The Blog

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2017 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.

This Year’s Highlights:

Investors in peopleIn February, Abel Software was delighted to achieve Investors in People accreditation, an internationally recognized accreditation in people management, from High Performance Centre.

In March we celebrated Abel’s 20th Birthday.

In June some of us were fortunate to escape the cold of winter and spend time in North America where Abel Enterprise Management was implemented into the Corporate Office of Alsco Inc, a worldwide leader in the rental of linen, uniforms, healthcare garments, and washroom services and products.

This has been a great year for Abel Solutions, our Distributor and implementation partner, with Abel implementations in Australia and New Zealand. We are very pleased to have: Austin Engineering, Devex Systems, NZ Drinks, King Honey, Playground Centre, New Zealand Health Manufacturing, and ZiwiPeak join the Abel community.

Client Services Manager of NZPICS Vishnu Rayapeddi (left) meets David Mills of Abel Solutions (right).

Client Services Manager of NZPICS Vishnu Rayapeddi (left) meets David Mills of Abel Solutions (right).

November saw NZPICS hold its Supply Chain Conference in Auckland. NZPICS are the New Zealand premier Channel Partner for APICS, the worldwide organization for Supply Chain Management and research. Abe Eshkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of APICS USA, gave the keynote address.

Our Continuous Improvement programme and adherence to APICS best practice standards delivers ongoing results for more Abel customers each year. Andrew and Alison Turner from Nautech Electronics share their story.

In other news, our Research & Development Centre released more new features and functionality this year. We are always looking for new ways to improve Abel and to meet specific customer needs. Here are some highlights:

Manufacturing Functionality:

  • We extended Abel’s MRP (Material Requirements Planning) to include Activities e.g. spraying a kiwifruit orchard – showing when the chemicals, equipment and labour will be required for each activity.
  • We have also extended the use of Abel’s “Shop Order” functionality so you can use it to group existing orders for efficiency in the plant.
  • We have introduced an option for Batch or Unique tracked stock to be consumed at actual cost of the tracked items (rather than at the average stock price).

Customer Story: Mathew Metcalf CEO of Dairy Products NZ Limited explains how Abel’s manufacturing is helping his company deliver automation, flexibility and quality control.

Report Writer Enhancements:
This year our report writer has undergone several significant enhancements:

  • Export to Microsoft® Excel® enables you to export multiple reports to a multi-tabbed Excel workbook e.g. one worksheet per branch.
  • Ranking reports enable businesses to easily compare the financial performance of various branches within a company. They can rank different branches in order of a statistical comparison that you specify. For example, Office Supplies compared to Total Revenue
  • New benchmark line feature prints a line across a report at a “benchmark” value that you specify to highlight data that is above or below expectations.
  • Conditional formatting which enables you to alter the format of groups, lines or fields on a report depending on the value in a field. It works for both printed reports and Excel exports. For example under performance can be highlighted in red.
  • Multiple reports that run in one run for printing or export to Excel. When used with Excel exports, this feature creates an Excel workbook with multiple tabs – one tab for each report within the Multi Report. Multi Reports can be scheduled in the same way as Abel’s other reports.

Abel Enterprise Management:
We have continued to expand Abel’s Enterprise Management functionality this year.

New Dashboards:
We have introduced more Executive Dashboards for tracking KPIs and managing by exception. Our new dashboards include:

Customer Overview dashboard enables you to:

  • View Customers Orders, Invoices, Returns and Credit Limit
  • View Aged Balances, Pay Days and Sales History
  • View Triple A Rating and Contact Details,
  • View and Create Notes, Events and Tasks.
  • View recent customer order details for the last 3, 6, 12 or 24 months
  • Create new Customer Orders.

Customer History

Customer Rating screen for ranking your Customers by Revenue, Profit and how quickly they pay you. The Customer Rating screen helps you understand which customers are contributing the most value to your business.

Manufacturing Work Center Loadings screen that shows work center capacity and loading in a graphical form. The Work Center Loadings dashboard shows you which work centers in your factory are over capacity and which ones are under capacity for the next 10 days.

Work Centres

Some of the Abel Team at a recent Planning Day

Some of the Abel Team at a recent Planning Day

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

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 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 News |

Latest case study: Dairy Products NZ

When master chef Mathew Metcalfe decided to start a business making premium soft-serve ice cream and dairy-free desserts, he chose Abel® ERP to deliver the automation, flexibility and quality control he needed to compete in NZ and overseas… Read more >>

Posted in News |

Latest case study: Nautech Electronics

Nautech Electronics continues to re-engineer its business, adopting more of Abel’s features to bolster its competitive edge as a global contract manufacturer. Find out how Nautech relies on Abel® ERP to drive greater efficiency, automation and agility… Read more >>

Posted in News |

Three of Abel’s Manufacturing Customers Celebrate Success…

This month we are celebrating the success of three of Abel’s Manufacturing Customers:

Congratulations to two of Abel Software’s shining stars who are finalists in the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2016 – South:

  • GMP Pharmaceuticals Group has been nominated in the International Trade category sponsored by Ports of Auckland
  • New Zealand Health Manufacturing has been nominated in both the International Trade category sponsored by Ports of Auckland and the Employer of the Year category sponsored by Milmeq.

The award ceremony will be held on 13th October 2016 and we will be watching the results with interest.

Thirdly, Manuka Health has been in the news lately:

  • Manuka Health has signed a three year agreement with a Beijing based company to distribute Manuka Health NZ honey products to major retailers in China and online. Manuka Health is one of New Zealand’s leading Manuka Honey producers. They estimate the agreement will see their exports to China contribute up to a quarter of the company’s volume within three years.

The agreement was signed at the Auckland offices of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and was attended by the New Zealand Minister for Trade Todd McClay.

We are always delighted to hear news of our customer’s achievements.

Jane

Posted in News |

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:
Shops1small

Then select the lines that you want to include in the Shop Order:
Shops2small

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.

Blog1small

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:

Blog2small

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 |