User eNotes - July 2021

Presidents Comments

Rod Hatcher
The work on v17, the next release of ALERE, is well along in its development. Among the many features and improvements will be a new module called Job Cost. Its purpose is to allow purchase orders, manufacturing work orders, and service orders to be all tied together into a “Job” or project. Thus, a management picture can be developed that will estimate, schedule, accrue costs, and track the progress of a job. The capabilities include creating multiple requests for purchasing quotes, comparing them, and then placing purchase orders for the quotes that are accepted.

A graphical dashboard will display the real time status of a job.

The Job Cost module will appeal to companies that build expensive and complex products. It will provide a way to account for the specific costs and resources that come with managing a large project.

Training Videos Available

A series of 15 online training videos are now available for companies with current SMA's. The videos range in length from 90 minutes to 3 hours.
Training Video Introduction
The seminars can be found on the TIW web site. Once again, access to the library of virtual Technical Training Seminars is only available to those companies with current SMA’s. The library is password protected and can be reached on the menu bar under Clients > Training Videos.

Contact Marketing at 610-258-5161 x 105 to receive login credentials.

Pending Journal Entries

A “Pending” journal entry is a general ledger item, either complete or partial, which is saved instead of being posted.

The reasons for an entry to be prepared, but not released, can vary. The entry may be complex and/or incomplete and is waiting for further information. It may be that the entry is one of a series of entries that you would like to release all at one time. Staff may have been authorized to enter but not to release them. A supervisor may be intending to review and release them at a later time. Finally, it may be desirable to use an Excel file to import journal entries for review and release tab.
Pending Journal Entry
When the journal entry is saved, it is marked as "Pending" and not assigned a journal ID. It is saved in the state it is in, meaning that the entry does not need to be balanced. The entry remains on the screen until the screen is exited, at which time it can only be viewed, edited, and posted on the Pending Journal Entries screen.

Being able to save journal entries without posting them provides a company with many more options for managing the general ledger.

Standard versus Express Orders

Work orders initiate a job in the shop, provide instructions for building the parts, track the progress of orders, and report on the details. In most cases, they are the document that accompanies a job until completion.

ALERE offers two ways of processing a work order. The Express Order is the fastest way to move from components to product and still have a work order record of the process.
Express Work Order Screen
While the Express Order can take only a few seconds to create and process, certain conditions are needed first. There must be sufficient inventory to completely meet the quantity of the item being built. A bill of material has to exist for the item. A route must be associated with the item. Lastly, the item cannot be lot or serialized.

Express Orders are commonly used by companies that simply want to issue material and post finished goods without the need to keep detailed records. Or, the time to complete the actual job does not warrant the time that would be needed to process a Standard Order. The downside to using an Express Order is they cannot handle lot or serialized items, the assumption is made that there will be no additional material or any scrap, and standard costs are used by the orders.

The second way to process a work order is called the Standard Order. This is the more “traditional” order that is printed and follows a job through the shop. Posting transactions are done to track labor, issue material, make route and material changes, record scrap, etc. This type of order can follow a production schedule and have its material requirements planned by MRP. Lot and serialized material issued to the job are tracked. When the job is completed, its finished goods are posted to inventory using actual costs, and lot and serial numbers can be assigned.
Standard Work Order Screen
Standard Orders can range from simple to complex, depending on a company’s requirements. There are mass transactions that can be applied to speed up the process and save time. Likewise, data collection is commonly employed. This type of order lends itself to analysis with, among other methods, reports to examine cost, route, and material variances.

In both cases, work order documents are created and kept as a matter of record. Standard and Express orders may both be used concurrently to meet the wide ranging challenges faced in a manufacturing environment.

Company ID Tooltip

Tooltips are popup information boxes that appear when a mouse cursor is positioned over certain key fields or buttons. They contain discrete pieces of information, such as knowing the difference between a right click on a button and a left click.
Company ID Tooltips
ALERE has many tooltips spread liberally throughout the various screens used to operate the software. In the last version release, one of the tooltips was added to the Company screen in the Manager Module. In this example, at the request of a client, the User ID field information now reveals who added the company and the date and time when the company was first entered into the system.

Since a tooltip only appears when the mouse cursor hovers for a moment over a key field or button, it can provide a non-intrusive way of conveying information

Custom Training - 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