User eNotes - November 2020

Presidents Comments

Rod Hatcher
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and, hopefully, time with your family. Just before the holiday, ALERE v16.0 began shipping. For those with current SMA’s this new version is already in your hands or should be shortly. There is a lot in this new version and since many features originated with requests received from you, we trust you will be pleased.

Roughly once a year a new version of ALERE is released, and it is always impressive to review the scope of both the major and the minor improvements that are introduced. The New Features brochure is almost twelve pages long, and it still is not an exhaustive list! There are uncounted small details that are not included in the brochure that range from increasing a field size to accommodate a business that managed to reach the limit or yet one more report option to meet someone’s request!

We talk in grand terms about the importance of building a product based on concepts but often times paying attention to those requested small details can prove to be just as important. Important because to that one person the addition of that small detail can make their life easier and leave them with a feeling of satisfaction. And you know what? It gives us satisfaction also.

Improved Blanket Order Integration

A blanket order (or standing order) is a long-term purchase order that has been placed by a customer. The order is valid for a specified period of time and authorizes multiple orders during that time period for supplying specified goods or services, for a fixed period or in a fixed quantity, at agreed-on prices or pricing methods. After its acceptance by the supplier, orders may be created against it periodically on an as-and-when-required basis, or as specified in the order, without calling for new purchase orders.

However, what happens when a customer calls to authorize a release from the blanket order, a sales order is created, and then the customer calls back and reduces the quantity ordered? The quantity on the order has already been deducted from the blanket order!
Blanket Order Quantity Remaining
In v16.0 the integration of blanket and sales orders has been more tightly integrated so that changes to sales orders, created from blanket orders, automatically update the linked blanket orders to reflect the remaining quantity!

This feat is possible because of a concept in ALERE that uses the Activity tab on orders to trace the transactions that occur throughout each document’s life.

Transfer Order Planning

Prior to v16.0 manufacturing material planning took into consideration purchase orders and work orders that would be in demand for inventory items to meet production requirements. The orders that were required would be listed on the Generate Recommended Work Orders screen and the Generate Purchase Orders screen where they could be edited and then automatically released as live orders. These recommended orders save an immense amount of manual labor and keep inventory sufficiently stocked to meet the needs of manufacturing.

However, larger manufacturing companies may have more complex material planning requirements if they have multiple locations where raw material inventory is stocked, sub-components are built, and finished product is produced among them.
Generate Recommended Transfer Orders Screen
The planning process has been enlarged to treat different locations as suppliers. This involves recommending transfer orders, instead of purchase orders, among the different locations for raw materials, manufactured sub-components, and finished product. To support this capability, the Generate Recommended Transfer Orders screen has been added to handle material movements among the different locations.

This will be evident when the plan orders process is run and the screen will display the number of WO’s, TO’s, and PO’s recommended.

Controlling PDF Creation

The concept of having Document Management embedded in ALERE brings many advantages and challenges. For a company storing large amounts of information, it quickly becomes apparent that organizing how and where to store that data is crucial to being able to find it again.

One common source of data is PDF files created by ALERE reports. By default they are stored in the location defined on the Default Paths tab of the Company Defaults screen.
Create Order PDF's in Company Document Path
Key processes in ALERE now have a Documents tab located on their screens. This permits a default storage path to be set for each customer, for example.

A new option in v16.0 allows PDFs created for orders to automatically use the path specified on the Documents tab to archive these files. This assures the correct filing of PDFs so that they may be easily found.

Technical Seminars - Your Source of Training

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, TIW is currently only offering custom training at this time.

Custom training offers a client driven, focused training approach which addresses the specific needs of your organization. At the same time it doubles as process consulting time, which can help to improve your organizational efficiency.

The one on one training may also be used to provide employees with recurrent training, which will assist them in making the most of both ALERE’s core and newest features. Alternatively, training may be scheduled as a comprehensive overview to familiarize new additions to your staff with the capabilities of ALERE.

Session require a two hours minimum commitment and may run for a maximum of four hours per day.

Schedule your company’s session by calling Chris at 610-258-5161 x105.

TIW’s online training resources are available 24/7 on demand through our website
TIW Technology, Inc. | Phone: 610.258.5161 | Fax: 610.258.6217