User eNotes - February 2021

Presidents Comments

Rod Hatcher
May I ask you for a favor?

We have companies that are in the process of evaluating if ALERE would work for them. They are cautious because this is most likely their second or third attempt to acquire an ERP package. Their previous choices were, shall we say, expensive and less than successful. More than anything they want to know if ALERE works, not from us, but from people who are actually using it.

Your experience with ALERE can make all the difference. At one time you were in their shoes facing the same choices. I am sure you would have appreciated being able to read a paragraph from a company which says “Here are the two or three problems we were facing that ALERE solved for us.”

That is the favor I am asking for: a few minutes of your time to jot down what your company does and how ALERE may have helped. Email it to Tim Hatcher. You may be helping another company make an important decision that will possibly affect their future for years.

If you can spare the time, you have my thanks. It will most assuredly help someone and make ALERE stronger.

Part Numbers

One of the essential fundamentals to controlling a company involves having a sound part number policy. According to the APICS Dictionary, a part number “serves to uniquely identify an item.” It can also be called an item number, product number, or a stock code. No matter what name it is given, they all fulfill the same purpose.

Sound practices call for a part number to be as short as reasonable, all be the same length, and be either non-significant or semi-significant.

By default, ALERE supports part numbers up to 15 spaces wide. However, the width can be customized to 20, 25, or more spaces wide.

No matter which length is chosen, there is a natural advantage to making all part numbers the same length. The practice allows them to be quickly validated because a number in a different length immediately raises a red flag.
Pile of Numbers
Some manufacturing experts believe that parts number should be non-significant, meaning that they convey no information and are merely sequential numbers. On the other hand, while significant part numbers are attractive to some businesses; it usually results in making them longer and requires a complex part numbering policy which ends up breaking down over time. Instead, the manufacturing industry, as a whole, has generally settled on semi-significant part numbers. This allows information such as the source of the part, the material in the part, the shape of the part, etc. to be easily incorporated in the number without making it too wide or the part number policy too unwieldy. However a business chooses to identify items, ALERE allows multi-level searches on part descriptions so finding the right part number is easy.

One rule in ALERE that must be observed is that there are no spaces in a part number because they act as hyperlinks to information. So, just as there cannot be spaces in web addresses, there cannot be spaces in part numbers.

Company Attributes

An attribute is a quality or feature that someone or something has. Each company location in ALERE has a set of attributes that define your working relationship with them. As an example, a company could have one office location where all invoices are sent and two other locations to ship to.

Your own company attributes, however, differ from all the companies with which you do business. Your company’s attributes define how you manage your inventory.

The simplest example is the attribute “Warehouse”. It is where inventory can be stored, replenished, and issued.
Brick Office Building
A much less obvious attribute is “Equipment”. It could be to identify a piece of company equipment, a bulldozer for example. Or it could be a large panel truck with inventory that is used for service calls. In that case, you might want to include it in MRP planning.

It is important to understand that your company’s locations are properly identified as first “My Company”, and second, as what role they play in your company. Your company’s attributes are the only set of attributes that allows two to be selected, as just illustrated.

Take the time to understand your company attributes as they affect many aspects of how ALERE operates.

Service Tickets Checkbox

With the release of ALERE v16.0, service ticket information has been made available on the InTouch Company Profile screen Orders tab. By simply check marking the Service Tickets option under the Order Type filter and clicking on the Refresh button, any service work within the defaults date range will be displayed.
Service Ticket Checkboxes
If one or more service tickets you were expecting to see do not appear in the list, then their creation date may have fallen outside the date range. The range is from the first of the year through today by default. Resetting the range to different starting or ending dates and clicking the Refresh button again will update the list.

You can easily hyperlink to the actual order by double clicking on the line showing the order.

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