOM is still used for normal processing until the new BOM comes into effect. With this feature you can manage changes in a timely way, ahead of when they are needed.

Make your changes on the checked-out copy of the BOM – it won’t affect production until you check it back in. The check-out process also checks out any attachments to the BOM (e.g. CAD drawings, recipes) so you can deal with those as well. Attachments can be removed, replaced or left as they are.

Use the View BOM Changes screen to see what’s changed compared with the original BOM. The screen is color coded so you can easily see additions, deletions and changes. This is a useful cross-check for users and approvers to ensure all their intended changes have been covered.

Next, the BOM is authorized (more on this below) and checked in with the following options:

  • Overwrite Original BOM (this is allowed unless versioning is enforced).
  • Add BOM to the same Inventory Item(s) as the original (in Abel, inventory items can have multiple BOMs).
  • Remove original BOM from its Inventory Items. The original BOM still exists in a detached state and can be used elsewhere or kept for historical purposes.
  • Make this BOM the default BOM on its Inventory Item(s). The default BOM is used for pricing and planning purposes.
  • Use BOM in place of original in sub-BOMs. This option also replaces the original BOM where it appears as a sub-BOM within other BOMs.

You can specify an effective date for the new BOM, otherwise Abel gives it today’s date.

BOM Versions

A setting controls whether BOM versions are mandatory or optional. If BOM versioning is mandatory, each BOM version has a unique code and Abel prevents changes to the original BOM. Users can also record the version of any related attachments e.g. CAD drawings or recipes.

BOM Authorization

At a minimum, users who have maintenance access to the BOM screens can authorize BOMs. If you want more control, you can switch BOM Authorization to specified users only. Abel will then ensure that only users with BOM authorization credentials can authorize BOM changes. In either case, the user’s credentials are recorded as having authorized the BOM.

Other Features

  • Abel keeps audit information so you always know who authorized and checked in the BOM and the date and time that these two steps happened.
  • Abel automatically highlights any inactive inventory items within your BOMs so you can easily spot them and deal with them.
  • You can change the effective date of an active BOM. This enables you to change the order of upcoming versions or push one out to a future date if things change. It also means you can retrospectively give existing BOMs an effective date if you are adopting BOM versioning for the first time.
  • You can use the Check Out feature to make multiple copies of an existing BOM for use elsewhere e.g. for new products. In this case, you would disconnect the BOM copies from the original during the check-out process.
  • BOMs that are imported into Abel using the BOM import process follow the same authorization steps as BOMs created through the Abel screens. If BOM versioning is switched on, the import process loads BOMs in the checked-out state. You can authorize them and check them in through the Abel screens in the same way as manually maintained BOMs.

Well that’s a quick round-up of some of Abel’s BOM maintenance features. If you want to know more about Abel’s functionality and how it can help your business, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor.

Until next time.

Rik.

Posted in News |

Latest case study: Devex heats up the Australian Market…

Australia’s Devex Systems, a leading supplier of specialized heating and cooling solutions, chose Abel® ERP because they wanted a system that could power their complex business functions. Abel had the features and flexibility they wanted… Read more  >>

Posted in News |

Handy Features for Manufacturing…

Hi There. This month I am writing about some nifty features for manufacturing.  Within Abel’s serious manufacturing and scheduling functionality, are some small but handy features for special situations. I am highlighting two of these today: Start-Start Dependency and Pack Days per Customer Order. My third topic for this blog is a quick look at one of Abel’s Work Center Loading Views that gives a great overview of daily operations within the plant.

Start-Start dependency for routes in a manufacturing process

Did you know that, in Abel, you can specify a start-start dependency between routes on your schedule? (The default is a finish-start dependency). This small but useful feature enables schedulers to specify the gap, in hours and minutes, between the start of adjacent routes. Use this feature if you have routes that overlap:

You normally specify these settings in the Bills of Materials, so they default through to the manufacturing processes where you can override them if needed. Customers who need to overlap their routes are putting this feature to good use.

Different “pack days” per customer order

When standard pack days are not enough, you can specify different pack days per customer order. Some of our manufacturing customers have challenges with long packing times that differ with each order. They need to make sure the manufacture is completed with enough time to pack the order properly and still meet the customers expectations.

Abel’s scheduling process takes the pack days into account and ensures that the manufacturing process starts early enough to meet the Customer’s required date. This feature is especially useful for large or complex manufactures-to-order that require lengthy or specialized packing.

This diagram shows how Abel allows for the customer order pack days to ensure the manufacture starts early enough:

Multiple views of work center loadings

Abel provides multiple views of your work center loadings, giving you a great overview of your workload in the plant. Below is one example and it shows how you can:

  1. View the MRP forecasts for a selected Work Center / Work Group while reviewing the actual Loadings data.
  2. View the expected Revenue / Cogs / Margin associated with your schedule. This indicates your expected gross profit and helps you judge which work to prioritize to meet your sales target.
  3. View the loadings by day in chart form. This provides a visual way of understanding the forecast and load compared with the capacity, so you can see the loadings at a glance (another tab provides the same data in tabular form).

Abel’s manufacturing features are rich, flexible and configurable to your requirements. You can run Abel with a simple configuration or adopt additional features. The depth and sophistication of functionality is there if you need it. And remember – all of Abel’s functionality is in the one application, so manufacturing and all your other business functions can share data and inform the financials in real time.

If you want to know more about Abel’s functionality and how it can help your business, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor.

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |

Latest case study: Helios Powers up with Abel…

Australia’s Helios Power Solutions turned to Abel® ERP to drive the automation, flexibility and efficiency needed to strengthen its expanding international business, powering electronic equipment in the transportation, mining, military, marine, medical and telecommunication industries… Read more >>

Posted in News |