Getting Started with Dispatch Planner

Dispatch Planner


Managing outbound goods often requires an overarching view of business operations ‘as-a-whole’ – looking across all sales accounts, orders and products. We’ve given users the power to do this via SQLWorks Dispatch Planner.

Dispatch Planner gives order managers and warehouse teams a comprehensive dashboard to maximise visibility and control over orders. Dispatch Planner is accessible within the Stock Ledger, and (by default) loads a comprehensive list of all outstanding customer sales Orders with key information about each order.

dispatch planner

Double clicking on an order allows a drill-down to the exact order, meaning shopfloor teams don’t need to access individual customer sales accounts to understand workloads and even check line-level detail.

Simple ‘traffic-light’ statuses indicate whether the required stock quantity is available for each order to be shipped in full. By selecting an order, dispatch managers can also view the same information for each order line of the order – with the same status indication based on free stock availability. Orders will only be considered ready to ship in full once every line on that order is available to ship.

When ready to ship, dispatches can be sent to dispatch and invoiced (and emailed automatically to the customer) in one smooth workflow, removing the outstanding order from the Dispatch Planner list.

dispatch planner

High volume companies may lengthen or shorten the time horizon of the viewed orders, or filter by warehouse. Where goods are not ‘Ready to Ship’, SQLWorks will make the user aware of why an order is delayed – for example, showing Purchasing Delays.

For companies that use Delivery/Dispatch Notes prior to invoice, the Dispatch Planner will also allow the generation of new delivery notes from here, list any valid delivery note numbers for each order for cross-referencing, and require the user to select an existing delivery note before invoicing a previous dispatch.

Dispatch Planner shows the real power of SQLWorks: as the ability to cross-reference stock control and ordering globally across the business allows you to manage operations quickly, efficiently, and with confidence.

 

You can find more detail about how to use Dispatch Planner here

Introduction to Production Planning

Production Planning


We’ve extended SQLWorks to include more powerful production planning/process routing in Version 10 – allowing Production Managers to masterplan working spaces, types of work, and employee skills to organise manufacturing capacity more effectively.

Workshop Map can be opened via the Products module in the NavBar, and uses three key elements:

  • Work Centres
These are places where work is done – normally a specific location or tooling area on the factory floor, and remember important data such as available working hours, setup/lag costs and more.
  • Processes
This is a type of manufacturing process – such as assembly, welding, mixing, painting etc, and can be restricted to specific work centres or employees.
  • Employees
This is the employee table used in SQLWorks CRM – listing your company’s available staff.

Each Process Route has a series of numbered steps (carried out in a specific order) called a Work Flow. To organise the Work Flow, the production manager simply chooses the Work Centre, Process, and Employee that is assigned at each step – by dragging and dropping them into the Workflow builder.

Workflow steps each carry associated costs and manufacturing times, allowing the system to build a comprehensive picture of the process route a finished product must follow to be completed in full.

production planning

Production managers can save Template Process Routes and assign these to Bills of Material – with the right default process routes being loaded automatically on new Works Orders to save time. Expected completion times are estimated automatically, and progress can be logged as each step of the Workflow is underway

Any Process Routes that are currently in use will be shown in the ‘Active Process Routes’ table, along with the details of the BOMs being produced which follow that process route.

Production Managers can also use this part of SQLWorks to generate reports (either from the perspective of Work Centres, Processes or Employee) to see outstanding and current Works Orders, and to gauge capacity from each.

This helps inform staffing decisions, shift patterns or identify production bottlenecks. Where there is a clash (for example, if a ‘Welding’ process employee has more welding hours due on Works Orders than is available in the calendar), SQLWorks will display ‘CLASH’ in red next to that Bill of Materials.

Overall SQLWorks’ Production Planning gives Production Managers the power to coordinate working spaces/resources, types of work, and personnel for maximum control. Production Routes help structure and streamline the manufacturing process, and organise manufacturing capacity more intelligently.

 

For expertise and software assistance, please contact our SQLWorks Team today

Using Engineering Documents

SQLWorks Document management has reached the next level, enabling tagging of engineering documents and automated printing alongside Works Orders.

As shown in our Introduction to Document Management, many types of files can be added and stored within SQLWorks, linked to other data, downloaded or referenced whenever required. Our development team have also enabled tagging of specific files as ‘engineering’ documents so they can be automatically transferred through to production.

Saving a .jpeg or .pdf to a stock item’s document tab is a simple drag-and-drop process, supported by tagging with the engineering tag. When a Works order is created for that Bill of Materials, those supporting documents can be pulled through for printing automatically.

engineering documents

This is especially useful for assembly instructions, photographs, blueprints and similar that help guide during the production process.

Setting specific criteria in ‘Accounts preferences’ and ‘Document Analysis’ which can be found on the Navbar, allows a specific ‘tag’ such as one named Engineering, to be selected when saving a document on a stock item. Tagged documents appear in the ‘Documents List’ in the top right of the Works Order automatically, and when printing or previewing your Works Order SQLWorks finds the associated document and asks you to confirm whether you would like to print the engineering documents.

engineering documents

 

This feature is especially useful if you have drawings, assembly instructions or diagrams for example, that need to accompany the Works order when sent to the shopfloor/workshop for the build process.

If you would like to find out more about how SQLWorks can make the Manufacturing processes more efficient and less time consuming, please get in touch with our SQLWorks team via email [email protected] or call 01271 441570.

Manufacture and Kitting

manufacture

SQLWorks includes a manufacture and kitting tool able to budget for and build manufactured products using a selection of saved kits.

Manufacturing is accessible to users of the SQLWorks Advanced Stock, and can be found within the Stock Ledger screen under the ‘Products’ module in the main Navbar (1).

Clicking the ‘Kit Details’ Tab opens the kitting information for the selected stock item (2), and users should click the ‘Setup’ button if using these tools for a given stock item for the first time. By default, SQLWorks saves up to 3 alternate builds for each manufactured item (although more are available) with saved descriptions for each build (3).

Each stock item in your SQLWorks stock ledger can be both a ‘parent’ (made from its stock item ‘children’ – its components) or a ‘child’ of another stock item ‘parent’. Right-clicking opens options to ‘add child’ (component part) including values for both the components and associated labour costs.

Saved builds can include many components, sub components, and more levels as needed.

On the right hand side of the panel (4) are fields displaying the ‘Base Component Cost’ (the total value of the component parts as worked out by your saved SQLWorks stock valuation model) the ‘Marked Up Component Cost’ (the total markup value once percentage markups such as labour or assembly costs have been applied to each component for this build) and the ‘Current Kit Cost’ with your assigned sale cost for the finished product.

The kit price will be re-calculated automatically as component parts change, or if you have disabled this feature, by pressing the ‘Re-calculate’ button. Users can update the cost details for a build, allowing for any recent changes to stock ledger components, their value or assembly markup costs. You can also use saved shortcuts in the quick select menu of the Stock Ledger to view ‘Parent Items’ and ‘Child Items’ for easy searching.

SQLWorks manufacturing gives you a toolkit to organize the manufacture of kits from countless components, and to keep track of costs at every stage of the production line.

 

For specialist manufacture and kitting tools – speak to us about SQLWorks Stock Control today.