Guide to Using Software to Integrate your Manufacturing Processes

Does your accounting staff spend excessive time entering each component of a finished good into your software, in order to take the item out of inventory? Does your warehouse staff struggle with which items to pull in order to begin a manufacturing run? Are you in the dark about your true manufacturing costs and profitability? These are just some of the question that may be solved if you start to use assemblies within your manufacturing management software. Learn more about the terms associated with assemblies, and how they can work together to help your manufacturing business become more organized, operate more efficiently, and increase profitability.

Assemblies Maintenance

Assemblies Maintenance is the process of defining which components or parts make up your finished item. The finished item is known as an assembly. Most manufacturing management software will let you create an assembly with all of its components as well as labor (often set up as a ‘service’ inventory item), so that true costs may be calculated. The system may also allow you to include costs from outside services, such as sending out an item to have it painted, which can be helpful if the components require other services before being included in an assembly. Once the assembly for a standard assembly item has been created and saved within your software system, that assembly can be used again and again. You may choose to copy a previously saved assembly and customize it for a different customer, saving significant time.

Assemblies Production

A production plan is a sequential list of assemblies to be built, one at a time. During this ‘building’ process, components are removed from inventory. Many systems will also allow for ‘un-building’, which put components back in inventory, helpful when an assembly was not completed or an order was cancelled. This eliminates the need to remove (or return) individual item components from your software system, as all components are simultaneously removed when the build is completed. Prior to the creation of a production plan, a shortage report can be generated to verify whether all needed items are available in stock. Once the actual physical building of the item is completed on the shop floor, the assembly is then built within the software.

Serial and Lot Numbered Items

Some components within an assembly may contain lot or serial numbers. If you record and track the numbers for each of these components as you receive them into inventory, you may also be able to select which serial/lot number is being used as a component within the assembly you are building. This is an important feature for those who wish to keep tracking the number of the component, even after it has been built into an assembly. If this is a feature you require for your manufacturing operation, be sure to choose a system that allows for that capability.

Bill of Materials

The bill of materials is a document that shows all of the information about a production plan, including its assemblies and required components. This document can be created by the software system once a production plan has been created within the system. The bill of materials typically shows the quantity of components that are needed, and also the quantity that is currently on hand, so that missing components can be put on order. The bill of materials is also useful for warehouse staff, as it provides a comprehensive list of items that need to be pulled for a product run.

Setting up assemblies within your manufacturing management software can greatly help increase efficiency and profits for your manufacturing operation.

Payroll Software and Retirement Plans – Make the Most of Your Employee Retirement Plan!

You are offering your employees a retirement plan, and perhaps you have even chosen to contribute money to each of their plans. Congratulations! Now think about how you keep track of that retirement information. You can keep the costs of managing your retirement plan down by automating the tracking of that information. Here are some ways to streamline it, and keep employees happy!

Use software instead of a spreadsheet.

Tracking 401(k) deductions with a payroll software system allows you to set up the calculations, and the 401(k) contribution is automatically calculated during time entry. This eliminates your manual calculation, which of course saves time and also reduces errors. You will wonder how you ever got by keeping track of this data in a spreadsheet.

Set up 401(k) deduction limits for employer and employee.

The ability to set up limits within a software system is extremely helpful! By setting up limits, you can be assured you take out no more than the deduction allowed by the federal government, or the amount specified by the employee. You can rest easy, knowing that you are compliant; whereas a spreadsheet makes it difficult to track that information.

Set up effective dates.

If you offer a 401(k) for employees after a period of employment, how do you ensure they are starting to receive those benefits once they become eligible? A great way to remedy this is to set up an effective date within your payroll software system, based on the parameters you set. That way, employees will start receiving benefits as soon as they are eligible.

Export a 401(k) file.

How do you send your 401(k) retirement plan administrator the data they need to manage your plan? Use your payroll software to track 401(k) retirement information, and generate a file right from your software to send directly to your retirement plan administrator. By generating and sending a file, you will eliminate the additional step of gathering/re-entering the information, which could result in manual entry errors. This will also save you significant time!

Show employees the value of your 401(k) program.

Offering a 401(k) program is a valuable employee benefit. Show your employer share of the 401(k) contribution on the payroll stub for employees to see, and they will appreciate each week the contribution they are receiving from you, their employer.

By using these steps, you will improve your 401(k) management, and also keep employees happy with this valuable benefit you are offering.

Fund Accounting Software vs. Basic Accounting Software… What You Need to Know.

Tracking by Funding Source

Fund accounting software allows you to track funding sources in a way that is useful to you, by department, program, grant, profit center, and more. Since information is tracked this way, reports can be pulled and viewed for each source, and the data is easily understood.

Advanced Budgeting

Fund accounting software provides budgeting tools so you are more accurate in your budget projections and reporting. You have the ability to budget by fund and by department, giving department heads or managers the information they need to quickly compare their actual spending to the budget.

Customized Reporting

Because non-profits have different reporting requirements than other organizations or businesses, it’s important to have a customized reporting tool that allows you to edit and save reports tailored to your specific needs.

Why eFile W-2s?

Processing W-2s is one of the most important and burdensome requirements businesses face every year. It is the time of year many payroll administrators dread for obvious reasons.

Making a mistake on an employee’s W-2 not only puts the business at risk of costly fines and penalties, but also creates a great deal of extra work to fix.

In addition to the liability issues when processing W-2s there is also the matter of effort needed to print forms, preparing them for mailing, and the costs incurred completing the whole process.

Complete W-2 eFiling services can eliminate most of the pain associated with processing W-2s in-house. In the past, these services were provided by payroll service providers and were often very expensive. The addition of complete eFile services to many payroll software solutions, has made this option very affordable, and offers significant efficiencies to small businesses.

What to look for in an eFile solution.

When determining whether a complete W-2 eFile solution is the right choice for your business, there are several features to look for.

  1. The solution should be native to your payroll solution and automatically convey your payroll data directly from your payroll entries. Manual entry of your payroll data opens the door to transcription errors and lost time trying to locate and fix errors.
  2. solution should include automated error checking that complies at minimum the standards set by Accuwage and eVerify.
  3. It should provide the ability to save a history file of each filing and the ability to print file copies if desired.
  4. It should include all filings required: Federal copies and State copies including the Federal W-3 and any state reconciliation forms required.
  5. It should automatically print and mail employee copies directly to your employees
  6. It should also host employee copies to a password-protected website so terminated employees who have change addresses can access their copy and print it as needed.

Additional features to look for.

Outside of the minimum requirements listed above there are several other features that provide benefits and efficiencies.

  1. It should provide the ability to schedule when your employee copies are mailed, when your Federal filings are made, when your State copies are filed, and the ability to make corrections at no charge up until the filings are made. Often times when the employees receive their W-2s they recognize a change that needs to be made. The ability to file a corrected Federal and State filing prior to their submission date will save the need for W-2 Cs or other additional forms.
  2. It should allow you to review all employee data in a spreadsheet format, which allows easy editing, and the simple entry of additional information required such as third party healthcare.
  3. It should include forms for all states that require W-2s and all US territories.
  4. You should be able to find testimonial evidence from customers who have used the solution with your native payroll solution.
  5. The solution should have at least 3 years of history in providing this solution to assure that the solution is a mature and well-tested product.


Finally, the service must be affordable. Typical in-house cost of processing W-2s is from $3.85 to $4.35 per employee. This cost includes processing time, forms, envelopes, and postage.

A fair price for a complete service solution should be below the lower limit of in-house costs.

Top Ten Reasons to be a Red Wing Software Customer

Let our customers tell you themselves! Here are the top ten reasons to be a Red Wing Software customer.

  1. Forward technology:

    “I am so proud to know that you all work diligently to make your program the best. Please keep up the good work and thank you all so much.” Pamela, from Marked Tree, Arizona

  2. Industry leadership:

    “The Red Wing organization is a consistent and dependable leader in business systems.” Doug, of Goodland, Indiana

  3. Bigger companies aren’t always better:

    “Thanks for a very efficient, easy to understand and use system that has more accurate, up to date features than a large, very large, corporation has to offer.” Sarah, from Tecumseh, Nebraska

  4. Reasonable price:

    “CenterPoint Payroll′s feature set was appealing for its cost, which was a large motivator for us,” Aaron says, “It′s a feature-rich program at a reasonable cost.” Aaron, from Milbank, South Dakota

  5. Makes your job easier:

    “Navigating around in CenterPoint Payroll is really easy. Compared to the older payroll system we were using, it is much easier to complete tasks like looking up employees or other information when I need it. Being able to access this information more quickly saves significant time!” Pam, of Fairmont, Minnesota

  6. A partner to your business.

    “I want to acknowledge your company for being so supportive. I think you′re doing a great job and I know I can count on you if I have questions or technical issues. Thank you.” Erin, from Mountlake Terrace, Washington

  7. Saves you time:

    “We are extremely pleased that we complete the payroll process about forty percent faster with CenterPoint Payroll than with our previous software.” Garry, from Miller, South Dakota

  8. We don’t do high pressure sales.

    “I was especially impressed with our sales rep, Matt. Instead of just giving us the answers we wanted to hear, Matt dug in and researched to find us the right answer, even with our more challenging requirements. I appreciated his hard work and honesty—it was a very painless process.” Todd, from Taylor, Texas

  9. Excellent technical support:

    “We got WAY more than our money′s worth with the Customer Care Technical support plan that we purchased,” Rae Ann, from Plover, Wisconsin

  10. Saves you significant money:

    “We estimate the money we’ll save by making the switch from a service to CenterPoint to be about $10,000 per year.” Jeanette, from Racine, Wisconsin