The Blog

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 |

Latest case study: Alsco Inc. Continues to Innovate with Abel…

Global leader in textile rentals, Alsco originally chose Abel® ERP to automate and manage their fast-growing business.  15 years on, Alsco continues to partner with Abel on further innovations to optimize their operations in 13 countries across the globe… Read more >>

Posted in News |

Two Bio-Tech Manufacturers choose Abel ERP

In my January blog I advised that we had several implementations on the go.  Two of these sites are now up and running on Abel ERP.  Here is an overview of what they do.

Supreme Health is a bio-tech manufacturer specializing in health products.

Supreme Health manufactures natural Astaxanthin, which is the most powerful antioxidant found in nature.!  Astaxanthin is 6,000 times stronger than Vitamin C.!

Supreme Health grows an exclusive New Zealand strain of microalgae, haematococcus pluvalis, sourced from freshwater lakes, rivers and streams at the top of the South Island.

Supreme Health carefully selects the microalgae to grow in its cultivation plant. The algae quickly multiply into much larger numbers turning its environment into a deep green colour. The algae are encouraged to change their focus from multiplying to producing Astaxanthin. Gradually their environment changes colour from rich green to brown, and finally to a brilliant red, as the concentration of Astaxanthin reaches its peak.

The Astaxanthin is harvested by careful extraction from the algae to produce a rich dark red oil. The oil is the foundation for the products Supreme Health produce for a wide range of specific health conditions. Other bioactive ingredients are combined with Astaxanthin to provide consumers with natural products capable of improving their lives.

Supreme Healths Manufacturing Facility

Alpha Group is a bio-tech manufacturing company dedicated to the production and promotion of natural medicines.

Alpha Group manufacture a range of health supplements specifically medicinal fungi on herbals used in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM).

TCM herbal formulas are a central part of treatment for any physical, mental, or emotional health issues in Asia, and many formulas have a long history of use.  Formula composition is a carefully balanced co-ordination between superior and subordinate elements in response to the TCM diagnoses of yin and yang imbalances in the body, so that physical illnesses and recuperation ultimately reach the goal of optimal health and disease prevention.

Alpha Group has extended the applications of TCM formulas by utilising current research on active herbal factors, and combined them with advanced and innovative biochemical technology, extraction, purification, and activation.

Alpha Group operates in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

 

On an “innovative” note – Massey University, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) and BNZ are working together to develop a smart innovation district in Auckland North.

Residing on Auckland’s North Shore Abel Software is pleased to be part of this eco-system.

The Grow North, initiative is the glue that connects together a pipeline from schools and incubators through to scale up businesses, fostering and accelerating a sustained stream of exciting innovation that is very good for New Zealand, for our story and to read about other “innovative” Kiwi companies – view here.

Jane

Posted in News |

The latest BUZZ about Abel’s traceability…

Hi There, This month we are looking at how Abel’s functionality can help producers track their production from the field through to manufacturing and packaging of finished goods, meeting requirements for traceability and quality right through the whole supply chain.

In this article we focus on how Abel’s flexibility and traceability is providing a competitive edge for some of New Zealand’s honey producers.

With the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) strengthening authentication, labelling and rules for exporting Manuka Honey, traceability of the supply chain from the hive through to the finished goods has become even more important.

With Abel configured to suit, honey producers can monitor and manage their entire operation, tracking sites and landowners (suppliers in Abel) and recording location information about each site.

Honey producers can create a site inspection regime that suits their operation and record key information about each site. From a mobile device, bee keepers can locate, monitor and inspect each site. The information gathered is configurable to suit each producer but it generally includes information about the bees and their health, the site and the environment. This information is captured back into Abel.

Abel’s flexibility enables installers to tailor Hive Tracking functions to suit each honey producer. This is one example:

Abel manages the collection, certification and production processes as well. Abel stores all the details about the hive sites and suppliers and, once the honey is collected, supports full traceability from the site through to drums of honey collected and ultimately to the finished goods produced. Abel’s standard manufacturing processes can be configured to suit honey production and Abel provides for a number of specialized honey production functions as well including:

  • Record samples sent to the lab for testing.
  • Scan or allocate barcodes on drums of honey.
  • Generate EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) files to load into the MPI website for their e-certification process.
  • Record test results, costs and payments against drums.
  • Revalue drums on repeated test knowledge.

Abel’s functionality enables honey producers to track all finished goods batches back to the drum and the drum back to the site meeting full traceability requirements. And, on the financial side, Abel captures operational costs at site level through to consumption of unique drums at their actual cost in manufacturing. This enables producers to see the final revenue against the actual cost of producing each batch.

Abel helps producers manage all aspects of their production including quality, traceability, compliance and financials.

So that was a quick look at how Abel helps honey producers capture the necessary information to meet industry standards and give their customers certainty about the quality and provenance of every jar of honey.

To all our Honey Producers keep up the good work. We are proud to be part of your success in growing New Zealand’s export industry.

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 |

Twenty Seventeen

Happy New Year!

The year has started very well. Abel Solutions is already underway with customer implementations, it’s so exciting to see how Abel’s flexibility adapts to meet the needs of our customers diverse business processes.

We are presently working on implementations for customers whose businesses span a variety of sectors:

  • A Biotech manufacturer specializing in health products
  • A global provider of custom interiors
  • A plastic extrusion manufacturer

I will announce who these new customers are once their Abel implementations are complete.

Our Research and Development Centre released Abel  5.8.20.17 in January.  This release comprises approximately 45 enhancements across many existing functions including: Manufacturing, Report Writer, Inventory Management and our Statistics Framework that enables businesses to analyse their data based on statistics important to their businesses.  If you want to know more about the latest release please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor.

In other news our Distributor Abel Solutions has opened two new offices. Late last year they opened the Wellington office with Lee Drummond looking after our Wellington customers.  And in January Craig Whitehead relocated from Auckland to set up the Christchurch office and look after our South Island customers.

With all of the new enhancements in Abel  5.8.20.17, Rik will be back with you next month continuing his series of blogs on Abel’s features and what they can do for your business.

Jane

Posted in News |