The Blog

Abel’s powerful security is complimented by sophisticated data filtering….

Hi There, this month I am writing about two of Abel’s features – Functional Security and Data Visibility. These features give you extensive control over access to screens and data in Abel.

  • Functional Security controls which functions or screens a user can access and what actions they can perform on the data and documents in those screens.
  • Data Visibility defines the sub-sets of data each user normally works with.

These features combine to give each user access to the functions and data they need to do their work.

Functional Security

With Abel’s Functional Security, you can specify Access, Change, Create, Delete and Print permissions for each user / screen combination. Also, for documents such as customer orders and invoices you can specify which users are allowed to Open, Hold, Post or Close them. You can view and manage functional security by user or by screen. You can copy a user’s security configuration from specially configured security roles or from other users. (A security role is like a template for security that you copy to users who have that job role.)

We recommend configuring security according to the roles within your organization e.g. “Warehouse”, “Procurement” etc. Then when a new employee comes along, you identify which role(s) they carry out and configure them with the role(s) they need.

The nifty thing about Abel is that you can give your employees more than one role and Abel will append the necessary security. So if your newest employee does both Warehouse and Procurement that’s no problem with Abel! The ability to append roles simplifies and reduces the number of roles you have to maintain and easily allows for employees who do more than one role (i.e. in the above example, you don’t need a third role called “Warehousing and Procurement”).

This example shows some of the functional security for a “Warehouse” role. Each line in the table is a screen in Abel. The lines with extra permissions are the documents such as Orders, Dispatches, Invoices etc. It is easy to see and control what screens each user is allowed to see and what functions they are allowed to do on each of those screens.

Screen1

You can also take a “per screen” view of the Functional Security settings. This example shows user access for the Customer Despatch screen.

Screen2

Data Visibility

So what do we mean by Data Visibility? Data visibility defines the data a user normally works with. It enhances ease of use by presenting the most relevant data for each user. Here are some of the things you can do with Abel’s data visibility settings:

  • If you have multiple companies or branches in your organization structure, you can define which companies or branches each user works with.
  • You can filter which group of clients a particular account manager works with.
  • You can give restricted “self-service” access to your Customers and Suppliers so they can view their own data without seeing anybody else’s.
  • You can filter a user’s data by employee, team, region or a combination of these.

In this example, employee Fred Smith’s view is filtered for documents that are for the Sydney office AND have himself as the Sales Employee. If Region was specified, Fred’s view would be filtered by Region as well. Of course he can only access screens that are defined in his functional security.

Screen3

Using the Data Visibility settings is optional – if you have a simpler operation you may find that Functional Security is enough for you, in which case you simply set everyone’s data visibility settings to Global (which is the default). Global means they will see all available data within the screens defined in their functional security.

Well that was a quick look at two of Abel’s features for screen security and data filtering. Abel also has other features for securing elements like Reports, Buttons, Attachments etc and for controlling user’s access in a multi-database implementation of Abel. But that’s another story, you’ll find a quick summary on our Inter-Database Navigation page.

To find out 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 |

Group Similar Orders for Efficiency in the Plant…

Hi there, this is the latest in a series of blogs I am writing on Abel’s features and what they can do for you. Did you know about Abel’s ability to group similar orders into “Shop Orders”? This could really help you run your plant more efficiently.

What are Abel’s Shop Orders, I hear you ask? Shop Orders are an “umbrella” process used to track a complex manufacture or assembly process and bring all the sub-manufactures together so you can manage them more easily. They complement Abel’s standard scheduling capability and provide a powerful top down view of complex jobs, tying them together in a single view and showing the status of each.

  • You can use Shop Orders to manage complex manufactures for a single customer order line, and to split a large manufacturing run into lot sizes that your plant or equipment can handle. Read more about these uses for Shop Orders in our earlier blog: Abel’s Shop Orders and Scheduling Around a Constraint Work Center.
  • You can also use Shop Orders to group similar work for different customers to improve efficiency in the plant, which is the subject of this blog – so read on !!

Let’s say you are a marmalade manufacturer. You create a Shop Order to make a batch of un-labelled jars of Breakfast Marmalade – in your business this is a raw material that is used in other manufactures e.g. producing marmalade labelled for Ireland or Canada.

You have created a Shop Order for making the un-labelled marmalade and you want to find (and add to the Shop Order) any outstanding customer orders for labelled marmalade that include the same un-labelled marmalade as a raw material.

You can select existing plant documents from various sources (e.g. different customer orders) and add them to a Shop Order document.

You can search for documents that require that particular raw material:
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Then select the lines that you want to include in the Shop Order:
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The orders that you selected are added to the Shop Order. In this example, your production run of unlabelled marmalade is now grouped with four plant orders to produce labelled marmalade for different customers in Canada, Ireland, Australia and Japan.
Shops3small

So that’s it in a nutshell. 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.

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Posted in News |

Hi from the USA…

The Northern Hemisphere sure beats the Southern Hemisphere especially at this time of year. We are based in the United States for a few weeks, meeting with our customers and visiting some prospective customers as well.

In my Twenty Sixteen blog I mentioned that some new companies would be joining the Abel community. These companies have now gone live with Abel. They are:

  • Devex Systems
    Devex Systems has been providing specialised heating & cooling systems since 1978. They provide solutions for new and existing buildings in residential, commercial and industrial environments.  Devex has offices in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
  • Austin Engineering
    Austin Engineering designs and manufacturers customized dump truck bodies, buckets and ancillary products for the mining industry. They are based in Queensland.
  • New Zealand Health Manufacturing
    New Zealand Health Manufacturing specializes in the manufacture and packaging of soft gels, hard shell tablet and powdered health products from their Auckland plant.
  • Playground Centre
    The Playground Centre is a global leader in recreational playground and outdoor fitness solutions. They design, manufacture and install quality outdoor recreation equipment.
  • New Zealand Drinks
    New Zealand Drinks produces a range of beverages sold through supermarkets, bottle stores, bars and restaurants.  Brands include Pure NZ Spring Water, SpongeBob Square Pants Spring Water, Endeavour Ginger Beer and Good Morning Juice.

Also in the news recently: Abel’s rowing champion Amy Mills has successfully regained her seat as stroke of the New Zealand U23 Quad to contest the U23 World Champs in Rotterdam, Netherlands in late August after a rigorous trial process. We wish her luck in her preparations for Rotterdam and future success.

Rik will be back next month with a report from the USA.

Jane

Posted in News |

Who are your best customers? Abel knows…

Gidday, this is the latest in a series of blogs I am writing on Abel’s features and what they can do for you. Did you know about Abel’s Customer Rating capability, a nifty part of Abel’s CRM suite?

Abel’s Customer Rating gives you a valuable insight into your customer base. Abel ranks each customer by Revenue, Profit and Pay Days (how quickly they pay).

Using settings you configure, Abel gives each customer an A,B or C classification for each of the three measures. You can view the data over any date range. This data helps you:

  • Focus your Customer retention activities
  • Evaluate your discounting policies
  • Ensure your terms of trade are working in your favor

Abel’s Customer Rating helps you identify
which clients are contributing the most value to your business

As with all of Abel’s functionality, CRM is built into Abel ERP. This means you can view the Customer Rating analysis at any time, with real-time data.

Let’s look at some Customer Rating examples:

This example shows you the Customer Rating from April to June 2015 for Customers of company ADT (with Abel, you can run multiple companies in the same database). You can change the settings on the right to determine the A, B and C classification for each Rating. By default, the table is in order of the Rating column so you can see your top customers at a glance. However, as with all tables in Abel, you can click any column heading to sort by that column.

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For example, an “A” classification for revenue means revenue from that particular customer contributed to the top* 50% of revenue from all customers. The above example shows that 8 customers made up the top* 50% of revenue in the date range.

*”Top” in this context means customers are sorted descending by the revenue they contribute. The percentages are used to classify each customers contribution as A, B or C compared to where their contribution falls within the total revenue from all customers.

Double click a line to drill down to the detail that was used to calculate the rating.

This example shows the Revenue / Gross Profit view for “Clever Computers”. Each line represents a Customer Invoice. The total Revenue and total Gross Profit match to the Customer Rating screen:

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Select the Pay Days view. (The Pay Days view has different columns.)

This example shows the Pay Days view for “Clever Computers”. Each line represents a Customer Invoice. Negative Pay Days means the invoice was paid early. The total Pay Days matches to the Customer Rating screen:

Blog3small

 

In summary, Abel ranks your Customers by three criteria, using the date range and settings that you specify:

  • “Revenue” classifies Customers by the revenue they contribute within the date range.
  • “Profit” classifies Customers by the gross profit on transactions within the date range.
  • “Pay-Days” classifies Customers by how quickly they paid their invoices within the date range.

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 |

Happy 20th Birthday Abel…

We’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this month, and we wanted to raise a toast to all our customers around the world for helping make Abel® a global leader in ERP business management software.

Founder and Managing Director Allan Baird started Abel in 1996 with a clear vision:

To deliver serious ERP functionality for small and mid-sized businesses
that’s affordable, flexible and easy to use.

For the past 20 years, we’ve stayed true to the Abel way of giving the little guys what the big guys have.  We now support businesses in more than 13 countries across five continents and in six languages.  Our customers include small and mid-sized businesses, publically listed companies and a global Forbes 400 company.

Like many of our customers, we’re still driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit.  We continue to create an innovative and integrated ERP solution that delivers the control and visibility our customers need today and in the future.  We take special pride in delivering purpose-built software that can scale as our customers grow and develop.  There’s no better testament to our agile solution and dedicated customer service than knowing that our very first customers are still happy Abel customers today.

Jane

Posted in News |

Consignment Stock

Gidday, This is the latest in a series of blogs I am writing on Abel’s features and what they can do for you.

Did you know Abel has features that are especially for managing consignment stock? Consignment stock is stock held at a customer location awaiting sale or consumption.

You can configure Abel to provide consignment stock capability. Abel’s consignment processes use standard Abel processes but with a special consignment “line type”.  Consignment stock is held in both an inventory consignment ledger and a client consignment stock sub-ledger.  Abel also provides a consignment stock report, enquiry screen and ledger view to complete the functionality.

To issue consignment stock:

  • Create a customer order using the consignment line type (optional).
  • Create a customer dispatch using the consignment line type. The dispatch takes the stock out of ‘normal’ stock and puts it into both the inventory consignment ledger and the client consignment stock sub-ledger.

To invoice consignment stock:

  • Run the consignment stock report.
  • Visit the customer and count the stock.
  • Create a customer invoice for the difference between the report and the stock count. The invoice removes the stock from both the inventory consignment ledger and the client consignment stock sub-ledger and bills the customer.

To return consignment stock:

  • Raise a customer return using the consignment line type. The customer return process removes the stock from both the inventory consignment ledger and the client consignment stock sub-ledger and puts it back into ‘normal’ stock.

Reports and Enquiries

  • The consignment stock report can be run by inventory or by customer.
  • View consignment stock by customer in the Client Consignment Stock enquiry screen.
  • The Consignment Stock Ledger screen provides a ledger view of consignment stock transactions.

This is a simple example of the Consignment Stock Ledger screen.

CONSIGN1

So that was a very quick summary of how Abel can help you manage your consignment stock.

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

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |

An update on Abel’s Rowing Champion Amy Mills…

In our August blog we told you about Amy Mills and her team who had competed in the 2015 World Rowing U23 Championship’s in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Amy Mills

Amy Mills

Last week Amy competed at the Bankstream New Zealand Rowing Championships held at Lake Karapiro, Cambridge. The National Rowing Championships heats started with 874 athletes competing for nationals titles across 72 events. New Zealand’s Olympic hopefuls were competing for national honours and also the hope of catching the attention of Rowing New Zealand selectors, with Olympic trials in less than two weeks’ time.

Amy won Silver in the U22 Single sculls, Silver in the U22 Double sculls and Silver in the U22 Quad. She also qualified for the U23 National Selection trials to be held in April.

Well done Amy, keep up the good work!

Jane

Posted in News |

Twenty Sixteen

Happy New Year!  This year has started with a roar:

  • We already have a great lineup of companies joining the Abel community in the first quarter. It’s so interesting to see what these businesses do. The diversity of our customer base always reminds me of Abel’s flexibility. Once these companies have gone live with Abel, I can let you know who they are!!
  • Our U.S. customers have kept us busy as they adopt more of Abel’s inter-database functionality. I mentioned some of Abel’s Enterprise Management functions in my December blog.
  • Our Research and Development Centre released Abel 5.8.15.16 in January comprising approximately 50 enhancements across many existing functions including CRM, Fixed Assets, Inventory Management and Manufacturing. If you want to know more about the latest release please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor. We are always working to keep Abel current and relevant.

In other news – have you checked out our newest case study yet? When AWTA (Australian Wool Testing Authority) wanted a flexible system that could adapt and expand with their business they chose Abel® ERP to deliver greater efficiencies across multiple departments, sites, divisions and countries.  Chief Financial Officer Peter Walsh talks about AWTA’s implementation of Abel here.

Rik will be back again next month continuing his series of blogs on Abel’s features and how they can help you.

Jane

Posted in News |

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2016 from the team at Abel

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

This Year’s Highlights
In February Callum Baird was promoted to Software Development Manager of Abel’s Research & Development Centre.  Callum is responsible for our software engineers and Abel’s Technology & Functional Roadmap.  This team moved into their new office space in March.

During April we attended the Abel worldwide meeting held in Salt Lake City.  Alsco executives attended from seven countries. This meeting coincided with Abel’s 5.7 Release.

In August, Allan and I visited Australian Wool Testing Authority in Melbourne. We were also delighted to be among the Finalists in the American Chamber of Commerce DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards.  It was the 50th anniversary of AMCHAM’s presence in New Zealand. See August’s Roundup for details.

Early in December we hosted a series of meetings for Alsco Senior Management in New Zealand.  We took them sailing on an Americas Cup Yacht on the Waitemata Harbour, it was a great day.  We sailed at a brisk 11 knots, with lots of boat creaking and nervous smiles all round!

From left: Larry Tomsic, Cory Nielson, Jane Mattsen, Steven Passey, Courtney Pond, Allan Baird, Paul Charlson and Callum Baird

From left: Larry Tomsic, Cory Nielson, Jane Mattsen, Steven Passey, Courtney Pond, Allan Baird, Paul Charlson and Callum Baird

Our Distributor and Implementation partner Abel Solutions has had a great year with Abel ERP implementations on both sides of the Tasman.

We are delighted to have Ausplastics, Fero, Destination Sinton, Hydroworks, Westervelt Company NZ, Pure Bottling NZ and Dairy Products NZ join the Abel community.  I would especially like to thank David Mills and his team for all their work with the rollout of Abel into Deane Apparel, who is New Zealand’s largest marketer of uniforms, corporate work wear and farm clothing.  Deane Apparel was established in the 1930’s (with sites located in Christchurch, Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne).  Deane initially manufactured work wear and school clothing in its Christchurch factory.  By the end of 1950s Deane had established itself as New Zealand’s leading work wear and farm clothing brand with its overalls and work jeans reaching iconic status.  In the early 1990s the company diversified into uniforms and corporate wardrobes.  Deane Apparel supplies innovative clothing solutions to many of New Zealand’s most high-profile brands.

Our Research & Development Centre released more new features and functionality this year including:

Abel Enterprise Management
The Abel Enterprise Management suite provides the ability to run multiple business entities on independent databases, while still providing consolidated views of financial performance across multiple countries and currencies at all levels of your organization.

Customer Relationship Management Enhancements
Abel’s CRM has been enhanced with significant new features for managing the sales cycle.

A new suite of screens for entering leads, converting leads to opportunities (which in turn automatically create the Client and Contact records), managing and maintaining opportunities and recording outcomes.

Executive Dashboards
Our new dashboard screens help senior staff track their Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and manage by exception, especially highlighting work that is late.

Enhancements to Tracking
We have made some enhancements to the Barcodes architecture used for Abel’s Batch, Serial and Unique Tracking capabilities.

Tracks (Batches, Serials and Uniques) have a number of new options available for validating document lines dealing with tracked stock.

We have extended Abel’s Bins and Batches functionality by adding Tanks and Grades. Abel’s new Tank functionality represents actual equipment in a factory e.g. tanks, vats, wine barrels, silos etc. Tank functionality is intended for those installations that need to trace the factory equipment (tanks) that a product was processed through, and also which batches of product have been through a particular tank.

Grades help installations that deal with both new and used items, enabling them to classify items as new or used (with various grades of used condition).

Improvements to Traceability
Abel now provides a new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) data structure to capture radio frequency identification chips and also enables RFID to be attached to serial number tracking.

Tax Enhancements
For indirect taxes (GST, VAT, Sales Tax)

We have introduced new tax features that make it easier to access data and generate reports.

The following areas have been enhanced:

  • Generating tax journals / tax returns.
  • Reporting adjustments to prior month’s data.
  • Identifying the tax transactions that make up the tax totals for each tax code (making the tax data easier to audit).
  • We have also added support for Malaysian GST.

The new tax structure is also useful for those Abel installations that report to multiple tax jurisdictions, helping them to more easily produce returns / reports for different tax sub-codes.

As always, we continue to work alongside our customers to make sure Abel meets their evolving business needs.

A big thank-you to our fabulous software engineers and support staff who come to work each day empowered to create the best ERP solution for growing businesses.  The photo below shows our team on a recent outing.

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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 |

Abel’s flexibility handles different manufacturing processes with ease….

Gidday, This is the latest in a series of blogs I am writing on Abel’s features and what they can do for you.

One of Abel’s strengths is the flexibility of its manufacturing processes. Abel offers a variety of manufacturing processes and also offers the ability to combine them into sub-processes. Some of Abel’s customers use a simple, flat structure for their manufacturing processes and others use a multi-level structure to handle more complex requirements. Abel handles both ends of the spectrum with ease.

Example 1

Let’s say you are manufacturing swimming pool fences and one of the steps in that process is an “external” manufacture whereby another company does the powder coating for you. Within Abel you can create your main manufacturing process and have the external manufacture as a sub-process within it. Abel gives you full visibility of your entire manufacturing process – including any steps that are completed externally.

This diagram shows one way that you can structure the pool fence example:

OctBlog1

Abel’s Manufacturing Processes

Abel offers six manufacturing processes that you can mix and match to suit different requirements:

  • Manufacturing Order
    Manufacturing Orders are Abel’s “standard” manufacturing process. They are used to produce one or more items for a “make to order” or “make for stock” process. Manufacturing Orders enable you to track costs, work centers, machine time etc. They may have a Bill of Materials or they can be built manually.
  • Jobs Order
    Jobs Orders are designed to track costs for maintenance and repair work or any other job where the parts and labor costs cannot be predicted in advance. For example engine re-conditioning or equipment repairs. Abel’s Jobs Orders also provide for sophisticated pre-quoting and flexible invoicing.
  • External Manufacturing Order
    External Manufacturing Orders are used when an external company performs a step in your manufacturing process e.g. specialist coating or cutting. External Manufactures can consume your own stock at your premises or stock at the external company’s premises. They can track service charges and materials to be sent and they can also be scheduled.
  • Production Order
    Production Orders are often used in processes like food manufacturing to make a batch of something and then package it to produce one or more end products. e.g. Make a batch of marmalade and then package it in different sized containers with different labels for different countries. Production Orders can handle two bills of materials (e.g. one BOM for making the food item and another BOM for filling the containers, packaging and labelling). They also have full batch tracking of inputs (raw materials and stock items used e.g. ingredients, jars, lids) and outputs (finished batches produced).
  • Make Order
    Make Orders are Abel’s simplest manufacturing process. They suit simple assemblies and simple manufactures that have no Bills of Materials. e.g. making tablecloths. Make Orders do not use scheduling and they do not track machine time.
  • Shop Order
    Shop Orders are an “umbrella” process used to track a complex manufacture or assembly process and bring all the sub-manufactures together. Shop Orders can also split large manufactures into multiple manufactures or “lots” according to the lot size that your plant or equipment can handle.

Shop Orders, Manufacturing Orders, Jobs Orders and Production Orders can all contain other sub-orders to any depth that suits your manufacturing processes like the following example.

Example 2

This example shows a “Shop” process for making Vitamin Capsules:

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Well that’s a quick overview of Abel’s manufacturing processes, check out these case studies to see what some of our customers say:

GMP Dairy Traceability is the formula for success
“GMP Dairy chose Abel ERP software for its strong manufacturing features and especially its supply chain traceability…”

Mastip Technology Running hot in a global market
“Making bespoke production tools for a fast-moving global plastics manufacturing sector, Mastip Technology Limited have used Abel to master a discombobulating array of production and planning requirements…”

GTech Bellmor Precision as well as speed
“Exporting centrifuge equipment to every corner of the world, GTech Bellmor chose Abel ahead of major ERP rivals to ensure it retained a leading edge…”

Myriad Engineering Seeing the sum of its parts
“When Myriad Engineering wanted better control of its pricing and production process, the precision small-parts machining company chose Abel ERP…”

Guala Closures Because wine should always taste good
“Abel gives us control of the business because everything is controlled with just one tool from supply through manufacturing, sales and finally to accounting…” 

Manuka Health Seeing into the hive
“…Manuka Health has grown rapidly to serve in excess of 40 export markets. Implementing Abel has dramatically slashed time needed for quality control processes, significantly improved efficiency and helped much more effectively deliver on a central customer promise of clarity and transparency…”

Fairfax Industries – Keep on trucking
“When Fairfax Industries needed a system to manage complex heavy truck and trailer manufacturing, they wanted something that was simple to run, but still had real grunt and could easily track every component of every job…”

Whether your business is small, mid-sized or large and has simple or complex manufacturing processes, Abel can help.

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

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |