The Blog

Latest case study: GTech Bellmor

Read about how global high-tech equipment manufacturer GTech Bellmor utilizes Abel to export its centrifuge equipment to every corner of the world. Check out the case study here.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Innova Products and Australian Wool Testing Authority choose Abel…

June 2013 saw us welcoming two new customers to Abel ERP.  

Innova Products started their implementation of Abel with their first site going live last month. Innova is a global company that designs and produces household brands such as Click Clack kitchenware, Dixbro, Talus and Brushworks brushware and Strahi beverageware products.

Melbourne-based Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA), the largest wool testing organization in the world, has chosen Abel’s ERP Software to integrate with their custom wool testing software. Subsidiary company New Zealand Wool Testing Authority (NZWTA) has been an Abel customer since 1998.

As always, we are pleased to see Abel growing its customer base and we are happy to be helping more businesses achieve their goals.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Abel’s Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

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

Abel’s Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a technique which uses budgets to drive Production Planning and Inventory Control within a business. MRP can be used to plan manufacturing, purchasing and delivery activities.  It recommends re-order quantities and timing for materials, ensuring your supply and demand is efficiently managed while maintaining low inventory levels.  Here’s what MRP can do for you:

  • MRP gives you certainty that you have all necessary components as MRP recommends re-order quantities and timing of  ALL the components needed to make or deliver your products, including labor loadings and machine times.
  • MRP helps you maintain low inventory levels by matching supply to time-based demand from the budgets and recommends ordering the items only when they are needed, while always ensuring you have enough stock to meet anticipated demand.
  • MRP informs you about work group / work center utilization by using routing and labor data in Bills of Materials to forecast factory loadings.
  • MRP can help you build good relationships with your suppliers and customers. Using MRP recommendations, you can give your suppliers accurate forecasts of your purchases, helping you with price negotiations and placing you as a favored customer. Having confidence in your materials flow and pricing gives you a competitive advantage, and more certainty and accuracy in setting and meeting delivery times to your customers.

Abel’s implementation of MRP uses Budgets, Bill of Materials (BOM) and Inventory Data together with the Master Production Schedule to calculate time-phased requirements for materials.  It uses the Budgets to generate recommended Order Quantities for Inventory Items and Production Scheduling for manufactured items.

  • You can switch MRP on or off  for individual Inventory Items and give each its own MRP production settings.
  • Budgets used for MRP can be by product, department, customer or a combination of these.
  • A scheduled MRP process uses your budgets, BOMs and inventory data to generate material requirements for staff engaged in planning and re-ordering activities.

P.S. Though MRP is more commonly used to manage materials and production for manufactured items, it can be used for managing inventory levels of stocked items too.

If you want to know more about Abel’s MRP and how it can help your business, please refer to the Manufacturing and Production section of our website or alternatively contact an Abel Distributor.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Highlights from the Latest Release

Gidday, Here is an update of what the development team has been up to !!

Abel version 5.2.1.13 was released in December and customers are now enjoying the benefits. This release includes enhancements suggested by our customers as well as improvements identified by the Abel team. Though this is one of our minor releases, it includes some handy features we thought you would like to know about:

Manufacturing & Production

Bill of Material (BOM) functionality has been extended to make it more flexible and maintainable throughout the manufacturing process. Manufacturing processes now have a specific BOM which is carried throughout the process, handles multiple levels of options and gives full visibility top to bottom of the exploded BOM.

Selecting and building an ‘alternate’ process during manufacturing becomes easier with our enhanced BOM capability because multiple BOMs can be stored against Inventory Items and used as alternates to vary the manufacturing process. You can select any applicable BOM on the Inventory Item (or any BOM elsewhere within Abel) and then customize it for your particular process.

Options within manufacturing have been extended to include Multiple Options and Multiple Levels of Options within a manufacturing process. There are a number of ways to view and satisfy Options, plus the ability to bring more lines on to a BOM (and subsequent manufacturing steps) through Options. Working with multiple options is easier as lower level options are filtered according to your selected higher level options.

These features will be very useful for Options management, for customizing BOMs for particular manufactures or for re-routing workflow e.g. for load balancing.

Internationalization

Indirect Tax for Italy

This release fully supports variable rate Indirect Tax handling for Italy.

Abel’s coverage of indirect tax (GST, VAT, Sales Tax etc.) now extends throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Official Document Numbering

This functionality implements legal requirements for Official Document Numbering in Italy. Numbers must be consecutive with no gaps, chronological by posting date and re-start each calendar year.

Usability

This release includes a number of usability improvements :

  • Pricing
    You can now update GST exclusive customer pricing and supplier pricing direct from functions such as supplier delivery, customer dispatch etc. via the new SuppPrice and CustPrice buttons on most document screens. This makes maintenance faster when introducing new Inventory Items and also quicker to make pricing updates for existing items. This requires configuration, please contact your Abel installer if you wish to use this feature.
  • Improved Bin Selection
    There is a new screen for selection of available bins on customer dispatches, supplier deliveries and other functions where stock bins are selected. By default, stock branch bins selection only shows bins where stock for this item is currently located. Click ‘Show All’ to invoke the new screen for selecting from all bins in the branch. This is useful for new items being put away for the first time or for expanding your bin storage of an existing item.
  • Configurable Previous / Next buttons
    The behavior of the Previous and Next buttons on Client related screens can now be changed in your user preferences. You can switch between the default behavior – (documents for all Clients in apply date order) and the new behavior (documents for the current Client in apply date order).
  • Report Screens
    As part of Abel’s initiative to continually improve its user interface, Report screens have been re-designed to provide a more intuitive look and feel. The print, email and export options are presented on separate tabs. The file and pathname for export are now able to be set as a default at user level.

Other New Features

  • Attached Files
    There are some changes to the way files are attached and stored. Attached files can now be either  ‘linked to’ or stored, checked in and out and also have additional options for security.
  • Work in Progress (WIP) total on Jobs
    Jobs screen variations 1 and 2 have a new option to display WIP in total 1 or total 2 at the bottom of the screen. This gives greater visibility over the progress of the job.  This requires configuration, please contact your Abel installer if you wish to use this feature.

And those are just  a few, refer to your release notes for details on all the enhancements. Meanwhile, there is plenty to do and we are busy working towards our next release later in the year.

By the way, keep an eye on the blog for my series of articles on Abel’s features. The first one – out now – is about Material Requirements Planning (MRP).

Until next time, Rik

Posted in Abel Blog |

Customers expand globally with Abel

As much as we love seeing new customers join the Abel community, we also love seeing the existing community expand their Abel footprint, and especially so when it’s expanding internationally. It’s been a lively start to the year in this regard and we can’t even tell you ALL the news! But for now here’s the latest..

First out of the blocks is Mastip Technology who are adding Abel to their operation in China. Abel with help them to respond more quickly to the needs of its Asian customers and distributors. With operations in New Zealand, North America, Europe and China, using Abel will give the management team at Mastip head office total visibility of its global operations.

Next, Denice from Abel Solutions Australia is heading off to Texas to install Abel into GTech-HilTech. GTech-HilTech distribute and service New Zealand made equipment for the oil and gas exploration industry. This implementation of Abel will streamline operations between GTech Bellmor in New Zealand and their US agent GTech-HilTech

Lastly, US based textile services company Alsco is rolling out Abel into its Italian branches, with Alsco Merlino going live in March and others to follow later in the year. Alsco uses Abel to manage its laundry operations worldwide keeping track of more than 1 million transactions daily. The Italian implementation brings Alsco’s deployment of Abel to 9 countries and 4,400 users. Check out the link to see Alsco Italy in action. http://vimeo.com/58448054

Posted in Abel Blog |

Customer Visit: Alsco in Metzingen, Germany

I am Bonny Maltby the Lead Technical Writer at Abel Software responsible for maintaining our system documentation, online help and other written material. I was on holiday in Germany recently and took the opportunity to visit one of Abel’s customers – Alsco in Metzingen. Globally, Alsco is a leader in the textile services industry and uses Abel ERP software to manage 1 million transactions daily across 135 branches. Being a new member of the Abel team, this was my first customer visit and it was pretty special to visit a site on the opposite side of the world!

Metzingen is located 35km from Stuttgart in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the South West of Germany. Baden-Württemberg has the third largest population of Germany’s 16 states.

We met with Branch Manager Jan Schultze-Berndt who took my partner and I to lunch and gave us an overview of Alsco Metzingen’s business. He then took us on a very interesting and informative tour of the branch and explained the textile services processes in detail.

Alsco Metzingen provides personalized uniforms, flat linen, mats and consumables. European Union regulations more or less require food handling garments to be leased – attention to hygiene is paramount – and the Metzingen branch specializes in garment services. The branch manages the supply, laundering, repair and replacement of uniforms for customers all over the state – keeping a track of over 200,000 uniforms and laundering thousands daily! Alsco runs 11 collection and delivery routes, visiting each customer once or twice a week – the longest route requires an overnight stay in the picturesque area of Bodensee (Lake Constance) in the South.

Standard garments are kept in stock while custom-designed uniforms are manufactured to order. Garments moving into or out of service are managed in the large on-site store. Staff introduce new garments, retire old ones and provide replacements when necessary ensuring each garment has its individual barcode identifying the customer, the wearer and other key information.

Alsco Metzingen has a sophisticated set of ceiling-mounted conveyors which conveys bags of dirty laundry ready for washing, and the cleaned and pressed garments on their individual hangers all the way to the outbound loading area where there is a hanging conveyor for each van. To streamline garment handling, some of the Abel software functions have been modified to provide spoken commands.

Dirty laundry on it’s way to being washed.

The garments are scanned on arrival at the branch and are sorted according to the washing program required. Washing solutions are mixed automatically for each wash program. After washing, the garments are sucked out of the washing machines then dried and steamed in an automatic steam chamber. Garmets requiring a high standard of finish such as pharmacist’s uniforms are individually pressed.

One of the washing machines .. and the automatic detergent mixer.

The dried and pressed garments on their hangers are scanned again and ‘verheiratet’ (meaning ‘married’) to an intelligent hook containing a microchip on the conveyor system. Each hook then ‘knows’ the barcode data of the garment it is carrying so it can proceed to the sorting floor where a number of conveyors sort the garments by customer and delivery route. The garments are delivered either folded or on hangers according to Alsco customer’s preferences. Each delivery van has it’s own conveyor and the automated sorting system ensures the right garments get to the right van on the right day of the week.

‘Marriage’ of the garments to intelligent hooks        … and the sorting floor.

The outbound loading area.

Günter Gottschalk is the Abel Manager for Germany and is based in Köln (Cologne). Jan says Günter is key to the smooth management of Abel throughout Germany. Günter communicates with Alsco’s IT department in the USA and ensures that all the branches are kept informed about new Abel functionality and pending software upgrades. Günter provides staff training programs for Alsco Germany’s configuration of Abel.

The Alsco model of management allows Jan autonomy in the management of the Metzingen branch and his staff. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and found it to be a well organised branch with a pleasant culture.

P.S. If you ever visit Metzingen, make time to visit the outlet stores! Metzingen is the home of Hugo Boss and there is a large Hugo Boss outlet store and many other designer brands as well! And I can recommend the Hotel Gasthof Schwanen for lunch!

 

With Jan Schultze-Berndt outside the plant …… lunch the Hotel Gasthof Schwanen – thank you Jan!

An Alsco van on its rounds in picturesque Tubingen.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Latest installations and new presence in Australia

Here’s an update of what’s been going on in Abel world.

Abel has been selected as the ERP system choice for Deane Apparel – New Zealand’s largest marketer of uniforms, corporate wardrobes and work wear. Installation is underway and Abel will be installed in Deane’s facilities in New Zealand and Australia.

Abel Solutions Australia has completed the implementation of Abel into Disk Brakes Australia (DBA). DBA is an Australian owned manufacturer, designer and global marketer of automotive disc brake rotors.

Abel Solutions Australia has recently extended its presence by opening an office in Melbourne. Lucky Melbourne!

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Latest case study: Besra Gold

Read about how Besra Gold is using Abel to operate in several locations and communicate in multiple languages; so that the business really can focus on digging for gold! Check out the case study here.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Latest case study: Mastip

Read about how Mastip utilizes Abel to fortify their reputation for providing fast turn around, innovative hot runner solutions to the plastics industry world wide. Check out the case study here.

Posted in Abel Blog |

Latest implementations (Gold Mining and Disc Brake Manufacturing)

Here is a brief introduction on the latest two companies to join the Abel community thanks to the implementation team at Abel Solutions. Both of these implementations are now completed or as we refer to it ‘have gone live’. Well done guys!

Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc.
Olympus Pacific are a gold mining company with mining, exploration and production facilities scattered throughout South East Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines).

They chose to replace their legacy system with Abel because of the requirements to handle:

  • Multiple companies
  • Multiple currencies
  • Project and Activity sub ledgers
  • Dual language descriptions

Keep a look out for the case study that’s coming soon..

Disk Brakes Australia (DBA)
DBA design, manufacture and distribute disc brake rotors. They are considered to be a premium world-wide supplier of brake rotors and when I say world-wide I mean it.. they in-fact supply to every continent in the world!

Here is what they’re using Abel for;

  • Controlling manufacturing and production processes
  • Inventory management
  • Distribution and supply chain management
  • Financials
Posted in Abel Blog, News |