The Blog

August’s Roundup!

New Deals
August saw two more companies join the Abel community:

  • Another dairy product manufacturer – this one is based in Auckland.
  • A company that designs and manufactures large turbines and equipment for the hydro-generation industry.

American Chamber of Commerce Awards
amcham1In mid-August, we were 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.

The awards were attended by US Ambassador Mark Gilbert, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and a number of past Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Past Presidents and others who have played a significant role in AMCHAM’s success over the last 50 years.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key presented the three Exporter Awards as well as the Supreme Award.

 

Prime Minister, The Rt Hon. John Key

Prime Minister, The Rt Hon. John Key

A big thank you to our customers Mastip Technology, Australian Wool Testing Authority, G-Tech Bellmor, Alsco Inc, GMP Dairy and Manuka Health who were chosen to showcase Abel at the awards. Their success in exporting around the world is a vital part of our success.

Although we didn’t win our awards category, it was great for the Abel team to attend the evening’s celebrations and to meet other companies that are also doing business in the USA. Congratulations to all the winners and especially to Aranz Medical Limited, the winner in our awards category.

Customer Visit
On a visit to Melbourne last week, Allan and I visited the Australian Wool Testing Authority. The Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) is the world’s largest Wool Testing Authority, and uses Abel to run their financial, operational and analysis functions.

AWTA has three Raw Wool Testing laboratories in Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle. Each laboratory operates 24 hours a day 5 days per week. Together they serve all of Australia. AWTA provides a bridge between the research and commercial applications of testing technology. They do this by :

  • Facilitating further research and development
  • Sponsoring and participating in practical trials
  • Developing and implementing national and international standards, procedures, methods and technologies.

AWTA’s operation provides major benefits to all segments of the wool industry in Australia and overseas.

AWTA’s Carl Carter took Allan and I on a tour of the Wool Testing Laboratory. It was truly fascinating to see all the tests and measurements that the wool samples go through including Yield Measurement, Vegetable Matter types in Australian Wool, Fibre Diameter Measurement, Staple Length and Strength Measurement, Colour Measurement and Fleece Measurement.

We then headed off to the Product Testing Division, an independent materials testing facility available to government instrumentalities, industry and the general public. The Product Testing Division is accredited by NATA to ISO/IEC standards. The laboratory provides a comprehensive range of testing services on a wide variety of products including: fibres, yarns, textiles, plastics, flammability, automotive, building products, glass, carpets/flooring materials, retail products, health care, insulation, clothing, accelerated weathering and laminates. It has specialised capabilities in thermal conductivity, spectrophotometry, measurement of static electricity and retro reflective performance.

From left: Carl Carter, Management Account, AWTA, Jane Mattsen, Business & Channels Manager Abel Software and Allan Baird, Managing Director, Abel Software

From left: Carl Carter, Management Account, AWTA,
Jane Mattsen, Business & Channels Manager Abel Software
and Allan Baird, Managing Director, Abel Software

It’s always pleasing to meet up with our customers and see how Abel helps them with their businesses.

After the tour it was time for a well-deserved lunch at an all-time AWTA favourite Italian restaurant in North Melbourne. We met with Peter Walsh, AWTA Chief Financial Officer, and Denice Bennet-Rae, General Manager, Abel Solutions Australia.

 

From left: Denice Bennet-Rae, Abel Solutions Australia General Manager, Allan Baird, Managing Director Abel Software and Peter Walsh, Chief Financial Officer, AWTA

From left: Denice Bennet-Rae, Abel Solutions Australia General Manager,
Allan Baird, Managing Director Abel Software and Peter Walsh, Chief Financial Officer, AWTA

Supporting N.Z. Sport
We wish to congratulate Amy Mills and her team who recently returned from the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. As part of supporting our community, we at Abel helped Amy fund her trip to the World Championships.

Amy’s team won the B final of the U23 Women’s Quadruple Sculls finishing 7th overall, having narrowly missed out on the A final by 0.18s to the eventual winner and 3rd place getter. As a young crew, they showed great courage in overcoming their disappointment of not making the final, to perform so well in the B final.

We look forward to seeing them on the world stage in the future.

 

Amy (right) and a teammate at the 2015 World Rowing Championships Photo courtesy of Steve McArthur, Rowing Celebrations

Amy (right) and a teammate at the 2015 World Rowing Championships
Photo courtesy of Steve McArthur, Rowing Celebrations

Until next time.

Jane

Posted in News |

Latest case study: Myriad Engineering

When Myriad Engineering wanted better control of its pricing and production process, the small-parts machining company chose Abel® ERP to integrate all the critical information it needed to stay competitive. Read about how Abel provides Myriad staff with real-time visibility and traceability over their entire operation. Check out the case study here.

Posted in News |

Three more manufacturing companies join the Abel community…

Our Distributor, Abel Solutions has been busy installing three new Abel sites:

  • AUS Plastics, based in Perth, manufacture PVC injection moulded plumbing fittings. Their products are used throughout Australasia in the housing and construction industry.
  • An Auckland based pie manufacturer that produces and supplies a large range of speciality pies to café’s, supermarkets and service stations.
  • And finally Fero, an Auckland based company that specializes in contract manufacturing, assembly and processing of wire related products. Fero’s wiring looms are used in: Monitoring & Safety, Medical, Signage, Power Management, Lighting, Broadcasting, Appliances, Agriculture, Military, Marine and many more. Basically anywhere there is a requirement for wiring solutions. Fero runs a truly sophisticated manufacturing operation that competes worldwide. Check out the video of their operation.

As always, it’s pleasing to see how Abel helps our customers achieve their goals.

Jane

Posted in News |

Visit to the U.S. caps off a busy month…

The month of April has been busy to say the least with new Abel implementations and the fit-out of new premises for our software development team.

Then it was off to the US for an Abel worldwide meeting with Alsco executives from seven countries. Abel’s latest release (5.7) was very well received and we had some very productive discussions. It was good to catch up with everyone again, and to finally meet in person the team from Brazil!

The Abel team with Alsco executives

The Abel team with Alsco executives

While in the US we also met with students from San Diego State University who, as part of their Executive MBA program, conducted a research project to inform our US expansion. Although Abel already has a large number of sites in the US, our plan is to further ramp up our US presence.

Abel Software was one of only five New Zealand companies selected to take part in the program with San Diego State, a collaboration with Wellington’s Victoria University. Our involvement was facilitated by ATEED (Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development), an organization that connects resources to opportunities for companies like ours who are exporting.

The work undertaken by the students from San Diego State was greatly appreciated and it was nice to meet up with Caleb, Junko, Rochelle and Shantanu and thank them for their good work.

From left: Allan Baird, Jane Mattsen (Abel Software), Caleb Queern (MBA Student, San Diego State)

From left: Allan Baird, Jane Mattsen
(Abel Software),
Caleb Queern (MBA Student, San Diego State)

 

From left: Junko Kuga, Rochelle Padilla, Shantanu Bose  (MBA Students, San Diego State)

From left: Junko Kuga, Rochelle Padilla, Shantanu Bose
(MBA Students, San Diego State)

Rik will be back shortly to talk about new features in Abel Release 5.7 including our new International Generic Tax Journal, External Ledgers for Corporate Systems and significant enhancements to CRM around managing the sales cycle.

Jane

Posted in News |

Managing Multiple Entities and Multiple Locations with Abel Enterprise

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

Abel’s Enterprise Management helps both small and large organizations manage their many and varied organization structures and financial reporting requirements. With Abel, you can run multiple business entities in one database or in multiple databases, consolidating financial data to produce reports and financial results for different business entities, locations, countries or currencies. This same flexibility allows smaller businesses to grow easily with Abel, expanding their database from one location to multiple locations.

Abel uses “Reporting Branches” to group companies and departments for consolidated reporting purposes. You can define any number of reporting branches each containing the company / department groupings (trading branches) required. This enables you to slice and dice your data in many different ways giving you quality information to truly manage your organization.

Abel’s consolidation works across multiple databases so you can consolidate financial and operational information from your trading branches, no matter where they are geographically. In reports and enquiry screens, use your reporting branches to extract consolidated data for multiple trading branches. If you need to report in multiple currencies, simply specify a reporting branch for each currency.

Abel Enterprise has some pretty unique features. Each database can run independently while providing a consolidated financial view supported by automatic inter-database transfers. Each database location synchronizes its general ledger account balances with an equivalent account structure in a head office database, giving you an automatically-generated organization-wide, consolidated view of the financial accounts. Abel handles all this across different countries and currencies.

Users in head office or in branch databases can easily see a combined view of each branches’ financials comprising both local transactions and head office transactions for each branch. Abel’s security ensures that users can only see branch data that they are authorized to access. Users have automatic, transparent access to any Abel database that they have security credentials for. If they are viewing a summary figure in the head office database, they can double-click that summary figure to drill down into the actual data within the external database that it came from. Abel transparently logs them in to the remote database. Security in the remote location database is controlled as though the user had directly signed on.

Separate locations or business units often have many transactions in common. These include buying goods for each other, transferring stock, manufacturing goods, paying creditors, receiving debtor payments or paying for goods on behalf of each other. All these transactions require inter-company or inter-branch accounting processes. Abel provides inter-company documents (branch invoices) that are automatically produced in the host location and subsequently transferred to the remote location (branch transfers). Each document performs the correct accounting necessary to balance the inter-company accounts on consolidation. This includes providing for foreign currencies and different local taxation regimes. Abel will auto-generate the reciprocal document at the remote location.

So that was a very quick summary of how Abel Enterprise can help you manage and report across multiple business entities and / or locations.

Now here are a few tips and tricks for existing Abel customers. Did you know about these handy features?

  • You can manage your suppliers centrally. Simply enter a supplier’s details into your head office database and then replicate them to the branch databases. Managing your suppliers centrally offers potential cost savings and benefits.
  • Have you tried our newer inter company documents? Customer Dispatch to Supplier Delivery: A Customer Dispatch can create a Supplier Delivery in another database. Customer Invoice to Supplier Invoice: A customer invoice can create a supplier invoice in another database.
  • You can co-ordinate your monthly close off across all the databases. This is especially useful for installations running external ledgers that allow both branches and head office to create transactions for the branch. Users initiate the period close from the Head Office database and Abel automatically closes the same period in the branch databases.

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

Until next time.

Rick

Posted in News |

Twenty Fifteen

Happy New Year! We are already back into it.

While the rest of the world is conducting “business as usual” we, in Australasia, call December and January the “silly season” because we take advantage of the warm weather and go on holiday. This makes it a quieter period for some businesses and an ideal time for systems maintenance and new implementations. Our distributor Abel Solutions has been kept on their toes with new customer implementations over the period. To be honest life cannot stop around here.

In other news, we have been receiving fantastic feedback from customers taking advantage of Abel’s Enterprise Management functionality.

Our customers can easily view consolidated data for any combination of companies and branches within their organization at any time. They can also synchronize their period close across the whole group. At the end of the period, staff initiate the period close from the Head Office system and Abel automatically closes the periods in all of the Branch systems. Head Office staff can then produce their final consolidated reports.

Another Enterprise Management feature receiving rave reviews is the ability to manage and pay suppliers centrally. This suits organizations or groups with a Head Office / Branch structure:

  • At the Branches, staff enter their supplier invoices and authorize them for payment. Upon authorization, the supplier invoices are automatically transferred to the Head Office system ready for payment.
  • Head Office makes one supplier payment to each supplier on behalf of all the Branches.
  • All Supplier codes are kept consistent across the group. At any time Head Office staff can create or amend any supplier’s details. With a push of a button the change will immediately take effect, and be pushed out to all Branch systems.

Tracking supplier expenditure across the whole organization is a powerful tool, especially when negotiating contracts and price discounts with suppliers. Also, Abel’s centralized supplier management significantly reduces overhead costs in the Branches.

If your business has multiple locations, or you are considering expanding to multiple locations or you just want to understand how Abel’s Enterprise Management functionality can benefit you, then please contact your Abel Consultant or an Abel Distributor to find out how we can help you.

Also, I recently updated the technology section of our website. This explains the benefits of Abel’s Architecture, its multi-layered model and why Abel’s Application Engine is so powerful. We are often asked how we are able to configure and implement Abel in a shorter timeframe than other ERP vendors. The Technology section explains why.

And finally, congratulations to Abel customers Manuka Health and GMP Dairy, and also to our good friends at Wynyard Group who have all been nominated as finalists in the 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards.

We have plenty lined up for the year ahead. We are looking forward to working with our current customers and our new customers who are currently preparing for their Abel implementations.

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 2015 from the team at Abel

As another year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the achievements of our customers.

Our good friends at Alsco have truly had a year to remember. In 2014 they celebrated Alsco’s 125 years in the textile services business. From humble beginnings in Lincoln Nebraska in 1889, Alsco has since served more customers in more countries for more years than any other image wear services supplier in the world. Check out Alsco’s 125th Anniversary Video. This achievement is a tribute to four generations of the Steiner family.

alsco2Alsco continues to expand and innovate. In August Allan Baird and I spent a week in Italy at the Alsco Merlino branch which is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Milan.

The laundry is state of the art with so many processing stages : arrival, sorting, washing, rinsing, hydro extraction, clean handling, tumble dry & transport, loading, control & repair, automatic sorting and automatic folding and empty hanger return. It was truly fascinating watching the machines that process thousands of items every day! Check out this video to see the laundry in operation.

We visited some of our New Zealand customers as well.

In July Callum Baird and I visited GMP Dairy, New Zealand’s first and largest pharmaceutical grade dairy manufacturing production facility. Our visit included a tour of the clean room production facility which is built to strict hygiene standards with extensive automation; the facility features the most advanced dairy processing, air filtration and testing systems in New Zealand.

Allan Baird and I attended the opening of Manuka Health’s new multi-million dollar production facility in Te Awamutu. Manuka Health is the largest purpose built honey processing and distribution centre in New Zealand.

Our customers have continued to grow and expand, with Abel this year. Nautech Electronics, who design, manufacture and install Electrical and Electronic Equipment into thousands of Emergency Service Vehicles, has expanded its use of Abel ERP Software in New Zealand into their Queensland operation.

We also welcomed many new customers to Abel this year including:

  • Myriad Engineering, who has been providing engineering services since 1972, implemented Abel ERP Software into their Lower Hutt operation. Myriad Engineering provides high quality machined componentry for organizations that produce; world class racing yachts, LawnMaster lawnmowers and state of the art flag pole systems
  • Hotter Engineering, a Taranaki-based designer and manufacturer of parallel rotary milking platforms for the global dairy industry, implemented Abel ERP Software this year. Hotter Engineering has installed over 500 high quality milking platforms in 30 countries.
  • Reid and Twiname, who have been importing and distributing into the Motor Body Hardware and Industrial and Outdoor Textiles industries since 1923, implemented Abel ERP Software into their Auckland and Christchurch operations.

Our Distributor and Implementation Partner Abel Solutions has had a huge year with Abel ERP implementations on both sides of the Tasman, thank you David and the team, a truly remarkable effort for 2014.

And finally our Research & Development Center has continued to release more new features and functionality this year including:

  • Significant enhancements to our Enterprise Management capabilities for those Abel customers running multiple Abel databases, and those that have a Head Office / Branch structure.
  • Further enhancements to Manufacturing including Shop Orders, which can be used to better manage complex manufacturing processes. This functionality has enabled time saving for our milk powder processing customers.
  • Several handy features for managing stock including “First Expiry – First Out” picking for better management of perishable stock.
  • Enhancements to Abel’s Report Writer including a new pre-set automatic Report Builder.
  • Enhancements to Fixed Assets internationalization.
  • And, as always, we continue to make many small enhancements as requested by our customers.

To all our customers around the world, we wish you Compliments of the Season and we look forward to working with you again next year.

Jane and the Team at Abel

Posted in News |

Handy Features for Managing Stock

Hi there, I am just writing to highlight a few of Abel’s features for managing stock and inventory. Did you know about these?

  • Inventory Frozen Status
    The ‘Frozen Status’ is a temporary status for batch controlled inventory that stops it being used or consumed. The Frozen Status is intended for use when batches entering stock cannot be used or sold immediately for some reason (for example, until quality tests have been completed). You can include frozen batch controlled inventory on documents, but Abel will prevent you from posting them until the frozen status has been removed. You can either set the frozen status at the inventory item level (meaning stock for that inventory code will always enter stock with a status of frozen). Or you can set the frozen status manually for individual batches, serial numbers or unique numbers.
  • Stock Runout Features
    The Stock Runout Screen makes it easier to predict when you will run out of stock. It is especially helpful for finding cases where you are awaiting delivery of a supplier order (and therefore the system won’t automatically reorder) but the supplier order isn’t big enough and you are still projected to run out of stock.
    You can also generate supplier purchase orders and branch manufacturing orders using the estimated stock shortage date to derive the due date of each line plus a configurable ‘safety days’ margin.
  • Build Pick Process
    The ‘Build Pick’ process is an alternative to the requisition process for consuming stock in manufacturing. Build Pick transfers inventory to a ‘Manufacturing Department’ (e.g. a location on the factory floor) from its respective Stock, Store or Plant Company/Department in preparation for consumption within a manufacture. A subsequent back flush of the manufacturing document consumes the stock from the Manufacturing Department. A Pick can be built from Manufacturing / Jobbing / Production or Planning type documents.
  • Options for Managing Batch Controlled Inventory
    Abel offers a number of options for validating document lines dealing with batch controlled inventory. This gives you more control over batch controlled inventory and helps you ensure it is captured accurately. For example, on a receipt, you can prevent a batch or serial being received if it has been entered into Abel before.

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

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |

Abel’s “First Expiry – First Out” picking helps you consume oldest inventory first

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

Do you sell perishable stock or consume perishable raw materials in your manufacturing processes? Have you ever wanted to easily pick perishable inventory based on its expiry date? Well now you can with Abel’s “First Expiry – First Out” picking option or FEFO for short.

Abel can store a “Use Date” for perishable inventory. For items that have a use date, Abel’s dispatch, pick and requisition processes offer batch controlled inventory with the earliest Use Dates first, so items that expire first are used first.

This example shows a customer dispatch with batch tracked inventory that has a Use Date. The ‘Issue Batches’ screen shows batches in Use Date order and suggests the oldest batch (by Use Date) for dispatch.

FEFO1

The operator can either confirm or amend the suggested selections either individually or all at once. Alternatively, if the operator needs to undo and redo the allocation before posting a document, e.g. due to inventory movement, they can easily clear and then re-load Abel’s suggested allocation.

So that was a very quick summary of how Abel’s “FEFO” picking can help you better manage your perishable inventory. By the way – If supply chain traceability is important to your business, check out this case study.

To find out 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 |

Abel’s Shop Orders and Scheduling Around a Constraint Work Center

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

  • Abel’s Shop Orders
  • Splitting a manufacture into ‘lots’
  • Scheduling around a constraint work center

Abel’s shop orders provide a very powerful top down view of complex jobs that contain multiple manufactures. You can see  at any stage where each of the manufactures is at. Shop orders complement Abel’s scheduling functionality, making it easier to co-ordinate multiple manufactures to meet the customers required date.

The shop orders screen shows you all the manufacturing documents needed to make an item for a customer order and see the status of each. Abel’s shop order screen gives you visibility over all the manufacturing processes needed to produce an item from the one screen and schedule all the work with one click. You can easily track the status of the individual manufactures, view the schedule, and drill down to the individual manufacturing documents.

Shops are also useful if you need to split a manufacture into lots that the factory can handle. The ‘split’ function automatically creates separate manufactures in lot sizes that you specify. The separate manufactures for each lot can all be viewed on the shop screen.

Scheduling around a constraint work center can be done for any schedule (not only for shops). If you have a constraint work center in your manufacturing process then Abel can optimize the schedule to make best possible use of that work center and will automatically arrange the other items around it.

Shop Orders

You can configure Abel so that customer orders for certain inventory items automatically create shop orders when they are posted, like this example:

shopblog1

For each customer order line, all the manufactures are listed on the shop orders screen. This example shows 1140 kilos of marmalade being manufactured and packaged into 3000 jars:

shopblog2

Splitting a manufacture into lots

Shop orders also provide a split function for splitting a large manufacture into ‘lots’ (or batches) that the plant can handle. In this example, the marmalade is being manufactured in 400 kilo lots.

shopblog3a

Abel replaces the single manufacture with multiple manufactures up to your specified lot size:

shopblog3b

From the shop order screen you can create the schedule. This example shows the default schedule that was created:

shopblog4

Scheduling around a constraint work center

If your schedule has a constraint work center, you can optimize the schedule for it. Click on a line that contains the constraint work center, then click Schedule. The schedule is re-drawn optimizing for the constraint work center.

This example has been optimized for Work Center 1. You can see that Abel has scheduled all the work center 1 lines to follow on from each other and has automatically scheduled the other lines around it.

shopblog5

So that was a very quick summary of what’s cool about Abel’s shops and constraint work center functionality.

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

Until next time.

Rik

Posted in News |