Discrete advisory: Infor ERP XA speeds inventory management
The latest release of Infor ERP XA, an IBM System i-based ERP solution for discrete manufacturers with mixed-mode processes, reportedly serves up more system speed, inventory management processes, and service and maintenance procedures for IT professionals.
“Infor ERP XA is a comprehensive system that streamlines master production scheduling, inventory management, order processing, material requirements planning, detailed lot tracking, and production reporting,” says Kevin Piotrowski, director, discrete industry and product marketing, Infor. “With the latest version of XA, the system functions faster and is easier to service, lowering the total cost of ownership for companies in discrete manufacturing.”
Infor ERP XA 7.8 uses an IBM query engine, SQE, which increases the system’s speed of data retrieval and improves performance across the board. The enhanced version also automatically updates financials by type: accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and cash—reducing time by eliminating the step required to look up the transaction category.
In addition, the new version uses a companion field to update the currency decimal point for various foreign monies, previously done separately.
Manufacturers also can receive inventory using abstract syntax notation (ASN) in addition to purchase order, thereby simplifying supplier relations. The system allows managing inventory transfer across vast distances, enabling visibility to consider inventories from all operations as part of the production process.
To deliver to accounting departments a fully transparent view of actual assets, XA now tracks inventory in-transit and records it as an asset. Previously, systems maintained only the assets that were currently on hand, disregarding the goods being shipped from one location to another, or prior to a customer’s receipt.
New features also benefit IT professionals who service and maintain the software system, including moving effortlessly from server to server, and sending server-related messages to users. New logons also can be routed to underutilized servers to improve performance, and when maintenance is required, technicians can place FIX servers in remote offices, reducing the need for bandwidth during maintenance and upgrades.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.