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.

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

Should your Business have a Computer in the Shipping Area?

The shipping department: probably not the most profitable department of your entire company. No wonder so many companies decide not to put a computer back there -- just another added expense. Not only does the computer cost money, but then there is the upkeep to hardware and software as time goes on. On the other hand, adding a computer to the shipping area might just be one way to add more profits and streamline processes. What most businesses don’t consider is the amount of efficiency they will gain by adding a computer to the shipping department. Here are some time and money saving functions you can achieve by adding a computer in your shipping department.

    • Using the accounting software or order entry system, the shipping department knows which orders need to be shipped without the office having to print a copy of the order and manually bring it back to them.
    • The shipping department can document on their computer how many of each item they actually ship, and they can also print a packing slip to put in the box. This saves from having to tell the office what will ship and then wait for them to print the packing slip, or having the office print a packing slip and the shipping department hand-writing changes on it.
    • Because the shipping department is documenting on their computer how many are shipped, there is no need for them to remember to tell the office that they weren’t able to ship all quantities, so invoicing is consistently more accurate.
    • Shipping charges are more accurate, since the shipping department is able to put actual shipping costs on the order while they fill it. This also allows the invoice to be finalized quicker.
    • By having the shipping department fill orders on the computer in accordance with what shipped, inventory is deducted as soon as it’s shipped, as compared with being deducted when the office gets the paperwork. The office can pull up the shipped orders on the computer and see exactly what shipped or which items may need to be put on backorder.
    • All of these functions result in orders being filled more promptly, which means the invoice is ready to go to the customers more quickly, which in turn may lead to quicker payments from customers.

If the above functions fit for your company, you might want to try adding a computer to the shipping department and see if your processes can be streamlined. All of the steps saved can really add up over a year. Streamlining the process gives your office/sales people more time to sell and allows the shipping department to more efficiently complete their tasks.