The Blog

Manage Customer Deposits…

Hi There. This time I’m writing about Abel’s Customer Deposits Sub-Ledger and associated functionality for managing deposits and progress payments from customers.

Managing deposits in a sub-ledger within the General Ledger enables you to manage open deposit items easily and efficiently and also view them in the main financials. As with all of Abel’s financial functionality, the Deposits Ledger handles multiple currencies, so you always know your exposure to any given currency across all open deposits and progress payments.

Abel’s Customer Deposits workflow works in parallel with the normal order-dispatch-invoice workflow:

  • Create a Customer Order including deposits and progress payments
  • Generate Proforma Invoices for deposits due
  • Receipt Proforma Invoices in the usual way
  • Abel automatically adjusts the final invoice for deposits received

Abel makes it easy to track the status of Deposits and Progress payments. On Customer Orders and other documents, they are color coded so you can see the status at-a-glance. (Not yet invoiced, invoiced, receipted)

Abel’s Deposits Enquiry shows a “lifecycle” view of deposits and progress payments:

The aged balances view shows your exposure per currency that results from unpaid deposits and progress payments:

Our consultants can configure Abel’s Customer Deposit functionality for sites that require it. We also have a Supplier Prepayments Ledger with similar functionality that I’ll discuss in a later blog.

If you want to know more about these features and how they can help your business, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Office.

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in Abel Blog |

Twenty Nineteen

Happy New Year to our customers and prospective customers.

Abel staff were back on deck this week, applying the finishing touches to our plans for the year ahead.

For me personally, I am very excited about the initiatives we have planned for 2019. One of my first projects is to bring the team together in a new office building. Having our consultants, engineers, and support staff in one location will create an environment where we can innovate and collaborate and provide superior solutions for our customers in New Zealand and around the world.

Easing into the New Year is always a bonus. On Wednesday evening we attended the ASB Tennis Classic, compliments of Abel customer Alsco New Zealand who are suppliers to the tournament. We always get a buzz when we see our customers products and branding pop up during our everyday lives, knowing that behind the scenes Abel ERP has played a part in their success.

Rik will be reporting in soon on more ideas about how Abel can help your business.

Jane

Posted in Abel Blog |

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2019 from the team at Abel

As I reflect on this year, there is a lot that we can be thankful for during 2018.

Thank-you to our customers – you continue to amaze me with your innovation, technology and drive to deliver your products and services in an increasingly competitive market. We are proud to be the ERP provider for so many growing businesses.

This year we’ve had a variety of new customers join the Abel community including:

  • 30 Seconds, widely known for their cleaning products
  • Alpine Drinks, a new name in water bottling
  • Amrita Nutrition, dairy powder products manufacturer
  • Bondall Pty Ltd, supplying building and renovating products to leading hardware stores
  • Calmac Engineering, specialists in design, manufacture and installation of conveyors and related equipment for the beverage industry
  • Deep Creek Brewing Company, one of New Zealand’s premier craft beer breweries
  • Hatuma Lime Co, a long established business that makes fertilizer products for farms and gardens all over the country
  • Integrated Control Technology NZ, an innovative business that makes intelligent electronic access control solutions for a worldwide client base
  • NZ Casings, provides 100% natural sausage casings to their clients for use in high-end sausages and small goods
  • Streamland Honey, a proudly Kiwi company making a range of honey products
  • Universal Pharmaceuticals, an emerging business specializing in dietary supplements

We also featured two Christchurch businesses in our case studies this year:

  • Food manufacturer Pasta Vera supplies restaurants, hotels and meal-kit delivery services across New Zealand with pesto, sauces and pasta products, including a range of vegan, gluten-free and nut-free products. Read Pasta Vera’s case study.
  • Engineering manufacturer G-Tech makes specialized centrifuge equipment for a range of industries across Asia, Australia, North America, South America and Africa. G-Tech are a long standing Abel customer and this follow-up case study shows how Abel’s functionality and flexibility has enabled them to grow. Read G-Tech’s new case study.

The Abel Plant

It’s been an exciting year for our Abel development team with some major new innovations:

  • In May we released Abel Version 6 featuring Abel’s new User Interface. Version 6 delivered a fresh, modern look for Abel that’s both easier to learn and easier to use, while still retaining the underlying strength and stability of Abel’s tried and tested core.
  • This year our Mobile team developed a new framework for developing handheld applications for Android™ and iOS®. The team put the new framework to good use, developing warehouse management apps and custom apps that interface with Abel databases. There’s more handheld work in the pipeline, so watch this space!

It’s also been business as usual in the plant this year. We’ve delivered significant new functionality such as Container Management, but the year’s highlight was definitely Version 6. The feedback from our customers has been stellar and the whole Abel team can be proud of what we have achieved.

Other News

In May we merged Abel Software and Abel Solutions and we are now seeing multiple benefits. The merger has helped us to streamline and strengthen both operations and customer service for our local and international customers. In 2019 we will bring the whole team together in a new office building. This move reflects our new identity as one company and will make it easier for everyone to collaborate. We are presently planning the refurb and looking forward to our new custom-designed space.

Thank you to our dedicated ERP consultants, software engineers and support staff for their efforts again this year.

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 Abel Blog |

Container Management

Hi There.

This time I’m writing about Abel’s Container Management process. It’s used for customer orders that you dispatch in shipping containers. You can record container bookings, cross-reference customer orders with containers and produce dispatches for whole containers quickly and easily.

The container workflow sits between Customer Orders and Customer Dispatches. It’s triggered when you choose a container delivery method on a customer order, so the order lines can then be placed in containers and the dispatch documents produced when the container is ready to go.

Here are the highlights of Abel’s Container Management:

  • Configure container delivery methods to suit your business (land, sea, air)
  • Create Container Documents for recording details of each container booking
  • Allocate customer order lines to a container and assign stock to containers
  • View containers in progress
  • View stock waiting in the container bay
  • Dispatch containers with one click. Abel creates customer dispatches for all customer order lines in the container.

This is a quick look at a one of the screens. This example shows:

  • Information about the container booking
  • Orders in the container and whether stock has been allocated yet or whether it’s short
  • Batch tracked stock linked to the container

So if shipping goods in containers is your “normal”, or you want to know more about Abel’s functionality and how it can help your business, please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Office.

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in Abel Blog |

Latest case study: Star ingredient for Pasta Maker

Christchurch food manufacturer Pasta Vera chose Abel® ERP because they needed quality control and traceability across their entire supply chain.  Read more >>

Posted in Abel Blog, News |

CHANGE IS GOOD! A fresh look for Abel ERP

Hi Everyone

In my June blog I mentioned that we had released Abel Version 6.0 featuring Abel’s new User Interface (UI), and now I can tell you a bit more about it!!

We’ve been planning to update Abel’s look for some time. In 2016 we reviewed several ERP systems in the Tier 2 space to gain a better understanding of how Abel compared. The review confirmed what we’d been thinking. We needed to improve Abel’s User Interface, both to position us for the future and also to deliver real benefits to our customers.

We wanted a really professional look and feel, so we engaged a team of user experience designers to work with us on all the design elements and also on the usability aspects. This collaboration has delivered Abel 6.0 with:

  • A fresh modern User Interface
  • A more intuitive system that’s easier to learn and easier to use
  • A UI framework and style guide for future development

It’s important to note that only Abel’s User Interface and appearance has changed. The layout of the screens is mostly the same, so it’s easy for existing customers to upgrade. Abel’s underlying functionality and business logic remains the same as before so 6.0 still provides the functional breadth and stability of Abel’s tried and tested core.

Usability was a key goal for this project. Throughout the 6.0 development, we considered all the graphical elements from a usability perspective. This led us to make the following improvements:

  • We have made the screens kinder to your eyes by using a larger screen size, more whitespace, a new font, more restrained use of color and more subtle borders and lines.
  • We redesigned the header area at the top of each screen to reduce visual clutter and make it faster and easier to navigate.
  • We have used icons extensively to make functions easier to find and to make field actions more obvious. This makes Abel easier to learn and more intuitive to use.
  • We have improved accessibility for people with conditions like color blindness. To start with we’ve reduced the use of color in the common elements of the screens. We still have a way to go (as we still have colors within the functional areas) but we are happy to have taken this significant step towards a more accessible system.

Here are a few examples that show the differences between Version 5 and Version 6.

This example shows the re-designed header. The new header is cleaner and all buttons have icons to improve usability. 

This example shows how more subtle borders make the new screens clearer than the old ones. The date picker is much more readable.  This example also shows how we have reduced the use of color.

We’re delighted with the fresh look and feel of Abel ERP. It uses our proven underlying framework and significantly improves overall experience and productivity for our users.

Abel 6.0 is available now for new installations and for upgrades.

If you want to know more about Abel 6.0, please contact your Abel Consultant or your nearest Abel Software Office.

Until next time

Jane

Posted in Abel Blog |

Midwinter Madness!!

It’s been an exciting and busy time over the past couple of months!
In April we released Abel Version 6.0, featuring Abel’s new User Interface along with plenty of new functionality. We’ve had great feedback so far from customers who have already upgraded and Rik will be showcasing Version 6.0 in our July blog.

In May I announced that Abel Solutions and Abel Software were merging. Since then we have been busy with all the practicalities that a merger brings. We are confident that the merger will streamline and strengthen our ERP software and service offerings, delivering greater product innovation and accelerating Abel’s growth in the highly competitive mid-size ERP market.

In the meantime, it’s been business as usual and I am pleased to welcome three new customers into the Abel community:

All Guard Safety Equipment
For more than 20 years All Guard Safety has been supplying New Zealand companies with compliant personal protection equipment (PPE) and workwear products. Based in Auckland and offering nationwide support, their mission is to make New Zealand a safer place. Their products include: dangerous goods storage, environmental control spill kits, hi-visibility clothing, respiratory products, footwear, safety signage and many more.

Amrita Nutrition
Amrita Nutrition provides contract manufacturing and packing services for dairy powder products and also for honey. They carry both MPI and China CNCA registration. Their purpose built Auckland facility runs multiple state-of-art production lines for dairy powder products including dairy powder formulation, blending, canning, pouch and sachet packing, and hardgel encapsulation. Their Gisborne factory provides a one stop solution for honey sourcing, extracting and packing.

Hatuma Lime Company
Based in central Hawkes Bay, Hatuma Lime was established in 1932. 86 years on, this third generation family business makes fertilizer products for farms and gardens. Hatuma Dicalcic Phosphate® , their flagship product for over 50 years, is a non water-soluble and plant available phosphate for farm pasture and is also used in Hatuma’s garden fertilizer blends. With less run-off, it keeps the goodness on the soil for longer, making it both cost-effective and better for the environment.

Three very interesting and diverse businesses, all using Abel ERP.

And finally, congratulations to Abel customer and pet food manufacturer Ziwi Limited, who recently won Best Medium to Large Business Exporter at the 2018 Zespri BOP ExportNZ Awards. Read more on the Ziwi blog.

Until next time.

Jane

Posted in Abel Blog, News |

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 |